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Environmental News


Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Bio-renewable process could help 'green' plastic
Plastics are often derived from petroleum, contributing to reliance on fossil fuels and driving harmful greenhouse gas emissions. To change that, scientists are trying to take the pliable nature of plastic in another direction, developing new and renewable ways of creating plastics from biomass. Source: Science Daily, 1/21/18

In Defense of Source Reduction
Recycling is all well and good, but let's not forget about what could come before. Source: Waste360, 1/22/18

Low carbon and high tech put auto sector in flux
A new report 'Driving disruption' analysing 16 of the world's largest publicly-listed automotive companies with a total market capitalization of US$790 billion reveals that the industry must adapt rapidly to address technological disruption and environmental regulation or risk falling behind. Source: Carbon Disclosure Project, 1/18/18

Certified Sustainable Beef
The Certified Sustainable Beef Frame­­work released December 7 by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) is the set of documents that Canadian beef producers and primary processors will be able to follow to prove their operations are sustainable, chart improvement through the years, and help consumers sort out questions about sustainability. Source: Canadian Cattlemen, 1/16/18

Friday, January 19, 2018
Grocery store program improves farmers' adoption of environmental practices
In one of the first analyses of a company-led sustainability program in the food and agriculture space, researchers found a major grocery chain fostered increased adoption of environmental practices at the farm level. Source: Science Daily, 1/9/18

California's water saving brings bonus effects
Water-saving measures in California have also led to substantial reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and electricity consumption in the state. Source: EnvironmentalResearchWeb, 1/17/18

Minnesota Out Front on Addressing Nitrogen Problems
Minnesota is the first state in the nation to try telling farmers how to apply fertilizer to their crops. Source: Minnesota Public Radio, 12/28/17

Thursday, January 18, 2018
McDonald's makes the move to sustainable packaging
McDonald's Corp. has pledged to use more sustainable packaging in its restaurants around the world. By 2025, 100 percent of the company's customer packaging will come from renewable, recycled or certified sources with a preference for Forest Stewardship Council certification. The company also has set a goal to recycle packaging at all of its restaurants by 2025. Source: Meat + Poultry, 1/16/18

Results from Iowa Waste Characterization Study Jump-Start Diversion Conversations
About 70 percent of landfilled waste in the State of Iowa could potentially be diverted through new and expanded reuse, recycling and composting programs. This was a finding of Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Imagine Chemistry 2018 is open
AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals has announced the challenges for its latest Imagine Chemistry program, which has fast become a key element of the company's collaborative innovation approach. The 2018 edition calls for solutions within the following six areas: Sustainable small particle technologies; Wastewater-free chemical sites; Intelligent chemical plants; Revolutionizing chlorate production; Sustainable powder technologies; Zero footprint surfactant platforms. Source: AkzoNobel, 1/10/18

Thursday, January 11, 2018
McDonald's Agrees to Global Phase-Out of Polystyrene Packaging; As You Sow Claims Credit
McDonald's has agreed to end the use of polystyrene foam packaging globally by the end of this year, says shareholder advocacy group As You Sow. A proposal filed by As You Sow urging the company to phase out of polystyrene was supported by 32% of shares voted in May 2017, the group says. Source: Environmental Leader, 1/10/18

Filtering Water Better than Nature
Water passes through human-made straws faster than the gold standard protein, allowing filtration of seawater. Source: U.S. Department of Energy, 1/6/18

Rewritable paper goes technicolor
The paper industry has a significant environmental impact, from cutting down trees for raw material to consuming large amounts of energy and water to process that material. To curb that impact, chemists have been working on rewritable paper technologies that would allow people to print on a sheet of paper with special inks and then erase them to reuse the paper. Source: Chemical & Engineering News, 1/9/18

Videos from Midwest Food Recovery Summit now available
The first ever Midwest Food Recovery Summit was held September 6-8, 2017 in Des Moines, IA. Attendees from 18 states including Washington D.C. and Ontario joined together for two-and-a-half days of keynote presentations, breakout sessions, networking, and events. Watch the videos from the summit at the link below. Source: Iowa Waste Reduction Center, 1/5/18

Understanding Green Tribology
The study of tribology combines both the studies of science and technology to understand how surfaces interact in a relative motion and how these interactions can cause a variety of subsequent effects to the materials involved. These surface interactions can often result in friction, wear and corrosion to the materials, all of which can cost companies and governments large amounts of money each year to repair. As the rise of new technologies and experimental techniques have lead to more specific characterizations within the field of tribology, green tribology has also recently been introduced as an emerging aspect of this important field. Source: AZO CleanTech, 1/5/18

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