Second-Look, Recycled Vinyl Wallcoverings

Secondlook

Watch out!  Second-Look is a new product that has the potential to make a splash.  I’m still trying to decide how I feel about it, but Buildings Magazine gave it a Grand Prize Product Innovation Award in the Environmental Solutions category.  Second-look invested 2 years in R&D to create the first recycling program for vinyl wallcoverings.  The company wants your used vinyl wallcoverings and they’ll take old product from any manufacturer.  Using old vinyl, they’ve developed three new collections of wallcoverings – Versa, Cirqa, and Plexus – all made of 20-percent recycled vinyl content, including 10-percent post-consumer recycled content.  The low-VOC wallcovering produces fewer emissions than paint, uses water-based inks, incorporates a mildew-inhibiting agent, and can be micro-vented for additional breathability.  Plus, Second-Look can be used for LEED points.  Anyone have thoughts?


  • Ruben

    As Umbra, on grist.org says, “No Vinyl and that’s final.”

    The Natural Step would disagree, as long as you are capturing 100% of the material for recycling. But, vinyl creates dioxin, one the most toxic substance known to humankind, so the consequences of not recycling all of it are severe. And, sadly, we have a good recycling record on almost nothing, let alone wall paper that needs to be peeled laboriously from walls before demolition.

    So, my thoughts are, don’t use it. Vinyl is bad.

  • Lloyd Alter

    20% recycled is 80% virgin. Read Metropolis on the vinyl question:

    “Vinyl’s life cycle begins and ends with hazards, most stemming from chlorine, its primary component. “It’s the only common plastic that’s chlorinated,” says Frank Ackerman, a Tufts University professor and coauthor of the 2003 paper “The Economics of Phasing Out PVC.” “Its life cycle involves a lot of these chlorinated organic compounds, which are simply not involved in the other plastics.” Vinyl chloride, the building block of PVC, causes cancer. Lead and cadmium are sometimes added to vinyl as stabilizers; and phthalate plasticizers, which give PVC its flexibility, pose potential reproductive risks. Manufacturing vinyl or burning it in incinerators produces dioxin, a persistent and highly toxic compound.”

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