PBPC Newsletter March 24, 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’S ACCOUNTABILITY BLOG EXAMINES CBC REPORTING
In this edition, we examine a piece from Canada’s CBC Marketplace, which looks at single-use plastic packaging and sustainability. While CBC gets many things right, and we applaud that accuracy and care in our write-up, their follow-up piece on plant-based plastics lacked balance. There, the reporters unfairly claimed manufacturers of compostable products are greenwashing consumers, suggesting they are at fault when composters will not accept their certified compostable products. In fact, PBPC and our members are working to tackle the challenges compostable products face, including the need for better municipal infrastructure. Read our analysis of their piece below.
PBPC Accountability Blog: To CBC: Infrastructure, Not Plant Based Products, Needs Improvement
UK GOES FIRST – PLASTICS TAX & AMAZING POLL
Earlier this month, the UK announced it will introduce a new plastics packaging tax in April. £200 per ton will be charged to manufacturers whose products have less than 30% recyclable material. Also of note: in a survey of 100 of the UK’s members of parliament, 98% agreed that compostable packaging could be part of the solution to the plastic crisis. Further, 86% agreed that government should invest more in infrastructure to deal with compostable materials. The survey drew opinion from all the major parties. This level of agreement is astounding, and we hope it is a sign of things to come for US policymakers.
Internet Retailer: New Plastics Tax ‘Real Boost’ For Circular Economy And Recycling Infrastructure, Says Sustainability Experts
Packaging News: Plastics Tax A ‘Boost For Circular Economy’
Packaging Gateway: Compostable Packaging Could Solve Packaging Crisis
COVID 19: HOW WILL IT IMPACT THE PLASTIC INDUSTRY?
Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal suggest that fears driven by COVID-19 will “play to the plastic industry’s strong suits: disposability and hygiene.” Here at the Plant Based Product Council, we know that many plant-based plastics can do everything that regular plastics can. Of course, we also recognize that there will always be a role for traditional, petroleum-based plastics in our massive global economy – even as we advocate for that role to be much reduced.
Bloomberg: Plastics Had Been Falling Out Of Favor. Then Came The Virus
Wall Street Journal: War On Plastic Takes A Back Seat In Coronavirus Crisis
PLANT-BASED INGENUITY AT WORK
For this edition of the newsletter, we bring to you scientific, engineering, and product advances across the value chain, from feedstocks to consumer products. Perhaps most impressive, these incredible achievements are being delivered not just by our best research laboratories and Fortune 500 R&D facilities, but are also being sourced through competitions, mobile apps, and undergraduate students.
Born 2 Invest: Edible Oils To Be Recycled Into Bioplastics
Ad Week: How To Build A Sustainable Toothpaste Brand From The Ground Up
Phys: Plastic That Saves The Planet? Startup’s Novel Resin Helps Industry Go Green
Clean Technica: Ocean Algae Could Help Solve Ocean Plastic Problem
Food Ingredients First: Edible Coatings For Fresh Produce
Fast Company: Startup’s Bacteria Turn Food Waste Into Compostable Plastic
Horti Daily: New Packaging Solution That Degrades In 4 Weeks
Advanced Science News: Building A Lemon-based Bioeconomy
Anthropocene Magazine: Flies That Make Sustainable Plastic
DATA YOU CAN USE – UK & US POLLING
Global consultancy Kearney has found “two thirds (66%) of consumers in the EU and US are willing to pay a premium for sustainable products,” per the Retail Times. Further, half of the respondents say “a company’s environmental record is an important factor in making purchasing decisions.” 49% also responded they would prioritize sustainability over convenience.
NEW YORK CITY CONSIDERS MANDANTORY COMPOSTING
The Speaker of NYC’s City Council has recommended that organic waste composting be available city-wide, and that it should eventually become mandatory. Today, less than half of the city has access to the existing, voluntary program — and just 10% of residents actively utilize the program.
New York Times: Mandatory Composting In New York? It Could Happen
ABOUT THAT MISSING OCEAN PLASTIC
We’ve covered this issue before – where has all the ocean plastic gone? Both science and math tell us there should be a lot more out there. This new study suggests that at least some is being transported back onshore — pushed permanently onto land where it often becomes trapped.
Science Alert: ‘Missing’ Plastic Waste ‘Found’ In New Study
PLASTIC’S 8,000 MILE JOURNEY
Our goal is to bring you important news in digestible bites. But occasionally, we recommend well-reported stories that take a deep dive on a major issue. Fortune’s Vivienne Walt has crafted a fascinating long-form piece on how our plastic waste circles the earth and the implications for us all. Set aside a few extra minutes of your day to join her as she chases our plastic trash around the world.
COULD YOUR ORGANIZATION BE LISTED HERE?
We love highlighting great companies doing amazing things in the sustainability space, including packaging pledges, new consumer products and other advancements or decisions that benefit our environment. If your organization would like to be included or you’d like to draw our attention to news, reach out to us here at PBPC.
Wall Street Journal: Starbucks Tests a Greener Cup
Packaging News: KFC, Pizza Hut And Taco Bell Expand Sustainable Packaging Commitments
Phys.Org: Lego’s Colorful Plastic Bricks To Go Green
American School & University: UCLA To Eliminate Single-Use Plastics From Campus Food Service
Boxed Water: Packaging Is 92 Percent Plant-Based, Highest Rate In The Industry
New Hope Network: 6 Personal Care Brands Commit To Sustainable Packaging In 2020