Recycled content

DEFINITION: The portion of a product that is made from materials directed from the waste stream; usually stated as a percentage by weight.

See also: Circular economy

See also: Closed loop

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Solving the plastics problem: 10 industry gamechangers for the planet

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Energy innovation: Delivering the smart grid of the future, today

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This seven-page guide provides an end-to-end overview of the various EfW technolgies and their uses

Maximising the power of Energy-from-Waste: edie launches free business guide

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Under the scheme, Mars Petcare and Terracycle will accept packaging from any pet food brand

Mars seeking ‘industry-wide’ recycling solution after pet food packaging scheme launch

EXCLUSIVE: Consumer goods giant Mars is exploring the possibility of developing nationwide packaging takeback schemes for its food and drinks packaging, after successfully developing such a programme for its petfood pouches.

Five ideas to accelerate your electric fleet transition

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Under the scheme, Walkers will install hundreds of packet collection points at community hubs and retail outlets

UK's first national crisp packet recycling scheme launched by Walkers

The UK’s largest crisp brand has today (10 December) launched a UK-wide crisp packet recycling scheme, after partnering with TerraCycle to develop a recycling solution for the packaging.

edie rounds up the key facts from Pro Carton and Coleman Parkes Research's survey on sustainable packaging

In numbers: The growing consumer demand for sustainable packaging

A new survey of 7,000 consumers across seven European markets garnering their views on plastic packaging, packaging recyclability and related green policies has been published. Here, edie rounds up the key facts and figures.

Biotransformation does not create micro-plastics and does not impact normal recycling processes

Disruptive plastics firm Polymateria backed by £1m Innovate UK funding

BT's former chief sustainability officer Niall Dunne's vision to create the "Tesla of plastics" has moved a step closer to reality, after securing more than £1m in Innovate UK grants to research and scale-up compostable plastics.

pladis UK & Ireland is the 69th UK business to sign WRAP's UK Plastics Pact since it launched in April

Confectionary giant strengthens packaging commitments

The snack manufacturing company behind brands such as McVitie's and Jacob's has today (7 December) joined WRAP's UK Plastics Pact, committing itself to making all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

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In 2017, local authorities spent £700m on collecting and sorting recycling, compared with £73m from major businesses including leading supermarket chains and retailers

Retailers to pay up to £1bn for recycling under waste strategy

Supermarkets, retailers and major drinks brands are set to pay tens of millions of pounds more towards recycling their used packaging under the government's new waste strategy expected to be published this month, the Guardian understands.

The University and Union have already swapped disposable coffee cups for compostable alternatives, and launched a campaign incentivising the use of reusable coffee cups

University of Leeds unveils plan to become 'plastic-free' by 2023

The University of Leeds and Leeds University Union have pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic items, including coffee cups, disposable cutlery and straws, from their operations by 2023.

The scheme will accept empty toothpaste containers and toothpaste tubes, as well as end-of-life toothbrushes, from any brand

Colgate to launch recycling scheme for oral health products

Health and beauty giant Colgate Palmolive has unveiled plans to launch a recycling scheme for empty toothpaste tubes, used toothbrushes and dental floss containers in the US and the UK.

The move forms part of Kellogg's bid to align its operations with SDG 12, reponsible production and consumption

Kellogg unveils fresh packaging commitments for 2025

Food manufacturing firm Kellogg has unveiled a raft of new sustainable packaging commitments, including the introduction of easily recyclable cereal pouches and a recycling solution for Pringles cans.

Since 2011, the company has reduced overall waste levels by 16%

PZ Cussons outlines plastics and palm oil goals

Healthcare and consumer goods manufacturer PZ Cussons has committed to reduce the amount of plastic it uses by 25% while also setting out an action plan to source all its palm oil from sustainable sources.

H&M Foundation's innovation lead Erik Bang says 'seeing is believing' when it comes to changing consumer behaviours around textile recycling

Fashion industry 'playing catch-up' with the circular economy, says H&M Foundation

EXCLUSIVE: With reports continuing to reveal the extent of the environmental and social damage being caused by fast-fashion, not-for-profit sustainable development organisation H&M Foundation believes the industry is now on the cusp of a radical sustainability shift towards the circular economy.

A recent study found that 75% of flounders in the River Thames had ingested plastic

London Mayor urged to eliminate single-use plastic packaging from capital

Members of the Environment Committee have urged London Mayor Sadiq Khan to sign the capital up to WRAP's UK Plastics Pact, amid growing public concerns around plastic pollution.

The retailer is the first to offer the collection service under the Bring Back Heavy Metal campaign. image: Dixons Carphone

Currys PC World pioneers home collection of used batteries

Currys PC World is set to start collecting end-of-life batteries from customers' homes when it delivers new appliances, as part of a campaign to stop Brits from hoarding used batteries.

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In numbers: the UK public's attitudes towards recycling

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Aldi is one of the founder members of WRAP's Plastic Pact

Aldi continues phase-out of non-recyclable plastics

Discount supermarket Aldi is switching a range of its cooked meat from non-recyclable packaging to clear, recyclable alternatives in a move that is set to save more than 1,000 tonnes of plastic annually.

Signage will also be added to ensure consumers understand what can and can’t be recycled and therefore placed into the bins

Lucozade Ribena Suntory trials giant bottle-shaped bins to improve recycling

Soft drinks manufacturer Lucozade Ribena Suntory has announced a new partnership with facilities operator Sports and Leisure Management (SLM) to trial giant bottle-shaped recycling points at gyms and leisure centres in the UK.

Unilever has committed to increasing the recycled plastic content in its packaging to at least 25% by 2025

Inside Unilever's plastics packaging strategy

EXCLUSIVE: Unilever's chief R&D officer David Blanchard has outlined the company's three-pillar approach to improving the recyclability of its product packaging, focusing on "less", "better" and "no plastics" solutions.

The phase-outs and carrier bags replacements will see the equivalent of 125 million plastic bottles removed from production

Co-op switches to compostable bags as it pledges to eliminate single-use plastics

The Co-op has revealed it will swap around 60 million plastic carrier bags with compostable alternatives that can be used as food waste caddy liners, as part of a wider goal to "remove" single-use plastics from its product offerings.

Of the 2,000 consumers surveyed for the report, 57% believe that all bottles contain at least 50% recycled plastic already

Report: Consumer demand for recycled packaging outpacing corporate action

More than half (55%) of the UK population believe that all plastic bottles should contain at least 50% recycled content, while the average proportion used by corporates currently stands at just 15%.

The cloud platform will use supply chain data to forecast future trends related to plastics use

Data-driven 'Plastics Cloud' launched to combat plastics waste

Software firm SAP UKI has unveiled plans to collect live data from supply chains as part of a "Plastics Cloud" pilot aimed at improving plastics purchasing and recycling.

From left to right: Marston's' energy manager Chris White, head of group facilities Andy Kershaw and waste and recycling co-ordinator Jon Davies

Marston's achieves zero-waste-to-landfill goal

Pub chain and brewer Marston's has revealed that it has hit its 2020 zero-waste-to-landfill goal two years ahead of schedule, after sending more than three-quarters (77%) of its waste to be recycled this year.

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Burberry has also confirmed that it will no longer use real fur in its products. Image: Mparweo/Wikipedia

Burberry to stop burning unsold products as part of resource efficiency drive

Luxury fashion brand Burberry has announced it will stop destroying products deemed unsaleable with immediate effect, just months after it was revealed that the brand had burned more than £28m worth of stock over the past 12 months.

The Snap Pack was the headline announced in a plethora of packaging solutions unveiled at Carlsberg’s Copenhagen brewery

'Snap Packs' and greener ink: Carlsberg unveils new packaging solutions designed to reduce waste

Danish brewer Carlsberg is set to reduce its global packaging waste by more than 1,200 tonnes annually, after launching new Snap Pack multi-packs for branded beers alongside a host of other closed-loop packaging renovations.

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Mission Possible: Achieving a sustainable future for MANUFACTURING

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The easy-to-recycle alternative will be rolled out across six of Aldi's produce lines by the end of August

Aldi begins black plastics phase-out as part of packaging overhaul

Discount chain Aldi is switching a range of its fresh produce packaging from hard-to-recycle black plastic to clear, recyclable alternatives, in a move that is set to save around 265 tonnes of plastic a year.

Tesco has committed to removing all packaging which is ‘hard to recycle’ from the chain’s own-brand products by the end of 2019

Tesco becomes first supermarket to stock cans of water

In the latest move to cut back on the number of plastic products entering circulation, Tesco has become the first supermarket to stock and offer cans of water.

Every day in the UK, up to seven million coffee cups are thrown away, with less than 1% of these cups (only 1 in 400 coffee cups) thought to be recycled

Veolia to recycle 120 million coffee cups in 2019

Waste management firm Veolia has announced it will increase the number of coffee cups it collects for recycling annually by 300%, by working with retailers such as Costa, Starbucks and McDonald's on in-store collection services.

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Starbucks and McDonald’s are aiming to develop a global solution that stops plastic-lined paper coffee cups being sent to landfill

McDonald's joins Starbucks to fund new coffee cup innovations

McDonald's has committed £3.8m ($5m) to help research, develop and commercialise recyclable and compostable coffee cups, joining Starbucks as a founding member of the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge.

The move from Morrisons comes less than a month after the supermarket announced that it would stop offering single-use plastic bags in its fruit and vegetable aisles

Morrisons trials in-store deposit return system for plastic bottles

Supermarket giant Morrisons has launched a trial of an in-store deposit return scheme for plastic bottles, in a bid to minimise its plastic output and encourage customers to recycle.

There were 40 energy-from-waste facilities in the UK in 2017, up from 26 in 2014

Waste incineration set to overtake recycling in England, Greens warn

England is on the brink of burning more of its rubbish in incinerators than it recycles for the first time, according to a new analysis.

Mission Possible Workshops report: 8 key sustainable business challenges, and how to solve them

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The initiative will see new bins and other waste management infrastructure trialed in Leeds

Food and drink giants collaborate to improve 'on-the-go' recycling in Leeds

A string of 18 corporations from the food and drink and packaging sectors, including Asda, Co-op and Marks and Spencer (M&S), have teamed up to launch a scheme aimed at boosting recycling rates for "on-the-go "packaging.

Sorting machines previously could not detect black plastics because of the carbon pigment, which meant they were generally get sent to landfill

M&S, Sainsbury’s and Tesco team up on closed-loop solution for black plastics

Supermarket giants Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer (M&S) have collaborated to introduce a solution for hard-to-recycle black plastic that places recycled content into food-grade packaging.

Defra’s deputy director of waste and recycling, Chris Preston, confirmed the tax restructure

Tax breaks on recycled content set for inclusion in UK's Resources and Waste Strategy

Increased rates of tax on virgin materials, coupled with tax breaks for manufacturers using recycled content in their products, are set to be included in the Government's new Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS), a Defra official has revealed.

Volvo hopes the move will encourage other car manufacturers to incorporate recycled materials in their components

Volvo to use 25% recycled plastic in new vehicles

After recently pledging to ban single-use plastics across its premises and events by the end of next year, Swedish carmaker Volvo has announced a new target of using at least 25% recycled plastic in all new vehicles it produces by 2025.

Green Alliance produced the report for a group of businesses that have formed a circular economy taskforce

Recycled plastic could supply three-quarters of UK demand, report finds

Plastic recycled in the UK could supply nearly three-quarters of domestic demand for products and packaging if the government took action to build the industry, a new report said on Thursday.

In 2015, the fund generated just £45,000 to be used for technical research projects

£8m compliance fees to boost electronics recycling

More than £8m generated through compliance fees from the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) will be used to fund projects that increase the reuse and recycling of electronic items, the Joint Trade Association (JTA) has confirmed.

Black plastics in Quorn’s Deli range, which accounts for 10% of all chilled products, will be phased out by the end of 2018

Quorn moves to eliminate black plastics from packaging supply chain

Vegetarian food brand Quorn Foods is switching almost 300 tonnes of hard-to-recycle black plastic packaging to clear, recyclable alternatives, at a cost to the company, to reduce the amount of plastic waste it produces.

10 ideas to make energy innovation work for your business

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The move serves as a boost to AT&T’s existing waste strategy, which includes a pledge to refurbish or recycle 200 million electric devices by the end of 2020

AT&T sets zero-waste goal for 100 sites

The world's largest telecoms company AT&T has pledged to achieve zero-waste-to-landfill status across 100 of its facilities by 2020, including at its global headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

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Members of the European Parliament and the EU Council will now be able to amend and tinker with the text in a process that is almost certain to last until after the United Kingdom leaves the bloc

European Commission plots ban on single-use plastics

The European Commission presented its long-awaited marine-litter-busting proposal on single-use plastics on Monday (28 May). The first legislative proposal from the Plastics Strategy aims to help the EU clean up the continent's beaches and waterways.

The trial will help Iceland's sustainability team better understand consumer perceptions and appetite for reverse-vending systems

Iceland becomes first supermarket to trial in-store deposit-return system

Frozen food retailer Iceland has become the UK's first supermarket to trial an in-store deposit-return scheme in support of the Government's recently announced intention to launch a nationwide rollout of the scheme.

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The recommendation report was published following discussion with environment secretary Michael Gove, in December last year

Packaging industry calls for policy reform to boost plastics recycling

A host of UK packaging organisations have called for more recycling collection points, tax reliefs for recycled content and a universal list of acceptable materials as part of a desired regulation reform to make it easier for consumers to recycle packaging waste.

Bright Ideas: 10 of the best green innovations for the earth

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In a bid to cut the number of plastic bottles used by spectators, 87 water re-fill points and 21 water fountains will be available for use at the event

Wimbledon announces ban on plastic straws for 2018 championship

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has announced it will use recyclable paper straws for the 2018 Wimbledon tournament, in a bid to prevent more than 400,000 plastic straws going to landfill.

All waste managed by Veolia for Wetherspoon’s will remain in the UK, further reducing the carbon impact of its estate

Wetherspoon and Veolia partner up to tackle food waste

Pub chain J D Wetherspoon has teamed up with waste management firm Veolia to convert more than 11,000 tonnes of food waste into green energy.

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Eddington has turned to onsite renewables, large-scale rainwater harvesting and innovative bin systems to embed sustainability into everyday living

Cambridge's 'unprecented' new district promotes best practice for sustainable development

The University of Cambridge's desire to retain staff has led to the creation of a £1bn sustainable community equipped with some of the UK's largest and most innovative sustainability features. edie speaks to project manager Heather Topel to find out if sustainability is a new selling point for residents.

Approximately 340,000 takeaway hot drinks are sold by BTP annually, generating more than £1m in sales value

Boston Tea Party becomes first coffee chain to ban all disposable cups

UK-based Boston Tea Party (BTP) will become the first coffee chain to implement an outright ban on disposable, paper-based coffee cups, with consumers having to purchase or loan reusable cups from 1 June 2018.

For Earth Day, Apple will make a donation to Conservation International for every device handed in to Apple stores or via the company’s website

Meet Daisy: Apple's latest iPhone-recycling robot

To celebrate Earth Day (22 April), technology giant Apple has evolved its old recycling robot, Liam, into Daisy – a super-powered AI machine capable of recovering valuable materials from up to 200 devices an hour.

Accelerating the shift: 10 industry game-changers for low-carbon vehicles

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Costa already offers in-store recycling at more than 2,000 of its stores across the UK

Costa aims to lead industry transformation with pledge to recycle half a billion coffee cups

EXCLUSIVE: Costa Coffee's energy & environment manager Oliver Rosevear has said the retailer wants to drive cross-industry collaboration on coffee cup recycling, as it today (18 April) makes a bold commitment to recycle the equivalent of its entire annual sales of takeaway cups – at a financial cost to the business.

The mutant enzyme takes a few days to start breaking down the plastic – far faster than the centuries it takes in the oceans

Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles

Scientists have created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles - by accident. The breakthrough could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles.

Employee engagement: What does it take to change behaviours?

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Featured innovations include reusable pizza boxes and underground, automated bin systems

Intelligent highways and underground bins: the best green innovations of the week

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Featured innovations include reusable glue, bio-based plastics and reef-protecting screens

Reef umbrellas and 'unforgettable' bags: the best green innovations of the week

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Last year, Unilever committed to making all of its plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025

Unilever to develop closed-loop supply for food packaging plastics

In the latest corporate commitment to target plastic waste, Unilever has agreed a new partnership to develop technology capable of converting PET plastic waste into virgin-grade materials available for use in food packaging.

In action: EDF's renewable energy-based renovation of a listed building

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McDonald’s joins the likes of Waitrose, London City Airport, Hotel du Vin and Costa in agreeing to phase-out plastic straw use

McDonald's unveils plan to phase-out plastic straws

McDonald's will start phasing out plastic straws from UK restaurants from May, with the fast food giant ready to trial paper and biodegradable alternatives in response to consumer demand.

Rupert Maitland-Titterton has worked at Kellogg Europe for almost five years, leading the firm's packaging sustainability strategy

How Kellogg Europe is targeting a sector-wide shift to sustainable packaging

EXCLUSIVE: As consumer and investor demand for sustainable packaging rises, companies within the global food and drink sector must co-create solutions to resource efficiency and recycling infrastructure challenges with their competitors, consumers and supply chains.

The sustainability communications handbook

This handbook equips you with the knowledge and insight required to help your audience understand the true value of sustainability, from the boardroom, to your staff, consumers and investors.

The scheme could be rolled out across the capital over the summer should it prove a success

London to pilot water bottle refill scheme to slash plastic waste

Major firms including Costa Coffee, Leon and Whole Foods will offer tap water refills across London stores as part of a pilot scheme to slash single-use plastic bottles in the capital.

Ferguson also chairs the Rationalisation of Packaging Working Group, instituted by WRAP, aimed at improving recycling

Financial incentives for recyclability the way forward, says Co-op

A fiscal system that rewards recyclability and labelling, coupled with reducing the range of polymers available for use, would enable retailers and waste management firms to better tackle the rise of plastics pollution, according to the Co-op's environment manager Iain Ferguson.

Chancellor Hammond has set aside £20m for an innovation fund that will help businesses and universities discover new solutions to tackle plastic waste

Spring Statement: Chancellor unveils consultation on plastic tax

Phillip Hammond has launched a public consultation on a tax system for single-use plastics, vowing to tackle the “threat to our oceans" in his inaugural Spring Statement.

The proximity of the new facility to Knauf Insulation’s manufacturing plant, which sits next door, means that around 375,000 miles of road journeys will be saved

Veolia opens 'world-first' closed-loop glass recycling facility

A new £10m high-tech recycling facility which turns glass into insulation has been hailed as a "real boost" for the UK's circular economy.

Representatives from Tetra Pak, Iceland and James Cropper met at the Museum of Brands

Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Sustainable packaging and the plastics problem

edie travels to the Museum of Brands to discuss solutions to plastic waste and wider resource efficiency issues with business representatives from Iceland, Tetra Pak and James Cropper.

Gathering dust: Sustainability reporting experts are in agreement that annual CSR updates need to become a much more integral part of business strategy

Is it time to kill off the standalone sustainability report?

This week's Smarter Sustainability Reporting conference saw a number of industry experts discuss the evolution of the sustainability report, with some going so far as to argue that an individual annual report no longer carries the necessary impetus to drive change. So, is the age of the standalone sustainability report finally over?

The Voluntary and Economic Incentives working group will report to ministers “shortly” with findings from a call to evidence on a deposit scheme

Government 'dragging its feet' over deposit return scheme for plastics, MPs claim

The UK Government is exploring how changes to packaging producer responsibilities and a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles and containers would be implemented in the UK, but the lack of action has been described as "unacceptable" by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC).

There is a very real chance that England, Scotland and Northern Ireland could fail to meet a targeted 50% recycling rate for 2020

Plastics and packaging: The UK's 'waste mountain' in charts

Eighteen environmental groups have urged the UK Government to deal with a growing "packaging waste mountain" by setting legally binding targets, following new waste and recycling figures published by Defra. Here, edie provides a snapshot of the UK's "waste mountain".

The upcycled garments are being donated to homeless charity, The Albert Kennedy Trust, which supports young LGBT homeless people in crisis

Virgin Trains hands over old uniforms to prison in recycling scheme

Prisoners at HMP Northumberland will take part in a recycling initiative which will see old Virgin Trains uniforms transformed into new textiles in a bid to reduce reoffending rates.

edie Explains: ESOS Phase 2

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edie Explains: ISO 14001

This updated edie Explains guide, produced in association with NQA, provides an in-depth summary of the ISO 14001 Standard which is used to establish and maintain a continuous level of environmental performance improvements.

Asda was among leading retailers which refused to reveal the exact amount of waste they trigger, saying the information was “commercially sensitive”

Asda joins wave of supermarkets pledging to cut plastic waste

Asda has become the latest supermarket to join the war against plastic by pledging to reduce it "wherever" it can, including slashing the amount in its own-brand packaging by 10% in the next 12 months.

Some of the onsite outlets at the airport have already removed plastic straws

London City Airport implements plastic straw ban

London City Airport has become the first airport in the UK to place an outright ban on plastic straws across food and drink outlets on its premises, instead obliging outlets to use biodegradable straws available on request.

The UK recycles just 38% of its plastic packaging, while it ships more than 2.7 million tonnes of plastic waste to China every year

Plastics now a 'competitive issue' for business, CIWM chief warns

EXCLUSIVE: Eliminating unnecessary uses of plastic from production and supply chains is quickly becoming a "competitive issue" for businesses, with the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management's (CIWM) chief executive Dr Colin Church urging companies not to wait for legislation.

Polymateria specialises in producing time-controlled biodegradation technology for synthetic and bio-based plastics

Ex-BT chief Niall Dunne on a mission to create the 'Tesla of plastics'

BT's former chief sustainability officer Niall Dunne is determined to use his role as the new chief executive of plastic producers Polymateria to "redesign the rules of an entire industry" and create practical solutions that can eliminate plastic pollution.

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The UK’s own environment officials estimated that meeting ambitious recycling targets would bring benefits totalling billions of pounds

UK opposes strong EU recycling targets despite plastics pledge

The UK government is opposing strong new recycling targets across the EU despite its recent pledge to develop "ambitious new future targets and milestones", confidential documents have revealed.

The two companies join retailer Iceland in committing to tackle the growing issue of plastic waste

McDonald's and Waitrose lead business charge against plastic waste

Fast food giant McDonald's and UK retailer Waitrose are the latest companies to publicly announce plans to tackle the growing issue of plastic waste, with McDonald's setting a 2025 commitment to boost the recyclability of its packaging and Waitrose reaffirming its packaging commitments that it made in 2017.

In addition to incentivising recycling, the Commission will instead pump money into initiatives that use raw materials other than oil

EU maps out plastics vision in new strategy

The European Commission presented on Tuesday (16 January) its eagerly anticipated strategy on how the EU intends to approach plastic production and pollution over the next decade and beyond.

Britvic has also made major strides in its bid to develop a viable bottle from sustainable wood fibres

Britvic on course for zero-waste status

Soft drinks company Britvic looks set to become a zero-waste company by 2020, with the firm's latest sustainability report revealing recent efforts to cut down on plastic waste, carbon emissions and water use.

Disposable cups cannot be recycled by normal systems because they are made from cardboard with a tightly bonded polyethylene liner, which is difficult to remove

UK retailers see rise in sales of reusable coffee cups

Sales of reusable coffee cups are soaring in the UK, retailers are reporting, as the government hints at a tax on disposable cups.