Nuts and Bolts are better

By greenteapanda

June 30, 2008

Category: Living

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I will be travelling again soon. I came to Korea with two suitcases – one of which was on its last wheels. I always go for the lightest luggage I can find. In the case of the dying suitcase, it was held together almost entirely by rivets.

If it were held together with nuts and bolts, I could easily take off the old wheels and install new ones. I could have done so before I wore off the bottom rear edge (now a large hole, so the suitcase doesn’t hold things inside that aren’t bigger than the gap). I am well aware I could drill through the rivets, but I have yet to come across a decent DIY home centre in Korea.

Tonight I began to deconstruct the suitcase so parts that can be recycled will get recycled and those that can’t will be trashed. If I left the entire suitcase outside, I’d have to pay extra money to get it hauled away, and it would probably end up in a landfill in its entirety. The most useful tools for this so far have been a small saw on my pocket knife, gloves, a fish scaler, and the same scissors Koreans use to cut food at mealtimes.

The plastic parts inside aren’t labelled – so there isn’t any good way to know if it is recyclable or not, and if so, which type of plastic it is so it can be recycled properly.

I think if people had to take apart large items like this before tossing them out, they would be a lot less likely to buy such items again in the future. Instead they might be persuaded to extend the life of the item as long as possible before buying a new one. That wouldn’t be good for the economy, but it would be a lot better for the environment.

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