Day: October 22, 2020

AB InBev’s new partnership could cut carbon emissions by 30% per beer can

Read the full story at Food Dive.

AB InBev and miner Rio Tinto have formed a partnership to deliver new sustainable aluminum cans, the companies said in a statement. As part of the memorandum of understanding, the two companies would work with supply chain partners to produce AB InBev products in cans made from low-carbon aluminum. 

The companies said the partnership will initially focus on North America. AB InBev will use Rio Tinto’s low-carbon aluminum made with renewable hydropower along with recycled content to produce a more sustainable beer can. This could cut carbon emissions by more than 30% per can compared to similar ones produced today using traditional manufacturing techniques in North America.

The beverage industry has been aggressively turning to more sustainable packaging in recent years to cut waste. Last year PepsiCo said it was testing out aluminum cans for its Aquafina water, and Carlsberg debuted a sustainable paper beer bottle prototype.

Tackling global food waste: towards a smarter supply chain

Read the full story in Grocery Dive.

Global food waste is unacceptably high, at around a third of total production globally – 40% of that occurring in the supply chain.

A number of technologies are emerging to reduce waste, and there is an opportunity to implement cost-effective and scalable solutions.

A detailed picture of what is taking place within a supply chain is essential for improvement, and traceability plays a central role.

Better batch- and item-level traceability can create benefits for producers, consumers and the environment.

EC green light for new GM soybean: Is this good or bad news for our health and environment?

Read the full story in Food Navigator.

The European Commission has authorised a new GMO for food and feed – a genetically modified soybean developed by Bayer. While some welcome the approval, others fear the risk of contamination threatens the GMO-free food production chain.

Bee neighborly — sharing bees helps more farmers

Read the full story from the University of Minnesota.

Many farmers are used to sharing big equipment—like tractors and other costly machinery — with neighboring farms. Sharing cuts costs, lowers the farmer’s debt load, and increases community wellbeing. But big machinery might not be the only opportunity for farmers to reap the benefits of cost-sharing with their neighbors. New research suggests that the concept could also be applied to a more lively kind of agricultural resource — wild bees.

Compostable Bags Don’t Impact Compost Quality

Read the full story at Biocycle.

A new study from the Witzenhausen Institute and the University of Bayreuth in Germany suggests that compostable biowaste bags do not impact negatively on the quality of compost produced by industrial composting processes. The study shows that compostable bags disintegrate completely in the composting process after composts from eight different biowaste treatment plants were examined for film plastics, particularly compostable film plastics. The compostable bags were certified according to the European standard EN 13432.

During the research project, the results of which were published in the May edition (05/2020, in German) of the German trade magazine Müll und Abfall, the scientists analyzed a total of 30 samples. In seven of the 10 composts or in 25 of 30 samples no compostable plastic film particles could be detected. The number of plastic film per compost sample (one litre of test substrate each) varied between one and 111 film particles; altogether 446 plastic film particles were found in the 30 compost samples (10 compost samples with three repetitions each). However, 98% of the plastic particles that were found derived from polyethylene or other conventional plastics.

Minnesota town opts for a short-term approach to its long-term climate goals

Read the full story at the Energy News Network.

Red Wing’s five-year plan offers less daunting action items and more political accountability, its creators say.

Cargill, Shell and 15 others form group to get ocean shipping in line with IMO climate goals

Read the full story at Supply Chain Dive.

Seventeen major shippers from the energy, agriculture, mining and commodity trading industries have joined together to measure and report the carbon emissions that result from their ocean shipping activities, according to a press release from the group entitled The Sea Cargo Charter.

The group’s mission is to establish tools to help shippers determine if their shipping activities are in line with the International Maritime Organization goals for climate change mitigation. The IMO aims to achieve an ocean shipping emissions peak as soon as possible in order to reduce emission by 50% by 2050 from a 2008 baseline.

Anglo American, ADM, Bunge, Cargill Ocean Transportation, COFCO International, Dow, Equinor, Gunvor Group, Klaveness Combination Carriers, Louis Dreyfus Company, Norden, Occidental, Shell, Torvald Klaveness, Total, Trafigura and Ørsted are founding members, and the group is open to new members.

2019 Solar Means Business Report

U.S. businesses and top global brands are making historic investments in solar energy. As of 2019, Apple leads the nation with the most solar capacity installed, followed closely by Amazon, Target, Walmart and Google. There is 15 times more solar capacity installed by American businesses today than there was a decade ago.

SEIA’s eighth annual Solar Means Business Report follows solar adoption by businesses across the U.S., ranging from some of the country’s largest and most recognizable brands to the small businesses that make up our communities. In addition to the solar systems located on rooftops and at commercial facilities, this report also captures large off-site installations that U.S. companies invest in to power their operations. Both installation types have grown considerably in recent years.

Through 2019, this report tracks more than 8,300 megawatts (MW) of installed solar capacity across 38,000 projects in 43 states, representing more than 70% of all commercial solar capacity installed in the U.S.

Retailers taking action on toxics: Target & CVS make progress, Walmart slides backward

Read the full story at Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.

Target and CVS Health made progress on phasing out toxic chemicals in their products, while Walmart’s chemical footprint grew by millions of pounds.

Phasing out is not enough — the problem with fluorinated chemicals in wildlife

Read the full story at The Hill.

During a time of cultural and political polarization, a class of chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, may be one of the few commonalities shared by all Americans. These human-created industrial chemicals are found in the blood of 99 percent of U.S. adults, as well as babies in the womb and children

But PFAS pollution isn’t limited to humans. A recent study by our group looked for 36 new and already banned types of PFAS in juvenile seabirds from three U.S. East Coast habitats near and far from human sources of these chemicals. We found high levels of a particular type of well-known PFAS, called PFOS, in every bird. PFOS was also found at high levels when U.S. East Coast seabirds were last surveyed for PFAS around 2001. However, PFOS was phased out of production in the U.S. in 2002, and listed for international regulation by the Stockholm Convention in 2009

But here’s the rub: finding this decommissioned chemical in these birds was not a surprise to us. Even today PFOS remains the most commonly found PFAS in wildlife from remote places like the Arctic as well as in wildlife living adjacent to human populations. 

But how does a compound banned two decades ago remain so abundant in wildlife around the globe today? Answer: uncanny persistence. PFOS and other types of well-known PFAS, or legacy PFAS, are tremendously stable in the environment; there are no known environmental pathways to break them down, earning them the nickname “forever chemicals.” 

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