UC Berkeley Greener Solution program receives EPA funding

September 25, 2020

Examples of green food packaging

UC Berkeley’s Greener Solutions program has been selected as one of the national grantees to receive EPA funding for a new program. This initiative partners students with companies interested in adopting sustainable chemistry. UC Berkeley’s $194,832 grant will help identify alternatives to chemicals of concern currently used in the carpet and food packaging industries, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a group of synthetic chemicals commonly used in consumer and industrial products, which are known to have adverse health effects through continued exposure above specific levels. EPA issued a PFAS Action Plan in February 2019.

During Pollution Prevention (P2) Week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of 42 organizations across 39 states to receive grant funding totaling $9.3 million, supporting pollution prevention across the country. These grants will fund projects that provide businesses and other facilities with information, training, and tools to develop and adopt cost-effective changes in pursuit of pollution prevention.

“As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Pollution Prevention Act, we are proud to announce more than $9 million in P2 grants which will help businesses in communities across the United States protect the environment and reduce waste and costs,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The work done as a result of EPA’s P2 grants will create best practices that current and future organizations can use to cut pollution and advance innovation and economic growth.”

“Pollution prevention is key to saving our natural resources and moving toward sustainability,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “These grants will help assist businesses to improve their bottom lines while reducing the use of hazardous materials, water, and energy.”

“The Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry, through its Greener Solutions academic/industry partnerships, has been finding innovative and safer alternatives to chemicals in products with over two dozen partner organizations since 2012,” said Thomas McKeag, director of the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry. “With the support of the US EPA's Pollution Prevention Program, we will expand this type of intervention with our new Greener Partnerships outreach and internship program and address businesses’ pressing challenges while training the next generation of sustainability professionals.”