Floating wooden structures designed by Estonian students navigate seasonally-flooded forests

September 19, 2016 by  
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The area of bogland and rivers predictably floods each year, severing ties with the outside world as the water rushes over roads and inviting a new, peaceful perspective for visitors who explore the territory in their canoes. Students of the Estonian Academy of Arts Interior Architecture department, led by professor Hannes Praks, eagerly took the challenge to build structures, named Veetee, that would serve visitors’, as well as nature’s, needs. Related: Gigantic wooden megaphones amplify the sounds of the forest in Estonia A triangular shelter and fireplace can be found as new pieces of forest infrastructure – sadly, the sauna sank during a testing period. “Wet areas are, recreationally speaking, extremely charming due to the high number of species and unique landscape, but at the same time hard to explore, both in the sense of getting there and staying,” explains Praks. “Veetee, being located in an area that regularly floods and shifts, develops this competency, exploring ways of being both a transport vehicle and a usable space.” The project will join a larger network of forest infrastructure, managed by the State Forest Management Centre of Estonia , where it will join the ranks of the Ruup wooden megaphones built by students last year. + Estonian Academy of Arts Images via Tõnu Tunnel

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Floating wooden structures designed by Estonian students navigate seasonally-flooded forests

French ban will outlaw all plastic utensils, cups and dishes by 2020

September 19, 2016 by  
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Back in July, a plastic bag ban went into effect in France . Now the country is going a step further with a measure that would ban all plastic utensils, cups, and dishes by 2020. While some praise the measure, others worry it’s not fair for low-income families. The measure went into effect in August, but allows producers almost four years to make the switch from plastic to compostable utensils and dishes made with biological materials. According to the Associated Press, the measure means France is apparently the ” first country to introduce a blanket ban on plastic dishware .” Consumers won’t be able to purchase coffee in plastic cups or plastic wine glasses for picnics; instead, companies will have to sell compostable dishware and utensils made of “biologically sourced materials.” Related: Edible spoons let you ditch plastic utensils (and they taste great, too) Those in favor of the ban hope it will propel the country forward as an environmental example other countries could emulate. Those opposed to the ban say it places greater strain on low income families who tend to use plastic dishware and utensils regularly. For that reason Environment Minister of France Segolene Royal said the measure is “anti-social.” Pack2Go Europe , an organization representing packaging manufacturers, even says the measure violates European Union rules for “free movement of goods.” Pack2Go Europe’s secretary general argues the measure could create more litter , as people might be tempted to simply discard the compostable dishes and utensils anywhere since they are biodegradable. He also says it has not yet been proved that utensils made of biological materials are safer for the environment than plastic utensils and dishes. Pack2Go Europe says they are willing to take legal action against the measure. Via the Associated Press Images via Quinn Dombrowski on Flickr and Matt Anderson on Flickr

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French ban will outlaw all plastic utensils, cups and dishes by 2020

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