Chemistry, Materials & Packaging

The latest developments in safe and sustainable chemicals, new materials, fuels, and more.

Walmart's Updated Policy Aims to Drive Toxic Chemicals Out of 90K Household Products

This week, Walmart updated its sustainable chemistry policy, to eliminate toxic chemicals in thousands of consumable products, such as household cleaners, cosmetics and skincare items, and infant products. This policy includes new goals for the company to restrict over 2,700 harmful chemicals in household products by 2022, increase transparency of ingredients globally, and encourage suppliers to certify their products to credible third-party standards such as EPA Safer Choice. The updated policy applies to 90,000 products from 700 suppliers.

Trending: VW, JLR Make Big Commitments to EVs, Circular Tech

Car manufacturers have dominated the news in recent weeks with details emerging about everything from scrappage schemes to big-time commitments to EVs, indicating that a significant industry-wide shift is underway. Now, Volkswagen joins the growing group of mobility giants making the switch to low-carbon vehicles, while Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has launched a new program that will place end-of-life materials into new products.

Trending: Dow, CLF Uncover New Opportunities in Previously Unrecyclable Plastics

While eliminating impacts at the design stage is a crucial strategy for putting a stop to plastic pollution, it’s just one small piece of the puzzle. According to new initiatives and research from The Dow Chemical Company and the Closed Loop Foundation, investing in intelligent end-of-life solutions for previously non-recyclable packaging is just as important.

BillerudKorsnäs: Megacity Dwellers See Packaging as Crucial Solution for Sustainable Future

Packaging has widely been recognized as a pathway to a sustainable future, but opinions around the critical actions needed to deliver circular outcomes in urban areas, particularly megacities (a metropolitan area with a total population over 10 million people), such as management of recycling, littering, waste and support for sustainable behavior and education, largely differ.

Trending: Fashion Positive, H&M Launch New Tools, Tech to Accelerate Circular Fashion Movement

The fashion and textile industries continue to make strides towards a more circular future with the emergence of new resources and technologies that make a sustainable shift easier than ever before.

Trending: Brands Look to Bio-Based, Upcycled Plastics to Reduce Apparel Industry Impacts

Startups and retail giants alike are looking to bio-based materials and recycled plastics to drive innovation and reduce environmental impacts along the value chain within the fashion and textile industry.

New Study Reveals Global Water Supply Contaminated by Microplastic Fibers

Microplastics — extremely small pieces (less than 5 mm) of plastic debris resulting from the disposal and breakdown of consumer products and industrial waste — have been found in tap water around the globe, according to a new report by Orb Media, a D.C.-based nonprofit digital newsroom. The discovery has led to a call from the scientific community for urgent research on microplastics’ implications for human health.

Trending: Good News, Bad News for Reducing Textile Industry Impacts

While the textile industry presents endless opportunities to significantly reduce global environmental impacts, progressing towards sustainability and circularity continues to be an uphill battle. As a new technology is revealed to be instrumental in reducing the carbon footprint of textile coatings, a new ban on scrap textile imports in China could curb global textile recycling progress.

How Buckhorn's Reusable Packaging Is Cleaning Up Supply Chains

Ohio-based Buckhorn manufactures different types of heavy-duty, reusable plastic packaging for the food processing, automotive, manufacturing, distribution, bakery and agriculture industries, with a focus on improving companies’ supply chain performance by reducing product waste and material handling costs. The company is also dedicated to keeping its own impacts in check by buying back end-of-life containers for recycling; the company then incorporates ground-up recycled materials, called ‘regrind,’ into the next generation of containers. We spoke with president Ken Kozicki to learn more about Buckhorn’s commitment to eliminating waste throughout its value chain.

P&G Latest CPG Company to Disclose Fragrance Ingredients as Part of Transparency Push

As consumer demand for product transparency grows, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to disclose information about the ingredients that go into to their products. Following this call to action, Procter & Gamble (P&G) has unveiled plans to list all fragrance ingredients down to 0.01 percent for its entire product portfolio in the US and Canada by the end of 2019.

Decision-Making Science: One Woman’s Method for Creating an Industry Sea Change

There was the agrarian revolution, followed by the industrial revolution and now the digital revolution. With each came efficiency and added value. But with each also came a loss of jobs and painful adjustments. Currently, the world straddles two distinctly different ways of life: On one side sits the taxi cab and newspaper users among us; on the other, the Uber and Twitter devotees. These distinctly different worlds lead many businesses to a fork in the road where the path toward survival and long-term growth is often complex and unclear.

Trending: CVS, Nestlé Embrace Sustainable Packaging Practices

The market for sustainable packaging is expected to reach $440.3 billion over the next decade and businesses that hop on the bandwagon early are expected to reap economic benefits as well as increased consumer satisfaction and a lower environmental footprint. Two industry giants are riding the wave of change with the help of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and the roll out of new sustainable packaging initiatives.

Caring for the Earth Like Our Health Depends on It: J&J on the Evolution of Earthwards®

Johnson & Johnson is on a mission to improve the sustainability of its products by sourcing solutions from within the company through its Earthwards® program. In June, the program became 100 products strong; J&J’s aim is for the Earthwards® portfolio to represent 20 percent of its revenue by 2020. We spoke with Paulette Frank, J&J’s Worldwide VP of Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability, to learn more about the internal and external benefits of designing in sustainability.

Deep Sea Mining: The Next Gold Rush?

As determined stakeholders continue to innovate proposed 2019 expedition has its sights set on the coast of Papua New Guinea, where if all goes according to plan, three 200-ton machines will troll the bottom of the Bismarck Sea for deposits of copper and gold, for Canadian mining company Nautilus Minerals. The remote-controlled robots will use enormous, spiked-covered bulk cutters to churn and grind the ocean floor, to reach as yet untouched reserves of deep-ocean minerals formed over millions of years.

Wrangler Joins Field to Market to Accelerate US Sustainable Cotton

Further establishing itself as a strong proponent of increasing the supply of sustainable cotton, denim brand Wrangler has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture as an associate member. The multi-stakeholder initiative is working to unite the agricultural supply chain in defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production in the United States.

New Report Reveals Chemical Footprinting Moving Towards Mainstream

The Chemical Footprint Project — an initiative driving the effective management of chemicals in products and supply chains — has released its second annual report, which measures corporate chemicals management performance through a 20-question survey that evaluates companies on management strategy, chemical inventory, footprint measurement and public disclosure and verification.

Trending: Apple, Mondelēz Creep Ever Closer Towards Sustainable Packaging

Packaging continues to provide a significant challenge to companies looking to cut back on their environmental impacts, but new achievements in the tech and food industries indicate that progress is being made. Two years after launching its forestry program, tech giant Apple has announced that 320,000 acres of forest in China are now certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and that it has enough sustainable working forest to cover the paper used in packaging for all of its products.

Canopy Releases Updated Blueline Ranking for Sustainable Printing

Working with sustainable print partners and using environmental papers is becoming increasingly important for brands working to meet their own sustainability targets. Environmental nonprofit Canopy has released the 2017 update to its Blueline Ranking — a tool profiling the sustainability performance of North America’s largest printers. Printers analyzed in this year’s assessment represent $34 billion in annual sales.

Trending: Target, Stella McCartney Strike Up New Partnerships to Drive Sustainable Textile Solutions

With greater focus being placed on the fashion industry’s environmental impacts, efforts are emerging almost daily in an effort to help the sector shed its unsustainable rep.

Trending: BillerudKorsnäs, Kotkamills Innovations Make Scandinavia Hotbed of Food Packaging Revolution

Packaging remains a significant challenge for companies aiming to reduce the environmental footprint of their operations, but two new packaging innovations from industry giants in Scandinavia may be the solution. First, BillerudKorsnäs and Bosch Packaging Technology have scored a 2017 Sustainability Award in the Bio-Based Packaging category for their new Sealed Paper Packaging.


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