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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging

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

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LAUNCH Nordic Enlists IKEA, Novozymes in Quest for Sustainable Materials

LAUNCH — the strategic collaboration between NASA, NIKE, Inc., the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) — announced Friday it has added the expertise of a host of Scandinavian innovators in its continued search for sustainable materials. LAUNCH teamed up with Nordic-based companies IKEA, Novozymes, Kvadrat, Arla and a number of government institutions to announce LAUNCH Nordic, an initial step in taking the LAUNCH process to innovators around the world.

DTSC Challenging Manufacturers to Make Products Safer

On Thursday, California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) challenged manufacturers to make their products safer and dramatically change the way consumers are protected from potential toxic harm.As a key step in its Safer Consumer Products regulations, DTSC is announcing three draft “priority products” — consumer goods sold in California that each contain at least one toxic chemical — and asking manufacturers to find a safer alternative.The three products are:

New Food and Beverage Industry Group Aims to Boost Packaging Recycling in Scotland

A group of food, beverage and packaging giants has come together to collaborate with the Scottish government to help boost packaging recycling and provide partnership support for waste reduction and anti-littering programs. The Packaging Recycling Group Scotland (PRGS) aims to assist Scotland in raising recycling awareness while increasing recycling rates and quality. Supporters include Coca-Cola Enterprises, TetraPak, Britvic, Red Bull and the British Plastics Foundation.

HP's New Packaging Partnership Aims to Turn Straw Into Savings

Hewlett-Packard has teamed up with global packaging company YFY Jupiter for a new initiative that will use straw waste to create packaging material for its products. The program will create multifold benefits for HP — reduced costs, better protection for its products and reduced long-term environmental impacts to cite a few.

Walmart Implements Policy to Remove Harmful Chemicals from Consumer Products

Walmart has informed dozens of product manufacturers throughout its supply chain that it is now implementing its new policy to phase out hazardous chemicals from its consumer products, announced late last year.

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LEGO Seeking Sustainable Alternative to Its Trademark Brick Material

LEGO told Plastics News this week that it is looking for a sustainable alternative to Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), the plastic resin used in its signature bricks, by 2030.LEGO’s senior project manager Allan Rasmussen told PN that, not only must the selected material be able to meet the same characteristics as the original locking building blocks, the new bricks must also blend seamlessly with previous generations of bricks already in use.

Testing the 'CVS Effect' on Microbeads: Could L'Oréal & Unilever Be Bolder?

Recent commitments from L'Oréal, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and P&G to phase microbeads out of their products by (or before) 2017 is laudable and a good step forward. This news responds to scientific research linking the tiny, polystyrene balls to Great Lakes pollution.

EU Initiative Developing Plastic Packaging Made from Wastewater

An EU-funded program is developing a method for making plastic packaging from the fermented wastewater of processed juice, which could save the beverage industry millions while tapping into growing consumer demand for eco-friendly products.Through the PHBOTTLE project, researchers are working to create value from industrial residues by developing them into a new biodegradable material. The project is focusing on juice-processing wastewater because it contains high concentrations of organic substances, including fermentable sugars such as glucose, fructose and maltose.

Sustainable Packaging Market to Hit $244 Billion by 2018

Consumer demand, government legislation and technology advances will propel sustainable packaging to a $244 billion market by 2018, according to a new report by Smithers Para.The Future of Sustainable Packaging to 2018 details market sizes, projections and five-year sustainable packaging trends to 2018, focusing on key drivers, trends and technologies shaping the sustainable packaging industry. The report breaks down sales by type, end-use market and geographic region, and provides comprehensive coverage of the global market and supply chain.

Beer Store Recycles More Packaging Than It Sells, Saves Ontarians $40M

The Beer Store, a privately owned chain of retail outlets selling beer and other malt beverages across Ontario, Canada has announced that it has saved the province $40 million in the last year, thanks to its bottle recycling system and the cooperation of many Ontarians.

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American Cleaning Institute Rolls Out Sustainable Products Initiative

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI), the nonprofit trade association representing over 120 companies in the US cleaning products industry — including BASF, Clorox, Dow, Novozymes, Method, Seventh Generation, Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever, to name a few — has launched a new voluntary initiative to promote and demonstrate continual improvement in the cleaning products industry’s sustainability profile.

P&G Removing Phosphates from All Detergents by End of 2015

Procter & Gamble announced this week that it will eliminate phosphates from all of its laundry detergents — which include brands such as Tide, Ariel, Cheer, Gain, Ace and Bold — by the end of 2015. The company says the goal of the change is to provide consumers with superior cleaning performance while eliminating the harmful effects of the chemicals on the environment.

Chemicals in Consumer Products: New Progress in Transparency

The states of Washington and California are breaking new ground by providing consumers with information on potentially harmful chemicals in the products they buy and use on a daily basis. Washington’s focus is on products meant for children; California’s law spotlights cosmetics.

Carlsberg Partners With Suppliers to Embrace Packaging Upcycling

Carlsberg has joined with a group of global suppliers to develop the next generation of packaging products that are optimized for recycling and reuse, otherwise known as “upcycling.”The term, popularized by William McDonough & Michael Braungart in 2013’s The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability — Designing for Abundance, espouses the idea that through proper design, humans can have a positive net impact on the social and ecological world. The Upcycle rejects the idea of merely being ‘less bad’ and proposes that we focus more on creating a positive footprint for future generations — all while generating profit.

Nike, PUMA in Talks with Chemist Revolutionizing Bio-Based Materials

University of Delaware professor Dr. Richard Wool is setting about revolutionizing bio-based materials for a wide variety of applications. The professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering — who is also director of UD’s Affordable Composites from Renewable Resources (ACRES) program — has already developed safer chemical adhesives, composites, foams and circuit boards from renewable resources through processes that require less water and energy to produce and create less hazardous waste compared to petroleum-based processes, according to Science Daily.

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Blue Sun First to Commercialize Enzymatic Biodiesel Process at Scale

Cross-Posted from Cleantech. Blue Sun Energy, a transportation fuel technology commercialization company, has implemented its enzymatic biodiesel processing technology at its 30 million gallon per year biodiesel production facility in St. Joseph, Missouri, making it the most advanced in the world.Blue Sun says it has fully commercialized the enzymatic process technology and the St. Joseph plant is operating at full scale, which will give it a clear competitive advantage in the biodiesel market. The process at the St. Joe refinery produces high-quality biodiesel, which is further improved by the state-of-the-art distillation system installed last year at the refinery.

Awards Honoring Innovations in Bio-Based Fuels, Products Now Accepting Nominations

Cross-Posted from Cleantech. Now in their fifth year, the Sustainable Bio Awards recognize the range of innovations taking place in the development of truly sustainable bio-based fuels and products. From biofuels and feedstocks to face cream and finance, this year’s awards will celebrate the advancements made throughout 2013. World Bio Markets, the company behind the awards, is accepting nominations through midnight on January 31 (GMT). Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Amsterdam on March 5, 2014.

Nestlé Partners with Stem Cell Tech Company to Study Link Between Nutrition and Disease

Cross-Posted from Collaboration. The Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) has signed a long-term research agreement with Wisconsin-based Cellular Dynamics International (CDI), a leading developer of stem cell technologies for in vitro drug development, stem cell banking and in vivo cellular therapeutic research.The agreement gives Nestlé access to certain types of CDI’s cell products to support nutrition-research programs on maintaining health and helping to prevent conditions such as diabetes and obesity.

Not Magic, Science: Startup Creating Plastic Out of Thin Air

We’re hearing more and more often about inventive new ways companies are turning waste into valuable resources — from turning everything from CO2 and methane gases to human and food waste into fuels, and plastic into bacteria-battling “

IBM's Plastic 'Ninja Polymers' Could Be MRSA Bacteria's First Worthy Opponents

A team of research scientists at IBM and Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have drawn upon years of expertise in semiconductor technology and material discovery to crack the code for safely destroying the antibiotic-resistant and sometimes-deadly superbug MRSA.IBM says the researchers have made a nanomedicine breakthrough by converting common plastic materials such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into non-toxic and biocompatible materials designed to specifically target and attack fungal infections.

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