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Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Should plastics be a source of energy?
The plastics crisis has some asking if we should burn more plastic waste and at least get energy out of it. Source: Chemical & Engineering News, 9/24/18

More Than 130 Companies Have Made Science-Based Targets This Year Alone
Since the beginning of the year, more than 130 new companies have joined the Science Based Targets initiative, pushing the total number of companies close to 500 and representative of approximately one-eighth of total global market capitalization. Source: Clean Technica, 9/18/18

Wrangler Adopts the Denim Industry's First 'Dry-Dyeing' Process
On Tuesday, Wrangler confirmed an agreement to implement a new foam-dyeing process to give its jeans the same classic blue color without the water waste. The company will be the first to use the technology, which it says can eliminate 99 percent of the water typically used in the dyeing process. Source: Triple Pundit, 9/21/18

Friday, September 21, 2018
Oregon Launches First Statewide Refillable Bottle System In U.S.
Thousands of thicker, heavier beer bottles are popping up on store shelves across Oregon as part of the first statewide refillable bottle system in the country, and supporters are hoping it might catch on in other states, too. Source: NPR, 9/17/18

Tuesday, September 18, 2018
States' energy use correlates with efficiency policies, new data suggest
Energy use per capita varies widely by state, according to new data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The lowest is in Rhode Island, where people consume five times less energy than those in Louisiana, which has the highest rate. ACEEE finds correlation between per capita energy use and state policy. Source: ACEEE, 9/12/18

4 technologies tackling food waste in the supply chain
From reefer sensors to avocado imagery, venture capitalists are pouring hundreds of millions into the trillion-dollar problem of food waste. Source: SupplyChainDive, 9/12/18

'Free-From' Foods Are Changing the Way Your Meals Are Produced
While the food and beverage sector has grown 1.9 percent over the past year, "free-from" versions are growing faster, according to data from Nielsen. Products labeled antibiotic-free saw growth rates of nearly 20 percent, followed by soy-free at 19 percent and hormone and antibiotic-free at 15 percent. Source: Bloomberg, 9/9/18

Live Nation Sets Zero Waste Goals, Adds New Sustainability Staff
The company aims to achieve zero waste in 20 of its owned and operated amphitheater venues by 2020. Source: Waste360, 9/10/18

Firefighting chemical linked to water safety concerns
A firefighting foam has been linked to a group of chemicals known to be harmful to infants, toddlers and pregnant women. But it is still kept on hand because firefighters say they don't have effective alternatives. Source: Great Lakes Echo, 9/17/18

Thursday, September 13, 2018
GVSU researchers investigate biological, chemical effects of microplastics
An international group of scientists led by a pair of Grand Valley researchers is exploring the biological and chemical impact of microplastics in a West Michigan lake.

Alan Steinman, the Allen and Helen Hunting director of Grand Valley's Annis Water Resources Institute, is leading an exploratory research study to find out what kinds of toxic chemicals and bacteria are attracted to tiny pieces of plastic that are increasingly being found in lakes and oceans worldwide.

Steinman is assisted in his research by Maggie Oudsema, research assistant in his lab at AWRI. Chemical analysis for the project is being completed by John Scott, senior analytical chemist at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Source: Grand Valley State University, 9/12/18


Stains That Won't Wash Away
Ah, dish soap. It gives that satisfying sparkle, but pollutes our waterways. What's a clean freak to do? Anita Clifton reports. Source: Q Magazine, 6/6/18

Tuesday, September 11, 2018
H&M Foundation opens 'Garment-to-Garment' recycling plant in circular fashion drive
Fashion retailer H&M's charitable arm, the H&M Foundation, has this week opened a hydrothermal textile recycling plant as the company strives to become "truly circular" by 2030. Source: Edie.net, 9/7/18

1st Giant Food Store Attains Zero-Waste Status
Giant Food Stores LLC's Cleona, Pa., store has become the first in the Ahold Delhaize USA chain to reach zero-waste status. Source: Progressive Grocer, 9/10/18

Coca-Cola CEO sees solutions in plastic recycling, sugar reduction
As a leader in the soft drink industry, the Coca-Cola Co. understandably looks for ways to reduce sugar. James Robert B. Quincey, president and chief executive officer, also explained how the handling of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles could help Coca-Cola solve plastic environmental problems. Source: Food Business News, 9/10/18

Turning waste into power: the plastic to fuel projects
Plastic to fuel projects are beginning to gain traction in the energy industry, with rising awareness of the prolific environmental damage caused by single-use plastics and people's insufficient recycling habits leading researchers to turn to alternative disposal methods for our mounting plastic output. Research by ISTC scientists BK Sharma and Kishore Rajagopalan is featured in the article. Source: Power Technology, 9/11/18

Packaging Standards Across Supply Chain Delivers Financial, Ethical Value
Switched-on brands are becoming ever more aware of the importance of packaging when it comes to consumer experience. Far too few, however, have yet to address the extraordinary packaging inefficiencies that exist throughout the supply chain. Where is the consistency in packaging types -- both material and size -- that can not only enforce sustainability and ethical standards but also enable cost saving optimization of pallets, containers and warehouse space? Source: Environmental Leader, 9/6/18

Lego Wants to Completely Remake Its Toy Bricks (Without Anyone Noticing)
Lego wants to eliminate its dependence on petroleum-based plastics, and build its toys entirely from plant-based or recycled materials by 2030. Source: New York Times, 8/31/18

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