How to build a better bike-share program

Read the full story at Grist.

When corporate owners ditched New Orleans’s bike share, the community stepped up to rebuild it with a focus on equity.

Accelerating reuse models to achieve a world free of plastic waste

Read the full story from the World Economic Forum.

The World Economic Forum’s Consumers Beyond Waste initiative is driving a shift towards reuse models through the standardization of measurement and is elevating reuse as a critical aspect of the UN agreement on plastic pollution.

Half of global plastic production is for single-use and only 14% of plastic packaging is collected for recycling; reliance on recycling alone will not solve the waste problem.

The production of plastic also increases carbon emissions since it is a by-product of petroleum and it impacts health, with microplastics recently found in human blood.

Right-to-repair advocates expect more bills in 2023 after New York success

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

Advocates expect at least 20 states to introduce legislation aimed at making it easier forthe public and e-scrap refurbishers to fix electronics now that New York has passed the country’s first right-to-repair law of its kind. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the Digital Fair Repair Act into law Dec. 28. It requires original equipment manufacturers to make repair information and tools for certain electronic devices, such as cell phones and laptops, available to the public.

Here’s how many times you need to reuse your reusable grocery bags

Read the full story at CNN.

The battle against the single-use plastic bag may not be won but it’s definitely under way.

Restrictions on their use are in place in almost a dozen US states and in many other countries around the world. And in many cases, these efforts have been successful at eliminating new sales of thin, wispy plastic bags that float up into trees, clog waterways, leech microplastics into soil and water and harm marine life. (Of course, these restrictions don’t address the plastic bags already out there that will take centuries to decompose.)

But this environmental success story of sorts masks another problem.

Many of us are drowning in reusable bags — cloth totes or thicker, more durable plastic bags — that retailers sell cheaply or give away to customers as an ostensibly greener alternative to single-use plastic. (I have 15 cotton totes and 12 heavy-duty plastic bags stashed in a kitchen drawer, only a few of which see the light of day.)

Campaigners say these bag hoards are creating fresh environmental problems, with reusable bags having a much higher carbon footprint than thin plastic bags. According to one eye-popping estimate, a cotton bag should be used at least 7,100 times to make it a truly environmentally friendly alternative to a conventional plastic bag.

The answer to what’s the greenest replacement for a single-use plastic bag isn’t straightforward, but the advice boils down to this: Reuse whatever bags you have at home, as many times as you can.

And here are some things to keep in mind as you hit the mall or grocery store.

Federal Trade Commission extends public comment period on initiative to reduce energy costs and strengthen right-to-repair

On October 17, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission announced it is seeking public comments on whether it should propose updates to its Energy Labeling Rule to modernize and expand the rule’s coverage to reduce energy costs for consumers and require manufacturers to provide consumers with repair instructions. The notice announcing this initiative was published in the Federal Register on October 25.

At the request of several commenters, the commission has extended the public comment period until January 31, 2023. Information about how to submit comments can be found in the Federal Register notice.

The Commission vote approving the public comment period extension was 4-0.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition and protect and educate consumers. Learn more about consumer topics at consumer.ftc.gov, or report fraud, scams, and bad business practices at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Follow the FTC on social media, read consumer alerts and the business blog, and sign up to get the latest FTC news and alerts.

LanzaTech and Sumitomo Riko partner to create substitute for natural rubber production

Read the full story from LanzaTech.

LanzaTech NZ, Inc. (“LanzaTech”), an innovative Carbon Capture and Transformation (“CCT”) company that transforms waste carbon into materials such as sustainable fuels, fabrics, packaging, and other products that people use in their daily lives, and Sumitomo Riko Company Limited, today announced they have entered into a joint-development agreement to reuse rubber, resin and urethane waste for the production of a key chemical intermediate, isoprene.

Isoprene is produced by plants, and along with its polymers, is the main component of natural rubber. Natural rubber is widely regarded as more eco-friendly than synthetic rubber from virgin fossil inputs, but without strong sustainability certification and audits, the impact of harvesting natural rubber from trees has been linked in some cases to deforestation, biodiversity loss and soil erosion. In addition, much like other agriculturally based industries, climate change and disease can severely impact production.

7 reuse trailblazers you need to know in 2022

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

These people, companies and organizations are developing a better way than throw away.

Another Goodwill resale site launches as the market takes off

Read the full story at Retail Dive.

A group of Goodwill organizations, largely from the Midwest and West, on Tuesday launched an online resale marketplace dubbed GoodwillFinds. Net proceeds from purchases will go to the region where the item was sourced, according to the group’s press release.

GoodwillFinds is operating under license from Goodwill Industries International and joins another Goodwill-affiliated site, ShopGoodwill.com, which was created in 1999 by Goodwill of Orange County. ShopGoodwill didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

The new effort is led by former Modcloth CEO Matthew Kaness, who was briefly at Walmart after the retail giant acquired the online apparel business, and has also held roles at Urban Outfitters and Afterpay, per GoodwillFinds’ release.

Could plastic beer can carriers be a gateway to the reuse economy?

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

Efforts to reuse plastic beer can carriers are taking off. A Vermont system known as the Reusiverse has collected an estimated 75,000 four-pack carriers since launching last year. Co-founder Ben Kogan, CEO of Reusable Solutions, estimates that number will hit 100,000 by the end of the year.

In California, another 16,000 carriers have been collected this year by Matthew Senesky, founder and CEO of reuse marketplace Iterant. Senesky’s platform seeks to sell the carriers, among other products, back to distributors or manufacturers.

A related Reusiverse initiative in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, led by EcoFriendlyBeer.com founder Rob Vandenabeele, has collected even larger volumes. Another program, Craft for Climate, is doing similar work in the Chicago area.

Beyond the Plastic Bag: Sparking a Seachange for Reuse

Download the document.

While we know the greenest bag is the one a customer already owns, and the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag is advancing research and testing to increase instances of customers bringing their own bags, the focus of this report is specific to the testing of reusable bag systems undertaken in summer 2021. We share our learnings from conducting first-of-a-kind reusable bag pilots across select CVS Health, Target and Walmart stores, where customers could “borrow” a bag and use it multiple times before returning it at the same or a different brand’s store to be washed, redistributed and reused by other customers.