Flanders: a society built on recycling
With its popular recycling parks, fashionable reuse shops and tiny landfill rates for household waste, Flanders in Belgium looks like an unqualified waste management success story. David Gilliver investigates
Food manufacturers unveil 2025 targets to deliver 'sustainable food system of the future'
McCain Foods, Cadbury, Coca-Cola GB and McVitie's are among a host of British food and drink manufacturers that have developed a series of ambitious new sustainability commitments this week.
Suez and TerraCycle to boost waste management for 'tricky-to-recycle' products
Pens, coffee packaging and protective disposable gloves could soon be subjected to innovative new recycling techniques, after waste management firm Suez announced a new partnership with developers TerraCycle, a company renown for treating hard-to-recycle materials.
The litter levy: Should brands take more responsibility for the UK's waste woes?
Brands such as McDonald's, Coca Cola, Costa Coffee and Wrigley should strive to become a "big part of the solution" to the amount of litter plaguing UK streets, by working with the Government to implement an Extended Produce Responsibility (EPR) scheme.
Tetra Pak cuts emissions during period of growth
Despite the number of packages sold rising by 16% over the last 12 months, Swedish food processing and packaging company Tetra Pak has revealed that emissions have tumbled as it closes in on its 2020 climate goals.
Ecosurety adopts 'network creator' mantle to launch Circularety waste investment platform
Resource efficiency specialist Ecosurety has today (28 September) introduced a new "revolutionary" platform that uses money generated from issuing waste recycling compliance documents to fund transparent projects that aid the waste and recycling industry.
The story of Roermond: How Smurfit Kappa is making the circular economy a reality
Packaging giant Smurfit Kappa invites edie on a behind-the-scenes tour of its pioneering zero-waste paper mill in the Netherlands, which stands as an exemplar of the firm's global circular economy ambitions.
Consistency and co-operation key to boost national recycling rates, surveys reveal
With today marking the launch of Recycle Week 2016 (12-18 September), two new public surveys have highlighted the need for greater standardisation and co-operation between retailers and policymakers to improve the UK's recycling performance.
Co-op calls on retailers to 'move with us' on plastics recycling action plan
The Co-op has become the first retailer to sign up to the 'Plastic Industry Recycling Action Plan (PIRAP), and is calling on other retailers to follow suit.
Greening the Apple: How sustainable is the new iPhone 7?
It features a longer battery life, is more energy-efficient, and a waterproof design will prevent damaged products going straight to landfill. But the ditching of the headphone jack could itself open up an e-waste black hole. So just how sustainable is Apple's new iPhone 7?
Polystyrene packaging debate hots up as industry rejects chefs' claims
A recent call from a group of top chefs for policymakers to ban the use of polystyrene packaging in London has been condemned by the Food Packaging Association (FPA) and other waste management experts.
Packaging industry urges EU to reinforce circular economy proposals
The European Union (EU) has been urged to establish a long-term ambitious policy framework to ensure that the circular economy package preserves sustainable growth and enshrines a full life-cycle approach, in a list of policy recommendations set by 36 packaging value chain industry associations.
Carnival clean-up: Notting Hill waste to generate 100MWh of electricity
Westminster City Council is planning to collect all of the waste from Notting Hill Carnival and use it to generate electricity for the National Grid - all in time to have the streets clean for the Tuesday morning commute.
Army of chefs wage war on polystyrene waste in London
Britain's 'war on waste' has seemingly taken a turn from paper to polystyrene cups as a selection of top chefs - including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - have sent a letter to London Mayor Sadiq Khan calling for a city-wide ban on non-biodegradable polystyrene packaging.
Could a '100% recyclable' polymer drive the new plastics economy?
The developers of a packaging polymer that is both 100% recyclable and 100% biodegradable in standard waste management facilities claim the new material could help to create a much-needed circular economy for plastic packaging.
Chemicals giant launches new circular economy packaging using recycled waste
Refinery and chemicals giant Total has launched a new range of recyclable polymer packaging made from at least 25% recycled household waste from Western Europe, as part of the companies pledge to embed closed-loop models in its production phase.
Bournemouth set to create world's largest 'work of art' from recycled plastic
Residents of Bournemouth will receive an opportunity to set a new world record during the upcoming Air Festival weekend (18-21 August), after the council signed up to a plastics recycling campaign to make the largest work of art made from recycled plastic packaging.
Former Defra director announced as new CIWM chief executive
The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) has announced today (1 August) that the ex-director of environmental quality at Defra, Colin Church, will be replacing outgoing chief executive Steve Lee in October.
Carrier bag charge sees usage plummet by 6.5 billion
The number of plastic shopping bags handed out by retailers in England has dropped from seven billion to just over half a billion within six months, following the introduction of the 5p carrier bag charge last October.
Waitrose cooks up new food waste packaging for pasta range
Waitrose has announced it will become the first supermarket in the UK to launch to new pasta ranges where the packaging is made, in part, from waste food produce.
Recyclable coffee cups and mushroom packaging: 7 innovations that could win the war on waste
In a week that sees the recyclability of coffee cups and cardboard packaging come under scrutiny in Hugh's War on Waste, edie rounds up the potential technologies and solutions that Britain's retailers could be exploring to make 'waste' a word of the past.
Hugh's War on Waste: The battle continues with coffee cup recycling in the spotlight
Celebrity chef-turned-eco-warrior Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is reigniting his 'War on Waste' TV series this week, with attention shifting from food waste to coffee cup recycling.
Starbucks tests (genuinely) recyclable coffee cup
Starbucks is "very interested" in the potential outcome of a new collaborative partnership with sustainable packaging company FrugalPac, which will see the coffee shop chain trial a recyclable coffee cup made from 100% paper.
New plant-based cleaning products slash emissions at Rendall & Rittner
Residential managing agent Rendall & Rittner has revealed it is using new plant-based cleaning solutions across its 44,000 London units as a way to reduce product use, lower emissions and improve financial savings.
Heading Earthwards: Johnson & Johnson dives deep to green up healthcare
It's widely recognised that the healthcare sector has a large and costly environmental footprint. Hospitals in particular account for some of the most energy-intensive facilities, yet many traditionally have been slow to embrace resource efficiency. A study by the University of Chicago found that the industry stands to save up to $15bn over 10 years by adopting more sustainable practices - it's an opportunity that hasn't gone unnoticed by Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the world's sixth-largest consumer health company.
Most European countries see construction as circular economy priority, report reveals
The majority of European countries have identified plastic and packaging, construction and demolition waste and food waste as key priority materials that need to be focused on in the transition to a circular economy, according to a new assessment from the European Environment Agency (EEA).
'Ahead of the curve': Why M&S wants to collaborate to innovate on sustainable packaging
EXCLUSIVE: Marks & Spencer (M&S) wants to be 'ahead of the curve' when it comes to applying circular economy principles to plastic packaging and therefore developing more sustainable, collaborative supply chains within the retail industry.
Coca-Cola Enterprises closes in on 2020 footprint reduction targets
Soft-drinks bottlers Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is celebrating its 10-year sustainability journey by revealing wholesale reductions in carbon emissions, packaging use and water consumption, as the company strides towards its 2020 targets.
How Encirc is smashing the glass ceiling of supply chain sustainability
As businesses begin to look beyond the 'low-hanging fruit' of on-site sustainability solutions, a growing number of firms are turning their attentions to supply chain management as a way of reducing emissions and environmental footprints even further.
edie Sustainability Leader to represent UK at EU awards
edie Sustainability Leaders Award-winner LINPAC Packaging has been selected as a UK finalist for the prestigous 2016 European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE).
Solar smartphone screens and edible packaging: the best green innovations of the week
After a week that saw the steel industry reach crisis point, edie rounds up the latest low-carbon technologies and innovations that show that, in spite of the potential death of a bastion of the industrial revolution, entrepreneurs from across the globe are accelerating the green revolution.
EU vows tough enforcement of circular economy package
The circular economy package of waste and recycling laws will be backed by tougher European Commission enforcement than seen under previous administrations, an official yesterday (5 April) told plastic industry delegates.
RB exceeds waste reductions targets as emissions lag
Health and hygiene company RB, which owns brands including Durex, Calgon and Gaviscon, has revealed it has reached its waste management goals five years early, although improvement on carbon reductions is still needed.
Tetra Pak joins Circular Economy 100 to accelerate closed-loop transition
Food processing and packaging company Tetra Pak has announced that it has become a corporate member of the Circular Economy 100 (CE100), the innovation platform launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to accelerate circular economy ambitions.
Defra relaxes plastic packaging targets 'to reduce burden on businesses'
The Government has announced plans to relax statutory plastic packaging recycling targets in an apparent attempt to 'reduce the burden' on business, with research showing that, despite 'significant increases' in recycling, the industry could struggle to hit 2020 targets.
Starbucks responds to War on Waste with 'bring your own cup' discount
Following a wave of intense criticism about its lack of action on the circular economy, coffee shop chain Starbucks will trial a 50p discount on its drinks if consumers bring their own cup, in an attempt to curb the rising issue of coffee cup recycling.
Collaboration not condemnation: Simply Cups speaks out on coffee cup recycling debate
British paper cup recycler Simply Cups has claimed that brands should not be using recycling symbols as a 'defence mechanism' and instead must look to collaborate with their supply chains in order to increase recycling rates of discarded coffee cups.
Coca-Cola calls on policymakers to take circular economy 'leap of faith'
Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola has called on global governments and regulators to ignite a 'cultural shift' towards closed-loop business models - a transition that will only be possible if policymakers take a 'leap of faith' to back the circular economy.
Henkel unveils new sustainability goals after surging past interim targets
Persil, Schwarzkopf shampoo and Pritt Stick manufacturer Henkel has unveiled a multitude of new sustainability goals after reaching and surpassing a variety of interim targets that form the foundation of its Sustainability Strategy for 2030.
Could invisible markers hold the key to enabling a plastics circular economy?
An innovative new project that acts as an 'invisible barcode for plastics recycling' could streamline the way that food-based polymers are recycled after it received a two year funding guarantee from Innovate UK.
Are confusing food labels putting Scotland's new circular economy strategy at risk?
The Scottish Government has been warned that its ambitious new circular economy strategy could unravel due confusing food labels that cause more than 50% of the UK's residents to throw away perfectly edible food.
Circular dreams: Tetra Pak's quest for a resource revolution
With recent reports revealing the enormity of the plastic waste challenge, the need for business-led action has never been clearer. Here, edie reporter Matt Mace pays a visit to Tetra Pak's headquarters in Sweden, where the packaging company is embarking on an ambitious mission to drive a global circular economy.
Tetra Pak shoots for 100 million fully recyclable cartons
Food packaging and processing company Tetra Pak expects to deliver more than 100 million packs of 100% recyclable, bio-based cartons to customers during 2016 as the company expands its portfolio across Europe.
The Body Shop to turn greenhouse gases into plastic packaging
The Body Shop packaging could soon be made from greenhouse gases that would otherwise pollute the atmosphere, thanks to a new research partnership between the retailer and cleantech firm Newlight Technologies.
UK consumers waste twice as much food as they think, Sainsbury's finds
British families squander twice as much money on food waste each month as they think they do, according to YouGov research commissioned by Sainsbury's.
More plastic than fish in oceans by 2050, Ellen MacArthur study warns
With environmental issues featuring high on the agenda at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this week, a new report has revealed that applying circular economy principles to plastic packaging could save up to $120bn for the global economy.
McDonald's turns used coffee cups into brochures and luxury packaging
McDonald's paper cups are being recycled at scale for the first time in the UK thanks to a new partnership with British papermaker James Cropper and recycling firm Simply Cups, the trio announced on Thursday.
Jeremy Paxman issues rallying call for businesses to "win the war on litter"
Veteran BBC interrogator Jeremy Paxman has said he is "sick to the back teeth" of Britain's rising litter problem and is calling on businesses to take the initiative and collaborate for a mass behaviour change campaign to curb the issue.
Blue is the new green: Logo colours send a sustainable message
Brands that use shades of blue as part of its company image are perceived as the most environmentally sustainable, new research has found.
EU unveils new €6bn circular economy package
The European Commission has launched its much-anticipated circular economy package, including weakened recycling targets, tools to halve food waste by 2030, and measures to promote reparability in the design phase of products.
EU drops food waste and marine litter reduction targets, leak reveals
The EU has dropped a plan to pressure countries into cutting food waste and marine litter by nearly a third, documents seen by the Guardian show.
Feeling green: Food firms urged to get emotional over sustainability
Using "emotional drivers" and financial incentives is the quickest way to spark corporate interest in sustainability initiatives, leading food industry experts have claimed.
McDonald's sources certified wood fibre for front end packaging
Fast-food giant McDonalds has announced that all of its European-sourced packaging is now sourced from chain-of-custody certified wood fibre, as the company continues on its journey to source 100% sustainable packaging in Europe.
Voluntary agreement sees UK retailers cut 80,000 tonnes of waste
Britain's manufacturers and retailers have reduced their ingredient, product and packaging waste by 80,000 tonnes since 2012, thanks to a voluntary agreement organised by WRAP.
Tesco turns warehouse waste into recycled plastic bags
UK supermarket giant Tesco has developed a new circular economy solution allowing it to turn its own back-of store-plastic waste, such as pallet and multi-pack wrapping, into plastic bags.
Waitrose turns grass into egg boxes
Waitrose has given the humble egg box a green makeover with the launch of a revolutionary new packaging material made from ryegrass and paper.
M&S to donate surplus food to charities
Marks & Spencer (M&S) has today (9 October) announced the launch of a nationwide food redistribution scheme which will see 150 of the supermarket's biggest stores pass surplus food onto a host of local charities.
PepsiCo's green plan saves $375m
PepsiCo's sustainability initiatives on energy, waste and water have saved the soft drinks giant more than $375m since 2010, according to its latest sustainability report.
Sainsbury's searches for 'test bed' town to trial food waste initiatives
Sainsbury's has launched a five-year, £10m innovation project to try and tackle the problem of household food waste in the UK.
GSK to slash emissions by 25% with new supplier exchange
Global chemicals giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has set up a new information exchange for its suppliers to share best practice on energy efficiency and reducing environmental impacts.
Survey: Restaurants ignore sustainability 'at their peril'
More than 90% of consumers say they would be more likely to go to a restaurant that publicised its environmental impact and the provenance of its food.
Viridor unveils UK's most advanced glass recycling facility
Recycling and resources firm Viridor today opened a £25m glass recycling facility in Newhouse, North Lanarkshire.
Food giant General Mills announces 10-year plan to slash emissions by 28%
US food producer General Mills has announced that it aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 28% across the entirety of its value chain in the next 10 years.
WRAP and Valpak embark on joint packaging recycling project
Resource body WRAP and environmental consultancy Valpak are to collaborate on new research into the flow of paper and card waste through the market.
McVitie's 'Biscuit Wrapper Brigade' recycles one millionth wrapper
United Biscuits has reached the one-million milestone for biscuit wrapper recycling with its partners TerraCycle.
Moving from recycling to re-use in the food logistics industry
Moving away from recycling and towards re-using is the only way forward for the food transit industry, writes PPS Equipment managing director Joanne Moss.
P&G pledges to make 230 million bottles a year out of recycled plastic
Procter & Gamble (P&G) has today (23 July) announced a 'packaging overhaul', which will see some of the consumer good giant's flagship brands packaged in bottles made from recycled plastic.
What makes a Sustainability Leader? Case study: B&Q
With deadline day for entry to the 2015 Sustainability Leaders Awards fast approaching, this new series of articles profiles the businesses, people and initiatives that won over last year's judges. And where better to start than 2014 hat-trick winner B&Q?
WWF and Unilever announce campaign to protect one million trees
WWF and Unilever have launched a one-year partnership to engage consumers in the fight against deforestation, it was announced today (7 July).
Sustainability Leaders Awards 2015: Early-bird deadline approaching
Entry is now open and the early-bird deadline is fast-approaching for one of the most prestigious awards schemes in the UK sustainability sector.
UK plastics industry lays out roadmap to 57% recycling rate
A sector-wide plan to meet the UK Government's proposed target of 57% plastic packaging recycling by 2017, was launched yesterday.
Lego ploughs £100m into research for greener products
The world's largest toymaker is to build a new Sustainable Materials Centre in its search for more environmentally-friendly materials to be used in its products and packaging.
How CCE plans to meet its most ambitious sustainability targets yet
Joe Franses, director of corporate responsibility and sustainability at Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), explains how the bottling firm is planning to spritz up its green efforts over the next five years.
Kingfisher collaborates to innovate for Net Positive progress
A collaborative approach to responsible sourcing, packaging and the circular economy has taken DIY giant Kingfisher to new heights in the second year of its Net Positive sustainability plan.
edie Sustainability Leaders Awards 2015 officially open!
Entry has now opened for one of the most prestigious awards schemes in the UK sustainability sector - the edie Sustainability Leaders Awards.
Nestle factory reaches zero-waste milestone
Nestle's largest UK factory has achieved zero-waste-to-landfill and cut emissions by 10%, one year after installing a giant anaerobic digester.
Apple beefs up green commitments in China
Tech giant Apple has announced a new partnership with WWF to reduce the impact of its packaging needs on forests in China.
Survey: Online shoppers want greener packaging
Nearly two thirds of online shoppers now consider 'green packaging' when deciding where to shop according to a new poll.
John Lewis to reassess green targets after slow progress
Upmarket department store firm John Lewis has announced it will review its green goals after seeing its absolute emissions grow by almost 7% last year.
RB struggles to align social and sustainability goals
Global consumer goods firm RB has reported mixed successes on progress towards its environmental targets in its 2014 Sustainability Report, released on Thursday.
McDonald's to eliminate deforestation
Fast-food giant McDonald's has announced a commitment to ending deforestation across its global commodities supply chain.
Queen Elizabeth awards sustainable business achievement
Automotive giant Jaguar Land Rover and surplus food re-distributor Company Shop have been recognised as sustainability leaders by receiving a Queens Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development today.
Unilever fast-tracks deforestation pledge into 2015
Consumer goods giant Unilever has pledged to sustainably source 100% of its wood-based packaging by the end of 2015 - five years ahead of schedule.
KFC and Pizza Hut commit to responsible palm oil
Yum Brands - the parent-company of fast-food brands KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut - has committed to 100% sustainable palm oil for the first time following pressure from environmental activists.
Sainsbury's and M&S close the loop on ready-meal packaging
A new trial aiming to significantly increase the recycling rates of black CPET trays, used in supermarket ready meals, has been hailed as a success.
Coca-Cola and Nestle back food-and-drink pouch recycling scheme
Flexible laminate packaging, such as food and drink pouches, could soon be included in existing household recycling schemes thanks to a new trial.
Nestle achieves key sustainability targets ahead of time
Nestlé has today released its Creating Shared Value Report 2014, revealing it to have hit several key sustainability targets two years early.
Europe's new circular economy package will be 'country-specific'
The European Commission's 'more ambitious' circular economy package will include country-specific waste-reduction targets and a specific roadmap for the implementation of closed-loop business processes.
Extend food shelf-life by one day and save £600m, says WRAP
Extending the product life of everyday foods by just one day could prevent 250,000 tonnes of food waste each year, according to the Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP).
World leaders urged to tackle food waste to save billions and cut emissions
Governments across the world should make reducing food waste an urgent priority in order to save as much as £194bn annually by 2030, according to a report.
Tetra Pak's entire supply chain certified for FSC-labelled products
Tetra Pak can now supply packaging from responsibly-managed wood sources from any of its 92 facilities worldwide, having received full Forest Stewardship Council certification (FSC).
Carlsberg toasts circular economy with biodegradable beer bottles
Carlsberg has launched a new cross-sector collaborative project to develop the world's first fully biodegradable wood-fibre beer bottle as part of its Carlsberg Circular Community (CCC) initiative.
US food industry neglecting sustainable packaging, report finds
The United States is missing out on $11.4bn in potential recycling revenue, largely contributed to by only recycling 14% of plastic packaging.
Further boost for Scotland's circular economy with design collaboration project
A new partnership by Zero Waste Scotland is aiming to accelerate the country's progress towards a circular economy by calling on resource experts, product scientists and material scientists to collaborate and re-think design.
Courtald Commitment hails greener packaging, increased food redistribution
WRAP's Courtauld Commitment Phase 3 has seen 80% more food being redistributed by retailers and food manufacturers, and a 4.5% reduction of the carbon impacts of packaging in its first year.
L'Oreal aims to improve environmental profile of packaging labels
Cosmetics giant L'Oreal Americas and self-adhesive label firm Avery Dennison are collaborating to identify and reduce the environmental impacts of packaging labels throughout the entire label lifecycle.
Finnish dairy firm claims 'world first' with use of bio-based carton pack
Valio, a Finnish dairy company, has claimed that it has become the first company in the world to sell products to consumers in carton packaging made entirely from plant-based materials.
Sainsbury's reaches sustainable palm oil benchmark
Sainsbury's has burnished its green credentials today, by sourcing 95% of its palm oil from certified sustainable suppliers.
How to recycle like a champ on Boxing Day
Traditionally Boxing Day means piles of unwanted wrapping paper, bags and boxes in our homes, but this year Zero Waste Scotland has released a handy re-use and recycle guide to ease the waste.
P&G hits waste reduction target six years early, sets new sustainability goals
Procter & Gamble (P&G) has released its 16th annual sustainability report, confirming it has met two key sustainability targets ahead of schedule and detailing four new environmental performance goals for 2020.