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5@5: US cities burn recyclables after Chinese import ban | Whole Foods drops 365 store name

Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

‘Moment of reckoning’: US cities burn recyclables after China bans imports

A recent ban by China on reusable item importation has led to an uptick in incineration of American recyclables. Since the ban was enacted last year, one Pennsylvania city has burned 200 tons of recyclable material every single day. Experts are concerned that burning plastic recycling will only serve to create a new fog of dioxins and poison citizens already living in polluted conditions. Experts also agree that “the whole recycling system in the US will need to be overhauled to avoid further environmental damage.” Read more at The Guardian …

 

Whole Foods drops small-format 365 store name

 

All Whole Foods 365 stores will be converted to regular Whole Foods stores by the end of 2019. This news comes after a recent announcement that the company would be shelving the 365 store format altogether. Whole Foods executives cite the company’s post-Amazon attempts to reduce prices at regular locations as one reason the 365 stores are no longer necessary. The stores also performed disappointingly, with one Seattle location having closed only one year after opening. Read more at Yahoo 

 

Microbiome research will accelerate the blue biotechnology industry

The blue biotechnology industry “uses marine organisms to find compounds of interest for human use.” The ocean is a vast source for genes that we can use as medicine or harness to increase food stocks because “marine organisms produce countless lipids, proteins and enzymes that help them thrive and survive in the ocean.” One recent collaboration between a highly specialized academic and research institution and a pharmaceutical company studied bioactive compounds from marine microorganisms and ended up discovering an anticancer compound. Read more at Forbes …

 

A 13-year-old died after being told not to take insulin. Now the herbalist is headed to jail.

An herbalist who told parents of a diabetic 13-year-old boy to take herbal medicine and rub lavender oil on the boy’s spine instead of taking insulin is accused of contributing to the boy’s recent death. A Los Angeles medical examiner determined that Edgar Lopez would have survived had he received proper medical care in time. The 84-year-old herbalist, Timothy Morrow, was ordered to cover the cost of Lopez’s funeral, in addition to paying a $5,000 fine. He may also be charged with murder in the event that his advice leads to the death of another person in the future. Read more at The Washington Post …

 

California lawmakers propose phasing out plastic products that aren’t recyclable

In addition to its plastic straw ban, California state lawmakers are now “proposing to ramp up efforts aimed at significantly reducing products that are not recyclable, including plastic cups, forks, spoons and packaging.” This phasing out would consist of a plan that would be announced sometime in the next two years for meeting the fully recyclable, compostable or reusable standards by 2030. Despite widespread environmental alarm, annual global plastic pollution is still rising and currently totals around 335 million tons. Read more at The L.A.Times 

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