NGOs file suit over transparency of TSCA new chemicals programme

Chemical Watch | March 18, 2020

A coalition of NGOs has sued the US EPA over an alleged lack of transparency in the TSCA new chemicals programme, which "thwart[s] the ability of the public to be informed and to provide input". According to a complaint filed by five environmental nonprofits in federal court today, the EPA has operated its TSCA premanufacture review process in a "black box, denying the public information to which they are legally entitled". Having access to timely information, they contend, is necessary to ensure the members they represent "are able to provide input on the potential risks of new chemicals and the need for protections from those risks prior to completion of EPA’s reviews." And they therefore have asked the court to ensure that the EPA complies with TSCA’s disclosure provisions, including by requiring that it:

Spotlight

It’s been a little while since the last post in the ‘Everyday Chemicals’ series, but it’s back today, and with a revamped look (which will also be applied out to the previous posts in the series over the next week or so). The latest post looks at acetic acid; this compound is well known for its presence in vinegar, but has a role in the manufacture of other chemicals we regularly encounter. It’s also an important part of a classic home science experiment!


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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

New Association of Plastic Recyclers State-of-the-Industry Report Shows Strength of US Plastic Recycling

Association of Plastic Recyclers | August 12, 2022

The Association of Plastic Recyclers The Voice of Plastic Recycling®, issued a report that provides a data-driven update on the progress of plastic recycling in the United States showing that it is a viable, accessible and scalable solution for reducing plastic waste. The report compiles research and analysis from across the $236 billion recycling industry which includes over 9,000 community recycling programs across the country and more than 100 post-consumer recyclers. The report finds that plastic recycling alone is responsible for over 200,000 U.S. jobs. “APR’s state-of-the-industry report tells the true story of plastic recycling in the United States. This is an industry that processed almost five billion pounds of post-consumer plastic material in 2020 despite a pandemic and related lockdown, and we have every expectation that number will continue to grow.” Steve Alexander, President and CEO of the Association of Plastic Recyclers The report presents an important clarification on data provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the discussion on US recycling rates. The report explains that 80% of rigid plastic packaging is polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and polypropylene (PP). These are the types of plastic packaging (such as soda bottles, laundry detergent jugs, and yogurt tubs) that are most used by businesses and available to consumers to put in their blue bins. The report found that 21% of these types of plastic, the type that U.S. consumers touch every day, are recycled based on EPA data. The report also includes the latest data for PET and HDPE bottles alone - a current recycling rate of 28%. With more supply of recyclable plastic material from consumers, U.S. plastic recyclers could boost PET and HDPE bottle recycling rate – raising the rate to over 40% – with minimal additional investment and using existing processing infrastructure in the U.S. “Increasing the recycling rate is important because demand for recycled material, a key driver of the recycling chain, is stronger than ever, spurred by a variety of factors including brand sustainability commitments and legislative activity,” added Alexander. The report concludes that meeting that high demand and continuing to sustain and grow recycling will require three steps: (1) companies to manufacture plastic products and packaging that are compatible with recycling, (2) consumers to put recyclable material in the bin and (3) a robust recycling infrastructure to collect, sort and process that material. The report provides policy recommendations including: ensure that all new products and packaging are made to be compatible with recycling; increase and strengthen community recycling programs and create harmonization among the types of plastic that are collected in those programs; and encourage the consideration of the true cost of disposal and the low costs to landfill. “This report shows that, while there is still work to be done, plastic recycling can succeed,” Alexander added. “Consumers want recycling to work, and recyclers are ready to process more material. Our industry is innovative and resilient. It is time to recommit to plastic recycling for our communities, for our environment, and for our future.” As the international trade association representing the plastics recycling industry, APR membership includes independent recycling companies of all sizes, processing numerous resins, as well as consumer product companies, equipment manufacturers, testing laboratories, organizations, and others committed to the success of plastics recycling. APR advocates the recycling of all plastics. Visit www.PlasticsRecyling.org for more information.

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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

Waters Collaborates with Leading Researchers and Industry Partners to Advance the Science of Alternative Proteins

Waters Corporation | July 27, 2022

Waters Corporation announced it is providing both technology and expertise to help advance plant-based protein science in collaboration with researchers of the Plant Protein Innovation Center at the University of Minnesota. Waters scientists will work with PPIC researchers to develop a workflow for measuring the amino acid content of plant-based proteins using a Waters ACQUITY™ Premier UPLC System. Waters is the first analytical instrument company to become a member of the PPIC, an industry-leading interdisciplinary research center dedicated to studying plant and alternative proteins. According to a July 2022 report by Boston Consulting Group, animal agriculture is the largest global greenhouse gas emitter within the food system and accounts for 15% of global emissions. If alternative proteins stay on track to match the taste, texture and price of conventional animal proteins, researchers estimate they will account for an 11% share of the food market by 2035 and account for a reduction in CO2 emissions equal to 95% of today’s aviation industry emissions.i “Just as climate change and population growth are driving demand for alternatives to animal protein, changing consumer tastes are also creating a preference for healthy and more sustainable dietary options to meet their future needs and wants. Waters is proud to be the first analytical instrument company to join PPIC in its pursuit of alternative sources of proteins while addressing the issues of climate change and food security.” Warren Potts, Senior Director, Global Food and Environmental Business, Waters Corporation “As we translate research to reality through developing and introducing novel and sustainable plant protein ingredients and products with acceptable functionality and nutrition, we rely heavily on robust and accurate analytical tools,” said Dr. B. Pam Ismail, Founder and Director of the PPIC. “PPIC and its member organizations are, therefore, thrilled to partner with Waters to advance our analytical capabilities for the alternative protein market.” Liquid Chromatography is Essential for Amino Acid Analysis Proteins are made up of 20 chemical ‘building blocks’ called amino acids. The amino acids we make ourselves or that we take in with food, link together in different combinations to make new proteins that help build and repair muscles, tendons, and organs. While humans produce 11 of these amino acids, the remaining nine amino acids are essential for human health and are derived only from plant or animal sources. Amino acid analysis provides a basic measure of the functional and nutritional value of both animal- and plant-based proteins slated for consumer food products. Any research into plant-based proteins requires a way to measure their amino acid content, for which liquid chromatography is particularly well-suited. About Waters Corporation Waters Corporation a global leader in analytical instruments and software, has pioneered chromatography, mass spectrometry, and thermal analysis innovations serving the life, materials, and food sciences for more than 60 years. With more than 7,800 employees worldwide, Waters operates directly in more than 35 countries, including 14 manufacturing facilities, and with products available in more than 100 countries.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

BLUE WATER PETROLEUM CORP ACQUIRES 160 ACRE FACILITY IN LITTLE SMOKY, ALBERTA, CANADA

Blue Water Petroleum Corp. | July 26, 2022

Blue Water Petroleum Corp announces that it has acquired 160 contiguous acres in Little Smoky, Alberta, Canada. The property is currently being used as a testbed and eventually will become a full-service facility for Blue Water. The facility processes oilfield wastewater using its licensed technology, into water that can be released into the environment and used for farming purposes; all in compliance with the Alberta Energy Regulator’s guidelines. Blue Water has partnered with Hawkridge Water Solutions Inc. and as of July 25th 2022, has exclusively licensed HWS’s wastewater and cavitation system and will be constructing a commercially operational facility on the Little Smoky, Alberta property. In these initial stages of the test, Blue Water receives deliveries of wastewater at the Little Smoky processing facility and is paid $8.00 CAD for each cubic meter it receives from its partner, Base Element Energy for the length of this pilot. The intent is to prove concept, scalability, and financial viability. Once the pilot is completed a Provisional Patent will be filed in North America. The raw produced water will be stored and measured according to all Alberta Energy Regulator guidelines on the Property location. The wastewater goes through three purification processes Firstly the gels, polymers are removed using the acid/base solution that is required to separate out the honeycomb structures. From that solution any hydrocarbons are released that can be recaptured. Secondly, water with no gels that could foul the membranes in a Reverse Osmosis process take the dissolved solids (mostly salts and chlorides) from the water. The backwash water is diluted with a Fresh Water tank and reintroduced back with the first process. Thirdly, the water goes through a smaller cavitation system and through mixing valves. We introduce outside air fed from an air compressor system at 150 psi, before flowing through the mixing valves in the cavitation chamber. This air oxygenates the water because of cavitation the water molecules are very small and accept the air structure as they are naturally attracted. Now water can be flowed to our test vegetation area with continuous testing prior to being released for local wildlife and grazing cattle. Our business strategy is to provide customized systems that are built to the customer’s specifications and can process 2500 m3 per unit in a 24 hour period. Systems of this capacity retail for approximately $2,000,000 CAD. About Blue Water Blue Water Petroleum Corp, is an upstream oil and gas investor and an environmental technology provider, with a proven executive and operations team who provides an attractive risk adjusted return for our shareholders and strategic partners. Our team and subsequent capital allocations are dedicated to acquiring high quality income producing predictable long-life oil and gas assets with a high percentage of proved developed producing reserves and the implementation of environmental solutions for the oil and gas sector.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Owens Corning to Acquire Spray Foam Manufacturer Natural Polymers

Owens Corning | June 22, 2022

Owens Corning announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Natural Polymers, LLC, an innovative manufacturer of spray polyurethane foam insulation for building and construction applications, based in Cortland, Illinois. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions and is anticipated to close in the third quarter. “This acquisition advances Owens Corning’s strategy to strengthen our core building and construction products and expand our addressable markets into higher-growth segments. Natural Polymers’ proven technology enables us to offer our customers a more diversified insulation product portfolio and solidify our commitment to provide long-term, sustainable solutions.” Todd Fister, president of Owens Corning’s Insulation business Natural Polymers is dedicated to the development of high-quality products and systems, offering some of the lowest-volatile organic compound products available in the spray foam industry today. Many of the business’ products are GREENGUARD Gold Certified by Underwriter’s Laboratories – a third party standard set to help reduce indoor air pollution and the risk of chemical exposure. “Over the last several years, we’ve seen many advancements in the overall spray foam industry, from standardized installer training to product enhancements that make the material a much more attractive solution,” said Mr. Fister. “Natural Polymers’ focus on product development provides Owens Corning with a foundation upon which we can use our material science knowledge to drive innovation and differentiate the business.” Natural Polymers expects to deliver sales of approximately $100 million in 2022. The business has demonstrated a strong track record of above-market growth and is expected to continue to achieve double-digit growth over the next several years. Benjamin Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer of Natural Polymers, stated, “I am excited by this transaction and believe Owens Corning is best suited to accelerate the business’ growth, benefiting our customers and supporting our vision to build the best spray polyurethane foam brand in the industry. Together, I believe we have the best people, technology, and capabilities.” About Owens Corning Owens Corning is a global building and construction materials leader committed to building a sustainable future through material innovation. Our three integrated businesses – Composites, Insulation, and Roofing – provide durable, sustainable, energy-efficient solutions that leverage our unique material science, manufacturing, and market knowledge to help our customers win and grow. We are global in scope, human in scale with approximately 20,000 employees in 33 countries dedicated to generating value for our customers and shareholders, and making a difference in the communities where we work and live. Founded in 1938 and based in Toledo, Ohio, USA, Owens Corning posted 2021 sales of $8.5 billion.

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Spotlight

It’s been a little while since the last post in the ‘Everyday Chemicals’ series, but it’s back today, and with a revamped look (which will also be applied out to the previous posts in the series over the next week or so). The latest post looks at acetic acid; this compound is well known for its presence in vinegar, but has a role in the manufacture of other chemicals we regularly encounter. It’s also an important part of a classic home science experiment!

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