8 must-read design books this summer

Read the full story at Fast Company.

From fashion wisdom to a fiery analysis of the plastics industry, there’s something in here for anyone interested in design.

When your baby outgrows these shoes, you don’t throw them away—you boil them

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Made of a biodegradable material that dissolves in boiling water, they’re designed to solve the waste problem of constantly outgrown baby clothes.

Tetra Pak fights climate change with fiber-based barrier alternative to aluminum in food cartons

Read the full story at Food Ingredients 1st.

Tetra Pak is testing a fiber-based barrier to replace the aluminum layer in its cartons for improved climate impact and recyclability. The “industry-first” technology is currently on shelf for commercial consumer testing for food carton packs distributed under ambient conditions. 

Barbie releasing Jane Goodall doll made of recycled plastic

Read the full story at The Hill.

Mattel on Tuesday announced that the Barbie brand will be releasing a Jane Goodall doll made of recycled plastic to recognize the renowned anthropologist.

The new product, part of Barbie’s “Inspiring Women” series, is available at retailers immediately and coincides with the 62-year anniversary of Goodall’s famed first visit to Gombe National Park in Tanzania.

Climate change: new rules for companies to stop EU-driven deforestation globally

Read the full story from the European Union.

To fight climate change and biodiversity loss globally, Environment MEPs want only deforestation-free products to be allowed on the EU market.

The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee today adopted its position with 60 votes to 2 and 13 abstentions on the Commission proposal for a regulation on deforestation-free products to halt EU-driven global deforestation.

The new law would make it obligatory for companies to verify (so-called “due diligence”) that goods sold in the EU have not been produced on deforested or degraded land. This would assure consumers that the products they buy do not contribute to the destruction of forests outside the EU, including of irreplaceable tropical forests, and hence reduce the EU’s contribution to climate change and biodiversity loss globally.

MEPs also want companies to verify that goods are produced in accordance with human rights protected under international law and the rights of indigenous people in addition to the relevant laws and standards in the country where the products are produced.

Pottery Barn debuts 150 pieces of furniture for people with disabilities

Read the full story at Fast Company.

The Accessible Home modifies some of the brand’s most popular products so they’re better suited for people with disabilities.

Why pineapple leaves are a promising candidate to replace plastic materials used in single-use masks


by Dwi Umi Siswanti, Universitas Gadjah Mada and Tiara Putri, Universitas Gadjah Mada

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased demand for single-use masks, putting pressure on global plastic waste problems.

A single face mask can release as many as 173,000 microfibres per day into the seas. According to a 2020 report by an environmental group OceansAsia, about 1.56 billion face masks entered oceans globally in 2020.

Face masks are made from combination of several types of plastic. There are several layers of plastic in one mask, primarily polypropylene, which are not easily decomposed and will remain in the environment for decades. It could take centuries for them to turn into smaller and smaller microplastics and nanoplastics.

As the mask wastes may contribute to plastic pollution, it may also accumulate and release harmful chemical and biological substances such as bisphenol A (BPA), which may have a carcinogenic effect, as well as heavy metals and disease-causing microbes. This is becoming a significant problem, particularly in countries with poor waste management. The race to find a sustainable solution for public health safety measures is urgent to reduce the global plastic problem.

Face masks are easily called disposable, because they are cheap enough to be used once and then thrown away. But here is the truth: they do not actually disappear that easily. from http://www.unsplash.com

As biotechnology researchers, we propose biodegradable disposal masks made from pineapple leaves to tackle pandemic-associated waste. Pineapple leaves contain high levels of cellulose, and thus can be a good alternative to plastic fibres.

The advantages of pineapple fibre

Our biodegradable, disposable masks are made from fibres from pineapple leaves. This pineapple-leaf fibre is made of roughly 70% cellulose, making them easy to decompose. As the fibre is immersed in the soil, it only takes three days for microorganisms such as fungi or bacteria to begin the degradation process.

Pineapple leaves, which are typically discarded as agricultural waste, have been used to make products such as rope, twine, composites and clothes. It has a more delicate texture than many other vegetable fibres such as hemp, jute, flax and abaca. It has white and lustrous-like silk, about 60cm length on average, and can easily dyed in a range of different colours.

Pineapple fibre is roughly ten times coarse than cotton. It contains cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin as its primary components, which make the fibre light, easy to care for and attractive, with a linen-like appearance.

The fibre is also much better than regular cotton as it doesn’t contain as many harmful chemicals left over from the manufacturing process. The fibre also can naturally degrade without releasing harmful toxins.

In contrast, cotton is conventionally grown with highly toxic pesticides and fertilisers, and treated with harsh chemicals during the manufacturing process and some of these chemicals are still intact and cannot be washed out.

Pineapple-fibre masks are even more effective than cloth masks to prevent infections.

However, pineapple fibre is not as strong as the plastic fibre, particularly in wet and humid conditions. This may be due to the penetration of water molecules into the molecular chain of cellulose fibre in the plant, which reduces its density and strength.

More research is needed to address this challenge.

Challenges and opportunities

As the world’s fourth-largest producer of pineapple, and one of its major consumers, Indonesia can grab the opportunity to lead biodegradable masks production, as well as tackling COVID-related waste.

However, the development of pineapple fibre masks in Indonesia still depends on public awareness and effective communication. To accelereate eco-friendly mask production, reusable organic mask producers, marketers, and policymakers must consider improving consumer behaviours by promoting healthy and eco-friendly habits.

Scientific analyses must also be encouraged by the government, science institutions, companies doing research and development, and also non-profit organisations in order to raise environmental awareness and encourage beneficial changes in lifestyle, consumption habits and behaviours.

To do that, we need to set an an integrated system with an strict requirements to improve mask producer responsibilities and incentives fees for environmentally friendly material.

In the end, instead of using plastic surgical masks, are we going to use this pineapple fibre mask? The decision is yours.

Dwi Umi Siswanti, S.Si.,M.Sc. /Dosen F Biologi UGM, Universitas Gadjah Mada and Tiara Putri, S.Si., M.Sc. /Kandidat Doktor Biologi, Universitas Gadjah Mada

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Why microplastic pollution is still fashion’s concern

Read the full story at Sourcing Journal.

Although numerous residents of New Jersey are still openly bemoaning the plastic bag ban that took effect in May, millions of people around the globe are participating in Plastic Free July, an initiative of the Plastic Free Foundation, an organization whose vision is “seeing a world free of plastic waste.” Included in that waste is microplastic ocean pollution, more than a third of which stems from apparel made synthetic fibers.

Keysight Technologies announces student finalists for Innovation Challenge

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS), a leading technology company that delivers advanced design and validation solutions to help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, announced the student finalists of the 2022 Keysight Innovation Challenge. Finalists will demonstrate their design ideas before a panel of leading influencer judges at a livestreamed event to be held in the fall of 2022.   

The Keysight Innovation Challenge is a design competition in which graduate and undergraduate engineering students are tasked to conceptualize an Internet of Things (IoT) device or network of devices that will provide carbon neutrality monitoring at the community or corporate level. This year’s contest supports Keysight’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality within its Corporate Social Responsibility policies. It aims to inspire innovation to help the world reach net zero by 2050 and requires each team to be woman-led to encourage gender diversity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Keysight’s Innovation Challenge attracted 52 entries, with each entry scored by a panel of five judges on metrics such as innovation, real-world application, sensor effectiveness, artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and cybersecurity resilience. The general public also played a key role in the judging by voting for their favorite design entries. These votes contributed to 10% of each entrant’s overall score.  

After a careful compilation of the judges’ scores and a tally of all popular votes, the Keysight Innovation Challenge finalists are:  

“Keysight’s top 6 finalist teams’ entries represent a versatile group of concepts, ranging from an autonomous carbon monitoring drone to a soil sensor ‘tree’ that can lead to gigatons of carbon capture if used to scale,” said Renee Morad, Innovation Challenge Program lead at Keysight. “We’re thrilled to see gender diversity on each team, which is promising for our next generation of leaders in STEM. The Innovation Challenge is a meaningful way Keysight is actively working to inspire the next-generation of student innovators, while encouraging a diverse pipeline of future talent in engineering.”

The world-class panel of judges for the final Keysight Innovation Challenge livestreamed event includes: Ariel Alexovich, associate public information officer for United Nations; Mehdi Sadaghdar, electrical engineer and popular YouTube influencer known as ElectroBOOM; Anand Lalwani, former Keysight Innovation Challenge winner; Gabriella Garcia, former Keysight Innovation Challenge winner; Marie Hattar, chief marketing officer of Keysight Technologies; Jeff Harris, vice president, portfolio and global marketing at Keysight Technologies; and Susan Morton, senior R&D director at Keysight Technologies.

Winners of the Keysight Innovation Challenge will be announced at the conclusion of the live event in the fall of 2022. In addition to worldwide recognition, the top winning team will receive a $30,000 USD cash prize and $30,000 USD worth of Keysight test equipment for their school. All student finalists will also receive informational interviews with Keysight for potential internships and job opportunities. 

Detailed information on the imaginative and innovative entries, including project descriptions, renderings, and videos, are at www.keysightinnovationchallenge.com.

About Keysight Technologies   

Keysight delivers advanced design and validation solutions that help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Keysight’s dedication to speed and precision extends to software-driven insights and analytics that bring tomorrow’s technology products to market faster across the development lifecycle, in design simulation, prototype validation, automated software testing, manufacturing analysis, and network performance optimization and visibility in enterprise, service provider and cloud environments. Our customers span the worldwide communications and industrial ecosystems, aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, semiconductor and general electronics markets. Keysight generated revenues of $4.9B in fiscal year 2021. For more information about Keysight Technologies (NYSE: KEYS), visit us at www.keysight.com.

Textile brands team up with Carbios to make their products more recyclable

Read the full story at Environment + Energy Leader.

Patagonia, Puma, ON and Salomon have teamed up with Carbios to develop processes that will help implement circularity and make their products more recyclable.

The two-year deal will also speed up the introduction of its biorecycling technology, which constitutes what the company says is a breakthrough for the textile industry. Carbios and the four textile companies will also research how products can be recycled, develop solutions to take back worn polyester items – including sorting and dismantling technologies – and gather data on fiber-to-fiber recycling and circularity models.