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Stories About Plastics

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Trending: New Use for Coffee Grounds, 'Uber for Trash' Among Latest Innovations in Waste Reduction
Trending: New Use for Coffee Grounds, 'Uber for Trash' Among Latest Innovations in Waste Reduction

WASTE NOT - You might already be using them in your garden or they might be fueling your commute — but now you can use them in your 3D printer: Coffee grounds seem to be wasted less and less by the day, thanks to waste-to-energy and upcycling efforts across the globe.

Trending: Biobased Microbeads, Flexible Foams Could Offer Renewable Materials for Hundreds of Products
Trending: Biobased Microbeads, Flexible Foams Could Offer Renewable Materials for Hundreds of Products

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - TerraVerdae BioWorks, an industrial biotechnology company developing advanced bioplastics and environmentally sustainable biomaterials, announced Monday that it has successfully achieved key milestones for the commercial production for its line of Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)-based biomaterials. These include 10,000-liter production runs of its line of biodegradable, natural microspheres for use in personal care and cosmetic products.

Bureo's Upcycled Sunglasses Campaign Funded Within Hours of Launch
Bureo's Upcycled Sunglasses Campaign Funded Within Hours of Launch

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - We have been following Chile-based startup Bureo from its launch in late 2013 to its first incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign last year. Now the company, which got its start upcycling plastic marine waste lining Chile’s waters and shores, has expanded its product range to sunglasses.

Could Genetically Modified Algae Replace Petroleum in Plastic?
Could Genetically Modified Algae Replace Petroleum in Plastic?

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Conventional plastic — found just about everywhere you can think of and in many places you wouldn’t — is made from ethylene, a cheap hydrocarbon made using petroleum and natural gas – through a process that emits more carbon dioxide than any other chemical process. At the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), researchers have been experimenting with ways to make ethylene production less toxic to the environment, and are apparently finding success with the help of cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, according to ClimateWire.

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This Bio-Knit Shoe Will Be as Easy to Recycle as Plastic Bottles
This Bio-Knit Shoe Will Be as Easy to Recycle as Plastic Bottles

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - A new shoe based on textile biomimicry promises easy recycling and soft, robust textures with a single heat-treated material and 3D printers.Designer Amno Liao from the Royal College of Art in London has created the Bio-Knit shoe, which is knitted on a 3-D knitting machine and then treated to harden its various parts. Heat is used to change the stiffness of the threads, so a semi-rigid heel and sock-like textures are produced from the same material. Creating a shoe without composites, as most footwear contains, will dramatically reduce recycling costs.

Investor-Spurned Startup Turns to the Crowd to Fund Eco-Friendly Lunch Box
Investor-Spurned Startup Turns to the Crowd to Fund Eco-Friendly Lunch Box

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - San Francisco Bay Area startup ECOlunchbox has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $30,000 to bring to market its Blue Water Bento collection, a new line of lunch containers that combine no-leak silicone lids with non-toxic stainless steel bottoms.

P&G Fabric Care Overhauling Packaging to Make 230M Bottles a Year from Recycled Plastic
P&G Fabric Care Overhauling Packaging to Make 230M Bottles a Year from Recycled Plastic

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Procter & Gamble (P&G) Fabric Care has announced a new initiative that will see 230 million bottles of flagship brands such as Ariel, Dash, Lenor and Unstopables made out of Post-Consumer Recyclate (PCR — aka recycled packaging). If laid out end-to-end, the 230 million bottles would stretch roughly the distance between the North and South Poles, the company says.

Nestlé Waters’ resource® Now Comes in 100% Recycled Bottles
Nestlé Waters’ resource® Now Comes in 100% Recycled Bottles

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Yesterday resource® Natural Spring Water announced the debut of a remodeled bottle made entirely of recycled plastic (rPET). Part of the Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) portfolio of bottled waters, the resource brand reflects Nestle’s exploration of environmentally sound packaging options across its family of beverages.The remodeled bottle, available in 700ml and 1L sizes, is sourced and bottled in the US. It is produced with 100 percent rPET, excluding the cap and label. resource says it hopes the new bottle will focus attention on the uses of rPET and encourage bottle-to-bottle recycling among consumers.

New Bioplastic Production Process May Increase Viability as Alternative to Oil-Based Counterparts
New Bioplastic Production Process May Increase Viability as Alternative to Oil-Based Counterparts

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - The bioplastic known as polylactic acid (PLA) is already a part of our everyday lives — comprising items such as biodegradable drinking cups and vegetable wrapping foil — yet, it is not considered a fully viable alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics, as it is costly to produce.Now, researchers from the KU Leuven Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis have presented a way to make the PLA production process simpler and waste-free. Their findings were published this week in Science.

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adidas, Parley for the Oceans Unveil First Footwear Made from Upcycled Ocean Waste
adidas, Parley for the Oceans Unveil First Footwear Made from Upcycled Ocean Waste

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - This week at the United Nations headquarters, adidas celebrated its new partnership with Parley for the Oceans by showcasing the first innovative footwear concept born from the collaboration.Parley for the Oceans brings together creators, thinkers and leaders to raise awareness about the disastrous state of the oceans and to collaborate on promising projects that can protect and conserve them. As a founding member, adidas supports Parley for the Oceans in its education and communication efforts and its Ocean Plastic Program that aims to end the rampant plastic pollution of the oceans.

The Ocean Cleanup Sets Course for World’s Largest Landfill — On Water
The Ocean Cleanup Sets Course for World’s Largest Landfill — On Water

WASTE NOT - The largest landfill in the world can’t be found on land at all — but in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The so-called “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” consists of millions of pounds of trash, mostly plastic, which have created an oceanic desert where only tiny phytoplankton can survive.

Coke Unveils World's First Entirely Plant-Based PET Bottle
Coke Unveils World's First Entirely Plant-Based PET Bottle

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - The Coca-Cola Company today unveiled the world’s first PET plastic bottle made entirely from plant materials at the World Expo — Milan.PlantBottle packaging is Coca-Cola’s vision to develop a more responsible plant-based alternative to packaging traditionally made from fossil fuels and other non-renewable materials. PlantBottle packaging uses patented technology that converts natural sugars found in plants into the ingredients for making PET plastic bottles. The packaging looks, functions and recycles like traditional PET but has a lighter footprint on the planet and its scarce resources.

How Emerging Players, Business Models, Partnerships Are Innovating for a Circular Economy
How Emerging Players, Business Models, Partnerships Are Innovating for a Circular Economy

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Trending: Pro Baseball, Public Schools Innovating to Reduce Waste
Trending: Pro Baseball, Public Schools Innovating to Reduce Waste

WASTE NOT - As concerns over bulging landfills abound, a diverse and growing group of innovators across the country are looking for new ways to transform trash into something less wasteful.The Minnesota Twins and Eco-Products, for example, recently partnered to reduce the waste generated at Target Field through a new effort to divert fans' trash from the landfill by turning it into fertile soil.Eco-Products, which makes single use foodservice products made from renewable and recycled resources, is supplying hundreds of thousands of compostable cups, plates, trays, utensils and straws at Target Field. Virtually all packaging used at Target Field will be either compostable or recyclable, the company says.

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REPREVE Turns 60 Million Recycled Plastic Bottles into Graduation Caps and Gowns
REPREVE Turns 60 Million Recycled Plastic Bottles into Graduation Caps and Gowns

WASTE NOT - Just in time for graduation season, REPREVE recycled fibers will be used in Oak Hall graduation gowns at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Since the introduction of REPREVE, nearly 60 million plastic bottles have been recycled into Oak Hall GreenWeaver gowns worn by more than 2.2 million students, the brand says. REPREVE is made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles, and each graduation gown is made from around 27 bottles. During the spring 2015 graduation season alone, more than 300,000 students around the nation will graduate wearing Oak Hall REPREVE-based gowns, using more than 8 million recycled plastic bottles. Participating schools include Duke, Yale, University of Alabama and Notre Dame, to name a few.

Startup Creates Reusable To-Go Containers for Food Service Industry
Startup Creates Reusable To-Go Containers for Food Service Industry

WASTE NOT - Preserve, producer of sustainable consumer goods with a focus on creating closed loop products using recycled plastic, today announced the launch of Preserve 2 Go — a durable, reusable clamshell container designed for use in food services.Developed to “transform the takeout food experience and to provide an avenue for a more sustainable, eco-friendly system”, Preserve 2 Go could help eliminate the unnecessary waste of millions of disposable to-go containers.

Biome Bioplastics Leading £3M Program to Develop, Scale Plant-Based Chemical Feedstocks
Biome Bioplastics Leading £3M Program to Develop, Scale Plant-Based Chemical Feedstocks

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Biome Bioplastics, one of the UK’s leading developers of bio-based alternatives to petroleum-based plastics, has begun a major development program to progress successful bio-based chemicals research through to industrial scale production. The project has the potential to significantly accelerate the global bioplastics market with the production of novel target materials, including a fully bio-based polyester.

The Many Challenges of Plastic Recycling
The Many Challenges of Plastic Recycling

WASTE NOT - Upwards of 100 million tons of plastic are manufactured annually across the globe. That’s 200 billion pounds of new material on-market every year, ready to be thermoformed, laminated, foamed and extruded into billions of products and packages. In the past decades it has been widely adopted by industry, and plastic has become one of the most ubiquitous and versatile materials in the world – and, subsequently, one of the most difficult to reliably collect and recycle.

adidas Partners to Help End Ocean Destruction, Releases Sustainability Progress Report
adidas Partners to Help End Ocean Destruction, Releases Sustainability Progress Report

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Today, the adidas Group announced a partnership with Parley for the Oceans, an initiative dedicated to raising awareness about the beauty and fragility of the oceans and to collaborating on projects that can end their destruction. Together, the organizations will implement a long-term program that builds on three pillars: communication and education; research and innovation; and direct actions against ocean plastic pollution.

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Trending: Plastic Hotel Sheets and a Dress Made from Beer … the Latest in Sustainable Textiles
Trending: Plastic Hotel Sheets and a Dress Made from Beer … the Latest in Sustainable Textiles

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - This week, W Hotels Worldwide, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, became the latest company to jump on the plastic-waste-to-fabric train when it announced a new partnership with global music artist and entrepreneur will.i.am and The Coca-Cola Company, to bring the EKOCYCLE™ brand to W Hotel rooms around the world.

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