Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Corking climate change: sustainable practices bear fruit in champagne production
For some vineyards in France, employing green practices in their winemaking is as important as protecting the use of the term 'champagne'. Source: The Guardian, 12/31/15

Millions of people being contaminated with toxic mercury used in mines
The largely unregulated use of mercury has created a major worldwide environmental hazard. Source: CBC, 12/30/15

20th Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference: Call for Papers Now Open
Call for papers for the 20th GC&E Conference, held June 14-16, 2016 in Portland, Oregon, will be open from January 4, 2016 through February 15, 2016. Held by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute, this event is the premier conference on green chemistry and engineering. Hundreds of participants from industry, government, and academia come together every year to share research as well as education and business strategies to ensure a green and sustainable future. Abstracts are due by February 15, 2016. Source: American Chemical Society, 1/4/16

Top 7 circular economy moments of 2015
It's been two steps forward and one back -- or maybe the other way around -- in progress toward a circular economy. Source: GreenBiz, 1/5/16

Synthetic turf industry lobbies up in safety fight
The synthetic turf industry is retaining lobbyists to defend against allegations that some of its materials could be toxic. Source: The Hill, 1/4/16

Friday, December 18, 2015
China's Notorious E-Waste Village Disappears Almost Overnight
Just days after the Dec. 1 order for all 3,000 remaining unregulated electronic-waste workshops to move to a newly built industrial park or face power cuts, the smell of burning plastic from the few waste fires smoldering on the roadside still hangs heavy in the air around Guiyu. Yet the visual reminders of the notorious village are largely absent. Source: Bloomberg BNA, 12/16/15

Colorado State Chemists Develop Recyclable, Biodegradable, Petroleum-Free Plastic
Chemists at Colorado State University (CSU) have developed a new biodegradable polymer. The plastic is made from the bio-renewable monomer Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) and it converts back to GBL when heated -- ready for reuse. The new material, called poly(GBL), could represent a fully recyclable and biodegradable alternative to petroleum-based materials. Source: Sustainable Brands, 12/15/15

Thursday, December 17, 2015
California reaches $26-million settlement with Comcast over electronic waste
Cable television giant Comcast Corp. has agreed to pay the state of California $25.95 million to resolve allegations that the company unlawfully disposed of electronics, including remote controls, modems, splitters and routers. California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris and Alameda County Dist. Atty. Nancy E. O'Malley on Tuesday announced the settlement with Comcast. The company, based in Philadelphia, had been "careless" in disposing materials that are considered hazardous waste, Harris said in a statement. The state's investigation showed that, since 2005, Comcast warehouse and dispatch workers in Northern California had unlawfully disposed of electronic equipment by sending it to local landfills. The investigation began four years ago. The probe also found that Comcast had not taken proper steps to shield private information about customers when it destroyed some subscriber records. Source: Los Angeles Times, 12/17/15

Tuesday, December 15, 2015
To Go Green, Bars Try To Reuse Their Booze
Just as the restaurant industry has been waking up to its significant contribution to the food waste problem -- and coming up with creative solutions -- bartenders are realizing they can also turn some of their waste into something useful. It's just one dimension of the new sustainability movement in the drinking industry that's seeking ways to reduce water use, packaging waste and energy. Source: NPR, 12/14/15

P2 Impact: These businesses are coloring a triple win for industrial painting
In the latest P2 Impact column, MnTAP's Monique Dubos and Jon Vanyo discuss how businesses that operate paint lines can save time and money while reducing their hazardous air pollutant emissions. Source: GreenBiz, 12/14/15

Monday, December 14, 2015
Regulation-Driven Innovation
This article provides a review of some of the most relevant regulatory changes and trends in the silicone industry, demonstrating how research and development (R&D) efforts have risen to the challenges that these new regulatory demands have presented. Improvements and solutions that positively impact human and environmental health and safety have clearly been driven by regulatory mandates, and will undoubtedly continue to influence R&D and innovation into the future. Source: Paintings & Coatings Industry, 10/1/15

Environmental Group Launches Initiative for Pharmaceutical Producer Responsibility
The environmental group As You Sow has launched a waste initiative aimed at making major pharmaceutical companies take responsibility for the collection and disposal of unused and expired drugs and accessories. Source: Waste360, 12/11/15

Corporate sustainability is growing up, but can it evolve?
Many companies have reached the highest levels of the five stages of sustainability, but experts see a growing gap between these and those that have yet to evolve. Source: GreenBiz, 12/14/15

Other Environmental News

GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).


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