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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The sustainability communications handbook: Engaging with different audiences

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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.

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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.

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.

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

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The UK is currently off-track to meet the EU's waste from households recycling target of 50% by 2020.

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Burger King is approaching the phase-out with a take-back scheme, while McDonald's believes giving customers a choice is the best approach. Image: JKR

McDonald's, Burger King, begin phasing out plastic toys from kids' meals

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In numbers: The UK public's attitudes to plastics recycling

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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.

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Olivia started at Fashion Lab before joining Whitbread

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(L-R) Tideway team, Philip Sellwood, chief executive,
Energy Saving Trust (middle back) and compere
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About half of the paper produced in Europe comes from recycled material, according to the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI)

EU paper recyclers 'in crisis' as China waste import ban bites

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As the plastic melts into the mix, there are no microplastics present

Willmott Dixon to use non-recyclable plastic in new roads at Bristol housing development

A new housing development in Bristol will feature roads made with the equivalent of 150,000 plastic bags of non-recyclable plastic waste originating from the construction phase of the scheme.

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).

The Royal Society of Chemistry's chief executive Robert Barker, pictured with some of the redundant tech gathered by staff at the organisation’s Cambridge HQ during an amnesty

Hoarding old gadgets 'preventing circular economy shift' and 'spurring rare mineral shortages'

The fact that most UK households are hoarding old digital gadgets with no plans to recycle them is a key barrier to implementing circular economy principles for e-waste, the Royal Society of Chemistry has claimed.

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.

Recent PwC research found that AI could help reduce global emissions by up to 4% by 2030

Energy leaders urge government to back international AI climate centre

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(L-R) Presenter Beth Knight, corporate responsibility director, EY, JPA Furniture’s Fiona Edwards and Chris Holder and compere Michaela Strachan

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M&S has a 36.5% market share for bras and already fits more than half of all women in the UK

M&S launches bra recycling campaign

Recycling of lingerie is now being encouraged by Marks and Spencer (M&S) under its new "love your boobs" campaign. 

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.

Razors and blades from any brand will be accepted for recycling

Gillette launches nationwide razor recycling scheme

Razor brand Gillette has launched what it claims is the UK's first nationwide recycling scheme for razors and blades, as part of a partnership with recycling firm TerraCycle.

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JLR will test the technology to produce parts for its I-PACE series 

JLR backs innovative recycling solution for 'low-grade' plastics

Carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has begun trials of an innovative new recycling technology which purports to turn low-quality, post-consumer plastics into high-grade material.

Flexible Futures: The Smart Business Blueprint

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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.

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.

The analysis was conducted using Defra’s own impact assessments

Deposit return system for plastics could generate £2bn for UK economy

An "all-in" deposit return system that accounted for all types of drinks cans and bottles in the UK could generate up to £2bn for the economy over a 10-year period, compared to £250m for an "on-the-go" system that collected less.

Emergency response Q&A: How can business accelerate towards net-zero emissions?

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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.

Last year, Glastonbury Festival announced an "enormous project" to create a site-wide ban on plastic water bottles for 2019

Glastonbury 2019: Waste management key priority for majority of festival attendees

As Glastonbury opens today (26 June), a new survey has shown that sustainability and waste management is a key priority for festival goers this year.

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%

(L-R): CWG's head of sustainability Martin Gettings; Refinitiv's head of sustainability Luke Manning; Morgan Stanley's vice president Dylan Bexley and Less Plastic's founder Amanda Keetley discuss the future of the war on plastics

Beyond 'token' items: What's next for London's war on plastics?

Some 18 months ago, Blue Planet 2 first aired, spurring an exponential growth in public action against plastics that has changed what business and policy leadership look like. But what's next on the road to an economy free from unnecessary plastics?

Jonathan has played a key role in several of Marston's biggest sustainability initiatives, such as helping the firm achieve zero-waste-to-landfill status

Meet edie's 30 Under 30 Class of 2019: Jonathan Davies, Marston's

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Pictured: The recycling room at Download festival 

Co-op to host reverse vending machines for plastic bottles at UK festivals

Co-op has confirmed plans to host reverse vending machines as part of a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles at seven UK festivals this summer, following successful trials last year.

The new Sprite bottles will be rolled out by September, with the SmartWater bottles to follow

Coca-Cola GB launches its first 100% recycled plastic bottles

Coca-Cola's Great Britain arm has launched its first fully recyclable plastic bottles made using 100% recycled PET (rPET), under its Glaceau Smartwater brand.

The EAC's recommendations were developed during a six-month inquiry that heard from businesses, green groups and academics 

Government rejects mandatory environmental targets for big-name fashion brands

Recommendations for mandatory carbon, waste and water targets to be applied to all large fashion businesses in the UK have been thrown out by the Government, despite continued calls to action from MPs.

During a trip to Malaysia, Fearnley-Whittingstall found numerous pieces of plastic pollution which originated in UK supermarkets. Image: BBCBBC/KEO Films/Tom Beard 

War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita: Supermarkets brace for further backlash on packaging

During the first episode of the BBC's much-anticipated War on Plastic last night (10 June), presenters Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Anita Rani shed fresh light on the UK's plastics waste problem - placing the so-called "Big Seven" supermarkets under increased scrutiny over their approach to packaging.

Estée Lauder to develop refillable packaging as part of circular economy drive

US-based cosmetics giant Estée Lauder has vowed to develop reusable and refillable packaging by 2025, as part of a sweeping new set of resource efficiency commitments.

The announcement comes on the first anniversary of Canary Wharf Group's flagship 'Breaking the Plastic Habit' scheme

Canary Wharf becomes world's first plastic-free commercial centre

London's Canary Wharf has today (5 June) become the first commercial centre in the world to be awarded Plastic Free Community status by marine charity Surfers Against Sewage, one year after its managing body Canary Wharf Group launched its flagship plastic reduction scheme.

SDG Spotlight: How businesses can achieve Goal 7 - Clean and affordable energy

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Carbon pricing calls and rubbish-fired plastics plants: The sustainability success stories of the week

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More than 300,000 tonnes of used clothing is estimated to be landfilled in the UK every year

Fashion retailers team up to trial new closed-loop business models

A coalition of fashion retailers including Ted Baker are set to pilot more resource-efficient business models, such garment repair, resale and rental, to determine whether they are economically viable solutions to the sector's waste challenges.

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The innovative material will be phased in across Unilever's TRESemme and Lynx brands by the end of the year

Unilever unveils 'detectable and recyclable' black plastic packaging

Consumer goods giant Unilever has today (17 May) unveiled a new pigment which makes black plastics detectable by recycling equipment, as it strives to boost the recyclability of its packaging portfolio.

<p>This week's innovations could drive significant positive change across the agri-food, plastics and energy storage sectors </p>

Hydrogen storage 'sponges' and 'infinitely' recyclable plastic: The best green innovations of the week

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<p>230 of The Body Shop's UK stores are covered by the scheme</p>

The Body Shop launches in-store take-back scheme for plastic packaging

Health and beauty retailer The Body Shop has launched a multinational take-back scheme for its plastic packaging, after consumers voiced concerns that not all of the brand's packaging is accepted by local authorities under kerbside recycling schemes.

Recycling reward machines, which give users discount vouchers for depositing their empty packaging, have proven popular in Leeds

Hubbub to roll out 'on-the-go' recycling scheme to Scotland and Wales

Environmental charity Hubbub is planning to launch its behaviour change scheme for recycling 'on-the-go' food and drinks packaging, backed by companies such as Coca-Cola GB, Costa Coffee and McDonald's, in Wales and Scotland this year, following success in Leeds.

PET bottles with a 50ml-3l capacity will be subject to a deposit fee under the system

Scottish Government unveils 20p deposit return scheme for plastic bottles

The Scottish Government has revealed the results of its consultation on implementing a national deposit return scheme for drinks packaging, confirming that it will introduce a 20p deposit fee for all PET and glass bottles as well as aluminium and steel cans.

Webinar: SDG Power Hour: Aligning your sustainability strategy with the Global Goals

This webinar, brought to you in association with Centrica Business Solutions, will showcase specific examples of how businesses have aligned ambitions and launched new projects tailored towards achieving some or all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Historically, TerraCycle had approached its vision to 'eliminate the concept of waste' through recycling solutions alone

TerraCycle: Recycling alone won't tackle 'root cause' of plastics waste crisis

EXCLUSIVE: Despite creating a business model built on offerings of recycling solutions to solving the world's plastic pollution crisis, TerraCycle's general manager for Europe claims it will only ever form part of any closed-loop system.

The climate turning point: 8 sustainable business gamechangers for 2020

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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 beverage firms have joined L'Oreal in pledging to support bringing Carbios' technology to scale

Beverage giants to help scale up world's first enzyme-based plastics recycling technology

Soft drinks giants PepsiCo, Nestle Waters and Lucozade Ribena Suntory's (LRS) parent brand Suntory Beverage & Food Europe have thrown their support behind a new plastics recycling technology which uses enzymes to process waste.

The Agbogbloshie slums of Ghana (pictured) have been used as an e-waste landfill by illegal exporters

UK braced for tougher e-waste policies as impacts on human food chains revealed

Industry body techUK has called on the UK Government to implement tighter regulation of e-waste exports under its Resources and Waste Strategy, after a landmark study into the impacts of Europe's e-waste crimes on human food chains in Africa.

SDG Spotlight: How businesses can achieve Goal 13 - Climate Action

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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 commitment builds on CCA's recent elimination of plastic straws and stirrers across its Australian market

Australia's largest Coca-Cola bottler to launch 100% recycled plastic bottles this year

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has pledged to double the amount of recycled plastic it sources for inclusion in plastic bottle production, after green campaigners criticised parent firm The Coca-Cola Company for its continued use of high quantities of virgin plastics.

Miele claims that the move will boost McDonald’s annual biofuel production by one-fifth

McDonald's boosts biofuel generation with grease recovery partnership

Fast food giant McDonald's UK has inked a deal with commercial laundry and dishwashing appliances manufacturer Miele which will see it recover more of its used grease for recycling into biofuels.

An artist's impression of the plant. Image: Peel Environmental

Plans to build UK's first plastic-to-hydrogen recycling plant unveiled

Energy-from-waste firm Waste2Tricity has revealed plans to develop the UK's first industrial-scale facility capable of converting waste plastics into hydrogen in Cheshire.

At least 10 large-scale schemes will be chosen as winners, meaning that Starbucks will funnel a minimum of £500,000 into the initiative

Starbucks and Hubbub launch joint fund championing coffee cup recycling programmes

Environmental charity Hubbub has today (11 April) launched a new funding initiative aimed at helping local authorities and other organisations launch or scale-up coffee cup recycling schemes, after receiving funding to launch the scheme from Starbucks.

JLR uses 180,000 tonnes of aluminium annually; globally, around 80 million tonnes are produced each year

Jaguar Land Rover updates closed-loop aluminium initiative

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is developing the next phase of its aluminium recycling strategy, having processed more than 300,000 tonnes of scrap back into vehicles over the last six years.

Mission Possible: Achieving a sustainable future for hospitality and leisure

This brand-new sector insight report provides a comprehensive overview of the steps that organisations within Britain's hospitality and leisure sector can take to achieve a sustainable future, today.

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.

Waste streams for recycling will be collected from 10 stores across Swindon and Bristol

Tesco to trial plastic-to-oil innovation which makes all packaging 'recyclable'

Supermarket giant Tesco has inked a deal with Swindon-based recycling firm Recycling Technologies, which will see the retailer trial an innovative system that converts soft plastics back into oil.

This weekly round-up explores how businesses across the world are ramping up efforts across all areas of sustainable development

Danone's ultra-sustainable factory and Hilton's soap recycling: The sustainability success stories of the week

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The bottles will have a shorter and more transparent outer sleeve

Ribena bottles to be redesigned in bid to boost recycling rates

Beverage giant Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS) has unveiled plans to redesign its range of Ribena bottles so that they can be easily recycled within the UK's existing waste management facilities.

The North Face recycles old tents into new designer bag range

Outdoor clothing brand The North Face has partnered with British eco-fashion designer RÆBURN to create a second life for old tents by recycling them into a new accessory range.

edie Explains: Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)

What is the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) framework? What do businesses need to know about this new piece of legislation? And what compliance issues will arise from the new framework? This free edie Explains guide gives you everything you need to know.

Plastics recycling rates across Sub-Saharan Africa are currently less than 10%

Big-name corporates collaborate to spur plastics recycling progress in Africa

A group of four multinational corporations – Unilever, Nestle, Diageo and The Coca-Cola Company – have launched a joint initiative aimed at expanding the plastics recycling economy in Africa's Sub-Saharan region.

The initiative is due to launch in May and will accept packaging from any drinks brand or packaging producer

UK's first nationwide recycling scheme for plastic six pack rings unveiled

Plastic six pack ring producer Hi-Cone has partnered with recycling firm TerraCycle to launch the UK's first national recycling scheme for the packaging.

Leon’s technical manager Anca Ghitescu and Veolia’s chief technology and innovation officer Richard Kirkman with the new machine

Leon and Veolia partner to launch reverse-vending scheme in London

Restaurant chain Leon and waste management firm Veolia have collaborated to install a reverse vending machine at London King's Cross Estate, in a bid to encourage consumers to recycle.

Under the scheme, packaging from all crisp brands are accepted for reprocessing

Walkers collects 500,000 crisp packets in recycling scheme

Walkers has posted the first update on its nationwide crisp packet recycling scheme, revealing that more than 500,000 packets have been collected since its launch in December 2018.

The funding will be bolstered by contributions by other governments, waste management firms and big-name corporates such as Unilever

UK doubles aid support for plastic recycling in developing nations

The UK has doubled the amount of financial aid it will send to developing nations to help combat plastic pollution and boost plastic recycling rates overseas.

A collection of KP packaging with the pellets made out of the packaging waste

KP launches national snack packaging recycle scheme

A national recycling scheme for prepacked nuts, popcorn, crisps and pretzels has been launched by KP Snacks.

Webinar: Achieving a sustainable built environment: Learning from the leaders

Following the publication of edie's insight report which investigated the future of sustainable construction, this one-hour webinar brings together industry leaders and experts to discuss the various challenges and opportunities facing low-carbon, resource-efficient construction.

Sustainability experts from an array of businesses came together in London to discuss the potential solutions to energy and waste issues related to the circular economy

Circular roundtable: How can businesses accelerate the resource revolution?

Sustainability and corporate responsibility managers from a range of businesses recently gathered in London for an exclusive roundtable hosted by edie and EDF Energy, to discuss how organisations are stepping up efforts to accelerate a circular economy.

The trucks offer a driving range of up to 300km (186 miles)

Volvo Trucks' first all-electric vehicles land in Europe

Volvo Trucks has delivered its first set of all-electric heavy goods vehicles (HGV) in Europe this week, in the form of a refuse truck for a recycling firm and a distribution truck for a logistics firm both located in Sweden.