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February 2018

NERC’s Advisory Members

Distinguished Benefactors

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Panasonic

Samsung

Sustaining Members

  • American Chemistry Council

  • American Forest and Paper Association

  • Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR)

  • Bag To Earth

  • Can Manufacturers Institute

  • Casella Resource Solutions

  • Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England

  • Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference

  • CURC

  • Dart Container

  • Glass Recycling Coalition

  • Good Point Recycling

  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI)

  • International Bottled Water Association

  • Keep America Beautiful

  • Keurig Dr. Pepper

  • MRM

  • National Waste & Recycling Association

  • NEWMOA

  • Organix Solutions

  • Re-TRAC

  • Recycling Partnership

  • Republic Services

  • Schaefer Systems International, Inc.

  • Sims Municipal Recycling

  • Sony

  • Steel Recycling Institute

  • Strategic Materials

  • Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC)

  • TOMRA

  • US Composting Council (USCC)

  • Waste Management

A list of all the logos of our Sustaining Members can be found under Advisory Members

Renewing Sustaining Members

New Supporting Member

Renewing Supporting Member

NERC News

Newly Posted

Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse News

Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse News

State Updates

CONNECTICUT

MASSACHUSETTS

NEW YORK

Advisory Member News

Of General Interest

New & Renewing Memberships

Membership is key to NERC's regional and national commitment to sustainable materials management. We are delighted to welcome renewing Sustaining Members - the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), Bag to Earth, Keurig Green Mountain, and Strategic Materials.  NERC also has a new Supporting Member - the Delaware River & Bay Authority, as well as a renewing Supporting Member - the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC). Thank you to all our Advisory Members.

To see a complete listing of NERC's Members and Supporters, as well as the benefits of membership, visit the NERC Advisory Membership web page.

The broad spectrum of interests represented by NERC's Advisory Members, Individual Supporters, and Board Members and their willingness to participate significantly contribute to the unique and important role that NERC plays in recycling in the region.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, Executive Director.

NERC News

Registration Open for NERC’s Spring Workshop!

It’s time to make your plans and register for NERC’s Spring Workshop— Markets or Bust. The Workshop will be held on April 3rd at the Sheraton Baltimore Washington Airport Hotel in the Baltimore area, Maryland. 

Key topics to be presented at the Workshop are:

  • Saving curbside recycling programs
  • History of recycling market development
  • Market development tools
  • Key market issues for paper, plastics, glass, and organics
  • Market development mock scenarios

The Workshop is intended for young and mature professionals who are interested in understanding current recycling market issues and effective recycling market development techniques. 

For more details about sessions, speakers, and schedule go to the Preliminary Agenda.

GOLD SPONSOR

 

BRONZE SPONSOR

Contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Assistant Director and Event Organizer, if you have any questions related to the Workshop.

How to Beat Residential Recycling Contamination – Learn from the Experts - Webinar, February 22

On February 22, 2 - 3:30 eastern, the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) & the Northeast Waste Management Official’s Association (NEWMOA) will co-sponsor a webinar about contamination in residential recycling and how to avoid it.

Contamination in the residential recycling stream is top on the list of concerns for all residential recycling programs in the United States.  This webinar, the first in a planned four-part series, will feature presentations by The Recycling Partnership.  The Recycling Partnership has developed and implemented a highly successful, yet easy to implement, program that recycling coordinators can use to significantly decrease contamination in their residential recycling. 

On this webinar The Recycling Partnership will present:

On this webinar The Recycling Partnership will present:

  • Its recent study on the economic impact of contamination in the recycling stream – Dylan de Thomas presenting
  • The impact on contamination in MA as a result of MassDEP’s “Recycling IQ Toolkit” program – Chris Coady presenting
  • The Recycling IQ Toolkit and how it can help you - Jason Hale presenting

In addition, Brooke Nash, MassDEP, will present firsthand impressions of the kit and its utility in curbing recycling contamination.

The webinar is free, but registration is required.  For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director.

Free Consulting Services, Discounted Registrations & More

Being a NERC Advisory Member not only helps NERC but you as well. There are three tiers of membership and depending on the level at which you join, the benefits vary in degree, but you can count on:

  • Free consulting services (several hours a year)
  • Great publicity and recognition (monthly)
  • Discounted conference & workshop registrations (and that includes the April 3rd workshop)

More information is available in our Advisory Membership brochure, or contact Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director, to have a one-on-one conversation.

Keep up with NERC on Social Media

NERC’s social media efforts have resulted in many more readers, friends, and followers. If you haven’t joined NERC’s Blog, or Facebook and Twitter pages, or listservs, please consider doing so. And feel free to spread the word among your peers and friends about NERC’s social media program.

NERC Blog

NERC’s Blog presents articles on a wide range of topics, from textiles to the Food Recovery Hierarchy, and much else as well.  We discuss current happenings - did you know there is a World Recycles Day? Perhaps you’re moved by the refugee crises around the world; Have you ever considered the unintended consequences of waste created by their plight? And what are the thoughts of David Levine, co-founder and chief executive officer of the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), on today’s challenges for the materials management industry?

Signing up for the NERC Blog is easy (and of course it’s free). Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive a weekly email notice with a brief description of the blog and a link. Click on the hyperlink and it will take you directly to our most recent blog. Our blogs are just the right length, often contain hyperlinks for additional information and original source material, frequently contain colorful images and photos, and go well with coffee, tea, or lunch!  Previous blogs are all archived and available from the same page.

Want to share your thoughts about current industry issues, program happenings, and/or thoughts on an important issue? If so, contact Athena Lee Bradley. We love to post guest blog articles!

NERC Facebook Page

We’ve got more than 500 “Likes” on our Facebook page! Yeah!

While professional soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has 122.1 million likes, and the R&B superstar Rihanna has about 105 million, neither of them shares breaking news on issues relating to sustainable materials management. Like us to deepen your understanding of matters you won’t find addressed by either Ronaldo or Rihanna!

NERC on Twitter

In the Twitter world, NERC has 1,400 followers. A hearty note of appreciation to all of you! You can join our growing ranks of Twitter followers here: @NERecycling. We continue to increase our presence on Twitter and use it to promote NERC events and announcements, and to help others in the field by spreading their news and postings.

Environmentally Preferable Products Listserv (EPPnet)

In 1998, NERC established EPPnet, the Environmentally Preferable Products Listserv.  EPPnet is the only national listserv dedicated to the issue of environmentally preferable purchasing.  EPPnet enables users to easily and immediately share product specifications, vendors, prices, strategies for achieving green product procurement goals, and federal procurement policies. 

Organics Management Northeast Listserv

NERC’s Listserv for advancing organics management in the Northeast is an opportunity to share information about what’s happening with organics management. It’s an open listserv to anyone interested in advancing organics diversion in the Northeast through promotion of the organics management hierarchy (i.e., reduction, recovery, recycling [composting], anaerobic digestion).

Listserv Requirements:  NERC listservs are hosted by Yahoo. A Yahoo email account is required of everyone interested in participating in the listserv; log in can also be done through a Facebook account. Once you are a member of the listserv, you can elect to use a non-Yahoo email address.

To join the listservs:

EPPnet

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/EPPnet/info

Please note that EPPnet is restricted to government and nonprofit members working in environmental preferable purchasing.

Organics Management Northeast

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/OrganicsManagementNE/info

Contact Athena Lee Bradley for more information on NERC’s social media or listservs.

Newly PostedC&D Material Management & Markets Webinar Posted

NERC & NEWMOA recently co-sponsored a webinar about C&D material management and markets in the Northeast.  Presentations included:

  • The results of NEWMOA’s recently released analysis of data collected by the environmental agencies in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont on architectural C & D materials generation and processing. PowerPoint Presentation.
  • The results of a Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) funded study that evaluated the current and future status of construction and demolition (C&D) debris management in Massachusetts, and identified and recommend potential opportunities for the diversion of a greater proportion of recyclable materials to recycling markets. PowerPoint Presentation

A recording of this webinar is now available. 

NERC has several other important resources available about C&D and disaster debris management:

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director.

New Resource Published: Funding Opportunities For Organics & Compost Related Businesses From State & Federal Agencies In The Northeast States

This document provides state-by-state information for the 11-states in the NERC region—Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont—regarding potential sources of grant or loan funding for organics-related businesses that are available from state and federal agencies.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director.

Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse News

Melissa Walsh Innes Joins NERC Staff

Melissa Walsh InnesMelissa Walsh Innes became the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) Program Manager in late 2016, in the role of a contractor.  We are delighted to announce that the position has transitioned to a permanent NERC staff position.

 

 

 

Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse News

Compliance Calendar Development Begins

The Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse (ERCC) is in the initial development stage on a new resource for all stakeholders needing information on the state electronics recycling laws.  A new “Compliance Calendar” website will list  all deadlines, requirements, and other key characteristics about the 26 laws in a searchable format.  The site will serve stakeholders who are trying to comply with the varying state electronics recycling laws, and allow users to set up and customize email alerts for various deadlines. The project will be developed by ERCC, through funding that has been generously provided by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Site development is beginning now and is expected to wrap up by Spring 2018.  ERCC members will provide input during the development process.  If you would like more information on ERCC membership, please contact Jason Linnell or Lynn Rubinstein.

State UpdatesCONNECTICUT

DEEP Announces Plan to Redevelop MIRA Facility

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has announced the selection of the Sacyr Rooney Development Team to modernize the Materials Innovation and Recycle Authority (MIRA) facility in Hartford. The facility is Connecticut’s largest waste facility and is set to undergo a transformation that will cut in half the amount of trash burned and dramatically increase the recovery of recyclable materials and organics.

The Sacyr Rooney Development Team team is an alliance between Sacyr, an international Spain-based firm specializing in complex infrastructure projects, and Manhattan Construction Group, which has extensive experience financing and building large-scale infrastructure projects. Other members of the bid team include Baltimore, M.D.-based Synagro, and CWPM of Plainville, CT.

“One-third of the state’s trash (over 700,000 tons-per-year) is currently sent to the MIRA waste-to-energy facility on Maxim Road, Hartford, where material is combusted for energy generation. The facility’s aging equipment is prone to unplanned outages and MIRA had warned state officials that it would be unable to bear the cost of needed upgrades,” said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee. “The Sacyr Rooney concept has the potential to provide significant environmental and economic benefits to the State, as well as significant improvements in host community impacts compared with the present state.”

The environmental benefits include the recovery of over 40 percent of incoming Municipal Solid Waste for beneficial uses by employing enhanced recycling, anaerobic digestion, and composting technologies. The remaining material will be combusted for the production of electricity in a refurbished power system. Taking into account expected diversion and the reduced throughput, the concept would reduce by approximately one-half the amount of waste currently combusted at the facility. The concept also helps maintain in-state waste management capacity rather than significantly increasing reliance on out-of-state landfilling, which is consistent with the state’s statutory waste management hierarchy as well as the 2016 Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy (CMMS).

The economic benefits include the potential to stabilize tipping fees throughout the regional waste system, reigning in costs for residents and businesses. The Sacyr Rooney concept is projected to provide tipping fees that are lower than current MIRA contracted rates for many customers. Other benefits include the transformation of waste into valuable commodities, and the creation of new jobs.

For the City of Hartford, the Sacyr Rooney concept holds the potential for a higher host benefit payment, local hiring and purchasing, job training programs, a new education center, aesthetic improvements to the facility and site, remediation of existing contamination at a portion of the site, and increased public access to the riverfront. Upgrades to the power system and the significant reduction in combustion at the site will also reduce the potential for environmental and human health impacts for residents of Hartford and surrounding towns. DEEP has established a process to ensure Hartford has a seat at the table for negotiations on moving the project forward.

DEEP will monitor negotiations involving Sacyr Rooney, MIRA, and the City of Hartford aimed at reaching a final development agreement by August 2018. If an agreement cannot be reached, DEEP has reserved the right to invite another proposer, Mustang Renewable Power Ventures, to enter into talks with MIRA. Contracting will be followed by approximately three years of planning, permitting, and construction before the new facility is fully online.

More information about the proposals and the RFP process is available online.

MASSACHUSETTS

FY2016 Annual Report of the Environmentally Preferable Products Procurement Program

The goal of the Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP) Program (which resides in the Commonwealth’s Operational Services Division) is to leverage the Commonwealth’s purchasing power to reduce the environmental and health impacts of the state government’s purchasing activities, foster markets for products with recycled content, and promote the purchase of those goods and services that conserve energy, water, and other resources while reducing waste and the use of toxic substances. 

In fiscal year 2016 the Commonwealth, through its statewide contracts, documented nearly $300 million of spending on EPPs.  By purchasing EPPs, the Commonwealth has:

  • Saved nearly $23 million, primarily from purchases of energy-efficient products
  • Reduced approximately 160,000 metric tons of carbon equivalent from purchasing energy efficient and post-consumer recycled content. This is equal to removing 126,231 passenger vehicles from the road.
  • Diverted an estimated 53,781 tons of waste from disposal to recycling, which is equal to conserving the annual energy consumption of 10,634 households

In addition, some other highlights include:

  • Negotiated $3.2 million in discounts for green cleaning products from the FAC85 Statewide Contract: Environmentally Preferable Cleaning Products, Programs, Equipment and Supplies.  This contract helped users save approximately $130,000 in reduced water and energy use by replacing string mops and liquid hand soaps with microfiber mops and low toxicity foaming hand soaps.
  • Assisted in Developing Fuel Efficiency Standards for State Fleet 
  • Identified more than 350 lines of EPP Furniture on Statewide Contract OFF38
  • Developed EPP specifications for Maintenance, Repair and Operations products 

The full report is available online.

NEW YORK

New York’s Plastic Bag Task Force Issues Report to Combat Bag Waste

The Chair of New York’s Plastic Bag Task Force, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos, has issued the Task Force's comprehensive report outlining eight potential solutions to address the scourge of plastic bag waste in the state. The report was sent to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for consideration.  

“As states across the nation and world struggle with the environmental and financial costs of plastic bag waste, New York is developing a comprehensive solution. Under Governor Cuomo's direction, the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force has identified equitable, statewide solutions to address plastic bag waste and this report provides a menu of options to tackle this issue. I'm grateful to the Co-Chairs and Task Force members for their efforts and hard work to develop this report,” said DEC Commissioner Seggos.

Convened in March 2017, the Task Force was directed to study the growing issue of plastic bag waste and develop a comprehensive statewide plan to address the detrimental impact plastic bags have on the environment. The report is the result of a dedicated effort by Task Force members, including elected officials, advocates, and other key stakeholders.  The report was informed by a roundtable discussion and comments DEC received from interested parties and an exhaustive review of actions taken elsewhere to address plastic bag waste.

Task Force members are:  

  • Basil Seggos, Commissioner, DEC
  • Senator Thomas O'Mara, New York State Senate
  • Assemblyman Steve Englebright, New York State Assembly
  • Stephen Acquario, Executive Director, New York State Association of Counties
  • Marcia Bystryn, President, New York League of Conservation Voters‎
  • Michael Rosen, President and CEO, Food Industry Alliance of NY, Inc.‎

The Task Force’s report, which is available online and provides an overview of the problems caused by single-use plastic bags and reviews single-use plastic bag reduction measures undertaken in New York State, the U.S., and internationally. These measures have included plastic bag fees, plastic bag bans, a combination of fees and bans, manufacturer responsibility programs, and education and outreach initiatives to consumers at both the municipal and statewide level.

The options to address plastic bag waste in the report are:

  • Strengthen and Enforce Existing New York State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act – Continue implementation of the existing New York State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act while increasing education, enforcement and reporting requirements.
  • Manufacturer Responsibility for Recycling of Single-Use Plastic Bags – Require manufacturers to fund and implement a program for the collection and recycling of single-use plastic bags.
  • Fee on Single-Use Plastic Bags – Institute a fee on single-use plastic bags.
  • Fee per Transaction for Single-Use Bags – Under this option, rather than a fee per bag, a single fee would be imposed for the use of single-use bags (i.e., a fee would be assessed whether a consumer received one bag or 10 bags).
  • Fee on Single-Use Plastic and Paper Bags
  • Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags – Implement a ban on the sale and use of single-use plastic bags.
  • Hybrid – Implement a ban on plastic bags with a fee on the allowable alternatives.
  • Continue Existing Policies – Continue implementation of the existing New York State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act.

‎In addition, the report notes the need for any approach taken to include an education and outreach campaign to make consumers aware of the problems ‎with plastic bags for the environment and waste stream, encourage the use of reusable bags and how to properly recycle plastic bags. As part of the education and outreach campaign, the report recommends providing funds to support the distribution of reusable bags with a focus on low and fixed income individuals. If the policy approach taken includes fees, the report suggests that any funding received by the State be dedicated to the Environmental Protection Fund.

Across New York, residents use 23 billion plastic bags annually. A significant number of these bags make their way into the environment causing litter and damaging wildlife, which can be seen within our waterways, along our streets and in our oceans and lakes. Moreover, these bags do not biodegrade -- they persist for years.   Advisory Member News

Mercury Switch Collection Extended Through 2021

ISRI has joined with other stakeholders in signing an extension to the National Vehicle Mercury Switch Recovery Program (NVMSRP) that will keep the voluntary collection program operating through December 31, 2021.

The NVMSRP provides for the transportation and recycling of mercury convenience switches from end-of-life vehicles in order to reduce mercury releases to the environment; participation by dismantlers and recyclers is voluntary and absolves them of liability once the switches are collected.

The program was set to expire at the end of 2017 since it was predicted that vehicles with mercury switches would largely be out of the recycling stream, but events since then suggest that a significant number of mercury switches have yet to be captured. ISRI members approved the continuation of the NVMSRP as long as the End of Life Vehicle Solutions Corporation (ELVS) maintained transportation, acceptance, recycling, and liability responsibilities, and the responsibilities of ISRI and participating dismantlers and recyclers remained essentially unchanged. The extension fulfills both these requirements.

For more information contact Mark Reiter; a final version of the extension will be posted to ISRI's White Papers, Reports, and Analysis webpage.

November Steel Shipments Up 10.3% from November 2016

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) has reported that for the month of November 2017, U.S. steel mills shipped 7,419,946 net tons, a 3.8 percent decrease from the 7,710,777 net tons shipped in the previous month, October 2017, and a 10.3 percent increase from the 6,724,277 net tons shipped in November 2016.  Shipments year-to-date in 2017 are 83,558,470 net tons, a 5.3 percent increase vs. 2016 shipments of 79,360,096 net tons for eleven months.

A comparison of November shipments to the previous month of October shows the following changes:  cold rolled sheets, up 1 percent, hot rolled sheets, down 3 percent and hot dipped galvanized sheets and strip, down 4 percent.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice.

AISI Releases December SIMA Imports Data

Based on the Commerce Department’s most recent Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) data, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported today that steel import permit applications for the month of December totaled 2,473,000 net tons (NT)*.  This was a 13.6% decrease from the 2,861,000 permit tons recorded in November and a 10.5% decrease from the November final imports total of 2,762,000 NT.  Import permit tonnage for finished steel in December was 1,854,000, down 14.6% from the final imports total of 2,170,000 in November.  For the full year 2017 (including December SIMA permits and November final data), total and finished steel imports were 38,149,000 NT and 29,534,000 NT, up 15.5% and 12.1%, respectively, from 2016.  The estimated finished steel import market share in December was 22% and is estimated at 27% for 2017.

Finished steel imports with large increases in December permits compared to the November final included tool steel (up 52%), heavy structural shapes (up 42%), tin free steel (up 30%) and mechanical tubing (up 11%).  Products with significant 2017 increases include oil country goods (up 197%), line pipe (up 62%), standard pipe (up 39%), mechanical tubing (up 30%), hot rolled bars (up 23%), structural pipe and tubing (up 19%), cold rolled sheets (up 15%), sheets and strip all other metallic coatings (up 13%) and sheets and strip hot dipped galvanized (up 11%).

In December, the largest finished steel import permit applications for offshore countries were for South Korea (179,000 NT, down 16% from November final), Brazil (99,000 NT, up 1%, Japan (86,000 NT, down 25%), Germany (84,000 NT, down 41%) and The Netherlands (61,000 NT, down 45%).  In 2017, the largest offshore suppliers were South Korea (3,740,000 NT, down 1.9% from 2016), Turkey (2,186,000 NT, down 9% from 2016) and Japan (1,509,000 NT, down 16% from 2016).

Monthly permit numbers provided to date may be understated, as entry documentation with the required import license number may be submitted up to ten days after imports have entered U.S. commerce.          

Tips to Protect your Program from National Sword

The Recycling Partnership offered a mid-October webinar detailing a six-point plan on how to shield your program from National Sword, the umbrella term used to describe the various China-related export issues. Their resources include a deep-dive into paper and plastics markets from industry experts and an open discussion on impacts and actions with four different regional MRFs from across the U.S.

A recording of the webinar is available here, the presentations are available here, and the tools needed to clean up your stream (the #1 way to combat market issues) are available here.

Tools: Kits to Fight Contamination

The State of Massachusetts continued their work with The Recycling Partnership this year, fighting contamination in six more communities and training Bay State staffers to deploy our approach for years to come. Together with the Massachusetts Department for Environmental Protection, The Recycling Partnership created the Recycling IQ Kit. Here’s one for curbside recycling communities, and another for communities with drop-off programs

Of General Interest

Recycling Terms for Beginners

Recycled glass presents special challenges as a commodity. The expansion of single-stream recycling (see NERC's January Email Bulletin for its definition) can lead to contamination of paper by broken glass, which can also cause damage to recycling machinery in materials recovery facilities (MRFs).

In order to clarify the issues impacting glass recycling, and to identify possible solutions, NERC has convened a Glass Committee which is focusing on glass recycling in the Northeast.

This month's recycling terms definitions includes three that describe efforts to make use of recycled glass in ways that can be profitable while contributing to the sustainable management of resources.

  • Cullet is recycled glass. Among other possible applications, cullet can be used to form new glass packaging. As much as 95% of raw materials used in the making of glass packaging can be from recycled material such as cullet.
  • Beneficiated glass is cullet that has gone through the process of sorting and cleaning to become “furnace-ready” for sale to glass packaging or fiberglass manufacturers.
  • Processed Glass Aggregate (PGA) is recycled glass that for quality reasons has not gone through beneficiation, but can be recycled for other uses. For example, PGA can be used to replace sand and gravel aggregates in the construction industry, thereby avoiding consignment to landfills.

Our fourth recycling term this month was suggested by Peter Schirk of Advisory Member BHS-Sonthofen.

  • Refuse derived fuel (RDF) is produced from recycled biodegradable material and plastic (non-combustible glass and metal are separated from the RDF feedstock at a MRF). After the feedstock is shredded, RDF can be used to generate energy for the MRF's operations. Because of additional processing to improve quality, solid recovered fuel (SRF) has a higher net calorific value, and can be used in facilities such as cement kilns.

If you have suggestions for future definitions, contact Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director.

Tools & Initiatives to Advance Sustainable Consumption Webinar - Feb. 8, 1 p.m. eastern

The Tools and Initiatives to Advance Sustainable Consumption webinar will focus on new emerging tools and initiatives for local governments in their efforts to advance sustainable consumption. The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), a peer organization supporting innovation in municipal sustainability, is leading the way in exploring the role of cities in shifting consumption. In 2016, USDN launched its Sustainable Consumption Toolkit, a web-based resource for cities that highlights the important relationship between consumption and sustainability and provides an inventory of related local government actions. Babe O’Sullivan, a consultant with USDN, will provide an overview of this tool and how it can serve Forum members as they consider new projects, programs and policies to address the impacts of consumption.

You can register for this webinar here.

For other upcoming webinars here.

AMERIPEN Releases Quantifying the Value of Packaging as a Strategy to Prevent Food Waste in America

AMERIPEN has announced the release of anew white paper, “Quantifying the Value of Packaging as a Strategy to Prevent Food Waste in America.” This new report delves deeper into the potential ways packaging can reduce food waste in America and notes where further investment, research and policy must integrate to realize this value.

In the past 50 years, the amount of food waste in America has doubled. Americans now waste almost ten times more food than those in less developed nations and almost one-third more than those in developed nations, costing over $200 billion each year. Food waste is the largest single material in landfills across the US and is a key contributor to global greenhouse gases.

By analyzing global data, AMERIPEN uncovered a surprising correlation between the foods with the highest percentage of wastage and those with the least amount of packaging. National-level data reinforced the link between packaging and food waste by demonstrating that the regions with the highest rates of food waste also have the least amount of packaged foods. Yet consumers frequently cite packaging over food waste as a top environmental concern, despite data suggesting otherwise.

While others have touted packaging as a cost-effective prevention strategy towards food waste, most have argued for further investment into emerging packaging technologies. AMERIPEN’s study suggests instead that simple optimization strategies to reduce damage and address consumer shifts in purchasing may be equally effective and more cost efficient in the fight against waste.

Download AMERIPEN’s white paper, “Quantifying the Value of Packaging as a Strategy to Prevent Food Waste in America” today or visit AMERIPEN.org for more information.