Jim Kerstein, CEO of composite bridge manufacturer Axion International, believes there's an urgent need to start using recycled plastics in construction applications. Kerstein wrote a passionate column on the topic for GreenTechMedia.com, headlined "Observations on Eco-Industrial Engineering -- One word: plastics." A few excerpts:
- Incorporating more plastics into automobiles was possible in the 1940s -- Henry Ford was a proponent -- and the shift would have reduced manufacturing costs and increased carmakers' profits. But automakers were slow to evolve.
- America doesn't have 50 years to adapt to the idea of recycled plastic as a building material. "Couple concerns about the environment with almost unanimous agreement that the nation's infrastructure is in desperate need of repair, and you have what would seem like a perfect storm to drive market acceptance of new composite plastics that are capable of replacing legacy building materials," he wrote.
- "...the private sector is so focused on the bottom line that unless you're extremely competitive in the short term, long-term benefits have little value."
- Also, "being green doesn't seem to be very relevant when it comes to the decision-making process. While it is icing on the cake, a green solution is what sells the cake."