Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Thursday, June 26, 2014
EPA Releases Final Risk Assessment on TCE
The EPA has released a final risk assessment for trichloroethylene (TCE), a chemical the agency says may harm human health and the environment. Source: Environmental Leader, 6/26/14

Innovative farm energy projects clash with Wisconsin policy
Central Wisconsin has rolling fields, numerous dairies and potential new sources of energy. Source: Great Lakes Echo, 6/26/14

Ready for chemical alternatives assessment? The IC2 can help
In the most recent P2 Impact article, Topher Buck from NEWMOA discusses how The Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse's guide helps states and companies promote better product design and prevent regrettable substitution. Source: GreenBiz, 6/26/14

"In 10 Years, I Want to Walk Again": How a Worker Making Circuit Boards Got Sick--and Is Holding Samsung Accountable
While manufacturing circuit boards for Samsung, Hye-kyeong Han was diagnosed with a brain tumor, leading her to undergo a number of surgeries and radiation treatments. She was just 26 years old. Source: Yes Magazine, 6/1/14

Ontario: The Race to the Bottom Part 2 -- Death of a Recycler
Sims Recycling Solutions -- the world's largest e-waste recycler -- has announced that it is leaving Canada closing plants in Langley, British Columbia, Mississauga, Ontario and Laval, Quebec. At a time when e-waste volume is growing faster than all other waste streams and the e-waste recycling business should be booming, 250 people employed in Canada's "green economy" will lose their jobs on July 31st 2014. What led to this? The advent of e-waste product stewardship in Ontario in 2009 reduced Sims' client base from thousands of generators to one customer -- Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES). Source: Solid Waste & Recycling Blog, 6/24/14

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Shift to a circular economy is under way, from crop waste to solar
In reality, there are no scarce resources, we just make them scarce. Through new supply chains, technology and policy, we can secure a future for generations. Source: The Guardian, 6/25/14

'Chemical-free' cleaning is trending in the commercial sector
Will greener cleaning methods, such as salt-based split stream water technology, replace conventional powders and bleaches? Source: The Guardian, 6/25/14

Why sustainability leadership requires advocacy
The next phase of sustainability leadership will be claimed by those who harness advocacy to fix policy roadblocks. Source: GreenBiz, 6/24/14

The three stages of scaling up sustainable innovation
It's a long, hard road from the a-ha moment to making innovation work on a large scale. Forum for the Future sees the way. Source: GreenBiz, 6/25/14

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Manufacturers: Sustainability is Everyone's Responsibility
Manufacturers discussed their efforts to work within the sustainability supply stream and urged both upstream and downstream manufacturers to do the same at the Sustainable Manufacturer and Water 2.0 Conference & Exhibits in Chicago, according to Sustainable Manufacturer Network. Source: Environmental Leader, 6/24/14

EPA's Proposed Clean Power Plan to Affect these 5 Sectors the Most
On June 2, 2014, the EPA, under President Obama's Climate Action Plan, proposed an initial guideline to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. A sustainable workforce boom is perhaps on the horizon. Here are the top 5 job sectors that are expected to benefit the most from the proposed plan. Source: Environmental Leader, 6/24/14

Study looks at business benefits from cradle to cradle certification
A study of ten companies including Puma and Ecover shows the impact that optimising products for the circular economy has on environment and bottom line. Source: The Guardian, 6/24/14

It's time to start taking natural capital into account
The World Wildlife Fund estimates that not even two planets will be enough to support material needs by 2030. Time to bring in the accountants. Source: The Guardian, 6/24/14

Monday, June 23, 2014
How to make sustainable, green habits second nature
Good intentions are great, but wanting to do the right thing isn't enough. Here are some tips to alter behaviour for the long-term. Source: The Guardian, 6/23/14

Developing a Sustainability Plan
One body shop's sustainability plan helped meet environmental goals and created customer confidence and loyalty. Source: FenderBender, 6/1/14

Defining "Zero" Waste
A look at the different between waste management and materials management in zero waste plans. Source: The Circular File, 5/26/14

How to Take Care of Your Laptop Battery the Right Way
You probably know a few tricks for extending your laptop's battery life--whether it's dimming the screen or switching off Wi-Fi--but there are plenty of other ways you can and should look after its long-term health too. Here's how to get the most juice out of your laptop by following just a few simple rules. Source: Gizmodo, 6/23/14

Brazil braces for increase in e-waste as fans upgrade TVs for the World Cup
Brazilians without World Cup tickets are at home watching the action on new televisions. reports the demand for newer and bigger TVs has spiked during the months leading up to the tournament and Brazil's National Association for Electronics Producers expects to sell 16 million TVs this year. To compare, Brazillians bought 12.2 million televisions in 2010 to watch the last World Cup, held in South Africa. But all of these new TVs mean a lot of old, trashed electronics. Source: PBS News Hour, 6/13/14

The strange science behind design: materials from unusual sources
From clothing made from crab compounds to recycled blue jeans worked into your Ford Fusion, innovation in textile manufacture and design is getting weirder -- and more sustainable. Source: The Guardian, 6/20/14

A minute with B. K. Sharma and Nancy Holm, experts on plastics
On June 10, Illinois became the first state to ban plastic microbeads from consumer products, effective in 2017. Similar bans are pending in the California and New York legislatures. B.K. Sharma and Nancy Holm, researchers at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, talked about how plastic microbeads affect health and the environment in an interview with News Bureau physical sciences editor Liz Ahlberg. Source: University of Illinois, 6/16/14

Antibacterial Soap is Fouling Up Sewage Treatment Systems
Triclosan is an indiscriminate killer, wiping out bacteria even in places where microbial communities are hard at work keeping us healthy, like sewage treatment plants. Source: Nova Next, 6/20/14

Friday, June 20, 2014
300 potential jobs from e-waste re-use, says report
Some 300 manufacturing jobs could potentially be created by re-using restored electronic waste which is otherwise thrown out each year, a new report from the University of Limerick (UL) suggests. Entitled "Re-Evaluate: Re-use of Electrical and Electronic Equipment," the report found that each year, Ireland recycles about 35,000 tonnes of electrical and electronic equipment, which equates to about 7.5 kg for every person in the country. Source: Silicon Republic, 6/17/14

A technology park bets big on energy innovation
The City of Bloomington, Ind., has big plans for a parcel of land in its bustling downtown. Source: GreenBiz, 6/19/14

6 steps to create shared value in your company
What would it take to redirect the popular understanding of Creating Shared Value back to a basic business principle, applicable to all the company's activities and employees? Source: GreenBiz, 6/20/14

CDP, WRI and WWF aim for science-based carbon targets
CDP, WRI and WWF join forces to back carbon goals based on science, not corporate convenience. Source: GreenBiz, 6/20/14

Battery groups introduce model recycling bill
The Corp. for Battery Recycling (CBR), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA) and Call2Recycle have unveiled what the four groups are calling a model bill for battery recycling. Source: Recycling Today, 6/18/14

Conflict minerals' child labor problem
If your company sources tin, tantalum and tungsten from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes Region, chances are children are working in your supply chain. The production of these minerals is predominantly done at artisanal and small-scale mines, where manual labor and rudimentary methods are used to extract, transport and sell the minerals, which are found in many of our most familiar objects, such as cell phones, televisions, computers, cars and airplanes. If left unaddressed, child labor presents a significant risk to downstream companies sourcing these minerals. Source:, 6/20/14

New group to manage R2 Standard
Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI), based in Boulder, Colorado, has recently been formed to succeed R2 Solutions, also based in Boulder, in managing and promoting the R2 (Responsible Recycling Practices) Standard. Meanwhile, R2 Solutions will cease operations, and its staff, the board of directors, the R2 Technical Advisory Committee, the R2 Standard and supporting documents and all other assets will be transferred to SERI. In addition to managing the R2 Standard, SERI's expanded scope includes sponsoring and supporting electronics recycling projects in developing countries, education and outreach campaigns on the need for responsible recycling and other activities. Source: Recycling Today, 6/18/14

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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