I'm full of praise for the use of recycled polyethylene (HDPE) as a paper substitute, and for 25 years (after researching HDPE as a possible package envelope alternative for the UK Post Office), have wondered why maps, recipe books, DIY manuals, car maintenance books, etc. weren't printed on this media - having the wipe clean potential and avoiding page bonding together, as happens in too many recipe books?
However, as also a academic responsible for over a decade of programmes of materials sustainability at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, I am bemused. Here you have two green scientists, seemingly sensibly arguing and acting on their idea that recycling paper for books is worse for the environment than using recycled HDPE - e.g. bleach chloride levels will progressively build up and eventually the paper will be burnt generating harmful chlorine compounds(e.g. dioxins) - whilst the Green Party amongst many is encouraging publishers to use recycled paper. Surely, yet another example of inconsistent, un-joined-up, woolly green thinking.