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Waste Not

The latest in the growing number of efforts directed at reducing, repurposing and ultimately eliminating waste in all its forms.

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Researchers Turn Old Toothpaste Tubes Into Aluminum and Fuel

Nestlé, Kraft Foods and Mondelez International are helping fund a new commercial-scale recycling plant that can turn old toothpaste tubes into aluminum and fuel in only three minutes.This type of plastic-aluminum laminate waste, often used in drink pouches and pet food packaging, typically ends up in the landfill. Each year, around 16,000 tons of aluminum is wasted in the UK alone.To address this waste problem, researchers at the University of Cambridge have been exploring how laminate packaging would react to intense heating, called microwave-induced pyrolysis.

Survey: 20% of Americans Will Forgo Wrapping Holiday Gifts

One out of five (20 percent) of Americans will forgo wrapping holiday gifts this year to reduce holiday waste, according to a new survey from ecoATM, a nationwide network of device recycling kiosks.More than half (52 percent) of respondents said they will reuse gift wrapping, ribbon and gift bags from previous holidays. Some 17 percent plan to use newspaper or other recycled paper to wrap gifts. Almost three quarters (74 percent) plan to do something this season to reduce their waste.

VWR Tackling Single-Use Garment Waste with New Recycling Program

VWR, provider of laboratory products, services and solutions, has launched a new recycling initiative that allows U.S. customers to recycle a variety of single-use garments.Through "Gown Up, Give Back”, VWR hopes to help reduce the millions of pounds of single-use garments sent to the landfill each year. The plastic waste from these garments is recycled into resin that is used to make permanent infrastructure, including composite decking, railroad ties and drainage pipes. The recycling program provides a waste collection, shipment and recycling solution for most single-use garments as long as they are free from contamination and purchased from VWR.

Fetzer Becomes First Winery to Receive Platinum Zero Waste Certification

Mendocino County-based Fetzer Vineyards recently announced that it has received platinum level Zero Waste certification from the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC). Platinum certification, the highest level offered by the USZWBC, recognizes the company for successfully diverting 97.7 percent of its waste from landfill, incineration and the environment.

Novelis to Convert All Beverage Can Sheets to High-Recycled Content evercan™ Aluminum by 2017

Novelis, producer of aluminum rolling products, has announced a new commitment to convert all of its beverage can body sheet production to its evercan sheet by the end of 2017.

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Levi’s, 49ers Collaborate to Reduce Waste with ‘Field of Jeans’

Sunday, November 2, was not one of the finer days for the San Francisco 49ers, as the team lost a close game to the St. Louis Rams and fell further behind in the NFL playoff chase. But while the score on the field was disappointing for 49er fans, another event that day offered an example of how professional sports teams can partner with brands to raise awareness on how simple acts can do a lot for social good. On that Sunday afternoon, Levi’s and the 49ers partnered on a “Field of Jeans” initiative to highlight progress on both waste diversion and job training.

CA Plastic Bag Ban Spurs Hiring Boom For Reusable Bag Manufacturer

California’s recent ban on single-use plastic bags has, as one might expect, led to a boom for reusable bag manufacturers in the Golden State. One manufacturer, Earthwise Bag Company, says it increased the number of U.S. workers employed in the production of its bags by 300 percent in 2014, and has plans for further expansion in 2015 and beyond.

Southwest Airlines Upcycles 80,000 Old Seat Coverings in U.S. and Kenya

Southwest Airlines has announced the distribution of products made in Kenya and the U.S. as part of its global upcycling initiative LUV Seat: Repurpose with Purpose. The distribution in Kenya completes the second phase of the multi-year environmental program, which will upcycle around 80,000 former airline seat coverings into new leather products to provide training and jobs in several communities in addition to keeping these materials out of a landfill.

Living Packaging Keeps Produce Fresh with Built-in Roots

A student in the United Kingdom has developed an innovative form of food packaging that incorporates the living roots of fruit and vegetables to allow them to continue ripening until they are ready to eat.Called Nurture, the packaging takes the form of a bowl made of organic material woven with the roots of plants bearing fruits such as tomatoes, cherries or figs. By keeping the bowl moist, the plants can continue to live even while being transported.

e-Stewards Launches Online e-Waste Trading Platform

The Basel Action Network (BAN) has announced they are bringing to market an online trading platform that will allow businesses to easily recycle used electronics with some of the world's most responsible electronic waste recyclers — those certified to the e-Stewards® Standard.The e-Stewards® Marketplace, developed in cooperation with industry leaders and Seattle-based technology company Retrace, has been enthusiastically supported by e-Stewards recyclers and companies such as LG Electronics, as well as the data protection services firm Tabernus, which have expressed their intent to use the site for their electronic asset disposition or services.

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Chevy's New Bi-Fuel Impala Can Be Powered by Everything from Sewage and Food Scraps to Beer

As more and more organizations are finding ways to create fuel from waste — case in point: Italy is about to become the first country to require cars and trucks to run on biofuel made from agricultural waste — Chevrolet says its 2015 Bi-fuel Impala will be able to run on leftovers, table scraps and, oh, yeah, grains from brewing beer (welcome to the present, Back to the Future fans!).

Italy Will Be First Country to Require Cars, Trucks Use Biofuels from Ag Waste

Italy will soon become the first country in Europe to legally require "advanced biofuels" in cars and trucks, the BBC reports. The new fuels are made from agricultural waste such as straw rather than crops, and reduce the amount of land taken out of food production.The first commercial scale plant making fuel from straw opened in Italy last year. Beginning in 2018, all fuel suppliers in the country will have to include 0.6 percent advanced biofuel in gasoline and diesel. This will rise to 1 percent by 2022.

Closed Loop Fund Offering Zero-Interest Loans to Help Cities Develop Recycling Infrastructures

The Closed Loop Fund plans to invest $100 million over the next five years to support the development of recycling infrastructure and services in cities across the country.Municipalities across the country can now apply for zero-interest loans to build recycling infrastructure for their communities. The zero-interest loans are repaid from either landfill-diversion savings or revenue generated from the sale of recyclable material. Companies that service municipalities may also apply, and interest rates will be below market rates.

Plastic Bag Lobby Launches Attack on California Ban

Plastic bag manufacturers have begun collecting signatures for a referendum vote to overturn California’s recent ban on single-use plastic shopping bags. If the law’s opponents submit more than 500,000 signatures by January, the ban would not take effect until voters weigh in on the November 2016 ballot.

Hilton Worldwide Reduces Waste by 27% in 5 Years

Hilton Worldwide has reduced its waste output by 26.8 percent, energy use by 13.6 percent, carbon output by 20.2 percent and water use by 13.1 percent since 2009, according to the company’s 2013-2014 corporate responsibility report, released today.The report is Hilton Worldwide’s third corporate responsibility report, and its first since returning to public markets following an initial public offering in December 2013. The report highlights efforts, achievements and priorities across the four focus areas of Hilton Worldwide’s corporate responsibility strategy, Travel with Purpose: creating opportunities, strengthening communities, celebrating cultures and living sustainability.

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DuPont, P&G Now Powering Tide Cold Water Laundry Detergent with Agricultural Waste

DuPont and Procter & Gamble (P&G) have announced a collaboration to use cellulosic ethanol in North American Tide® laundry detergent, an industry first. Tide Cold Water will be the first brand in the world to blend cellulosic ethanol in a scalable and commercial way. Ethanol has long been a key ingredient in the Tide® formulation, allowing for stability of the detergent formula and better washing performance. The substitution of the current corn-based ethanol with cellulosic is the latest innovation in the companies’ 30-year partnership, making it easier for consumers to make sustainable choices in their everyday lives.

Sustainability Alumni Proving Valuable Assets for Public, Private Sector Alike

As the sustainability field continues to grow, job applicants with a relevant degree are proving to be ever more valuable assets, according to a recent Arizona State University School of Sustainability (ASU SOS) report. Since the inception of ASU’s School of Sustainability in fall 2008, the University says alumni have gone on to pioneer new sustainability positions and lead change at local, national and global organizations.

New Patagonia Collection Returning 'Truth to Materials'

Patagonia has launched Truth to Materials — a capsule collection for Fall/Winter featuring seven styles of jackets, sweaters and scarves made from raw, reclaimed or alternatively sourced materials. The company says the collection represents “radical new methods of manufacturing” — it features fabrics such as undyed cashmere, and reclaimed cotton, wool and down.

Dell, UN Partner to Eliminate E-Waste in the Developing World

Dell and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have signed an agreement to cooperate on identifying and implementing a sustainable solution model for e-waste management for developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.The memorandum of understanding commits the two organizations to work together for a period of five years, with an option to extend the partnership.

Novelis Opens World's Largest Aluminum Recycling Facility

Novelis, global producer of aluminum rolling products, today opened the world's largest aluminum recycling center, located adjacent to the company's rolling mill in Nachterstedt, Germany.The $258 million recycling center will process up to 400,000 metric tons of aluminum scrap annually, turning it back into high-value aluminum ingots to feed the company's European manufacturing network.The Nachterstedt Recycling Center features state-of-the-art technology for aluminum scrap sorting, de-coating, melting and casting. The facility gives Novelis the flexibility to process a wide range of scrap types, creating a more efficient closed-loop recycling system and increasing Europe's domestic scrap consumption. Around 200 employees will work at the new facility.

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