A stable economy and increasing GDP are driving slow and steady growth in the industrial and institutional cleaning product sector, according to Kline's Laura Mahecha. Mahecha said the segment has a slower innovation cycle, but consumers continue to demand effective products that are also safe and affordable.
Falling shipping costs, reduced energy consumption and other benefits are encouraging flexible packaging innovations and leading to more durable options, said Dow Chemical's Francisco Paz. Meanwhile, companies like TerraCycle have been finding new uses for "non-recyclable" packaging.
Scientists in China are working to develop liquid-repellent surfaces that could be used in clothes, reducing the need to do laundry. The surfaces can repel at least 10 types of liquids, including water, oils, surfactant solutions and organic solvents.
The American Cleaning Institute's member companies are increasingly embracing sustainability, but bringing about broad change requires "bold collective actions that can drive momentum toward sustainable development," said ACI President and CEO Melissa Hockstad. Many companies are already taking action, such as Method, which has developed a new pouch for its dishwasher detergent made from 20% post-consumer recycled resin.
The American Chemistry Council and dozens of other trade groups have written a letter seeking legislative sponsors for an effort to create a national ingredients-labeling law that would supersede policies such as California's Proposition 65. "Several groups have had discussions to explore the need for federal legislation establishing science-based, uniform, national standards for government-mandated ingredient disclosure and warning label programs," said Claire Parker, a spokeswoman for the Coalition for Accurate Product Labels, a group of businesses that's being formed.
BASF's approach to sustainability reporting has "the potential to transform the way we are running our businesses" by focusing on contributions to society, says BASF's Christian Heller.
Amcor, Procter & Gamble and the Association of Plastic Recyclers have won the American Chemistry Council's Innovation in Plastics Recycling Awards for 2017 for their efforts to increase plastics recycling and develop new, innovative products. P&G and PureCycle Technologies have developed a new method for creating high-quality recycled polypropylene, and Amcor's mono-material plastic pouch is made from 20% post-consumer recycled material.
The Environment Committee of the European Parliament has updated its Renewable Energy Directive to phase out palm oil-based biodiesel by 2021 and vegetable oil-based biodiesel by 2030, but it will allow bioethanol and certain sustainable crops to be used for production. "Between 2005 and 2015, total vegetable oil consumption in the EU decreased in the food sector from 15.1M to 13.7M tonnes, whereas it almost quadrupled in the bioenergy sector, growing from 2.9M to 10.5M tonnes," noted Laura Buffet of the NGO Transport & Environment.