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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

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

Thursday, September 21, 2017
New Beer Saves Food From Landfills
The United Kingdom-based Toast Ale is brewing beer from leftover bread and is using its profits to fund the nonprofit Feedback. The company, launched in 2015, expanded to the United States by launching in New York City in July 2017. In NYC, Toast Ale is also available for delivery in as little as an hour via FoodKick. Source: Foodtank, 8/10/17

Warriors Against Waste: These Restaurants And Bars Are Aiming For Zero
Zero waste has become a sort of buzzword in the foodie world recently. From San Francisco to New York, London to Amsterdam, restaurateurs are challenging themselves to reduce the staggering amount of food waste that the industry generates (an estimated 571,000 tons annually by U.S. restaurants alone) and the amount of other resources they use -- including electricity and water. From rejecting plastic straws to making byproducts like whey the star of a meal -- restaurants are approaching that challenge in different ways. Source: NPR, 9/14/17

Flint water crisis led to lower fertility rates, higher fetal death rates, researchers find
Flint's lead-contaminated water crisis caused fewer babies being born there -- through reduced fertility rates and higher fetal death rates -- compared with other Michigan cities during that time, according to a working paper that includes a University of Kansas researcher. Source: University of Kansas, 9/20/17

Thursday, September 14, 2017
New spill tracker enlists crowd to help monitor pollution after hurricanes
The SkyTruth Spill Tracker collects pollution reports in one place and makes the information available to the public as well as the relevant authorities. Source: Civic Hall, 9/11/17

Has the Sustainable Fashion Industry Reached a Tipping Point?
In the world of environmental management, hearing about clothing manufacturers chasing sustainable textiles, processes, and supply chains is nothing new. But the latest annual, elite fashion-fest in the Big Apple, New York Fashion Week, may just be an indication of how far the industry has come, with the Huffington Post gushing that "sustainable fashion is the next fashionable thing." Source: Environmental Leader, 9/12/17

A cruise ship's emissions are the same as 1 million cars: report
A luxury cruise vacation may sound like a perfect dream holiday, but a German environmental organization says that in terms of environmental impact, the industry is an absolute nightmare. Source: CBC Radio, 9/6/17

Atop a Manhattan Convention Center, a Harvest of Honey
New York City's Javits Convention Center has something on its green roof that you might not expect -- an apiary. Source: New York Times, 9/10/17

Industrial Companies, Municipalities 'De-risk' Existing Water Supplies w/Wastewater Reuse Plans
Climate volatility has led to an increasing focus on resiliency and water supply risk, both for companies and municipalities, and that focus is driving investment in water reuse/reclaimed wastewater solutions. While much of the focus has centered on municipal utilities, industrial companies are also expanding their role in water reuse adoption to supplement their ongoing water needs, according to a new report from Bluefield Research. Source: Environmental Leader, 9/13/17

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Can Congress cut food waste? It depends on the success of this bill
For decades, the federal government has regulated how landfills operate, how air and water are protected and how dangerous sites are cleaned up. However, the federal government has yet to implement a national policy on how to handle food waste. The lack of federal guidance on food waste has left the U.S. with a patchwork of food waste solutions, with some states, like New Jersey, pursuing ambitious food waste goals -- while others seem to all but ignore the issue. Now with the introduction of the Food Recovery Act (H.R. 3444), a vision of what could become the first national food waste policy is taking shape. A similar measure was introduced in 2015, but did not make it out of committee. Source: Waste Dive, 8/14/17

New study: Corn's environmental impact varies greatly across the U.S.
New research from the University of Minnesota drills down to the county-level impact of corn production, connecting it for the first time to where corn likely winds up -- based on the facility-specific demand of large-scale U.S. corn consumers, which include meat and ethanol producers. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the innovative research reveals that the environmental impact of corn varies significantly across geographic consumption locations of sectors and individual producers. Source: University of Minnesota, 9/5/17

Hotel Buffets, a Culprit of Food Waste, Get Downsized
Though no good data exists yet about how much hotels or their buffets specifically contribute to overall food waste totals, the thinking is that hotels are an ideal place to raise awareness and change behaviors around sustainability issues, as they have for water conservation. Source: New York Times, 9/8/17

Monday, September 11, 2017
Measurement, Motivations And Opportunities To Waste Less Food
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality releases findings on psychological, socio-economic and structural drivers that contribute to generation of preventable wasted food in households. Source: Biocycle, September 2017

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