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PBPC Newsletter October 7, 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 Newsletter September 24, 2020

JOIN PBPC & ELI FOR A FORUM ON THE SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAINS OF THE FUTURE

On October 13, PBPC Executive Director Jessica Bowman will be participating in a webinar, hosted by the Environmental Law Institute, titled “Reimagining Supply Chains for a Resilient and Just Future.” Jessica will be joined by sustainability professionals from Tyson Foods, Riar Associates LLC, and Pfizer Inc. for a discussion on the future of sustainable supply chains. Registration is free, so go ahead and sign up now!

Registration: https://bit.ly/2GLp5hq

PBPC MEMBERS SHOWING OFF THEIR SUSTAINABILITY

PBPC Members are always seeking new ways to improve the planet. Their continuing commitment to the environment means these companies are not simply green, but evergreen. Well done, friends.

ADM: Works With Alianca da Terra, Helping Farmers Protect The Environment
Club Coffee: Participates In Canada’s Building The Bioeconomy Campaign
Club Coffee: Ontario Government Certifies Compostable Coffee Pods As Food Waste
Footprint: Partners With Conagra To Meet Sustainable Packaging Goals
Footprint: Named By Fortune Magazine One Of 2020’s Change the World Companies
Westrock/Multipackaging Solutions: Discusses Sustainable Packaging With Industry Leaders
Natureworks: Webinar On Composting Infrastructure
Sweetgreen: Featured In FastCompany’s 2020 Innovation by Design Awards 
Tate and Lyle: Builds A Tech Platform To Support Farmers’ Sustainability
Tate & Lyle: How One Facility Became “Zero Landfill”
Ubuntoo: Announces Winner Of Protective Packaging Design Challenge

PORSCHE TURNS TO PLANT-BASED MATERIALS

Porsche launched a new race car utilizing sustainable fiber in the bodywork. These car parts, made from flax, “weigh less, cost less, and perform as well as their non-sustainable counterparts.” More importantly, these advancements will likely be utilized soon in electric vehicles for consumers.

Clean Technica: Porsche Pushes Bioeconomy Into High Gear With Sustainable Fiber

NEW PLANT-BASED PRODUCT INNOVATIONS 

Here are four great examples of our industry’s ingenuity: (1) Dupont Biomaterials launches a fabric made from sustainably managed pine and eucalyptus.  (2) An Israeli food-tech startup, W-Cycle, has developed a packaging material made of sugarcane waste. (3) A team at the University of North Sumatra in Indonesia developed a wood-plastic composite for construction made from durian wood sawdust. (4) And Australia scientists use grapevine waste to make particleboard.

Sourcing Journal: New Collaboration On Biobased Fabrics
Packaging Europe: Startup Develops Food Packaging Material From Sugarcane Waste
Phys.org: Cheap Plastic Is Flooding Developing Countries, So We’re Making New Biodegradable Materials To Help
Pursuit: From Grapevine Waste To A Sustainable Building Material

CARGILL AND VIRENT PARNTER TO PRODUCE BIOBASED CHEMICALS  

Clothes from corn? PBPC Members Cargill and Virent are working together to study how dextrose can be utilized to produce bio-paraxylene, a raw material for producing 100% renewable and recyclable bio-polyester. The dextrose can be extracted from corn, sugar cane, sugar beets, wood, corn stover, bagasse, and other sources.  

World Grain: Cargill Partners To Produce Biobased Chemicals

NY TIMES EXAMINES TERM “BIODEGRABLE”

While the Times generally gets its facts right in the following story, PBPC takes issue with the context and many of the details the story omits about our industry’s progress and ongoing efforts to create a better cradle-to-grave system for plant-based products. Despite our concerns, when a major publication writes about our issues, we want you to see it. In addition, VICE examines greenwashing in our industry.

New York Times: Why Biodegradable Isn’t What You Think
VICE: Sustainable Products Brands Keep Exaggerating Their Claims

GOOGLE EXTENSION EXTENDS OCEAN CLEANLINESS

Ocean Cleanup Group (OCG) built a search engine with a Google Chrome extension that sets aside a portion of advertiser’s revenue to fund cleanup operations for ocean plastic. In three months, they raised money and trained workers who removed over 126 tons of plastic from the world’s beaches.

Forbes: A Google Chrome Extension Removed Over 100 Tons Of Marine Plastics

MASSIVE COMPANY PLEDGES: WALMART, JOHNSON & JOHNSON

Walmart, the world’s largest company by revenue, is aiming for zero net carbon emissions across all operations by 2040. More impressively, they plan to do so without carbon offsets. In addition, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health aims to use 100 per cent recyclable, reusable, or compostable plastics packaging and post-consumer recycled paper by 2025.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette: Walmart Sets Sustainability Goals
Footwear News: How Walmart’s New Sustainability Goal Is Different From Its Rivals 
Plastics in Packaging: Johnson & Johnson Commits $800m To Sustainable Goals

YOUR “BIG THINK” PIECE: PAPER VS. PLASTIC

Can paper match plastic, meeting the requirements of food and beverage packagers? This article suggests they will soon be interchangeable, citing improvement in paper’s barrier properties and other advancements. Scientists discuss nanocellulose technology – a “non-toxic, biodegradable and biocompatible” barrier to liquid “with few to no adverse effects on the environment or human health.”

Packaging Europe: How Far Can Paper Replace Plastics?

KEEP FOLLOWING THE MONEY

Headlines like the one appearing in TechCrunch, below, bring us joy. VCs are increasingly looking at our industry as a wise investment. Cited as examples: companies in the zero-waste and reduced plastic space. Also, the European Investment Bank announced €82 million for the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF), “the first equity fund exclusively focused on the bioeconomy and the circular bioeconomy.” The fund expects to raise €250 million.

TechCrunch: Businesses Reducing Trash And Plastic Consumption Are Beginning To Look Like Treasure To Some VCs
BioMarkets Insights: Bioeconomy investors ECBF hits first close 

THE SCIENCE BEHIND OUR MATERIALS MATTERS

Not every plant-based scientific advancement will be obvious to consumers. For example, the Paul Scherrer Institute in Zurich is working to make chemical reactions more efficient. They are focused on zeolites, compounds that help convert biomass into molecules that are useful to product manufacturers.

Science Daily: Better Catalysts For A Sustainable Bioeconomy

EVEN ENZYMES WEAR CAPES

CNN reports researchers have created a new “super enzyme” that breaks down plastic six times faster than any previously known. University of Portsmouth scientists say this has major implications for recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used in single-use drinks bottles, carpets, and clothing.

CNN: Scientists Create ‘Super Enzyme’ That Eats Plastic Bottles Six Times Faster
The New York Times: Super-Enzyme’ Speeds Up Breakdown of Plastic, Researchers Say

AMAZON LAUNCHES NEW CLIMATE LABEL

25,000 items on Amazon now have a Climate Pledge Friendly label, in which sellers can earn the label for a wide range of efforts such as greenhouse gas emissions, recycled content, or responsible land management, among others.

NNY 360: Amazon Eyes Push For Sustainability

POLAND SPRINGS STUDIES WOODY BIOMASS BOTTLES

Water bottle giant Poland Spring, owned by Nestle, is working with the University of Maine to develop bio-based alternative packaging. Together, they will explore materials derived from sustainably harvested Maine wood.

Bangor Daily News: Poland Spring To Work With UMaine On Sustainable Packaging

PLASTIC POLICYMAKING WORLDWIDE 

The Prime Minister of New Zealand has vowed to ban plastic cutlery, single-use coffee cups, and fruit stickers by 2025 if she wins re-election. Meanwhile, the city of Shanghai will ban the manufacture, sale, and use of single-use, non-degradable plastics in the catering, hospitality, and e-commerce sectors starting in 2021. Also, England began its ban on plastic straws, cotton buds, and stirrers.

The Daily Mail: Jacinda Ardern Vows To Ban Plastic Cutlery, Straws And Single-Use Coffee Cups As Part Of Her New Waste Policy
YiCai Global: Shanghai To Ban Single-Use Plastics In E-Commerce, Catering Sectors At Year End
CNBC: In Bid To Tackle Pollution, England Bans Plastic Straws, Stirrers And Cotton Buds

CARGILL, NESTLE MAKE MOVES IN REGENERATIVE AG

Cargill and General Mills were cited as leaders of the regenerative ag movement by the Star-Tribune. This movement aims to reduce intensive chemical use on farms and improve the land. Meanwhile, Nestlé made major investments in China to support sustainable and regenerative agriculture. To learn more about regenerative ag, see the Successful Farming link below, as well.

Minneapolis Star TribuneCargill Joins Regenerative Agriculture Movement
FoodBev Media: Nestlé invests in production and sustainable agriculture in China
Successful Farming: Building A Regenerative Agricultural System

CIRCULAR ECONOMY NEWS

Not all materials in the future will be plant-based, but no matter their source, we need to move closer to a circular economy – ensuring products find value at their end of life. In this issue, we see circular economy efforts from furniture retailer Pottery Barn, electric car company Rivian, and many more.

Retail Dive: Pottery Barn Aims To Extend Life Of Products Through Renewed Line
Automotive Logistics: Rivian Outlines Sustainable Packaging Initiative
CNBC: The Body Shop Will Buy 600 Tons Of Waste Plastic Next Year, And Wants Competitors To Follow
Forbes: Ocean Spray Reveals New Way To Recycle Plastic Packaging
GreenBiz: How Keurig Dr Pepper Is Increasing Its Packaging Recyclability
Plastics in Packaging: Amcor And Nestlé Launch Breakthrough In Flexible Packaging
Food Ingredients First: PepsiCo Pilots Invisible Digital Watermark To Boost Recycling 
Bloomberg Green: Startup Making Diesel From Plastic Exceeds $1 Billion Value
Circular: Will Behavior Change Be Key To The Success Or Failure Of The Circular Economy?



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