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Stories About Plastics

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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.

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.

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

THE NEXT ECONOMY - Couldn't make ittoSB '15 San Diego?View this session'spresentationhereand catch up onthe week's

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.

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.

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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.

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.

Woolworths Teams Up with Pharrell Williams, Asks South Africa ‘Are You with Us?’ on Sustainability
Woolworths Teams Up with Pharrell Williams, Asks South Africa ‘Are You with Us?’ on Sustainability

MARKETING AND COMMS - Woolworths CEO Ian Moir announced a partnership with Grammy Award-winning musician, record producer and philanthropist Pharrell Williams last week. The collaboration is the first of its kind for a South African retailer.Williams will become the new Style Director in a groundbreaking collaboration across a series of sustainability-focused projects. The strategic partnership is grounded in the shared values of Williams and Woolworths.

Forget the Recycling Bin – If All Goes Well, You’ll Soon Be Able to Eat Your Water Bottle
Forget the Recycling Bin – If All Goes Well, You’ll Soon Be Able to Eat Your Water Bottle

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - The latest innovation in the fight against plastic water bottles comes in the form of an edible and flexible water “blob” container called the Ooho!, made by startup Skipping Rocks Lab. To use it, consumers can bite the blob and suck out the contents or eat the entire thing, casing and all.Asking people to carry around their own water bottles and containers has had limited success; unfortunately, it is often just more convenient to buy and drink from a disposable container. The Ooho! claims to offer that convenience without introducing more plastic into the waste stream.

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BASF Tool Helping Designers Lightweight Products, Minimize Development Costs
BASF Tool Helping Designers Lightweight Products, Minimize Development Costs

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - A common misconception regarding fiber-reinforced plastics is that the material’s performance cannot be predicted, as with steel or aluminum. But BASF says its ULTRASIM® performance-prediction technology routinely delivers 90-95 percent accuracy when predicting the performance of parts molded using BASF materials, creating new opportunities for lightweighting products while minimizing design and development costs.Using sophisticated material characterization methods and analysis techniques, the company says the tool now enables designers and engineers to account for the influence of the injection molding process of a thermoplastic and study:

Biobased Plastics: Fostering a Sustainable and Resource-Efficient Circular Economy
Biobased Plastics: Fostering a Sustainable and Resource-Efficient Circular Economy

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Bioplastics are not a single kind of plastic, but rather a family of materials that vary considerably from one another. There are three groups in the bioplastics family, each with its own individual characteristics: biobased, biodegradable, or both bio-based and biodegradable. Today, there is a bioplastic alternative to almost every conventional plastic material and application. Bioplastics have the same properties as conventional plastics and often offer additional advantages, such as compostability or natural breathability.

To Recycle or Not to Recycle: The Economics of Garbage
To Recycle or Not to Recycle: The Economics of Garbage

THE NEXT ECONOMY - People are confused about recycling because they complain that the entire process – from labeling, to which bin is which, to what your municipality accepts - makes it difficult to determine a material’s recyclability. This issue is especially common when consumers are dealing with some of the more complicated recyclable materials such as plastics, but the question persists: What exactly makes a material recyclable or not? Two very different lenses are often used to determine this: science and economics. Which of these factors is more relevant in revealing a material’s chance of being recyclable? Or is it a combination of both?

Ford Brings REPREVE to the 2015 F-150
Ford Brings REPREVE to the 2015 F-150

PRESS RELEASE - What if we could redirect plastics from landfill and use them to create innovative materials, and then put them in the all-new Ford F-150, part of Ford F-Series, America’s best-selling truck?​ We could make a big difference.

Additives to Biodegrade Plastics Offered False Hope, Says Latest Study
Additives to Biodegrade Plastics Offered False Hope, Says Latest Study

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - The world today has a plastic addiction, a vice that creates major environmental issues by entering waterways and clogging up our landfills and oceans. The problem is that conventional plastics have a half-life (the time it takes for half of the product to degrade) of hundreds of years — basically, once the plastic is discarded, it’s in the environment for the long haul.Solutions including “bioplastic” and “biodegradable” plastics have been proposed and often marketed to consumers as such. One of the possible remedies is the use of additives in plastics, which help break them down in the environment. Could they be the answer?

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Amerplast Announces New, Flexible Packaging Made From Sugar Cane
Amerplast Announces New, Flexible Packaging Made From Sugar Cane

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - This week, Amerplast, one of Europe's largest flexo printers and bag converters, began a supply partnership with Braskem, a global leader in biopolymers, to market Green Polyethylene (Green PE) made from a renewable sugar cane ethanol, to tissue segment.

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