2011 0408 platt cleanmed_april8_2011

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2011 0408 platt cleanmed_april8_2011

  1. 1. Compostable biobased alternatives to polystyrene in food service Brenda Platt SBC Co-Chair Institute for Local Self-Reliance April 8, 2011 Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP): "Hot" Topics CleanMed, Phoenix, Arizona www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  2. 2. Overview What’s wrong with polystyrene for food service ware? Compostable biobased alternatives Understanding difference between biobased vs biodegradable vs compostable Benefits of composting Programs utilizing compostable products Do biobased products make sense if you can’t compost? Compostable alone ≠ sustainable Criteria for environmentally preferable biobased food service ware www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  3. 3. Petro-Plastic Woes Non-renewable (geological timeframes to produce but consume in 1 to 10 years) Generally nonbiodegradable with devastating affects on ocean life 6 times more plastic than plankton by mass Demand and production skyrocketing Plastics industry supports more drilling Recycling and reuse low Health impacts (polymers differ) Agalita Marine Research Foundation www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  4. 4. Plastics Recycling: Failure? 35,000 30,000 25,000 20,000 Waste GeneratedThousands of tons Material Recycledof plastics 15,000 10,000 5,000 - 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2007 2009 Source: US EPA, 2009 data (http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/msw99.htm) www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  5. 5. Plastics Recycling Low Generation Recycling Recycling Level (thousand tons) (thousand tons) (percent by weight)PET 3,530 730 20.7%HDPE 5,210 590 11.3%PVC 1,120 0.0%LDPE/LLDPE 6,300 320 5.1%PP 5,530 50 0.9%PS 2,470 20 0.8%Other resins 5,670 410 7.2%Total Plastics in 28,830 2,120 7.1%MSWSource: US EPA, 2009 data MSW = municipal solid waste www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  6. 6. How Exposure to Polystyrene Affects the Human Body  Polystyrene in made from the monomer styrene (vinyl benzene)  Styrene remains present in polystyrene (no polymerization process is 100% efficient)  Styrene = a neurotoxicant and suspected human carcinogen  Styrene impairs the central and peripheral nervous systems.  Exposure to styrene in the workplace has also been associated with chromosomal aberrations, thus is considered a mutagen.  Carcinogenic Effects: Proven that it causes cancer in animals, but there are no long- term studies showing that PS causes cancer in humans.  Polystyrene contains alkylphenols, an additive linked to breast cancer. www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  7. 7. Styrene Leaches into Food“The ability of styrene monomer to migrate frompolystyrene packaging to food has been reported in anumber of publications and probably accounts for thegreatest contamination of foods by styrenemonomer.”World Health OrganizationStyrene Chapter, Air Quality Guidelines-2nd Edition, WHORegional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2000http://www.euro.who.int (search “Chapter 5.12 Styrene”) www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  8. 8. Communities with Polystyrene RestrictionsCalifornia: Other: Berkeley  Oakland  Freeport, Maine City of Calabasas  Pacific Grove  Portland, Oregon City of Capitola  Palo Alto  Seattle, Washington Emeryville  Richmond  Takoma Park,  City of San Clemente Maryland Huntington Beach City of Laguna Woods  San Francisco Malibu  San Mateo County Monterey  Santa Cruz County Mill Valley  Santa Monica Millbrae  Sonoma County Newport Beach  Ventura County www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  9. 9. Benefits of Biobased Alternatives Can replace many harmful conventional plastics Can be fully biodegradable (capable of being utilized by living matter) Can be made from a variety of renewable resources Can be composted locally into a soil amendment Can help capture food discards Can contribute to healthier rural economies Can complement zero waste goals www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  10. 10. The Good News on Biobased Alternatives  Variety of resins available  Performance improving  Experience and R&D growing  Growth expected  The federal biobased procurement program – BioPreferred – will open up new markets  Standards in place  Price competitiveness improving  Demand increasing www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  11. 11. ASTM Standards D 6866 – defines and quantifies biobased content D 6400 – specification for biodegradation in commercial composting systems D 7081 – specification for biodegradation in the marine environment D 5988 – test method for biodegradation in soil D 5511 – test method for biodegradation in anaerobic digesters www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  12. 12. Degradable Vs. BiodegradableDegradable BiodegradableMay be invisible to naked Completely assimilated into eye food and energy sourceFragment into smaller pieces by microbial populationsNo data to document in a short time period biodegradability within Meet biodegradability one growing season standardsMigrate into water tableNot completely assimilated by microbial populations in a short time period 1989 Cover of Environmental ActionSource for definitions: Dr. Ramani Narayan, Michigan State Univ. www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  13. 13. Biodegradable vs. BiobasedNon-biodegradable biobased plastics are here www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  14. 14. Confusion and Green Washing Source: www.ensobottles.com www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  15. 15. Biodegradability alone is not an environmental goal Products should be:  Reusable  Recyclable  Compostable Health care providers can use their purchasing power to drive the market toward more environmentally preferable products www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  16. 16. Composting: A Success StoryYard Debris,Thousandsof tons Source: US EPA, 2009 data (http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/msw99.htm) www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  17. 17. U.S. municipal waste disposed 160.9 million tons in 2009Source: US EPA, 2009 data (http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/msw99.htm) www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  18. 18.  Creates a rich nutrient-filled material, humus, Increases the nutrient content in soils, Helps soils retain moisture, Reduces or eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers, Suppresses plant diseases and pests, Promotes higher yields of agricultural crops, Helps regenerate poor soils, Has the ability to cleanup (remediate) contaminated soil, Can help prevent pollution and manage erosion problems.BLACK GOLD
  19. 19. Composting, lots of models www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  20. 20. Boulder Farmers’ Market www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  21. 21. Whole Foods www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  22. 22. San Francisco: Aiming for Zero Waste www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  23. 23. Color-coded compostable design for 400k at SF Festival Photos courtesy of City of San Francisco www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  24. 24. Seattle www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  25. 25. Seattle: Compostable Food Service Ware www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  26. 26. Not All Bioproducts Created Equal  Biobased content  Additives and blends  Material feedstock type  Recyclability  Feedstock location  Performance  Biodegradability  Products  Commercial compost sites  Home composting  Marine environment  Anaerobic digestionBiobased content alone ≠ sustainable www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  27. 27. Challenges with Biobased ProductsConcern over genetically modified organisms (GMOs)Desire for sustainably grown biomassNeed to develop adequate recycling and compostingprogramsConcern with nanomaterials andfossil-fuel-plastic blendsLack of adequate labelingConcern over contaminationof recycling systems www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  28. 28. Genetically Modified Crops  Can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts  Can disrupt the ecosystem, damage vulnerable wild plant and animal populations and harm biodiversity  Increase chemical inputs (pesticides, herbicides) over the long term  Deliver yields that are no better, and often worse, than conventional crops  Cause or exacerbate a range of social and economic problems  Are laboratory-made and, once released, harmful GMOs cannot be recalled from the environment. Source: http://www.nongmoproject.org/ www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  29. 29. What We Put Into Corn… Average of over 120 lbs. nitrogen fertilizer per acre Among the highest levels of herbicide and pesticide use for conventional crops Irrigation water Proprietary hybrids www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  30. 30. Survey Data: feedstock types and sources China  India – Bulrush – Fallen palm leaves – Bagasse  Thailand/Vietnam – Tapioca starch – PSM (Plastarch Material) – Grass fiber – Corn – Bagasse – Chinese PLA  Malaysia – PHBV* – Palm fiber – PBS**  USA – Cornstarch – NatureWorks PLA – “Natural total chlorine-free pulp” – Recycled wood fiber *polyhydroxybutyrate-polyhydroxyvalerate **polybutylene succinate (petrochemical + succinic acid) www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  31. 31. Path from Field to Producer “The source product is from Brazil,then turned into cornstarch in China, then the starch is used in our manufacturer’s facility.” “Feedstocks grown in Midwestern US. Manufacture the resin in Hawthorne, CA today, but plan to manufacture in Seymour, IN shortly.” www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  32. 32. Recyclable? www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  33. 33. Where’s Waldo? Identifying and Sorting Bio-BottlesCourtesy of Eureka Recycling, Minneapolis, MN (www.eurekarecycling.org)
  34. 34. Tricky?At 120 feet per minute on a 30” wide conveyor line – It sure is!Courtesy of Eureka Recycling, Minneapolis, MN (www.eurekarecycling.org)
  35. 35. Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative As You SowThe Sustainable Biomaterials Center for Health, Environment and JusticeCollaborative is a network of Clean Production Action * Environmental Health Fund *organizations working together to Green Harvest Technologies Health Care Without Harmspur the introduction and use of Healthy Building Network Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy *biomaterials that are sustainable Institute for Local Self-Reliance*from cradle to cradle. The Lowell Center for Sustainable Production * Sustainable Research GroupCollaborative is creating Pure Strategies RecycleWorld Consultingsustainability guidelines, Science & Environmental Health Networkengaging markets, and promoting Seventh Generation National Campaign for Sustainable Ag.policy initiatives. Whole Foods City of San Francisco * Steering committee www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  36. 36. Defining Sustainable Life Cycles by Principles  Sustainable feedstocks / Sustainable agriculture  Green Chemistry / Clean Production  Closed Loop Systems / Cradle to Cradle / Zero Waste“Just because it’s biobased, doesn’t make it green” www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  37. 37. Biomass Feedstock Avoid hazardous chemicals Avoid GMOs Conserve soil & nutrients Biological diversity Sustainable agriculture plan Protect workers
  38. 38. Manufacturing  Support sustainable feedstock  Reduce fossil energy use  Avoid problematic blends & additives  Avoid untested chemicals and engineered nano particles  Design for recycling & composting  Maximize process safety/reduce emissions  Green chemistry  Protect workers 38
  39. 39. End of Life Compostable or recyclable Biodegradable in aquatic systems Adequate product labeling Adequate recovery infrastructure www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  40. 40. Development of EnvironmentallyPreferable Purchasing Specifications www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  41. 41. Recognition Levels Bronze  Baseline criteria  Easily verifiable criteria Silver Gold  Highest level  More challenges to verify criteria www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  42. 42. Criteria: Biomass Production (food service ware) Criteria Recognition LevelBiobased (organic) carbon content Product must be >90% Bronze Product must be >95% Silver Product must be >99% GoldGenetically Modified Plants No plastics may be made directly in plants Bronze GM crops allowed in field with offsets Bronze No GM biomass allowed in field SilverSustainably grown biomass Forest and brushland-derived biomass Bronze Agricultural crop biomass GoldProtection of biomass production workers Gold www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  43. 43. Criteria: Manufacturing (food service ware) Criteria Recognition LevelWood- or fiber-based products Non-food-contact products: 100% recycled, 40% PCR Bronze Cups: 10% PCR content Gold Other food-contact products: 45% recycled content BronzeNo organohalogens added BronzeAdditives and Contaminants of High Concern Declare whether nanomaterials present Bronze No engineered nano without health risk assessment Silver No Proposition 65 chemicals Silver No additives and chemicals of high concern; all additives Gold must be testedNo chlorine or chlorine compounds SilverProtection of biomass production workers GoldLocal ownership and production Gold www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  44. 44. Criteria: End of Life (food service ware) Criteria Recognition LevelProduct must be 100% commercially compostable BronzeProduct labeled for compostability “Commercially Compostable” if facility exists Bronze Verification logo on product Bronze Clearly compostable Bronze Additional labeling if facility does not exist Bronze100% backyard or home compostable Silver100% biodegradable in aquatic environment Marine biodegradable Gold Freshwater biodegradable Gold www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  45. 45. What if you don’t have access to composting?Promote composting in your communityand state! Institutional and corporatesupport is critical. Join the USComposting Council as a friend:www.compostingcouncil.org www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  46. 46. Next Steps Vetted List of Products  Clear process for manufacturers to assess conformance to criteria  Beta-test conformance process Work with purchasers to beta-test bid specs Develop Biospecs for biobased bags and another for durable biobased products www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  47. 47. Single use has got to go www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  48. 48. Resource Conservation Hierarchy Most Preferable Avoid & Reduce Reuse Recycle & Compost Treat Dispose Least Preferable www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  49. 49. Zero Waste PathSource: ILSR, GAIA, and Eco-Cycle, Stop Trashing the Climate (2008). www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  50. 50. Aiming for zero waste is key GHG abatement strategyAbatement Megatons % of AbatementStrategy CO2 eq. Needed in 2030 to Return to 1990Reducing wastevia prevention, reuse,recycling, composting 406 11.6%Lighting 240 6.9%Vehicle Efficiency 195 5.6%Lower Carbon Fuels 100 2.9%Forest Management 110 3.1%Carbon Capture & Storage 95 2.7%Wind 120 3.4%Nuclear 70 2.0%Source: ILSR, GAIA, and Eco-Cycle, Stop Trashing the Climate (2008), and McKinsey &Company, Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much and at What Cost? (2007) www.sustainablebiomaterials.org
  51. 51. Comments? Questions? Brenda Platt SBC, Co-Chair Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Co-Director bplatt@ilsr.org 202-898-1610 ext 230 www.sustainablebiomaterials.org www.sustainablebiomaterials.org

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