Scientists in China are working to develop liquid-repellent surfaces that could be used in clothes, reducing the need to do laundry. The surfaces can repel at least 10 types of liquids, including water, oils, surfactant solutions and organic solvents.
The American Cleaning Institute's member companies are increasingly embracing sustainability, but bringing about broad change requires "bold collective actions that can drive momentum toward sustainable development," said ACI President and CEO Melissa Hockstad. Many companies are already taking action, such as Method, which has developed a new pouch for its dishwasher detergent made from 20% post-consumer recycled resin.
The American Chemistry Council and dozens of other trade groups have written a letter seeking legislative sponsors for an effort to create a national ingredients-labeling law that would supersede policies such as California's Proposition 65. "Several groups have had discussions to explore the need for federal legislation establishing science-based, uniform, national standards for government-mandated ingredient disclosure and warning label programs," said Claire Parker, a spokeswoman for the Coalition for Accurate Product Labels, a group of businesses that's being formed.
BASF's approach to sustainability reporting has "the potential to transform the way we are running our businesses" by focusing on contributions to society, says BASF's Christian Heller.
Amcor, Procter & Gamble and the Association of Plastic Recyclers have won the American Chemistry Council's Innovation in Plastics Recycling Awards for 2017 for their efforts to increase plastics recycling and develop new, innovative products. P&G and PureCycle Technologies have developed a new method for creating high-quality recycled polypropylene, and Amcor's mono-material plastic pouch is made from 20% post-consumer recycled material.
The Environment Committee of the European Parliament has updated its Renewable Energy Directive to phase out palm oil-based biodiesel by 2021 and vegetable oil-based biodiesel by 2030, but it will allow bioethanol and certain sustainable crops to be used for production. "Between 2005 and 2015, total vegetable oil consumption in the EU decreased in the food sector from 15.1M to 13.7M tonnes, whereas it almost quadrupled in the bioenergy sector, growing from 2.9M to 10.5M tonnes," noted Laura Buffet of the NGO Transport & Environment.
The European Food Safety Authority has concluded that emulsifier E471 is safe at reported levels, but it has recommended new limits to avoid contaminants from the vegetable oil refining process. These include revised maximum limits for trans fatty acids, glycidyl esters, impurities and residual solvents.
A team of scientists has produced a groundnut that is immune to aflatoxins by pairing two processes. The researchers used small proteins to block the formation of the fungus, as well as Host-Induced Gene Silencing, allowing groundnuts such as peanuts to use RNA molecules to stop the synthesis of aflatoxin.
MIT researchers have developed a technique for water-in-oil emulsification that is scalable and does not require mixing. They note that "the oil-surfactant concentration controls the spreading behavior of oil on water, as well as the peak size, polydispersity, and stability of the resulting emulsions."