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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging

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

Unilever Develops New Technology to Drive Sachet Packaging Towards Circularity

Recycling protocol for consumer products packaged in plastic bottles and tubes is fairly straightforward. But for sachets, it’s a whole other story. To tackle industry-wide sachet waste, Unilever teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Germany to develop CreaSolv Process, a groundbreaking new technology to recycle sachet waste.

Canopy Releases Updated Version of Ecopaper Database

Being dubbed the “Holy Grail” of directories for sustainable paper and packaging, Canopy’s updated Ecopaper Database now features more than 450 printing and writing grade papers, office stationery products and packaging with high recycled, agricultural residue, alternative or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) fiber content.

Nestlé, PepsiCo, Unilever to Roll Out How2Recycle Label Program Across North America

During the Walmart Sustainability Milestone Summit, eight global brands representing over $72 billion in revenue announced that they will be joining the How2Recycle label program. The program seeks to educate consumers about how to recycle packaging correctly.

UPS, Sealed Air Corporation Unveil New Packaging Innovation Center

Following the announcement of a new partnership in November 2016, UPS and Sealed Air Corporation have opened a Packaging Innovation Center in Louisville, KY on the UPS Supply Chain Solutions campus. The center will focus on creating solutions for packaging and shipping challenges faced by e-commerce retailers and a variety of other sectors by maximizing efficiency, minimizing waste and reducing shipping costs.

Trending: Fairtrade Foundation, Finnish Researchers Push for Alternative Textiles

Just in time for Fashion Revolution Week, the Fairtrade Foundation and researchers in Finland have revealed new studies and initiatives aimed at driving the fashion industry towards a more sustainable, ethical model.

Target Commits to 5 Bold Sustainable Packaging Goals for 2022

Just weeks after releasing a new forest products policy, in which it pledges to source all of the wood, paper, paper-based and wood-based fiber used in its brand-owned products from post-consumer recycled materials and credibly certified forests, retail giant Target has announced five new sustainable packaging goals.

Trending: Nike, Britvic Using Recycled Drink Containers, Wood Fiber to Revolutionize Packaging

The development of innovative packaging solutions continues to help brands reduce impact and drive future growth.

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, 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 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.

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.

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.

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