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Issue 04/2017

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Book Review More with

Book Review More with Less welcome to the precision economy a book by Alle Bruggink and Diederik van der Hoeven Review accumulated by: Michael Thielen Mankind is about to turn upside down economic selfevident truths, by the breakthrough of precision technologies like solar energy and precision agriculture, and by precision social arrangements like sharing instead of owning. So far, mankind could only produce more wealth by using more feedstock, depleting the earth’s resources and polluting the environment. Precision will end this practice. Precision will enable us to produce products better tuned to the needs of consumers, from less resources. [1] The problems are known: population growth is increasing, everyone wants more prosperity, natural resources are depleting, we use too much fertilizer and the greenhouse effect cannot be controlled. Most people would agree that something needs to happen. And so do the authors of More with Less Alle Bruggink (Sustainable Technology Consultant) and Diederik van der Hoeven (Science Journalist) [3]. Among the many books that try to catch a glimpse of the future, More with Less stands out as lucid and to the point. Moreover, it has at its core a subject often overlooked in most literature: the amazing developments in chemistry and biotechnology. Most discussions on the future concentrate on ICT (information and communications technology), this book shows that there are vast fields of scientific, business and manufacturing developments beyond that. Developments that will as much change and shape the world as ICT and internet. The authors capture these developments under the term ‘precision’. For instance, they show that mankind can use precision in agriculture to feed 10 billion people - and that this precision can be achieved with present-day science and technology. Precision agriculture does away with preventive treatments and their collateral side effects, and makes use as much as possible of natural enemies of pests and toxic microorganisms. Therefore, precision agriculture does not just increase yields but also reduces environmental impact [2]. Using precision engineering, more and better results can be achieved with fewer sources. And this principle applies not only to industrial products but also to other areas. For example, a surgeon with precision instruments can operate more accurately without causing much physical damage, mining companies can get more efficient ore and nanotechnology can produce better materials. The more-less philosophy has now been elaborated on, inter alia, the area of energy supply, agriculture, and the chemical industry. [3] Bioplastics In one of the most interesting chapters, novel biobased materials (bioplastics) are featured, made from e.g. vegetable oils, sugars, cellulose, starch, natural fibres, lignin or animal products such as chitin or proteins and even CO, CO 2 and CH 4 . All these materials can play an important role in the pursuit of sustainability. The book stimulates the thought processes. It is a fine compilation of arguments that have been around for a while in the biobased business community but have not received much attention in public discussion, so far as it is a slow step by step improvement [2]. However, the book also warns that the precise philosophy will not solve all problems, including because of the emergence of new economic structures that are likely to be difficult in our society. However, according to the authors, the more-to-less approach has many solutions in the area of energy, climate, food and materials. An interesting proposition! [3] [1] From the blurb of the book “More with Less - welcome to the precision economy” by Alle Bruggink and Diederik van der Hoeven [2] Anonymous Comment at Amazon [3] Rijkert Knoppers (De Leesclub van Alles) “More with Less” can be ordered at 10 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/17] Vol. 12

organized by 5 th PLA World Congress 29-30 MAY* 2018 MUNICH › GERMANY is a versatile bioplastics raw PLA material from renewable resources. It is being used for films and rigid packaging, for fibres in woven and non-woven applications. Automotive industry and consumer electronics are thoroughly investigating and even already applying PLA. New methods of polymerizing, compounding or blending of PLA have broadened the range of properties and thus the range of possible applications. That‘s why bioplastics MAGAZINE is now organizing the 5 th PLA World Congress on: 29-30 May* 2018 in Munich / Germany Experts from all involved fields will share their knowledge and contribute to a comprehensive overview of today‘s opportunities and challenges and discuss the possibilities, limitations and future prospects of PLA for all kind of applications. Like the three congresses the 5 th PLA World Congress will also offer excellent networking opportunities for all delegates and speakers as well as exhibitors of the table-top exhibition. The team of bioplastics MAGAZINE is looking forward to seeing you in Munich. The conference will comprise high class presentations on › Latest developments › Market overview call for papers now open › High temperature behaviour › Blends and comounds › Additives / Colorants › Applications (film and rigid packaging, textile, automotive,electronics, toys, and many more) Sponsor: Contact us at: for exhibition and sponsoring opportunities * date subject to changes › Fibers, fabrics, textiles, nonwovens › Reinforcements › End of life options (recycling,composting, incineration etc) Supported by: bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/17] Vol. 12 11

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