Chemistry, Materials & Packaging

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

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BASF Licenses Genomatica Process for Creating BDO from Renewable Feedstock

Chemical technology company Genomatica has announced a new partnership with BASF. The chemical giant has licensed Genomatica’s patented new manufacturing process for a renewable form of the organic compound 1,4-butanediol, more commonly known as BDO.BDO and its many derivatives are used for the production of plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibers.

BASF, DuPont Commit to Increased Product Safety Standards

BASF, DuPont, Honeywell, Dow and other members of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) this week launched a new Responsible Care Product Safety Code to increase chemical safety standards beyond regulatory requirements.

Dell's Cube, Content, Curb Approach to Packaging

If you’re a long-time Dell customer, you’ve probably noticed that our packaging looks far different than it did just a few years ago. It’s smaller, easier to recycle, and may even contain some materials you’re more likely to associate with your garden than your computer.

What Is the Role of Packaging in a Sustainable Product System?

What is the appropriate role for packaging in a product system? As a product designer, I ask myself this question often. As a design professor, I ask my students what role packaging should play in a particular product system ... now, in the future, within compromised systems and within idyllic systems. What would an ideal product system even look like?

Waitrose To Cut Packaging in Half By 2016

Waitrose last week pledged to slash its packaging in half by 2016, announcing three major changes to its product ranges that will help achieve this target and altogether save nearly 100 tons of packaging each year.

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Sustainable Packaging: A Call for Better Design

One of the things I love about the Sustainable Brands community is its diverse mix of sustainability experts, designers, innovators and entrepreneurs coupled with brand and marketing specialists. It makes for a heady mix of often differing views on related sustainability challenges.

What Is Sustainable Packaging?

Welcome to Sustainable Brands' Issue in Focus on sustainable packaging!

Monadnock Develops Eco-Friendly Label for Craft Beers

Monadnock Paper Mills, which manufactures technical and specialty printing and packaging papers, recently announced the availability of an uncoated product designed specifically for craft beer made from 100 percent FSC-certified, post-consumer waste fibers.Made in New England, home to many iconic craft brews, Monadnock says its Envi Label offers American brewers a home-grown source for label stock that upholds brewers’ commitments to quality and sustainability with no compromises in performance or aesthetics.

Rennovia Develops Process To Produce 100% Bio-Based Nylon

Rennovia last week announced that it has created a process to make bio-based nylon materials that are nearly 25 percent cheaper to produce and emit half as much greenhouse gas emissions as conventional petroleum-derived substances.

The New Three Rs: Reuse, Recycle, Radiation?

The question of what to do with nuclear waste is as old as our ability to harness nuclear energy. Up until now, all nuclear byproducts have just been placed in storage facilities that will slowly decay over the next few hundred thousand years. Now it seems we are starting to make some progress.

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The Co-Operative's Lighter Wine Bottles Save Hundreds of Tons of Glass and CO2

UK grocery chain The Co-operative has just announced significant reductions in the weight of its private label wine bottles. With the help of its supplier, Kingsland Wines and Spirits, the Co-operative achieved reductions that amounted to a savings of 725 metric tons of glass and 556 metrics tons of CO2. Not only does a major reduction such as this use fewer resources and save energy, the biggest reduction comes from having less weight to transport and therefore dramatically lower fuel costs. By the end of 2013, the Co-operative plans to reduce its packaging weights by a further 15% and increase its carrier bag reduction target to 75%.

New Global Classification System Provides Clear, Consistent Information on Hazardous Chemicals

The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals is a new worldwide initiative for the standardized classification of hazardous chemicals and a communication system for conveying information regarding their proper use and handling.

Clariant Introduces Score Cards To Promote Water, Energy Conservation in Textile Manufacturing

Swiss chemical company Clariant has released a series of score cards to demonstrate the percentage savings in water and energy consumption, chemical usage, time, GHG emissions and Biological/Chemical Oxygen Demand (BOD/COD) ratio attainable with its technology compared to conventional methods.The company says its One Way sustainability toolbox offers textile mills, manufacturers, brands and retailers facts and measurements to help them select products and processes with both ecology and economy in mind.

Dow Chemical Named Official Carbon Partner for 2014 Winter Olympics

The Dow Chemical Company has been selected to help the Olympic Organizing Committee reduce the carbon footprint of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, according to a recent announcement.The company says it will work with local companies and partners to mitigate the direct carbon footprint associated with Sochi 2014 through energy-efficient technologies and improved greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions performance in three key areas; upgrading building infrastructure, optimizing farming practices and enhancing industrial processes.

Intel Awards High School Senior Grand Prize for Work with Algae Fuel Viability

This week, the Intel Corporation and Society for Science & the Public (SSP) honored high school seniors with exceptional promise in math and science in the Intel Science Talent Search.

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Clariant’s EcoTain Label Marks Sustainable Product Life Cycles

Clariant recently announced it will begin using a new label on its products to certify sustainable attributes in response to environmental concerns and growing consumer eco-awareness.The chemical giant says the so-called EcoTain label indicates a four-step life cycle: Sustainable Design, Responsible Process, Safe & Efficient Use and Eco-Integration. Only products meeting all four requirements will be awarded the EcoTain label.The company says EcoTain represents a systemic approach to sustainable innovation by providing a tangible means of understanding the ecological, economic and social impact of its products over the entire value chain.

A Socially Sustainable Water Solution Could End Largest Mass Poisoning in History

Nearly 60 million people in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India have to rely on arsenic-contaminated groundwater for their basic needs. This has been described as the largest case of mass poisoning in human history.[1] Arsenic slowly builds up in the body and causes cancers, painful lesions and skin burns.

Sealed Air Introduces More-Sustainable Packing Peanuts

If you did much holiday shopping online this year, you likely had to deal with pesky, loose-fill peanut packaging that is tough on the environment and difficult to dispose of or recycle.Packaging manufacturers Sealed Air claim to have solved the “peanut problem” with a new loose fill product made of 95% non-food based renewable material.Sealed Air says the product, called PakNatural, provides the same cushioning protection as polystyrene packing peanuts without the static and environmental impact. And it has better humidity resistance than peanuts made of starch, which also have the downside of diverting food sources.

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