Watch your waste: The problem with airline food and packaging

Read the full story from CNN.

According to the International Air Transport Association, airlines produced 5.2 million tons of waste last year, and will produce over 10 million tons annually by 2030. While the statistic includes a host of disposable products — from wine bottles to plastic toothbrushes — a large chunk is directly related to food service. From harnessing behavioral data and using cups that can be composted to donating nonperishable food items and on-board recycling, here’s what airlines are doing to divert cabin waste from landfills.

Assessment of Safer and Effective Alternatives to Methylene Chloride for Paint Stripping Products

Download the document.

The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) undertook a research effort to identify and evaluate safer alternatives to methylene chloride in paint stripping products. This report details their results.

Toxics Use Reduction Institute 2017-2018 Webinar Series

Beyond the MSDS
Tue, Sep 12, 2017 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT
Register at

Find out about databases and other resources for gathering chemical safety information from TURI’s Research and Reference Specialist, Mary Butow.

Finding hazard information about new or obscure substances can be difficult, but TURI has numerous resources to help researchers, industrial engineers, product designers, and anyone else who needs authoritative chemical information. Ms. Butow will show you how to access these extensive knowledge bases to make better choices for safer chemical alternatives.

Upgrade and Relaunch of P2OASys
Thu, Sep 21, 201711:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT
Register at

TURI created the original Pollution Prevention Options Assessment System in the mid 1990s to analyze chemical and equipment alternatives. P2OASys is one of the first hazard analysis tools to help small and mid-size businesses compare several chemicals and hazards. This webinar will provide an overview of the benefits of using P2OASys and a primer on its use.

Tue, Dec 5, 201711:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Register at

Nanotechnology promises a wide range of opportunities for innovation in areas like biomedical devices, improved electronic devices, clean energy technology and materials engineering. TURI’s research program looks at two aspects of nanotechnology: its possibilities for producing safer alternatives to traditional materials, and its potential impacts on environmental and occupational health. This webinar will provide the latest findings on EH&S issues related to nanotechnology.

Artificial Turf 
Tue, Feb 27, 201811:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
Register at

When municipalities, universities, schools and other institutions consider what type of athletic playing fields to install, they need to decide between natural grass, artificial turf with crumb rubber infill and artificial turf with other forms of infill. TURI has received requests for information about artificial turf fields as an alternative to natural grass fields. In response, we have developed an alternatives assessment for sports turf. This webinar will provide information on the ingredients of artificial turf infills.

Safer Solutions for Methylene Chloride
Tue, Jun 5, 201811:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT
Register at

TURI has been working with the U.S. EPA, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, paint stripper product manufacturers, and furniture refinishers to identify and evaluate solvent blends with equal or better paint stripping performance, comparable ingredient costs, and a safer environmental, health, and safety profile as compared to methylene chloride. This webinar will describe why methylene chloride is a higher hazard substance as designated by TURA and findings from the research into safer formulations.

2017 Champions of Toxics Use Reduction Recognized at State House

Read the full story from the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute.

State legislators joined the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) program to recognize 2017 Champions of Toxics Use Reduction at the Massachusetts State House. The annual event recognizes outstanding leaders who are making the Commonwealth a safer place to live and work. For details about the winners, visit the TURI web site.

Webinar: Engaging Students in Zero Waste

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017, 11 am CDT
Register here.

You’ve got a Zero Waste program… now how do you get students to actually do the right thing?

While most Zero Waste programs are set up by staff and administration, engaging students to practice those “R’s” (and beyond!) will make it truly successful. This webinar will feature presentations from leaders in Zero Waste and higher education on best practices for getting students involved with Zero Waste on your campus:

  • Chris Kane, Campus Coordinator and Director of Resource Development, PLAN: The Post-Landfill Action Network
  • Jack DeBell, Development Director, University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Mike Carey, Sustainability Coordinator, Orange Coast College
  • Jennifer Hobson, Zero Waste Senior Program Coordinator, The University of Texas at Austin

At the end of the webinar,  attendees can exchange successes and challenges, as well as suggest other topics for webinars and tools.

Zero Waste Special Event Planning Guide: A Guide to Reducing Waste at Meetings, Conferences and Events

Download the document. Note that although the document was developed for Ohio organizations, most of the information is general enough to be useful to those in other locations.

Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA) developed this guide to help Ohio event planners reduce waste through recycling, composting and source minimization. It is a general resource guide that can be applied to a wide variety of small and large events, held at inside or outside venues.