Chemistry, Materials & Packaging

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

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Trending: New Checklist, Data Mark Important Step Forward for Sustainable Packaging

In an effort to help companies optimize their packaging systems, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and the Industry Council for Research on Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN) have teamed up to create a new sustainability checklist.

Garnier, DoSomething.org Aim to Divert 10M Personal Care Empties from Landfill

Nearly half of Americans do not recycle their beauty and personal care products, accounting for a significant amount of landfill waste. Garnier and DoSomething.org are hoping to change that with their new Rinse, Recycle, Repeat campaign and college campus competition, which aims to educate consumers about the importance of recycling beauty product empties.

Trending: Danone, Nestlé Move Towards Circularity with Bio-Based PET Bottles

Food industry giants Danone, Nestlé and Kroger are the latest companies to harness design and circular principles to move the food and beverage industry towards zero waste. Danone and Nestlé Waters, two of the world’s largest bottled water companies, have partnered with California-based startup Origin Materials to form the NaturALL Bottle Alliance. Together, they aim to develop and launch at commercial scale a PET plastic bottle made entirely from bio-based materials.

Trending: Breakthroughs in EPS, PE, PP Recycling Bring Plastics Closer to Circularity

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, only 2 percent of the 78 million tons of plastic used each year for packaging is actually recycled. The remaining 98 percent finds its way into landfills, incineration plants and the environment. New innovations and initiatives from across the U.S. and Canada, however, are offering new solutions to tackle the ever-growing plastics problem.

Circularity of Hazardous Chemicals Requires New Legal Framework, NGOs Say

Policymakers must limit chemicals entering the material cycle and adapt existing legislation in order to protect human health and the environment from toxic substances in a circular economy, say ClientEarth and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) in a new report. The NGOs indicate that the current legal framework has failed to ensure information about dangerous chemicals is diffused throughout the whole material cycle and potential subsequent lifecycles.

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Trending: Liquid Hydrogen, Ocean Plastics Could Revolutionize Aviation Industry

Transport constitutes approximately 20 percent of global energy use — a figure that is set to grow — and a new study published by physicist Jo Hermans in MRS Energy and Sustainability — A Review Journal has identified liquid hydrogen as a realistic option for what can be considered the most problematic modes of transportation in terms of sustainability — air travel. While Professor Hermans of Leiden University’s Huygen’s Laboratory admits that traditional oil-based fuels such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene are both convenient and boast an appealing energy-to-volume ratio, liquid hydrogen could offer a potential solution for sustainable air travel in the future.

BASF Touts Sustainability, Efficiency Benefits of Construction Solutions in New Campaign

Increasing economic benefits while reducing global-warming potential: How products from BASF’s Master Builders Solutions® range help achieve this is the focus of the new Europe-wide campaign, “Quantified Sustainable Benefits – Reduce your Footprint and Boost Your Bottom Line.” Through a series of ads and a dedicated website, BASF’s Master Builders Solutions experts, together with European customers, present selected cases that demonstrate how superior chemistry enables customers to increase their productivity while decreasing their operational costs and carbon footprint.

Trending: New Tech Breakthroughs Design Impacts Out of Everyday Products

While recycling most certainly plays an important role in the shift to the development of a more circular, sustainable economy, it largely focuses on a product or material’s end of life. But recent initiatives and technological breakthroughs are helping more companies design impacts out of their products’ life cycles.

Trending: Breakthrough Textiles Help Fashion Industry Close the Loop

Even more brands are making moves towards a more circular economy through textile innovation and consumer engagement. Recently, H&M debuted its new “Bring It” garment recycling campaign, as well as a new BIONIC-based Conscious Exclusive collection, while Kering announced the next stage of its ambitious sustainability plan.

Johnson Controls, Aqua Metals Revolutionizing Lead-Acid Battery Recycling

Solid and e-waste generation are growing at alarming rates as income and demand for new gadgets, appliances and automobiles rise across the globe. The dangers of rampant e-waste for environmental and human health are significant, but a new partnership announced last week marks an important step towards progress. The world’s largest automotive battery manufacturer Johnson Controls has joined forces with Aqua Metals to change the way lead-acid batteries are recycled globally.

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As You Sow Urges Global Brands to Nix Polystyrene Foam Packaging

Environmental and corporate social responsibility non-profit As You Sow has called upon four major US companies — Amazon, McDonald’s, Target and Walmart — to ditch polystyrene foam packaging from their operations. And they’re not the only ones: A new report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, endorsed by leaders of 15 global brands, has also called for globally replacing polystyrene.

Trending: AkzoNobel, Startups Sustainably Solving Chemical, Packaging Challenges

Finding new post-consumer uses and solutions for products is critical for making the shift towards a more circular economy, but more and more companies are turning their focus to the early stages of product production and development, effectively addressing the sustainability question before it becomes a problem.

Trending: Coors, City of London Put Waste to Work with New Recycling Schemes

New programs, initiatives and innovations that drive forward the transition to a circular company seem to be popping up almost daily. The latest to pick up the banner for the circular cause? Coors Light and the City of London Corporation. Coors Light, a MillerCoors brand, is shining light on its sustainability achievements and goals with a new twist on its ongoing “Climb On” campaign and the roll out of “Every One Can,” a summer promotional campaign, which includes the conversion of its billboards into beer coolers and its kegs into barbeque grills, as well as a large-scale push to get drinkers to recycle beer cans.

Trending: Walmart, BMZ Funding Drives Textile Innovations Here and Abroad

The textile industry isn’t exactly the poster child for sustainability or ethical business practices, but Walmart and the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) are working to change all that by funding projects geared towards revolutionizing textile manufacturing.

P&G's Head & Shoulders Launches World's First Recyclable Shampoo Bottle Made with Beach Plastic

Today, at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, The Procter & Gamble Company announced that Head & Shoulders (H&S), the world’s #1 shampoo brand, will produce the world’s first recyclable shampoo bottle made from up to 25 percent recycled beach plastic.

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Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Unilever Set to 'Catalysing Action' on New Plastics Economy

Due to their functional properties and low cost, plastics have become an integral part of our global economy and have seen their production increase twenty-fold over the past half-century. Despite their indisputable benefits, plastics have significant economic and environmental drawbacks. By 2050, it is estimated there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans. These negative impacts are sources of concern for business and government, who are recognizing the need to rethink the global plastic system.

#BusinessCase: Circular, EPR Schemes Could've Saved UK £72M in Holiday Waste

Waste packaging and food leftovers from this Christmas alone will have cost councils £72 million1, according to new research from UK think tank Green Alliance. In England, local authorities spend roughly £300 million every year dealing with waste packaging and, after rising steadily since 2001, England’s recycling rates went down for the first time in 2015.

Coke, Avery Dennison Drive Smartwater Towards Circularity with Recycled PET Waste

While plastic packaging has a reputation for being convenient, it presents a serious problem for the planet — and brands’ bottom lines. One-use plastic packaging currently accounts for over $80 billion in losses annually. But more and more companies are beginning to see the value of employing circular practices to develop sustainable packaging options.

Apple, HP, Samsung, Sony Join Effort to Keep Child Labor Out of Cobalt Supply Chains

Apple, HP, Samsung SDI and Sony have joined the Responsible Cobalt Initiative, with a pledge to follow the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines for mining supply chains, which call for traceability and immediate correction of any abuses.

Trending: New Research Looking to Turn Fabric Into Fuel, Keep Microfibers Out of Water

We’ve seen a rash of textile-recycling schemes emerge of late — in which the textiles in question may become new garments, but for the most part they remain, well, fabrics.

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