The Complicated World of Cannabis Waste Generation

Read the two-part series in Waste360.

Part 1:
Covers stringent regulations and potential challenges around cannabis waste disposal.

Part 2:
Looks at potential packaging and labor relations issues as more states legalize recreational marijuana.

Can protecting land promote employment? In New England, the answer is yes

Read the full story at The Conversation.

Protecting land from development provides numerous ecological and social benefits, but many people debate whether it hurts or helps local economies. Some worry that land protection will inhibit economic growth by restricting local resource use or building opportunities. Others counter that land protection can support local economies because it promotes sustainable resource use, tourism and recreation and attracts new residents and businesses.

To assess these competing views, we looked at New England. Since 1990, these six states from Connecticut to Maine have protected more than 5 million acres of land, creating a unique natural experiment in conservation.

Our interdisciplinary team has developed quasi-experimental methods to evaluate conservation initiatives across the globe, and has studied the New England region in depth. Recently, we worked together to examine how land protection in New England affected key economic indicators for the 1,500 towns and cities in the region from 1990 through 2015.

Our results show that saving land can also help economies. Over those 25 years, land conservation moderately increased local employment numbers and the labor force, without reducing new housing permits.

Release Notes: A brand new home for crowdsourced projects

Read the full post at Muckrock.

We’ve launched a new homepage for MuckRock Assignments, our crowdsourcing tool that let’s you contribute your time, expertise, and curiosity to a journalistic investigation.

For previous site improvements, check out all of MuckRock’s release notes, and if you’d like to get a list of site improvements every Tuesday – along with ways to help contribute to the site’s development yourself – subscribe to our developer newsletter here.

Black plastics could create renewable energy

Read the full story from Swansea University.

Research from Swansea University has found how plastics commonly found in food packaging can be recycled to create new materials like wires for electricity — and could help to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the future.

Barry Callebaut’s Forever Chocolate Tops Sustainalytics Ranking

Read the full story at Candy USA.

Forever Chocolate, Barry Callebaut AG’s sustainability plan, was ranked number one in sustainability strategy for the packaged foods industry in Sustainalytics annual assessment of nearly 180 CPG companies, the supplier reports.

Tracking down climate change with radar eyes

Read the full story from the Technical University of Munich.

Over the past 22 years, sea levels in the Arctic have risen an average of 2.2 millimeters per year. This is the conclusion of a research team after evaluating 1.5 billion radar measurements of various satellites using specially developed algorithms.

Subway, Cornell University Students Partner to Reduce Restaurant Waste

Read the full story in Waste360.

The partnership will help further the brand’s commitment to reduce waste across the nation’s largest network of restaurants.

State Implementation of New EPA Standards for Maintenance of Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals: Drug Supply Chain Implications

Read the full story at JD Supra.

Earlier this year, the Environment Protection Agency (“EPA”) adopted a final rule imposing new standards for the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals (“HWPs”)[1] that goes into effect on August 21, 2019 (“Final Rule”).[2] This comprehensive overhaul of rules governing the treatment and discarding of HWPs under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) is largely intended to provide regulatory clarity and national consistency. However, many of the Final Rule’s core provisions must first be adopted at the state level within the next two to three years, meaning that inconsistencies could arise based upon each state’s interpretation and adoption of these provisions. This implementation process will therefore be critical to affected pharmaceutical supply chain entities, which will need to proactively engage state lawmakers to ensure efficient management operations.

Berkeley, Calif., Disposable Foodware Ordinance Clamps Down on Plastics

Read the full story in Waste360.

The ordinance, which will be phased in over time, requires food businesses to transition from plastic ware to compostable and/or reusable products.

Quality Assurance Handbook and Guidance Documents for Citizen Science Projects

Download the document.

This Handbook for Citizen Science Quality Assurance and Documentation is for organizations that are starting or growing a citizen science project, and where transparency in the scientific methods for collecting the data are central to the outcome of the project. It has two companion documents: Examples and TemplatesWe have provided a Word version of the templates to allow you to customize them. 

The Handbook explains the purpose of each of the templates. The Templates provide instructions, tables and questions, and the Examples provide specific examples of quality assurance documentation. Together, these documents will help your organization complete a Quality Assurance Project Plan and provide information for data users to evaluate the quality of data collected by citizen scientists.