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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Web resources could assist chemical risk management
Two new papers describe publicly accessible web-based tools for exploring environmental chemicals and predicting their risk. These resources will help health policymakers to make faster and more accurate decisions about chemical safety and the need for remediation efforts. Source: Environmental Factor, July 2018

Denver Releases Action Plan to Reduce Wasted Food, Feed More Residents in Need
The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) announced the release of its Food Action Plan, a set of strategic projects to increase food equity in the city. The plan serves as an action-oriented companion piece to the Denver Food Vision, an aspirational view of advancing our food system in Denver. Source: Department of Public Health and Environment, 6/28/18

New sustainable beverage tech could eliminate plastic bottles
North Carolina-based Clear Water Manufacturing has launched a machine that can filter, fill and cap more than 300 bottles of water per one-hour cycle on-site at any location, including campuses, hotels, stadiums or in retail spaces. Source: Beverage Daily, 6/27/18

3 key areas to watch in the national organics conversation
The food waste movement is alive and well, experiencing rapid growth and continually attracting awareness, according to discussions at this week's 2018 U.S. Food Waste Summit. Among the many takeaways and pieces of news during the two-day summit, packaging, infrastructure, and policy are three areas that bear watching for the waste and recycling industry. Source: WasteDive, 6/28/18

Behind the Headline: Allisa Song
Research scientist Allisa Song didn't just get outraged when she read ProPublica's story on medical waste. She organized a dream team of fellow scientists and engineers to invent a solution. Source: ProPublica, 6/29/18

Monday, July 2, 2018
Let it rain! New coatings make natural fabrics waterproof
Fabrics that resist water are essential for everything from rainwear to military tents, but conventional water-repellent coatings have been shown to persist in the environment and accumulate in our bodies, and so are likely to be phased out for safety reasons. That leaves a big gap to be filled if researchers can find safe substitutes. Now, a team at MIT has come up with a promising solution: a coating that not only adds water-repellency to natural fabrics such as cotton and silk, but is also more effective than the existing coatings. The new findings are described in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, in a paper by MIT professors Kripa Varanasi and Karen Gleason, former MIT postdoc Dan Soto, and two others. Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 6/29/18

Target, Tesco, CVS to Require Environmental Impact Data from Suppliers through CDP
Target, Tesco and CVS Health have joined Walmart in an agreement to collect data from suppliers, through non-profit CDP, regarding their overall environmental footprint. By asking suppliers to report on their environmental footprint, the retailers aim to reduce environmental risk and cut carbon emissions in their supply chains. The retailers are three of the new companies that have joined in the supply chain initiative through CDP: the total number of companies now reporting through CDP marks more than a 15% increase from last year, when 99 organizations were requesting data. Source: Environmental Leader, 6/26/18

Friday, June 29, 2018
Gumdrop Turns Old Gum into New Products
The company recycles and processes chewing gum into compounds that can be used in the rubber and plastics industry. Source: Waste360, 6/4/18

Oil and Gas Wastewater Use in Road Maintenance is a Potential Pollution Source
Did you know that at least 13 states, including IL, IN, MI, NY, OH, & PA, allow wastewater from oil and gas extraction to be used in a variety of road maintenance applications? Source: GLRPPR Blog,

Thursday, June 28, 2018
Emerging contaminants lead to emerging ideas
Gillian Flippo, an intern with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, recaps the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's recent Emerging Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment Conference. Source: Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, 6/26/18

5 ways hospitals can launch effective recycling programs for single-use products
Dignity Health's sustainability leader on how the health care giant put circular economy ideals into practice. Source: GreenBiz, 6/25/18

Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Every spring, students throw their lives away. Now, colleges are recycling that old stuff
At the end of the academic year, colleges have a gigantic problem on their hands: What to do with all the waste students leave behind -- not to mention all the clutter the institutions themselves accumulate. It was once commonplace for schools to just dump these leftover items. But these days, campus sustainability teams and student volunteers are working to reuse, sell, or donate all sorts of gently used stuff. Source: Boston Globe, 6/25/18

Where the US stands on federal food waste policy
While it may have been overshadowed by recycling commodity issues, and other big shifts in federal environmental policy, food waste is still on the agenda in Washington, D.C. and gaining momentum. That has been one of the key messages so far at this year's U.S. Food Waste Summit -- hosted by the Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic (HFLPC) and ReFED in Cambridge, Massachusetts -- among participants from business, government, philanthropic organizations and other sectors. Source: WasteDive, 6/27/18

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