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Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
The Body Shop to turn greenhouse gases into plastic packaging
The Body Shop packaging could soon be made from greenhouse gases that would otherwise pollute the atmosphere, thanks to a new research partnership between the retailer and cleantech firm Newlight Technologies. California-based Newlight is the proprietor of AirCarbon -- a thermoplastic that behaves the same as normal plastics but uses methane and carbon dioxide as its foundation rather than oil. The 'development partnership' between the two firms will see The Body Shop become the first company to try and industrialise AirCarbon in the beauty industry. Aircarbon is currently used by Dell in its laptop packaging. Carbon emissions are captured from farms, landfills and energy facilities and then fed into a reactor, where the fumes are catalysed by enzymes and turned into a substance called AirCarbon. This is then cooled and sliced into plastic pellets which can be moulded into almost anything. Source:, 2/2/16

Why Best Buy Changed its E-Waste Recycling Program
Best Buy this week changed its in-store e-waste recycling program, charging customers $25 for each TV and computer monitor they recycle at its stores, because it is losing money on the program.In Illinois and Pennsylvania, Best Buy says it no longer recycles TVs and computer monitors because of state laws preventing the retailer from collecting fees to help run the recycling program. Best Buy says consumers can continue to recycle all other products -- such as batteries, ink cartridges, computers and printers -- for free at all of its stores. Source: Environmental Leader, 2/3/16

OH: Proposed Medina Waste Mall could rejuvenate recycling efforts in the county
Officials from Medina County's three cities are intrigued by a proposal that would turn the former Central Processing Facility into a one-stop shop for mixed-waste recycling and upcycling. The Optiva Group presented its plan to create the Medina Waste Mall at a joint meeting of the Medina, Brunswick and Wadsworth city councils at Medina City Hall last night. Edmund Kwiecien, president and CEO of Optiva, explained that the waste mall would take residential garbage and transform it into recyclable materials, energy and new products -- all at the former CPF site. Kwiecien said the waste mall would be the first of its kind in the United States. "The recycling market is volatile. And the handling of waste is expensive," he said. That's why Optiva wants to keep its operations all under one roof, so that it can move the waste once, process it, make useful products out of it, then sell those products. Source:, 2/2/16

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
The elephant in the room for corporate emissions goals
Supply chain energy emissions make up the vast majority of corporate carbon footprints -- an issue covered by just 6 percent of recent corporate climate targets. Source: GreenBiz, 2/2/16

The State of Green Business, 2016
The ninth annual assessment of corporate sustainability progress offers good news about progress in the post-Paris world. Source: GreenBiz, 2/2/16

Friday, January 29, 2016
IL: Burdened by electronics, St. Charles eyes ending recycling program
ST. CHARLES -- The last of the Tri-Cities is on the verge of ending its electronics recycling site for Kane County due to an inundation of materials, which staff said is not only creating a burden on employees but is also posing safety concerns. Source: Kane County Chronicle, 1/27/16

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
California Implements Water Usage Tracker for Farmers
State regulators have reneged a historical provision allowing farmers, ranchers and utilities to not keep track of water usage rates. Source: FutureStructure, 1/20/16

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Notice of Intent: Establishment of an Inter-Tribal Technical Assistance Energy Providers Network
The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs (Office of Indian Energy) intends to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) in February, 2016 entitled "Establishment of an Inter-Tribal Technical Assistance Energy Providers Network". Source: Department of Energy,

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