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Stories About Plastics

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Report: $3.5B+ Business Opportunity in Scaling Up Circular System for Plastics
Report: $3.5B+ Business Opportunity in Scaling Up Circular System for Plastics

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Plastic has many benefits ranging from reducing food waste by providing packaging to cutting transport pollution due to its light weight. However, waste plastic is undervalued by the economy due to externalization of environmental costs. In a new discussion paper, Trucost estimates that scaling up companies’ use of sustainable plastic could deliver environmental savings of $3.5 billion.

Ford Turning Captured CO2 Into Car Parts, Expanding Healthcare Outreach in Africa
Ford Turning Captured CO2 Into Car Parts, Expanding Healthcare Outreach in Africa

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Ford Motor Company claims to be the first automaker to formulate and test new foam and plastic components using captured carbon dioxide (CO2) as feedstock. Within five years, the company expects to be using the new biomaterials in its vehicles. Foams formulated with up to 50 percent CO2-based polyols have shown promise in ‘rigorous’ automotive tests, and could be used in seating and under-hood applications. The company claims that the CO2-derived foam will reduce the use of fossil fuels in Ford vehicles – potentially reducing petroleum use by more than 600 million pounds annually. Other plastic materials are currently under development.

Alter Eco's Gone4Good™ Packaging Eliminates Plastic Pouch Problem
Alter Eco's Gone4Good™ Packaging Eliminates Plastic Pouch Problem

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - According to a 2013 study by PCI Films Consulting, 17 billion plastic pouches ended up in landfills throughout the U.S. that year and production is expected to reach 24 billion plastic pouches by 2018 — but that staggering statistic isn’t one that we have to accept. As a company deeply rooted in the food industry, Alter Eco has seen the continual evolution of food packaging, and plastic pouches have become one of the newest, convenient and most sought-after formats on grocery store shelves.

G-Star, Plastic Soup Foundation Call on Industry to Help Stop Ocean Microfiber Pollution
G-Star, Plastic Soup Foundation Call on Industry to Help Stop Ocean Microfiber Pollution

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - In 2025, there is one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish in the oceans, and in 2050 the weight of plastic has overtaken that of fish. While the cause of this future scenario would largely be the work of plastic bottles and other types of packaging, part of the blame falls on our clothing. So denim giant G-Star and marine pollution campaign group the Plastic Soup Foundation (PSP) are joining forces to stop this process in its tracks with a battle against microfiber.

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Trending: Beauty, Packaging No Longer Need to Come at the Expense of Our Oceans
Trending: Beauty, Packaging No Longer Need to Come at the Expense of Our Oceans

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - The ocean’s value has been estimated as high as $24 trillion, yet despite its inherent connections to the health and well-being of wildlife, humans, and the global economy, it continues to be overexploited and polluted. Scientists have estimated that a minimum of 5.25 trillion plastic particles are in the oceans, and some studies suggest that these contaminants can make their way all the way up the food chain.

Bioplastic Advancements Show Promise for Biodegradable Milk, Juice, Food Packaging
Bioplastic Advancements Show Promise for Biodegradable Milk, Juice, Food Packaging

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Food packaging is one of the main generators of packaging waste in developed countries. In 2012, each person in the European Union (EU) countries generated an average of 156.8kg of packaging waste, and plastic containers accounted for 19 percent of it. In total, 15.1 million tons of plastic packaging waste was generated. Of course, many organizations are working on cutting back this waste, and new materials are under development, including biodegradable bioplastics made from renewable materials or even waste.

Unilever, J&J Campaigns Aim to 'End Bottle Bias,' Boost Bathroom Recycling
Unilever, J&J Campaigns Aim to 'End Bottle Bias,' Boost Bathroom Recycling

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - When it comes to in-home recycling habits, Unilever and Johnson & Johnson have found the same thing: Not all packaging is treated equally. Unilever reports that only 14 percent of Americans are recycling their bathroom bottles, while 56 percent of American households recycle kitchen items. Similarly, a recent consumer survey commissioned by Johnson & Johnson found that 34 percent of ‘regular recyclers’ admit that it never even occurred to them to recycle in the bathroom. Each company announced they would be reprising, and building upon, behavior change campaigns to encourage families to recycle, with an emphasis on bathroom product packaging.

Leave No Bottle Behind: Unilever campaign promotes equal treatment of all household recyclables
Leave No Bottle Behind: Unilever campaign promotes equal treatment of all household recyclables

PRESS RELEASE - When it comes to recycling, soda bottles and shampoo bottles are not treated equally: only 14% of Americans are recycling their bathroom bottles, while more than half of American households are recycling their kitchen items. That is why Unilever is reprising Rinse.Recycle.Reimagine., a campaign designed to rally Americans to reassess their recycling habits and treat their Unilever bathroom empties – like Simple®, Dove®, Suave® and more – with the same respect as their kitchen counterparts.

GM Recycles Water Bottles to Make Chevy Equinox Part
GM Recycles Water Bottles to Make Chevy Equinox Part

PRESS RELEASE - General Motors is turning its employees’ recycled water bottles into a new life: noise-reducing fabric insulation that covers the Chevrolet Equinox engine. The bottles – collected from five of its Michigan facilities – are also being turned into air filtration components and insulation in coats for the homeless community. Given its drive to zero waste, all of GM’s global facilities recycle their water bottles. However, the bottles collected at the five locations are now funneled into its “Do Your Part” project, where 11 businesses collaborate to give them a second life.

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Recovery Toolkit, Zero-Waste Grocers Aim to Fight Food Packaging Waste
Recovery Toolkit, Zero-Waste Grocers Aim to Fight Food Packaging Waste

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Following the success of grocery stores such as in.gredients in Austin, TX, and day by day in locations across France, other shops focused on eliminating packaging waste from their shelves have been popping up around the world. Opening this year: new locations in Copenhagen, Vancouver, and Brooklyn.

Avoiding Greenwashing: 10 Principles of Truly Sustainable Packaging Design
Avoiding Greenwashing: 10 Principles of Truly Sustainable Packaging Design

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - As a packaging designer and nature lover, I dream of the day when material science and manufacturing can deliver on the promise of zero environmental impact, high performance, premium finish and low costs. Many breakthroughs have begun to deliver on the promise - PaperFoam, recycled PET (rPET), and polylactic acid (PLA), to name a few. But many of these materials still cannot compete on performance, and especially not on price. On the opposite end of the spectrum, commodity materials markets have been flooded with new eastern manufacturers, increasing the global supply and significantly lowering commodity materials costs. Add to that the light-weighting movement in plastics bottling and single-stream recycling.

London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen to Collaborate on Circular Model for Plastics
London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen to Collaborate on Circular Model for Plastics

THE NEXT ECONOMY - From “competitors” to collaborators – several European cities in a race to be capitals of the next economy are joining forces to develop practical projects to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. London, Amsterdam and Copenhagen have announced they will work together to design a project that will improve the capture of plastics.

Trending: Reducing Waste With Chewing Gum Plastic, Innovative Design
Trending: Reducing Waste With Chewing Gum Plastic, Innovative Design

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Rather than creating more waste, two new plastic solutions are speaking to the eco-conscious: Gumdrop Ltd. is using chewing gum in a novel, closed-loop recycling solution, while a new container was designed for improved reusability and recyclability.

FloWater Nixes the Need For Plastic Water Bottles
FloWater Nixes the Need For Plastic Water Bottles

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - The negative environmental impacts of our rampant plastic water bottle use have been well-documented, and despite a growing number of efforts to discourage their use or develop alternatives such as boxed water and edible bottles, Americans alone use about around 50 billion each year, of which less than a quarter get recycled. According to the Pacific Institute, producing all of these bottles uses more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, or enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year.

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Trending: Leather Tanning, Bionic Materials Innovations Earn Cradle to Cradle Certification
Trending: Leather Tanning, Bionic Materials Innovations Earn Cradle to Cradle Certification

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - A toxic-free leather tanning agent and yarns containing recycled plastics earned their stripes in the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Registry this month. The certification, awarded by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, recognized these intelligent, high-quality solutions for their reduced environmental impact, including the use of chemicals, water, and energy during their production.

How a Partnership with Parley for the Oceans Is Driving Engagement at adidas
How a Partnership with Parley for the Oceans Is Driving Engagement at adidas

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - Leading up to her trip to the Parley Ocean School, adidas Group designer Jasmin Bynoe was unsure of what to expect. She was about to take to the seas for a 5-day adventure in the Maldives alongside 17 of her colleagues from adidas; they would be learning about plastic pollution and what they could do to help from Parley for the Oceans educators, and it was sure to be a unique experience.

European Plastics Innovation Awards Showcase Sustainability Performance
European Plastics Innovation Awards Showcase Sustainability Performance

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - The winners of the 2016 European Plastics Innovation Awards were announced on Wednesday, and included several products that boast superior environmental performance. The expert jury, made up of both academics and industry professionals, evaluated 37 submissions and selected 7 winners and 5 runners-up. Biobased and lightweight materials were in the spotlight.

Report: The Future of Plastics Can (and Should) Be Circular
Report: The Future of Plastics Can (and Should) Be Circular

THE NEXT ECONOMY - Plastic packaging is not only an environmental problem, it is economically wasteful, too. Most plastic packaging is only used once, leading to 95 percent of the value of plastic packaging – worth $80-120 billion annually – being tossed and lost to the economy.

Coming to a Marina Near You: The Seabin Ocean Trash Collector
Coming to a Marina Near You: The Seabin Ocean Trash Collector

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - The ocean may be “big,” and “blue,” but it is also, unfortunately, full of garbage. It has been estimated that there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the world’s oceans and 10,000 times more in the deep sea. Plastic and fibers have been found in a quarter of fish sold in markets in the US and Indonesia. Abandoned fishing gear often still traps and kills fish and sea mammals.

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COP21: adidas, Parley Unveil Latest Innovation, Call on Industry to Collaborate on Sustainable Solutions
COP21: adidas, Parley Unveil Latest Innovation, Call on Industry to Collaborate on Sustainable Solutions

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Today, at the “Parley Talks” at COP21, adidas and Parley for the Oceans showcased their latest footwear concept, the 3D-printed Ocean Plastic shoe midsole, to demonstrate how the industry can rethink design and contribute to stop ocean plastic pollution.

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