Former UN Environment Programme official Jacob Duer will become the Alliance to End Plastic Waste's first CEO on Oct. 1. The group has pledged to spend $1.5 billion on reducing plastic waste over five years.
A report from the World Health Organization finds microplastics in drinking water to pose little public risk. The finding "lets stakeholders and policy makers focus resources and attention on higher priorities in delivering safe water," says Steve Russell of the American Chemistry Council.
An advisory panel at the Environmental Protection Agency will miss its Sept. 30 deadline for reviewing three draft rules, including how the EPA uses science when crafting rules. The panel has made "remarkable progress" despite the delay, says Science Advisory Board Chairman Michael Honeycutt.
A proposed UK tax on packaging that contains less than 30% recycled materials only works if recycled feedstocks cost less than virgin ones and are readily available for manufacturers, says a report from Imperial College London. "For a circular economy to become a reality, end markets must be available for the recycled materials that the recycling and reprocessing sector produce, reducing the economy's dependency on natural resources," it says.
Companies can use a maintenance 4.0 strategy to reduce plant downtime by considering the business case for new investments and rolling them out incrementally, write Eitan Vesely and Deddy Lavid of Presenso. Companies should also update maintenance practices as they add new technology, make sure investments are adaptable and implement data guidance principles for using the resulting data.
Syzygy Plasmonics is developing a chemical reactor that uses LED lights instead of burning natural gas to achieve high temperatures for producing chemicals. It has raised $5.8 million and will start by producing hydrogen.
The 2019 National Cleaning Survey from the American Cleaning Institute revealed that laundry is the cleaning task Americans like doing the most, earning 24% of votes, followed by cleaning countertops (21%), vacuuming (21%) and dishwashing (17%). The survey also found that more Americans -- 52% -- use cold water to wash their clothes, but only about one-third of respondents normally pay attention to the fabric care labels.
Empathy is the future, as leaders will have to focus on people even as technology continues to gain prominence, writes LaRae Quy. "When you perceive what the other person wants and needs, it gives you a step up on how to reach a win-win solution," Quy writes.
China said it will retaliate if the US enacts additional tariffs, which were to take effect Sept. 1 but have been largely delayed. "We hope the United States and China can meet each other halfway and find a solution," says China Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng.
The plastics industry has suggestions for improving two recycling bills moving through the California Legislature, says Bernice Jimenez Creager, who was representing the American Chemistry Council "There are a lot of challenges that the current versions of the bill present," Creager says.
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