PBPC Newsletter July 30, 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.
NEW COALITION VIDEO ON ESSENTIAL EPA REFORMS
For more than a decade, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has neglected to recognize the distinction between natural carbon emissions from farm crops and those from fossil fuels. This has stifled investment, slowed job growth, and limited innovations in the bioeconomy. The Biogenic CO2 Coalition, of which PBPC is a member, this week released a great new video to help explain this issue and why it’s so important to the plant-based products industry.
In other news related to the biogenic CO2 issue, the coalition recently commended four members of Congress for a letter they sent to EPA requesting action, and announced that 10,000 letters have been sent to policymakers from constituents all over the nation demanding this regulatory clarity.
Ethanol Producer: 10,000 Constituents Push Back On EPA Roadblock To Rural Economies
Biomass Magazine: Letter Urges EPA To Address Carbon Neutrality Of Crops
THE PAPER BOTTLE REVOLUTION IS HERE
We have long believed that brands must lead the way in offering consumers innovative packaging that does not rely on traditional plastics. Now, spirits behemoth Diageo, which owns Johnnie Walker Whisky, has moved to 100% plastic free bottles for the iconic brand – the first liquor bottle to move entirely to paper. Unilever and PBPC member PepsiCo will be releasing their own paper bottles next year.
CNBC: Johnnie Walker Whisky Will Be Sold In Paper Bottles From Next Year
Food Dive: Diageo And PepsiCo Will Debut Paper Bottles In 2021
Food Processing: Paper Bottles: The Future Of Beverage Packaging?
FoodNavigator.com: PepsiCo Future Brands Talks Agile Innovation
COVID & PLASTICS
The pandemic is changing shopping habits worldwide, sometimes leading to increased consumption of single-use plastics. When the Wall Street Journal covered this issue, we felt compelled to write a letter, below. Meanwhile, CNBC offers some hope from the U.K., where supermarkets are continuing the push to reduce plastic through the Plastics Pact, led by environmental charity WRAP. Meanwhile, environmental groups are pressuring delivery services on plastic, citing increased delivery due to COVID.
PBPC to WSJ: On Plant-Based Products
CNBC: As The Coronavirus Changes The Way We Shop, Stores Press Ahead With Plans To Cut Plastic Use
Plastics News: Groups Target Takeout Orders To Reduce Plastic Waste
Capital Press: How The Pandemic Is Changing Food Packaging
Restaurant Business: Demand For Delivery Presents Packaging Challenges
PBPC MEMBERS LEAD THE WAY
Our members’ powerful and consistent efforts across a full range of sustainability issues make us incredibly proud. Here is some of the latest news (in addition to the PepsiCo story above and Emerald Brand’s story below).
Cargill: Partnering with World Resources Institute On Global Water Challenges
Club Coffee: Implementing New Labeling To Help Consumers Be Sustainable
Hemp Industries Association: Joins Biogenic CO2 Coalition
NatureWorks: Op-Ed On Biomaterials
Tetra Tech: LA Times Recognizes Tetra Tech’s Work On LA Rivers
CARBON FOOTPRINT LABELING COMES TO CONSUMER GOODS
Shoe company Allbirds has been a leader in this space – helping consumers understand the environmental impact of the products they buy. Now, more companies are seeking to do the same. Unilever, L’Oreal, Oatly Ouorn, and others are examining how to better inform customers about carbon use through product labeling. And while you’re here, check out this story on L’Oreal’s sustainability commitments, which state, “packaging will be recycled or biodegradable, while the container itself will be refillable, re-usable, recyclable or compostable.”
OUR INDUSTRY MAKING WAVES
Check out the great stories below, including a GreenBiz article which focuses on plant-based manufacturer Avantium, but also gives a shout-out to PBPC member Emerald Brands, as the reporter looks at the opportunities and challenges facing our industry. And we especially love the next story about students wanting to learn more about sustainable plastics. But it can’t all be good news; the final article takes a critical look at parts of our industry.
Green Biz: This Startup’s Plant-Based Plastics Promise Circularity. Can It Deliver?
Michigan News: The Future? (Sustainable) Plastics For High Schoolers
Fresh Plaza: Developments In The Sustainable Packaging Industry
Packaging World: Intimations Of Sustainability
Packaging Europe: The Broken Promises Of Plastic Substitutes
FOLLOW THE MONEY
A recent report finds that 27% of high net worth individuals (with more than $1 million in investible assets) and a whopping 40% of those with $30 million or more to invest are interested in sustainable product opportunities. Reports CNBC, “Wealthy investors said they plan to allocate 41% of their portfolio to businesses actively pursuing environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) policies by the end of the year. By the end of 2021, that figure is set to rise to 46%.” Meanwhile, major retailers CVS, Target, and Walmart are investing $15 million to reinvent the plastic bag, bringing in scientists and entrepreneurs to help.
AMAZON CUSTOMERS WANT LESS PLASTIC
A poll sponsored by Oceana has shown Amazon customers are concerned about plastic pollution and its effect on the oceans. As a result, Oceana has announced a campaign calling on Amazon to offer its customers plastic-free packaging choices. The poll of 1,286 individuals found that 85% of Amazon customers are concerned about plastic pollution and 71% would use a plastic-free choice/alternative packaging if offered.
Parcel & Postal Technology International: Pressure On E-Commerce To Reduce Plastics Use
Resource: Amazon Customers Want Plastic-Free Options, Says Survey
Algae and rotten milk are rarely the first things that come to mind when we think about feedstocks that can replace plastic. But advances in both areas may be changing how we think about source materials.
WHY WE FIGHT
We’re reminded every day of the threats our environment faces as a result of plastic pollution, and here are the stories that remind us why our cause is so important. Unfortunately, it was a banner few weeks for bad news.
CNBC: Enormous Amount Of Plastic Will Fill Oceans, Land By 2040
Maui Now: EPA: Waters Around Two Hawai‘i Beaches Impaired By Plastic Pollution
BBC: River Thames ‘Severely Polluted With Plastic’
CNN Health: Health Impacts Of Synthetic Chemicals In US Products Doubled In Last 5 Years
World Economic Forum: Global Electronic Waste Up 21% In Five Years, And Recycling Isn’t Keeping Up
Waste 360: The U.S. Is Too Slow In Adopting Plastic Alternatives