PBPC Newsletter August 13, 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.
TWEETSTORM PUSHES BACK AGAINST MISLEADING ARTICLE
Recently, the Huffington Post published a piece that made inaccurate and incomplete claims about compostable plastics. This week, we launched a tweetstorm to set the record straight and emphasize the significant environmental benefits that plant-based, compostable plastics offer as alternatives to traditional petroleum-based plastics.
PBPC on Twitter: Huffington Post Tweetstorm
CALIFORNIA WEIGHS PLASTIC LAW
Here’s the latest on California’s legislation to require all single-use packaging and products to be recyclable or compostable. The California Chamber of Commerce opposes the bill, citing manufacturers’ costs. Meanwhile Wired looks at the California Recycling and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, a ballot initiative campaign for a 1-cent tax on plastics.
EDIBLE PLASTIC SUBSTITUTES
Recently, we highlighted food packaging in Japan that is flavored and edible. Closer to home, now we have Neptune Plastic, a startup recognized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for its single use, marine degradable, wildlife digestible, and backyard compostable plastic. Its co-founder often demonstrates its properties by eating it. Now that’s quite the proof of concept!
FASHION’S STRETCHIEST LOOKS TO PLANT-BASED PANTS
Maybe you’ve seen the COVID trend stories about “the end of fashion,” the return of sweatpants, and the rise casual wear. Here are two interviews with leaders in the space discussing their turn toward biomaterials, including one with new PBPC member DuPont Tate&Lyle Bioproducts!
GOING BANANAS FOR FACE MASKS
We already know masks and other PPE for COVID are exacerbating our plastic pollution problems. Could a banana tree relative, called abaca, help make masks and gowns biodegradable? This Bloomberg report says yes.
Bloomberg Green: Masks Made From Banana-Tree Species Cut Covid’s Plastic Waste
TOYS FROM ‘TATERS?
Forbes landed an interview with billionaire toymaker Francis Choi, who has invested $100 million into a bioplastic resin factory in China and is working with BioLogiQ, based in Idaho. But he’s not just limited to toys this time, as the joint venture will be creating kitchenware, furniture, and appliances.
INNOVATIONS FROM THE TOP OF OUR VALUE CHAIN…
From green chemistry to new plant feedstocks (like cocoa beans), our industry is constantly developing new inputs and improving older processes and technology. In this issue, we find a student manufacturing plastic substitutes at home (really!) and new plant-based substitutes for everyday products like cosmetics. This is how we change the world.
Science X: Student Builds Bioplastic From Wood – At Home
AZO Materials: Genomatica Replace Petroleum In Cosmetics With Renewable Sugar
Bio Market Insights: New Zealand Pioneers Pine Biorefinery
Forbes: California Startup Brews Sustainable Plastic From Sugar
Yanko Design: Biodegradable Containers Molded From Recycled Cocoa Beans
…TO INNOVATIONS FOR THE CONSUMER
Absolut Vodka moves towards a paper bottle, DOW launches new plant-based films, and researchers design flip-flops made from algae oils instead of plastic, just in time for summer.
Packaging World: Absolut Sustainability
Web Wire: DOW And Thong Guan Introduces Plant-Based Plastic Stretch Cling Films
Technology Networks: Algae-Based Flip-Flops
RESEARCH CENTERS TAKING OFF WORLDWIDE
We are seeing a powerful trend of universities and independent research centers dedicating resources specifically for the study of the bioeconomy. Today, many of our most impressive advances begin in laboratories like these.
Silicon Republic: Major Research Centres Sign Deal To Accelerate Ireland’s Bioeconomy
UCLA: UCLA, UCSB Share $23.7 Million Grant To Study Biologically Based Polymers
UCSD News: UC San Diego Forging A Sustainable Future With Renewable Products
WHY WE FIGHT
Constant bad news can be crushing… or motivating. We choose the latter. Here’s the latest on coastal urbanization, which increases contamination in seafood; plastics and toxic chemicals found in whales; and pollution in one of the planet’s most beautiful places.
Science Daily: Plastics, Pathogens And Baby Formula: What’s In Your Shellfish?
New York Post: The Weird Human Garbage Found Inside Whales
Sci Tech Daily: Plastics And Toxins In Stranded Whales And Dolphins
CNN: Toxic Chemicals From Burning Fossil Fuels Poison Dolphins And Whales On East Coast
PHYS: Maldives Records Highest Level Of Micro Plastic Pollution On The Planet
GRANTS AND FUNDING
Danimer Scientific just landed a grant from US Dept of Energy to help accelerate the commercialization of a new petroleum-based plastic replacement with sugars. They’ll be working with National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden Colorado and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington to promote polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) as a biodegradable alternative.
PBPC MEMBERS’ SPOTLIGHT
Among other industry-leading sustainability news, two PBPC members entered a joint development agreement to further innovation in plant-based products and chemicals. That’s exactly the type of connection and cooperation we hope to foster here at PBPC.
ADM: Partners with P2 Science
BioPak: Climate Action Activity & Certification
Cargill: Launches Innovation Center and Accelerator
Fairtrade International: Tackling Energy Efficiency and Climate Change
Georgia Pacific: Sustainability Highlights Report
Just Salad: Addresses Climate Week NYC
Natureworks: Highlights Study On Compostable Bags
P2 Science: More on their ADM Partnership
PepsiCo: Fast Company Names PepsiCo One Of Best Workplaces For Innovators
Tate and Lyle: Launches New Video On Sustainable Agriculture Program
CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY PLEDGES IMPRESS US
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, issues what is perhaps the largest green bond opportunity ever. Meanwhile, Microsoft has set new sustainability goals for its operations, products, and packaging, aiming for zero waste by 2030 and eliminating single-use plastics in their packaging. (Call us, Microsoft, we’ve got some great plant-based alternatives). And, Nestle-owned Purina no longer sends materials to landfills, but instead reuses, recovers, or composts all waste from daily operations across 21 sites.
Energy Live News: Alphabet Issues $5.75bn Bond To Support Environmental Initiatives
Pulse 2.0: Microsoft Aiming To Stop Generating Trash From Operations By 2030
Waste Today: Nestlé Purina Hits Zero Waste Target
CIRCULAR ECONOMY UPDATES
Plant-based products are just one important part of the multi-pronged solution to our global plastic pandemic. We also need more reusable packaging and better collection and recycling. To that end, we keep a close eye on the advances in the circular economy. Here’s the latest on those fronts.
FoodNavigator.com: Food Waste, Plastic Pollution And Circularity
Financial Times: Loop Pilot Reaches the UK
Popular Mechanics: Bricks Could Be So Much Better
World Economic Forum: These MIT Chemists Are Making Tough Plastics Easier To Recycle
Microsoft: Collaboration To Rid Plastic From Rivers And The Ocean
Forbes: Planned Obsolescence Versus The Circular Economy
CNET: California Will Test A Stretch Of Highway Paved Using Recycled Plastics
Recycling Today: Does Aluminum Have A Greener Future?