If one company uses recycled content to make a product, and another makes the same product out of a bioplastic, which item is more sustainable? It's a matter of opinion, of course. But until now, my opinion -- or yours -- was just as as valid as any other. Starting July 16, there will be a new standard. That's when Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will unveil its long-awaited sustainability index, which will use life-cycle assessment to to measure the environmental impact of all the products it sells. Marc Gunther of Slate's The Big Money blog has an informative item on Wal-Mart's plan. This will likely have major impact on some plastics markets, including packaging and housewares. But keep in mind that the changes have already started to occur in those markets, since Wal-Mart has been talking about sustainability with its suppliers for several years.
Wal-Mart ready to release sustainability index
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