April 28, 2008

Germany in green spotlight

Green activities seem to be expanding and flourishing in Germany.

One particular session from the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing conference being held in Chicago this week focused on recent industrial biotech developments in Germany as well as companies setting up shops in the region focusing on emerging renewable chemical platforms and value-chains of chemicals made from renewable-based feedstock.

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April 25, 2008

Weekly News Roundup

I apologize for the lateness of this week's news roundup as I'm preparing for next week's World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology conference in Chicago starting Monday April 28.

Plenty of green materials to cover from there especially on biobased products and chemicals so stay tune!

A natural fit for Yulex
The US Food and Drug Administration gave a thumbs up for the marketing of Yulex's medical gloves made from guayule, a desert crop native to the Southwest. Other guayule-based products are currently in the pipeline, the company said.

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Learn your 1, 2, 3s

The Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) released a video statement on Monday clarifying the intended purpose of the marked recycled numbers found on the bottom of most plastic bottles and rigid containers.

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April 24, 2008

Earth's wonders

The US Environmental Protection Agency celebrated Earth Day with a photo contest, and most of the photos are really amazing to behold.

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Do you really want to know your footprint?

Last night, I was watching National Geographic's the Human Footprint show where they visually calculate a person's average consumption of food and other products in his or her lifetime.

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April 23, 2008

Cleaners: Start your green engine!

Green and sustainable cleaning is here to stay and that message was loud and clear at the Soaps, Detergents, Oleochemicals and Personal Care (SODEOPEC) conference I attended last week in Orlando, Florida.

In the conference's green session, scientist Libby Sommer from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was promoting EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) Formulator program, which, through the use of the DfE logo, recognizes products that are certified safer for the environment and human health. Sommer said the Formulator program has resulted in a reduction of more than 40 million pounds/year of chemicals of concern.

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April 22, 2008

Celebrating Earth Day...with reports

Being a dedicated green journalist that I am, I decided to contribute to celebrating Earth Day by sharing some deep insights on the green trend from reports and studies I came across for the past few weeks.

Dig in and enjoy reading! Happy Earth Day!

From the chemical industry perspective:
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ACC unleashes recycling symbol

The American Chemistry Council's (ACC) new plastic bag logo could induced consumers to recycle their used bags with its bigger and bolder graphics. Definitely way better than the microscopic recycle symbol currently found on the bottom of the bags.

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April 21, 2008

EPA probes scientist dismissal

An interesting article from the Royal Society of Chemistry reported an ongoing internal investigation by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the dismissal of one of its scientist Deborah Rice.

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BPA ban heats up

Health Canada's decision last Friday (April 18) to possibly ban polycarbonate plastic baby bottles because of bisphenol A's (BPA) safety issues drove a flurry of announcements from consumer product manufacturers to phase out the use of BPA-contained plastic baby products and for retailers to remove some of the said products from retail shelves.

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April 18, 2008

Weekly News Roundup

I just came back from a conference called Soaps, Detergents, Oleochemicals, and Personal Care (SODEOPEC) hosted by the American Oil Chemists Society in Orlando, Florida. One session from the conference was dedicated to green, sustainable and environmental issues which I'll blog about next week. I also wanted to blog about my Disney World experience but I was forbidden to do so = (

For now here's this week's green news and there are definitely plenty of them to sort through:

The beauty of cradle to cradle
Aveda said it is the first beauty company to receive cradle to cradle certification for four botanical ingredients: sandalwood oil from Australia, rose oil and lavender oil from Bulgaria and uruku from Brazil. The certification was assessed by the Environmental Protection and Encouragement Agency (EPEA).

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April 16, 2008

Amazon's oil-clean up battle boils

The 14-year old toxic clean-up battle in the Amazon jungle reached a new boiling point when a prestigious environmental award drew the ire of Chevron, the defendant against the ongoing $16bn lawsuit filed by the Amazon Defense Coalition, which represents 80 Ecuadorian communities and five indigenous groups in the class-action suit.

This year, two recipients of the $150,000 annual Goldman Environmental Award - considered the green equivalent of Oscar Academy - were Pablo Fajardo, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, and Luis Yanza, who represents the Coalition.

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April 15, 2008

Trees a crowd says Newsweek

In Newsweek's April 14 green cover issue, the question remains on who is the greenest among the three US presidential candidates.

According to the magazine, several green groups are having a hard time deciding whom to endorse. Obama and CLinton are said to be strong environmental candidates although McCain is reportedly also appealing to some environmentalists because of his green legislative record.

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DuPont's green survey says...

DuPont has been running around and drilling the minds of consumers (and auto makers) for some green tips.

According to a recent company-sponsored survey conducted by Market Tools, 65% of US consumers are willing to pay premium for renewably-sourced products.

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April 14, 2008

Green research blooms

Celebrating Earth Day this month seems to bring out more green research and development news which all came out just last week.

According to the website Chemie.de, chemists from Virginia Tech have been developing a low-cost hydrogen producing system using plant sugars, water and a cocktail of enzymes. Improving the technology could eventually lead to production of sugar-powered vehicles, they said.

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April 11, 2008

Weekly News Roundup

This week, W.R. Grace will finally put to rest its asbestos burden; Ohio wants to energize their state with fuel cells; and fish fertilizer for sale. What's the most interesting? The lack of solar news!

Ohio's energy boost
The State of Ohio awarded12 companies a total of more than $8.9m for the advancement of research, production and product commercialization of fuel cells. The investments are expected to bring more than 2,000 jobs to the state.

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April 10, 2008

Let the green shopping begins!

Market data provider Mintel is confirming what most consumers have been seeing in the retail market in the past several years: the bombardment of eco-friendly, sustainable and renewable-based products.

Mintel said 328 eco-friendly products were launched last year compared to 5 in 2002.

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Coal it off!

International green groups has given the World Bank's recent announcement of a $4.2bn clean energy investment in India a very coal-d reception.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will finance in the building of a total 4,000 megawatt coal-fired power plant in the Mundra region, with the first 800 mega-watt unit to start in mid-2011. IFC says the facility will use supercritical technology making the plant's carbon emissions 40% less compared to existing coal-fired power plants in India.

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April 9, 2008

Do you want to ride in this plane?

Boeing said it has successfully flown a hydrogen fuel cell-powered airplane last week, the first in aviation history.

Fuel cells have the potential to power small manned and unmanned vehicles and on the long run, could be used as a secondary power-generating systems for large commercial airplanes, said Boeing.

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April 8, 2008

Ikea trashes plastic bag

Multinational retailer IKEA finally shelved their use of plastic bags after their one-year program of selling the bags for 5-cents each.

IKEA said more than 92% of their customers opted on not buying their plastic bags during the program.

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April 7, 2008

Get your insurance from SOCMA

Worried about sudden plant inspections? Is the facility you're buying up to regulatory requirements? Want to assure your reliability to your customers?

Joe Acker says you're in good hands if you're a member of SOCMA.

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April 4, 2008

Weekly News Roundup

In this week's news - more opportunities in emissions reduction technology; solar investments going strong (I think I mentioned that for the past few weeks); and new advances in green chemical processing.

Certifiably 100% green
Independent testing laboratory Beta Analytic has certified that Braskem's new green butene is 100% made from renewable raw materials. The Brazilian chemical company said they are the first to manufacture linear polyethylene made from 100% renewable raw materials.

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Ciba, Syngenta got green-bashed

Several Greenpeace activists exercised their climbing skills last week when they scaled several towers inside Ciba's chemical complex in Basel and put up banners demanding Ciba and another Swiss chemical firm Syngenta to pay towards toxic waste spill clean-ups in the region.

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April 3, 2008

Screening sunscreens

As previously mentioned in my last blog, consumer watchdogs continue to smear the safety reputation of certain cosmetic chemicals such as the sunscreen oxybenzone.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is demanding the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the safety of oxybenzone...

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Green is hot for retailers

Sustainability-driven consumers and natural beauty products will continue to play significant roles in the retail market this year.

According to market data provider Information Resources Inc. (IRI), the consumer market for sustainable products and packaging is still in the early stages of development and majority of the business is still carried out among niche players.

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April 2, 2008

Hardware show struts green stuff

It seems that every trade shows on the planet, from electronics to cosmetics to auto, are now featuring green products or has a green theme.

In this year's National Hardware Show on May 6-8 in Las Vegas, new green products ranging from trash cans to purifiers to storage, will be highlighted on a separate show floor called Green Product World, according to Reed Exhibitions, which manages the event.

Here's a sneak peek on some of the green products to be launched at the show. Prepare your greens to leave your wallet if you want these green products to enter your home!

1. Miracle Toilet Faucet
The Miracle Toilet Faucet allows the homeowner to drastically lower toilet paper and water usage while enjoying improved hygiene and comfort. The product uses the existing water supply from the toilet and can be installed with a few common tools in about fifteen minutes.

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April 1, 2008

Happy Fossil Fools Day!

Climate change activists in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia, have declared April 1 as their Fossil Fools Day and to show their holiday spirit, they simultaneously protested today in front of several sites, stores and facilities of companies they accused of responsible for runaway carbon dioxide emissions.

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New green chemicals offerings - March Madness

Plastics and wastes seem to be the focus of new green products and technologies launched last month and here are some of them:

1. Plastinum blendymer plastics - Plastinum Polymer Technologies commercialized its first compounds made from recycled mixed post-consumer plastics manufactured using the company's Blendymer technology. Plastinum said the technology is currently the only environmentally-friendly mechanical process to treat mixed-plastic waste in an economically viable way.

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