Braskem announces project to evaluate production of biobased polypropylene 

Braskem announced a project to evaluate an investment in producing carbon negative bio-based polypropylene (PP) in the U.S. The project would utilize Braskem’s proven, proprietary technology to convert bioethanol into physically segregated bio-based polypropylene. Braskem is exploring partnership opportunities for this project with several clients, brand owners, and suppliers.

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Soil bioplastic mulches for agroecosystem sustainability: a comprehensive review 

The use of plastic mulch films is widespread in agriculture for specialty cropping systems because of several benefits. In this article, a group of researchers critically review, for the first time under a holistic approach, the use of biodegradable plastic mulches (BdPMs) in soil as a sustainable alternative to conventional petroleum-based plastics, highlighting the current state of understanding of their degradation in soil and their effect on soil microorganisms, weed control, and soil properties. In addition, we provide a detailed focus on the history and economic importance of mulching. BdPMs are effective for use in vegetable production in that they improve physical, chemical, and biological soil properties, as well as enhancing microbial biodiversity, controlling weeds, and maintaining soil moisture. BdPMs could be useful to limit the use of agrochemicals and reduce tillage and irrigation supplies for sustainable management.

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Henkel signs agreement with Shell on renewable-based ingredients for Persil, Purex and other brands

Henkel and Shell Chemical LP have agreed to a five-year collaboration to replace up to 200,000 tonnes of fossil feedstocks used in the manufacture of surfactants with feedstocks that are based on renewable raw materials. The renewable-based surfactants will be used in Henkel’s laundry product brands, including many varieties of Persil, Purex, and other brands. Surfactants are an ingredient in cleaning products that help lather and lift dirt. “This landmark cooperation significantly advances Henkel’s share of renewable-based ingredients in leading consumer brands in North America,” said Ulrike Sapiro, Chief Sustainability Officer at Henkel. “This is an important, concrete step toward realizing our vision of a regenerative planet through a climate-friendly business model. Working together with partners like Shell will help get us there faster.” Shell estimates that replacing up to 200,000 tonnes of fossil feedstocks with renewable feedstocks has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 120,000 tonnes of CO2 over the length of the five-year agreement. 

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Tires that break down into harmless, biodegradable materials promise to cut microplastics dramatically

A 2020 study published in the journal Nature found that, globally, cars send 6.1 million metric tons of tire particles into our atmosphere and waterways. Tire particles are some of the most common microplastics found in the oceans. Therefore, tires that break down into harmless, biodegradable materials promise to cut microplastics dramatically. Goodyear, the producer of these innovative tires, didn’t want to reveal the full content of the tire. But the company says it uses soybean oil to replace petroleum to keep tires pliable in changing temperatures, rice husks to replace silica that aids in grip, and pine-tree resin in place of petroleum resin.

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