Day: September 8, 2020

Tommy Hilfiger Wants to Make Products ‘Fully Circular’ in Ambitious Sustainability Program

Read the full story at Footwear News.

Tommy Hilfiger is embarking on a new and ambitious sustainability program.

The American fashion label has announced the launch of “Make It Possible,” an initiative that sees the company commit to hitting two dozen targets centered on circularity and inclusivity. Among those goals, it seeks to make its products “fully circular”; “operate with sensitivity” to climate change, land use and chemical pollution; become more inclusive and “completely accessible” to all shoppers; and create equal access to opportunities within the company.

SPINS Points to Top Trends in Pet Products

Read the full story in Whole Foods Magazine.

In 25 years, American pet owners have increased their year-over-year spending by 450% and today, pet owners spend $49 billion on pet care products per year, according to SPINS.

The data-driven company has expanded it’s research and investments in the category with the announcement of its Neighborhood Pet Channel. SPINS Neighborhood Pet channel provides proprietary data insights and solutions for brands & retailers looking to drive innovation and growth with an eye for health and wellness.

Challenge to scientists: does your ten-year-old code still run?

Read the full story in Nature.

Missing documentation and obsolete environments force participants in the Ten Years Reproducibility Challenge to get creative.

Big problems for smallest Great Lake: More precipitation, warmer temperatures and controversial regulation plan upend life along Lake Ontario

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Flooding is the most conspicuous example of how a changing climate is having a profound effect on Lake Ontario. Drenching rains, wet winters, warmer air and water temperature, less ice cover and more runoff throughout the entire Great Lakes basin, scientists say, have formed a meteorological cocktail that has contributed to unprecedented lake levels, flood-producing storms and the degradation of the shoreline, both natural and developed.

More variability in conditions over shorter periods of time is pushing Lake Ontario — and all of the Great Lakes — as high as ever recorded in wet years, conditions that arrived only a few years after water levels were extremely low.

Webinar: Sustainable Issues and Opportunities for Handling End-of-Life PV Modules

Oct 22, 2020, 12:00 – 1:00 pm CDT 9:30-11 am CDT
Register here.

Currently, there are no national U.S. requirements for end-of-life PV modules. However, ideas for national and state recycling programs have been evaluated. This seminar will include a panel discussion on barriers, policies, and sustainable opportunities for end-of-life PV modules.

The U.S. Recycling System Is Flawed. Here’s How We Can Do Better

Read the full story in Discover.

Recycling materials correctly in the age of international restrictions and a pandemic isn’t easy.

When Fashion is Fungal

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Textiles have a big carbon footprint and then clog landfills when discarded. Could biodegradable clothes be a solution?

Toxics Release Inventory: Access to data about industrial chemical releases on or near tribal lands

This presentation covers how data from EPA’s TRI Program can help tribal communities and others interested in chemical releases on or near tribal lands. It includes an overview of TRI resources and opportunities for tribes and demos of two online tools for easily accessing chemical release data.

EPA Awards Nearly $5 Million for New Research on Managing PFAS in Agricultural and Rural Communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced $4.8 million in research funding to three institutions to better understand the potential impacts of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on water quality and availability in rural communities and agricultural operations across the United States. These grant awards build on the agency’s efforts to implement the PFAS Action Plan—the most comprehensive cross-agency plan ever to address an emerging chemical of concern.

“EPA supports cutting-edge research to help agricultural and rural economies better address the potential impact of PFAS on ranches, farms and rural communities,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This research helps our colleagues at the federal, state, and local level better understand the exposure risks of PFAS to private drinking water wells. This, in turn, will improve future disposal methods and treatment systems for the chemical.”

The grant recipient teams will look at major sources of PFAS contamination, fate, and transport in rural areas including exposure risks from private drinking water wells and improved wastewater treatment methods to remove PFAS from water and biosolids that may be used for agricultural purposes.

The following institutions received awards:

  • Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind., to develop a scalable platform for predicting PFAS occurrence in private wells to improve understanding of exposure risks to rural communities relying on private wells for their drinking water.
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., to investigate the occurrence of PFAS and their concentrations in private drinking wells and water resource recovery facilities in rural communities as well as the relative contribution of PFAS from land-application wastewater and biosolids to rural water supplies.
  • University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., to develop improved, cost-effective treatment systems with advanced technologies for the removal of PFAS from water, wastewater and biosolids to ensure safe water for drinking and agricultural applications in rural areas.

Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges

Background

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers facilitate the growth of crops, including corn, at yields that provide sustained global food production. However, fertilizers applied without consideration of the appropriate rate, timing, source, and method, can have harmful effects on the environment and human health. “Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer” (EEF) is a term for new formulations that control fertilizer release or alter reactions that reduce nutrient losses to the environment. EEFs and other next generation product technology innovations may be an important addition to a system of conservation practices that help reduce the impacts from row crop agriculture on the environment, while maintaining or increasing agricultural productivity and profitability.

Goal of the Two Challenges

To help mitigate these adverse effects, EPA is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to launch the Joint EPA-USDA Partnership and Competition on Next Gen Fertilizers to Advance Agricultural Sustainability in the United States. Along with EPA and USDA, the competition is in collaboration with The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).

This Partnership is being coordinated with input from stakeholders such as corn grower representatives, fertilizer companies, university researchers, and environmental and industry NGOs. This competition includes two challenges which aim to accelerate the development and use of existing and new product technologies that are affordable to reduce the environmental impacts of U.S. corn production. The results of the Partnership may ultimately be leveraged to improve production of other crops and in the U.S. and abroad.

1. EEFs: Environmental and Agronomic Challenge

This Challenge aims to identify existing EEFs currently on or near-market that meet or exceed certain environmental and agro-economic criteria.

Challenge Start Date: 9:00 AM ET, August 26, 2020

Challenge End Date: 11:59 PM ET, October 30, 2020

Prizes: Winners of the EEFs: Environmental and Agronomic Challenge will receive scientific evaluation and recognition from EPA, USDA, and other partners and participants; advancement to a greenhouse trial (Stage 2); and, pending greenhouse trial results and available funds, advancement to field trials (Stage 3). No monetary prize awarded. Winners of Stage 1 will also be invited to a showcasing event (date and location to be determined), where winners of both Challenges will share ideas and spark innovation.

Registration is not required prior to submission.

To participate and for more information go to the Challenge.gov page

2. Next Gen Fertilizer Innovations Challenge

This Challenge aims to identify concepts for novel technologies for fertilizers and other product technology innovations that can reduce the environmental effects from modern agriculture while maintaining or increasing crop yields. Submissions to the Next Gen Fertilizer Innovation Challenge may include technologies that are not currently on the market or technology concepts that are not traditional EEFs and not in commercial use as a fertilizer.

Challenge Start Date: 9:00 AM ET, August 26, 2020

Challenge End Date: 11:59 PM ET, November 30, 2020

Prizes: Winners of the Next Gen Fertilizer Innovations Challenge will receive minimum $10K award per winner from a total prize purse of $40,000 and be invited to the showcasing event (date and location to be determined), where winners of both Challenges will share ideas and spark innovation.

Registration: Solvers are REQUIRED to register for this Challenge.

To register, enter and for more information go to the Challenge.gov page

Informational Webinar

An informational webinar for the two Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges will be held on September 24, 2020 at 10:00 AM – 11:00AM ET. This webinar will walk through the details of the Challenges and allow time for questions and answers with technical leads from the Partner and Collaborator organizations. Participation in the informational webinar is not required for either challenge.

Sign up* for the webinar here. 

*Signing up for the informational webinar does NOT register you for the Next Gen Innovation Challenge. Registration for the Challenge must be competed via InnoCentive.

Contact Information

If you have questions about the the Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges email Question_NextGenFertilizerChallenges@epa.gov.

To help raise awareness of the Challenges, please use #NextGenFertilizerChallenges in your social media posts. 

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