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Ecology Center honored as pioneer of Green Chemistry advocacy in Michigan

The Ecology Center of Ann Arbor was among recipients of the state’s first Green Chemistry Gubernatorial Awards at a ceremony in Detroit this fall. The Center was acknowledged in the “public” category for its work advocating for Green Chemistry policy in Michigan.

“It is a great honor to be singled out for this acknowledgement,” said Tracey Easthope, the Ecology Center’s environmental health director, who accepted the award on behalf of the organization. “We have been making the case for several years now that Green Chemistry should be a major component of building a sustainable economy, and we’re delighted that Michigan is now positioning itself to be a leader in this new industry.”

The Ecology Center is a member group of the Michigan Environmental Council.

The awards were established as part of Gov. Granholm’s 2006 Executive Directive promoting “Green Chemistry for Sustainable Economic Development and Protection of Public Health,” which established state policy encouraging the use of safer, less toxic, or non-toxic chemical alternatives to hazardous substances and the research, development and implementation of green chemistry in Michigan.

Green Chemistry is an innovative scientific movement aimed at replacing toxic chemicals with safe materials. It provides an overarching set of principles for chemists and others to develop products, processes and services that curb pollution, waste, and energy consumption.

Other winners of 2009 awards were:
  • PPG Industries for the development of a cleaner paint detackifier made using old shrimp shells used in auto paint shops;
  • Dow AgroSciences for the development of a less toxic version of Spinetoram, the active ingredient in a series of insecticides used in fruit and vegetable production;
  • Dr. Yinlun Huang, Wayne State University for developing a near-zero discharge technology for electroplating process facilities;
  • Dr. Phillip Savage, University of Michigan for developing a cleaner way to produce plastic resins;
  • Grand Valley State University for integrating Green Chemistry into the university curriculum; and
  • Nathan Craft for student research at Grand Valley State University.
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