PBPC Newsletter February 6, 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.
PBPC EXAMINES CIVIL EATS’ TAKE ON COMPOSTABLE CONTAINERS
This week our Accountability Blog breaks down CivilEats.com’s take on compostable food service containers. Unfortunately, Civil Eats fails to provide readers with an appropriately holistic view of the issue, so we examined their claims and offered up our own solution-oriented thoughts on their piece.
PBPC Accountability Blog: Civil Eats Misses the Mark on Compostable Packaging’s Potential
ON THE IOWA CAMPAIGN TRAIL, PLANT-BASED PLASTICS MAKE NEWS
As the Democratic presidential campaigns roared through their final days in Iowa the bioeconomy, including bioproducts and bioplastics, came up in candidate’s discussions and in the media. Ten Iowa-based industry groups penned an op-ed about the importance of the bioeconomy and Tom Vilsack, former Governor of Iowa and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, gave an interview about the importance of biotech to Iowa and rural economies. Meanwhile, we found that plastic problems earned numerous mentions on Bernie Sanders campaign website. Also, check out Tom Steyer’s answer to a question about plastics and bioplastics and hear from Drew Kamp of the Ames, IA Chamber of Commerce on MSNBC.
The Messenger (Op-Ed): Ten Iowa-based Industry Groups Tout Importance of the Bioeconomy
WHO Des Moines Radio: Vilsack Interview – go to 5:24 of segment
Sanders Campaign: Issues
CSPAN: Tom Steyer Town Hall – go to 46:40 of segment
CHINA ANNOUNCES NATIONWIDE PLASTIC BANS
China announced it will stop the production and sale of all single-use plastic bags and straws and other utensils in major cities by the end of the year, and then work to cut all disposable plastic by 2025, except for bioplastic that can be composted. In its coverage, the Washington Post uses this news as an opportunity to examine similar trends worldwide.
New York Times: China Says It Will Ban Plastics That Pollute Its Land And Water
PLASTIC-MAKING IS POLLUTION-MAKING
Petrochemical facilities, where plastics are made, are a frightening source of greenhouse gases. One recently-approved facility in Louisiana will have annual carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to adding 2.6 million cars to the road. “Everything that happens before you see that plastic on the shelf is emissions intense. It releases all manner of pollutants and toxic chemicals,” said one of the report’s authors.
CALIFORNIA BILLS AIM TO CUT SINGLE USE PLASTICS
With legislation in California aiming to reduce single use packaging, Actor Jeff Goldblum traveled to Sacramento to meet with lawmakers and representatives from Governor Gavin Newsom’s office. Goldblum teamed with environmental groups for the trip, delivering signed letters in support from January Jones, Ted Danson and other actors and activists.Associated Press: California Bill To Cut Single-Use Plastics Earns Celebrity EndorsementsCal Matters: With One California Recycling Bill Already Dead, Will This Be The Year The State Tackles Its Waste Crisis?
SUPER BOWL, OSCARS & OTHER CLOSED LOOP VENUES MOVE TO ZERO WASTE
Can the Super Bowl go to zero waste? And if one of the world’s biggest sporting events is trying, why can’t more conferences, games, concerts and other events and venues? Here’s a look at the challenges the Super Bowl faces, how they’re overcoming them (hint: plant fiber bowls from Arizona!) and some of the other places that are either considering or embracing this growing trend.
National Geographic: Can The Super Bowl Go Zero Waste?
Arizona Republic: Arizona Company Fights Plastic Pollution At Super Bowl LIV With Eco-Friendly Alternatives
Reuters: Oscars Go Green With Plant-Based Menus, No Plastic Bottles
Milwaukee Business Journal: Brewers, SC Johnson Announce Plastic Waste Partnership
UCLA Newsroom: UCLA Developing Policy To Phase Out Single-Use Plastics
WALL STREET FOCUSES ON SUSTAINABILITY
New products, business and ideas require cold, hard cash to make the jump from concept to reality. Here, JPMorgan highlights its sustainable investing programs and finds data that echoes our own – plastics are a leading concern. And, that means JPM is paying special attention to sustainable solutions in this sector. Meanwhile, Fox News examines how venture capital firms are seeking sustainable companies to support.
World Economic Forum Op-Ed: The Business Case For Investing In Sustainable Plastics
OPINIONS WORTH A CLOSER LOOK
The Los Angeles Times examines China’s plastic decision and compares it to US and California plastic policies, while the Houston Chronicle looks at China’s moves that could impact the oil and gas industry. Meanwhile, MIT scientists examine supply chains, and the Department of Energy highlights its bioeconomy and STEM programs, including in a new video.
Houston Chronicle Op-Ed: War Against Plastic Is On, Oil And Gas Should Beware
Los Angeles Times Editorial: China Is Putting The U.S. To Shame In The Fight Against Plastic Trash
Medium Op-Ed: MIT Scientists On Reshaping Supply Chains For Sustainability
Department Of Energy: Building The Future Bioeconomy
FEDERAL LEGISLATION & PLASTIC RECYCLING
Waste Dive takes an in-depth look at two different Congressional proposals that each attempt to address plastic recycling challenges, the RECYCLE and the RECOVER bills. The article compares their proposals and examines their likelihood of gaining Congressional traction. Meanwhile, political newsletter Axios examines the recent Republican environmental proposals, which address plastic pollution and encourage the Energy Department’s national labs to research better recycling technologies.
REPORTS EXAMINE PLASTIC INDUSTRY LOBBYING
With government at all levels, both at home and abroad, examining how we use plastics and seeking sustainable solutions, the plastics industry is not going quietly – here’s a look at how they’re fighting every step of the way.
AWESOME ADVANCES IN BIOBASED TECHNOLOGY
When food on grocery store shelves expires, it often is shipped to a landfill where it releases methane. Why isn’t it composted? Because it is wrapped in plastic that can’t easily be separated from the food itself. Here are two articles that suggest biobased wrapping substitutes are on the way, which would allow food and its packaging to be composted together, eventually becoming healthy soil. Meanwhile, nylon, the first completely synthetic fiber made for consumer products, can now be made from renewable, biobased sources instead of petroleum. Finally, did you know that when companies process fish for us to eat, half the weight of each fish becomes waste? Now those fish parts can become biodegradable and compostable bioplastic.Sourcing Journal: Industry Breakthrough Paves Way For 100% Renewably Sourced Nylon
Plastics Technology: Biodegradable Bioplastics For Fruit And Vegetable Bags
Forbes: A New Bioplastic Made From Fish Waste Is Here
Biofuels Digest: Mumbai Researchers Develop Biobased Food Packaging Films