Stories About Chemicals

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Dunkin’ Donuts No Longer Dunked in Chemicals
Dunkin’ Donuts No Longer Dunked in Chemicals

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Dunkin’ Brands, Dunkin’ Donuts’ parent company, has agreed to remove titanium dioxide, a whitening agent that is a common source of nanomaterials, from all powdered sugar used to make the company’s donuts. As a result of this progress, the advocacy group As You Sow has withdrawn a shareholder proposal asking Dunkin’ to assess and reduce the risks of using nanomaterials in its food products.

McDonald’s to Cut Human-Related Antibiotics for Chicken Sold in U.S.
McDonald’s to Cut Human-Related Antibiotics for Chicken Sold in U.S.

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - McDonald’s announced on Wednesday that it is committing to serving chicken raised without antibiotics used in human medicine in all of its U.S. restaurants within two years.The company isn’t going completely antibiotic-free — but will cut the use of antibiotics that contribute to “superbugs” or drug-resistant bacteria that can also harm humans. Often, these human antibiotics are fed to livestock to maximize growth, rather than to treat illness.

On the Ground: Cornell Center Demonstrates Benefits of Applied Research
On the Ground: Cornell Center Demonstrates Benefits of Applied Research

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - To the uninitiated, persuading those living in malaria-prone parts of the world to buy low-cost insecticides seems simple: Explain the benefits and the products will, to use the old phrase, “sell themselves.”For many years, the traditional theory for selling to bottom-of-the-pyramid (BOP) consumers, 4 billion of whom earn less than $1,500 annually, has espoused, “low price, low margin, high volume.”

Multi-Sector Gathering Calls for Harmonized Framework for Shifting to Sustainable Product Portfolios
Multi-Sector Gathering Calls for Harmonized Framework for Shifting to Sustainable Product Portfolios

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Last week, Sustainable Brands participated in and helped support an important meeting in Berlin, hosted by BASF, entitled "Steering a Portfolio Toward Sustainability." A gathering of almost 150 chemistry industry stakeholders — including customers and colleagues such as DOW, AkzoNobel, DSM, Eastman Chemical, Solvay and Sabic — participated in the day-and-a-half-long discussion.

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Walmart, Target Advance Joint Supply Chain Initiative
Walmart, Target Advance Joint Supply Chain Initiative

SUPPLY CHAIN - Walmart, Target and Forum for the Future (FFTF) have established three working groups to take forward actions agreed at last year’s beauty and personal care (BPC) product sustainability summit, according to ChemicalWatch. The groups will focus on aspects of chemicals in products.Working Group 1 — Supply Chain Information Sharing

BASF's Creator Space Tour Engaging Experts, Citizens Worldwide to Solve Global Issues
BASF's Creator Space Tour Engaging Experts, Citizens Worldwide to Solve Global Issues

CLEANTECH - Chemical giant BASF is on a mission to connect people and ideas in six locations worldwide with the Creator Space™ tour, a yearlong event series aiming to address challenges in the areas of energy, food and water, and urban living. The first stop, in Mumbai, India, will take place from January 16-23 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum), with a focus on water sustainability.

Pesticide Industry Resists Calls to Reveal Inert Ingredients
Pesticide Industry Resists Calls to Reveal Inert Ingredients

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Pesticide manufacturers are pushing back against increasing consumer and environmental advocacy group demands for disclosure of the chemicals in pesticide formulations—claiming the information is proprietary.Of particular interest are the so-called inert ingredients such as chemicals in pesticides that perform functions other than controlling pests. Examples include emulsifiers, solvents, aerosols, fragrances, dyes and other chemicals that are not necessarily benign, according to those calling for mandatory labeling of inert ingredients in pesticides.

Cashew Nut Byproduct Could Help Trap Tsetse Fly, Create New Value for African Farmers
Cashew Nut Byproduct Could Help Trap Tsetse Fly, Create New Value for African Farmers

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Researchers have developed a new chemical method applied to a byproduct of cashew nuts that could make it easier to trap tsetse flies and open new revenue streams for nut producers in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new report.

Revlon Agrees to Remove Some Dangerous Chemicals From Its Products
Revlon Agrees to Remove Some Dangerous Chemicals From Its Products

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Late last month, global cosmetics giant Revlon announced it will remove some long-chain parabens and formaldehyde-releasing chemicals from its products, in response to a petition circulated last year by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) that to date has rallied support from over 109,000 consumers.Long-chain parabens can act as estrogens and have been linked to endocrine disruption. Formaldehyde is a potent allergen that has been classified as a carcinogen.EWG executive director Heather White called the move a step in the right direction.

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Purdue Researchers Turn Biomass Waste into Valuable Chemical Products
Purdue Researchers Turn Biomass Waste into Valuable Chemical Products

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - A team of researchers from Purdue University's Center for Direct Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Biofuels (C3Bio) has developed a new catalytic process that converts biomass waste into chemical products that can be used in fragrances, flavorings or to create high-octane fuel for racecars and jets, Phys.org reports.The process uses a chemical catalyst and heat to spur reactions that convert lignin—a durable and complex molecule that gives the plant cell wall its rigid structure—into valuable chemical commodities.

Eastman Joins Consortium Dedicated to Sustainable Chemical Procurement
Eastman Joins Consortium Dedicated to Sustainable Chemical Procurement

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Eastman Chemical Company today announced it will join chemical giants such as BASF, AkzoNobel, Henkel and Clariant as a member of Together for Sustainability (TfS), a European initiative dedicated to the sustainable procurement of chemicals. Eastman and TfS have confirmed acceptance of Eastman’s application to the consortium as the first U.S.-based company to join, with plans to finalize Eastman’s membership in early 2015.

Study Finds Toxic Chemicals in Many Seasonal Holiday Decor Products
Study Finds Toxic Chemicals in Many Seasonal Holiday Decor Products

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - A research study released today finds that top retailers of holiday decor continue to sell seasonal products containing hazardous chemicals. The research found that two-thirds of tested products had one or more hazardous chemicals that have been linked to serious health effects. The study is an update to and expansion of research done in 2010 and 2013 by HealthyStuff.org (a project of the Ann Arbor-based nonprofit organization, the Ecology Center), which found high levels of chemical hazards in string lights, garlands and other decorative products.

Companies Boosting Profits by Leasing Chemicals
Companies Boosting Profits by Leasing Chemicals

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - The traditional business model of chemical suppliers selling their products in the largest possible quantities, while profitable, encourages the overuse of chemicals and places a strain on human health and the environment. But another model has emerged that decouples payment from consumption.Chemical leasing is a business model in which chemical manufacturers and distributors charge for the function that the chemicals perform rather than selling chemicals. Companies that use the chemicals pay for the service that the chemicals provide instead of buying the chemical. The model reduces the waste and inefficiency that often occur with the conventional approach to buying and handling chemicals.

New Tool Measures Corporate Progress Towards Safer Chemicals
New Tool Measures Corporate Progress Towards Safer Chemicals

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - A group of corporate and NGO leaders today released a new tool for assessing leadership in corporate chemicals management.The Chemical Footprint Project (CFP) provides the first-ever common metric of its kind for publicly benchmarking corporate chemicals management and profiling leadership companies. The CFP will enable purchasers to preferentially select suppliers and investors to integrate chemical risk into their sustainability analyses and investments. Its results enable brands to market their progress and success in using safer chemicals.

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BASF, Schuster Developing Greaseproof, Recyclable Cardboard for Fast Food Packaging
BASF, Schuster Developing Greaseproof, Recyclable Cardboard for Fast Food Packaging

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - BASF and recycled cardboard company Schuster have announced they are working on a solution for a combined migration and grease barrier on recycled cardboard.The biopolymer ecovio® PS 1606 is applied to recycled cardboard in an extrusion coating process. This enables the proportion of recycled paper fibers in fast food packaging to be increased while simultaneously making it industrially compostable. The polymer coating applied to the cardboard is several times thinner than a human hair, but provides the packaging with good protection against potential migration of undesired substances while also offering high greaseproofness and liquid tightness. This cardboard is more than 90 percent biobased, recyclable and industrially compostable.

VTT Developing Eco-Friendly Alternative for Polystyrene
VTT Developing Eco-Friendly Alternative for Polystyrene

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has announced it is developing an affordable and environmentally friendly alternative for polystyrene from PLA bioplastic, which is derived from organic sources.Although expanded polystyrene (EPS) is currently used all over the world as a light packaging and insulation material, it poses a significant waste problem. The annual production volume of EPS is 5 to 6 million tons per year, and the non-biodegradable material typically ends up on waste tips or is disposed of by burning, which results in toxic compounds.

Trending: This Week in Sustainable Textiles — Featuring Archroma, I:CO and Zero Waste Scotland
Trending: This Week in Sustainable Textiles — Featuring Archroma, I:CO and Zero Waste Scotland

SUPPLY CHAIN - On Monday, Archroma, a global producer of textile dyes and specialty chemicals, launched a new range of products created from agricultural waste. In addition, the company is utilizing the latest in communications technology to enable transparency of the supply chain to consumers.

Confused by All the Tools to Evaluate Chemicals?
Confused by All the Tools to Evaluate Chemicals?

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - While listening to the radio in New York City a while back I heard an ad for a ‘chemical free’ mattress.What is a ‘chemical free’ mattress? There is no such thing. In fact, like all of our consumer products, all humans, animals, and minerals are made up of chemical molecules. Some molecules are made by nature, think wood or cotton or biomaterials (grass, bamboo), and others are made synthetically (or by man). By taking what nature has given us, companies turn biomaterials, oil, natural gas, salt, minerals, etc. into the beneficial and innovative products we use today. There is no way to avoid chemicals.There are no ‘chemical free’ products, period. Since chemical molecules are part of everything, we need to understand them. So how do we go about this process?

Sustainable Materials at Scale: 100% Recycled Denali Fleece Prevents Waste on Multiple Fronts
Sustainable Materials at Scale: 100% Recycled Denali Fleece Prevents Waste on Multiple Fronts

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Here at The North Face, we believe in making great outdoor gear in a sustainable and responsible way. That’s why we’ve set out to change the way outdoor apparel is made. We’ve set a bold goal to have 100 percent of our polyester (or 80 percent of all of the fabric we use for apparel) come from recycled content — from thousands of plastic bottles — by 2016. Repurposing plastic waste helps reduce carbon emissions and avoids using more open space for landfills.

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AkzoNobel Creates Longer-Lasting, Self-Cleaning Paint
AkzoNobel Creates Longer-Lasting, Self-Cleaning Paint

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - AkzoNobel has discovered a way to add self-cleaning properties and extend the life of its paints. Pioneered by one of the company’s product developers, Dr. Peter Greenwood, the company added colloidal silica to its paints and found it gave them this unique quality and durability.“It was actually on an aircraft. I was travelling home after meeting with a customer. Then I came up with the idea that if we add colloidal silica to a paint you can enhance the self-cleaning properties,” Greenwood reflected in the video.Through rigorous testing, AkzoNobel found that the paints now last up to 16 years, which is 25 percent longer than the standard product.

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