10/17

PBPC Newsletter October 2, 2019


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.

HOW PLASTICS FUEL GLOBAL WARMING

The nexus between climate change and plastics can be a little fuzzy for the uninitiated. Yet, plastics drive global warming across their entire lifecycle – from feedstock extraction, through production, transportation, waste management and afterlife. Check out the following interview and for more details see the compelling in-depth report from the Center for International Environmental Law published earlier this year.

Mic: Plastics And Climate Change Are More Deeply Linked Than You May Think

Report from the Center for International Environmental Law: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet

 

PICTURES ARE WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. GRAPHICS, TOO

Reuters has created a fascinating and frightening graphic to illustrate the world’s plastic addiction and its results. These images tell a heartbreaking story.

STATISTICS AND COUNTER-NARRATIVES

The Washington Post reported this week that in a poll of over 600 American teenagers “most” fear global warming. Among those teens taking action, their most common approaches are recycling, limiting time in cars and reducing plastic use. Check out the data in the link below. In the face of such positive action, the plastics industry has launched its own focus groups of Millennials and is developing messaging to reduce concern about their products.

 

WHAT WE’RE UP AGAINST

But the plastic industry isn’t simply testing messages, they’ve coordinated multi-million dollar lobbying and regulatory campaigns to stop or reverse sustainable initiatives that threaten their business interests. It’s unlikely to be a coincidence that states like California are unable to pass major legislative initiatives to reduce plastic use.

 

THIS WILL GO ON OUR PERMANENT RECORD

Plastic fragments are likely to turn up in earth’s fossil record, an indelible mark against mankind’s environmental stewardship of the planet. A new paper from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography shows plastic fragments have been building up in sediments in the Santa Barbara Basin, off the coast of California.

 

FOOD RELATED PLASTICS DEFILE OUR BEACHES

When the International Coastal Cleanup released results of its 2018 beach cleanup, it revealed that plastics related to food were a leading offender. The organization categorizes the pollution it finds and food related garbage took four of the top five slots. They included plastic food wrappers, plastic straws and stirrers, plastic cutlery and plastic bottles. Cigarette butts—which contain plastic filters—topped the list.

 

CIRCULAR ECONOMY NEWS – PLASTIC RECYCLING

Plastic recycling remains a cornerstone of reducing our environmental footprint, and it is an idea we all must support. Major corporations like Coca-Cola are pledging to move towards 100% rPET for some brands. Yet to achieve goals like those, the current recycling system will have to be much improved through higher recycling rates and investment in infrastructure. The Wall Street Journal examines which states are making such moves.

 

A SUSTAINABLE UNICORN

In financial industry parlance, a unicorn is a privately-held company worth over a billion dollars, and the term was coined to draw attention to these desirable and rare firms. Allbirds, a sustainable shoe company, is among them with a $1.4 billion valuation.

 

ADVANCEMENTS IN PLANT-BASED FEEDSTOCKS AND PRODUCTS

Once again, we are impressed and elated with latest plant-based innovations from the scientific community. Among our favorites: researchers using bacteria and biogas to create polymers that will be biobased and biodegradable; agricultural waste being turned into building materials; and orange peels transformed into bioplastic cups.

 

COMPANIES EARNING PLAUDITS FOR THEIR SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS

Each newsletter, we like to amplify the good news from those companies who are leading the sustainability charge. From changes in packaging, to rethinking their supply chains, from edible packaging experiments (see McDonalds) to unveiling an entire research group to study environmental impacts (see Nestle) leading businesses are making big changes. Here is the latest.



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