Day: October 7, 2020

Maryland will become the first state to ban foam food service products

Read the full story at CNN.

This week Maryland will become the first state in the US to ban the use of foam containers for carryout.

The law, which was approved during the 2019 state legislative session, will go into effect on October 1 and includes items such as cups, plates, carryout containers and trays. The law affects food service as well as other businesses and institutions that use these products, such as schools.

“All for Reuse” Looks to Cut Embodied Carbon

Read the full story at Building Green and read the All for Reuse Concept Paper.

At least 11% of total carbon emissions worldwide come from building construction, most of which is embodied in the materials used to complete projects. A new initiative, All For Reuse, calls upon building professionals to embrace material reuse options to help mitigate our global climate crisis.

Cleveland Innovation Project moves to scale up water-related industries

Read the full story at Crain’s Cleveland Business.

The latest approach to rejuvenating the regional economy began a quiet rollout last week when the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $600,000 grant to the Cleveland Water Alliance (CWA), a 6-year-old nonprofit that will use the money to support the scaling up of the region’s water-related industries.

It’s the first visible step in a plan to stimulate the region’s struggling economy developed by the Cleveland Innovation Project (CIP), a collaboration among two philanthropies — the Cleveland Foundation and the Fund for Our Economic Future — and three business and economic development groups — the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), JumpStart Inc. and Team NEO.

Zombie storms are rising from the dead thanks to climate change

Read the full story at Live Science.

Wildfires are burning the West Coast, hurricanes are flooding the Southeast — and some of those storms are rising from the dead. 

“Zombie storms,” which regain strength after initially petering out, are the newest addition to the year 2020. And these undead weather anomalies are becoming more common thanks to climate change.

Zero-waste online grocer raises $3M

Read the full story at Grocery Dive.

Zero Grocery, an online grocer that sells products in reusable containers, has raised $3 million in seed funding, bringing the company’s total funding to $4.7 million, according to a company blog post. Venture capital firm 1984 was the largest funder, Zero’s CEO and Founder Zuleyka Strasner said in the post.

The e-grocer delivers plastic-free food packed in glass jars, boxes and other containers. A membership costs $25 a month and includes free delivery, and non-members can get groceries delivered for $7.99 per order.

Based in Berkeley, California, Zero Grocery is the latest example of a retailer that’s cutting down on its use of plastic. The company pursued its latest rounds of funding amid the COVID-19 pandemic as demand soared, and the startup team scrambled to keep up with the growth in its customer base.

Science-Based Targets for Nature Initial Guidance for Business.

Download the document.

The Science Based Targets Network is united by a common purpose: to equip companies with guidance for what it means to move from doing “a little less bad” to “doing our fair share” to maintain the global commons, the interrelated Earth systems that underpin the health and well-being of humans and all life.

This guidance is the first product from the Science Based Targets Network. It is the first synthesis of what it means for a company to do its part to help stop the loss of nature. It helps companies to set a clear course of action to protect nature in line with science. Specifically, the guidance covers the following questions: What is a science-based target? Why are science-based targets important? How will they work? This guidance also identifies steps companies can take immediately and enables “no regrets” actions consistent with the urgency of the challenges we face.

Kellogg Reports 13.4% Reduction in Total Organic Waste

Read the full story in Waste360.

According to the United Nations World Food Programme, roughly one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. Through Kellogg’s commitment to create Better Days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030, Kellogg today announced that since 2016, it has reduced its total organic waste by 13.4% and total waste per pound of food produced by 5.7%. Furthermore, in 2019, just 1.1% of food handled across its manufacturing operations went unused globally, which was provided to local food banks and farmers for animal feed.

Recycling solar panels made easy

Read the full story in Chemical & Engineering News.

Simply soaking silicon wafers in an alkaline hot water bath converts them to useful silica nanoparticles.

California governor signs nation’s first recycled content requirement for plastic beverage containers

Read the full story in WasteDive.

UPDATE: September 24, 2020: Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 793 into law yesterday, making California the first state to enact a recycled content requirement for plastic beverage containers. The first benchmark is to reach 15% recycled content by 2022, on the way to a 50% requirement by 2030. 

“California has long led the way on bold solutions in the climate space, and the steps we take today bring us closer to our ambitious goals,” said Newsom in a statement describing the new standards as “the strongest in the world.”

Dive Brief:

AB 793, a recycled content mandate, made it out of California’s legislature on the day’s last session. But the Circular Economy and Pollution Reduction Act (AB 1080 and SB 54), a major extended producer responsibility (EPR) packaging effort, failed for the second year in a row.

AB 793 passed the state Senate on Aug. 30 by 65-0 and is now headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. Several supporters of the bill indicated they expect Newsom to sign after he vetoed a predecessor bill last year, AB 792, over concerns about burdening state regulators. The bill would be the toughest of its kind globally per reporting by Plastics News, requiring 50% recycled content in plastic beverage bottles by 2030.

The identical EPR bills were less successful — AB 1080 passed the Senate but did not make it back for Assembly concurrence in time, while SB 54 fell shy by four Assembly votes due to moderate Democrats abstaining, according to CalMatters. Those bills also did not make it to a final vote in 2019 amid pushback from major packaging interests and some industry players including Waste Management, despite support from Republic Services and Recology.  

Birth Outcomes in Washington County: MDH Response to Waterfield, Sunding, et al Article in enviromental health

Download the document.

In January 2018, MDH published a report in response to community concerns in the East Metro. The analyses look at specific health outcomes in Washington and Dakota County communities affected by 3M’s disposal of perfluorochemicals (PFASs), and the subsequent contamination of local groundwater and drinking water. MDH examined vital records data for elevated premature birth and low birth weight in Washington county areas impacted by PFAS contamination, as well as the rest of Washington County and the Metro region. This analytical work reaffirms the value of the protective steps Minnesota has taken to limit health impacts from PFAS chemicals.

MDH scientists examined individual vital records data for low birth weight and prematurity in babies born to mothers in PFC-affected east metro communities in three time periods: 2001-2005, 2006- 2010 and 2011-2015. They compared data from those areas to data from
unaffected communities in the rest of Washington County and the metro region. While they found a lot of variation in those outcomes – with some higher rates and some lower rates of negative health outcomes – the variation was well within the range that would be expected.

Waterfield, Sunding et al considered similar data in their analysis and reached different conclusions published in the “Reducing exposure to high levels of perfluorinated compounds in drinking water improves reproductive outcomes: evidence from an intervention in Minnesota.” MDH reviewed their article and methods used in their analysis. We find that the following issues would contribute to reaching a different conclusion. These issues are echoed in open access Peer Review reports for this article, and they do not appear to have been sufficiently addressed in the publication. The primary differences lie in the assumptions, data and type of analysis used to produce their results.

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