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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
China's recyclers eye looming electric vehicle battery mountain
After years of dismantling discarded televisions and laptops, a Shanghai recycling plant is readying itself for a new wave of waste: piles of exhausted batteries from the surge of electric vehicles hitting China's streets. The plant has secured licenses and is undergoing upgrades to handle a fast-growing mountain of battery waste, said Li Yingzhe, a manager at the facility, run by the state-owned Shanghai Jinqiao Group. Source: Reuters, 10/22/17

Presentations from AMO Workshop on Clean Water Processing Technology Research and Development, August 23-24, 2017
The Advanced Manufacturing Office hosted its second Workshop on Clean Water Processing Technology Research and Development from August 23--24, 2017, in Cleveland, Ohio. The reports and presentations are available to view and download at the link below. Source: DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office, 10/25/17

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Stella McCartney Is Weaving A New Way Forward
The designer has always eschewed leather, fur, and feathers in her collections. Now she is going even further. Will luxury fashion follow? Source: Fast Company, 10/18/17

Using LEED in transportation projects can lead to savings
Using LEED strategies in transportation facilities can help save project stakeholders significantly and lead to a higher return on investment, according to the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED in Motion: Transportation report. Source: Construction Dive, 10/20/17

Monday, October 23, 2017
Reducing power plants' freshwater consumption with Sandia's new silica filter
Power plants draw more freshwater than any other consumer in the United States, accounting for more than 50 percent of the nation's freshwater use at about 500 billion gallons daily. To help save this water, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a new silica filter for power plant cooling waters that decreases the amount of freshwater power plants consume by increasing the number of times cooling tower water can be reused and recycled. Source: Sandia National Laboratory, 10/18/17

California Passes First Cleaning Product Chemical Disclosure Law in U.S.
Cleaning product manufacturers that either do not make their products more sustainable and responsible will now be nudged to do so, or will have to disclose the exact chemicals used in their products by 2020 if their products will continue to be sold in California. Source: Triple Pundit, 10/17/17

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
A business prescription for reducing toxic chemical use
Amidst the conversation about the need for reduced use of toxic chemicals and greater investment in "greener" chemistries for products, industrial processes and supply chains, a core question is "What's the business case?" or sometimes simply, "What's in it for me?" A new compilation of case studies by the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at UMass Lowell and the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) offers some answers. Source: GreenBiz, 10/18/17

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Amazon, Microsoft and Google get low grades on recycling policy from Greenpeace
In a report from Greenpeace, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Samsung all received low grades in the area of resource consumption. Fairphone received the highest grade, followed by Dell, HP, Apple and Lenovo. The organization also released a detailed report card, broken down into categories and sub-categories, explaining how it assigned rankings. Source: Waste Dive, 10/17/17

IKEA signs circular economy deal
IKEA Finland has signed a deal with natural gas company Gasum to use food waste from its Finnish stores to produce biogas. Gasum gas stations will be built at Finnish branches of IKEA as part of the agreement, with the first one due to be in place at IKEA Espoo before the end of the year. Source: Innovators Magazine, 10/11/17

Evaporation could offer renewable energy
Natural evaporation could provide most of the electricity used by the US and also save about one fifth of the water it uses, scientists believe. Source: Climate News Network, 10/13/17

Cocktail tests on toxic waste called for
Surprisingly low concentrations of toxic chemicals -- from fungicides to antidepressants -- can change the way some aquatic creatures swim and feed, according to new research. In addition, depending on the cocktail of toxins they can produce unexpected results. Source: Science Daily, 10/16/17

Over Half a Trillion Soybeans Later, Ford Marks 10-Year Anniversary of Bio-based Foam
It has been 10 years since Ford Motor Company rolled out the 2008 Mustang with seats comprised of soy-based foam. Since then, the automaker says it has installed this bio-based form in at least 18.5 million cars that have rolled off the company's assembly lines. Source: Triple Pundit, 10/16/17

Exposure to environmental chemicals is an important risk factor for breast cancer
Exposure to environmental chemicals, especially early in life, is an important contributing factor in the development of breast cancer, according to the most comprehensive review of human studies to date. The findings could help inform prevention strategies aimed at reducing the incidence of the disease, as rates continue to increase worldwide. Source: Silent Spring Institute, 10/10/17

Wheat straw waste could be basis for greener chemicals
The straw leftover from harvested wheat could be turned into bio-based chemicals that offer high greenhouse gas savings and do not compete with food supplies or damage ecosystems. Source: Horizon, 10/10/17

Cities Should Think About Trees As Public Health Infrastructure
Planting trees is an incredibly cheap and simple way to improve the well-being of people in a city. A novel idea: Public health institutions should be financing urban greenery to support well-being and air quality. Source: Fast Company, 10/2/17

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