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PBPC Newsletter January 9, 2020


PBPC Newsletter

January 9, 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 ADDRESSES U.N. CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE

Last month, Jessica Bowman, Executive Director of PBPC, joined government officials and NGO leaders from around the world in Madrid at the UN Climate Change Conference – COP25. PBPC played a key role in the debate, examining how businesses are driving shifts toward greater sustainability with a focus on bio-based materials. Read a note from Jessica about the conference, below.

PLASTIC RECYCLING AND BURNING ARE FOCUS OF LEADING NEWS OUTLETS

The Wall Street Journal takes a deep dive on the global ramifications of plastics now that China is refusing most of the world’s recycling. The Houston Chronicle also examines the future of plastic recycling – notable because Houston is home to the nation’s oil and gas industry. Meanwhile, The New York Times looks at the dangers of plastic incineration.

REDUCING REDTAPE AROUND BIO-BASED PRODUCTION

A group of agriculture producers and processors that includes many PBPC members recently asked the EPA to clarify its stance on regulating biogenic CO2 emissions from processing or use of agricultural crops. EPA has set a deadline of March 2020 to take this clarifying step. Treating such emissions as de minimis would remove red tape and boost the U.S. bioeconomy and the production of bio-based products, already valued at $459 billion in 2016, but poised for even greater growth.

CHECKING IN ON THE 2020 CAMPAIGN TRAIL

With the calendar flipping to 2020, all eyes are turning to the upcoming Presidential election. Candidates are out on the campaign trail, and we’re listening to what they have to say about plastics and the bioeconomy. Check out former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent comments on plastic bag bans.

Washington Examiner: Biden ‘100 Percent’ Supports Nationwide Plastic Bag Ban

Plastics News: Biden Says Plastic Bags Should Be Phased Out

EU ANNOUNCES ITS OWN GREEN DEAL

The European Commission last month presented its Green Deal to the EU Parliament, consisting of four main proposals, including (1) additional climate related targets (2) mobilizing industry for a clean and circular economy (3) sustainable transportation and (4) sustainable food production.

 PLASTIC WASTE – TWO DISTURBING PERSPECTIVES

Plastics don’t decompose when left out or littered in the environment, they simply breakdown into smaller and smaller units. These two fascinating stories examine this problem through vastly different lenses. Reuters takes a personal view, looking at the microplastics we consume and offering a startling visualization, while The Guardianexamines where else in our global environment all that plastic may be going – and the frightening consequences.

BUSINESSES MAKING SUSTAINABLE CHOICES

Mattel and Lego are among the largest and most influential toy makers in the world and both made important strides toward greater sustainability recently, with Lego building its first bricks from bio-based sources. Meanwhile Jose Cuervo is creating agave straws and PBPC member PrimaLoft has inked a deal with Adidas to deliver recycled ocean plastics to make insulation for Adidas products. In addition, Stak has created plant-based compostable and reusable containers meant to revolutionize how we package our foods. Check out these stories and others below.

FOOD COMPOSTING IS HAVING A WELL-DESERVED MOMENT

It’s clear we need more food composting – both in our homes and at commercial sites. Composting creates healthy soil, sinks carbon and reduces methane emissions (which are released when food waste decomposes in landfills). Below are two helpful guides. The first concerns composting food scraps at home – even you don’t have a backyard. The second guide is designed for municipalities considering expanding composting beyond yard trimmings.

PLASTIC PREDATORS?

Stanford University has found in studies that yellow mealworms eat and break down plastic — and also that chemicals added to that plastic, like flame retardants, do not bioaccumulate in the worm or up the food chain in creatures who subsequently eat those worms. This is one of many studies considering worms as a potential “predator” to plastics.



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