PBPC Newsletter April 23, 2020
Welcome to the Plant Based Products Council Newsletter! Read on for the latest in PBPC news and activities, as well as some of the amazing innovations, trends, and developments happening right now in the sustainability and bioeconomy world! If you missed our last edition, check it out using the link below.
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PBPC’S MEMBERS STEP UP DURING COVID CRISIS
As we all look for ways to do our part during this time of crisis, a number of PBPC’s members have found new and creative ways to contribute — serving their community, caring for their employees, and supporting those working on the front lines. Below, find out how PBPC members Cargill, Denny’s, Georgia-Pacific, Sweetgreen, and others are working to make a difference. We’d like to recognize everyone’s efforts, so let us know about yours at thislink.
INNOVATION FROM NEW PBPC MEMBER NOVAMONT
Cups and dishes made from paper or board often need coatings to resist water and oil, but those coatings aren’t always environmentally friendly. Novamont has recently unveiled a new grade of its Mater-Bi, a biobased coating for paper, board and other substrates that is perfect for cups, dishes, and similar products. Best, it is GMO-free, biodegradable, compostable, and can be recycled along with waste paper.
Packaging News: Novamont Launches New Bioplastic Coating Video
BIOBASED 3D PRINTERS TACKLE COVID
3D printers are being put to work around the world to make ventilator parts, filtration masks, face shields and other personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and others who need them. Many of these 3D printers are using plant-based printing material such as polylactic acid (PLA), which is typically derived from corn starch or sugarcane.
Kansas City Star: Local Company Uses 3D Printing To Produce Masks
WABE: University Of North Georgia Uses 3D Printers To Make Masks
COVID, PLASTIC AND TWO DIFFERENT PATHWAYS
In the last issue of this newsletter, we looked at the plastic industry’s efforts to push petroleum-based products during this crisis, even though we know bioplastics are just as hygienic and better for the environment. In this issue, we look at the results. Wired tells us about the growing plastic waste due to COVID, and NPR explains how cities and states are suspending their plastic bag bans. But we also see another approach: Amsterdam is aiming to halve its food waste by 2030 and reach a fully-circular economy by 2050.
Wired: Yet Another Consequence Of The Pandemic: More Plastic Waste
NPR: Coronavirus Fears Prompt Suspensions Of Bans On Single-Use Plastic Bags
NLTimes: Amsterdam Presents Plans To Halve Material Use By 2030, Have Full Circular Economy By 2050
EDUCATING CUSTOMERS ON CARBON COSTS
When we launched PBPC about a year ago, we knew any number of plants, fungi, protists (where algae are classified), or agricultural wastes could become feedstocks for sustainable products. Yet we continue to be blown away by the creativity and ingenuity of the scientists and engineers working at the beginning of our impressive supply chain. In this issue we learn about used coffee grounds, olive pits, a range of fungi, jute, and more.
New Atlas: From Coffee Grounds to Biodegradable Plastic
Packaging Europe: Bioplastic Material from Olive Waste
Green Biz: Fungi-Inspired Companies Could Play A New Role In Sustainability
GreenBiz: The Case For Exploring Jute As An Alternative To Plastic
AZO Clean Tech: Using Food Waste to Develop Sustainable Plant-Based Ingredients
Handy Shipping Guide: Biomass And Waste Plastic Products Aim To Replace Marine Diesel Fuel
Design News: Tree Species Identified For New Sustainable Building Materials
FUNDING FOR OUR SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Even in the face of budget fears related to COVID, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has readied €700 million in financing for companies in agriculture and the bioeconomy. Meanwhile, Vegan beauty company Nohbo, which packages personal care products in a water-soluble plant-based membrane instead of plastic, recently secured $3 million. The company received its first round of funds on reality series Shark Tank from Mark Cuban, who sits on the board. Know a great plant-based company that just received funding? We want to hear about it.
TOY MAKERS TURN TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY
Hot Wheels, Fisher Price, Barbie – Mattel makes them all. And more than ever, the parent company is making its product lines more sustainable, for example moving away from traditional plastics to those made from sugar cane. By 2030, the company aims to have 100% of its toys made from recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials. Mattel isn’t the only one aiming for greener products, the following stories cite similar moves by Hasbro, Lego, MGA Entertainment and Safari Ltd.
SCIENCE & NATURE COLLABORATE TO ATTACK PLASITC WASTE AGAIN
We’ve told you about the German researchers who found bacteria that eats polyurethane and the plastic-eating waxworm. Now, scientists have engineered an enzyme that can breakdown a mix of plastic bottles in order to create new recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The breakthrough was published in the journal Nature, and the venture is backed by corporate partners including L’Oréal and PBPC member PepsiCo.
Forbes: New Enzyme Breaks Down Plastic In Hours And Enables High-Quality Recycling
Science Mag: ‘A Huge Step Forward.’ Mutant Enzyme Could Vastly Improve Recycling Of Plastic Bottles
Market Watch: A Mutant Bacterial Enzyme Can Break Down Plastic For Recycling In Just Hours