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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Monday, July 23, 2018
Exclusive: Starbucks and McDonald's team up to rethink cups
In the world of quick coffee, Starbucks and McDonald's are as fierce as competitors come. They're multibillion-dollar global giants, fighting for our caffeinated hearts through drizzles and discounts. But when it comes to the cup that coffee comes in, they're now on the same team. McDonald's and Starbucks are joining forces to build a fully recyclable, compostable cup of the future within the next three years--one that may include not just the cup itself, but a lid and straw to go along with it. Source: Fast Company, 7/17/18

Friday, July 20, 2018
REMADE funds plastics and e-scrap recycling research
Projects advancing plastics and scrap electronics recovery will receive funding through a federal initiative to save energy and support U.S. manufacturing. Source: Resource Recycling, 7/17/18

DIY: Managing Used Oil and Automotive Byproducts in the U.S.
In a multipart series this week, Rob Arner, consultant with Re-gain Enterprise, will examine the complexity of defining and regulating used oil and automotive byproducts. Read part two here. Read part three here. Source: Waste360, 7/18/18

Agricultural nutrients targeted in Clean Lake 2020 bill and Kasich Executive Order
Recent actions by the Ohio legislature and Governor Kasich will affect the management of agricultural nutrients in Ohio. The Ohio General Assembly has passed "Clean Lake 2020" legislation that will provide funding for reducing phosphorous in Lake Erie. Governor Kasich signed the Clean Lake 2020 bill on July 10, in tandem with issuing Executive Order 2018--09K, "Taking Steps to Protect Lake Erie." The two actions aim to address the impact of agricultural nutrients on water quality in Lake Erie. Source: Ohio Country Journal, 7/16/18

To combat sourcing risk, industry groups evaluate 37 material supply chains
Material Change, a new report commissioned by a coalition of automaker and supplier associations, evaluates 37 different commodities on a variety of risk categories to enable comparisons across materials and industries. Source: SupplyChainDive, 7/18/18

Biomass research is heating up
On July 18th, ISTC researchers B.K Sharma and Sriraam Chandrasekaran held an open house to demonstrate a biomass system they've developed with funding from the Illinois Department of Tranportation. The project's goal is to create a renewable, carbon-neutral heating system. The demonstration was organized to raise community awareness about biomass, as well as ISTC's renewable energy research. Source: ISTC Blog, 7/20/18

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
These new textile dyeing methods could make fashion more sustainable
Shoppers looking for their next great outfit make their selections on the basis of color, cut, style, and price. They may not know that dyeing clothes requires massive amounts of water, energy, and chemicals. Those chemicals are released in wastewater from dye houses and textile mills in places such as China, India, and Bangladesh. Reports of rivers with unnatural hues have inspired government crackdowns and sustainability pledges from international apparel brands. But changing this $3 trillion industry will require innovation that can be scaled up and adopted without cost or disruption for manufacturers. Read on to learn about greener ways to color clothes that may soon be available from your favorite retailer. Source: Chemical & Engineering News, 7/15/18

Software beats animal tests at predicting toxicity of chemicals
Machine-learning software trained on masses of chemical-safety data is so good at predicting some kinds of toxicity that it now rivals -- and sometimes outperforms -- expensive animal studies, researchers report. Source: Nature, 7/11/18

Tuesday, July 17, 2018
At Last, the Shipping Industry Begins Cleaning Up Its Dirty Fuels
By 2020, the global shipping fleet will be required to slash the noxious emissions from thick, sulfur-laden "bunker" fuel, a move that is expected to sharply reduce air pollution and prevent millions of cases of childhood asthma and other respiratory ailments. Source: e360, 6/28/18

Sustainability in Treasury: A View Beyond Financing
The stage is set for corporate treasurers to play a role in corporate sustainability efforts, writes HSBC's Lance Kawaguchi. "Treasuries have a responsibility to support the overall corporate sustainability strategy, but many may not realize that the organizations they deal with on a daily basis -- their banks -- can be a valuable source of information and assistance with this task," Kawaguchi writes. Source: HSBC, 7/10/18

TimberFish Launches IndieGoGo to Raise Trout on Brewery Waste and Wood Chips
Startup TimberFish Technologies has introduced a fundraising campaign to support its sustainable fish farming operation. Instead of feeding the fish traditional products, the company uses nutrient-rich wastewater from wineries and breweries, along with microbe-infused wood chips. Source: The Spoon, 7/12/18

Adidas pledges to ditch 'virgin' plastics by 2024
hoe and apparel manufacturer Adidas pledged Monday to cut out 'virgin' plastic from all its shoes and sportswear by 2024. Source: UPI, 7/16/18

Popcorn-Driven Robotic Actuators
Popcorn is a cheap, biodegradable way to actuate a robot (once). Source: IEEE Spectrum, 7/5/18

New tool to calculate nitrogen footprint offers guide to pollution reduction
Researchers have helped create the first tool to calculate the 'nitrogen footprint' of an organization. The tool will provide a guide to sustainability and pollution reduction for daily activities such as food consumption, travel and energy use. Source: Science Daily, 7/16/18

Monday, July 16, 2018
Food waste still a priority in latest Farm Bill
The Senate's latest Farm Bill draft -- passed as the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 on June 28 -- still contains multiple relevant items on food waste, according to analysis by the Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic. This includes $25 million in annual funding for composting and food waste reduction pilots with municipal governments in at least 10 states -- with a 25% matching requirement. A new amendment would also create an Interagency Biogas Task Force to study a broad range of barriers and opportunities in the sector, including landfills and anaerobic digesters. Other notable items for the industry include a USDA study on the volume and cost of food waste, with the provision that agency programs "do not disrupt existing food waste recovery and disposal by commercial, marketing, or business relationships." Multiple other items regarding spoilage prevention, food recovery and donation liability protections are also included. Source: WasteDive, 7/11/18

Factory tour: Eileen Fisher helps make the eco-fashion dream of circularity come true
An inside look at the brand's "Tiny Factory," where a meticulous sorting and record-keeping process transforms old clothes into new ones on a large scale. Source: Fashionista, 7/6/18

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