• Gary Robinson

Synaptic Connections Newsletter 2019 Week#23

June 3, 2019 www.Synapticpackaging.com Image - Wyoming, Photo by Joshua Fanning

Week#23 of 2019

Welcome to June!  This year seems to be moving along fast.  Wasn't it great to have insights last week on lignin technologies from Tony Bova at Mobius?  Thanks Tony.  It is fun to bring guest writers to Synaptic Connections.  If you, or someone you know, would like to be a guest writer, please send a note and we can discuss.

This week, we continue our focus on the topic of innovation using Natural and Renewable materials.  Over the last few weeks we've explored the strategy, then highlighted some of the emerging materials such as starches, molded fibers, and lignin technologies.  Today, I'd like to build on this discussion by exploring alternate fiber sources.  

To meet the projected growth for natural and renewable materials we will need to commercialize alternate sources of fiber.  One opportunity is to ReThink Waste.  Many of the agricultural crops around the world today still use burn techniques to clear the land of stalks after harvest.  Not only does this burning contribute to mass emissions of Co2, it is also a waste of valuable resources (read opportunity for innovation with a low-cost feedstock).  A good example of this is sugarcane, wheat straw, and hemp.  Sugar cane stalks can be used to make bagasse molded fiber.  Our friends at Tellus are doing a great job making use of this valuable resource locally here in Florida.  Wheat straw is another huge opportunity.  Columbia Pulp is a great example as they prepare for their commercial start-up in the heart land of SE Washington.

Another approach is to explore renewed forest plantings in idle North American farm lands.  A few weeks back I had the pleasure to meet the team at World Tree.  This is an amazing story about the Empress Splendor Tree that can grow 10 to 20 feet in the first year, reach full maturity in 20 years, and sequester over 1,000 tons of carbon per acre in 10 years.  Further, the business model being developed by World Tree is every bit as impressive as the tree itself.

It is refreshing to realize that nature is an abundant provider!  Have a great week everyone.

Packaging Sustainability//

ReThink Waste//

Sustainable Investing//


Upcoming Trade Events//


3-6 June, SustBrands, Detroit, MI

11-13 June, Global Pouch Forum, Chicago, IL

17 June, SPC Engage, Minneapolis, MN

17-27 June, UN Climate Change Conference, Bonn, Germany

18-20 June, GreenBiz Circularity, Minneapolis, MN

19-20 June, Green Sports Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

25-26 June, Great Lakes Circular Economy, Toronto, Canada

The purpose of this newsletter is to stimulate innovative thoughts and constructive dialogue through the lens of sustainability.  New subscribers can send an e-mail to the link below to sign-up. 

Contact Us