Here’s a thought provoking example of a exchange standard along with an short informed essay about the effects it has on the adjacent parts of the system. The example is the trash chute in an apartment building. In my experience, at least in NYC, much of the trash is broken up into units the size of a plastic shopping bag. That happens to fit nicely into many of these chutes, and size standardization flows back up the supply chain nicely. There are household trash bins that take a standard plastic grocery bag for a liner. Living in an inner ring suburb in Boston, as I now do, I was surprised how hard it was to find a source for those trash bins. In seemingly related news my wife recently made some cloth grocery bags, which are identical in topology to the plastic ones.
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