EU unveils plan for ‘largest ever ban’ on dangerous chemicals

Read the full story in The Guardian.

The EU’s “restrictions roadmap” published on Monday was conceived as a first step to transforming this picture by using existing laws to outlaw toxic substances linked to cancers, hormonal disruption, reprotoxic disorders, obesity, diabetes and other illnesses…

The plan focuses on entire classes of chemical substances for the first time as a rule, including all flame retardants, bisphenols, PVC plastics, toxic chemicals in single-use nappies and PFAS, which are also known as “forever chemicals” because of the time they take to naturally degrade. These classes of chemicals will be put on a “rolling list” of substances to be considered for restriction by the European Chemicals Agency. The list will be regularly reviewed and updated, before a significant revision to the EU’s cornerstone Reach regulation for chemicals slated for 2027.

How a determined congressional aide helped break open the biggest environmental scandal in U.S. history

Read the book excerpt from Politico.

Thousands of Niagara Falls residents lived in a toxic wasteland for years until a whistleblower made a call.

Excerpt from Paradise Falls: The True Story of an Environmental Catastrophe by Keith O’Brien

After years of growing awareness, ReFED director sees a ‘rubber-meets-the-road moment’ for food waste

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

The U.S. government’s 2030 food loss and waste reduction goal is fast approaching, and food prices are on the rise. Dana Gunders discusses what this all means for reduction and recycling efforts.

How should art reckon with climate change?

Read the full story in the New York Times.

As the environmental crisis accelerates, contemporary artists have taken up the mantle of addressing the precarious present.

An Approach to Determine Missing Life Cycle Inventory Data for Chemicals (RREM)

Huber, E., Bach, V., Holzapfel, P., Blizniukova, D., & Finkbeiner, M. (2022). “An Approach to Determine Missing Life Cycle Inventory Data for Chemicals (RREM).” Sustainability 14(6), 3161.

Abstract: Chemicals impact the environment. However, life cycle assessments (LCA) of products containing chemicals are often not possible due to a lack of available datasets. Existing methodologies to address this problem have several shortcomings. Therefore, a new approach to model chemicals is introduced to fill dataset gaps in inventory databases. Further data for 60 chemicals are provided. The approach consists of four steps: (i) general research on the chemical and the synthesis processes, (ii) setting up the reaction equations, (iii) researching the required thermal energy, and (iv) modeling of the dataset (RREM). Depending on the obtained data, calculations are carried out or assumptions are applied. The environmental impact of the chemicals is modeled in the LCA software linking to existing datasets. A case study of the chemical octocrylene illustrates the application of RREM. An overview is given of the environmental profile of 60 chemicals modeled based on RREM. The validity of the assumptions and their influences on the results are examined by a sensitivity analysis. By modeling chemicals with the RREM approach, previously unknown environmental impacts of chemicals and products containing them can be determined.

The new TCFDs? Inside the quest to develop a global nature-related risk framework for business

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Disclosing, assessing and ultimately taking action to tackle climate risk has steadily marched into the mainstream of the financial and corporate world in recent years, with the guidelines set out by the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) widely regarded as a critical tool for any forward-thinking company’s corporate strategy.

That much is evidenced by growing pressure on boardrooms in the upcoming AGM season to disclose climate threats, and increasingly stringent legal and regulatory requirements for businesses to disclose their climate risks and develop credible net zero strategies coming into force in the U.K., EU, and beyond.

So, fast forward a few years from now, could the same trend be repeated for nature-related risks such as biodiversity loss and habitat destruction?

Walmart signs up for West Coast food waste-reduction project

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

Walmart has signed on to the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment, which is working to reduce food waste by 50% along the West Coast by 2030, according to an announcement on Monday. 

Walmart’s data on food loss and waste, which will be anonymized and aggregated with data from the PCFWC’s other retail signatories, will help provide a more precise estimate of waste across the retail sector. That data will then be used to identify key waste “hot spots” to focus on.

For Walmart, the latest pledge builds on its more than 15 years of sustainability work and a company-wide effort, called Project Gigaton, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Study reveals consumer sentiment toward sustainability, plastic use

Read the full story at Progressive Grocer.

When it comes to creating a sustainable planet, an increasing number of consumers believe retailers and brands should take the lead, according to a new study. In fact, 87% of consumers believe companies are responsible for protecting the planet and its people. 

The study was conducted by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence on behalf of global materials science technology company Footprint, and gauged the attitudes of consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Among respondents, 85% said brands should play a role in solving sustainability issues since they are directly related to the problem, and 78% believe companies and brands aren’t doing enough to make a change. 

State Geological Survey gives infrastructure solid footing

Read the full story at FarmWeek.

The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) is providing a solid foundation for infrastructure decisions.

ISGS offers an online, interactive map denoting locations of mine shafts, surface mines, underground mines and other subsurface features.

One of the most useful features, the “Coal Mines in Illinois Viewer,” allows anyone to type in a specific address and determine the proximity of a coal mine or underground industrial mine.

Live at PACK EXPO East: Starch-based, compostable e-comm panels maintain cold chain for meal kits

Read the full story at Packaging World.

Food & beverage has lagged other products in e-commerce adoption since the cold chain is hard to maintain. Also, packaging that does keep cold temps may not match brands’ sustainability goals. But this starch-based solution is curbside recyclable.