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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edie Explains: The circular economy

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Between September 2013 and March 2020, JLR has reused around 360,000 tonnes of scrap back into vehicles

Recycled aluminium could help Jaguar Land Rover reduce emissions by a quarter

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has revealed that its ongoing project to recover and reuse aluminium from drinks cans and end-of-life vehicles into new car products could reduce its carbon emissions by up to 26%.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), which found that an all-in system would generate £2bn over a 10-year period

MPs outline support for 'all-in' deposit return system

A group of 20 MPs have signed a motion calling for all materials to be covered by a UK deposit return scheme for cups, bottles and containers to boost recycling rates.

edie Explains: The Green recovery

What is the green recovery? Where does business sustainability fit into its wider context? What is happening at a policy level? And what does the future hold for green recovery efforts? This edie Explains guide answers all of these questions and more.

Between 20% and 50% of all waste generated in the global South is managed through small-scale waste picking activities. Image: BVRio

New platform to help corporates forge circular economy partnerships

Environmental NGO BVRio has launched a new online platform connecting circular economy projects with corporates and impact investors, whose aim is to help small programmes scale-up and large organisations put sufficient finance behind their resource goals.

edie Explains: Scope 3 carbon emissions

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Green finance and ESG investing were reaching a tipping point, then the coronavirus pandemic swept across the world. The virus hasn’t so much as tipped the scales towards ESG investing but rather poured most of the world’s financial system towards it.

Recycling levels have languished in England for several years and the country is currently not on track to achieve its recycling target of 50% by 2020

UK targets 65% municipal waste recycling rates under EU's circular economy package

The UK Government has today (30 July) agreed to transpose aspects of the European Union's Circular Economy Package into UK law, agreeing on targets to recycle 65% of household waste by 2035 and to allow a maximum of 10% municipal waste going to landfill in the same timeframe.

Current commitments would only affect 7% of annual plastic production by 2040, the report warns

Amount of plastics in oceans will quadruple by 2040, major new research finds

The world's plastic pollution problem is vastly outpacing efforts to stop it, meaning that the volume of plastics in oceans globally will be four times higher in 2040 than in 2016, new research backed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has concluded.

The brand is hoping to create a closed-loop system for its products. Image: Vivobarefoot

Vivobarefoot launches resale platform for repaired shoes

Shoe brand VivoBarefoot has launched an online resale platform for repaired and returned shoes, in what it claims is a world first.

Apple has committed to sharing its approach and progress towards carbon neutrality through a roadmap that will be shared with other companies

Apple targets net-zero emissions across operations, value chain and products

Apple has announced major plans to become net-zero emissions across its business, supply chains and products by 2030, pledging to reduce emissions by 75% and develop carbon removal solutions for the remaining 25%.

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Information on how to use the scheme will be provided online and on-pack. Image: TerraCycle

Cathedral City launches UK-wide recycling scheme for cheese packaging

Cathedral City has partnered with TerraCycle to launch a UK-wide recycling scheme for its plastic cheese packaging, which is not currently collected by all local authorities at kerbside.

Flexible plastics account for a quarter of all UK consumer plastic packaging by weight, but just 4% is recycled

Cross-sector action needed to improve flexible plastics recycling

Cross-section action and government guidance are required to create a recycling system for flexible, low-value plastics such as bags and wrapping, according to new guidance published today (14 July) by WRAP.

Single-use plastic items have become symbolic of the pandemic

In numbers: Tracking public attitudes to plastics during the pandemic

Several businesses have published new research to mark Plastic Free July, including Veolia and Amcor. Here, edie rounds up the key findings, which act as a snapshot of public opinion on plastics in the context of Covid-19.

E-waste is not just a resource problem - it is also a contributor to climate change, nature pollution and human health issues

Report: Electronic waste up 21% in 5 years, with $57bn dumped annually

A record 53.6 million metric tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) was generated globally in 2019, with the waste stream having increased by more than one-fifth since 2014.

Images: Kimberly-Clark/ SC Johnson

Kleenex debuts plastic-free tissue boxes as Mr Muscle unveils 100% 'ocean-bound' plastic bottle

Kleenex will remove the plastic opening from all tissue boxes by August 2020, parent firm Kimberly-Clark has announced in the same week that SC Johnson unveiled a Mr Muscle bottle made from 100% recycled plastic content.

Littered PPE presents problems for public health and the environment

O2 to install PPE recycling boxes in stores

Telecoms giant O2 will begin collecting used personal protective equipment (PPE) at UK stores this month, as part of a new partnership with Terracycle.

Pictured: Plastic pollution in Long Beach, California. Image: As You Sow

Report: Big-name brands failing to address plastic pollution crisis, despite improved pledges

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Image: Steve Morgan at WWF UK

WWF: Major consumer goods giants only sourcing 8% recycled plastics

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The coronavirus pandemic has added additional strains on an already under-pressure sector

Coronavirus: Is this the beginning of the end for the 'self-sabotaging' meat sector?

The coronavirus could end up being the "straw that breaks the meat industry's back" with a new report warning that almost three-quarters of the world's largest meat, fish and dairy companies are at high risk from an array of criteria that could spark future pandemics.

Princes states that export PRNs (PERNs) are less transparent, due to a limited ability to ensure compliance outside of the UK

Princes commits to no export waste

Food and drink firm Princes has committed to ensuring that all of its packaging is recycled and handled solely by UK re-processors, rather than exporting the waste abroad, to gain more certainty that its packaging is recycled or dealt with appropriately.

The partnership will build on Ikea’s efforts to embrace the circular economy to date.

Ikea launches circular economy strategic partnership with Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Ikea is building on a commitment to becoming a fully circular business by 2030 by announcing a new strategic partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation that will focus on advocating for closed-loop home furnishing designs and methods to promote circular offers to customers.

The initiative, which will be trialled next year, will aim to reduce the number of beverages served in single-use containers.

McDonald's joins TerraCycle's Loop programme to trial reusable cups

The world's largest restaurant company McDonald's has launched a new global partnership to utilise the Loop collection model from TerraCycle that will see reusable and returnable cups trialled to cut back on single-use plastics.

Iceland has today published its own plastic footprint, which totals 32,000 tonnes across its UK and international operations

Iceland joins campaigners to call for better corporate reporting on plastics

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 The move supports Coca-Cola’s ambition in Western Europe to use 100% rPET and eliminate the use of virgin-based plastics within the next decade 

Coca-Cola switches to 100% recycled plastics across Netherlands and Norway

Coca-Cola is set to roll out bottles made from 100% recycled plastic (rPET) in the Netherlands and Norway, as part of the company's latest efforts in Western Europe to eliminate the use of virgin oil-based plastics in its products.

The two companies believe that up to 30,000 tonnes of currently non-recyclable plastic could be treated annually

Viridor signs agreement on UK plastics chemical recycling initiative

Waste management firm Viridor has agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with chemical recycling company Plastic Energy to explore a system that treats non-recycled plastic waste using low-carbon electricity to create recycled plastic feedstocks.

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LG Solar is currently giving away cherry trees to customers to help them capture carbon at home

LG's solar arm targets carbon neutrality by 2030

LG Electronics' solar division has unveiled a new strategy of measures that will enable the business to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Last year, PepsiCo, Nestle Waters and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe all joined the consortium for a four-year term

Scientists report huge upswing in efficiency for enzyme-based plastic recycling solution

A breakthrough recycling method that using a novel enzyme to breakdown plastics and is backed by a consortium of global businesses including Lucozade Ribena Suntory and PepsiCo is a step closer to commercialisation following improvements to the breakdown process.

H&M Group has pledged to become a "fully circular" business by 2030. Image: H&M

H&M reaches clothing take-back target early, collecting 29,000 tonnes of used garments

The H&M Group collected more than 29,000 tonnes of used clothing though its in-store network of take-back points last year, surpassing its 2020 goal to collect at least 25,000 tonnes a year ahead of schedule.

Surfdome found that the polybags only account for 5% of a garment’s overall carbon footprint. Image: Surfdome

Patagonia and Surfdome trial removal of plastic polybags for clothes

Online sports retailer Surfdome has partnered with outdoor clothing firm Patagonia to trial the removal of plastic polybags from clothes orders in a way that doesn't impact product quality or generate an increase in lifecycle carbon emissions.

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Research by the University of Gloucestershire found that around 2.5 million prospectuses are printed in the UK by universities annually

University of Gloucestershire ditches paper in favour of digital-only prospectuses

The University of Gloucestershire has made the decision to end the production of printed prospectuses for students and will now only offer digital versions in a bid to reduce resource consumption.

Earlier this year, Nestlé committed £1.59bn to source food-grade recycled plastics to be used in its packaging

Nestlé signs up to European Plastics Pact to push for 100% recyclable or reusable packaging

Food and beverage giant Nestlé has announced that its European business is following in the footsteps of its UK operations by signing up to the European Plastics Pact to help achieve its goals of ensuring packaging is 100% reusable or recyclable by 2025.

Ball announced that it has been sourcing 100% renewable electricity for beverage operations in the UK, EU and Serbia since the start of the year

Ball Corporation achieves ASI certification and meets 100% renewables target

Aluminium packaging manufacturer Ball Corporation has been certified to Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) standards for environmental, social and governance impacts, while also revealing it is powering its operations in the UK, European Union (EU) and Serbia with 100% renewable electricity.

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What are electric vehicles and how do they apply to business fleets? This masterclass breaks down everything there is to know about deploying electric vehicles (EVs) across your business fleet.

Lidl GB has pledged that all own-brand plastics packaging will include a minimum of 50% recycled content by 2025

Lidl to use 'ocean-bound' plastics in seafood packaging

Lidl will begin incorporating "ocean-bound" plastics in packaging used to house 13 of its seafood lines next month, in what it claims is a first for a UK supermarket.

The trials will explore how easy it is for baristas and customers to use the collection and drop off systems and how well the recovery of items is delivered

McDonald's and Starbucks back 'smart' reusable cup trials in California

The cities of San Francisco and Palo Alto are set to trial "smart" reusable cup systems developed with support from McDonald's and Starbucks, in a bid to reduce the amount of single-use coffee cups that are being sent to landfill.

Helena Helmersson spent more than five years in H&M’s sustainability team before taking the helm as CEO

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H&M's appointment of Helena Helmersson as chief executive marks the first time a global corporation has appointed a former sustainability manager to lead the company. Could this be a sign that sustainability is becoming so integral to business that today's CSR professionals are tomorrow's corporate leaders?

L’Oreal confirmed that it will source 100% of the plastics used in its packaging from recycling or bio-based sources by 2030

L'Oréal launches bottles made from 100% recycled plastic and rolls out Maybelline recycling scheme

L'Oreal has confirmed that bottles of Paris Elvive will be made from 100% recycled plastic, on the same day that its Maybelline brand launched a UK recycling programme in partnership with TerraCycle.

Any waste beer produced that fails to meet the company’s quality standards will be distilled and turned into Vodka

BrewDog to upcycle and trade used cans for company equity

Craft beer firm BrewDog has unveiled a new sustainability action plan that will allow consumers to trade in beer cans for upcycling and recycling in exchange for an equity stake in the company.

The survey charts rising support for circular business models, but persistent barriers to scaling them up. Image: ING

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A shift away from linear 'take, make and dispose' models is widely touted as a key requirement in the transition to a net-zero, more resource-efficient world. But how prepared are businesses and individuals to make that shift, and what barriers are stopping circularity?

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The report provides an update as to how far business action on resource efficiency is from being "one-planet compatible" 

Corporates failing to make circular economy transition, damning report finds

More than 100 billion tonnes of virgin materials are being consumed annually by business, with progress to boost reuse and recycling rates stagnating, a damning new report has concluded.

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Colgate has confirmed that the toothpaste has been certified to EcoCert and Forest Stewardship Council standards

Colgate launches recyclable plastic toothpaste tube

Colgate Palmolive has launched a new vegan-friendly toothpaste range packaged in a first-of-its-kind recyclable plastic tube, with the technology set to be shared with competitor brands.

Homebase's contract with Reconomy will run for three years 

Homebase pledges zero-waste-to-landfill by 2021

Home improvement retailer Homebase has pledged to achieve zero-waste-to-landfill status by 2021, after partnering with recycling and waste management firm Reconomy.

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8 steps for overcoming the behavioural change challenge

During the SPARK 2.0 event, energy and sustainability professionals discussed the barriers to behaviour change and how businesses could harness the wider awareness of the climate strikes to engage all staff members on the need to manage energy use.

Mission Possible: Achieving a net-zero carbon future for construction

In edie's fourth guide continuing our series of net-zero reports across various industries we look at how the construction industry are driving towards net zero across their own operations and the supply chain.

A new Clean the World facility opened in Amsterdam last year

Hilton launches soap recycling initiative across UK hotels

Hilton is launching the largest UK initiative to recycle used soap and distribute 700,000 new bars to communities in need.

Nestle has said it would have liked to have moved sooner, but wanted to fully address challenges maintaining recyclability and high-quality food-grade status 

Nestle to use 100% recycled plastics in Buxton water bottles

Food and drink giant Nestle has revealed plans to make all plastics packaging across its Buxton water brand with 100% recycled content by 2021.

Business Energy Barometer: November-December 2019

edie's third Business Barometer for 2019 sets out the key challenges and opportunities for energy leaders and managers going into 2020 and the next decade of climate action.

The report authors are urging Ministers to speed up the introduction of new waste and resources legislation around carpets. Image: Reuse Warehouse/ CC BY 2.0 

Report: Carpet experiencing lower UK recycling and reuse rates than plastics

Green campaign groups are calling on the UK Government to implement stronger circular economy requirements around carpets, after research concluded that just 2% of the 130,000 tonnes sent to the industry's recycling body annually are recycled.

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.

The new packaging purports to be widely recyclable and to contain recycled content. Image: Morrisons 

Morrisons eliminates black plastics packaging

Morrisons has claimed it has completely removed hard-to-recycle black plastics from its own-brand ranges.

Kenny spoke on the need to balance consumer demands with scientific environmental considerations

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

McDonald's has announced a range of new trials and pilots to remove single-use plastics and improve recyclability, including the removal of plastic McFlurry lids across Europe, the introduction of renewable fibre lids in France and a toy take-back scheme in the UK.

The average lithium-ion EV battery has a lifespan of 15-20 years. Image: Akio Kon/Bloomberg

EV batteries could be 'huge waste mountain of the future', researchers warn

The development and industrialisation of recycling technologies for end-of-life electric vehicle (EV) batteries is currently being outpaced by a boom of EV uptake, paving the way for a "huge waste management problem" in decades to come.

The retailer claims that the removal of 5p carrier bags alone could save five tonnes of plastic annually, if scaled up nationally. Image: John Lewis & Partners.

John Lewis trials swathe of new recycling and reuse offerings

John Lewis & Partners has launched a string of seven new initiatives aimed at helping customers to reuse packaging and recycle items which are not currently collected by most domestic kerbside services.

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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.

Previous attempts to separate layers from flexible packaging have broadly resulted in the downgrading of the materials, decreasing their value. Image: Henkel

Henkel invests in recycling innovation for flexible plastics packaging

Consumer goods giant Henkel has invested in a startup that has developed a recycling technology for flexible plastics packaging which contains aluminium foil, such as crisp packets, juice pouches and single-use toiletry sachets.

The company’s service has grown in popularity over the last couple of years, with an average of £500,000 each week paid out as part of the trade-in service

O2 recycles three million mobile devices in a decade

Telecoms company O2 has received more than three million devices as part of a trade-in scheme to boost the recyclability of smartphones, a move that has stopped more than 450 tonnes of phone-related waste from going to landfill.

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.

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.

Mission Possible: Achieving a net-zero carbon future for food and drink manufacturing

Continuing our series of net-zero reports across various industries, edie looks at how food and drink manufacturers are driving forwards towards net zero across their own operations and the supply chain.

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.

Mainland Europe is one of the world's largest coffee-to-go markets, accounting for 30% of all annual sales globally

DS Smith to expand coffee cup recycling scheme following UK success

British packaging giant DS Smith has confirmed plans to launch its coffee cup recycling scheme in the Netherlands, following its success in the UK.

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.

Dulux Trade estimates that more than 700 million litres of paint are sold annually, with more than 55 million litres of waste paint sent to landfill or incinerated in the UK every year

Dulux Trade and Veolia partner to launch 35% recycled paint

Paint manufacturer Dulux Trade has launched a new partnership with Veolia UK to offer a new matt emulsion made from 35% recycled paint, which also produces 10% lower carbon emissions per litre.

The Sustainability Reporting and Communications Handbook 2020

Updated in September 2020, the Sustainability Reporting and Communications Handbook provides expert advice on engaging key stakeholders with your sustainability strategy; along with fresh insights to shape, deliver and share a compelling sustainability report.

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.

Matt has been overseeing circular economy initiatives at Dixons Carphone for three years

Meet edie's 30 Under 30 class of 2019: Matt Manning, Dixons Carphone

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