More people, more trash? Rethinking waste from New York to Beijing

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

It would be difficult to find a more fundamental urban environmental issue than solid waste disposal. It is clear that effective waste management is essential to the development of sustainable cities. Many cities around the world are implementing innovative measures to deal with waste and are increasingly incorporating waste management into sustainability plans.

Got plants? Bio-based shoes, lingerie, auto parts and more

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

For all the hope of ridding our energy and transportation systems of petroleum dependence, there’s also the pesky little problem that so many materials that industry and consumers use day-to-day are made from petroleum: plastics; nylons; and fiberglass.

Lately, bio-based alternatives have begun making inroads. Now, businesses can buy durable plastic-like industrial materials without petroleum-based polymers. And consumers can — and do — buy grocery bags, cups, forks and spoons that act like plastic but are biodegradable and compostable. They can even buy soft, washable fabrics that seem like nylon but are made of plants and biodegrade. Even shoemakers are walking in this direction: Adidas AG’s Reebok unit is manufacturing a corn-based sneaker for sale later this year.

Dell Says the Circular Economy Is Good for Business: Q&A with Michael Murphy

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

At Dell, obsolete electronics are viewed as a resource rather than waste. In North America, the Dell Reconnect program with Goodwill Industries accepts computer equipment of any brand for refurbishment or recycling. Since 2008, the company reports that it has collected 1.6 billion pounds of electronics from its global take-back programs.

Scaling up is essential, especially to meet aggressive goals for incorporating post-consumer recycled content (PCR) into products, according to Michael Murphy, vice president of global product compliance engineering and environmental affairs at Dell Technologies. Murphy will be talking about the circular economy at the 2017 Environmental Leader Conference in June. Recently we caught up with him to find out how the world’s largest technology recycler is closing the loop.

Courting Disaster: Climate Change and the Adjudication of Catastrophe

Weaver, R. Henry and Kysar, Douglas A., Courting Disaster: Climate Change and the Adjudication of Catastrophe (May 8, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2965084

Abstract: Do we court disaster by stretching the bounds of judicial authority to address problems of massive scale and complexity? Or does disaster lie in refusing to engage the jurisgenerative potential of courts in a domain of such vast significance? This Article examines global climate change adjudication to shed light on these questions, focusing particularly on cases that seek to invoke the norm articulation and enforcement functions of courts. The attempt to configure climate-related harms within such substantive frameworks as tort and constitutional law is fraught with analytical and practical difficulties. Yet the exercise, we argue, is essential. Against the backdrop of a potentially existential threat, judges redeem the very possibility of law when they forthrightly confront the merits of climate lawsuits. Conversely, when they use weak preliminary and procedural maneuvers to avoid such confrontation, judges reinforce a sense of law’s disappearance into the maw of normative rupture.

 

Rita Allen Fellowship for Science Communication

WGBH and the Rita Allen Foundation have partnered to create the Rita Allen Fellowship for Science Communication. This is a unique, one-year opportunity for an innovative professional to study the field of science media, experiment with media formats, and work to expand science literacy among the public.

They are seeking candidates who are early-to mid-career science media producers, journalists, or working scientists with a commitment to science communication. The fellow will have an office at WGBH Boston, one of the pre-eminent science media producers in the US and home to the flagship public media science series NOVA.

Applications for the fellowship are due June 30, 2017, and selection of the fellow will be announced at the beginning of September 2017. The fellowship will begin by January 31, 2018 and last a year, and is a fulltime, paid position.

More information, including how to apply, can be found
 at http://www.wgbh.org/ritaallenfellowship, or by contacting us at raf2017@wgbh.org.

Triple Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable conference presentations now available

Did you miss the Triple Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable in Minneapolis last week? If so, you’ll want to check out the presentation slides and other resources, which are now available on the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable web site.

The conference featured Pollution Prevention 101 training, workshops on client engagement and materials substitution, and a hands-on technical tools session.

Food packaging gets smart – and poses a recycling nightmare

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Use of electronics in packaging is on the rise, raising questions about the recyclability of everyday products.