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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Wednesday, September 5, 2018
FOCUS-Unilever confronts the 'chairdrobe' as consumers rethink laundry
For decades, Unilever and Procter & Gamble, the industry leader that created the best-selling brand, Tide, have pitched new and improved laundry detergents and fabric softeners, primarily to women using washing machines. But millennials are less loyal to traditional brands and have new demands, including that products save time and be environmentally sustainable. Source: Reuters, 9/5/18

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at How the Makers of M&M's Source Renewable Energy
EDF recently heard from Mars, Incorporated's chief procurement and sustainability officer, Barry Parkin, about the company's plan to tackle its ambitious climate goals in an EDF+Business "Business of Sustainability" podcast. Their Sustainable in a Generation plan details Mars' commitment to procure 100 percent renewable energy. Mars is plowing full speed ahead toward these goals and recently, Mars Australia signed 20-year power purchase agreements (PPA) to generate the equivalent of 100 percent of Mars' electricity from renewable energy by 2020. Source: EDF, 8/23/18

From plastic straws to a sea change for plastic
It's time for some big thinking -- and concrete action -- on plastic waste. Source: GreenBiz, 8/29/18

How REMADE could drive innovation in circular manufacturing techniques
The challenges involved in converting the global economy from linear to circular processes and consumption habits are massive, multi-faceted and multi-dimensional.

Considering the technological, policy, marketing, logistical and infrastructural innovations that will be required, it is clear that the solutions will be bigger than any one player -- or even any one group of industry-specific collaborators -- can orchestrate. Such a monumental challenge requires a monumental effort.

The REMADE Institute is one such effort, funded with $70 million from federal funding sources and $70 million from its various members. Composed of 26 universities, 44 companies, seven national labs and 26 industry trade associations and foundations, it's the largest and most comprehensive effort (at least in the United States) focused primarily on addressing the changes required to retool remanufacturing processes for the circular economy. Source: GreenBiz, 8/29/18

Thursday, August 30, 2018
PEW Charitable Trusts Identifies Ohio EPA Among Agencies with Innovative Approach to Helping Businesses Navigate Regulations
Ohio EPA's Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP) earned the attention of the Pew Charitable Trusts this month for the Agency's innovative approach to providing free, customized and confidential support to help businesses achieve and maintain compliance with environmental laws and regulations. The PEW Report was part of the policy-focused, nonprofit organization's research into state-based programs which provide an essential public service (e.g. protecting human health and the environment), while also encouraging business growth and job creation. Source: Ohio EPA, 8/22/18

Wands for Wildlife Puts Discarded Mascara Wands to Work
The refuge, which receives donations from around the world, uses mascara wands to help care for and groom its rescued animals. Source: Waste360, 8/27/18

Minnesota State Fair's Eco Experience shows off economics of recycling
At Eco Experience building, state officials make case for recycling as a job creator. Source: MInneapolis Star Tribune, 8/26/18

One pound of cheese makes nine pounds of whey. Where does it all go?
America is in the middle of an historic cheese glut. But pound for pound, dairies produce more whey than they do anything else. That means an intractable problem for the industry -- and a potential opportunity for entrepreneurs. Source: New Food Economy, 8/16/18

Food waste could mean big bucks for manufacturers and retailers
Innovative firms and researchers are developing new ways to use food waste both as an ingredient and in food packaging, according to Ingredients Network. Source: FoodDive, 8/23/18

Tuesday, August 28, 2018
19 mayors pledge to make all new buildings net-zero by 2030
The places we live and work are some of the greatest contributors to climate change. Buildings generate over half of the total greenhouse gas emissions for most cities, and in some cities, like London and Paris, it's closer to 70 percent. A new mayoral coalition made up of 19 cities worldwide would require all new buildings to produce as much energy as they consume. Source: Curbed, 8/23/18

Quantifying environmental benefits of recycled plastic
Researchers have calculated substantial upsides from making products out of recycled PET, HDPE and PP instead of prime plastics. Source: Plastics Recycling Update, 8/22/18

New Law Aims to Increase Use of Compost in Illinois
A new law aims to increase the use of compost in Illinois by incorporating composted soil into state-funded landscaping projects. Source: WTTW, 8/21/18

Las Vegas Livestock Makes Use of Commercial Food Waste
During WasteExpo 2018, the company collected 14 totes and nearly 4,000 pounds of food scraps, which were processed and fed to livestock within 24 hours. Source: Waste360, 8/28/18

Monday, August 27, 2018
ChemTRAC: Pollution prevention in the GTA
The automotive refinishing sector within the Greater Toronto Area has experienced challenges in diverging from traditional practices and in identifying key priority chemicals used in the industry. To address these continued challenges, Toronto Public Health collaborated with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to promote the ChemTRAC pollution prevention (P2) program. The main objectives of the P2 effort were to engage with facilities; increase public awareness through the reporting of the use and release of chemicals; reduce the use of priority chemicals; potentially improve the health and safety of employees, the environment and community; minimize waste and assist facilities in implementing sustainable practices. Source:, 8/21/18

Cement faces special challenges in quest for sustainability
The mammoth cement industry, according to AZO Materials, has its work cut out for it if cement is to become more sustainable, including reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the manufacturing process and overcoming the destructive effects of climate change. Source: ConstructionDive, 8/20/18

Friday, August 24, 2018
Helping soldiers print with reclaimed plastic
Bottles and containers could become feedstocks for 3-D printing on remote military bases. Source: Chemical & Engineering News, 8/21/18

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