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.
RBS's climate goals and Aldi's plastic bag crackdown: The sustainability success stories of the week
As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.
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.
London Stansted Airport trials compostable security bags
London Stansted Airport has begun trialling security bags that purport to be compostable as an alternative to the traditional oil-based plastic kind.
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.
'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.
Boots introduces compostable pharmacy bags after plastics backlash
Boots is switching its plastic pharmacy bags to compostable alternatives made using potato starch, after customers began returning plastic bags and voicing their anger on social media this summer.
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.
Finisterre to switch from plastic bags to 'water-soluble' biodegradable alternative
Outdoor clothing brand Finisterre is set to achieve its ambition of eliminating all plastics packaging which is neither reusable nor biodegradable, after investing in bags which naturally break down in soil and in water.
Mission Possible: Achieving a net-zero carbon future for manufacturing
As the movement towards net-zero carbon takes hold across the commercial sector, this fresh insight report looks at how manufacturing companies are driving forward their own goals.
Amazon under fire for new packaging that cannot be recycled
Amazon has been criticised by environmental groups and customers after introducing a range of plastic packaging that cannot be recycled in the UK.
Co-op lobbies for universal local food waste collection systems
The Co-op has called for the UK Government and local authorities to accelerate the introduction of a universal food waste collection process, claiming that the move could stop more than 350,000 tonnes of food waste being sent to landfill in England alone.
Lidl rolls out reusable produce bags to cut plastics
Lidl has begun selling reusable bags for consumers to put their loose fruit and vegetables in, in what the firm claims is a first for a UK supermarket.
Four years on: How have supermarkets responded to the 5p plastic bag charge?
The UK Government published its annual figures on single-use plastic bag sales last week, revealing that distribution by large retailers has fallen 90% since the 5p charge was introduced. But exactly what role have supermarkets played in that transition?
Iceland to trial UK's first major plastic-bag-free store
Frozen food retailer Iceland is trailing the removal of all plastic bags from one of its stores, replacing them altogether with "extra-strong" paper bags.
Uniqlo to phase out plastic bags
Fashion retailer Uniqlo's parent company Fast Retailing is set to remove single-use plastic bags from its brands, replacing them with reusable and paper alternatives.
Aldi to remove plastic packaging from toilet roll packs
Aldi could save more than 900 tonnes of plastic each year, after announcing trials to remove plastic packaging from toilet roll packs at 174 stores across the UK.
Businesses commit to phase-out eight 'problem plastics' by 2020
Companies signed up to the UK Plastic Pact have committed to removing eight "problem plastics" by 2020, including cutlery, cotton buds and polystyrene packaging, but the decision has sparked calls that self-regulated efforts won't be sufficient enough to avert plastics pollution.
Boots switches to paper bags across UK stores
Boots has become the first UK national pharmacy, health and beauty retailer to phase-out single-use plastic bags, having today (24 June) switched to brown paper bags.
Naked vegetables: Aldi extends plastic-free fresh produce trial to England
Aldi UK is extending a trial of removing plastic packaging from fresh vegetable lines to parts of England, after a pilot programme in Scotland reduced more than three tonnes of plastic.
Fujitsu to phase out plastic cups, straws, bottles and bags
Multinational IT equipment and services giant Fujitsu has unveiled a sweeping new set of plastics reduction pledges, covering bags, drinks bottles, cups, straws and other packaging.
Sainsbury's removes plastic bags from produce and bakery aisles
Sainsbury's has pledged to remove all single-use plastic bags from its fruit, vegetable and produce lines by September, in what it claims will be a first for a UK supermarket.
Morrisons rolls out plastic-free fruit and veg offering nationwide
Supermarket giant Morrisons will roll out packaging-free fruit and veg across 60 of its UK stores this summer, following a successful trial at three of its stores.
Asda removes 6,500 tonnes of plastic from own-brand packaging
UK supermarket Asda has removed 6,500 tonnes of plastic from its own brand packaging over the last 12 months, the equivalent weight of around 600 million empty plastic bottles.
Lidl to trial removal of all plastic bags at Welsh stores
Plans have been announced by supermarket retailer Lidl to remove all 9p plastic bags from its stores in Wales.
Morrisons tests customer appetite for plastic-free shopping in paper bag trial
Supermarket giant Morrisons has this week launched a trial of US-style paper grocery bags, in a bid to gauge consumer attitudes to plastic-free options at the checkout.
Co-op commences plastic bag switch with compostable alternatives at 1,000 stores
The Co-op has kickstarted a phase out single-use plastic bags from more than 1,000 of its UK stores, replacing them with compostable alternatives.
Science-based targets and 'smart' mobility centres: The sustainability success stories of the week
As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.
Why Co-op hasn't signed up to the UK Plastics Pact
EXCLUSIVE: The Co-op is one of the two major supermarkets yet to commit to WRAP's collaborative agreement to tackle single-use plastics, but the company's environment manager Iain Ferguson believes that an "enterprising" approach to innovation will enable the retailer to rethink approaches to packaging.
Tesco offers money for plastic bottles in reverse vending trials
Tesco has announced that it will trial in-store reverse vending machines for plastic bottles, as it calls on the UK Government to introduce a nation-wide approach to recycling.
Lidl to stop using black plastic fruit and vegetable packaging
Lidl UK says it will remove black plastic from its entire fruit and vegetable range by the end of the month.
Waitrose to use home-compostable bags in produce aisles and phase-out 5p carrier bags
Waitrose & Partners has announced that it will stop offering single-use plastic bags in its fruit and vegetable aisles and remove 5p carrier bags from its stores, a move that will cut its plastic usage by 134 million bags each year.
Iceland ditches plastic for pre-packed bananas
Frozen food retailer Iceland is switching the packaging for its pre-packed bananas from plastic to a paper band that is 100% recyclable and made from recycled paper, in a move that will save 10 million plastic bags from being used by the company annually.
'Snap Packs' and greener ink: Carlsberg unveils new packaging solutions designed to reduce waste
Danish brewer Carlsberg is set to reduce its global packaging waste by more than 1,200 tonnes annually, after launching new Snap Pack multi-packs for branded beers alongside a host of other closed-loop packaging renovations.
UK plastic bag charge set to double to 10p
The Government has confirmed that it will launch a consultation on whether the nation's current charge for single-use plastic carrier bags should be doubled to 10p and rolled out to every shop in the country.
Iceland launches plastic-free chewing gum in UK first
Frozen food giant Iceland has today (August 1) launched a range of plastic-free chewing gum, making it the first supermarket in the UK to offer a biodegradable alternative.
Sustainable shopping: How are UK supermarkets tackling plastic pollution?
Whether it's products containing microbeads, items sold in unnecessary single-use packaging, or consumers opting for plastic bags at the checkout, Britain's supermarkets are at the epicentre of the plastics problem. Here, edie examines the new actions retailers are taking to reduce avoidable plastic waste.
Iceland tests customer appetite for tackling plastic waste with paper bag trials
Frozen food giant Iceland has this week launched a paper bag trial, in a bid to reduce its plastics output and find out whether customers are willing to ditch plastic carrier bags at the checkout.
Morrisons rolls out paper bags in produce aisles to cut plastic waste
Supermarket chain Morrisons has announced that it will stop offering single-use plastic bags in its fruit and vegetable aisles, in a bid to cut its plastic output by 150 million bags each year.
edie Explains: Electric vehicles
This brand new edie Explains guide breaks down everything there is to know about deploying electric vehicles (EVs) across your business fleet.
World Environment Day: Seven countries leading the charge on plastics pollution
Today (5 June) marks World Environment Day, the UN’s global vehicle to inspire action on a plethora of pressing environmental issues, notably plastics pollution. Here, edie scans the globe to see how nations are putting an end to certain types of plastic.
Parliament vows to 'eliminate' single-use plastics from operations by 2019
Parliament has today announced its goal to "virtually eliminate" single-use plastics from its internal operations by 2019, by taking measures such as phasing out sauce sachets, banning the sale of single-use water bottles and introducing a "latte levy" on disposable coffee cups.
Wimbledon announces ban on plastic straws for 2018 championship
The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) has announced it will use recyclable paper straws for the 2018 Wimbledon tournament, in a bid to prevent more than 400,000 plastic straws going to landfill.
Theresa May outlines plan to ban plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds
Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that a consultation will take place later this year to prepare England for a national ban on plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds.
Drop in plastic bags littering British seas linked to introduction of 5p charge
A big drop in plastic bags found in the seas around Britain has been credited to the introduction of charges for plastic bags across Europe.
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.
Morrisons follows rivals in pledge to phase out single-use plastic bags
Morrisons has become the last of the big four UK supermarket chains to commit to remove 5p single-use plastic carrier bags from its stores.
Plastics: We're at war with the symptoms, not the cause
Theresa May's call to eliminate all "avoidable" plastic waste within the next 25 years is a step in the right direction, but also follows a growing trend that ignores the remedies needed in the value chain of the UK's resource efficiency ambitions.
Two serious throwaway culture issues for Theresa May beyond plastic bags
The UK government's new 25 year plan for the environment (25 YEP) leads with the planned extension of the plastic bag tax and the need to tackle plastic waste in what Theresa May calls our "Throwaway Culture".
Solving the ocean plastics blight - a systems approach
A storm of heightened awareness and indignation around pervasive plastic pollution has swelled over the past month. With recent mass coverage, namely Blue Planet II and Sky's A Plastic Ocean, the drive to save our oceans from a toxic, chemical-infused future has never been more potent.
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.
Tesco criticised for deducting £3.4m from plastic bag tax charity donations
Millions of pounds in administration costs were deducted from the charitable donations made by Tesco using funds generated from the plastic bag tax, government data has revealed. No other major supermarket made any such deductions, leading senior MPs to urge Tesco to follow their lead.
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.
Tesco to scrap single-use carrier bags in favour of 'bag for life'
The UK's largest supermarket group is replacing all of its 5p single-use carrier bags – which it sold more than 600 million of last year – with a new 10p 'bag for life' made from 94% recycled plastic.
Sky partners with Oval cricket ground to raise awareness of ocean plastic pollution
Broadcasting company Sky is taking its Ocean Rescue sustainability campaign to the world of cricket by forming a partnership with the Kia Oval stadium, which will see refillable water bottles handed out to fans during England's match against South Africa this week.
Plastic bag charge: 10 fascinating facts about the scheme's sustainability success
With new Government figures revealing an 83% reduction in single-use carrier bag sales since the instruction of a 5p charge in England, edie delves deep into the data to bring you 10 facts and statistics that you probably didn't know about the scheme and its effects.
#BreakFreeFromPlastic: Yes we can (recycle plastic bags)
On International Plastic Bag Free Day (3 July), let's consider the facts: the UK is still addicted to plastic bags. Even after the 5p charge was implemented in October 2015, supermarkets still sold 640 million plastic bags in just six months.
Why food and packaging waste is often a hidden behavioural problem
The cost of coffee cup disposal is considerable and at the University there is confusion over whether cups can be placed in recyclable or non-recyclable bins - which leads to contamination of waste streams.
Tesco to trial a phase-out of single-use 5p plastic bags
Shoppers at a handful of Tesco stores in the UK will no longer be able to buy 5p "single-use" plastic carrier bags, in the first such trial by a supermarket.
Sustainability megatrends: Realising the business case for sustainable economic growth
edie's series of exclusive thought-leadership articles on the global impact of megatrends culminates with New Climate Economy's programme director Helen Mountford exploring how businesses and governments are developing more sustainable models of economic growth that are fit for the future.
Compost, degrade, recycle: the truth about plastic bags
There is obviously a lot of confusion around the materials plastic shopping bags are made from and the compostability, biodegradability and recyclability of them.
Three degrees of plastic bags and how they degrade
The claims and reality about plastic bags..... the reality is more positive than you might think, BUT as companies fight it out over their green credentials, we (consumers trying to do the best thing) and the environment suffer.