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UL Environment to Develop Sustainability Standards For Plastic
Date:2/8/2010

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- UL Environment, Inc. (ULE), a global leader in environmental evaluation and certification, announces a collaborative effort to develop sustainability standards for plastic materials used in consumer and manufactured goods.  These standards will establish environmental requirements for common plastics based on scientific assessment and broad stakeholder collaboration.  

This year, more than 300 million tons of plastic will be produced and ten percent of all generated waste will be plastic—much of which ends up existing in landfills for centuries. Evidence is mounting that some chemicals in plastic pose health risks when absorbed by humans through food, water, air, dust and contact with consumer products.  Environmentally preferable plastics can lead to fewer harmful chemical emissions being released in our environment.

"By developing standards for environmentally preferable plastics, we have an enormous opportunity to affect the sustainability of materials and consumer products that affect our daily lives," said Stephen Wenc, president of UL Environment, Inc.  "With more than a century of experience developing standards for safety, UL is uniquely positioned to lead efforts for the development of standards that support plastics that are better for people and the environment."

ULE's sustainability standards will consider environmental elements such as the use of bio-based materials, the use of recycled content, process chemistries and emissions.  The standards will apply to thermoplastic, thermosetting, and elastomeric polymeric materials, and include the types of plastics used to make grocery bags, computers, sports equipment, toys, automotive parts, office furniture and construction materials.  

The development of UL Environment standards for plastics will draw on input from UL Environment Standard Technical Panels (STPs) comprised of stakeholders such as manufacturers, government entities, non-governmental organizations, consumer interest groups, environmental chemists, biologists and testing organizations.  These standards will set minimum environmental requirements and create a progressive and tiered approach allowing sustainability leaders to highlight their achievements.  

ULE expects initial drafts of its sustainability standards to be completed in 2010. For more information, visit www.ulenvironment.com.

About UL Environment, Inc.

UL Environment (ULE) is helping support the growth and development of sustainable products and services in the global marketplace through standards development and independent third-party assessment and certification. ULE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Underwriters Laboratories, a global leader in conformity assessment that has been testing products and writing standards for more than a century. ULE currently offers Environmental Claims Validation (ECV), a service testing and verifying manufacturers' self-declared environmental claims and Sustainable Products Certification (SPC), a service testing and certifying products to accepted industry standards for environmental sustainability.  ULE is developing additional environmental standards, as well as training and advisory services to support organizations in the sustainable products and services industry.

SOURCE UL Environment, Inc.

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