Waste stream

DEFINITION: the complete flow of waste from domestic or industrial areas through to final disposal. The intervention of recycling may act to lessen the content of a waste stream as it moves down the line.

See also: Zero waste

See also: Energy-from-waste (EfW)

See also: Residual waste

Related items

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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: 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

For plastics that Tesco deem unreplaceable, such as cases where it prevents food waste, it will work with suppliers to reduce plastic use to a minimum

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.

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 R&D project has been in the works for two years. Image: The Ocean Cleanup Project

Danone partners with The Ocean Cleanup Project to remove plastic pollution from rivers

Evian, through its parent company Danone, has forged a partnership with Dutch startup The Ocean Cleanup Project in order to develop and scale up innovations aimed at "catching" and removing plastic debris from rivers and waterways.

Pictured: Bales of crushed blue PET bottles. Image: Michal Manas/CC-BY-3.0

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

BP's Petrochemicals arm has unveiled plans for a multi-million dollar investment in an innovative recycling technology designed to create a second life for "previously unrecyclable" packaging. 

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

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

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

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

Business giants making 'promising' progress in tackling plastic waste

Over the last 12 months, some of the world's biggest businesses have made "promising" progress in efforts to eliminate single-use plastics and transition to a circular economy, according to a new report which revealed that pledges to increase recycled plastic in packaging have grown five-fold.

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

Huggies to eliminate plastics from baby wipes and packaging

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

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

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

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

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

Selfridges switches from plastics to compostable for Christmas food packaging

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

Research by Hubbub estimated that 33 million people dressed up for Halloween in 2017, but 40% of costumes were worn just once

UK retailers to generate 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste from Halloween costumes

Halloween costumes sold by UK retailers are set to generate more than 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste, equivalent by weight to 83 million bottles, according to new research from environmental charity Hubbub.

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

Paper Bottle Community: Is this the beginning of the end for the single-use plastic bottle?

EXCLUSIVE: Following the launch of Carlsberg's paper bottle prototypes, edie explores how Coca-Cola, The Absolut Company and L'Oréal are joining the brewer to scale-up paper-based solutions that replace or rival single-use plastic bottles.

Gutowski will appear at day one (4 February) of edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum 2020, to deliver a workshop on developing circular economy business models which engage all stakeholders

Pret-A-Manger: We can't greenwash our way out of the war on plastics

EXCLUSIVE: As consumers continue to push hard for food-to-go brands like Pret-A-Manger to ditch plastic packaging altogether, the firm's global director of strategy & sustainability has urged the sector to avoid "over-simplified" announcements or token phase-outs.

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

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

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

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 green bond was led by Morgan Stanley, which launched a dedicated plastics financing platform earlier this year

PepsiCo prices $1bn green bond to assist with plastics phase-out

PepsiCo has priced its first ever green bond at $1bn, which will be used to fund initiatives to reduce plastic content in packaging, improve supply chain engagement and management and boost water stewardship.

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

Lego launches reuse platform for old plastic bricks

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

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

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

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

GAP claims that social media advertising is pressurising teenagers to buy more than they otherwise would

Social media advertising fuelling teenagers' unused 'trainer mountain'

Charity Global Action Plan (GAP) has found that UK teenagers own 58 million trainers, almost 30% of which remain unused, with a new study claiming that purchasing habits are a symptom of targeted digital and social media advertising.

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

Coca-Cola unveils drinks bottle made from recycled ocean plastics

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

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.

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

Pret extends shop floor cup recycling scheme to 350 UK stores

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

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

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

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

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

This new series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Next up: Matt Manning, compliance & recycling operations manager at Dixons Carphone.

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

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

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

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

Recycle Week 2019: The state of UK household recycling in 8 charts

This week is Recycle Week 2019 - an event hosted by WRAP, with the aim making the circular economy "the new norm" for UK Government, businesses and residents. Here, edie sets the scene by charting national recycling statistics.

Businesses disclosing data to WRAP have, on average, reduced their food waste footprint 7% year-on-year

UK business giants mitigate 53,000 tonnes of food waste

WRAP has today (24 September) revealed that 121 of the UK's biggest food businesses are now providing evidence of their efforts to halve food waste by 2030, in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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

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

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

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

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

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

The findings act as a snapshot of the public's plastic-related wants and needs 

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

Two new surveys have this week revealed the public's attitudes towards plastic recycling, covering an array of issues from foreign exports to shopping habits. Here, edie rounds up the key findings.

The project is being backed by Innovate UK, which supported the 18-month upcycling process

Veolia upcycles two end-of-life diesel vehicles with electric engines

Resource management firm Veolia is set to trial two electric Refuse Collection Vehicles (eRCV) in Westminster, after 'upcycling' old diesel vehicles that were approaching the end of their life.

More than 20% of Marriott International’s properties now offer larger-pump-topped bottles in guestroom showers

Marriott International expands phase-out of single-use toiletry bottles

Hotelier Marriott International has announced the expansion of an initiative to replace single-use toiletry bottles with large pump-topped alternatives, in a move that could prevent more than 500 million plastic items being discarded.