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Kickstart: Passing on a plastic iPad
Apple Inc. has apparently dropped a proposal to make a plastic-bodied, lower-cost iPad that would have competed with the Chromebook as an option for students.
Mark Gurman writes for Bloomberg that Apple had been considering an iPad with a plastic back and plastic keyboard that would have shipped in one box for under $500.
"The idea was seemingly abandoned, but that was probably Apple's only real hope of ever giving Chromebooks a run for their money in most schools," Gurman said.
The project would have been something separate from a lower-cost iPad Apple introduced as part of its lineup last month, ones that used a range of colors to stand out.
The plastic iPad would have been a reminder of the iPhone 5c, which designer Jony Ive called "beautifully, unapologetically plastic" when it was introduced in 2013. But the 5c turned out to not be as popular as Apple hoped and was quickly abandoned. Ive stepped back from any contract work with Apple earlier this year, and it looks like there's no one left who has quite as much interest in plastic as he did.
Plastic pipes have been in demand since the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed in the U.S. last year, allocating more than $1 trillion to upgrade roads, bridges, rails and access to clean water.
But as Catherine Kavanaugh writes, a coalition of environmental groups is trying to curtail a lot of that spending, calling for federal and state environmental agencies to limit the use of plastics when replacing aging lines.
"When it comes to clean drinking water, we shouldn't have to pick our poison — lead vs. plastic. Filtered, not plastic bottled water, offers a safe solution that puts community health first," Julia Cohen, co-founder and managing director of Plastic Pollution Coalition, said in a news release that also seeks to limit the use of bottled water.
It is a move that understandably frustrates the makers of plastic pipes. After all, plastics have been used safely for decades.
"Plastics are readily available and cost-effective," David Fink, president of the Irving, Texas-based Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI), told Catherine.
Copper requires more energy to produce and costs more — an important consideration for communities with limited income.
"From an economic standpoint, you can do more for the community. Plastic will provide more miles of service lines for the same spend than other materials," Fink said.
The United Kingdom's commemorative Remembrance Day poppies are going plastic-free this year.
The Royal British Legion says the 45 million poppies sold between late October and Nov. 11 — known as Veterans' Day in the U.S. — will eliminate a plastic stem and a plastic button that holds together the paper petals, Nuray Bulbul of The Evening Standard writes.
The Poppy Factory in Richmond, England, makes 7 million poppies each year sold to support the Royal British Legion, a charity providing support to veterans and current members of the British military. (You can check out a video of production near London in 2020 here.)
The legion has not identified what will replace plastics in the poppies.
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