Shanghei issues new sustainability law; who could tell?


bike load o trash

Don’t expect any impact on this Shanghai city regulation.  My understanding is that it will target areas like gift boxes that are very popular during festival times; like the moon cake festival.

In my apartment complex  we currently separate recyclables from organic waste.  However, the reality is that every night, every bag of trash is emptied by someone on the sidewalk and anything of value is removed; plastic, glass, metal, paper, wire, etc.  In the morning the sidewalk is clean.    I am not aware of anyone willing to do this type of hand sorting in the U.S., but it is a regular occurrence here.  So, even with the regulation, most empty boxes I see are stacked and piled on the back of a bike to be recycled or reused somehow.  I am attaching a photo I took and fairly common bike load to illustrate my point.

Fearing salmonella, Cargill recalls 36M# of ground turkey

Cargill Value Added Meats Retail recalls about 36 million pounds of chubbed, trayed, pouched and bulk-packed ground turkey possibly contaminated with salmonella Heidelberg – a drug resistant strain. Company yanks all fresh frozen ground turkey products produced at its Springdale, AR facility from February 20, 2011 to August 2. Production’s been suspended at the plant. Recalled products carry the code “Est. P-963” on the label.

IOM vs FDA: Clash of views over MD process reform

“Rather than continuing to modify the 35-year-old 510(k) process… FDA’s finite resources would be better invested in developing an integrated premarket and post-market regulatory framework that provides a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness throughout the device life cycle,” concludes advisory report from Institute of Medicine to FDA.

“FDA believes that the 510(k) process should not be eliminated,” says Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., honcho of  FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), “but,” he adds, “ we are open to additional proposals and approaches for continued improvement of our device review programs” .

Study clearing BPA: Ignored because it won’t sell newspapers?

If Nancy Grace were focused on good news, she’d call it a “bombshell” – What Professor Richard Sharpe, Principal Investigator at the Independent Medical Research Center’s Center for Reproductive Health in Britain calls a “majestically scientific” study concluding that BPA is safe…

“Why is the media ignoring the study?,” Asks Forbes blogger Trevor Butterworth.  Perhaps it is because bad news has  more reader/viewer appeal than good news. That why stories about priests who run away with nuns get more notice than the retirements of good vicars after unblemished careers of service…

Canners will find a lot to be cheered about in this study. In light of its findings, one wonders why EPA, one of study’s sponsors, went ahead with its proposal to mandate testing of sites where BPA is released…

See the blog here.

Read an abstract of the study (below) or purchase the full study (here) from Toxicological Sciences where it first appeared online on June 24th


By virtue of its binding to steroid hormone receptors, BPA (unconjugated monomer) is hypothesized to be estrogenic when present in sufficient quantities in the body, raising concerns that widespread exposure to BPA may impact human health. To better understand the internal exposure of adult humans to BPA and the relationship between the serum and urinary pharmacokinetics of BPA, a clinical exposure study was conducted. Blood and urine samples were collected ∼hourly over a 24-hour period from twenty adult volunteers who ingested 100% of one of three specified meals comprising standard grocery store food items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The volunteers’ average consumption of BPA, estimated from the urinary excretion of total BPA (TOTBPA=conjugated BPA + BPA), was 0.27 μg/kg body weight (range, 0.03-0.86), 21% greater than the 95th percentile of aggregate exposure in the adult U.S. population. A serum time course of TOTBPA was observable only in individuals with exposures 1.3-3.9 times higher than the 95th percentile of aggregate U.S. exposure. TOTBPA urine concentration Tmax was 2.75 hours (range, 0.75-5.75 hours) post meal, lagging the serum concentration Tmax by ∼1 hour. Serum TOTBPA area under the curve per unit BPA exposure was between 21.5 and 79.0 nM•hr•kg/μg TOTBPA. Serum TOTBPA concentrations ranged from ≤ limit of detection (LOD, 1.3 nM) to 5.7 nM and were, on average, 42 times lower than urine concentrations. During these high dietary exposures, TOTBPA concentrations in serum were below the LOD for 86% of the 320 samples collected and BPA concentrations were determined to be ≤ LOD.



EPA seeks comments on proposed BPA testing regulation…

You’ve got until September 26, 2011 to comment on a proposed new regulation from The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will mandate testing for the presence of bisphenol A (BPA) “in the vicinity of expected BPA releases to determine whether environmental organisms may currently be exposed to concentrations of BPA in the environment that are at or above levels of concern for adverse effects, including endocrine-related effects.”

Proposal’s sure to draw fire from various quarters as it neither specifies who’s going to have to do the testing, nor exactly what qualifies as a “vicinity of expected BPA releases.”

Proposed regulation (attached) appears in July 26, 2011 edition of the Federal Register as an “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” (ANPR)…

Download PDF from EPA here

Pepsi developing 100% plant-derived PET bottle

PepsiCo is working on the 2012 debut of a PET bottle made entirely of botanical feedstocks such as switch grass, orange peels and potato peels, the latter two being byproducts of the company’s Tropicana orange juice production and Lays potato chips, made and marketed by Pepsi’s Frito-Lay operations.

Here’s how Pepsi posted its news earlier today:


Ben Miyares

Recycled paperboard a cancer risk? Chicken Little thinks so

Cereal boxes cause cancer? Health authorities are downplaying European press reports to that effect after Swiss researchers found mineral oil in some recycled paperboard cartons. Researchers found “that the limit considered safe for mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) (0.6 mg/kg), as set by the FAO/WHO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives, was ‘frequently exceeded’ by a factor of 10-100.” But, says the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, saying that cereal boxes cause cancer “is jumping to conclusions the researchers haven’t made.”

A couple of links you may want to check out…

Ben Miyares

Tesco opts for resealable wine closure

Tesco, the British supermarket chain, is adopting the Zork resealable low-density polyethylene closure for some of its wines.  Contrary to what the following report indicates, the resealable closure has been used outside of Australia before this. Several California wines – and at least one premium olive oil, Regina brand, use the tamper-evident closure.  Zork Pty, Adelaide, Australia, specializes in closure development and marketing for still wines, sparkling wines and spirits.


BPA-free Coating Targets Can Lining Market

Reports continue to circulate that one or the other company has developed a protective coating for can linings that doesn’t incorporate bisphenol A.

The latest dispatch comes from (below).

The developer they’ve ID’d is Jacksonville, FL-based Design Analysis Inc. (Link below) The company is marketing a polymer coating it believes “is an environmentally-friendly and, in most cases, a lower-cost alternative to epoxy linings.”

Bisphenol A-free polymer coating touted as alternative to epoxy can lining

No official word yet on whether canmakers are forming a line outside Design Analysis’ office.


Ben Miyares

Packaging Management Institute

“An Alliance of Sustainable Packaging Interests”

Canada to Convene Meeting on BPA Health, Toxicology Issues

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a constituent in epoxy coatings used as liners for food and beverage cans and some metal closures. While BPA has been used safely for 50 years or so, it has recently come under fire as a possible endocrine disruptor. A handful of municipalities and states are considering bans/restrictions on the use of BPA in packaging.

Recent reports suggesting that Canada had – or was about to – ban or restrict the use of BPA in packaging, prompted us to seek clarification from the Packaging Association (PAC) in Canada.

Ben Miyares

Packaging Management Institute

“An Alliance of Sustainable Packaging Interests”

In response to my inquiries, Jim Downham, President/CEO of PAC, sent the following response:


This is what Larry Dworkin, PAC Director of Government Affairs, has to say about BPA.

“While Environment Canada has added bisphenol A (BPA) to its toxic register, so far, Health Canada has not followed suit. As of Aug. 26, Health Canada has only issued a BPA warning with respect to exposure from food packaging applications to infants and newborns, specifically from pre-packaged infant formula products.

Health Canada is hosting a meeting Nov. 2-5 with representatives of the World Health Organization, U.S. FDA to review toxicological and health aspects about BPA.  To date, based on studies from the U.S., European Union and Japan, Health Canada’s Food Directorate has concluded that the current dietary exposure to BPA through food packaging is not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborn infants.”

Let me know if we can be of any further service.