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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging

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

Beyond Bioplastics: Agricultural Waste Streams Becoming Next-Gen Packaging Materials

By upcycling agricultural waste, these three startups are replacing plastic with a new wave of packaging materials that ‘make no compromises along the supply chain.’

On the Importance of Made-to-Scale, Sustainable Chemicals for Products

Consumers deserve access to functional, sustainable and affordable products without having to sacrifice quality or their health. Scalable, bio-based chemicals hold tremendous promise in accomplishing these goals.

Textile Additive Expedites Breakdown of Stubborn, Synthetic Fibers

Despite its potential to address microplastic pollution on a number of fronts, the makers of CiCLO stress they don’t want to enable more unnecessary plastic consumption justified by ‘biodegradability.’

Change the Product, Not Just the Packaging: A Crucial Step Towards a Sustainable Food Future

A growing industry solution to plastic packaging pollution is to create food products that are more stable and compatible with more minimal and sustainable packaging materials.

Industry of All Nations’ Undyed Cotton Initiative Shows Proof of Concept for a More Natural End Product

The popularity of the company’s undyed apparel collection proves the business case and consumer demand for more consciously produced, less toxic clothing.

Could This Circular Textile Put Conventional Leather Out to Pasture?

Modern Meadow’s Bio-VERA™ is a high-performance, upcycled alternative to traditional bovine leather with significantly lower environmental and supply chain impacts.

What Plastic Pollution? These Companies Are Making Packaging Disappear

As innovators such as Notpla and B’ZEOS continue to prove, the potential uses for seaweed — including as plastic alternatives that are truly compostable and biodegradable — are endless.

Global Fashion Houses, NGOs Call on Industry to Commit to Deforestation-Free Leather

Cross-Posted from Supply Chain. The Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather calls on brands and retailers to ensure sourcing of bovine leather from deforestation-free supply chains by 2030 or earlier.

These Fermented Oils Could Be a Game-Changer for Human, Planetary Health

Along with being sub-optimal for human health, many conventional cooking oils contribute to deforestation, biodiversity loss, and soil and water pollution. Fermented oils could save both the environment and our diets.

Closed-Loop, Reusable Distribution System Saves Spirits Producers Costs, Emissions, Materials

Cross-Posted from Product, Service & Design Innovation. EcoSPIRITS’ EcoTOTE system replaces traditional, 1.75-liter liquor bottles with reusable glass containers that reduce emissions by 60-90% while maintaining product quality.

Next-Generation Beauty: How Nature-Inspired Biotech Is Evolving Ethical Skincare

Modern Meadow’s Bio-Coll@gen offers a solution to a long-standing cosmetic and skincare challenge: finding a safe, sustainable and scalable replacement for animal-derived collagen.

US States Cracking Down on Toxic Chemicals in Processed Food, Cosmetics

California and Washington are the latest states to attempt to fill gaps in public-health safeguards, thanks to a lack of federal protections against certain commonly used chemicals.

Cornell Researchers Upcycling Polyester Textile Waste into Functional Coatings

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. A new method chemically breaks down old fabric and reuses polyester compounds to create fire-resistant, anti-bacterial or wrinkle-free coatings that can then be applied to new clothes and fabrics.

Champagne Telmont Raises a Glass to World’s Lightest Champagne Bottle

The bottle, 35 grams lighter than the commercial standard, could represent a significant decrease in the carbon footprint of Champagne bottling.

One Company May Just Solve Some of Our Most Material Issues

Bio-design tech company Modern Meadow develops circular and regenerative approaches to creating a wide range of versatile materials, with no loss of performance or quality, that can be quickly scaled and brought to market.

How eCommerce Retailers Can Satisfy Today’s Sustainability-Demanding Shoppers

Cross-Posted from Product, Service & Design Innovation. Gen Z shoppers are more informed about what sustainability should look like in practice — but whether they know it or not, their shopping habits don’t always reflect that. Either way, retailers are striving to keep up sustainably.

Apparel Giants Bringing Future-Friendly Fabrics to the Mainstream

The apparel industry is awash in launches of circular, plant-based and carbon-sequestering fabrics set to help future-proof fashion.

PFAS-Removal Solutions for Consumer Products Show Promise But Remain Costly

In light of new EPA guidance and increased consumer awareness, remediation strategies for the so-called ‘forever chemicals’ are coming under increased scrutiny.

As Forests React to Climate Change, Can Genetically Modified Trees Stand in the Gap?

In the lab, Living Carbon’s GM poplars accumulated biomass up to 53% faster, trapping as much as 27% more carbon than non-engineered poplars. But skeptics aren’t convinced they’re seeing the forest for the trees.

Trending: Retailers Embrace Reuse, Credits in Ongoing Fight Against Plastic Waste

rePurpose Global helps Thrive Market achieve plastic neutrality for its own-brand products, while The Body Shop expands its refillable offerings in the US.