Reuse platforms such as TerraCycle's Loop program have gained greater acceptance among consumers during the coronavirus pandemic and continued to make inroads into retail, according to TerraCycle founder and CEO Tom Szaky. "We anticipate when Loop is widely in-store, with tens of thousands of SKUs and regular trips to the grocery, the return cycle will be even shorter and quicker than it is now, adding to the savings," Szaky says.
Unilever's ambition to achieve carbon neutrality in its cleaning products by 2030 is a daunting task that will require the consumer goods giant and its ingredient suppliers to step up the use of enzymes and live microbes, and optimize the supply chain for biobased ingredients. Unilever also needs to address issues related to palm oil sustainability, water conservation, wildlife protection and reforestation, as well as invest in low-carbon innovations such as its powdered laundry detergent that contains soda ash made from sequestered carbon dioxide.
Genetically modified plants engineered to produce oils rich in EPA and DHA could provide a valuable alternative to fish-derived supplements, researchers at the UK's Southampton University and Rothamsted Research write in Nutrition Bulletin. Modified oilseed plants not only offer sustainability, but could produce fatty acids without the palatability concerns associated with fish oil.
Leaders should be starting 2021 by looking to innovate, anticipate change and rethink everything from their office space to their mission, says Denise Lee Yohn in this video and blog post. "Also, we need to craft an optimistic vision of the future of our business and set realistic goals for everyone -- and then show how we plan to achieve them," she says.
A research study backed by the American Cleaning Institute contends that the European Union's methodology overestimates the environmental impact of alkyl sulphate surfactants. "These results indicate the very conservative nature of the EUSES model for these materials," said Kathleen Stanton, a co-author on the research and an ACI associate vice president, adding: "While predicted concentrations can be informative, these concentrations should be corroborated by other means, including measuring environmental concentrations."
The biofuel industry is hoping that a strong interest in shoring up environmental laws under the incoming Biden administration will boost their prospects. "Across the board, whether it's produced from soybean oil, animal fats, used cooking oil, or distillers corn oil, (biodiesel) is anywhere from 65% to 85% better than petroleum in terms of reducing carbon emissions," said Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board.
Lipid nanoparticles play an important supporting role in the new mRNA coronavirus vaccines. The lipid components help protect the vaccine's active ingredients as they make their way into cells.
A mouse study published in Antioxidants showed that oleacein, a compound found in olive oil, can lessen neuroinflammatory symptoms from diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Researchers wrote "our data present a promising bioactive molecule, derived from a natural source, extra virgin olive oil, candidate for further research in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and possibly other immune–inflammatory-related diseases."
Climate change is a pressing concern in the US and will play a role in the Chemical Safety Board's future recommendations for industrial safety, said David LaCerte, a recently appointed senior advisor who will also serve as acting managing director. "It's definitely something that all of our leaders should be concerned with," LaCerte said.
The Environmental Protection Agency has directed more than $160 million in grants toward lead testing and other environmental justice issues, according to a 2020 report released on Monday. "Our focus on and commitment to these long neglected communities has improved both the environment and the physical health of countless citizens, and I am proud of that progress," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.