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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging

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

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Driving Innovation: Coke and Ford Unveil Fusion Energi with Interiors Made from PlantBottle Technology™

Cross-Posted from Collaboration. The Coca-Cola Company and Ford Motor Company have teamed up to fuel more sustainable design by collaborating on a first-ever interior fabric made from the same renewable material used to produce Coke’s PlantBottle packaging.

New Wastewater Mining Tech Isolates Biosolids for Use as Paper, Pulp, Plastic, Fuel

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. A Dutch wastewater treatment facility (WWTP) and paper mill are testing out a new sewage recycling system that reduces sludge formation by half, cuts operational costs by 30 percent, significantly increases treatment capacity and yields biosolids that can be used in a host of applications.Developed in Israel, Applied CleanTech’s Sewage Recycling System (SRS) converts the bio-solids found in wastewater into Recyllose — a new sterilized product based on cellulose extracted from the wastewater, which is automatically packed into a reusable commodity and transported to paper, construction, plastic and energy industries.Allow us to provide a visual aid:

Biome Bioplastics Serving Up Compostable Coffee Pods

UK-based Biome Bioplastics has announced its new biodegradable coffee pod, the latest in a spate of innovations lessening the environmental impact of the roughly $6.6 billion single-serve market.According to Biome, an estimated 9.1 billion single-serve coffee and drink cartridges wind up in U.S. landfills every year — thanks to the roughly 50 different single-serve coffee makers on the market — amounting to some 19 million cubic feet of waste. The company says coffee-pod machines are also becoming increasingly popular in Britain, with a 45 percent surge in usage between February 2012 and 2013, equating to roughly 186 million capsules.

Sochi 2014 Pledging to Be First Carbon-Neutral Olympic Games — For Real, This Time

The upcoming Sochi 2014 Olympics will be the first in history to achieve carbon neutrality, according to a recent announcement by The Dow Chemical Company, the Official Carbon Partner for the Games. This includes carbon footprints associated with the travel of athletes, spectators and media from all over the world traveling to Russia for the Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games, between February and March 2014 — amounting to roughly 160,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

PulpWorks Out to Save People and Planet from Painful Plastic Packaging

Each week leading up to our SB London conference, where the winner of the SB London Innovation Open (SBIOL) will be announced on November 18, we will get to know each of our four finalists. This week, meet PulpWorks.

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DuPont, Huntsman Partnership Dramatically Increases Yield, Reduces Impacts of Cotton Bleaching

Cross-Posted from Collaboration. DuPont Industrial Biosciences, in collaboration with Huntsman Corporation — a global provider of textile dyes and chemicals — recently announced the results of a case study that demonstrates the benefits of its Gentle Power Bleach™, powered by DuPont’s PrimaGreen® EcoWhite enzymatic bleaching technology. The study, conducted between 2006 and 2012, measured significant reductions in water use, energy consumption and chemical use coupled with notable increases in product quality and yield.

P&G’s New Plastic Mold Process Could Save $1 Billion Annually

Procter & Gamble has developed a new process to mold plastic that it claims is thinner, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than the current industry standard and could save the company $1 billion a year by using less plastic and different raw materials.The company says it plans to use the material for its own products and its patent applications and may also sell it to other marketers from non-competitive package-goods players to automotive giants.

Royal DSM Approves Genomatica's Bio-Based BDO for Use in Arnitel Thermoplastics

Royal DSM, the global life sciences and materials sciences company, announced last week that in-depth testing has proven that Genomatica’s renewable form of the organic compound 1,4-butanediol (BDO) has excellent purity and shows equivalent performance as fossil-based BDO. The company says using BDO made with Genomatica's bio-based process technology in its Arnitel thermoplastic products can increase Arnitel's bio-based content up to 73%; because of this and its level of performance, DSM says it considers the renewable BDO a suitable raw material for commercial production of Arnitel.

New Bioplastic Could Eliminate 50 Million Tons of Annual E-Waste

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. Italian biotech firm Bio-on has developed a bioplastic called PHA (Polyhydroxyalkanoate), made from agricultural processing waste materials, which is 100 percent biodegradable in water and soil and can be used as a substrate for electric circuits. When combined with suitable nanofillers, the polymer can act as an electricity conductor, with the potential of replacing plastics in most electronics.The company says the use of PHAs can help put a dent in the 50 million tons of waste produced worldwide every year from discarded smartphones, tablets, computers and other electronics.

University of Bath Researchers Treating Wastewater with Seafood Shells

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. The thousands of tons of waste seashells created by the edible seafood sector are being used to treat wastewater in a new project undertaken by researchers at the University of Bath in the UK.Dr Darrell Patterson, from the University’s Department of Chemical Engineering, used waste mussel shells to create what he says is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way of ‘polishing’ wastewater, which could remove unwanted substances such as hormones, pharmaceuticals or fertilizers.

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BASF and Heritage Plastics Partnering to Bring ecovio® Bioplastics Production to U.S.

BASF has announced a strategic manufacturing partnership with Heritage Plastics, Inc. to produce the chemical company’s ecovio® compostable bioplastic products in North America.The partnership enables BASF to expand manufacturing of its ecovio biopolymers, which are currently only produced in Europe. ecovio production will begin immediately at the Heritage facility in Picayune, Mississippi.

Republic of Tea Launches 95% Biodegradable Single-Serve Pod

Socially conscious tea purveyor the Republic of Tea has announced a new line of environmentally friendly, single-serve One Cuppa™ tea pods, that are 95% biodegradable and compatible with most single-serve coffee- and tea- brewing machines. The company says the pods will be available beginning October 1.“We listened to our Citizens who have requested that our premium teas be available for single-serve use. We are so happy to now provide our Citizens with this new, innovative way of enjoying a cup of premium tea. We are also being mindful of the environment with our earth-friendly, 95% biodegradable One Cuppa,” said Republic of Tea CEO Ron Rubin.

McDonald’s Agrees to Phase Out Polystyrene Cups

McDonald’s Corp. has confirmed that it will replace all polystyrene beverage cups with paper cups at its 14,000 U.S. outlets, according to As You Sow (AYS), a nonprofit organization that promotes corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy. The move comes in response to a shareholder proposal filed by AYS in 2011, asking the fast-food giant to stop using foam. After agreeing to a test replacement of its foam cups with a double-walled paper hot cup at approximately 2,000 restaurants, primarily on the West Coast, in 2012, McDonald’s deemed the pilots successful and the paper cup will now become the standard hot beverage cup at all U.S. outlets.

Clariant Releases Paraben-Free Alternative to Cosmetics Preservatives

Swiss chemical giant Clariant today announced the launch of Nipaguard® Zero — a powerful line of optimized preservative blends for cosmetics that contain no parabens, yet deliver a comparable performance.Clariant offers a broad portfolio of single actives and optimized blends under the brand names Phenonip®, Nipagin® and Nipaguard. Due to growing end-user demand for alternatives to parabens, the company has developed four Nipaguard Zero blends for use in rinse-off and leave-on applications, wet wipes and difficult-to-preserve formulations, including an Ecocert®-approved option.

California Adopts Groundbreaking Safer Consumer Product Regulations

California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) now has significantly expanded oversight regarding chemicals used in products involved in the state’s commerce stream, following the adoption of the Safer Consumer Product (SCP) Regulations that implements the Green Chemistry statute.While other states have adopted or are considering "Green Chemistry" initiatives, California has the only program that extends beyond children's products to any and all consumer products.The new regulations require the DTSC to identify its initial list of candidate chemicals by October 31, 2013.By next April, DTSC will need to identify up to five "priority products" that will be subject to the SCP regulations during the first few years of implementation.

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WikiPearl Promises an Edible Packaging Revolution

Consumer demand for foods convenient and fast has led to a surge in packaging waste across the globe. The use and disposal of plastic in particular has spiked, and despite increased corporate and municipal recycling programs, far too much plastic still ends up in landfills. This grab-and-go mentality for both junk and healthful foods alike will hardly be sustainable in the long run as more food companies and their brands churn out more products and packaging gimmicks in the name of “innovation.” Not one company so far, though, has found an innovative way to deal with the accumulation of Tetra-Paks, cartons and myriad types of plastic. Could edible packaging help solve this problem?

Cascadian Farm Launches First Bio-Based Cereal Box Liner

Cascadian Farm, makers of more than 75 organic products, yesterday announced that it has introduced its first-ever cereal box liner made from renewable plant sources.The company says its Cinnamon Crunch cereal is now packaged in an inner bag made from up to 57 percent certified plant-based material. Cascadian Farm says this new liner is the latest among its various sustainability initiatives that support its mission of helping to shape a better world."At Cascadian Farm, we know that every choice we make can help shape a better world now and for the future," said Jennifer Jorgenson, marketing director for Cascadian Farm. "A desire to protect our Earth's resources led us to develop this groundbreaking inner bag."

This Tiny Patch Could Be a Game Changer for Global Health

Kite Patch is the latest breakthrough technology in the global fight against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. A non-toxic adhesive patch that makes you virtually invisible to mosquitos, Kite brings a scalable solution to protect the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Biotech Companies Launch Campaign to Combat Anti-GMO Movement

This week, a group of biotech seed companies including Monsanto, Dow and DuPont launched a website to combat mounting opposition to genetically modified foods among consumer groups and activists, according to Reuters.

Canadian Coffee Company Releases Guilt-Free Single-Serve Coffee Pods

Cross-Posted from Waste Not. A Canadian coffee company says it has developed a more environmentally friendly alternative to the ever-popular, single-serve K-Cup pods, made a household name in recent years by the ubiquitous Keurig home coffeemakers.

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