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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Friday, March 3, 2017
First 100 Percent Recyclable Carpet: A Sign of Hope In a Wasteful Industry
Mohawk's new Airo line is the first to meet the long-stated, lofty recycling goals of one of America's most wasteful industries. Whether it will herald a shift toward a circular economy for carpets, though, remains to be seen. Source: Triple Pundit, 3/3/17

Thursday, March 2, 2017
Sustainable Innovation: What's Good for the World Can Be Good for Business
It is the responsibility of science- and technology-based companies to work with customers and partners around the world to not only help solve their product challenges, but their environmental ones as well. When working environments are positively changed, it encourages ambition and innovation and results in increased certainty, reliability and new revenue streams from additional product lines. Source: Spend Matters, 3/1/17

How many chemicals are in use today?
No one, not even the Environmental Protection Agency, knows how many chemicals are in use today. EPA has more than 85,000 chemicals listed on its inventory of substances that fall under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). But the agency is struggling to get a handle on which of those chemicals are in the marketplace today and how they are actually being used. Source: Chemical & Engineering News, 2/27/17

Samsung and Greenpeace: what you need to know about e-waste
At the smartphone world's annual shindig in Barcelona, there are some things the tech giants have been trying to get people talking about -- the relaunch of the Nokia 3310, BlackBerry's new fingerprint scanner, Samsung's virtual reality headset. But there's another, less glamorous story that they haven't been so keen to promote. And that concerns the fate of their gadgets when consumers have finished with them. Source: The Guardian, 3/1/17

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
UL Environment, Green Electronics Council Unveil UL ECOLOGO/EPEAT Joint-Certification for Mobile Phones
UL Environment, a business division of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a global safety science leader, and the Green Electronics Council (GEC), managers of the EPEAT program, today announced a collaboration enabling mobile phones certified to the ANSI/UL 110 sustainability standard to also be featured on the EPEAT Registry, which is used by public and private institutional purchasers globally to identify and buy sustainable IT products. The UL ECOLOGO/EPEAT Joint Certification is now available for brands that wish to certify mobile phones to the latest version of the UL 110 standard and make them eligible for procurements and tenders that require EPEAT-registered products. Source: Green Electronics Council, 2/28/17

How to reduce the environmental impact of a loaf of bread?
With an estimated 12 million loaves sold in the UK every day, bread remains a staple of the British diet. In a groundbreaking study researchers from the University of Sheffield have now calculated the environmental impact of a loaf of bread and which part of its production contributes the most greenhouse gas. Source:, 2/27/17

Chicago goes 'back to basics' to boost dismal recycling rate
Chicago is launching a "back-to-basics" campaign to boost a recycling rate that has dropped to just 4.5 percent on the Southeast Side and 9 percent citywide since the rules were changed to "Go Bagless." Source: Chicago Sun-Times, 2/27/17

Groups fighting repeal of safety regs for industrial plants
A coalition of more than two dozen environmental justice groups is advocating against congressional repeal of recently released U.S. EPA safety regulations for chemical plants, oil refineries and thousands of other major industrial facilities. Source: E&E News, 2/27/17

Monday, February 27, 2017
Dell Ships First Recycled Ocean Plastics Packaging in Its Industry
Dell announces the technology industry's first shipment of ocean plastics packaging, the result of an innovative, commercial-scale pilot program. Dell recycled plastics collected from waterways and beaches for use in the new packaging tray for its Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, building on Dell's broader sustainable supply chain strategy. In 2017, its ocean plastics pilot will keep 16,000 pounds of plastic from entering the ocean. Dell will transition its award-winning XPS 13 2-in-1 to ocean plastics packaging beginning April 30, 2017. The company also will include educational information on its packaging to raise global awareness and action on ocean ecosystem health solutions, an area of shared interest between Dell, its Social Good Advocate, Adrian Grenier and the Lonely Whale Foundation. To help ensure the packaging does not end up back in the oceans, Dell will stamp each tray with the No. 2 recycling symbol, designating it as HDPE (which is commonly recyclable in many locations). Dell's Packaging team designs and sources its product packaging to be more than 93 percent recyclable by weight so that it can be reused as part of the circular economy. Source: Dell Inc., 2/22/17

Mardi Gras beads make a much bigger mess than you'd imagine
This article focuses on the life cycle of Mardi Gras beads. Source: Grist, 2/26/17

Friday, February 24, 2017
NASA's new efficient super computing facility will save 1.3 million gallons of water a year
The Electra system uses a fan technology that uses less than 10 percent of the energy of mechanical refrigeration systems in place at other supercomputing facilities. The system will save about 1 million kWh of electricity every year -- the equivalent of 90 households -- and 1.3 million gallons of water every year. Source: Treehugger, 2/22/17

Farming With the Power of Renewable Energy
This central Illinois farmer harvests the sun to use its energy on his operation. Source: Successful Farming, 2/23/17

Corporate Procurement Officers Say Sustainability Now Key Criteria For Purchases
Almost all procurement managers now look for sustainably-produced material in their purchases, according to a new survey -- which comes as analysis of corporate deforestation commitments shows a dramatic rise in disclosure. Also, companies that hopped early onto the sustainability bandwagon say it's paying off financially. Source: Ecosystem Marketplace, 2/10/17

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