PFPW.NEWS – August 7, 2020

~   Microplastics – Research and Regulations should be Tracked by Companies
~   Microplastics – Levels in Seafood Studied
~   Microplastics – Fragmentation into Nanoplastics by a Crustacean
~   Recycling – Flexible Packaging – Kroger/Terracycle Consumer Platform Announced
~   Reuse of Recovered Plastics
~   Recycling – Historical Commodity Values
~   Single Use Plastic – Alternatives

Microplastics – Research and Regulations should be Tracked by Companies 
– According an August 5, 2020 law firm Nossaman LLP news release  companies should be tracking microplastic research and regulations – In the article published in Law 360, the authors note that microplastics “… has become a major emerging concern for environmental regulators in the U.S. and internationally … [the article examines] California’s efforts to try to understand and address the impacts of microplastics, the status of broad-based regulation of microplastics in water systems at the state and federal levels, Europe’s efforts to regulate both larger plastic litter and microplastics and potential implications for the regulated community …” – #Microplastics #NossamanLLP #SingleUsePlastic #PlasticWaste

Microplastics – Levels in Seafood Studied
– On August 5, 2020, researchers with the University of Queensland in Australia reported finding the presence of microplastics in “… samples of popular seafood such as prawns, oysters and crabs, with the highest content found in sardines …”  – The research report is here.  The abstract notes that “… Microplastic contamination of the marine environment is widespread, but the extent to which the marine food web is contaminated is not yet known. The aims of this study were to … develop and apply a simple seafood sample cleanup, extraction, and quantitative analysis method using pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry to improve the detection of plastic contamination … This method allows the identification and quantification of polystyrene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, and poly(methyl methacrylate) in the edible portion of five different seafood organisms: oysters, prawns, squid, crabs, and sardines … This method is a major development in the standardization of plastic quantification techniques used in seafood …” #MicroPlastics

Microplastics – Fragmentation into Nanoplastics by a Crustacean
– On July 30, 2020, researchers with University College Cork UK reported  that a “… small crustacean can fragment microplastics … [which] may have implications for the food chain … [they] discovered that microplastics (plastic pieces smaller than 5 mm) in our freshwaters are being broken down into even smaller nanoplastics (smaller than 1 µm, at least five thousand times smaller in size) by a type of freshwater invertebrate animal, and that this may happen much faster than previously estimated … Until now, breakdown of plastics had been thought to occur mainly through very slow processes in the marine environment … the smaller nanoplastic particles could penetrate cells and tissues …” – The research report is here.  #MicroPlastics #PlasticWaste #NanoPlastics #SingleUsePlastic

Recycling – Flexible Packaging – Kroger/Terracycle Consumer Platform Announced – On August 4, 2020 Kroger  “… announced the launch of its Simple Truth® Recycling Program, offering customers a free and simple way to recycle the flexible packaging of more than 300 products … without leaving home. Developed in partnership with … recycling leader TerraCycle, Kroger’s new platform enables customers to recycle a wide range of flexible packaging not currently accepted in curbside recycling programs, including produce bags, bread bags and plastic overwrap from household items like tissues and bottled water …” – Customers will collect “… Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic flexible plastic packaging … [and] Ship the packaging to TerraCycle using a free, prepaid shipping label … Earn points for every pound of eligible packaging sent … Redeem points as donations to charitable organizations …” #Recycling #PlasticWaste #PlasticPackaging #FoodPackaging #Kroger #TerraCycle #SingleUsePlastic

Reuse of Recovered Plastics
– On August 13, 2020, EPA Region Five will host a webinar from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time that will “… highlight the results of a project funded by U.S. EPA Region 5 for Michigan Tech University to identify Environmental Preferable Purchasing (EPP) and policies and other opportunities to increase the reuse of recovered plastics. This project surveyed the use of EPP policies in the Midwest and beyond, and identified strengths and needs, both in the region and nationally …” – Attendees will hear about EPP from speakers from Michigan Tech University, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the California Department of General Services #PlasticWaste #EnvironmentalPreferablePurchasing #SingleUsePlastic

Recycling – Historical Commodity Values 
– In July 2020, EPA released an analysis of historical recycled commodity values, including post consumer paper, glass, plastics and steel and aluminum cans  – “… The prices for these markets are determined by the perceived value of the commodity and the relative supply and demand at any given point in time. These markets provide us with an indication of the value of a specific recycled material at a given time…” #Recycling #PlasticWaste #PlasticPackaging

First “International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste” Set for September 29, 2020 – On July 29, 2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) announced a “… platform to help accelerate action on reducing food loss and waste …”  – The platform supports the September 29 first “International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste” and is “…a gateway to all FAO food loss and waste resources, including: the largest online collection of data on what food is lost and wasted and where; discussion forum on food loss reduction; examples of successful initiatives; e-learning courses; food loss and waste policy brief in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic; and tips on what everyone can do to reduce food waste. It also connects to related portals from development partners, serving as a one-stop shop for all food loss and waste knowledge … Food is wasted when it is discarded by consumers or is disposed of in retail owing to its inability to meet stringent quality standards, or quite often due to a misunderstanding of the date marking on the product …” #FoodWaste #FoodPackaging

Single Use Plastic – Alternatives – Beyond Plastic is an organization comprised of individuals and organizations that are “… on a mission to rid the world of single-use plastics …;” that showcases “… successful projects and initiatives that are creating a world with less plastic …;” and that recently announced the winners of its competition that fosters new product and packaging solutions for which cash prizes up to 1,000 euros were offered in these four categories: ‘Most Practical Impact;’ ‘Most Innovative Approach;’ ‘Most Beautiful Solution;’ and ‘Best Initiative’ – #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic