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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging

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

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MillerCoors' Trenton Brewery Upcycling Wastewater Into Fish, Animal Feed

MillerCoors’ Trenton Brewery in Ohio will now also produce fish and animal feed.Thanks to a partnership with biotech company Nutrinsic, wastewater from MillerCoors’ beer-making process will now enter Nutrinsic’s sustainable protein production facility co-located at the brewery’s Water Reclamation Facility. The biotech company says the wastewater will become a feedstock for ProFloc™, a high-quality protein ingredient for use in fish and animal nutrition. ProFloc is produced using patented technology that upcycles nutrients that would otherwise be undervalued or discarded, making it a sustainable protein source for all types of aquatic and terrestrial animal feeds.

Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute Announces New Material Health Certificate Registry

This morning, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute launched the Material Health Certificate Registry, a new online tool for identifying and communicating the work of manufacturers toward chemically optimized products. Two pilot companies, Owens Corning and ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas, are the first to obtain certificates and today announced several products assessed against the Material Health requirements of the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard.

Mars Agrees with WHO, Promises to List Added Sugars in Nutritional Facts

On Friday, Mars announced it would support two important recommendations designed to help consumers limit their intake of added sugars and achieve healthier, more balanced diets.The candy giant is endorsing recommendations that people should limit their intake of added sugars to no more than 10 percent of their total calorie intake. The recommendations come from leading global health authorities including the World Health Organization, the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition.

Shareholders, Interest Groups Launch Two-Pronged Assault on Kraft’s Non-Recyclable Capri Sun Pouches

At a shareholder meeting on Tuesday, a proposal to Kraft Foods Group asserting that non-recyclable packaging — particularly that of Capri Sun pouches — is wasting valuable resources received the support of 29.2 percent of shares voted, according to As You Sow. The shares favoring the proposal have a market value of more than $9 billion.

Method Opens First LEED-Platinum Certified Factory in Chicago

Method Products, maker of eco-friendly household, fabric and personal care products, has opened the doors of its 'South Side Soapbox' factory in the Pullman Park district of Chicago. Designed by architects and sustainable designers, William McDonough + Partners, the Soapbox is the industry’s first LEED-platinum certified factory.The 150,000 square foot facility includes product manufacturing, bottle production, warehousing and distribution.

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UCSD Undergrads Create First Algae-Based Sustainable Surfboard

San Diego is home to a robust surfing industry and now, thanks to a collaboration with UC San Diego’s biology and chemistry students, the city is also home to the world’s first algae-based surfboard. The prototype was publicly introduced last week to San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer at San Diego Symphony Hall, where he hosted the premiere of the National Geographic “World’s Smart Cities: San Diego” documentary. The program, which features innovations from UC San Diego, is scheduled to air April 25 and May 2 on the National Geographic Channel.

UPSTREAM Hands State Officials Model Legislation for Optimizing Packaging Recycling

Today, environmental advocacy organization UPSTREAM announced the release of model legislation that state legislatures can adopt to optimize recycling, address litter and create jobs through shared responsibility for packaging. The model legislation was developed by UPSTREAM in consultation with local government officials and recycling experts throughout the country.

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

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.

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

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.

#BusinessCase: Gap, H&M, Levi's, Target Mills Save $14.7M Through NRDC's Clean by Design Program

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) this week announced the stunning latest results of its Clean by Design program, a global model for sustainable manufacturing that is working with multinational apparel brand partners Target, Gap, Levi Strauss and H&M

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Hawkins: Dow Is 'All In' to Help Business Community Solve Global Sustainability Challenges

On Wednesday, Dow Chemical Company announced an ambitious set of 2025 Sustainability Goals, which it said were designed to redefine the role of business in society. Among the new commitments: developing breakthrough product innovations, positively impacting the lives of 1 billion people, and delivering $1 billion in cost savings or new cash flow for the Company by valuing nature in business decisions and advancing a circular economy.

Trending: NGOs, Brands, Suppliers Making Deforestation-Free Plantations, Packaging a Reality

Barely a week in and April could very well shape up to be ‘Zero-Deforestation Month’ if the multi-sector momentum around addressing the issue continues. So far, we’ve seen a new commitment from Yum!

Rhode Island Considering Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging

Rhode Island lawmakers have introduced two bills that could put end-of-life product management duties onto the shoulders of packaging producers. If passed, Rhode Island will become the first state to enact legislation for extended producer responsibility (EPR) for printed paper and packaging (PPP).

Patagonia Invests in Natural Textile Treatments

Patagonia today announced a strategic investment in a chemical company focused on making high-performance textile treatments based on natural raw materials.Beyond Surface Technologies, a Swiss firm, was founded in 2008 by scientists and marketing experts with more than 40 years of experience in the textile industry. They left careers at big chemical companies to build a business based on the premise that it is possible to make textile treatments based on natural raw materials — without sacrificing performance or reducing the lifespan of a product.

Discovery of 'Heat-Beater Beans' Could Safeguard Vital Crop from Climate Change

As the effects of climate change on our global ecosystems continue to reveal themselves, fears are growing that it could threaten food security, particularly a vital source of protein that has sustained humans for centuries. Luckily, bean breeders at the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a global food research consortium, have announced the discovery of 30 new lines of “heat-beater” beans that could keep production from crashing in large swaths of bean-dependent Latin America and Africa.

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BASF Tool Helping Designers Lightweight Products, Minimize Development Costs

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

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.

Additives to Biodegrade Plastics Offered False Hope, Says Latest Study

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?

BASF Assembles Consortium to Tighten Up Renewable Biotech Production Processes

A consortium of companies in the European process industry including biotechnology, renewable resources, chemistry, process engineering, equipment and research organizations launched project PRODIAS (PROcessing Diluted Aqueous Systems) this week. The project aims to decrease production costs for renewable-based products via increasing the efficiency of raw material use and production processes.

Amerplast Announces New, Flexible Packaging Made From Sugar Cane

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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