2020 ended on a couple of high notes for plastics recycling, one at the state level and another at the federal level, writes Craig Cookson of the American Chemistry Council in this blog post. "Despite the serious headwinds our nation encountered in 2020, I'm encouraged by these recent developments and feel a true sense of momentum in plastics recycling," Cookson writes.
The Environmental Protection Agency has finished its risk review of C.I. Pigment Violet 29, marking the completion of its first 10 work plan substance reviews under the Toxic Substances Control Act. "With this final risk evaluation, we have delivered on our commitment to complete a comprehensive review of the potential risks of chemicals in the marketplace under one of the nation's most important chemical management laws, setting the stage for a great future of chemical safety," said Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
Demand for recycled content is surging and the US must invest in plastic collection, recycling and education to ensure a steady flow of recycled feedstocks, writes Paula Leardini. Legislation such as the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act will help expand recycling infrastructure, but additional measures are needed to create value throughout the supply chain, Leardini writes.
When employees are feeling "stuck, struggling or successful," leaders should be able to reframe stories to provide hope, encouragement and motivation, writes Mark Sanborn. "Sometimes people need to be resold on themselves; to hear the encouragement from someone they know and trust that they can do it," he writes.
The release of toxic chemicals in the US declined by 9% in 2019, compared to the year-before period, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's annual Toxics Release Inventory National Analysis. "The progress made under the TRI program in 2019 is proof that a cleaner environment and economic growth go hand in hand," said Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
The American Chemistry Council, Chemours and other organizations have launched The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative to support students pursuing STEM education at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and diversify the industry. "ACC and member companies are committed to enhancing diversity in our facilities, our boardrooms, and the communities in which we operate," said President and CEO Chris Jahn.
Chemical manufacturing is an essential component of Louisiana's economy and the industry would welcome a potential investment from Mitsubishi Chemical, writes Louisiana Chemical Association executive vice president Greg Bowser. "Mitsubishi's investment would benefit all residents and help to strengthen a long partnership with an industry that has served Louisiana and kept it financially afloat during times of unprecedented uncertainty," Bowser writes.
Packaging design has taken on added importance in wake of the coronavirus pandemic as the role of packaging continues to evolve beyond just a branding tool. Marketing and branding expert Katie Lundin identifies six major trends that will shape packaging design in 2021, including sustainability, durability, porous materials, reassuring copy and clear typography.
During the latest episode of the SupplyChainBrain Podcast, Slate.com writer Aaron Mak says a lack of plastic and cardboard packaging was the main factor that led to shortages of cleaning supplies, yeast, pasta and other products during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. "It's actually really difficult to ramp up the supply chains for packaging in particular," Mak explains.
Counting on continued consumer demand for cleaning and disinfection solutions, LG Electronics and other tech companies are developing autonomous robots that emit UV-C light to disinfect surfaces, laying the foundation for what could become a robust market. "Now there are all kinds of companies, probably 100 companies, around the world that are all jumping into that market because of covid," said Barry Hunt, CEO of Prescientx, which started developing a UV-robot in 2016, when there was no demand for such a product.
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