Print Hi-Tech: March
Printing, digital, and marketing convergence
More interesting news and case studies involving printing and digital technologies covered in my regular ‘Hi-Tech’ category.
Today I prepared a special ‘spring’ edition with the focus on sustainability: ‘greener’ books, biodegradable bottles, food scraps for 3D printing instead of plastics.
Reuse principles are also going to change mobile communications: Ukrainian Avox is on its way to revolution of free calls to both mobiles and landline.
eBook versus printed book
In 2014, eBooks were outsold by both hardcovers and paperbacks. Book lovers are opting for both, but which variant is ‘greener’? To answer that provocative question, one should turn to basic sustainability options and life cycle analysis.
We must consider not only the trees for paper versus components of electronics products, but also the shipping costs, fuel, and ultimately the recycling issues. Where does e-waste end up?
According to a study from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, an eBook begins to compensate for a print book when at least 33 digital works with around 360 pages have been read. In other words, it is a viable option for heavy readers
A book may leave a carbon footprint of 250 g to 1 kg. Eco-publishing, lighter formats, reuse, recycling help to lower emitted kg of CO2 per book as much as possible.
Biodegradable ‘paper’ bottle
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Carlsberg presented the world’s first Green Fiber Bottle, which will be much lighter and fully biodegradable. Developers are going to get a non-transparent, non-breakable bottle with clear fiber structure.
The Green Fiber Bottle is being developed in partnership with the Technical University of Denmark. All materials used, including the cap, will be bio-based and biodegradable. It is worth noting that in the US, only 28% of glass was recycled in 2012.
Last year similar technology was presented by GreenBottle from UK, which was used in a US line of paper wine bottles Paper Boy with a plastic bladder inside a cardboard bottle. However, the new beverage container made from sustainably sourced wood fiber is planned to be produced in one piece with an inner coating that will decompose naturally. Moreover, Carlsberg isn’t going to keeping this technology confidential.
Food Scraps for 3D Printing
As new applications of 3D printing appear and more affordable printers enter the market, public interest in additive printers is increasing exponentially. According to Gartner’s recent prediction, worldwide shipments of 3D printers will double in 2015 as compared to 2014 and the trend will continue till 2018.
Most of us have a strong interest in recycling these days. People feel increasingly responsible for heaps of plastic filament, not to mention 3D models ending up in the trash. Marina Ceccolini, an Italian designer, offered a highly available material for ‘green’ printing process. AgriDust consists of waste (64.5%) and a binder from potato starch (35.5%). The technology supports six types of waste: coffee grounds, peanut shell, husk tomato, bean pod, orange waste and lemon waste. You can use it to create pots for plants and packaging.
To use it as a material for 3D printers, the classic extruder is replaced with a syringe. “I don’t want to eliminate the use of plastic, because in some sectors that is unthinkable, but in the case of disposable products, you might start to think and act differently,” says Ceccolini.
Bonus: Made in Ukraine
Reuse and sharing are among best ways to reduce consumer waste and increase sustainability globally. Ukrainian founders of Avox are pretty sure that sharing resources philosophy has the power to change the global telecommunication market.
Avox works when 3G and WiFi are not available and it is free to call both landline and mobile phone regardless of its 3G/WiFi access. The key is Avox proprietary solution, VoIP > GSM gateway, sharing users’ mobile minutes to the Avox cloud and reallocating them among others.
The featured free app for Android phones supports voice call, instant messaging, daily stats, and share control. For now, the beta is compatible with MTK6575 and MTK6577 chipsets. Tested on: Prestigio MultiPhone 4055 Duo, Gigabyte Gsmar Maya M1, Fly iq445, Lenovo a630.
The app has already been installed by more than 10,000 mobile users from the US, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ukraine, Belarus. The more locals use the app, the more free minutes are available for sharing among them.