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Hello,

Today I received my copy of the Affinity Photo Workbook, with which I am very happy.

I am, however, less happy with the fact that it was shrink-wrapped, with plastic that is non-recyclable.

I worked in the book trade, both in bookselling and publishing, for nearly thirty years and we would never, ever, shrink wrap single copies, there is simply no need.

At a time when there is huge concern about the level of plastic use throughout the world  it is very disappointing to see yet more being generated to by this completely unnecessary procedure.

I assume that as the book has been out of stock that it has been undergoing a reprint, so all copies will be wrapped, meaning that much more plastic needing disposal.  It would be nice to think that this is the last time that this will happen, and that Serif can make a contribution to reducing the appalling level of plastic use by discontinuing this practice.

 

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24 minutes ago, Grumpy1954 said:

shrink-wrapped, with plastic that is non-recyclable

Sorry – couldn' t resist: Actually all these shrink wrap foils are thermoplastic plastics. These, when collected separately are very nicely recyclable – in the way glass is.
The problem is rather, that recycling is of no economic interest...

I personally disliked that Serif uses Amazon for shipping these books, with no option to avoid this ugly kraken.

 

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Fair enough, I was wrong on the recycling issue, I thought that it was the same as cling film. I will retrieve it from the rubbish bin and put into our soft plastics recycling.

But the point that it is unnecessary in the first place still stands.

 

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22 minutes ago, Grumpy1954 said:

I thought that it was the same as cling film.

I don't know about the reputation of cling film in the country where you live. But it's usually made from polyetylen or polypropylen – both are thermoplastic materials and carry the potential for proper re-use... For as long however, as the humanity does nothing better to these valuable resources than burning them (or letting them end up in oceans) it's likely better to avoid them, yes.

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7 hours ago, hifred said:

I personally disliked that Serif uses Amazon for shipping these books, with no option to avoid this ugly kraken.

According to this Spotlight article, some of the books are shipped directly from their Nottingham warehouse, but many of them are distributed through Amazon UK, Amazon DE, Amazon US and Amazon CA to keep end user shipping costs down. I doubt Serif has any control over how Amazon packages the ones they distribute. :(

7 hours ago, Grumpy1954 said:

But the point that it is unnecessary in the first place still stands.

I am just guessing but I think the idea is the heavy-duty shrink-wrap is to make automated handling at Amazon distribution centers easier, & to protect the books from water damage during shipping. Considering that around here it is not unusual for delivery services to drop off packages outside homes, unprotected from inclement weather, this seems a reasonable precaution -- I have more than once come home to find a cardboard shipping box soggy from exposure to rain or condensation from highly humid air.

But I still wonder if this is the most effective "green" way to protect these high quality books. We recycle everything we can -- typically about 5 times as much waste goes into our recycling bin as the trash one. Our city has what is touted as a state-of-the-art recycling center, but unfortunately it cannot handle lightweight plastic films because they cannot be separated from other recyclables by automated means & contaminate the ones separated by material type.

So because of that, we err on the side of caution for heavier weight shrink-wrap plastics & put them in the trash bin.


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9 hours ago, Grumpy1954 said:

......and that Serif can make a contribution to reducing the appalling level of plastic use by discontinuing this practice.

 

 

A digital version of the book would eliminate the shrink wrapping, the paper (wood) used, the inks to print it and the diesel/fuel used to ship it.

You need to think bigger than just one component if you want to petition Serif (or anyone else) to go green. 

Then again, if all books were digital, printshops would go out of business, ink sellers would dry up, shipping operatives would have to lay off staff and the book trade that you worked in "for nearly thirty years" would probably not exist.

Actions have consequences, we need to think before we de-ink

Clingfilm/plastic is actually very useful when used correctly, we just need to think of how better to recycle/dispose of it when it has been used, not try to eliminate it. 


Due to the fact that Boris Johnson is now our Prime Minister, punctuation, spelling and grammar will never be worried about ever again.  We now have far bigger problems to be concerned about.

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8 hours ago, R C-R said:

but many of them are distributed through Amazon UK, Amazon DE, Amazon US and Amazon CA to keep end user shipping costs down. I doubt Serif has any control over how Amazon packages the ones they distribute. :(

I understood that, but I personally had gladly payed double parcel cost to avoid Amazon.

8 hours ago, R C-R said:

We recycle everything we can -- typically about 5 times as much waste goes into our recycling bin as the trash one.

Let's rather call it 'we separate everything we can'.

Realistically the best that happens with household plastic waste is burning it - and making a bit of electricity out of it. There's no place on earth where they make new food packages from collected and molten old ones - although the material is suitable for doing so.

One may be content with burning or not, but it sure is not a measure one should call recycling.
We're getting far OT though - I just got tempted by the statement that plastic foil materials aren't recyclable - which is wrong.

 

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32 minutes ago, hifred said:

Let's rather call it 'we separate everything we can'.

With one exception, for us that just means separating recyclable materials from garbage & putting all the former into the large recycle bin for weekly collection. The city does the separation at the recycling center. There is even an app city residents can download to their phones with a searchable database of products that should & should not be placed in the recycle bin.

The exception is lightweight plastic films & bags. Most grocery stores accept them for recycling, but only if they are made of certain types of plastic.


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29 minutes ago, R C-R said:

With one exception, for us that just means separating recyclable materials from garbage & putting all the former into the large recycle bin for weekly collection. The city does the separation at the recycling center. There is even an app city residents can download to their phones with a searchable database of products that should & should not be placed in the recycle bin.

The exception is lightweight plastic films & bags. Most grocery stores accept them for recycling, but only if they are made of certain types of plastic.

In my neck of the woods we have a separate bin for paper and card, but metal, glass and plastics all go into a single bin. We’re told not to put plastic bags in the recycling bins, but there’s no information on whether that just means supermarket carrier bags or also the kind of polythene/polyethylene bags that you might use for storing food, and they don’t distinguish between the high- and low-density stuff, so LDPE packaging material goes in that bin even though the recycling centre probably doesn’t have the facilities to deal with it.


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@R C-R you missed my point. I said that there's generally no systems in place to deal with thermoplastic plastics which do deserve the label recycling. Not for thin films, not for  considerably larger chunks like domestic oil tanks or old plastic windows. All these materials could get re-used, but it simply doesn't happen. They all get burned.  

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14 minutes ago, hifred said:

@R C-R you missed my point. I said that there's generally no systems in place to deal with thermoplastic plastics which do deserve the label recycling. Not for thin films, not for  considerably larger chunks like domestic oil tanks or old plastic windows. All these materials could get re-used, but it simply doesn't happen. They all get burned.  

For things like oil tanks or anything else that would need to be cleaned of contaminants before it could be reused, the problem is there is no practical way to do that on a large scale that does not have a net negative impact on the environment.

AFAIK, very little of the separated plastics that come from our recycling center are burned. Most of it is graded, ground up, & sold to businesses that are under contract to use it in new products or in other "green" ways, including for use as 'clean' energy sources where that is practical. The excess is sent to landfills. One of the program's goals is to help create new markets for these materials. Another is to work with local businesses to reduce the amount of waste they create & to make what they do create more reusable.

It isn't perfect but as such things go, it is a very comprehensive program, considered among the best in the country.


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17 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

Living In The Plastic Age (The Buggles)!

Yes, but that seems like too much Drama for this topic. ;)


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Oh Dear, what have I started...

2 hours ago, R C-R said:

For things like oil tanks or anything else that would need to be cleaned of contaminants before it could be reused, the problem is there is no practical way to do that on a large scale that does not have a net negative impact on the environment.

Any sort of plastic has to get cleaned before re-use. That part is not particularly complicated.
There's millions of smaller size oil containers (> car engine oil) in household waste every year, as well as containers for all sorts of chemicals.
 

2 hours ago, R C-R said:

AFAIK, very little of the separated plastics that come from our recycling center are burned. Most of it is graded, ground up, & sold to businesses that are under contract to use it in new products or in other "green" ways, including for use as 'clean' energy sources where that is practical.

With all respect for country specific handling of affairs: That's utter nonsense.
Here in Germany (we separated plastics a lot  earlier than a lot of countries and have a lot of colourful bins in the backyard too) pretty much all of the carefully user separated plastic gets burned.

Creating something meaningful from thermoplastic plastic waste would require a separation to a degree which can neither be accomplished by end users nor by machines. A lot of plastics are compound materials (think Sneakers) and even products which are from the same base materials are made unique by additives, colours and and softeners. There's no way to make  quality products from grounded plastic blends. The best possible outcome are ugly as f*** terrace planks and fence posts.

That all being said: Lossless recycling generally was possible: If one established standards on packaging materials and avoided needless material blends. Last post in this thread. Let's move on to disagreeing on Affinity Photo :o)

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25 minutes ago, hifred said:

Any sort of plastic has to get cleaned before re-use. That part is not particularly complicated.

The complication is in minimizing the overall, end-to-end negative impact on the environment. That includes the disposal or reuse of the byproducts of the cleaning process, the energy consumed by the process & the "greenness" of its source(s), the environmental cost of transporting all the materials, & so on. There are no easy answers for that.


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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

Yes, but that seems like too much Drama for this topic. ;)

Don't know.

But if I generally see that nowadays a stranded sperm whale had around 15 kilos of plastic waste in its stomach. Or a a pilot whale dies and the autopsy revealed 80 plastic bags in that, or another one had 115 plastic cups, 25 plastic bags, 4 plastic bottles and even a pair of flip-flops in his stomach etc. that gives no good feeling. - Many things we do eat coming out of the sea like fish we buy and eat is full of micro plastic, so I don't think it's too much Drama to say we are sadly living in a plastic age.


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25 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

Don't know.

I think you missed my lame attempt at tying your Plastic Age reference to the band Yes & the album Drama:S


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15 minutes ago, R C-R said:

I think you missed my lame attempt at tying your Plastic Age reference to the band Yes & the album Drama:S

I know that you meant that one. That band/song referenced is a pretty old and lame one (just remembered deep in my mind that there was something like this once as a song). - But hey at least their song title fit's pretty well to the overall plastic topic and nowadays problems with too much plastic usage everywhere.

Let me add that nowadays most things like books, computer and software parts packings etc. are shrink-wrapped with some sort of plastic. The worst thing I personally know are blister packs here (I relly hate those).


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