Waste Framework Directive

DEFINITION: EU legislation which sets the overarching legislative framework for EU waste policy. The Directive sets binding targets to be achieved by 2020: preparing for the re-use and recycling of 50% of certain waste materials from households and similar sources; and preparing for reuse, recycling and other recovery of 70% of construction and demolition waste.

See also: Circular economy

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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.

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.

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

A survey of 50 of the largest consumer-facing goods firms, including PepsiCo, Kraft Heinz and Kellogg, has found that companies are generally failing to take ambitious action on plastic pollution, despite lofty pledges to do so.

Hasbro is one of the world's largest toy companies and the owner of brands including Play Doh, My Little Pony and Transformers

Hasbro launches UK-wide recycling scheme for plastic toys

Toy giant Hasbro has launched a UK-wide take-back and recycling scheme for toys, as part of its partnership with recycling firm TerraCycle.

Image: Steve Morgan at WWF UK

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

McDonald's, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Keurig Dr Pepper and Procter & Gamble (P&G) collectively source 4.3 million metric tonnes of plastic annually, of which just 8% comes from recycled feedstocks.

When savings from transport and material type are accounted for, Signify estimates that around 6,000 tonnes of carbon emissions will be avoided annually. Image: Signify

Signify commits to plastic-free packaging by 2021

Lighting systems firm Signify has committed to becoming plastic-free for all consumer packaging by 2021, in a move that is also expected to reduce emissions for the business.

Currently, all Andrex toilet tissue and dry packaging are 100% recyclable

Andrex to use 30% recycled content in plastic packaging

British toiletries brand Andrex has confirmed that its packaging will consist of 30% recycled plastic content, as it pushes forward with an ambition to reach at least 50% recycled plastic content by 2023.

Water UK's 'Fine to Flush' certification symbolises that flushing them won't contribute to damage to UK sewers

Aldi toilet wipes certified as 'fine to flush' by Water UK

Supermarket Aldi has confirmed that its range of moist toilet tissues and toddler toilet wipes have been certified by Water UK as safe to flush down the toilet, citing that they won't contribute to sewer blockages or environmental waste.

More than one million plastic-free PPE visors will be produced each week

World's first plastic-free PPE equipment launched to combat coronavirus pandemic

The world's first plastic-free PPE protective equipment has been launched today by campaign group A Plastic Planet, in a bid to assist the fight against coronavirus without harming the natural environment.

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 best-practice steps are designed to promote reusable cups in a safe manner

Coffee shops sign up to post-lockdown reusable cup platform

Coffee shops from the likes of Costa and Boston Tea Party that are reopening across the UK are signing up to a new best-practice trial on accepting reusable coffee cups in a safe manner.

Dow Polyurethanes expects its first batch of Renuva polyols to be delivered in early 2021

Dow targets industrial-scale mattress recycling initiative

Dow Polyurethanes, a business division of chemical giant Dow has announced plans to create an industrial-scale recycling facility in France to treat discarded mattress foam to be used in a range of applications.

The guide concludes with an industry viewpoint and two case studies provided by Reconomy

edie launches new business guide to embracing the circular economy

Organisations looking to accelerate the transition to a circular economy now have access to a comprehensive 'edie explains' guide which breaks down everything there is to know about achieving a zero-waste world.

edie Explains: The circular economy

This new and updated edie Explains guide breaks down everything there is to know about achieving a circular economy for your business.

Klyk has joined the O2 Direct Partner Network, where it will offer its closed-loop solution to O2 clients 

O2 targets e-waste with new Klyk partnership

O2 has agreed to a new partnership with technology refurbishment start-up Klyk to tackle the growing issue of electronic waste (e-waste) in the sector.

Iceland is launching a national rollout of a successful trial that gave store colleagues the option to take surplus food home from stores at the end of the day. Image: Iceland/Webershandwick 

Iceland cuts food waste by 23%, aims for 50% reduction by 2030

Retailer Iceland has revealed it has reduced food waste by almost a quarter in the past two years, having reduced wastage by around 2,500 tonnes through redistribution schemes as the company targets a 50% reduction by 2030.

The sessions will be available to watch on-demand for those who have registered

Today at 1pm: Circular Economy online event featuring Hubbub, Amcor and Canary Wharf Group

Sustainability professionals and circular economy experts from a range of organisations and businesses across the value chain are set to appear on edie's Circular Economy online event, taking place on Thursday 21 May.

#SustyTalk: Amcor's David Clark on strengthening the circular economy during lockdown

edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with packaging firm Amcor's vice president for sustainability David Clark discussing the role of the circular economy as part of a green economic response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

Pernod Ricard has shared guidelines with its 90 affiliates specifying which materials can no longer be used and how they can be replaced

Pernod Ricard moves single-use plastics phase-out forward to 2021

Beverage giant Pernod Ricard has moved a target to end the use of single-use plastic point-of-sale (POS) items forward four years, pledging to reach the ambition by 2021.

Campaign groups have been calling on businesses and governments to support a shift to plastic-free menstrual products

Superdrug ditches plastic from own-brand tampons

Superdrug has announced that it has removed plastics from its own-brand tampons and launched a new range of menstrual products made from organic and sustainably certified materials.

Dunkin' has set a new goal of opening its 1,000th green restaurant by the end of 2025

Dunkin' switches to plastic-free cups and plans to double number of green restaurants

US coffeehouse Dunkin' has confirmed that it has completed the replacement of all polystyrene foam cups to paper alternatives while also committing to double the number of energy efficient restaurants it owns in the next five years.

#SustyTalk: City to Sea's Rebecca Burgess on combatting single-use plastics during lockdown

edie's #SustyTalk interview series continues with not-for-profit campaigning organisation City to Sea's chief executive Rebecca Burgess discussing how the organisation is communicating with the public on the issue of single-use plastics during the coronavirus lockdown.

Greene King was the first pub to launch a partnership with the food redistribution app Too Good To Go 

Greene King reaches zero-waste-to-landfill status

Greene King has become the first UK pub chain to achieve the Carbon Trust’s Zero Waste to Landfill Standard, after diverting all waste streams away from landfill across its 1,700 managed pubs.

Planet Tracker is calling on food firms to report FLW by volume in annual reports from 2021 and then commit to accounting for FLW-based scope 3 emissions from 2022

Food retailers urged to disclose emissions from food loss and waste

A new report from thinktank Planet Tracker has called upon food retailers to start tracking and disclosing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with food wasted between farm and fork.

The report said Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s commitments were falling significantly short of what was needed

Coca-Cola and Pepsi falling short on pledges over plastic - report

Coca-Cola and Pepsi are not doing enough to reduce their plastic waste footprint globally, according to a report.

Green groups don't believe the current circumstances warrant a delay

Ban on plastic straws in England pushed back to October 2020

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has pushed back the ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds set to come into force later this month to October 2020, to the dismay of campaigners.

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown Europe into “a completely different world where hygiene and consumer health will be the number one priority,”

EU dismisses industry calls to lift ban on single-use plastics

Deadlines have to be respected, says the European Commission in response to calls by industry to lift an EU-wide ban on some single-use plastic items because of health and hygiene concerns raised during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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.

The UK’s annual food waste output in 2017 stood at 10.2 million tonnes

Government issues £3m grant to tackle food waste during coronavirus outbreak

The UK Government has issued a £3.25m redistribution fund across England to help organisations cut back on food waste by redistributing surplus stock during the coronavirus outbreak.

Reports suggest that concerns around food hygiene due to Covid-19 could increase plastic packaging intensity

Coronavirus and plastics: Are we headed back towards single-use?

As the global economy struggles with the pressures of Covid-19, some industry groups are using the need for more protective equipment as a means to lobby for the removal of charges and bans on single-use plastics. edie explores why that cannot be allowed to happen.

Tearfund argues that “most of the companies focus on recycling, rather than reduction, as the way to address the problem”

'Burnt and dumped': Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Unilever and Nestlé plastics waste fuelling climate change

Four of the world's largest users of plastic packaging - Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Unilever and Nestlé - are responsible for half a million tonnes of plastic pollution that are burnt or dumped each year in six developing countries, creating emissions equivalent to adding two million cars onto roads.

Currently, 93% of the company’s packaging, both plastic and non-plastic, are recyclable

Mondelez signs up to UK Plastics Pact and Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Global Commitment

Global chocolate producer Mondelēz International, which owns brands including Cadbury and Dairy Milk has signed up to two major initiatives to tackle plastics waste in the UK and globally.

All of edie's podcasts are available to listen to via iTunes and Spotify

Sustainable Business Covered podcast: A circular economy road trip

For episode 83 of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast, the edie team brings you four exclusive interviews with businesses innovating to bring about truly circular models - Elvis & Kresse, Teemill, Mulberry and Young Planet.

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.

WRAP found that almost 20% of all lettuces grown in the UK went unharvested in 2015, with 38,000 tonnes lost across the sector

WRAP issues new guidance to target 3.6m tonnes of food wasted at farm level

WRAP has issued new guidance to help farmers and growers reduce the 3.6 million tonnes of food wasted on farms each year.

The Leeds RERF was opened in 2016 to burn up to 150,000 tonnes of landfill waste annually

Houses and businesses connect to low-carbon heating network in Leeds

Households and businesses in Leeds are set to benefit from reduced energy bills and carbon emissions after being connected to a £36m district heating network that connects to the city's Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF).

The moves will reduce McDonald's' annual plastics use by 3,000 metric tonnes

McDonald's to ditch plastic Happy Meal toys

McDonald's UK and Ireland will remove plastic toys from its Happy Meals in 2021, after customers campaigned for plastic-free alternatives.

According to Biffa, improving recycling efforts could unlock up to £1.25bn in green economy infrastructure. Image: Biffa

Biffa to halve emissions and quadruple plastics recycling under new strategy

Waste management firm Biffa has announced a new sustainability strategy that will aim to quadruple the group's plastics recycling capacity and halve its emissions by 2030.

The inquiry had received 51 submissions before it was suspended in December 2019

MPs relaunch probe into the UK's electronic waste mountain

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has re-launched its inquiry into how policymakers, businesses and the public can collaborate to tackle electronic waste - the world's fastest-growing domestic waste stream.

The store trials will last for four weeks

Starbucks trials compostable paper cups, places ban on reusables due to coronavirus

Starbucks has announced it will trial the use of recyclable and compostable paper cups in the UK, but has placed a ban on customers using personal re-usable cups due to concerns over the coronavirus.

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.

All materials used for packaging consumed in the UK account for 1.7% of the country’s total emissions 

Lifecycle approach required: Government's plastics policies could triple UK packaging emissions

The UK Government's ban on unnecessary single-use plastics could inadvertently triple the carbon emissions associated with packaging, unless policies are introduced to prioritise an "overall need to use less material" and to improve the energy efficiency associated with material production and recycling.

Danone Waters UK is also working to achieve B Corp accreditation by the end of 2020

Danone Waters closes in on 100% recycled plastic and carbon-neutral goals in the UK

Danone has announced that Evian bottles will be made using 100% recycled plastics in the UK, while also achieving carbon neutrality in the UK for Evian and Volvic brands.

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.

The survey asked 5,509 adults about their plastics recycling habits, to garner information on behaviour change barriers

In numbers: The public's attitudes to plastics recycling and plastic-free packaging

As WRAP launches a new public awareness campaign on the recyclability and reusability of plastic packaging, edie explores the key behavioural barriers hampering a potentially circular economy for the material.

The guidelines can enable businesses to locate leakage hotspots and identify and remedy factors that are causing plastics pollution across the value chain

Plastic Leak Project launched to measure plastic pollution across corporate value chains

A new science-based metric has been produced by a range of public, private and scientific stakeholders that will enable businesses to conduct plastic leakage assessments to identify hotspot areas to combat the amount of plastic seeping into the natural environment.

It is estimated that 500 million plastic takeaway boxes are used across the UK takeaway industry annually

Just Eat trials plastic-free takeaway boxes lined with seaweed

Just Eat will trial compostable takeaway boxes lined with seaweed at select London restaurants, a move which will prevent around 3,600 plastic boxes from entering the waste stream.

The Fine to Flush Certification is designed to assess if products can be flushed without any detriment to the operation of the sewer system

Andrex wet wipes certified as 'fine to flush' by Water UK

British toiletries brand Andrex has today (27 February) announced that its washlet wipes range has achieved Water UK's 'Fine to Flush' certification, which symbolises that flushing them won't contribute to damage to UK sewers.

Arsenal Football Club's 60,000-seater stadium in North London became the first Premier League stadium to source 100% of its electricity needs from renewables in 2017

Arsenal saves half a million single-use plastic cups from landfill

Friends of the Earth has called on sporting venues across the UK to promote reusable cup use, after Arsenal FC revealed that a scheme introduced at the Emirates Stadium has prevented more than half a million single-use plastic cups from being discarded.

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.

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.

Grants of between £20,000 and £100,000 will be awarded from the new fund. Image: CC BY 2.0/Taz 

Government unveils fresh funding for business fight against food waste

The UK Government has announced a new £1.15m funding pot for businesses and non-profits aiming to reduce food waste in households and supply chains through behaviour change.

The Bill confirms that the OEP will cover all climate change legislation, including the commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050

UK Government's 'gold standard' Environment Bill reintroduced

The UK Government's long-awaited Environment Bill has finally been reintroduced to Parliament, outlining powers to stop the exports of plastic waste to developing countries, and revamped governance systems on clean air and biodiversity and two-yearly reviews to update the Bill if required.

The sessions are available to watch on-demand

From measurement to action: Five best-practice lessons on going plastic-free

Having taken place on 16 January, edie's Plastic-Free Power Hour webinar included a collection of best-practice examples of sector-leading organisations taking control of their plastics-use - and delivering real organisational change. Here, we reflect on the key takeaways from the session.

Following consultations last year, the Strategy was approved late last week 

Glasgow to phase-out single-use plastics within two years

Glasgow City Council has approved new measured to reduce plastic use across the local area, headlined by a commitment to phase-out single-use items by 2022.

Trials of the bags collected a range of debris, from plastic bags to discarded plastic fishing gear, known as ghost gear 

Fishing for Plastic: Asda helps seafood suppliers collect ocean plastic pollution

Asda has unveiled plans to equip all of its seafood suppliers' boats with equipment that will enable workers to collect plastic pollution while bringing in the catch.

The Q&A is available to watch on-demand

Bold targets and lifecycle assessments: Experts outline key drivers to combat single-use plastics

Sustainability experts from Sky, Surfdome and Nestlé have outlined how bold aspirations that target problematic plastics through the broader view of climate change can help spur the private sector towards a circular economy.

There are also other environmental impacts to consider beyond carbon impacts

Businesses not examining carbon impact of plastics alternatives, edie survey finds

An edie survey of almost 300 sustainability and resource professionals has found that almost 50% of businesses haven't examined the carbon impact of single-use plastics alternatives, amidst growing calls for businesses to intertwine actions on plastics and climate change.

This episode formed part of edie's Plastics Week

Sustainable Business Covered podcast: edie and Nestlé's plastics deep dive

The Sustainable Business Covered podcast returns for 2020, with edie bringing you exclusive interviews with Sky, Tideway, the University of Leeds and episode sponsors Nestlé for an episode dedicated to tackling single-use plastics.

The webinar is now available to watch on demand for those who've registered

Available on-demand: Watch all three sessions of edie's single-use plastics online event

Sustainability experts from Sky, Nestlé, Eurostar, Canary Wharf Group and Surfdome all discussed the role of businesses in collaborating, innovating and actuate to eliminate single-use plastics, as part of an online event that is now available to watch on-demand.

Nestlé will use the investment commitment to spur the market for food-grade recycled plastics. Image Neste, Flickr

Nestlé commits £1.6bn to food-grade recycled plastics, pledges to cut virgin plastics use by a third

Food and beverage giant Nestlé has committed £1.59bn to source food-grade recycled plastics to be used in its packaging, alongside a pledge to cut the amount of virgin plastics it sources by a third.

The two organisations have called on businesses to turn to staff engagement programmes and pilots of new innovations and setups to change behaviours

Report: One in five UK businesses not motivated by environmental impact of plastics

Keep Britain Tidy and Brita UK have called on UK businesses to explore behaviour change and staff engagement initiatives to accelerate action on single-use plastics, after their survey found that 20% of businesses are 'not at all' motivated by the environmental impacts of the plastics they use.

The report is inspired by edie’s award-winning Mission Possible campaign and spin-off Mission Possible Plastics Hub

edie launches best-practice guide for businesses tackling single-use plastics

edie has launched a new report, sponsored by Nestlé, that outlines the steps businesses can and should take to identify, reduce, replace and eliminate single-use plastics from their operations, supply chains and products and services.

Single-use plastics: The 2020 roadmap for sustainable business

It’s been one of the biggest sustainable business issues of the past decade: tackling the scourge of single-use plastics. In 2018-19, the so-called “Attenborough effect” gave this issue the mainstream attention it deserved, and thousands of businesses duly began to ramp up their efforts to eliminate single- use plastics from their operations and the supply chain.

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.

edie looks at the trials and projects that have proved successful in combatting plastics waste

Naked products and take-back schemes: How are businesses designing their way out of single-use plastics?

To mark edie's Plastics Week of content dedicated to helping businesses design their way out of single-use plastics, this round-up features the innovative ways that business giants have started to turn the tide on plastics waste.

Little Freddie's pouch recycling scheme, like many others for consumer goods in the UK, experienced rapid uptake during 2019

Pragmatism and pouch recycling: How Little Freddie is navigating the war on plastics as a challenger brand

EXCLUSIVE: With action on plastics packaging from governments and big businesses proving too slow for the public's liking, there is an opportunity for challenger brands to act more rapidly.

The report notes that interviewees felt that not all changes to remove or replace single-use plastics had been considered through the lens of additional environmental impacts

Plastics packaging phase-outs leading to environmental consequences, report warns

A new report from the Green Alliance has shown the companies are under "considerable and justified pressure" to move away from single-use plastics, often at the expense of carbon impacts and recyclability of alternative materials.

Currently, phs collects around 65,000 tonnes of hygiene waste from customers

Viridor and phs agree deal to generate power from nappies and sanitary products

Waste management company Viridor has inked a new multi-million-pound contract with washroom services firm phs Group, that will divert non-recyclable hygiene waste such as nappies and sanitary products from landfill to be used for power generation.

Pictured: A staff member in one of Veolia's energy-from-food-waste facilities

Veolia joins business 'Roadmap' striving to halve food waste

Veolia has become the first recycling and waste company to join WRAP's Food Waste Reduction Roadmap - a cross-industry programme aiming to halve food waste by 2030.

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.

The Business Leadership Inspiration Sessions are being held during edie's Mission Possible Plastics Week 2020 (13-18 January)

Single-use plastics: Two weeks left to register for free online event

Registration is now open for an afternoon of live, interactive webinar presentations and discussions from companies such as Eurostar, Nestlé and Sky on Thursday 16 January - all dedicated to helping businesses collaborate, innovate and actuate to eliminate single-use plastics.

Image: The Co-op 

Co-op targets 100% recyclable packaging by summer 2020

The Co-op has moved the deadline for ensuring that 100% of the packaging on its own-brand lines is easy-to-recycle forward from 2023 to summer 2020.

Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kroger_-_Norfolk,_VA_(23655411468).jpg

Kroger revamps action plan to eliminate food waste by 2025

US retail giant Kroger has unveiled new steps to eliminate food waste across its company by 2025 by prioritising food donations and technological innovations to drive action through a Zero Hunger, Zero Waste initiative.

edie shares some resource and waste statistics which could put the UK on Santa's naughty list - despite actions from businesses, policymakers and consumers alike

In numbers: Why Christmas is the most wasteful time of the year

Christmas is said to be the most wonderful time of the year - but it's certainly the most wasteful. As the big day approaches, edie rounds up some of the most shocking resources and waste statistics of the 2019 festive season.

Pact members range from manufacturers to brands and retailers and waste management firms

UK Plastics Pact 'set to eliminate one billion unnecessary single-use items'

Business signatories to WRAP's UK Plastics Pact are set to distribute one billion fewer pieces of "problematic" and unnecessary single-use plastic in 2020 than they did in 2018.

Mars’s circular packaging plan includes a goal for 100% of its plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, while Nestlé is part of the UK Plastics Pact pledge

Mars and Nestle spearhead chemicals recycling scheme for plastics

Mars and Nestlé have teamed up with packaging solutions firm Citeo, energy giant Total and recycling technology provider Recycling Technologies to develop an industrial chemical recycling process for plastic packaging in France.

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.

Iceland is working closely with its 100+ own label suppliers on the pledge, through regular working groups

Iceland calls for supplier support to reach plastics phase-out target

Iceland has sent letters to all of its suppliers, calling on them to support the retailer in eliminating plastics packaging from its own-label products by the end of 2023.

Seven out of the top 10 supermarkets increased their plastic footprint year-on-year

'Bags for life' making plastic problem worse, say campaigners

Plastic "bags for life" should be banned or raised in price, campaigners say, as new figures reveal a surge in the bags is fuelling a rise in the plastic packaging footprint of leading supermarkets.

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.

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.

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.

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

A host of high-street food and drink retailers, including LEON, Asda, Waitrose and Costa have joined a new pilot offering refillable options for commodities such as water, coffee, groceries and toiletries, in a bid to cut down on the amount of single-use plastic purchased by consumers.

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

Just Eat has partnered with Unilever brand Hellmann's to trial sauce sachets made of seaweed in an attempt to reduce single-use plastics.

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.

 7.1 million tonnes of food is wasted in UK homes every year, according to WRAP

WRAP: Supermarkets must combat £14.9bn of food wasted in homes annually

WRAP has urged major food retailers to improve their packaging and make labelling less confusing for UK customers, who last year binned £14.9bn worth of groceries at home.

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

Tesco will remove one billion pieces of plastic from products sold in UK stores, including ready meal trays, straws from drinks cartons and packaging for clothing and greeting cards, by the end of 2020.

This crop of innovations could drive significant sustainability progress within the energy, transport, recycling, construction and fashion sectors 

Stella McCartney's fur-free fur and flying taxis: The top 10 green innovations of October 2019

Each month, numerous eye-catching and potentially transformational innovations that could help businesses and nations deliver on resource efficiency, low-carbon transitions and combat climate change emerge. Here, edie rounds-up nine of the best.

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 to remove 500,000 plastic bottles from inns by end of the year

Pub chain Marston's has committed to removing its annual use of almost 500,000 plastic bottles from its 60 inns by the end of 2019.

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'

Green campaigners have criticised a new joint commitment from Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Keurig Dr Pepper to recycle the equivalent of one plastic bottle for every one they put on the US market.

Coca Cola's broad vision is for a world without waste

Redesign, collaborate and collect: Inside Coca-Cola European Partner's plastics strategy

EXCLUSIVE: Coca-Cola European Partners' (CCEP) vice president of sustainability, Joe Franses, looks across the company's four-pillar sustainable packaging roadmap to outline how collection, redesign and removal can ensure that all its packaging is collected and reused.

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.