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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
The Lego Group Joins How2Recycle for Clearer Toy Packaging Recycling
The Lego Group has joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition's How2Recycle program, announcing plans to begin labeling the toy packaging for US consumers this year. Source: Environmental Leader, 2/5/18

Biodegradable Plastics: Yes or No?
When it comes to sustainable packaging, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. It's important for brand owners, food producers and manufacturers to consider very carefully what packaging format they use and to make an informed decision based on the reality of our current waste management infrastructure and level of public understanding, says Richard McKinlay, head of circular economy at resource recovery specialist Axion. "They also need to understand what actually happens to their materials at end-of-life and what their environmental impact could be." Source: Environmental Leader, 2/5/18

From Scraps To Snacks: Pulp Left Over From Juice Bars Is Reborn In New Foods
Cold-pressed juice fills refrigerator cases at juice bars, health food shops, even big box stores -- especially at the beginning of the year, when people are trying to "cleanse" after holiday excess. Fans of these elixirs, extracted at high pressure and low temperatures, believe they contain more nutrients and enzymes than conventional juices; they now generate $500 million in sales worldwide each year. But what happens to all the parts of the fruits and vegetables that are left over after juicing? Once thrown out as compost, that fiber is now sneaking its way into snacks, breakfast foods and even burgers. Source: NPR, 2/2/18

Monday, February 5, 2018
The Forgotten Renewable: Geothermal Energy Production Heats Up
Three and a half hours east of Los Angeles lies the Salton Sea, a manmade oasis in the heart of the Mojave Desert. It was created in 1905, when a canal broke and the Colorado River flooded the desert for more than a year. The Sea became a tourist hotspot in the 1950's, perfect for swimming, boating, and kayaking. But now, people are coming here looking for something else. Source: NPR. 2/4/18

What if the Chinese import ban is a good thing?
What if China's import ban on 24 recyclable materials is an opportunity, not an obstacle? What if it's an opportunity to transform the waste industry and to transform how people view the current system? Source: Waste Dive, 2/5/18

Thursday, February 1, 2018
EPA delays Obama water rule
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pushing back by two years an Obama administration rule redefining the federal government's power over small waterways. Source: The Hill, 2/1/18

A '' for furniture: How Green Standards reduces bulk waste
Green Standards works with organizations looking to decommission office space, and handles the donating, reusing, reselling or specialty recycling of old material to prevent waste from entering a landfill. Source: Waste Dive, 2/1/18

Wednesday, January 31, 2018
EPA Publishes Annual Toxics Release Inventory Report and Analysis
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 2016 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis. The publicly available database shows that industrial facilities continue to reduce the releases of TRI chemicals through pollution reduction activities. Source: U.S. EPA, 1/31/18

EPA Releases the 2018 Plan for Chemical Risk Evaluations under TSCA
As required under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, EPA has released the annual plan for chemical risk evaluations. The annual plan identifies the next steps for the first 10 chemical reviews currently underway and describes EPA's work in 2018 to prepare for future risk evaluations. Source: U.S. EPA, 1/31/18

Most of the EPA's pollution estimates are unreliable. So why is everyone still using them?
Emission factors used to paint a broad picture of air quality often underestimate pollution, evidence shows. Source: Center for Public Integrity, 1/30/18

Designers, Students Get Creative for Final Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge
The winners created innovative products and furnishings that demonstrate the way good design can allow for abundance, endless reuse and pleasure. Source: Waste360, 1/31/18

Austin Looks to [Re]Verse its Waste Intake
The city's entrepreneurial competition challenges residents to devise ways to reuse discarded materials. Source: Waste360, 1/31/18

Next Step to Eliminating Food Waste? Making It Relevant, Surmountable to Farmers
Globally, food loss and waste prevention efforts at farm and production level are, in many respects, still in their infancy. Many growers around the world are not required to record or report on their post-harvest crop losses -- the dearth of data in this area makes it hard to determine exactly how much food never makes it beyond the farm gate. Source: Sustainable Brands, 1/29/18

NFL's super challenge: Recycling food wrappers and beer cups from 60,000 fans
From blinking cups to purses, NFL, the stadium aims for maximum recycling.  Source: Minneapolis StarTribune, 1/20/18

Monday, January 29, 2018
New Research Unveiled to Improve Accounting for Non-Hazardous Industrial Waste in the U.S.
Jonathan Krones, postdoctoral associate at Yale University, will debut the final results of his research to improve accounting for NHIW at GWMS. You can read his dissertation on the topic at Source: Waste360, 1/29/18

A new generation of organic waste systems and products
Nonprofits such as City Harvest and newcomer Rescuing Leftover Cuisine together move millions of pounds of uneaten food from local retailers to soup kitchens and homeless shelters per year. But such efforts barely make a dent in the 40% of United States food production that winds up in dumps, contributing to landfilled food's dubious distinction as the world's third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. The good news is that a new generation of systems and products is arriving to tackle organic waste on multiple and sometimes unexpected fronts. Source: Crain's New York, 1/29/18

Formaldehyde Voluntary Consensus Standards Final Rule
EPA is publishing a final rule to update several voluntary consensus standards listed at 40 CFR § 770.99 and incorporated by reference in the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products rule. These updates apply to emission testing methods and regulated composite wood product construction characteristics. Several of those voluntary consensus standards (i.e., technical specifications for products or processes developed by standard-setting bodies) were updated, withdrawn, and/or superseded through the normal course of business by these bodies to take into account new information, technology, and methodologies. Source: U.S. EPA, 1/29/18

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