From the Web: Target Vows to Use Its Power & Scale to See that All Packaging Is Recyclable

Target says it will use its “power and scale” as one of the country’s largest retailers to advance the idea that all packaging will be recyclable one day, and to help consumers understand how and why recycling is so important. With that in mind, the retailer has joined the Material Recovery Facility of the Future, a collaborative committed to seeing that flexible packaging is recycled and that the recovery community captures value from it. The announcement is one of Target’s five new sustainable packaging goals it released yesterday.

Target’s chief sustainability officer, Jennifer Silberman, says that by using Target’s power and scale as one of the country’s largest retailers, the company can be a catalyst for change in the industry.

One challenge the recycling industry currently faces is that of flexible plastic packaging. Flexible packaging is displacing many types of packaging formats, including those that are traditionally recycled – but currently, in North America, flexible packaging is not accepted in most recycling programs. With the Material Recovery Facility of the Future collaborative, retailers including Target have joined forces to advance the idea that all packaging must be recyclable.

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From the Web: IKEA unveils plan to lift 200,000 people out of poverty

IKEA recently announced it’s building new production centers in Jordan this summer, as part of a plan to create employment for 200,000 disadvantaged people around the world. The facilities will be open and running by August, and will provide jobs to refugees producing rugs, cushions, bedspreads, and other handmade woven items.

These particular facilities are the result of a partnership with the Jordan River Foundation, a non-governmental organization founded by Jordan’s Queen Rania. To start out, these particular plants will only employ 100 people, rising to 400 within two years. About half will be local workers and the other half will be Syrian refugees.

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From the Web: American energy use, in one diagram

Spring brings new growth, new possibilities, and, best of all, a new spaghetti diagram from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) at the Department of Energy.

Every year, LLNL produces a new energy flow chart showing the sources of US energy, what it’s used for, and how much of it is wasted. If you’ve never seen it before, it’s worth a look.

Learn more (via Vox) >>

From the Web: London and Paris mayors announce new emissions monitoring system for vehicles

Just a day after U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order that aims to bring back smog-inducing coal power, the mayors of London and Paris are acting to cut air pollution in their cities.

Reuters reports that Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and London Mayor Sadiq Khan have announced a new system for monitoring vehicle emissions in their respective cities, with the aim of combating the air quality problems that have plagued both national capitals. Their plan would enable a system that identifies real-life emissions readings from cars, which would give people more information about how much theirs emit. Each car’s score for the air pollutants it puts out would be based on road and “real-world” testing using emissions analytics and the International Council for Clean Transportation.

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From the Web: South Australia to get $1bn solar farm and world’s biggest battery

A huge $1bn solar farm and battery project will be built and ready to operate in South Australia’s Riverland region by the end of the year.

The battery storage developer Lyon Group says the system will be the biggest of its kind in the world, boasting 3.4m solar panels and 1.1m batteries. Construction will begin in months.

Learn more (via The Guardian) >>

From the Web: Tesla moves beyond electric cars with new California battery farm

The California Battery Farm project is part of Elon Musk’s plan to help transform the power grid. Located at the Mira Loma substation of Southern California Edison, this is the biggest battery farm Tesla has built to date. Southern California Edison will use the battery farm, which has been operating since December and is one of the biggest in the world, to store energy and meet spikes in demand – like on hot summer afternoons when buildings start to crank up the air conditioning.

Learn more (via The Guardian) >>

From the Web: Germany Converts Coal Mine Into Giant Battery Storage for Surplus Solar and Wind Power

Germany is embarking on an innovative project to turn a coal mine into a giant battery that can store surplus solar and wind energy and release it when supplies are lean.

The Prosper-Haniel coal mine in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia will be converted into a 200 megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric reservoir that acts like a giant battery. The capacity is enough to power more than 400,000 homes, according to Governor Hannelore Kraft.

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From the Web: Cleaning Urban Air Requires Radical Solutions

You might think common urban complaints in the major cities of Western Europe might be about the state of the roads, or property prices. But there’s increasingly a more serious complaint: not being able to breathe. Cities might be efficient machines for living, but when we collectively burn gas to heat our homes and then collectively sit in traffic every morning, we’re making our machines unliveable.

Despite global progress made on lowering emissions, cities from London to Beijing to São Paulo have atmospheres that are so polluted that residents are often warned not to leave their homes unless they have to. To combat the problem, three European cities–London, Paris, and Barcelona–and their mayors are pursuing radical policies to cut traffic, often to the deep chagrin of the cities’ drivers, but at great benefit to their citizens’ lungs.

Learn more (via Fast Company) >>

From the Web: Tesla’s Kauai solar facility offsets 1.6M gallons of fuel per year

Tesla’s Kauai solar power facility is officially open for business, with a 13 MW SolarCity solar farm installation providing power to a Powerpack storage facility with 52 MWh of total capacity. The beauty of the new facility, in terms of the specific needs of the sun-soaked island in the Pacific, is that it can capture energy from the sun during peak daytime production hours, and then keep that power ready for peak consumption hours at night.

Tesla’s new solar facility in Kauai isn’t going to completely reduce its dependence on fossil fuels — the island will still rely on diesel shipped in to provide some of its power requirements. But the new facility will offset some of that use of dirty burning fuel, reducing overall usage of fossil fuels for power needs by around 1.6 million gallons per year.

Learn more (via Tech Crunch) >>

From the Web: Clean Energy is Now as Big as Pharma Manufacturing in the US

Across the world, myriad efforts are underway to make energy systems cleaner, smarter, and more efficient.  But it’s hard to get a sense of the total size of those efforts, as they are spread across so many different industries and regions.  Navigant Research reports on the growth and size of both the national and global advanced energy industries from 2011 through 2016, and there are some very interesting findings:

Learn more (via VOX) >>