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Environmental News


Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Creative Distillers Tackle Food Waste, Redefining 'Getting Trashed'
Distillers like Misadventure Vodka and Ventura Spirits are getting creative when it comes to reducing food waste. Source: NPR, 10/3/17

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Too little is known about the compounds in wildfire smoke
How do fire-suppression chemicals and pesticides affect wildfire smoke and the health of those who breathe it? UC Davis graduate students discovered that this question cannot be answered based on current scientific evidence and, in a review published in "Current Topics in Toxicology," they recommend studies on the compounds in wildfire smoke. Source: The Davis Enterprise, 10/1/17

What would an entirely flood-proof city look like?
The wetter the better. From sponge cities in China to 'berms with benefits' in New Jersey and floating container classrooms in the slums of Dhaka, The Guardian looks at a range of projects that treat storm water as a resource rather than a hazard. Source: The Guardian, 9/25/17

Wal-Mart Steps Up Push to Shed Potentially Harmful Chemicals
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is expanding its program to clean up the products it sells, setting a 2022 target for reducing potentially harmful substances and widening the list of chemicals it wants to avoid. Source: Bloomberg News, 9/27/17

Cities need sustainable goods delivery plans
Many cities have developed strategies to move people more efficiently and safely within the urban environment. Much less attention has been paid to the importance of delivering goods to people at work and home. While conducting a recent research project, the GreenBiz Research team learned that city leaders need to broaden their perspective to understand the tradeoffs involved in moving people, as well as the goods and services they require, when planning for a healthy, safe and equitable urban environment. Source: GreenBiz, 9/26/17

Non-toxic flame retardant enters market, study suggests
Chemists have developed and patented an environmentally friendly way to produce flame retardants for foams that can be used in mattresses and upholstery. Unlike previous flame retardants made of chemicals containing chlorine, the new material is non-toxic and effective, researchers say. Source: Science Daily, 9/28/17

Could Evaporation Be a Significant Source of Renewable Energy?
One drawback of wind and solar power is intermittency, resulting in the need for energy storage. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, biophysicist Ozgur Sahin explains how evaporation from lakes and reservoirs could be transformed into a stable source of renewable energy. Source: E360, 9/28/17

Friday, September 29, 2017
El-egg-tronics: how egg white could help us make transparent, flexible devices
Materials scientists have found that egg white can be turned into a film-like substance that's perfect for making memory units. Researchers from Southwest University in China, led by Qunliang Song, showed that when egg white is mixed with hydrogen peroxide, a series of chemical reactions occur that allow the material to be turned into a film that can be used to make transparent, flexible resistive memory. Source: TechRadar, 9/29/17

French Lawsuit Takes on Printer Manufacturers and Planned Obsolescence
Whether it has become the norm in the manufacturing of home appliances or smartphones, planned obsolescence is both bad for consumers and bad for the environment. The concept that products should be designed so they will become quickly unwanted or unusable has become the reality in many industries. A French legal organization, Halte Ă  L'Obsolescence ProgrammĂȘe (HOP), says it has seen enough of this trend, particularly when it comes to printer manufacturers. Recently, HOP filed a lawsuit in a local French court against some of the world's most widely-known brands. The lawsuit alleges that Brother, Canon, Epson and HP are amongst companies deliberately shortening the lifespan of both printers and cartridges. The litigation claims these companies' alleged business practice of manufacturing goods that purposefully stop working not long after their purchase violates a law French legislators passed in 2015. Source: Triple Pundit, 9/29/17

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Drinking Water Isn't Safe for Millions of Americans. It's Up to States to Fix.
A new report documents what environmental advocates say has been happening for decades: The federal government fails to protect Americans from potentially cancer-causing chemicals. And they have little hope that will change anytime soon. Source: Governing, 9/14/17

How C&A created the world's first Cradle to Cradle T-shirt
In June, C&A, the international Dutch chain of retail clothing stores, launched a line of T-shirts certified to the Cradle to Cradle standard, meaning that they were designed and manufactured in a way that is benign to the environment and human health, and whose materials can be recirculated safely back into industrial materials or composted into the soil. Source: GreenBiz, 9/25/17

In practice: Network Rail's closed-loop partnership to recycle waste coffee grounds
By striking a partnership with coffee waste collectors, Bio-Bean enabled Network Rail to make steps in reducing waste at its station, and also got retailers and staff to boost coffee collection to be used for renewable power. Source: Edie.net, 9/22/17

How to Balance Competing Priorities in Manufacturing: Q&A with Eastman Chemical
In this interview, Sharon Nolen, Eastman Chemical Company's manager of global natural resources, discusses how she fosters an efficiency improvement mindset across the organization to save water, energy, and money Source: Environmental Leader, 9/25/17

Friday, September 22, 2017
Valspar: How we engaged stakeholders to solve the BPA dilemma
Bisphenol A (BPA)-based epoxy coatings are the most commonly used protective lining for metal food and beverage packaging. BPA-free campaigns from organizations such as the Breast Cancer Protection Partners, Clean Production Action and the Natural Resources Defense Council have raised awareness of and consumer demand for BPA-free products.

Consumer-facing food processors, can manufacturers and others who have relied on epoxy-lined cans for decades need to respond, but face the challenge of finding safe substitutes for BPA-based coatings that provide all the same functional benefits at reasonable cost.

Responding to this market opportunity, our company, Valspar, a major provider of linings to can manufacturers, undertook a novel approach to finding a safe, functional alternative that provides a promising model for how other companies might approach such challenges and opportunities. Source: GreenBiz, 9/8/17


GreenMantra Technologies, Sun Chemical Partner to Develop Polymers from Polystyrene Waste
GreenMantra Technologies, a clean technology company that produces polymer products from waste plastics, and Sun Chemical, a producer of printing inks, have agreed to partner to jointly develop polymers from recycled polystyrene waste for use in ink formulations. Source: Waste360, 9/22/17

Bake What We Knead: Solving the Problem of Excess Bread
What should be done about the extra bread flooding our markets and soup kitchens? Source: Civil Eats, 8/31/17



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