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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Replacing LED light bulbs before they fail may be greener
Households can reduce their energy bills and cut their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions by switching to more efficient lighting, but what's the best strategy to maximize savings in cost, energy and emissions? Should we buy our new bulbs today or wait for further improvements to the technology? Having considered the options in detail, researchers based at the University of Michigan, US, have drawn up a list of household lighting guidelines to help us make the right decision. Source: EnvironmentalResearchWeb, 2/12/18

Responsible Battery Coalition Launches 2 Million Battery Challenge at U.S. Senate Auto Caucus Briefing on Sustainability
A coalition of leading vehicle battery manufacturers, recyclers, retailers and users dedicated to the responsible manufacturing, use and reuse of vehicle batteries launched an initiative today to recover 2 million more batteries with the goal of achieving a recycling rate of 100%. The campaign, called the 2 Million Battery Challenge, is an effort to engage consumers to bring their used vehicle batteries to the nearest participating auto parts retailer to have them properly recycled. Source: Responsible Battery Coalition, 2/11/18

Could plant-based plastics help tackle waste pollution?
We know that plastic waste is a big problem for the planet -- our oceans are becoming clogged with the stuff and we're rapidly running out of landfill sites. Only 9% is recycled. Burning it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. So could plant-based alternatives and better recycling provide an answer? Source: BBC, 2/9/18

Walgreen's Navigates National Waste Regulations: Q&A with Senior VP Rick Gates
In early 2016, Walgreens launched a safe medication disposal program in the United States, installing kiosks at 600 stores where customers could deposit unwanted pharmaceuticals. That continuous national effort was a first, not just for one of the country's largest drugstore chains, but for any retailer in the country. Environmental Leader recently interviewed Rick Gates, senior vice president of pharmacy and healthcare, to learn about the start of the program, the regulatory challenges that had to be addressed along the way, and how Walgreens plans to expand accessibility in the future. Source: Environmental Leader, 2/9/18

Friday, February 9, 2018
These Farms Are Testing A Low-Tech Pesticide Alternative: Flowers
To make sure more beneficial bugs come to their fields to feed on pests, farmers are planting them homes in the middle of their fields. (Extra bonus: It looks beautiful.) Source: Fast Company, 2/5/18

Thursday, February 8, 2018
Talking Sustainability, Soup And Stout With Campbell's Dave Stangis
Fortune Magazine recently spoke with Dave Stangis, ice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer at Campbell, to learn about his approach to setting big sustainability goals, the role of technology and innovation in building a more sustainable food system, and which kind of beer goes best with a bowl of soup. Source: Forbes, 2/5/18

No More Dunkin' those Donuts in Foam Cups, Come 2020
Dunkin' Donuts plans to begin phasing out polystyrene foam cups beginning this spring, planning to have completely eliminated polystyrene cups from its global supply chain by 2020. While the majority of Dunkin' Donuts' international markets are currently using paper cups, the company will work to replace foam cups with a new, double-walled paper cup throughout its US stores as quickly as manufacturing capabilities can get up to speed. Dunkin' Donuts has been searching for a suitable -- and affordable -- replacement for polystyrene cups since 2011. Source: Environmental Leader, 2/7/18

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Green chemistry is theme for 2019 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science
The Franklin Institute seeks nominations for the 2019 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science of individuals who have made significant contributions to green and sustainable chemistry--chemistry focused on the technological design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Objectives of green and sustainable chemistry include: minimizing the use of chemical raw materials, reducing waste, lowering the toxicity of utilized chemicals, and improving lifecycle through the use of more sustainable or renewable raw materials to produce fuels or chemicals, thereby minimizing the environmental impact of chemical processes. Prize is $250,000 USD. Submission deadline is May 31, 2018. Source: Franklin Institute, 2/7/18

Feeding America Teams with DoorDash to Combat Food Waste
Two U.S.-based companies are looking to combine their expertise in delivering meals and identifying those who need them to help combat both hunger and the food waste issues across the country. Source: Waste360, 2/7/18

How lithium-ion electric car batteries could still power your home once they've run out of zap
Anticipating an influx of lithium-ion battery waste as electric vehicles become more popular and common, researchers in Australia are working with companies to improve battery storage technology, as well as looking at ways of reusing batteries once they run out of steam for an energy-intensive car engine. Source: ABC News (Australia), 2/6/18

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
The Lego Group Joins How2Recycle for Clearer Toy Packaging Recycling
The Lego Group has joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition's How2Recycle program, announcing plans to begin labeling the toy packaging for US consumers this year. Source: Environmental Leader, 2/5/18

Biodegradable Plastics: Yes or No?
When it comes to sustainable packaging, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. It's important for brand owners, food producers and manufacturers to consider very carefully what packaging format they use and to make an informed decision based on the reality of our current waste management infrastructure and level of public understanding, says Richard McKinlay, head of circular economy at resource recovery specialist Axion. "They also need to understand what actually happens to their materials at end-of-life and what their environmental impact could be." Source: Environmental Leader, 2/5/18

From Scraps To Snacks: Pulp Left Over From Juice Bars Is Reborn In New Foods
Cold-pressed juice fills refrigerator cases at juice bars, health food shops, even big box stores -- especially at the beginning of the year, when people are trying to "cleanse" after holiday excess. Fans of these elixirs, extracted at high pressure and low temperatures, believe they contain more nutrients and enzymes than conventional juices; they now generate $500 million in sales worldwide each year. But what happens to all the parts of the fruits and vegetables that are left over after juicing? Once thrown out as compost, that fiber is now sneaking its way into snacks, breakfast foods and even burgers. Source: NPR, 2/2/18

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