This company is turning chopsticks into furniture

Read the full story at Fast Company.

For an item that’s generally used for less than an hour during mealtimes, North America imports a whole lot of chopsticks: about 40 to 50 billion pairs a year. Most of these are bamboo chopsticks, typically made in China, and shipped thousands of miles across the globe.

Yet after lunch, they simply end up in the trash. But a Canadian company has just diverted its hundred-millionth discarded chopstick that would have otherwise been landfill-bound. ChopValue is instead turning these one-time utensils into furniture, from desks to cabinets to shelves. And now, it’s starting to turn them into restaurant interiors—including for McDonald’s.

EPA Tools & Resources Training Webinar: PFAS Analytic Tools

Jun 1, 2023, 2-3 pm CDT
Register here.

To support EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap, EPA is compiling and integrating a collection of data that can be used to evaluate what is known about PFAS manufacture, release, and occurrence in communities. As part of this effort, EPA is integrating data available nationally with other information from states, Tribes, and localities that are testing for PFAS pursuant to their own regulatory or voluntary data collection initiatives. The data included in the PFAS Analytic Tools have a wide range of location-specific data and, in general, are based on national scope and readily accessible, public information repositories.

The PFAS Analytic Tools make it easier to evaluate the collective PFAS information from 11 different databases – the application integrates these datasets into an interactive, web-based software. Consolidating all these data sources in one searchable platform will help the public, researchers, and other stakeholders better understand potential PFAS sources in their communities, including potential exposure pathways in communities with environmental justice concerns.

This training webinar will provide an overview of the PFAS Analytic Tools and a tutorial on how to use them.

Why some companies are saying ‘diversity and belonging’ instead of ‘diversity and inclusion’

Read the full story from the New York Times.

The changing terminology reflects new thinking among some consultants, who say traditional D.E.I. strategies haven’t worked out as planned.

Phasing out HFC refrigerants poses a major cost dilemma for grocers

Read the full story at Grocery Dive.

Transitioning to new cooling systems that comply with federal and state laws can cost retailers $1 million or more per store. But delaying action could also be expensive, experts say.

A crucial climate technology provokes fears in oil country

Read the full story at Politico.

The Biden administration is offering $12 billion in subsidies for efforts to store massive amounts of greenhouse gases underground. But critics say Washington isn’t ready to ensure it’s safe.

Plastic recycling volumes bounce back after pandemic dip

Read the full story at Packaging Dive.

PET bottles again lead the pack as the most recycled plastic, but a new type has moved into second place.

P&G’s Jung strives for sustainability in packaging

Read the full story at Waste360.

Victoria Jung, surface care packaging director for Procter & Gamble, is dedicated to making the packaging of P&G Home Care products more sustainable. The Waste360 40 Under 40 award winner has collaborated with her team and partners to reimagine Swiffer’s package design for its duster products to eliminate plastic packaging, reducing plastic by 173 tons per year.

Chinese researchers discover plastic waste chemically bonded to rocks

Read the full story at Packaging Insights.

Chinese researchers at Tsinghua University, Beijing, have found plastic films chemically bonded to rocks, marking a discovery of a new type of plastic material in the environment. 

Deyi Hou, one of the study’s authors and soil and groundwater scientist, said the research is the first to uncover chemical bonds between plastic and rocks in the environment. 

The plastic rock complexes form when debris irreversibly absorbs into a rock after a flood. The complexes comprise LDPE or PP films stuck onto quartz-dominated mineral matrices.

The study writes that “future research should evaluate this phenomenon regarding ecosystem fluxes, fate and transport and impacts of plastic pollution,” indicating that more research is needed to draw concrete conclusions about the plastic rocks. 

The study was published in Environmental Science and Technology. The source of the plastic waste was accumulated around a creek in Hechi City, China. The plastics discovered were PP and PE films.

Could methane-eating microbes solve dairy’s GHG emissions problem?

Read the full story from Dairy Reporter.

Windfall Bio founder Josh Silverman, PhD speaks to DairyReporter about his company’s first-of-a-kind solution to reducing on-farm methane emissions and creating organic, nitrogen-enriched fertilizer. ‘We want this to be cheap enough so that any farmer at any scale can apply it.’

The fast-food exec focusing on packaging

Read the full story from Politico.

Wendy’s isn’t the first company that comes to mind when thinking about sustainability. Customers don’t necessarily want to pay for it, either, according to Liliana Esposito, the company’s chief corporate affairs and sustainability officer.

But that doesn’t mean the fast-food giant isn’t taking steps to incorporate greener practices. Wendy’s is working to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by almost half compared with 2019 levels and trying to make all consumer-facing packaging sustainable by 2026.

POLITICO talked with Esposito about the fast-food industry, the company’s climate goals, whether it plans to offer any meat alternatives and the issue of food waste.