PBPC Newsletter September 10, 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.
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE FAILS ON PLASTICS
For the second year in a row, major plastics recycling legislation failed to pass during California’s legislative session. The measure passed the state Senate, but died in the Assembly. Supporters of the bill are now looking to the statewide referendum in 2022. Meanwhile, the CA legislature did pass a bill restricting the ability of plastic manufacturers to make claims about being marine degradable.
Bloomberg Environment: California Last-Minute Bills For Dramatic Recycling Revamp Die
Plastics News: Strict Single Use Plastic Bill Dies
National Law Review: California Sinks “Marine Degradable” Plastic Claims
U.S. PLASTICS PACT NEWS ROUNDUP
In our last issue, we announced the launch of the U.S. Plastics Pact, an effort to create a circular economy for traditional plastics and promote plant-based substitutes in alignment with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. Here some of the stories about the pact’s successful unveiling. Further, check out GreenBiz’s deeper look at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a leader of the Plastics Pact, and their efforts to shape how corporations approach plastic.
Waste360: U.S. Plastics Pact to Be Catalyst for Circular Economy
Plastics Today: U.S. Plastics Pact Articulates Tailored Approach To Circularity
Eco Watch: U.S. Plastics Pact Vows To Make All Plastic Packaging Recyclable By 2025
Green Biz: Hope For Speeding Up Business Action On Plastics
NEW FASHION INDUSTRY STANDARDS
On the heels of the US Plastics Pact, Fashion Positive developed the first-ever circularity guidelines for companies in apparel, footwear, and textiles.
UK PLASTIC POLICY SUCCESS
The UK is extending its fees on plastic bags, which have reduced plastic bag sales by a whopping 95%. Meanwhile, a Greenpeace report out of that nation suggests use of all disposable plastics could be cut in half.
WE CAN’T IGNORE DURABLE PLASTICS
Single-use plastics receive the lion’s share of attention, but a new report from the University of Michigan shows that single-use plastics make up only one-third of the plastic used in the United States in 2017. The rest was utilized in categories such as electronics, furniture and home furnishings, building construction, and automobiles. The good news? Plant-based feedstocks can be used to create durable plastics in these categories, too!
BIG OIL, BIG PLASTICS
Occasionally, we like to take a step back and examine how other markets and industries impact our own. First, Green Biz examines the relationship between oil prices and recycling. The second link looks at how manufacturing impacts plastic demand and the third story examines Big Oil’s attempts to shape plastic markets and laws in Africa.
Green Biz: Amid Record Oil Price Fluctuations, Circular Plastic Strategies Prevail
Rig Zone: Plastics Sector Rides Wave Of US Manufacturing Rebound
New York Times: Big Oil Is In Trouble. Its Plan: Flood Africa With Plastic
Fast Company: Fossil Fuel Companies Are Betting On Plastic As Their Next Big Source Of Profits
PHYS: Oil Industry Placing Risky Bet On Plastics: Report
TONY SOPRANO WANTS YOUR “RECYCLING”
Did you know international criminal gangs run seemingly legitimate companies that collect plastic to “recycle,” and instead burn and dump it? The process also skews reported progress in sustainability of the nations and companies who unknowingly off-load their plastic and then report it as recycling.
UNILEVER MAKES MOSTER MOVES
This is really, really big. Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, recently revealed sustainability goals for its cleaning products — replacing chemicals made from fossil fuels with greener alternatives by 2030, a program called Clean Future. Their massive $1 billion euro investment is going to create enormous opportunities for our sector.
ONE IN FIVE CARDBOARD BOXES
Westrock isn’t a consumer-facing brand, but the company makes one in every five boxes in the U.S., from Domino’s Pizza to shipping boxes from your favorite online retailer. That kind of footprint and their commitment to sustainability makes this Q&A with their CIO a worthy read.
ONE COMMITMENT AT A TIME CHANGES THE WORLD
One of the most influential university systems in the world, the University of California, will eliminate single-use plastics after a year-long campaign by students. Meanwhile, furniture store West Elm wants your old blue jeans to create new furniture, and widely-recognized brands LEGO and Tommy Hilfiger make bold circularity moves.
San Diego Tribune: University Of California System To Phase Out Single-Use Plastics
Fast Company: West Elm’s Newest Line Is Upholstered In Your Recycled Jeans
Ellen MacArthur Foundation: LEGO Joins Ellen Macarthur Foundation Network
Vogue Business: Tommy Hilfiger Commits To Going “Circular”. Will It Work?
MEMBER SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES
Joining PBPC is just one step our members are taking to make the world a more sustainable place. Below, find their latest sustainability reports and other initiatives, including PepsiCo’s accelerator and grant winner, Spudsy, which reduces food waste by sourcing imperfect sweet potatoes to make its snacks.
ADM: COVID, Customers and Food & Beverage Companies
BioPak: 2019/20 Sustainability Report
Georgia Pacific: How Satellites Protect Endangered Forests
Hexas Biomass: Presenting at Ag Innovation Showcase
NatureWorks: Italy’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for bioplastics
PepsiCo: Greenhouse Accelerator
PepsiCo: 2019 Sustainability Report
Often, we turn our attention to plant feedstocks’ role in creating new packaging and products, but researchers in Singapore have shown fruit peel waste can be used to recycle old batteries, recovering precious waste metals from dead batteries to make functional ones.
Tech Explorist: Fruit Peel Can Be Used To Turn Old Batteries Into New
Futurity: There’s More To Plastic Waste Than Bottles And Bags
BACTERIA CREATE PLASTIC INGREDIENTS
The journal Science recently published an article suggesting certain bacteria can produce ethylene, a primary ingredient in the creation of plastic, raising hopes for a new pathway to reducing reliance on fossil fuels. In the same research, the scientists also discovered how and why oxygen-deprived soils can damage crops.
Clean Technica: Plastics Will Be Toast, Thanks To Moonlighting Microbes
Technology Networks: Making Plastic Without Fossil Fuels?
YOUR BAD NEWS RODEO
Researchers find that microplastics harm nearly 800 biological outcomes in fish, especially those related to behavioral, sensory, and neuromuscular functions. Meanwhile, authors writing for the World Economic Forum remind us that microplastics are within consumer products we rarely think about, including inside cosmetics and laundry detergent, used to release perfume scents or fabric softener, among other things.
Hakai: Plastics Are Messing With Fish Physiology
World Economic Forum: The Single-Use Plastic You’ll Throw Away Without Realizing
PHYS: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Consume Dangerous Quantities Of Floating Plastic