- European Biotechnology Life Science and Industry Magazine, “VTT Turn Waste into Biofuels and Chemicals”
- EPPM, “Lund University Develops Promising Bioplastic Derived from ‘Poo Molecule’”
- Biofuels Digest, “Covestro Launches Biobased Polyurethane Film Formers for Cosmetic Industry”
- The Progressive Farmer, “Wheeler: E15 Rule Might Be Delayed”
- Euractiv, “Time is Running Out for Biofuels Sustainability Criteria”
- Renewable Energy Magazine, “UAE’s Etihad Airways Flies World’s First Flight Using Biofuel Made from Plants Grown in Saltwater”
- Compelo, “Indonesian NGOs Warn EU of Environmental and Humanitarian Risks of Palm Oil-based Biofuels”
- Snews, “Picture Organic Clothing Introduces Bio-based Membrane in Harvest Jacket and Bib”
- Mercom India, “At This Year’s Republic Day Event, Indian Air Force to Fly its Aircraft Using Biofuel”
- North American WindPower, “D.C. Mayor Signs Historic 100% Renewable Energy Bill”
- Newcastle Newsroom, “Reaping the Benefits of Agricultural Waste”
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On January 10, 2019, more than 600 environmental groups signed a letter submitted to U.S. Representatives urging them to consider certain principles on climate change as a Green New Deal is developed. As the 116th Congress begins to take into account climate change legislation, environmental groups would like to see affirmative actions focused on six key areas:
- Fossil fuel phase-out;
- Transition into renewable energy;
- The role of public transportation;
- The power of the Clean Air Act (CAA);
- Community-led transitions; and,
- The importance of indigenous rights.
Tying together these six concepts, the environmental groups’ letter highlights the role played by legislators and day-to-day community leaders/workers in integrating a 100 percent renewable energy system in the U.S. The suggested principles call for the expansion of public transportation as a means to phase out fossil fuel vehicles, as well as the prioritization of support for communities that have been historically most harmed by the dirty energy economy. In addition, a reference to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is made to emphasize Indigenous Peoples’ rights to receive remedies of losses or damages of their property. The signatory environmental groups also explicitly oppose rollbacks of existing environmental and human health protection policies, legislation that protects the fossil fuels industry, and policies that promote corporate profits over community burdens.
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On January 8, 2019, Nouryon, a Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) member, announced the official launching of the Imagine Chemistry challenge. A program focused on startups, scale-ups, university spin-offs, and other new comers in chemistry, the challenge aims to increase developing business’ opportunities to collaborate in the commercial adoption of green chemistry. In the 2019 edition of the challenge, Nouryon is seeking solutions to five areas:
- Sustainable bio-based surfactants for everyone;
- Label-free chemistries;
- Sensing in demanding chemical environments;
- Performance-boosting nanoparticles; and,
- Pushing frontiers of chemical innovation.
Interested parties can submit their ideas online
and receive expert feedback until March 8, 2019
. In May 2019
, 20 finalists will be selected for a three-day event at Nouryon’s research and development and innovation (RD&I) center in the Netherlands. These finalists will get an opportunity to work with experts and business leaders at the RD&I center to further develop their ideas into a joint value case.
- The Fence Post, “Grassley Talks Shutdown, RFS, Trade, Trump Speech”
- Reuters, “Biogas Guzzlers: Karachi’s Public Buses to Run on Cow Poo”
- Biodiesel Magazine, “Biodiesel an Underutilized Solution as US Carbon Emissions Climb”
- Reuters, “EPA Says it is Committed to Rule for Higher Ethanol Blend by Summer Driving Season”
- Canadian Biomass Magazine, “Developing High Performance Bioplastics from Wood”
- Channel NewsAsia, “NYP Team Turns Coffee Waste Into Fire Retardant”
- Bio-Based WorldNews, “Circa Group’s Bio-based Solvent Aids UK Researchers to Produce ‘High Quality’ Graphene Ink”
- Renewables Now, “France Raises Biofuel Blending Mandate for 2019”
- Europe’s Plastic Processors Magazine, “Lund University Develops Promising Bioplastic Derived from ‘Poo Molecule’”
- EurekAlert!, “VTT Develops a New Sustainable Way to Turn Forestry Waste Into Transport Fuels and Chemicals”
- The National, “Saudi Energy Minister: Renewables Unlikely to Displace Global Demand for Oil”
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Margaret R. Graham
On January 16, 2019, a group of global companies from the plastics and consumer goods value chain announced the launch of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), which will advance solutions to eliminate plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean. AEPW membership, currently at 30 member companies, represents global companies located throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. APEW has committed over $1.0 billion with the goal of investing $1.5 billion over the next five years. The announcement of the launch states that APEW will “develop and bring to scale solutions that will minimize and manage plastic waste and promote solutions for used plastics by helping to enable a circular economy.” AEPW is a not-for-profit organization that includes companies that make, use, sell, process, collect, and recycle plastics including chemical and plastic manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers, converters, and waste management companies. The following companies are the founding members: BASF, Berry Global, Braskem, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, Clariant, Covestro, Dow, DSM, ExxonMobil, Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A., Henkel, LyondellBasell, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Mitsui Chemicals, NOVA Chemicals, OxyChem, PolyOne, Procter & Gamble, Reliance Industries, SABIC, Sasol, SUEZ, Shell, SCG Chemicals, Sumitomo Chemical, Total, Veolia, and Versalis (Eni).
As part of its roll-out, APEW also announced an initial set of projects and collaborations that reflect a range of solutions to help end plastic waste:
- Partnering with cities to design integrated waste management systems in large urban areas where infrastructure is lacking. This work will include engaging local governments and stakeholders and generating economically sustainable and replicable models that can be applied across multiple cities and regions.
- Funding The Incubator Network by Circulate Capital to develop and promote technologies, business models, and entrepreneurs that prevent ocean plastic waste and improve waste management and recycling, with the intention of creating a pipeline of projects for investment, with an initial focus on Southeast Asia.
- Developing an open source, science-based global information project to support waste management projects globally with reliable data collection, metrics, standards, and methodologies to help governments, companies, and investors focus on and accelerate actions to stop plastic waste from entering the environment.
- Creating a capacity building collaboration with intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations to conduct joint workshops and trainings for government officials and community-based leaders to help them identify and pursue the most effective and locally-relevant solutions in the highest priority areas.
- Supporting Renew Oceans to aid localized investment and engagement. The program is designed to capture plastic waste before it reaches the ocean from the ten major rivers shown to carry the vast majority of land-based waste to the ocean.
The global internet broadcast that aired on January 16, 2019, is available at www.endplasticwaste.org/live. More information is available on APEW’s website.
BCCM is pleased to announce that B&C’s podcast “All Things Chemical™” will release an episode on January 24, 2019, on biobased equivalency determination. The “Biobased Products: Regulatory Challenges and Proposed Solutions” podcast will provide an overview of the term “biobased” and what it means, the current nomenclature issue surrounding the biobased industry, and how BCCM’s BRAG is addressing the issue through equivalency determination. Stay tuned for the podcast and subscribe now on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, and Stitcher! In the meantime, check out BRAG’s website for news on nomenclature issues.
On January 8, 2019, B&C and its consulting affiliate The Acta Group (Acta®) published the 2019 Forecast. The document details the legal, scientific, and regulatory trends in U.S. and global chemical law, providing informed judgment as to the shape of key developments we are likely to see in 2019. Sections on biobased products and biotechnology are included in the document. The full document can be accessed here.
- Chemical & Engineering News, “US Requires Labeling of GMO Foods as ‘Bioengineered’”
- TradeArabia, “RAK Firm to Use Fuel From Waste in Cement Production”
- Cision PR Newswire, “Green Catalysts with Earth-abundant Metals Accelerate Production of Bio-based Plastic”
- Irish Farmers Journal, “Biofuels Blended in Petrol and Diesel to Increase to 10% from 2019”
- The Virginian-Pilot, “Global Bioenergies Welcomes France’s Decision to Increase Biofuel Mandates”
- Biofuels Digest, “Japan Airlines to Use Aviation Biofuel on Select Flights from San Francisco to Tokyo”
- Channel News Asia, “India’s Top Court Backs Monsanto on GM Cotton Payments”
- DownToEarth, “Improved Catalyst Can Speed Up Conversion of Industrial Biomass Into Biofuel”
- The Daily Caller, “Here Are Trump’s Largest ‘Energy Dominance’ Actions of 2018”
- Biomass Magazine, “Goal for 2019: Get Electricity Included in RFS”
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On December 17, 2018, the University of California San Diego (UCSD) announced that a team of biologists and chemists has received $2 million in funding from DOE. These funds are to be used in the development of platforms to produce biobased monomers, which will be used in the manufacture of renewable and biodegradable plastic polymers called polyurethanes. The funded research will also involve improved tools for accelerated algal production systems. UCSD Chemistry and Biochemistry Department Professor, Michael Burkart, states: “Our strategy is to go from renewable algae feedstocks all the way to products that people actually want to buy.”
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On December 18, 2018, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the Environment Agency of the United Kingdom (UK) published a policy paper titled “Our Waste, Our Resources: A Strategy for England.” The paper outlines the strategy to be implemented for the preservation of material resources through minimizing waste, promoting resource efficiency, and moving towards a circular economy. The strategic framework to be put forth is guided by two objectives: (1) to maximize the value of resource use; and (2) to minimize waste and its impact on the environment. It aims to deliver five strategic ambitions to work towards:
- Assuring that all plastic packaging on the market be reusable, recycled, or compostable by 2025;
- Eliminating food waste to landfill by 2030;
- Eliminating avoidable plastic waste over the lifetime of the 25 Year Environment Plan;
- Doubling resource productivity by 2050; and
- Eliminating avoidable waste of all kinds by 2050.
Meant to complement other government strategies related to environment and resource productivity, the framework focuses on innovation. The strategy, for example, includes the launching of a call for evidence on the development of standards for biobased and biodegradable plastics in early to mid-2019. Highlighting the potential use of biowaste in the production of biogas, the paper defines what is called a “lifecycle” approach that complements the model of a circular economy. To grow the UK’s bioeconomy, this “lifecycle” approach is designed to reduce waste through reusing biodegradable and biobased products to extend the lifetime of resources. It would include the production of a waste hierarchy and food surplus for animal feed or biomaterial processing, increasing resource efficiency and waste reduction.