Wake up and smell the coffee: our shared responsibility to manage food and drink packaging waste
As edie's Resource Management month draws to a close, circular economy experts Libby Sandbrook (BITC) and Debbie Hitchen (Anthesis) explore the challenges and opportunities behind two of the most talked-about packaging waste issues of our generation: coffee cups and plastic bottles.
Costa aims to lead industry transformation with pledge to recycle half a billion coffee cups
EXCLUSIVE: Costa Coffee's energy & environment manager Oliver Rosevear has said the retailer wants to drive cross-industry collaboration on coffee cup recycling, as it today (18 April) makes a bold commitment to recycle the equivalent of its entire annual sales of takeaway cups – at a financial cost to the business.
Sky and National Geographic join forces in fight against marine plastic pollution
Global broadcasters Sky and National Geographic have teamed up to drive a global media campaign to reduce plastic litter in the ocean.
Intelligent highways and underground bins: the best green innovations of the week
A number of eye-catching and potentially transformational innovations have emerged that could help businesses and nations deliver on resource efficiency, low-carbon transitions and combat climate change. Here, edie rounds-up six of the best.
Pret launches reusable bottle range to slash consumer plastics waste
Pret A Manger has unveiled a new range of reusable bottles to help reduce the amount of plastic used by customers.
Nestlé aims to make all packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025
Nestlé has become the latest firm to step up its action on plastic waste, with a pledge to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
Waitrose to remove disposable coffee cups from stores by autumn
Waitrose has ramped up its efforts to tackle plastic waste with a pledge to remove all disposable coffee cups from its shops before the end of 2018.
Supply chain roundtable: Going 'beyond audit' to drive sustainability action
Sustainability and procurement professionals from some of the world's largest businesses recently came together for an exclusive roundtable hosted by edie and DNV GL to discuss the strategic steps required to take supply chain sustainability onto the next level.
Unilever to develop closed-loop supply for food packaging plastics
In the latest corporate commitment to target plastic waste, Unilever has agreed a new partnership to develop technology capable of converting PET plastic waste into virgin-grade materials available for use in food packaging.
Waitrose builds on plastics pledge by switching to paper straws in cafes
Waitrose has revealed it will build on a commitment to stop selling packs of single-use plastics straws later this year, by replacing all plastic straws used in its onsite cafes with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper alternatives.
Co-op unveils 50% recycled plastic bottles for own-brand water
The Cop-op has announced that all of its own-brand water bottles will be switched to contain 50% recycled plastic, as part of a plan to "test the water" on how shoppers will react to a change in design.
McDonald's unveils plan to phase-out plastic straws
McDonald's will start phasing out plastic straws from UK restaurants from May, with the fast food giant ready to trial paper and biodegradable alternatives in response to consumer demand.
Plastic packaging a 'policy failure', claims Sainsbury's boss
Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe says Britain's plastic waste crisis has been exacerbated by a "failure of public policy" and is calling for a more unified approach to recycling.
Are businesses thinking about the SDGs when targeting plastics?
The recent wave of pledges against single-use plastic could lead to unintended consequences due to a lack of cross-sector alignment that is failing to examine the role of packaging in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Financial incentives for recyclability the way forward, says Co-op
A fiscal system that rewards recyclability and labelling, coupled with reducing the range of polymers available for use, would enable retailers and waste management firms to better tackle the rise of plastics pollution, according to the Co-op's environment manager Iain Ferguson.
Spring Statement: Chancellor unveils consultation on plastic tax
Phillip Hammond has launched a public consultation on a tax system for single-use plastics, vowing to tackle the “threat to our oceans" in his inaugural Spring Statement.
Mondi Group sets science-based targets through WWF's Climate Savers
Global packaging firm Mondi Group has set new science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions across the company's operations and indirect activities, after signing up to the WWF's Climate Savers initiative for low-carbon business aspirations.
'Warm words, no action': Government rejects 25p 'latte levy' proposal
MPs have criticised the Government's refusal to introduce a 25p levy on all disposable cups, with ministers accused of providing "warm words but no real action".
Lidl UK exploring deposit return scheme as part of plastic waste commitment
Lidl UK has today (9 March) unveiled a package of new commitments to reduce plastic waste, including plans to remove all single-use plastic bags, reduce the quantity of plastic packaging by one-fifth and consider a deposit return scheme for plastic containers.
Aldi unveils sweeping measures to slash plastics waste
Discount chain Aldi will scrap 5p carrier bags by the end of this year and ensure all packaging on its own-label is reusable, recyclable or compostable before 2022.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Sustainable packaging and the plastics problem
edie travels to the Museum of Brands to discuss solutions to plastic waste and wider resource efficiency issues with business representatives from Iceland, Tetra Pak and James Cropper.
Report: UK overestimates plastics recycling by one-third
The UK is significantly underestimating the amount of plastics packaging waste produced across the country, according to new research.
The big plastics debate: Industry must be fearless in zero-waste pursuit, Iceland claims
Iceland said it would not be afraid to make mistakes when tackling the issue of plastics waste, during a unique panel debate also featuring Co-op, Marks and Spencer (M&S) and Coca-Cola.
Online food delivery services commit to plastics takeaway
The war on plastics has entered the rapidly growing online food delivery sector, with industry competitors Deliveroo and Just Eat both making pledges today (1 March) to cut down the amount of plastic packaging used by customers.
Sector insight: The state of sustainability in the public sector
This exclusive insight report explores the key drivers, challenges and opportunities facing sustainability in the UK's public sector.
Government 'dragging its feet' over deposit return scheme for plastics, MPs claim
The UK Government is exploring how changes to packaging producer responsibilities and a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles and containers would be implemented in the UK, but the lack of action has been described as "unacceptable" by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC).
Harrogate Water bottles to contain 50% recycled content
Britain's oldest water brand, Harrogate Water, has stepped up its plastic efforts with the announcement that all products will contain 50% recycled content from April 2018.
Plastics and packaging: The UK's 'waste mountain' in charts
Eighteen environmental groups have urged the UK Government to deal with a growing "packaging waste mountain" by setting legally binding targets, following new waste and recycling figures published by Defra. Here, edie provides a snapshot of the UK's "waste mountain".
Drop the C: Heineken outlines science-based targets ambition
Brewer Heineken has today (12 February) unveiled a new sustainability strategy that commits to ramping up renewable energy production, piloting an internal carbon price and setting science-based targets across distribution, cooling and packaging.
Dunkin' Donuts to stop using foam cups by 2020
Dunkin' Donuts has committed to stop using polystyrene foam cups by 2020, a move which the company claims could remove nearly one billion foam cups from the waste stream each year.
edie Explains: ISO 14001
This updated edie Explains guide, produced in association with NQA, provides an in-depth summary of the ISO 14001 Standard which is used to establish and maintain a continuous level of environmental performance improvements.
Asda joins wave of supermarkets pledging to cut plastic waste
Asda has become the latest supermarket to join the war against plastic by pledging to reduce it "wherever" it can, including slashing the amount in its own-brand packaging by 10% in the next 12 months.
Plastics now a 'competitive issue' for business, CIWM chief warns
EXCLUSIVE: Eliminating unnecessary uses of plastic from production and supply chains is quickly becoming a "competitive issue" for businesses, with the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management's (CIWM) chief executive Dr Colin Church urging companies not to wait for legislation.
SDG roundtable: Five ways to move from ambition to action
Sustainability and corporate responsibility managers from a range of businesses across the country recently gathered in London for an exclusive roundtable hosted by edie and UL EHS Sustainability, which explored the steps required to take the lead on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
edie Explains: Frequency response
How does frequency response work? What are the business benefits of adopting frequency response technology? And how will National Grid's planned overhaul of balancing services impact the frequency response market? This free edie Explains guide gives you everything you need to know.
Co-op goes plastic free for own-brand teabags
In the latest example of business attempting to combat plastic pollution, the Co-op has become the first retailer to develop a fully-biodegradable paper tea bag - removing all uses of polypropylene plastic as a result.
Could China's import ban create a step change for UK recycling?
China's ban on the import of plastic and mixed paper waste raised fears that the UK would be plagued by mountains of waste, but amidst the hysteria the industry has been given the ideal platform to overhaul current recycling standards.
Greenpeace: New Coca-Cola global plastics plan 'dodges the main issue'
Coca-Cola has launched a new global plan to address its plastics impact, but Greenpeace has condemned the soft drinks giant for failing to reduce the number of single-use plastics bottles it produces.
EU maps out plastics vision in new strategy
The European Commission presented on Tuesday (16 January) its eagerly anticipated strategy on how the EU intends to approach plastic production and pollution over the next decade and beyond.
McDonald's and Waitrose lead business charge against plastic waste
Fast food giant McDonald's and UK retailer Waitrose are the latest companies to publicly announce plans to tackle the growing issue of plastic waste, with McDonald's setting a 2025 commitment to boost the recyclability of its packaging and Waitrose reaffirming its packaging commitments that it made in 2017.
Britvic on course for zero-waste status
Soft drinks company Britvic looks set to become a zero-waste company by 2020, with the firm's latest sustainability report revealing recent efforts to cut down on plastic waste, carbon emissions and water use.
The smarter sustainability reporting handbook
A new era is upon us: the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) and the Task Force on Climate- related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) have together paved the way for an entirely new approach to corporate sustainability.
Dell targets e-waste with recycled gold initiative
Fresh from incorporating ocean plastics into products, technology firm Dell has announced an industry pilot aimed at using recycled gold from discarded electronics in new computer motherboards.
Latte levy: MPs call for systems overhaul to recycle all disposable coffee cups
The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has called for all single-use coffee cups to be recycled by 2023, as a new report claims there is "no excuse" for the UK Government's reluctance to address coffee cup waste and that voluntary approaches from retailers are "not working".
Pret A Manger doubles reusable coffee cup discount
Pret A Manger has doubled its discount for customers who bring reusable cups into stores to 50p, in an effort aimed at reducing the amount of paper coffee cups that are discarded as waste.
Dell spearheads global initiative to combat ocean plastics
Technology giant Dell is forming a collaborative initiative alongside General Motors and Interface to create the world's first commercial-scale supply chain for ocean-bound plastics, before they seep into waterways.
How to solve the plastics problem: Live edie webinar takes place AT 2PM TODAY
Interface, P&G, Surfdome and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation complete an all-star line-up of circular economy experts for edie's live, interactive webinar focused on plastic packaging sustainability - taking place today (Thursday 7 December) at 2pm.
Oceans under greatest threat in history, warns Sir David Attenborough
The world's oceans are under the greatest threat in history, according to Sir David Attenborough. The seas are a vital part of the global ecosystem, leaving the future of all life on Earth dependent on humanity's actions, he says.
Plastic pollution: Circular economy experts to discuss packaging solutions in live webinar TOMORROW
Representatives from Interface, P&G, Surfdome and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation complete an all-star line-up for edie's live, interactive webinar focused on plastic packaging sustainability - taking place this Thursday (7 December) at 2pm.
Wrap launches new industry guidelines for food date labels
Waste agency Wrap has today (29 November) unveiled a new date label guidance for food manufacturers and retailers to help tackle the amount of edible food discarded in UK homes.
In practice: James Cropper's upcycling solution for the coffee cup conundrum
Ahead of edie's flagship Sustainability Leaders Awards in January, edie is taking a closer look at some of the projects initiatives that have been deemed worthy of a finalist position by our expert judges. First up: James Cropper's upcycling system for paper cups.
Would a plastic tax help the UK become a world leader in resource efficiency?
A major talking point of yesterday's Autumn Budget was the Chancellor's decision to consult on the use of a tax for plastic packaging. But what are the realistic chances of the measure proving a success for both the environment and taxpayer?
UK environment department using 1,400 disposable coffee cups a day
More than 2.5m disposable cups have been purchased by the UK's environment department for use in its restaurants and cafes over the past five years - equivalent to nearly 1,400 a day.
Nearly half of all fresh potatoes thrown away daily by UK households
Nearly half of the edible fresh potatoes bought by UK householders each day are thrown away - nearly 2.7 million of them per day, and at a "staggering" annual cost of £230m, figures show.
Coca-Cola bolsters sustainability targets for Western Europe
Coca-Cola's continental divisions have teamed up to deliver a new sustainability plan for Western Europe, with a range of targets including plans to halve direct carbon emissions and only use packaging that is recyclable or reusable by 2025.
Food and drink industry lobbied against tougher waste policy, FOI reveals
Trade bodies representing brands such as Sainsbury's, Tesco and Coca-Cola have lobbied the Government to oppose deposit return schemes and new EU proposals designed to boost recycling.
Coalition calls for oxo-degradable plastic ban
A coalition of businesses, NGOs, scientists and politicians have come together to call for a ban on oxo-degradable plastic packaging, which has been linked to microplastics pollution.
P&G closes in on zero-waste and renewables targets
The Procter & Gamble (P&G) company has nearly doubled its renewable energy consumption in the past year thanks to a new $200m biomass facility, the consumer goods firm's latest citizenship report has revealed.
EU packaging single market erosion risks opening 'Pandora's Box' of national regulations
Ahead of negotiations to finalise the revision of EU packaging waste legislation, the European packaging industry is calling for the free movement of packaged goods to be safeguarded.
Pret A Manger trials plastic bottle alternatives across select stores
Pret A Manger is looking to reduce the number of plastic bottles sold at its outlets and on the high streets, by offering free filtered water and reusable glass bottles at its three Veggie Pret shops.
Plastic packaging: Are producers ready for their 'diesel moment'?
As CDP's new report warns that "rapid process innovations" are needed to help the chemical sector align to the goals of the Paris Agreement, the organisation's head of investor research Carole Ferguson tells edie that plastic packaging is on the cusp of regulatory and consumer backlash.
How P&G formed a new supply chain to combat ocean plastics
EXCLUSIVE: The Procter & Gamble (P&G) Company's new Fairy Ocean Plastic Bottle serves to highlight a "totally new supply chain and approach" to incorporating post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic into products, as the firm closes in on a 2020 packaging target.
EU rules out tax on plastic products to reduce waste
The EU has ruled out penalties on single-use plastic products, in favour of raising public awareness of the damage consumer plastics are doing to the world's oceans.
Smart Coca-Cola dispensers to help university students slash soft drinks packaging
Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has teamed up with the University of Reading to hand out micro-chipped refillable drinks bottles to students to support a more sustainable packaging system on campus.
From climate science to global goals: How Tetra Pak is realigning its sustainability strategy
As Tetra Pak's latest sustainability report reveals that the company looks set to outperform its original goals, the firm's vice president of environment Mario Abreu explains how the food packaging company is preparing to shoot for approved science-based targets.
Coca-Cola increased its production of plastic bottles by a billion last year, says Greenpeace
Coca-Cola increased its production of throwaway plastic bottles last year by well over a billion, according to analysis by Greenpeace.
Pret A Manger's head of sustainability questions MP's coffee cup inquiry
Pret A Manger's head of sustainability committed to "maximising" renewable and reusable packaging for coffee cups, but has questioned whether the Environmental Audit Committee's inquiry into disposable coffee cups is the best way to promote resource efficiency and sustainability in the UK.
San Miguel drops plastic water bottle production
Asian beverage giant San Miguel Corporation has announced its intention to discontinue the plastic-bottled Purewater line to boost the company's commitment to tackling "pressing" social and environmental issues.
Future Utilities Manager
New research from leading business energy consultancy Inenco has provided insight into how the role of the energy manager will change by 2030, and has highlighted the level of investment needed.
Evian unveils carbon-neutral bottling site
Danone-owned bottled water brand Evian has unveiled its new production facility in France that will modernise how the company produces and transports its products, as part of a wider goal to become the first carbon-neutral Danone brand by 2020.
Ecosurety and Hubbub to collaborate on consumer-facing recycling campaigns
Resource efficiency firm Ecosurety has announced a new partnership with environmental charity Hubbub to launch a consumer-facing campaign later this year aimed at boosting recycling rates in the UK.
Tata Steel moves to champion UK kerbside metal packaging recycling
Europe's second largest steel producer Tata Steel will increase its support for a UK-based behaviour change initiative aimed at boosting the recycling rates for metal packaging collected at kerbside.
Plastic packaging: Are retailers ready to face the elephant in the room?
Britain's retailers must address "the elephant in the room" that is the use of polyethene plastic for the delivery of products to and from stores, the head of sustainability at outdoor clothing company Surfdome has told edie.
'Lack of political desire' biggest barrier to establishing UK bottle deposit scheme
EXCLUSIVE: The implementation of a deposit scheme for plastic bottles in the UK now hinges on "political desire" rather than technological barriers, the chief executive of solutions provider and reverse vending expert TOMRA has suggested.
Coca-Cola's new communications ad uses 1,500 pieces of recycled plastic
Coca-Cola has turned to stop-motion animation to launch a multi-million pound consumer awareness campaign to highlight the recyclability of its products, marking the first time the global drinks giant has issued a sustainability campaign in the UK.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Designing for the future and adapting to global megatrends
The Body Shop heads back to its hometown of Brighton to host a sustainable design workshop, while the chief sustainability officer of United Technologies discusses how businesses are adapting to sustainability megatrends in this latest episode of the edie podcast.
Kerbside drink carton collections up 16-fold in decade
The kerbside collection of beverage cartons for recycling has seen a 16-fold increase across local authorities in the past decade, according to new figures released this week.
Plastic pollution risks 'near permanent contamination of natural environment'
Humans have produced 8.3bn tonnes of plastic since the 1950s with the majority ending up in landfill or polluting the world's continents and oceans, according to a new report.
From villains to heroes: Are Pringles and Lucozade about to unveil more sustainable packaging?
EXCLUSIVE: Moves by Kellogg's and Lucozade to develop more sustainable packaging solutions for Pringles tubes and Lucozade Sport bottles would send out a "fantastic message" to other manufacturers, the chief executive of a recycling trade body has said.
M&S slashes plastic use in food packaging to cut waste
A major UK supermarket has slashed the amount of packaging used for its popular snacks such as crisps and popcorn by reducing the pocket of air at the top of the bag.
Coca-Cola bottler vows to 'reform' Britain's recycling system with new packaging strategy
Bottling company Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has today (12 July) unveiled a new packaging strategy for its Great Britain operations, which establishes collaborative partnerships to reform the nation's recycling systems and boost recycled content in its products to 50%.
Coca-Cola European Partners closing in on 100% renewables target
Multinational bottling company Coca Cola European Partners (CCEP) has almost cut emissions in half over the past six years, as it closes in on a target to purchase 100% of its electricity from renewable sources.
Co-op urges waste sector to put pressure on retail recycling laggards
Britain's recycling system is suffering from a lack of coherence between the major players in the packaging and waste value chain, The Co-operative Food's environment manager has said.
Customers at the heart of sustainable business model transition, says HP
EXCLUSIVE: Hewlett-Packard's (HP) push towards a circular economy and servitisation-based business model has seen the relationship between the IT company and its customers evolve from one based purely on transactions to a point where customer demand is now helping to advance closed-loop initiatives.
Test bed: Scaling up a world-first recycling solution for MDF
edie investigates the green business potential of breakthrough technologies and innovations in this new series of 'test bed' case studies. First up: a look at a world-first solution that creates a secondary material from recycled MDF boards, generating zero waste in the process.
Ellen MacArthur: Businesses must collaborate to make circular economy mainstream
EXCLUSIVE: Businesses need to adopt a collaborative systems approach to packaging and product design that creates value for the vast amount of plastic that has seeped into the oceans, Dame Ellen MacArthur told edie.
Co-op votes to make 100% of own-brand packaging recyclable
Co-op has pledged to make all of its own-brand packaging recyclable, in the same week as the head of food policy told edie the retailer is exploring the option to publicly release all of its food waste data.
Smurfit Kappa celebrates 10 years of sustainability excellence
Paper-based packaging company Smurfit Kappa has celebrated a "decade of excellence" in sustainability achievements, which have placed the firm well on-track to supersede its 2020 target to slash emissions by a quarter.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation launches $2m innovation prize for ocean plastic solutions
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Prince of Wales's International Sustainability Unit have today (18 May) launched a $2m innovation prize, calling on companies to create new ways of designing packaging that limits the amount of plastic polluting the oceans.
Megatrends: Exploring the future of sustainable business
This exclusive edie report explores the business impact of five key megatrends that are shaping the world we live in: climate change; technology and innovation; population growth and social change; urbanisation and smart cities; and economic growth.
Unilever breakthrough technology set to tackle plastic sachet waste
Consumer goods giant Unilever has today (11 May) unveiled a breakthrough technology which aims to address the systemic global issue of multilayer plastic sachet waste.
Energy Transitions Commission: Better energy, greater prosperity
The Energy Transitions Commission’s flagship report sets out achievable pathways to limit global warming to well below 2C while stimulating economic development and social progress.
edie explains: ISO 20400
This edie explains business guide, produced in association with edie's supporting partners Action Sustainability and BSI, provides an in- depth summary of the new ISO 20400 Standard which is the world's first international standard for sustainable procurement
Women's Institute urges supermarkets to do more to cut food waste
The Women's Institute is urging supermarkets to do more to help consumers reduce their domestic food waste, after a survey of its own membership revealed widespread confusion about "best before" and "use by" labelling on packaging.
Planning for a circular economy
The Environmental Services Association, the voice of the UK’s resource and waste management industry, has set out a number of recommendations to more closely align the planning system with the strategic objectives of the circular economy.
Mars and Sainsbury's look to packaging to reduce consumer food waste
New technologies and improved dialogue with consumers has seen brands and retailers turn to packaging in order to reduce food waste, although companies still need to dispel myths that packaging is "evil".
Britvic develops sustainable wood fibre bottle
Major soft drinks firm Britvic has made major strides in its bid to develop a viable bottle from sustainable wood fibres, the company's latest sustainability report has claimed.
Battle cry: Where should the War on Waste go next?
With edie's month of editorial content tailored to resource efficiency now in full swing, we highlight six areas where the influential 'War on Waste' circular economy campaign series should head next.
Greenpeace slams 'jaw-dropping' inaction on marine pollution from soft drinks firms
A new Greenpeace UK report has condemned the "woeful lack of action" by the soft drinks industry to prevent ocean plastic pollution, as figures show the world's top six brands use a combined average of just 6.6% recycled plastic in their bottles.