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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging

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

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Coca-Cola's PlantBottle Rollout Signals Brands Taking Sustainability in China Seriously

When Coca-Cola first rolled out its PlantBottle in fall 2009 in Copenhagen, the beverage giant sent a signal to the entire food and beverage industry that it had had to take sustainable packaging more seriously. Additional companies, including Heinz, later rolled out plastic bottles using the same technology.

Are We at the Dawn of a Refill Revolution?

Over the past 10 years we’ve seen a recurring ambition from clients — wanting to ‘do a Nespresso.’ This is because it’s a refill system that premiumised their brand, redefined their category, elevated user experience, drove consumption and built brand loyalty whilst delivering profitable growth.

New McDonough-Waste Management Collaborative Focuses on Product and Packaging Innovation [Video]

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. During his plenary presentation last night at the SB '13 conference, designer, author and sustainability thought leader William McDonough announced a new partnership between McDonough Innovation and Waste Management, Inc — North America's largest environmental solutions provider and residential recycler.

Blue Box Cleaning Up Equipment, Bottom Lines for the Industrial Sector

In the final week leading up to the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) finals presented by Target on June 5th, where the runner-up will be decided via live online public vote, we will feature daily articles introducing our semi-finalists. Today, meet Blue Box.Blue Box is positioning itself as an innovative method of cleaning industrial equipment with very little chemicals, at very low cost.

PulpWorks Set To Revolutionize Blister Packaging, Rid the World of PVC

PulpWorks, based in San Rafael, CA, designs and manufactures sustainable packaging, molded from 100% post-consumer waste paper, for the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. The company has created a compostable and biodegradable alternative to toxic and harmful plastic (PVC) blister packaging.

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How Plastics Packaging Can Exemplify Sustainability

The rapid adoption of plastics in innumerable applications over the years stems from their overall benefits versus other materials; in particular, their reliability, ease of manufacturing, lighter weight and affordability.

Sustainable Packaging Innovation Case Study: Pfeiffer Lab Wine Packaging

Today there are three ways to ship wine in the mail: cardboard, molded pulp or expanded polystyrene (EPS). Pfeiffer Lab, a Bay Area design firm, has been working on a design strategy project to re-envision wine packaging using new bio-based materials developed by Malama C

Crowdsourcing a Sustainable Packaging Strategy: Learning from Unilever's Sustainable Living Lab

Companies crowdsourcing their sustainability strategies is a growing trend, and I was lucky enough to experience this first-hand last month, through a Unilever Sustainable Living Lab session, as a guest speaker discussing sustainable packaging design (interest declared: they’re a Seymourpowell cl

'Fresher for Longer' Campaign Hopes To Reduce UK Food Waste by Highlighting Importance of Packaging

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. In a recent report from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), researchers determined that consumer attitudes and behaviors surrounding food packaging could help reduce household food waste.

DuPont and EOS Climate Commence CFC Buyback Program

DuPont Refrigerants and EOS Climate have announced a new buyback program to incentivize the return of recovered chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants by paying contractors and business owners for the safe disposal of polluting substances.

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GE Introduces New Membrane To Purify Tough-to-Treat Water

GE has developed a new membrane to purify tough-to-treat water such as wastewater from industrial processes that can reduce time between cleanings by as much as 50 percent.

Refrigerant Revolution: EOS Climate Turning GHGs from Liabilities to Assets

Each week leading up to the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open (SBIO) finals on June 5th, where the runner-up will be decided via live online public vote, we will feature articles introducing our semi-finalists. This week, meet EOS Climate.Joe Madden, Todd English and Jeff Cohen met at graduate school in 2009, and created their company EOS Climate with the objective of tackling climate change by managing greenhouse gases with market-based approaches.

Reusable Transport Packaging: Good for the Planet, Operational Efficiency and Brand Protection

Packaging. The term evokes images of wrappers, tubs, pouches and other types of product encasements we see on store shelves every day. Meanwhile, transport packaging such as pallets, cardboard boxes and plastic stretch wrap remain largely hidden from shoppers’ view.

Bridgestone Americas and Yulex Develop Renewable Alternative to Rubber

A little-known perennial shrub called guayule (pronounced why-u-lee), native to the Southwestern United States, has been tapped as a potential alternative natural source for rubber by Bridgestone Americas and agricultural-based biomaterials company, Yulex.

Producing Steel Without GHGs? And That's Not Even the Cool Part

In easily my favorite sustainability story of the week, researchers at MIT have developed a process to manufacture steel without any greenhouse gas (GHG) byproducts.

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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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