PFPW.NEWS – June 21, 2020

Contents:

~   Single Use Plastic – PepsiCo Adds to its “Beyond the Bottle” Portfolio
~   Lake Michigan – Trash Removal from the Great Lakes
~   Plastic Waste – Definition of Environmental Degradation Needed
~   Plastic Waste Reduction – Corporate Efforts Scrutinized
~   Plastic Waste – Dow Sets Reduction Targets

Single Use Plastic – PepsiCo Adds to its “Beyond the Bottle” Portfolio 
– On June 18, 2020, PepsiCo announced  a “… mobile-enabled platform [that] will allow people to personalize and digitally track their water-forward beverage intake while cutting back on plastic bottles. Rolling out commercially this fall, ‘SodaStream Professional’ will … [bring] customizable beverages to workplaces, college campuses and airports. With the new platform ecosystem, users can choose from various unsweetened flavors, carbonation levels and temperatures to create the perfect drink … consumers also can record … how many plastic bottles they’ve saved … [The platform] plays a critical role in helping PepsiCo make progress towards its vision of a world where plastics need never become waste. PepsiCo is focused on reducing the amount of plastic it uses, increasing recycling rates and recycled material in its packaging, and reinventing packaging …” #PlasticWaste #FoodPackaging #SingleUsePlastic #PlasticBottles #PlasticPackaging

Lake Michigan – Trash Removal from the Great Lakes 

– On June 15, 2020 EPA “… announced the selection of the first … Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Trash Free Waters grant. Harbor District, Inc. was selected to receive a $492,300 grant to construct and install a trash collector on the Kinnickinnic River … During wet weather events, garbage washes into the river and flows downstream into Lake Michigan … Harbor District, Inc. and local partners will install a trash collection device … Floating booms will capture trash and other floating debris and direct it to the collection device. Conveyor belts will then transfer the collected trash and debris to a dumpster located on the riverbank … Removing trash, litter and garbage – including plastics – from marine and freshwater environments is one of EPA’s highest priorities … This project is part of the larger effort to restore and protect the Great Lakes …” #GreatLakes #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic #PlasticPackaging #LakeMichigan

Plastic Waste – Definition of Environmental Degradation Needed 
– According to an opinion published June 10, 2020 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by researchers with the Massachusetts Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution  “… One key assumption behind the [plastic waste] issue and the public outcry is that plastics last indefinitely in the environment, resulting in chronic exposure that harms animals and humans. But the data supporting this assumption are scant … estimates of the environmental lifetime of individual plastic goods vary substantially, in some cases from one year to ‘forever’ … Without a definition of degradation, it is unclear what the plastics are degrading into. Are they degrading completely to carbon dioxide, degrading partially to different chemical products, or merely physically degrading into smaller pieces? These varied breakdown products have vastly different—not to mention poorly understood—risks to environmental and human health … by not stating how or where the degradation occurs, the public is led to believe that lifetimes of plastic goods are the same in all environments …” #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic #PlasticPackaging

Plastic Waste Reduction – Corporate Efforts Scrutinized 
– On June 17, 2020, the nonprofit, As You Sow, released a report, titled “Waste & Opportunity 2020: Searching for Corporate Leadership” which analyzed “… the actions, or inactions, of 50 of the largest U.S. consumer-facing companies to reduce plastic pollution … the report concludes that companies are far too slow in adopting responsive actions and promoting reusability, recyclability, or compostablility in their packaging, and failing to shift away from wasteful packaging, toward circular models that prioritize absolute reduction … Out of the 50 companies in the beverage, quick-service restaurant, consumer packaged goods, and retail sectors, the highest grade was a B- … Company actions were analyzed and graded on six pillars businesses must implement to address the plastics crisis: packaging design, reusable packaging, recycled content, data disclosure, voluntary support for improving recycling systems, and mandated financial responsibility to improve those systems …” #Recycling #PlasticWaste #FoodPackaging #SingleUsePlastic #PlasticPackaging

Plastic Waste – Dow Sets Reduction Targets 
– On June 17, 2020, Dow (Chemical Company) announced  its intent to collect, reuse or recycle one million metric tons of plastic by 2030, to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and that by 2035, 100 percent of products sold into packaging applications would be reusable or recyclable – The company intends to become “… the most innovative, customer-centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company in the world … [and is] committed to implementing and advancing technologies to manufacture products using fewer resources and that help customers reduce their carbon footprints … Dow’s plastic waste goals are designed to ensure that its investments and collaboration, including its commitments to and investments in the Alliance to End Plastic Waste and Circulate Capital, have clear targets to stop waste from getting into the environment and to lead the materials science industry toward a circular economy …” #PlasticWaste #Recycling #PlasticPackaging