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News item: The New, 100% Recyclable Kitchen: a Product with the Future in Mind

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3 comments, last: Mar-14-2009   Add a comment   Contributor:  TheTeam (Mar-13-2009)
Optimism: 4 Categories: Economic/Financial, Pollution, Sustainable Living

An example of products that try to close the loop of energy, pollution, and materials useValcucine's kitchen with Invitrum base units has been designed in the pursuit of eco-sustainability, which does not just mean recyclability or "made from recycled materials". Rather, it means respecting the four main fundamentals of eco-compatibility.

1)  Durability so that the consumption of raw materials and energy required to supply the same item again is postponed to the far future.  The Invitrum base units' system is practically indestructible; it does not swell with water and does not become unglued due to heat.

2)  The project must be as dematerialised as possible to consume less raw materials and energy. The Invitrum base units' system replaces double side panels that are normally 18+18 mm (total of 36mm) with a single, 10mm glass panel.

3)  Reduction of toxic emissions: Invitrum abolishes all uses of glues because it is assembled by means of mechanical joints only; this results in zero emissions of formaldehyde. Moreover, the use of an inert material such as glass cancels any toxic emissions.

4)  Make the product as recyclable as possible: this does not mean using only recyclable materials or, better still, recycled and recyclable materials but also that the various materials used are easy to identify and separate; e.g. if two different recyclable materials are glued together it becomes difficult to reutilise them.

The Invitrum base units' system uses only mechanical joints that make the product easy to dismantle, to the extent that we are making arrangements to pick up obsolete kitchens, that we will then recycle, free of charge.

The use of recycled, rather than primary, material is part of Valcucine's research that, for the time being, has been expressed by using secondary aluminium. We are also testing a recycled material for base unit back panels obtained by recycling food packaging (Tetra Pak).

For as much as regards glass, the market does not yet offer recycled glass in sheets. As soon as it will be available, Valcucine will use it to obtain a 100% recyclable product from a 100% recycled product.

See original news item: EcoValcucine, Mar-2009  
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Comment by: City Worker (Mar-14-2009)   
Oh, ok. Thanks. Sounds good. But I don't know if they've really totally addressed all the issues, like that glass is breakable, and doesn't aluminum conduct heat?
Comment by:  PT (David Alexander) (Mar-14-2009)   Web site

I think the idea is that standard kitchens use Formica or the equivalent chemically-made surfaces, glued to particle board also made with chemicals and including wood cut from forests.

These kitchens potentially could be made from recycled glass and aluminum, and both of those are also 100% recyclable and do not degrade in that process (unlike recyclable plastics, for example). It is still better not to get a new kitchen at all, but I think the argument can easily be made that this kitchen saves resources compared to other designs.
Comment by: City Worker (Mar-13-2009)   

This seems like lovely kitchen stuff, but I don't get many ways. I see that joints rather than glue reduces toxic emissions and it seems to make it more easily dismantled and more recyclable. But I don't see what's that really special about it.... I don't see what they've done that is pretty unique. I don't see how this item, which is made with aluminum and glass, is practically indestructible . And don't they need the normal wires and valves and whatever ... and don't they need to glue that stuff to something?

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About contributor Member: TheTeam (PlanetThoughts Team) TheTeam (PlanetThoughts Team)

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