By MATTHEW HALL
Capital News Service
LANSING – A movement to make chemical manufacturing more environmentally friendly has gained steam and turned Michigan into a national leader. The term “green chemistry” first appeared in the early 1990s, and has gained currency in policy, business and environmental circles, spurring an executive Green Chemistry Program, changes in university courses and influential business initiatives. It’s described as chemistry that is benign toward people and the environment, whether during a product’s manufacture, consumer use or after it’s discarded. It includes anything from corn-based plastic forks to soybean-based inks for printing on paper. “Our program is considered a model in the country,” said Tracey Easthope, the director of the Environmental Health Project at the Ecology Center, an Ann-Arbor-based nonprofit advocacy group.