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Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Friday, May 15, 2015
A Product Stewardship Approach to "Flushable" Wipes?
A group of wastewater and water quality associations is meeting with representatives of the nonwoven fabric industry (via a trade association known as the International Nonwovens and Disposables Association) to explore a "product stewardship approach." What, you ask? Take-back of leftover wipes? No, let's not go there. Instead, they have agreed to discuss the challenges that the wastewater agencies face and to tighten the requirements spelled out in the current Guidance Document for Assessing the Flushability of Nonwoven Disposable Products (third edition). A fourth edition is currently in the works. Source: Washington State Recycling Association, 5/13/15

Elsevier announces Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge
The Elsevier Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge is open to individuals or organisations operating in the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors from all countries. Projects can be in any field of Green or Sustainable Chemistry so long as they are applicable for use in developing countries. Projects which are within their early stage are preferred. The winning project in the Elsevier Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge will receive a single payment of € 50,000; the winner of the second prize will receive a single payment of € 25,000. Source: Environmental News Bits, 5/15/15

Thursday, May 14, 2015
Virality of sustainability through gamification
When it comes to sustainability, games can be used by industry to educate, train, empower and engage professionals, especially younger generations just entering the workforce. Source: Packaging Digest, 5/11/15

How MillerCoors is brewing more beer with less water
MillerCoors this week became the latest company to join Ceres' Connect the Drops campaign -- a business-led effort organized by Ceres seeking bolder measures and shared solutions to achieve a sustainable water future in California. Day-to-day, the company is also re-evaluating how water is used in various aspects of its operations. Source: GreenBiz, 5/13/15

CEA Announces New Record for eCycling Leadership Initiative: 660 Million Pounds Recycled in 2014
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has announced a new milestone for consumer electronics (CE) recycling under the eCycling Leadership Initiative (ELI): The responsible recycling of 660 million pounds of electronics in the United States in 2014, the CE industry's highest ever annual total. The U.S. is now recycling CE products in record numbers, according to the Fourth Annual Report of the eCycling Leadership Initiative -- a CE industry effort, led by CEA, to increase collaboration among CE manufacturers, retailers, collectors, recyclers, non-governmental organizations and governments at all levels and to continue to increase the industry's sustainability efforts. Source: Consumer Electronics Association, 4/30/15

State Electronics Challenge announces 2014 award winners
A dozen organizations have earned recognition for their efforts to purchase "green" electronics, reduce energy and paper use and responsibly divert e-scrap. The government and nonprofit organizations received awards through the State Electronics Challenge, a program managed by the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC). Those receiving awards for the first time include Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority, Chewonki Foundation, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and the City of Fort Collins. Source: Resource Recycling, 5/14/15

E-Scrap 2015: Refurb on the rise
At this year's E-Scrap conference, refurb experts from around the world will be on hand to discuss the growing industry importance of giving electronics a second life. While old CRT devices continue to account for the heaviest portion of the stream, volumes of lightweight and younger electronics, including smartphones and tablets, are growing. They're also posing the biggest opportunity yet for companies to maximize profit from repair and resale. Joining lively conversations surrounding reuse and repair issues, Kyle Wiens, iFixit founder and one of the nation's leading reuse advocates, will demonsrate live device tear-downs. A repair- and reuse-focused session led by Wiens will also take a look at the state of refurb in the U.S. and touch on why the legal fight to restore everyone's right to repair their own devices matters to the industry. Source: Resource Recycling, 5/14/15

OH: Got unwanted e-waste? Recycle it with the Reds
Reds right fielder Jay Bruce wants you to recycle your electronic waste. So do his teammates, Tony Cingrani and Todd Frazier, and a bunch of the Reds, actually. You've likely got some hanging around the house. An old computer. A busted television or camera. A tangle of cords or a gaggle of small home appliances. In Greater Cincinnati, the Reds, PNC Bank and a host of other local sponsors will make it easy to get rid of this often hazardous e-waste. For the next four days, you can load it up, head to a Players for the Planet location and volunteers will unload it for you. Source:, 5/13/15

Ohio's waste, recycling industry has $6.7B impact
Ohio's waste and recycling industry has a $6.7 billion annual impact on the state's economy, according to new data released Wednesday. The Ohio Chapter of the National Waste & Recycling Association said the industry generates nearly $6.7 billion in direct, indirect and payroll-induced economic activity. The association released the economic impact data in conjunction with its annual chapter meeting in Columbus. Source: Dayton Daily News, 5/13/15

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
The Power of Sustainability-First Design
For many companies, social responsibility seems to come as an afterthought. But if product developers are onboard, it can become the core of a business. Source: The Atlantic, 5/12/15

2015 Michigan Green Chemistry Governor's Awards Open for Nominations!
Have you used green chemistry to make an impact in your business, community, or school? You may be eligible for a 2015 Michigan Green Chemistry Governor's Award if you have designed or implemented an innovative project. Project examples include replacing or reducing a hazardous substance, reducing resource use, enhancing recyclability, or designing a safer chemical product or process. Nominations are due by July 17, 2015. Source: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, 5/12/15

Tenant Star: New national branding label for energy efficiency in commercial spaces
Tenant Star, a multi-year effort envisioned by the Real Estate Roundtable's Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC) was signed into law by President Obama recently. It is a significant win for the real estate industry as part of the Energy Efficiency Act of 2015, sponsored by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH). Tenant Star is a voluntary, cost free program to encourage energy efficiency in leased commercial spaces, which can account for 50 percent or more of a building's total energy usage. Designed to spur implementation of cost effective energy efficiency investments and best practices in commercial office spaces, Tenant Star will address a multi-billion dollar energy efficiency opportunity. Source: NRDC Switchboard blog, 4/30/15

NHL seeks sustainability on ice
Think about a typical ice rink and all the energy and resources it requires. There is the need for lighting, restrooms, locker rooms, concessions, heating, cooling and obviously the ice. The NHL has been working to reduce its environmental impact. Many of the same efforts can also be implemented at your local rink. Source: Great Lakes Echo, 5/12/15

The role of collaboration in implementing sustainability solutions
Solutions to sustainability challenges are often best arrived at through collective approaches. But how do networks and events facilitate? Source: The Guardian, 5/12/15

Monday, May 11, 2015
Study: Environmental exposure to hormones used in animal agriculture greater than expected
Research by an Indiana University environmental scientist and colleagues at universities in Iowa and Washington finds that potentially harmful growth-promoting hormones used in beef production are expected to persist in the environment at higher concentrations and for longer durations than previously thought. Source: Indiana University, 5/8/15

Thursday, May 7, 2015
Living with it: Climate change effort shifts
Minnesotans have taken a variety of steps that deal with climate change. But, as in each of these instances, those steps often deal less with reducing carbon emissions than with adapting to change that already has arrived in Minnesota. Source: Minnesota Public Radio, 2/2/15

Conference to Address Threats of E-waste, Toxic Chemicals
Over the next two weeks, 1,500 representatives from 180 countries will seek ways to reduce risks from hazardous chemicals and waste through the sustainable management of these potentially life-threatening substances. Source: Voice of America, 5/4/15

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