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UrthPact Customer, Totally Green Bottles and Caps, Named a Finalist at the 2017 Bio-Based Innovations Awards

image of three Totally Green Bottles and Caps plastic bottle productsBecause we’re enthusiastic about all things recyclable and compostable, we’re excited to congratulate UrthPact customer, Totally Green Bottles and Caps (TGBC), for having their 100% compostable water bottle and cap — the world’s first – named a “Highly Commended Bio-Based Product of the Year” at the recent Bio-Based Live Americas event in San Diego.

The honor was bestowed on September 27th at Bio-Based Live America’s 2017 Bio-Based Innovation Awards ceremony honoring standout products available in the Americas that are derived from plants and other renewable bioresources to provide alternatives to conventional petroleum-derived products.

For two days, several hundred participants from mid-size to very large, well-known brands such as IBM, Procter  & Gamble, Eastman Chemical Company, and Coca Cola were in attendance.   The conference agenda was jam-packed with valuable panel expert insights focused on mastering four key areas to achieve success:  technology, money, models and markets.

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Recycling and Composting at UMass Amherst: Getting Smarter About Waste

image of UMass's campus

Colleges and universities have always been a wellspring for innovation and the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been a stand-out among them. As social and economic concern has grown over how we manufacture, consume, and discard products, UMass Amherst has brought its intellectual and educational firepower to bear on issues such as recycling, composting, and sustainability.

It all began in 2007 when the president of the five-campus UMass system signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. In response, UMass Amherst established an Environmental Performance Advisory Committee (EPAC) that developed the campus’ first Climate Action Plan, which was released in 2010. Two years later, the plan was revised by the Chancellor’s Sustainability Committee, formerly EPAC. The revised plan reflected campus accomplishments and presented a comprehensive blueprint for future sustainability efforts across all aspects of the campus. Climate Action Plan 2.0 helped establish metrics and sustainable goals for the campus.

Subsequently, undergraduates and graduate students campaigned to encourage a more environmentally friendly and ecologically sound approach to campus operations, including the hiring of Ezra Small as the school’s first Campus Sustainability Manager in Facilities & Campus Services. Today are more than a dozen employees focused on sustainability and working in a variety of positions, including, their communications, residential life, the library, and physical plant operations.

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Industrial Composting: What It Is and How It Works

image comparing how long it takes for conventional plastic to decompose compared to bioplastics

The world is awash in traditional, petroleum-based plastics that are choking our waterways and filling up our landfills. Here at UrthPact, we’re committed to compostable plastic products, providing manufacturers and consumers with the plastics they want and need, but created using environmentally-friendly, biodegradable raw materials that can be safely composted to nourish the earth.

Today, in addition to the conventional backyard compost pile or bin that can efficiently handle small amounts of waste materials from lawns, gardens and kitchens there are industrial composting facilities designed to effectively process large volumes of municipal and commercial waste.

There are basically three techniques used in industrial composting: windrow, in-vessel, and aerated static pile composting. Windrow composting is an open-air process that places the composting material into long piles approximately 5 feet high called “windrows.” These windrows are turned regularly to ensure that all the composting materials spends some time in the warm, moist center of the pile where bacterial activity produces heat that encourages further breakdown. Because windrow composting is on open air process, it is used primarily for yard and garden waste to help control odor.

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From Zero to Hero: Zero Waste Initiatives

image of the grandstands and field at Fenway Park

Zero waste initiatives are gathering steam, especially, in large sporting venues and airports which historically have generated considerable solid waste from vendors and thousands of fans and travelers. Major ballparks such as Boston’s beloved Fenway Park and the Los Angeles Coliseum, as well as international airports such as Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson are all getting on board with zero waste initiatives designed to drive down the cost of waste processing and removal as well as promote greener, more conscientious treatment of the environment.

Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, is the oldest ballpark in the country, but it’s also one of the most advanced when it comes to recycling and composting. Fenway Park is now a single-stream recycling facility, meaning all recyclable materials can be co-mingled, including plastic, cardboard, and paper – encouraging fans to recycle their food containers and programs instead of just tossing them in a trash can.

Even Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is getting in on the recycling action. As one of the busiest airports in the world, it was ripe for adopting an aggressive approach to recycling and began planning for a first-of-its-kind recycling and composting facility on airport grounds. While the project is still in the planning and proposal stage, the city is looking to have the program up and running by 2020.

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UrthPact, Preserve, and Totally Green Bottles and Caps Score at the Green Sports Alliance Summit

All National Sports Leagues attend – Bill Walton Keynotes

Paul Nickerson of UrthPact and Brian O’Donnell of Preserve with an array of compostable and recycled content products

UrthPact teamed up with our customers Preserve and Totally Green Bottles and Caps to sponsor and share an exhibit booth at the Green Sports Alliance Summit. The conference took place in the newly built, energy efficient (LEED platinum certified) Golden 1 Center in Sacramento California. All of the major sports leagues in the country attended including the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS,  and NASCAR.  Many colleges, and universities, as well as international and lesser known leagues like USA Waterski, also attended.

We became a sponsor due to the strong presence of the leagues and their ability to support sustainable practices in their facilities. Since our main products are compostable plastic products, venues with closed-loop waste streams that contain and isolate the disposal of compostables are ideal.  Stadiums, airports, colleges and large corporate campuses fit this closed-loop model well.  This ensures that our customers’ compostable bottles, plates, and compostable cutlery get to the proper end-of-life destination.

From the onset of the summit, I sensed that this conference was to be like no other. As a sponsor and exhibitor, we were encouraged to participate in all of the conference sessions. We were invited to mix and mingle with attendees at all of the events, including meals and conference activities. This made our team feel more like partners than vendors.  A welcome change to the usual vendor/attendee relationship. And on a side note, the food was fantastic. The chef and his staff actually received a standing O at the evening celebration and ECO-fashion show. (Sacramento State University students designed and modeled recycled and upcycled clothing in their annual Student Fashion Association Fashion Show at the event. Way to go SAC State!) And hats off to the events planners of the Green Sports Alliance Summit.

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Insights and Innovations at Biobased Re-Revolution of Plastics

Biobased Re-Revolution of PlasticsWe got a chance to connect with UrthPact’s own VP of Technology, Derek Helmer, and VP of Operations, Mike Pousland, about their recent trip to Newark, NJ for the InnoPlast Solutions Conference, May 23-25th.  The InnoPlast Solutions goal is to adopt a mission related to plastics, innovation, and business growth and select a team of technical and business savvy experts to educate participants.  The conference offers solid networking opportunities as well for the plastic and bioplastic industry.  The focus and theme of this year’s conference, BioBased Re-Revolution of Plastics, was to highlight the utilization of non-fossil raw materials that leads to preservation of petroleum resources and reduction of air/ land/ water pollution.

As far as the UrthPact team is concerned, this conference delivered a great value as it was full of participant engagement and packed full of information rich presentations showcasing topics related to the bio-industry.

Without a doubt, the biggest take-away was the strong drive on the part of attendees and presenters to replace petroleum as a feedstock for polymers before the Earth runs out of oil or oil prices become too high. Research has shown that solutions to this pressing problem will be found in developing bio-based replacements for existing polymers such as BioPE, BioPET, PEF, and PTF or finding new polymers that can replace existing materials such as PHA that do not source from oil.

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Urthpact is Now Manufacturing Single-use Recycled Flatware

Preserve-Cutlery-GroupUrthpact is excited to announce that we’re now manufacturing high-quality, single-use recyclable plastic flatware for food service suppliers, grocery stores, and other food services companies. This high-quality, fully recyclable plastic flatware will enable food service providers to provide their customers with environmentally-friendly products that will help create a more satisfying customer experience and build brand loyalty with environmentally-conscious consumers.

Waltham Massachusetts based consumer products company Preserve has tapped UrthPact to manufacture the single-use plastic cutlery and dispensers using 100% recycled polypropylene (#5) plastic collected through Preserve’s Gimme 5 plastic recycling program. The company recently exhibited its new line of earth-friendly food service products including the new UrthPact produced recycled cutlery and dispenser at the National Restaurant Association show.

It is exciting to be producing these sturdy and attractive recycled utensils right here in the USA using manufacturing facilities that have been certified by the global food safety organization AIB International to ensure the highest levels of quality.

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Olympians …NASCAR …Prof Sports …and UrthPact! – Green Sports Alliance Summit 2017

Green Sports Alliance Summit event promo photoUrthPact is a proud sponsor of this year’s Green Sports Alliance Summit, June 27-29 at the LEED Platinum Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California –home of the Sacramento Kings NBA basketball team. We’re excited to be a part of the growing movement to make a positive environmental and social impact on the sports industry and its fans.

The Green Sports Alliance will bring sports leaders together from 15 leagues, representing 14 countries at the Golden 1 Center, a venue that’s entirely powered by renewable energy. With a theme of PLAY GREENER™, the seventh annual Summit aims to accelerate fan engagement; educate youth on sustainability through sports; and leverage the $485 billion sports industry to tackle energy, waste, water, food, transportation, and other sustainability issues in sports.

Olympians Mary Harvey and Jill Savery, Hall of Famers Bill Walton and Peter “PT” Townend, NASCAR stars Joey McColm and Julia Landauer, and numerous other athletes who care about our world’s future will share the stage with Yankees VP Operations Doug Behar, Mercedes-Benz Stadium General Manager Scott Jenkins, Arizona State Athletic Director Ray Anderson, and other team executives who lead the way in greening sports venues.

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ICAW 2017: Biodegradable Plastic? Compostable Plastic? BioCompost? What’s the difference?

compostable coffee ring in a clear bucket of dirt.In honor of International Compost Awareness Week this week we’re going to focus on compostable plastic – what it is, what it can be used for, and how it can benefit the environment.

Because being “green” and “organic” are seen as positive attributes for a long list of products and services, these terms have been adopted by marketers and muddied to such an extent that it can be difficult to truly understand what really is earth-friendly. The term “compostable” falls into this category, so we’re going to help clarify things in this post.

Compostable plastic has been defined by ASTM International standards D6400 and D6868. These global standards require that for plastics to be labeled “compostable” they must biodegrade within a certain period of time and leave no toxic residue in the soil. Plastic that is compostable is a bioproduct manufactured from renewable resources such as plant-based materials.

Specifically, ASTM Standard D6400 covers plastics and products made from plastics that are designed to be composted in municipal and industrial aerobic composting facilities. This specification is intended to establish the requirements for labeling of materials and products, including packaging made from plastics, as “compostable in municipal and industrial composting facilities.”

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5 Popular Plastic Products That Should be Converted to Compostable Bioplastics Now!

Compostable BioplasticsThere is no question that plastic products offer many short-term advantages to consumers around the world – their low cost, functionality, durability and light weight all provide benefits for an incredible range of everyday products. But they come at a heavy environmental price.

According to industry analysts, every hour Americans dispose of two and a half million plastic bottles. The global plastic consumption is nearing 100 million tons per year. So, it has now become a pressing issue to use an alternative to conventional petroleum-based plastic, one which can be produced from renewable resources. That alternative is bioplastic and it can be safely and effectively put to use NOW.

In fact, there are a number of popular consumer products being produced every day that, if converted to bioplastic, could make a significant positive impact on the environment in short order. What immediately comes to mind? How about those ubiquitous water bottles, disposable flatware, food packaging containers, coffee pods, and even seedling pots. These are just five products that could make a difference today if production was converted from traditional plastics to bioplastic – there are many others.

So what’s the big deal about bioplastic? Here are several major benefits that bioplastic products provide:

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