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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Friday, July 27, 2018
UCLA's Escobar Believes Sustainability is About Systems
The 40 under 40 winner shares how he came up with a process to move the campus' first building toward zero waste. Source: Waste360, 7/24/18

Plastic Packaging Alternative Derived From Crab Shells and Trees
A new material made from substances common in crab shells and tree fibers could replace the flexible plastic packaging used to keep food fresh. Source: R&D Magazine, 7/23/18

Thursday, July 26, 2018
Three Strategies Companies Are Using to Tackle Produce Waste in the Supply Chain
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, when it comes to fresh produce (the most wasted foods, at least in industrialized countries), almost 1/3 happens along the supply chain. From lack of coordination and communication to inconsistent quality standardization, there are plenty of things that need to go right to get fresh food from A to B without it spoiling -- and that doesn't always happen. However, there are a few tools and strategies that companies are using to try and reduce food waste at various points along the supply chain. Here are three to watch. Source: The Spoon, 7/18/18

Wednesday, July 25, 2018
EPR and the China Sword
In July 2017, China formally announced new import restrictions on recyclables, which came into effect in 2018. U.S. municipalities are now feeling the Sword's sting. A lack of investment in domestic recycling infrastructure, dependence on other nations to accept contaminated recyclables, and failure to account for the full lifecycle costs of packaging have resulted in significantly increased costs for local governments and taxpayers. China's policy shift revealed flaws in U.S. recycling systems, which currently rely on voluntary action on the part of packaging producers. In British Columbia, however, where an extended producer responsibility (EPR) law is in place for packaging and paper products, the effects of the Sword are muted. There is now increasing interest in EPR for packaging in the U.S., which will only grow as the impacts of China's policies continue to unfold. Source: Product Stewardship Institute, 7/25/18

Tuesday, July 24, 2018
The next BPA? Why businesses must get ahead of hormone-disrupting chemicals
American consumers are growing increasingly concerned about food safety and chemical hazards. Over the past 10 years, the market has shifted away from products containing bisphenol A (BPA) -- previously found in baby bottles, sippy cups and food packaging -- following widespread consumer demand for safer products. But BPA is not the only chemical of concern in the food supply that should be on the radar of sustainability professionals. Meet the new BPA: phthalates and PFAS. Source: GreenBiz, 7/20/18

How Europe's chemical industry learned to love REACH
Supporting the chemical management law is good for competitiveness, Europe's chemical industry now says. Source: Chemical & Engineering News, 7/16/18

Regulate to reduce chemical mixture risk
Humans and wildlife are continuously exposed to multiple chemicals from different sources and via different routes, both simultaneously and in sequence. Scientific evidence for heightened toxicity from such mixtures is mounting, yet regulation is lagging behind. Ensuring appropriate regulation of chemical mixture risks will require stronger legal stimuli as well as close integration of different parts of the regulatory systems in order to meet the data and testing requirements for mixture risk assessment. Source: Science, 7/20/18

Monday, July 23, 2018
Exclusive: Starbucks and McDonald's team up to rethink cups
In the world of quick coffee, Starbucks and McDonald's are as fierce as competitors come. They're multibillion-dollar global giants, fighting for our caffeinated hearts through drizzles and discounts. But when it comes to the cup that coffee comes in, they're now on the same team. McDonald's and Starbucks are joining forces to build a fully recyclable, compostable cup of the future within the next three years--one that may include not just the cup itself, but a lid and straw to go along with it. Source: Fast Company, 7/17/18

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