Reduce Plastic at Home
In this edition of Self Build Ireland Magazine, professional designer Nicola Jones looks at the perils of plastics in the home. How safe are the VOC emissions that are invisible to us? How damaging to the environment is plastic production? Read this in-depth analysis of plastic as a building material and interior product, and make your own informed decisions.
Title: Reducing Plastic in the Home
Date: Spring 2010
Publication: Self Build Ireland Magazine
Content: The dangers of plastic on human health and the environment. What we don’t widely know about materials in the home.
Extract: “Living in a plastic home was the dream of the 1950s and 1960s. This synthetic material was promoted as durable, cheap and stylish; a material without the design limits of natural materials and ‘the’ material of the future. While we cannot claim that plastic has not revolutionised the home interior, we now understand the damage to our health and to the environment that this material causes, says Nicola Jones. Plastic is present in the majority of buildings materials and interior finishes, whether as PVC, polyurethane, vinyl, acrylic or resins, binders and finishes. But plastic is in fact an unstable material, one that releases toxins into the air over its entire lifespan. It is produced by chemically processing polymers and depending on the properties required (such as moisture resistance) the likes of hydrogen or sulphur are added to the process. The good news is that plastic-free interior fit-outs and renovations can be achieved by sourcing 80-100% natural materials and products, everything from plasterboard to paint and accessories.”