The latest ‘right to repair’ law is the broadest one yet

Read the full story at Stateline.

Do-it-yourselfers and repair shops are celebrating a victory in Minnesota with the enactment of a new law that requires many manufacturers to share parts and information with tinkerers and small businesses.

The so-called right to repair law will allow equipment owners and independent shops to more easily fix devices like phones, laptops, appliances and other equipment.

Minnesota is the latest state to approve such a law, following Colorado earlier this year and New York last year. Massachusetts’ law covering vehicles was enacted in 2020. Do-it-yourselfers, farmers, handyman companies and small repair shops argue that without such laws, big tech companies make it almost impossible to get manufacturers’ parts and instructions.

Manufacturers, however, argue that broadening access could pose dangers to would-be repairers and the equipment as well as compromise the safety and security of devices.

As the bills make their way through the states, tech firms have successfully lobbied to exempt some types of equipment or allow other exceptions such as allowing manufacturers to provide only full assemblies of parts, rather than individual parts such as a chip, for what the manufacturers say is safety or security reasons.

Solarcycle CEO, fresh off $31.5M in public and private funding, discusses solar recycling’s future

Read the full story at Utility Dive.

Solarcycle recently raised series A funding and received a U.S. Department of Energy research grant. CEO Suvi Sharma said his company is scaling up as the solar industry adapts to circularity.

12 beauty brands that upcycle food waste into sustainable skincare options

Read the full story at Glam.

There is a lot more food waste than you might think: A 2011 report for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) stated that approximately one-third, or around 1.3 billion tonnes, of food production worldwide ends up as waste. Brands that upcycle food waste help to decrease the carbon footprint and land and water usage associated with the growth, harvest, manufacture, and shipping of agricultural ingredients. We’ve found 12 skincare brands that use upcycled food waste ingredients and will fit into your sustainable beauty practice, alongside those refillable beauty products.

Gentle method allows for environmentally friendly recycling of solar cells

Read the full story from Chalmers University of Technology.

By using a new method, precious metals can be efficiently recovered from thin-film solar cells. This is shown by new research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. The method is also more environmentally friendly than previous methods of recycling and paves the way for more flexible and highly efficient solar cells.

As Sen. Carper plans retirement, trade groups reflect on his longtime environmental advocacy

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

Sen. Tom Carper, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and a sponsor of industry-supported recycling bills, said Monday that he will not seek reelection for a fifth term.

Carper, D-Del., will stay in his seat until the end of his current term in January 2025. He is the co-chair of the Senate Recycling Caucus. He is also the sponsor of the Recycling and Composting Accountability Act and co-sponsor of the Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act of 2023, two bills that have garnered strong support from the recycling and waste industry. 

FTC’s Green Guides review brings packaging recyclability debates to the fore

Read the full story at Packaging Dive.

A Federal Trade Commission workshop in Washington, D.C., about updating guidance regarding environmental marketing claims — including those often made on packaging — highlighted a lack of consensus on hot-button topics such as the role of chemical recycling and whether to pursue rulemaking to provide more nationalized policy.

Tuesday’s “Talking Trash” workshop featured panels with experts from industry associations, NGOs, states and municipalities. The half-day event covered the current landscape of the recycling market and recycling-related advertising claims, consumer perception of such claims and the future of the Green Guides — specifically the need for any updates or changes related to such claims. “We want to be influenced,” the FTC’s associate director of the enforcement division, Jim Kohm, said at the outset.

Why the recycling symbol could end up in the trash bin

Read the full story from the Washington Post.

For decades, three arrows pointing in a triangular loop have been the iconic symbol for recycling, but that could change. The Environmental Protection Agency — along with thousands of environmentalists and individuals — are urging the Federal Trade Commission to drop the symbol from plastics that aren’t actually recyclable.

Misleading labels and false claims about “green” products confuse the public about what can and cannot be recycled or composted, according to the EPA. Environmentalists are urging the FTC to update its Green Guides — designed to help marketers avoid misleading consumers with environmental claims — to combat the problem.

How good is secondhand apparel for the planet, really?

Read the full story from Retail Dive.

Consumers and brands are embracing resale as a way to address fashion’s poor environmental track record, but it may be too little, too late.

One of the biggest battery recycling plants in the US is up and running

Read the full story from Canary Media.

Ascend Elements’ new recycling plant in Covington, Georgia is processing used lithium-ion batteries and manufacturing scrap into useful materials for the clean energy transition.

EPA seeks feedback on its new interactive recycling market mapping tool

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

The U.S. EPA is seeking feedback on its new interactive Recycling Infrastructure and Market Opportunities Map in an effort to make the nationwide mapping tool more complete, accurate and easier to use.

The first iteration of the map includes locations of MRFs, composters, anaerobic digesters, transfer stations, secondary processing facilities, e-scrap facilities and other infrastructure. It also provides data on per capita generation and recycling for 16 material types, as well as other information on market influences such as bottle bills.

The EPA sees potential for its tool to be a “comprehensive resource” for visualizing and mapping postconsumer markets and infrastructure, but it says it needs more input on what additional details will make the map more functional for the industry. It will take comments through June 26.