PBPC Newsletter March 12, 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.
COMPANIES MUST LEAD THE WAY ON SUSTAINABILITY
While the shift away from petroleum-based plastics is driven by consumer demand, ultimately product and packaging decisions are made in board rooms and C-suites. Here are a few companies that have made smart sustainability decisions in recent weeks. PepsiCo is trying recyclable, compostable molded pulp rings on its soda cans to replace plastic ones. British Airways is removing single-use plastics from flights. Danone’s Horizon Organic milk has committed to be carbon-positive across its supply chain in just five years.
Green Biz: 100’s Of Companies Crack Down On Plastic
TESTIMONY HIGHLIGHTS BIOECONOMY BENEFITS FOR MIDWEST
“The ‘bioeconomy will revitalize the Midwest’ by bringing manufacturing back to the region” begins one of the impressive stories below. It’s a message PBPC has been delivering with regularity to Capitol Hill and the Trump Administration and it was recently echoed in testimony by Jason Gammack of Inscripta on a panel before the US Senate. Mr. Gammack focused on how synthetic biology will utilize natural, American feedstocks to design and manufacture a wide range of products in a more sustainable way. Other members of the panel focused on related workforce needs and skills.
Full Senate Hearing: Archived webcast and written testimony
Bio Market Insights: US Will Need A Workforce With A Variety Of Skills To Retain Its ‘Bioeconomy Leader’ Status
MORE FROM CAPITOL HILL
In related news, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), who recently introduced the “Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act,” called for a pause on new plastic making facilities, citing emissions concerns. His pending bill would temporarily block permits for new or expanded plastics manufacturing sites. Meanwhile, House Republicans said they would fight federal plastic recycling bills.
PLASTIC WASTE – RESPONSIBILITIES, GAPS, LAWSUITS AND COSTS
No one knows how expensive the plastic waste problem will be to fix, much less who should be held responsible. Estimates vary widely for clean-up, in part because there is no clear solution or even certainty about the gaps in the recycling system. And now, some consumers are filing lawsuits hoping to force action. Meanwhile, TIME examines how some states are considering extended producer responsibility bills – legislation that would hold companies responsible for helping fix the system. Finally, the editor of the trade publication Plastics News says the industry should consider tackling many of the issues raised by Senator Udall’s legislation.
Plastics News: Ocean Plastics ‘A $150B Problem’ Not $1.5B
Waste Management World: WM Inc To Identify Gaps In Recycling Infrastructure To Increase Plastics Recycling
Los Angeles Times: Suit To Hold Companies Liable For Plastics In California Waters
TIME: To Fix America’s Broken Recycling System, States Want Companies To Foot The Bill
Plastics News (Editorial): Why Not Take On The Cost Of Plastic Pollution?
BIO-BASED PRODUCTS WE WISH WE INVENTED
The supply of new, creative, and useful biobased products never ends. And that’s a good thing, since we created PBPC to support their growth and expansion. In this issue, we have a new biobased glue that researchers claim can hold up to 90kg and is less expensive than its regular counterpart. We’ve also found bioplastic candlesticks, bioplastic wrap that blocks UV radiation, and an EU effort to extract sugars from the paper and card-based materials found in municipal solid waste and then turning those sugars into new biobased chemicals.
Bio Market Insights: New Cellulose-Based Superglue Created By International Research Team
Innovations Origins: Bioplastic Candlesticks And Planters From Evegreen
National Law Review: Bioplastic That Blocks UV Radiation
British Plastics And Rubber Magazine: Project To Create Chemicals From Household Waste
PLASTIC-EATING WORM GIVES UP ITS SECRETS
We’ve covered them before, but we simply can’t get enough of the plastic-eating waxworm. Scientists have just figured out how it digests various plastics: through its gut bacteria. While industrial solutions based on this finding are still many years away, scientists hope the discovery could help guide new systems to tackle plastic waste. Of course, PBPC is focused on plant-based products and solutions, but we recognize our planet will need to pursue and support multiple pathways to beat our plastic pollution problem. So we are cheering for the indefatigable waxworm.