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Best of ICFF + WantedDesign 2023: Handcraft, Reclamation, and Blobjects

Increasingly inspiring work from the exhibitors at ICFF and WantedDesign 2023, with a strong return to skilled artisanship, organic motifs, and blush tones. Check out our favorites from this year’s show at the Javits Center!

Best of ICFF 2023

Auda Sinda

Beautiful work at the Auda Sinda booth for their first show. These handwoven rugs combine reclaimed cording from the leather industry with traditional loom techniques for a warm, textural finish. The weave quality is superb, and most rugs are completely reversible.


Romanian-based Mozea was turning heads at the show, with highly organic and expressive forms. A signature look, their Testa Chair is paired with the Mantis Table on the left, while the Locus Chair sits next to their Flow Dining Table on the right.

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At Yanko Design, we believe in constantly innovating, creating, and evolving. It’s a philosophy that serves as a lifeline for us, and one of the results of this lifeline is the YD x KeyShot Inspiration Hub! The Inspiration Hub is our ‘ever-expanding encyclopedia’ of design work for you to participate in, to inspire designers, and to get inspired by. Created in collaboration with KeyShot, the Inspiration Hub is your one-stop space for inspiration where designers like you can submit your impressive designs and be awarded to stand out in the crowd and to inspire other like-minded designers.

To kickstart your journey and send some motivation your way, we’ve curated some of our favorite tableware designs from the Inspiration Hub. These unique tableware designs will motivate you to create something spectacular and submit the design, as a gateway to sharing it with the best of the design world. Additionally, we will also be picking our favorite Design of the Week, Design of the Month, and Design of the Year – every week, month, and year from the submissions on the Inspiration Hub. Keep an eye on our Instagram page and the Inspiration Hub to see if your design gets picked. Fingers crossed!

Click here to Download KeyShot Pro (Use Code ‘KSYANKOHUB’ during installation for full Pro + KeyShotWeb trial) to take your sketch from concept to render!

1. The Oku Knife

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. & BOULDER, Colo.- --Ameresco, Inc., (NYSE: AMRC), a leading cleantech integrator specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, today announced that it is nearing completion of a sustainable deconstruction project with the City of Boulder at the municipality's former Boulder Community Health Hospital. The deconstructed building materials will be used for a new fire station and other city projects. These efforts are part of the City of Boulder’s overall goal to divert 85% of its waste from landfills by 2025.

Completion of this project is expected to exceed the city’s target of repurposing, reusing, and recycling more than 75% of the building’s materials. To date, demolition of the hospital's interior has reached completion, and Ameresco is working to remove the remaining concrete floors, steel, and exterior materials. In the preliminary deconstruction phase, direct pumps, motors, doors, fixtures, and other materials were auctioned off rather than dumped at a landfill. During the current and final deconstruction phase, the focus has turned to reusing the former hospital's structural steel for a new fire station, which is slated to open in mid-2024, and other new building projects throughout Boulder.

"We are thankful to Ameresco with whom we forged a good partnership to achieve maximum reuse of materials from the former hospital and demonstrate that sustainable deconstruction can be successfully implemented to help advance circular economy goals and environmental development," said Michele Crane, Chief Architect and Facilities Capital Projects Manager, City of Boulder. "To meet our climate goals and lower our total carbon impact, it is essential to incorporate all opportunities for reuse, especially of elements, like steel and concrete that take a large amount of energy to make.

Deconstruction is a sustainable alternative to traditional demolition, which can often have detrimental impacts on the surrounding environment. Deconstruction is also a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy waste. The sustainable deconstruction of the former community hospital contributes to Boulder's zero waste and circular economy initiatives, both of which were instrumental in informing the project's planning phases and meeting the city’s climate goals.

"We are proud to partner with the City of Boulder and commend their leadership in this initiative to execute sustainable deconstruction of the built environment,” said Lou Maltezos, Executive Vice President, Ameresco. "This deconstruction project is an important foundational example of innovative sustainability for the communities where we live and work. We are grateful to be a cleantech partner to the City of Boulder on their path to achieving their environmental milestones.”

MIDLAND, Mich. -- Today, Dow (NYSE: DOW) and New Energy Blue announced a long-term supply agreement in North America in which New Energy Blue will create bio-based ethylene from renewable agricultural residues. Dow expects to purchase this bio-based ethylene, reducing carbon emissions from plastic production, and using it in recyclable applications across transportation, footwear, and packaging.

Dow's agreement with New Energy Blue, staffed by experts with deep experience in bio-conversion ventures, is the first agreement in North America to generate plastic source materials from corn stover (stalks and leaves). This is also Dow's first agreement in North America to utilize agriculture residues for plastic production.

"We are unlocking the value of agriculture residues in this new partnership with New Energy Blue," said Karen S. Carter, Dow President of Packaging & Specialty Products. "By committing to purchase their bio-based ethylene, we are helping to enable innovations in waste recycling, meeting demands for bio-based plastics from customers, and strengthening an ecosystem for diverse and renewable solutions."

Under the terms of the agreement, Dow is supporting the design of New Energy Freedom, a new facility in Mason City, Iowa, that is expected to process 275KT of corn stover per year and produce commercial quantities of second-generation ethanol and clean lignin. Nearly half of the ethanol will be turned into bio-based ethylene feedstock for Dow products. This agreement also gives Dow similar commercial supply options for the next four future New Energy Blue projects, supporting New Energy Blue's ability to scale its production and support farmers by providing a reliable market for agricultural residues. The five projects are expected to displace over one million tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions every year. Dow's share of these five projects will also lead to a reduction in its sourcing of fossil fuels and subsequent GHG emissions. 

This agreement would play a pivotal role in Dow's approach to building material ecosystems that value, source, and transform waste into circular products. By collaborating with the best partners and technologies for collection, reuse, and recycling of waste – in this case, using a renewable resource – Dow enables global material ecosystems to scale.

HELSINKI and ZURICH-- Ductor, a leading circular biotechnology company within biogas and organic fertilizers, and TotalEnergies, the global multi-energy company, today announce a new commercial and financial partnership with joint development of production facilities and TotalEnergies equity ownership in Ductor.

The two companies have agreed to form a joint venture to co-develop and jointly invest in 15 to 20 anaerobic digestion facilities targeting nitrogen-rich feedstocks and organic waste from the agricultural sector and turning this into sustainable organic fertilizers and renewable natural gas.

The facilities will utilize Ductor's unique and proprietary circular biotechnology already in use at Ductor's operational plants in Germany and Mexico, capable of processing highly untapped waste streams from the poultry and aquaculture industries, that will help solve today's environmental challenges in the agri-food sector. The priority geographies for delivering these joint venture projects are the US and Europe.

"Ductor has identified a significant opportunity pipeline for future biogas and sustainable organic fertilizer plants ready for development and commercialization, and the partnership with TotalEnergies will allow us to move forward with executing that pipeline and towards the construction of the first integrated fertilizer and biogas project," said CEO of Ductor Bernard C. Fenner.

In the joint venture, Ductor will be responsible for screening opportunities, securing land, feedstock, engineering, obtaining permits, and conducting feasibility studies. TotalEnergies will actively participate in the development, construction, and operational phase, as well as being the off taker of all produced renewable natural gas and its associated environmental attributes. Ductor will off-take and market the specialty fertilizers such as liquid nitrogen fertilizers produced at the facilities. The product has been registered for use in organic farming by the CDFA – California Department of Food and Agriculture in October 2021.

This week in waste, Waste360 readers discovered the top 10 cities with accessible clothing recycling options, focused on roadway safety and watched as EREF joined U.S. leaders to discuss PFAS. Here are this week's top stories.

1. Top Ten Cities for Clothing Recycling in the United States

Americans' obsession with fast fashion leaves in curbside waste bins - between 70 and 81 pounds per citizen annually, according to the Council for Textile Recycling. 

See the slideshow here.

2. New Report Shows Improved Data on Fleet Risky Driving Behaviors

Risky driving behaviors remain at elevated levels. Improvements in technology are assisting companies with optimizing their fleets to reduce accidents and save lives. A new "State of the Data" report from Lytx analyzed its Vision Platform data, which comprises of 2.1 million drivers in 85 countries. The telematics company also derived insight from 145 million events and more than 55 billion minutes of dashcam video.

Read more here.

Mexico City  — Circulate Capital, a leading environmental impact investor advancing the circular economy for plastics in high-growth markets, announced today the launch of a new initiative to combat plastic pollution in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

DB Lab, the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, Builders Vision, the impact platform founded by Lukas Walton, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Danone, Dow, Mondelēz International, and Unilever have joined forces to pledge a total of US$65M to help scale solutions and support best-in-class recycling businesses across the LAC region.

The new LAC initiative will focus initially on Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, and soon expand across the region. As highlighted by the United Nations, growing economies across Latin America and the Caribbean have advanced faster than their waste management and recycling infrastructures. As a result, there is an opportunity to strengthen and scale the recycling value chain across the region.

This joint initiative between Circulate Capital and its partners aims to: 1. Scale companies with systemic solutions that rethink recycling supply chains, from collecting and sorting to processing and manufacturing; 2. Mitigate climate change and environmental risks; 3. Advance the circular economy for plastic; and 4. Benefit local communities and create jobs. Circulate Capital’s unique model leverages the networks and expertise of IDB Lab as well as CP Chem, Danone, Dow, Mondelēz International and Unilever who seek new solutions to help them meet their global sustainability commitments. Beyond financing, Circulate Capital and its partners provide mentoring and technical support to recycling companies to help them reach global quality standards and gain access to the global supply chains.

“We have identified promising opportunities across Latin America that, if scaled, could turn the tide on the plastic waste crisis in the region,” said Rob Kaplan, CEO and Founder, Circulate Capital. “By applying the lessons and best practices from our years of work in South and Southeast Asia, we are confident that we can support solutions in Latin America’s high-growth markets to create circularity at scale. Our corporate partners will also play a critical, strategic role in helping best-in-class recyclers to connect with global supply chains, and we look forward to their collaboration.”

FCC Environmental Services, a leading waste management provider in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, has installed new robotic sorting technology at its materials recovery facility (MRF). This cutting-edge technology will enable the MRF to start accepting and sorting paper cups, and more efficiently capture food and beverage cartons from residents throughout the greater Dallas area. This will ensure the valuable fiber found in both types of containers can go on to make new paper-based products.

FCC joins a growing trend of MRFs and communities that are including paper cups and food and beverage cartons as part of their residential recycling programs. This initiative was made possible by a collaborative equipment grant from the Carton Council of North America (CCNA), the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), and the NextGen Consortium.

“With the installation of this new robotic sorting technology, we are proud to expand and improve our recycling capabilities and offer our customers in the Dallas metropolitan area the opportunity to recycle paper cups and cartons,” said Bruce Magnuson, FCC’s senior general manager.

“This robotic sorting and AI is a great example of how technology can help improve recycling and ultimately contribute to our circular economy by capturing more recyclable materials,” said Larine Urbina, vice president of communications for the Carton Council. “We are proud to work with FCC to embrace innovation to expand recycling. Collaboration with others throughout the recycling value chain is a cornerstone of the Carton Council’s strategy.”

MRFs have multiple options for managing paper cups and cartons. While many MRFs include cups and cartons in mixed paper bales, FCC has opted to sort this material to a higher-value poly-grade bale. The new AMP robot plays a crucial role in the mechanical recovery and makes the sorting of these materials for the higher-value market possible.

BAMBERG – The CUTMETALL group of companies is pleased to announce expansion of their business into the United States and the opening of their office near Atlanta, Georgia. This international expansion is part of a growth strategy implemented by Volker Neuber, who has assumed a leadership role as of October 2022 as new co-owner and CEO of CUTMETALL Holding GmbH. 

Oliver Huther, CUTMETALL founder and business partner is pleased about the entry into the U.S. market: "Volker has a sound business background and excellent knowledge of the plastics industry. He also brings with him many years of international experience in sales and business development." Prior to CUTMETALL, Neuber worked for global innovators such as Husky Technologies and GE Plastics. Most recently he successfully led Ettlinger, the Bavarian experts for filtration and injection molding systems, onto the international market before selling the company to the MAAG Group in 2018. 

CUTMETALL North America will open its office on June 1st in Tyrone, Georgia, and will ensure the supply of high-quality spare and wear parts for size reduction technology. In addition to proven cutting tool solutions, including innovative carbide systems, CUTMETALL will provide technical service to its American and Canadian customers from this new location.  

Mike Diletti, a veteran of plastics business development has accepted the role of Managing Director, CUTMETALL, Americas. Volker Neuber confirmed the appointment, "Mike and I have a long and very successful history in the plastics industry together. He has an excellent knowledge of the American market and has always been a highly respected partner for customers in this market. I am very pleased to have won him over for this role.” 

The CUTMETALL online shop: smart service tool for global purchasing 

What will it take to meaningfully chip away at a pervasive food waste problem in the U.S.? That’s the roughly 100-million-ton-a year question that municipalities and industry have been trying to answer for years. Divert is among the private-sector players in this space, strategizing ways to turn mega volumes of would-be rotting organics into product, beginning with targeting grocery store waste. The Massachusetts-based operation is making good headway.

Its retail customer base grew nearly 35 percent in 2022 to include nearly 5,400 retail stores (such as Ahold Delhaize, Albertsons, CVS, Target, and Kroger), with more contracts slated for 2023. The latest lifts are an offtake agreement with bp and $1B from Enbridge to build out infrastructure to make renewable natural gas (RNG).

Kroger became Divert’s first customer when the tech company built and operated an onsite anaerobic digester at the grocery chain’s distribution center in Los Angeles. Owned by Kroger the operation works through reverse logistics, allowing inventory that can’t be sold or donated to be brought in from over 300 stores.

Trucks deliver fresh groceries to stores, along with bins that stores fill with food that otherwise would be tossed. It’s sent back to the distribution center, where it’s consolidated and processed.  Operators screen out containers with depackaging technology and send those containers to landfill or for incineration. Processed liquid, which comprises most of the mix, is fed into the digester to ultimately produce renewable electricity and for heat used on site.

“That was our first commercial success story. We built a similar facility for Stop & Shop in Massachusetts. Then we realized that building these facilities at customer distribution centers was a slow process because you are asking a lot of customers, and there are limitations due to [an operation’s] size,” says Ryan Begin, CEO and co-founder, Divert. 

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