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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Thursday, September 17, 2015
For an environmentally friendly supply chain, what we buy matters
The challenge for individual hospitals and health systems is that the environmental attributes of products are often not apparent within some purchasing processes. However, market-wide progress is being made through several initiatives that bring together hospital sustainability and purchasing managers, GPOs, and medical product and service providers. Source: Modern Healthcare, 9/1/15

EPA Proposes New Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule. If finalized, it will create an entirely new subpart in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste regulations to regulate hazardous waste pharmaceuticals (HWPs) that are generated by healthcare facilities as well as those HWPs managed by pharmaceutical reverse distributors. Healthcare facilities that are small quantity generators (SQGs) or large quantity generators (LQGs) and all pharmaceutical reverse distributors--regardless of the quantity of HWPs generated per month--will be required to manage HWPs under the new Subpart P of 40 CFR Part 266. Source: JD Supra Business Advisor, 9/4/15

EPA Issues Final Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) on HBCD
EPA is issuing a final Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) for two chemical substances collectively referred to as "HBCD" under the Toxic Substances Control Act. HBCD is bioaccumulative, environmentally persistent, and toxic.

HBCD is considered a hazard to the environment because of its toxicity to aquatic organisms and a hazard to human health because of its reproductive toxicity and potential neurodevelopmental toxicity. People may be exposed to HBCD in the workplace and from consumer products and dust in the home and workplace, as well as its presence in the environment. The final rule requires notification to EPA 90 days prior to U.S. manufacture, import, or processing of HBCD in consumer textiles (except for use in motor vehicles). The final rule also requires notification to EPA 90 days prior to U.S. import or processing of HBCD in textile articles. The required Significant New Use Notice will provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the potential risks of resuming the use, and to place limits on future use, if necessary. Source: U.S. EPA, 9/17/15

United States Establishes First Food Waste Reduction Goal
Two government agencies have established the United States first-ever food waste reduction goal, calling for a 50-percent reduction by 2030. Source: Waste360, 9/16/15

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Grand challenge: reduce carbon and water footprints of industry
Through the Institute on the Environment's NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise, the University of Minnesota is reaching across academic disciplines as well as out to the private sector to develop the tools and processes that will help companies meet the grand challenge of reducing their carbon and water footprints. Source: University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, 8/31/15

Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Lego Makes Good on Sustainable Materials Pledge
The Lego Group is making good on its promise to spend 1 billion Danish Krone ($150.5 million) to develop new sustainable materials for its plastic Lego toys and packaging materials. This includes the establishment of the Lego Sustainable Materials Centre in Billund, Denmark. Source: Environmental Leader, 9/14/15

10 ways the circular economy is changing the way businesses think
Here's how Dell, Patagonia, DHL and others have adapted to the circular economy. Source: GreenBiz, 9/14/15

How can we design cities to make the most of urban ecosystems?
Living in cities offers numerous advantages in terms of employment, education, healthcare and social communication, among others. But urban living also comes with its challenges: in particular, urban environments can put a strain on mental and physical health, because they tend to be noisy, polluted, overcrowded and hot. Ecologists are increasingly turning their attention to urban areas, in an effort to find solutions to these problems. Their work is beginning to show us how cities can be designed to accommodate all the advantages -- and minimize the disadvantages -- of urban living. Source: Agenda, 9/11/15

Thursday, September 10, 2015
Change the Course: Lessons from a water stewardship movement
WhiteWave, Coca-Cola, Cinemark and Waste Management have joined us in restoring 4 billion gallons of water to depleted rivers and wetlands. Source: GreenBiz, 9/10/15

From Pepsi to Unilever, 5 circular economy strategies for consumer goods
Sure, business-to-business companies like Rolls Royce have found success in material reuse, but can consumer-facing companies do the same? Source: GreenBiz, 9/10/15

College Students School Industry on How to Make Greener Products
UC Berkeley's Greener Solutions program offers students the chance to develop environmentally friendly solutions to toxic problems. Source: TakePart, 9/9/15

Wednesday, September 9, 2015
One by one, states are giving consumers the right to know about chemicals in products
From Vermont to Washington, an increasing number of states are requiring companies to report their use of chemicals of concern. Source: Ensia, 9/9/15

Cities are finally treating water as a resource, not a nuisance
From Houston to Melbourne, the surprising ways urban areas are dealing with water woes. Source: Ensia, 9/1/15

In the future, the best chemistry practices will be green
Gathering for a summit on green chemicals, industry leaders and academics discussed how to solve the problems that threaten to stall 20 years of good intentions. Source: The Guardian, 9/3/15

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