Paper Companies Catch Green Wave
The paper industry is the fourth largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions among United States manufacturing industries and accounts for over 40 percent of the world’s industrial wood harvest.
The industry also makes up 25 percent of landfill waste, the largest single component and the production of paper is one of the world’s largest consumers and polluters of fresh water. That could soon be a thing of the past.
The Environmental Paper Network’s (EPN) report raises concern about how paper products, including paper towels, are made and how to change the processes. The network is calling for the paper industry to change how it sources its materials, address the supply chain issue, deal with end-of-life for its products, and change the impact it has on communities and the climate.
The EPN wants the industry to reach certified forestry practices, paper recycling and recovery, move to reduce paper consumption by its customers, and shift toward clean production that reduces bleach and toxic emissions.
Many companies have already adopted environmental-friendly practices. Companies make their products out of post-consumer recyclables and have greatly cut back the number of miles their products travel prior to delivery to customers.
Companies are decreasing the amount of chlorine used in the paper-making process, a great way for them to become more environmentally friendly according to Archie Beaton, executive director of the Chlorine Free Products Assn., Algonquin, Ill.
“The good news is that a shift within the paper industry has begun, and corporate leaders are emerging across every sector to embrace new tools for responsible choices, responsible production and major climate, health and forest benefits,” said Joshua Martin, Environmental Paper Network coordinator.
Other companies have been able to remove sulfur and other chemicals from the emissions of fuel-burning power plants, helping to reduce acid rain and landfill demands.
The growing market demand for environmentally-responsible paper products have made it easier for companies to adopt green policies. Companies can increase the recovery of waste paper and find cleaner production and alternatives to chlorine bleaching as options in having environmental-friendly choices.
National Organizations Work To Stop MRSA
The recent death of a 12-year-old Brooklyn boy was attributed to the staph infection methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and brought the disease to the nation's attention. The “superbug” has caused 18,650 deaths this year, forcing national organizations to elevate awareness and offer solutions to stop the disease that is most prevalent in schools and hospitals.
The National Education Association is conveying the importance of thorough hand cleaning numerous times a day through parents and school employees, according to Jerald Newberry, executive director of the National Education Association Health Information Network.
“These measures can go a long way in preventing the spread of many germs in school settings,” says Newberry in a news release.
The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) is using a common sense approach to raise awareness of the “superbug.”
“Very simply put, common sense cleaning, disinfecting and hand hygiene save people’s lives,” says Nancy Brock, SDA Vice President of Education. “It is important that school surfaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly, and that custodial crews use those cleaning products safely and properly.”
The Center for Disease Control is noting that good hygiene is paramount in avoiding the spread of staph.
“Covering infections will greatly reduce the risks of surfaces becoming contaminated with staph, including MRSA,” says Rachel Gorwitz, medical epidemiologist with the CDC in a news statement. “But students should remember even if a surface is contaminated and you touch it, you can remove that germ from your hands through simple washing with everyday soap and water.”
Both schools and hospitals have taken extra precautions to safeguard their facilities from an outbreak of MRSA.
Some practices facilities have been using include:
• Disinfecting the stadium, locker room, bathrooms, benches, shower rooms and water fountains.
• Schools are using a hospital grade anti-bacterial spray and a bleach and water mixture to clean equipment in the schools.
• Clean your hands frequently. You, your family, and others in close contact should wash their hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Professionally disinfecting the football equipment.
The most susceptible areas in hospitals for MRSA are those that people touch frequently. These include door handles, bed rails, light switches, bed linens, gowns and tables.
SDA Releases Resource
The Soap and Detergent Association’s consumer fact sheet, “Product Fact Sheet: Hard Surface Hygiene,” describes the safe, beneficial and proper use of surface cleaning products and disinfectants.
The sheet talks about the many surfaces where germs can linger; describes the product types available for consumer and institutional use; gives brief summaries of many common ingredients that help make the product effective and beneficial; and provides tips on safe and proper use, storage and disposal of the product.
“Our fact sheet gives expert advice on how when and where consumers should use surface cleaners and disinfectants,” says SDA Vice President of Education Nancy Bock. “These products, when used as directed play an important role in helping to ensure our homes and schools are clean and our families are healthy.”
The sheet is available online at www.cleaning101.com/house.
Armchem Purchases Royal Service & Supply Inc.
Armchem Intl. Corp., of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has acquired the assets of Royal Service & Supply Inc., located in Fort Myers, Fla.
Armchem has been servicing the South East Region of the United States with distribution in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Along with the acquisition, Armchem is planning new distribution channels in California and Nevada and opening its first retail location in 2008.
ABM Acquires OneSource
ABM Industries Inc. signed an agreement which the company will acquire OneSource, a company that provides outsourced facility services in the U. S.
The transaction is expected to close sometime this month.
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