Packaging Recovery Notes

DEFINITION: Producer Responsibility Obligations create a legal obligation for packaging producers to ensure that a proportion of their marketed products are recovered and recycled. Businesses can show evidence of their compliance by purchasing Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs).

For the UK, this cost is around €20/tonne, but other European nations have an average for producer responsibility at around €150/tonne.

See also: Producer responsibility

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Heineken to eliminate shrinkwrap and plastic rings from multipacks sold in the UK

Heineken has today (7 November) announced plans to remove all plastic shrinkwrap and rings from multipacks of beer and cider sold in the UK by the end of 2021.

The move will apply to Ariel and Lenor packaging. Image: P&G

P&G to up use of post-consumer recycled plastic in packaging

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has committed to increase the amount of recycled plastic used in packaging for its fabric care brands Ariel and Lenor.

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Kimberly-Clark is targeting 100% recyclability across its plastics packaging by 2022

Inside Kimberly-Clark's plastics packaging strategy

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Nestle unveils plastic-free packaging for snack bars

Food and beverage giant Nestle has unveiled a paper-based alternative to flexible plastic wrapping, which it is using to house its newest snack bar range.

The move comes after the introduction of non-bleached paper bags at checkouts (pictured). Image: Boots UK

Boots introduces compostable pharmacy bags after plastics backlash

Boots is switching its plastic pharmacy bags to compostable alternatives made using potato starch, after customers began returning plastic bags and voicing their anger on social media this summer.

The plastic-free range (pictured) is designed to help shoppers create a three-course meal. Image: Iceland

Iceland slashes plastics packaging across Christmas range by 97%

Iceland has claimed that its Christmas range of food and drinks for 2019, which includes 18 plastic-free lines, contains 97% less plastic than its 2017 range.

The media giant's content reaches more than 390 million people each month. Image: Conde Nast

Vogue publisher vows to phase-out plastics and align with Paris Agreement

Condé Nast, the publishing house behind titles such as Vogue, Glamour and GQ, has committed to removing non-recyclable plastics from its products and reducing emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.

Nestlé, Walmart and Borealis join the more than 400 organisations that have signed up to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

Nestlé, Walmart and Borealis sign up to Ellen MacArthur Foundation's global plastics commitment

The world's largest food company, Nestlé, and the world's largest retailer, Walmart, have joined chemicals company Borealis in becoming Core Partners to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy.

Premier Inn looks set to reduce the equivalent of another 13 Olympic-sized swimming pools of plastic just by removing the plastic wrapping from staff uniform

Whitbread to remove 'unnecessary' single-use plastics from premises by 2025

Hospitality firm Whitbread has pledged to rid all 800 of its UK hotels and restaurants of unnecessary single-use plastics by 2025, and has called on other UK firms to do the same.

In September, CCEP announced it will end the use of shrink-wrapped plastics across all can multipacks it sells in Great Britain

Coca-Cola to replace plastic shrink wrap with paper packaging across Europe

Coca-Cola and its European bottling partners will remove shrink wrap from its can multipacks, to be replaced with a €15m (£12.8m) investment into a paper-based packaging solution by the end of 2021.

Pictured: Absolut’s director of sustainable performance Tina Robertsson at the company's only distillery, which has been certified as carbon-neutral since 2013. 

From case-study to company-wide vision: How Absolut is expanding its carbon neutrality ambitions

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Boots cited the impact of shows like Blue Planet in driving more awareness on single-use plastics. Image: Boots

Boots removes 149 tonnes of plastics from Christmas gift range

Boots will use 149 tonnes less plastic packaging to house its range of Christmas gifts this year than it did in 2018.

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Morrisons eliminates black plastics packaging

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Progress over perfection: Can McDonald's design its way out of single-use plastics?

McDonald's vice president of global sustainability Keith Kenny has claimed that the consumer-facing business needs to couple lifecycle analysis of its packaging with consumer demands in order to phase-out plastics in a secure way and without impacting customer experience.

The lidless McFlurrys feature foldable paper-based flaps on the existing packaging which create a new lid

McDonald's ditches plastic McFlurry and drinks lids across Europe

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Refill encourages a switch to reusable bottles by making free tap water refill facilities available in “on-the-go” scenarios

High-street chains sign up to refill pilot to reduce single-use plastic packaging

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The 2050 climate objective will be “the big highlight” of the Green Deal

Circular economy 'number one priority' of European Green Deal and net-zero ambitions

The circular economy, including new waste and recycling laws, will represent "half" of the EU's effort to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and will be erected as "the number one priority" of the upcoming European Green Deal, officials have said.

Just Eat has been trialling the sachets for several years

Just Eat and Unilever brand Hellmann's to reduce plastics through seaweed sachet trials

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Tesco to remove one billion plastic pieces from products by end of 2020

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As part of its membership to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy Commitment, Coca-Cola recently disclosed its annual global plastics consumption - three million tonnes - for the first time. Stock image. 

Beverage giants' pledge to recycle every plastic bottle they produce slammed as 'cowardly'

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The envelopes will now be offered in 110 Asda stores, up from 37. Image: Ella's Kitchen

Asda and Ella's Kitchen's baby food pouch recycling scheme goes national after trial success

Baby food brand Ella's Kitchen has unveiled plans to roll out its recycling scheme for packaging which isn't collected at kerbsides nationally, after a successful trial with Asda and TerraCycle.

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Henkel invests in recycling innovation for flexible plastics packaging

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Sky backs TerraCycle's 'zero-waste' refill platform with £1.5m investment

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Pictured: Representatives from the Fashion Pact's 56 member businesses and French President Emmanuel Macron meet in Paris. Image: Kering

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Asda brings recycled plastic target forward five years

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BP invests £19.5m in innovative pilot plant for 'unrecyclable' plastics

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As of May 2019, P&G had used more than 34,000 metric tonnes of PCR in packaging

P&G to more than double recycled plastic content for home cleaning brands in Europe

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has announced it will more than double the amount of recycled plastic used in its packaging for domestic cleaning brands such as Fairy and Flash in Europe by 2020.

The report found that 60% of business’ plastic packaging is now reusable, recyclable or compostable today

Business giants making 'promising' progress in tackling plastic waste

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The campaign officially launched on Tuesday (22 October). Image: Hubbub

Food giants team up to fund Edinburgh's first on-street recycling infrastructure

On-street recycling infrastructure for food and drinks packaging has been installed in Edinburgh for the first time, as part of a campaign run by charity Hubbub and backed by businesses including McDonald's, Costa Coffee and Nestle.

TerraCycle's approach to its mission to "eliminate the idea of waste" has evolved past "recycling the non-recyclable", according to Szaky

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More than 14.8 billion baby wipes are used in the UK every year, many of which end up in waterways, oceans and wastewater systems

Huggies to eliminate plastics from baby wipes and packaging

Kimberly-Clark-owned brand Huggies has pledged to eliminate plastics from its baby wipe range in the UK over the next five years and launch a portfolio next year that will allow consumers to return packaging to supermarkets to be recycled.

Plastic Bank plans to collect 30,000 metric tons of plastic waste over the three-year period – equivalent to stopping 1.5 billion plastic bottles from entering oceans and waterways

SC Johnson to improve recycling infrastructure in developing nation to combat ocean plastics

SC Johnson has partnered with economic development firm Plastic Bank to upscale access to recycling infrastructure in developing regions and leverage blockchain technology to stop plastic waste from entering into oceans while improving economic and social outlooks for communities.

The new PCR bottles will be rolled out across Dove's original range, plus its Baby and Men+ products. Image: Dove

Dove unveils plastic-free beauty bar packaging and 100% recycled plastic bottles

Dove has committed to removing all non-recycled plastic from certain bottle lines by the end of the year and debuted a new, plastic-free packaging format for its beauty bar soap.

The retailer will be rolling out NatureFlex to a selection of its all-year-round biscuits and cakes

Selfridges switches from plastics to compostable for Christmas food packaging

Selfridges is removing plastic packaging across its own brand range of Christmas food, switching to home compostable alternatives for 90,000 mince pies and 3,000 Christmas cakes.

Carlsberg, Coca-Cola, Absolut and L'Oreal are charting a course to a waste-free world

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The Government has unveiled how it plans to leave the environment in a better state 

Deposit return schemes and biodiversity net-gain: Raft of new policies unveiled in Environment Bill

The UK Government has launched its new governance system on issues covering clean air, waste management and plastics pollution, natural capital approaches and water stewardship, in the form of the long-awaited Environment Bill. 

Waitrose & Partners has calculated that the switch will mitigate the use of 18 tonnes of plastics annually. Image: Waitrose & Partners

Waitrose ditches plastic shrinkwrap for can multipacks

Waitrose & Partners has removed the plastic wrap from several of its best-selling multipacks of canned products, after consumers branded it "unnecessary".

TerraCycle has partnered with PZ Cussons to develop a recycling scheme for the refill pouches. 

PZ Cussons launches hand wash refills to slash plastics packaging

Healthcare and consumer goods giant PZ Cussons has launched its first hand wash refill offering, as it strives to reduce the amount of plastics used in its packaging by 25% by 2025.

For cities, food is one of the largest sources of greenhouse related to consumption

Fourteen mayors sign declaration to promote sustainable food policies in their cities

Fourteen cities announced on Thursday (10 October) that they would pay particular attention to the sustainable and healthy food supply in their cities in the future. This way, they aim to save 60% of the carbon emissions in the food sector.

Carlsberg will test the barrier technology with the ambition of being able to commercialise a 100% bio-based bottle that doesn’t contain polymers, with other corporates aiming to do the same

Paper beer bottles: Carlsberg's bio-based packaging to be shared with corporate giants

EXCLUSIVE: Danish brewer Carlsberg has unveiled prototypes of the world's first beer bottles made from recyclable and bio-based materials, with the company's sustainability director claiming that the innovation could have "endless impact" if upscaled collaboratively by corporates including Coca-Cola and L'Oreal.

To communicate its investment, Tennent's will be lighting the famous “big red T” in the signage of its Wellpark site in green, and using the green logo on a line of limited-edition pint glasses. Image: Tennent's.

Tennent's unveils £14m plan to eradicate plastics and carbon

Scottish brewer Tennent's has pledged to eradicate single-use plastics from its packaging by 2021 and to become carbon-neutral by 2025 - commitments it is backing with a €16m investment package.

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The pilot is currently only available in the US, and Lego will explore an expansion in 2020

Lego launches reuse platform for old plastic bricks

The Lego Group has announced the launch of a pilot programme that will see the company partner with recycling charity Give Back Box to enable consumers to donate old lego bricks to be redistributed to children's non-profits in the US.

The collection of more than 600,000 tonnes of plastic packaging annually by 2025 will be facilitated through investment and partnerships in infrastructure and collection processes

Unilever to halve use of virgin plastic and collect more plastic packaging than it sells by 2025

Unilever has announced it will halve its use of virgin plastic by 2025 by reducing plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes, increasing the amount of recycled plastics it uses and collecting and processing more plastic packaging than it sells.

From 2020, the company will incorporate previously unrecyclable and lower-quality plastics into its bottles

Coca-Cola unveils drinks bottle made from recycled ocean plastics

Coca-Cola has unveiled sample bottles consisting of 25% recycled marine plastics, as the company ramps up efforts to improve the recyclability and collection of its products in Western Europe.

Between 2016 and 2018 UK paper cup recycling rates increased 16-fold Image: Pret

Pret extends shop floor cup recycling scheme to 350 UK stores

Pret has announced the expansion of its in-store coffee cup recycling scheme to more than 350 UK stores, following successful pilots in London, Leeds and Glasgow.

SC Johnson's latest sustainability report outlines progress against key targets. Image: SC Johnson 

SC Johnson on track to make all plastic packaging closed-loop by 2025

US-based consumer goods firm SC Johnson's latest sustainability report has revealed the company is on target to meet its 2025 targets for plastic and recycling, Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy, with 94% of the firm's plastic packaging now recycle, reusable or compostable.

The company claims the switch will have "a significant impact in reducing plastic from supermarket beer shelves". Image: AB Inbev 

Budweiser to eliminate plastic six-pack rings from UK packaging portfolio

Budweiser Brewing Group UK and Ireland has vowed to remove all plastic rings from its multipacks by the end of 2020, replacing them with paperboard 'clips' and boxes.

The report suggests that adopting a circular economy framework across certain production areas would achieve emissions reductions totalling 9.3bn tonnes

Net-zero not possible without circular economy, Ellen MacArthur Foundation finds

Focusing on decarbonising the energy sector alone will not put the world within touching distance of a net-zero carbon economy, according to a new report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation which claims that the transition to a circular economy is also vital.

Mission Possible: Achieving net-zero carbon in Utilities

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The refill station will open to the general public on Saturday (21 September). Image: OneGreenBean/The Body Shop

The Body Shop: Demands for plastic-free shopping have 'come full circle since the 1990s'

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The announcement will build into a wider initiative across Western Europe that will remove 4,000 tonnes of plastic from circulation across the region

Coca-Cola to replace plastic shrink wrap across can multipacks sold in Great Britain

Europe's largest independent Coca-Cola bottler has announced it will end the use of shrink-wrapped plastics across all can multipacks it sells in Great Britain, in a move that will replace plastic used on 30 million packs annually with sustainably sourced cardboard.

Lifewatr will be packaged in 100% recycled polyethene terephthalate (rPET) in the US. Image: PepsiCo

PepsiCo's latest packaging commitment targets 35% reduction in plastic use by 2025

Global beverage firm PepsiCo has announced plans to reduce the use of virgin plastic across its portfolio by 35% by 2025, which will eliminate around 2.5 million metric tonnes of the material from circulation.

Greenpeace had been campaigning for supermarkets such as Sainsbury's to introduce refillable packaging. Image: Sainsbury's 

Sainsbury's to launch refillable lines in bid to halve plastics packaging

Sainsbury's has confirmed that it will launch refillable versions of products such as milk and fizzy drinks in the coming years, as it strives to halve the amount of plastics it uses for packaging by 2025.

Suntory pledges '100% sustainable' plastics packaging across Europe by 2030

Beverage giant Suntory has pledged to eliminate virgin fossil-fuel-based plastics from its packaging portfolio across Europe by 2030.

The campaign covers three key sustainability issues: greenhouse gas emissions, supply chain transparency and the circular economy. Image: ACI

Consumer goods giants team up in bid to lower environmental impacts

Clorox, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Henkel are among a group of consumer goods businesses selling cleaning products to have co-launched a campaign aimed at driving the sector towards "net-positive" environmental and social impact.

Business Energy Barometer: August - September 2019

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Asda pilots plastic-free innovation in fight against food waste

Asda is trialling an innovative new material which could help mitigate the need for plastic food packaging, without leading to an increase in food waste.

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The tinned tuna is one of several product lines Aldi is targeting over the coming months

Aldi to replace plastic sleeves on tinned tuna multipacks

Aldi has announced it will remove all plastic packaging on its multipacks of tinned tuna, which could save more than 11 tonnes of plastic annually if rolled out nationwide.

Research from the United Nations University (UNU) found that more than 44 million metric tonnes of electronic waste were generated globally in 2016

Sky Mobile to offer 'ethical and modular' Fairphone in UK

Sky Mobile has announced that it will offer the Fairphone, a modular and repairable smartphone consisting of recycled materials, in the UK.

The reverse vending machines offer users a 10p discount coupon for every plastic bottle inserted

Iceland collects more than one million plastic bottles in reverse vending scheme

Iceland has captured and recycled more than one million plastic drinks bottles since it began offering reverse vending last May, the supermarket revealed today (22 August).

Tesco has already set goals to remove non-recyclable plastics from its own-brand lines by the end of 2019, and to halve own-brand packaging by weight against a 2007 baseline by 2025. Image: Tesco

Tesco boss: We'll delist brands that use excessive plastic packaging

Tesco's chief executive Dave Lewis has vowed to end contracts with third-party brands which use excessive and non-recyclable plastic packaging.

Amazon's 'bubble-lined plastic bags' are not recyclable through kerbside collections in the UK

Amazon under fire for new packaging that cannot be recycled

Amazon has been criticised by environmental groups and customers after introducing a range of plastic packaging that cannot be recycled in the UK.

The rebrand marks the first time Toast Ale has used bright colours – and its first foray into canned beverages

'Planet-saving' beer: Inside Toast Ale's climate-focused rebrand

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Image Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

Hasbro to 'eliminate' plastics from new product packaging by 2022

US toy firm Hasbro has set a two-year window to phase out virtually all plastic from product packaging for new products, with a deadline set for the end of 2022.

The Women's Environment Network estimates that 200,000 tonnes of menstrual products and their packaging are wasted annually in the UK. Image: Simon Ryder-Burbidge

Sainsbury's removes plastic applicators from tampons

Sainsbury's has removed single-use plastic applicators from all of its own-brand tampon lines, as it strives to cut its packaging use and remove non-recyclable plastics from shelves.

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More than 36,000 Lucozade Sport Oohos were sampled at the 2019 Virgin Media London Marathon

Edible drinks bottles backed by Government funding

Oohos, the edible, plastic-free packaging capsules trialled by companies such as Lucozade Ribena Suntory, have received more than £300,000 in Government funding that will help boost daily manufacturing outputs.

The new packaging formats include recyclable aluminium cans, bottles made using bioplastics and recycled PET, and a packaging-free dispenser option. Image: Dasani 

Coca-Cola unveils 'largest sustainability initiative' to date for water packaging

The Coca-Cola Company has unveiled a string of updates to the packaging used across its Dasani water brand, in a bid to minimise its plastic footprint.

Steaks in the new packaging went on sale on Friday (9 August)

Aldi begins removing plastic packaging from meat lines

Aldi is trialling cardboard trays to replace the plastic trays usually used to house its steaks, in a move which will cut its annual plastic output by 240 tonnes.

Molson Coors is the world's third-largest brewer and owns brands such as Carling, Cobra and Blue Moon. Image: Molson Coors

Molson Coors unveils 1.5C science-based targets, new sustainable packaging goals

Molson Coors has today (12 August) published its new sustainability report, revealing that its new emissions targets have been approved in line with a 1.5C trajectory by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).

Shifting away from plastic to other materials for single-use containers – such as cans, glass and cartons – will not resolve the problem, Green Alliance claims

Britain's single-use sustainability crisis extends far beyond plastic, says Green Alliance

Shifting materials for single-use containers away from plastic will not resolve the overall issue, according to a new infogaphic-based report from Green Alliance.

Before moving to Wessex Water in 2017, Olivia worked for EcoSurety while studying part-time for her masters

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Lidl has described its "Green Bags" as an "affordable, reusable alternative" to single-use small fruit and vegetable bags. Image: Lidl UK

Lidl rolls out reusable produce bags to cut plastics

Lidl has begun selling reusable bags for consumers to put their loose fruit and vegetables in, in what the firm claims is a first for a UK supermarket.

Unilever is targeting the inclusion of at least 25% recycled content across its plastics packaging portfolio by 2025. Image: Unilever

Unilever launches recycled plastic Magnum tubs

Unilever has debuted a new Magnum ice-cream tub made using 25% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic content.

Refillable containers will be showcased alongside products at the participating stores. Image: Waitrose & Partners

Waitrose to extend plastic-busting refill scheme

Waitrose & Partners is set to extend its 'Unpacked' offering of packaging-free, refillable products, following a successful trial of the concept at its Botley Road store in Oxford.

PepsiCo this year joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundations’ New Plastic Economy pledge

PepsiCo leaves plastics lobby group after green campaign pressure

PepsiCo has announced its exit from the PLASTICS Industry Association - a trade lobby group with pro-plastics sentiments.

Take a look through all of the month's most-read news stories, and click the links below to read them for yourself

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(L-R) Presenter Matthew Farrow, executive director,Environmental Industries Commission, Forster Communications’ Peter Gilheany and Amanda Powell- Smith and compere Michaela Strachan

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Both trials will last six months, with consumer attitudes and purchasing data to be analysed throughout

Iceland to trial UK's first major plastic-bag-free store

Frozen food retailer Iceland is trailing the removal of all plastic bags from one of its stores, replacing them altogether with "extra-strong" paper bags.

Ocado's head of CR and corporate affairs Suzanne Westlake spoke alongside representatives from the likes of the World Food Programme, WRM, Defra and Too Good to Go 

Ocado: Consumer appetite for plastic-free shopping 'bordering on militant'

While the so-called 'war on plastics' movement has encouraged retailers to take ambitious action to make their packaging more sustainable, it has also served to distract the public from other green issues, Ocado's head of CR Suzanne Westlake has claimed.

The first 6,000 pots arrived at Lush's UK headquarters this week

Lush debuts 'carbon-positive' packaging

Health and beauty retailer Lush has unveiled what it claims is the world's first 'carbon-positive' packaging.

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The fourth boat made its maiden voyage on Monday (15 July)

Hubbub launches fourth waste-cleaning boat made from recycled plastics

Environmental charity Hubbub has launched a fourth waste-cleaning boat made from recycled plastic, after partnering with beauty brand Kiehl's to fund a further expansion to its 'plastic fishing' initiative.

'Ecorefills' are Unilever's latest foray into plastics-reducing innovations 

Unilever: Innovation is the 'cornerstone' to plastics reduction

EXCLUSIVE: Product and systems innovations will be a "key cornerstone" in meeting Unilever's five-point plastics reduction strategy, which champions behaviour change and total phase-outs where possible alongside incremental reductions.

The reverse vending machines enable automated collecting, sorting and handling of returned or used plastic bottles for recycling or reuse

Coca-Cola and Merlin Entertainments extend on-the-go plastic recycling initiative

Coca-Cola Great Britain has announced it has extended a project to place onsite reverse vending machines for plastic bottles at major UK attractions including Alton Towers Resort, Thorpe Park, and Legoland Windsor, after a trial collected more than 26,000 bottles last year.

There are now more than 22,000 Refill locations across the UK

Asda rolls out free refill scheme to cut plastic bottle use

Asda has begun offering free tap water refills at all of its in-store cafes, after trialling the offer at 37 of its locations this spring.

20% claim they aren’t motivated by concerns for the environment in the slightest

Survey: Almost half of UK SMEs failing to act on single-use plastics

A major survey of more than 1,000 UK small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) has found while the majority of businesses understand the importance of reducing single-use plastics, 40% are yet to carry out basic measures to reduce plastic waste.

The packs could be rolled out nationwide if the trial proves successful 

Aldi to remove plastic packaging from toilet roll packs

Aldi could save more than 900 tonnes of plastic each year, after announcing trials to remove plastic packaging from toilet roll packs at 174 stores across the UK.

Going 100%: How landlords hold the key to corporate renewable energy targets

This brand-new edie report developed in partnership with Big Clean Switch and The Climate Group's RE100 campaign sheds light on the relationship between landlords and tenants on the big issue of renewable energy.

WRAP claimed that the move aligns with the UK Government’s ban on items such as straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds

Businesses commit to phase-out eight 'problem plastics' by 2020

Companies signed up to the UK Plastic Pact have committed to removing eight "problem plastics" by 2020, including cutlery, cotton buds and polystyrene packaging, but the decision has sparked calls that self-regulated efforts won't be sufficient enough to avert plastics pollution.

Here, edie rounds up seven key lessons that Hugh and Anita’s War on Plastics was willing to teach. Image: BBCBBC/KEO Films/Tom Beard 

Seven things sustainability professionals can learn from Hugh and Anita's War on Plastic

The BBC's docuseries exploring how the public, government officials and corporates are fuelling an unsustainable demand for plastics concluded on Monday (24 June). Here, edie highlights seven key lessons that the series can teach sustainability professionals.

Toys from McDonald's will be in the spotlight this episode. Image: DocChewbacca https://www.flickr.com/photos/st3f4n/

BBC War on Plastic: How Happy Meal toys and pellet production are piling on to the waste mountain

The final instalment of the BBC's War On Plastic tonight (24 June) will highlight just how broken the linear economy is, as Anita focuses on the mountain of free plastic toys from places such as fast food restaurants, while Hugh learns how the plastic industry plans to increase production by 50%