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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging

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

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Deep Sea Mining: The Next Gold Rush?

As determined stakeholders continue to innovate proposed 2019 expedition has its sights set on the coast of Papua New Guinea, where if all goes according to plan, three 200-ton machines will troll the bottom of the Bismarck Sea for deposits of copper and gold, for Canadian mining company Nautilus Minerals. The remote-controlled robots will use enormous, spiked-covered bulk cutters to churn and grind the ocean floor, to reach as yet untouched reserves of deep-ocean minerals formed over millions of years.

Wrangler Joins Field to Market to Accelerate US Sustainable Cotton

Further establishing itself as a strong proponent of increasing the supply of sustainable cotton, denim brand Wrangler has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture as an associate member. The multi-stakeholder initiative is working to unite the agricultural supply chain in defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production in the United States.

New Report Reveals Chemical Footprinting Moving Towards Mainstream

The Chemical Footprint Project — an initiative driving the effective management of chemicals in products and supply chains — has released its second annual report, which measures corporate chemicals management performance through a 20-question survey that evaluates companies on management strategy, chemical inventory, footprint measurement and public disclosure and verification.

Trending: Apple, Mondelēz Creep Ever Closer Towards Sustainable Packaging

Packaging continues to provide a significant challenge to companies looking to cut back on their environmental impacts, but new achievements in the tech and food industries indicate that progress is being made. Two years after launching its forestry program, tech giant Apple has announced that 320,000 acres of forest in China are now certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and that it has enough sustainable working forest to cover the paper used in packaging for all of its products.

Canopy Releases Updated Blueline Ranking for Sustainable Printing

Working with sustainable print partners and using environmental papers is becoming increasingly important for brands working to meet their own sustainability targets. Environmental nonprofit Canopy has released the 2017 update to its Blueline Ranking — a tool profiling the sustainability performance of North America’s largest printers. Printers analyzed in this year’s assessment represent $34 billion in annual sales.

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Trending: Target, Stella McCartney Strike Up New Partnerships to Drive Sustainable Textile Solutions

With greater focus being placed on the fashion industry’s environmental impacts, efforts are emerging almost daily in an effort to help the sector shed its unsustainable rep.

Trending: BillerudKorsnäs, Kotkamills Innovations Make Scandinavia Hotbed of Food Packaging Revolution

Packaging remains a significant challenge for companies aiming to reduce the environmental footprint of their operations, but two new packaging innovations from industry giants in Scandinavia may be the solution. First, BillerudKorsnäs and Bosch Packaging Technology have scored a 2017 Sustainability Award in the Bio-Based Packaging category for their new Sealed Paper Packaging.

Trending: Biomimicry, Changing Attitudes Poised to Revolutionize Apparel Sector

Fashion continues to make headlines, with news emerging about a new textile breakthrough and shifting attitudes towards clothing across the UK that are helping drive down the industry’s environmental impact.

Trending: Sainsbury's, Hershey Look to Packaging to Unpack a Sustainable Future

Packaging innovation offers an important tool to help companies achieve their sustainability goals. Two recent advances could hold promise for tackling food waste, reducing CO2 emissions and reliance on virgin materials. UK grocer Sainsbury’s is pushing the envelope on packaging to kick food waste to the curb. The company is rolling out a new “smart” packaging label on its own-brand ham that signals to consumers when the product is about to expire.

Ahead of the Curve: Designing in Sustainability from the Start

For companies and brands today, more sustainable production methods are topping lists of things to do. The uncertainty of material and vendor prices, the need to comply with a growing number of regulations and mounting evidence of environmental impacts increasingly drive change. More and more manufacturers are investing time, energy and money to fix infrastructures and further optimize supply and production chains. They have to, after increasingly finding themselves at risk for not putting forth the resources necessary to make their processes more sustainable.

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Trending: Stella McCartney, C&A, WRAP Continue Pushing the Envelope on Sustainable Textiles

Fashion is slowly shedding its negative rep as brands continue to embrace circular and forward-thinking practices that drive innovation and product durability. Only weeks after announcing a new partnership with Parley for the Oceans, luxury label Stella McCartney has made yet another push to keep the world’s oceans waste-free. The brand has revealed that its Autumn 2017 collection of Falabella GO bags will be made with yarn derived from converted ocean waste.

Trending: CanopyStyle, Burberry Further Mainstreaming Sustainable Textiles

The sourcing and manufacturing of materials are two of the most environmentally impactful aspects of the fashion industry. In an effort to shift the sector to a more sustainable model, key industry players have revved up efforts to move sustainable materials to the mainstream.

Braskem, Sealed Air, Naturepedic Unveil Renewable, Carbon-Negative Polyethylene Foam

A new partnership between Braskem, the largest thermoplastics resins producer in the Americas and a leading biopolymers producer, Sealed Air Corporation, a packaging, cleaning and hygiene solutions company, and Naturepedic, a manufacturer of certified organic mattresses and bedding, is aiming to help consumers lead a more sustainable lifestyle even in their sleep. Together, the partners have developed a first-of-its-kind formula for renewable polyethylene foam.

HP Inc., Thread Roll Out Ink Cartridges Made from Plastic Bottles Recycled in Haiti

Plastics continue to make headlines as brands uncover new and creative solutions that transform trash into profitable products. Building on its efforts to reinvent how products are designed, manufactured and used, HP Inc. has launched Original HP ink cartridges made from plastic bottles recycled in Haiti.

Good News, Bad News for Viscose: USFIA Joins CanopyStyle; H&M Lands in Hot Water

Viscose continues to dominate the news as brands ramp up efforts to eliminate the destruction of ancient and endangered forests and human rights violations from the viscose supply chain, while others fall behind.

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McGill Chemists Develop Chemical-Free Metal Refining Solution

McGill is at it again. Just months after researchers at the Canadian university revealed that metal powders could provide a zero-carbon, closed-loop alternative to traditional fossil fuels, a team of chemists have uncovered a way to produce and refine metals without the aid of toxic solvents or reagents.

As Cobalt Declines, Demand-Growth Rises by 500%

Circular initiatives may be on the rise, but an impending commodity crisis for cobalt indicates that we still haven’t learned our lesson as far as resource depletion is concerned. The ferromagnetic metal is primarily used in the preparation of magnetic, wear-resistant and high-performance alloys and is a critical component of batteries designed for electric vehicles, laptops, smartphones and a host of other electronics. And we’re running out.

Trending: Two New Textile Innovations Aim to Take Circular Fashion Towards the Mainstream

The launch of two new textile innovations continues to drive the apparel industry towards greater circularity.

Harnessing Nature’s Technology: The Biomimicry Toolkit

This was no introductory workshop. Everyone in attendance on Monday afternoon, day one of SB'17 Detroit, raised their hand when asked if they knew what biomimicry is, and everyone was interested in diving in and learning how to use biomimicry in their own work. Thus, organizers Nicole Hagerman Miller and Dr.

Experts from EMF, GreenBlue, Recycling Partnership Ponder Principles of Sustainable Packaging

What does it take to achieve the perfect sustainable packaging? This Monday morning workshop offered insights into the question. It’s harder than one might assume. Competing interests between corporations and municipalities, and added complexities given the unique nature of their stakeholders for both businesses and governments, adds to the challenge.

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