Chemistry, Materials & Packaging

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

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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.

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.

Hospitals Share Successes, Challenges from Pilot Healthcare Plastics Recycling Program

On Monday, the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council (HPRC) announced the completion of a multi-hospital plastics recycling project in Chicago, collaborating with the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS). Focused on non-infectious plastic packaging and products collected from clinical areas of the hospitals, the project sought to demonstrate a viable business model for recycling healthcare plastics on a regional level.

Trending: European Packaging Solutions Continue to Drive a Circular Economy

Ambitions of a circular economy continue to drive decisions around Europe as more circular packaging solutions emerge as a prominent piece to the puzzle.

Columbia Recruits Macklemore to Help Raise Awareness of the Effects of PFCs

Columbia Sportswear says its new OutDry Extreme ECO Jacket, which hit shelves last week, marks a milestone in sustainability - as the first high-performance, environmentally friendly, breathable, waterproof jacket made without the use of a common synthetic additive known as perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). As part of the launch, Columbia has partnered with hip-hop artist and environmental advocate Macklemore to help raise awareness on the impact that PFCs can have on the environment. Macklemore (aka Ben Haggerty), who finds inspiration and solace in the forests in the Pacific Northwest and other natural places around the world, shares his thoughts on environmentally responsible rainwear in a new video:

Nestlé Chocolate Could Have 40% Less Sugar as Early as 2018

Nestlé SA has developed a process to alter the structure of sugar that makes it taste sweeter in smaller amounts, which could help the food giant respond to increasing pressures from governments, health advocates and shoppers to make products healthier without compromising on taste.

Trending: BioSteel, Self-Healing Protective Fabrics Among Latest Innovations Revolutionizing Textiles

Hot on the heels of its release earlier this month of the world’s first football and running performance products made from upcycled marine plastic waste, adidas continues its journey toward revolutionizing materials with the unveiling of the world’s first performance shoe made using Biosteel® fiber – a synthetic version of spider silk.

How2Compost Label Aims to Facilitate Proper Packaging Disposal

With private and municipal composting programs becoming more mainstream, as well as more companies turning to more sustainable packaging designs, composting is now easier than ever. The next step in the crusade to reduce waste? The Sustainable Packing Coalition (SPC)’s launch of the new How2Compost label program.

Tetra Pak Unveils New Site Celebrating Game-Changing Food Ideas

All over the world, new ideas are changing mankind’s relationship with food. From the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to the “ugly food movement,” ideas big and small are making an impact. To uncover such stories, Tetra Pak® has launched a new digital platform called Groundwork.

New ZDHC Platform to Provide 'Gateway' to Safer Chemicals in Textiles

The issue of hazardous chemicals isn’t new in consumer products; the Romans knew lead was harmful over 2000 years ago. Scheele’s Green, a copper-arsenic-based pigment, was one of the first colourfast greens used for textiles in the early 1860s. However, as the picture below demonstrates, it didn't take long for the toxic effects of this pigment to become known. Something has to be going wrong if hundreds of years ago we knew arsenic and lead were hazardous, and today, we still have to communicate this to the value chain.

Nevada Facility Begins ‘Clean Lead Recycling,’ Could Lead to Sustainable Lead-Acid Batteries

Recycling and refining high-quality lead has commenced in Nevada, and will soon reach commercial-scale production. Aqua Metals has used its patent-pending ‘AquaRefining’ technology, which the company is calling “the only clean lead recycling method.” Unlike smelting, AquaRefining uses a water-based, room-temperature process to produce lead. Aqua Metals says the process is “fundamentally non-polluting,” and has verified verified that the lead produced in the AquaRefining module is over 99.99 percent pure. The company expects its AquaRefining systems to allow the lead-acid battery industry to simultaneously reduce negative environmental impacts and increase production to meet rapidly growing demand.

Walmart Unveils New Sustainable Packaging Priorities to Complement Zero-Waste Goal

Walmart hopes to reignite the passion around sustainable packaging with vendors, store buyers, packaging suppliers and consumers with three new, clear goals: Optimize Design; Source Sustainably; and Support Recycling. The priorities were unveiled along with the company’s new “Sustainable Packaging Playbook” at the Walmart Sustainable Packaging Summit this week.

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