In numbers: Are businesses and consumers ready for the circular economy shift?
A shift away from linear 'take, make and dispose' models is widely touted as a key requirement in the transition to a net-zero, more resource-efficient world. But how prepared are businesses and individuals to make that shift, and what barriers are stopping circularity?
Corporates failing to make circular economy transition, damning report finds
More than 100 billion tonnes of virgin materials are being consumed annually by business, with progress to boost reuse and recycling rates stagnating, a damning new report has concluded.
Asda to pilot packaging-free, refillable versions of popular groceries
Asda will begin trialling packaging-free, refillable versions of some of its most popular products in May, the supermarket has confirmed today (16 January).
Every business has a critical role to play in reducing single-use plastics
In the two years since Blue Planet II ignited interest in the volume of plastic being used and discarded daily, businesses have made real progress in their efforts to eliminate single-use plastics.
A Plastic Planet: It's time for activism on climate change and plastics to collide
EXCLUSIVE: The surge in climate activism in recent months has not served to stop the so-called "war-on-plastics", but to lay the foundations for holistic action on both issues by businesses and the public alike, activist and entrepreneur Sian Sutherland has argued.
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.
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.
New Starbucks-led behaviour change scheme aims to double reusable coffee cup uptake
As part of its ongoing partnership with environmental charity Hubbub, Starbucks has unveiled a new campaign aiming to double reusable cup in during 2020.
Business Energy Barometer: November-December 2019
edie's third Business Barometer for 2019 sets out the key challenges and opportunities for energy leaders and managers going into 2020 and the next decade of climate action.
Selfridges bans single-use wet wipes over plastics concerns
Selfridges has removed all single-use beauty wipes from its in-store Beauty Halls and its online offering, in a bid to reduce the plastic footprint of its customers' bathroom routines.
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.
Aldi to trial reusable fruit and vegetable bags
Aldi will introduce reusable bags for loose fruit and vegetables at more than 250 UK stores by the end of the month, in a drive to reduce single-use plastics.
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.
John Lewis trials swathe of new recycling and reuse offerings
John Lewis & Partners has launched a string of seven new initiatives aimed at helping customers to reuse packaging and recycle items which are not currently collected by most domestic kerbside services.
TerraCycle: The global refill revolution is here to stay
EXCLUSIVE: With consumer concerns around plastics and climate change skyrocketing, brands are increasingly betting on reuse and refill models to minimise both carbon and waste, TerraCycle's chief executive officer Tom Szaky has revealed.
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.
Mission Possible: Achieving net-zero carbon in Utilities
Following the UK's world-leading commitment to reach net- zero emissions by 2050, this insight report investigates how the utilities sector can radically reduce carbon whilst enabling and empowering its customers to do the same.
The Body Shop: Demands for plastic-free shopping have 'come full circle since the 1990s'
EXCLUSIVE: The Body Shop's decision to begin offering plastic-free refills at its refurbished Bond Street store was largely driven by changing demands from its shoppers and staff, the brand's managing director has told edie.
Asda forays into second-hand clothing market
Asda is trialling its first second-hand clothing offering in the hopes of gauging consumer attitudes to a more circular fashion economy.
Hoarding old gadgets 'preventing circular economy shift' and 'spurring rare mineral shortages'
The fact that most UK households are hoarding old digital gadgets with no plans to recycle them is a key barrier to implementing circular economy principles for e-waste, the Royal Society of Chemistry has claimed.
Meet the sustainability leader: Social Sustainability & Community Development - JPA Furniture
With entries now open for edie's Sustainability Leaders Awards 2020, this new feature series showcases the achievements of the 2019 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: The winner of our Social Sustainability & Community Development Award, JPA Furniture.
Britain's single-use sustainability crisis extends far beyond plastic, says Green Alliance
Shifting materials for single-use containers away from plastic will not resolve the overall issue, according to a new infogaphic-based report from Green Alliance.
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?
Waitrose to extend plastic-busting refill scheme
Waitrose & Partners is set to extend its 'Unpacked' offering of packaging-free, refillable products, following a successful trial of the concept at its Botley Road store in Oxford.
IHG to ban bathroom miniatures in plastic reduction drive
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is set to remove miniature toiletries from its entire global estate by the end of 2021, in a bid to reduce its plastic waste footprint.
The Green Brexit Matrix: What do the different outcomes mean for environmental policy?
With Boris Johnson entering number 10 as the new Prime Minister, the likelihood of a no deal Brexit has increased. This download, originally published in April, explores the potential exit scenarios and the impacts they will have on UK sustainability, energy and environment policy.
Napapijri showcases fully recyclable jacket made from discarded fishing nets
Fashion brand Napapijri has unveiled a fully recyclable jacket made from discarded fishing nets and fabric scraps from mills and carpets.
Inside Kimberly-Clark's plastics packaging strategy
EXCLUSIVE: Kimberly-Clark's global sustainability lead for products and packaging Daniel Locke has outlined how the company is "revamping" its resource management ambitions as consumer pressure for plastic packaging reductions mounts.
Generation Share: The Activistpreneurs saving the planet
There's a new generation of entrepreneurs. They see themselves as change-makers, activists building businesses to save the planet. Like Greta Thunberg, they know that time is running out. Fed up with what they see as 'corporate inertia', they're calling on big business to become activists themselves.
From waste to wealth: Creating a circular electronics industry
As our use of electronic devices and equipment has boomed in recent years, it has brought opportunities to create new jobs, tackle climate change and other environmental challenges, deliver health care and expand education.
Coca-Cola and Merlin Entertainments extend on-the-go plastic recycling initiative
Coca-Cola Great Britain has announced it has extended a project to place onsite reverse vending machines for plastic bottles at major UK attractions including Alton Towers Resort, Thorpe Park, and Legoland Windsor, after a trial collected more than 26,000 bottles last year.
edie's Plastics Thinkathon: Six moonshot business ideas that could eliminate single-use plastics
With businesses continuing to make plastic-reduction commitments in the face of ever-growing stakeholder pressure, edie recently hosted a 'Plastics Thinkathon' to spur collaborative action on achieving a single-use plastic-free future, today. Here, we round up the potentially transformational results.
Asda rolls out free refill scheme to cut plastic bottle use
Asda has begun offering free tap water refills at all of its in-store cafes, after trialling the offer at 37 of its locations this spring.
BBC War on Plastic: How Happy Meal toys and pellet production are piling on to the waste mountain
The final instalment of the BBC's War On Plastic tonight (24 June) will highlight just how broken the linear economy is, as Anita focuses on the mountain of free plastic toys from places such as fast food restaurants, while Hugh learns how the plastic industry plans to increase production by 50%
Manufacturer 3M joins Ellen MacArthur Foundation's CE100 initiative
Multinational consumer goods, healthcare and industry manufacturer 3M has pledged to champion the circular economy and make the best use of the planet's resources by joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's CE100 initiative.
Government rejects mandatory environmental targets for big-name fashion brands
Recommendations for mandatory carbon, waste and water targets to be applied to all large fashion businesses in the UK have been thrown out by the Government, despite continued calls to action from MPs.
War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita: How are companies tackling plastics in the bathroom?
Tonight's (17 June) episode of the BBC's War On Plastic will focus on single-use plastics in the bathroom, covering the stark environmental impacts of the packaging used for (and in) our toiletries and cosmetics. Here, edie explores what actions companies within those industries have taken to help solve the plastics puzzle.
Webinar: Smart Energy Technologies for Sustainability and Resilience
Businesses across the UK are feeling the sting of rising energy costs, along with Governmental pressures to decarbonise to meet carbon reduction goals. This had led many to seek out effective and affordable methods of reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Gatwick hosts UK's first airport-based reusable coffee cup trial
The UK's first airport reusable coffee cup trial gets under way this week at Gatwick, offering passengers the opportunity to borrow and return refillable cups in a bid to help cut waste and tackle "throwaway" culture.
Estée Lauder to develop refillable packaging as part of circular economy drive
US-based cosmetics giant Estée Lauder has vowed to develop reusable and refillable packaging by 2025, as part of a sweeping new set of resource efficiency commitments.
Groceries 'Unpacked': Waitrose pilots packaging-free refill offering
Waitrose & Partners has started offering packaging-free refill options for hundreds of its own-brand lines, as part of a trial to gauge consumer appetite for container reuse and plastic-free sundries.
SEAT to double down on waste reduction efforts
Spanish car manufacturer SEAT has announced new plans to boost its efficiency in reducing waste at all key facilities, with select initiatives set to nearly double waste reduction levels by 2025.
Mission Possible: The 2019 report
This exclusive edie report showcases world-leading and potentially game-changing examples of sustainability in action across the Mission Possible campaign's five pillars: Energy, Resources, Mobility, The Built Environment and Business Leadership.
TerraCycle: Recycling alone won't tackle 'root cause' of plastics waste crisis
EXCLUSIVE: Despite creating a business model built on offerings of recycling solutions to solving the world's plastic pollution crisis, TerraCycle's general manager for Europe claims it will only ever form part of any closed-loop system.
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.
Evian unveils refillable device in bid to slash plastic waste
French bottled water company Evian is set to begin trials of a new refillable in-home water appliance next month, in a bid to gauge consumer appetite for lower-plastic alternatives to single-use bottles.
Jaguar Land Rover updates closed-loop aluminium initiative
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is developing the next phase of its aluminium recycling strategy, having processed more than 300,000 tonnes of scrap back into vehicles over the last six years.
Why Refill is turning to transport 'hubs' to slash plastic bottle use
EXCLUSIVE: Since its launch in 2017, City to Sea's Refill campaign has spurred dozens of independent businesses and high street chains to offer free water bottle refills. But as it strives to meet its 2021 ambition of having locations in every town and city, its key focus will now be engaging the transport sector.
The sustainability communications handbook: Engaging with different audiences
Communication is a vital component of any organisation's strategy - and an aspect which businesses of all sizes and sectors will have to continually fine-tune as digitisation progresses. Similarly, sustainability is now widely considered to be a business-critical consideration and a must-have for staff, consumers and investors alike.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: ZEDpods, World Water Day and the 12 goals of Exeter
Episode 59 of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast sees Matt, Sarah and newcomer James Evison deliver interviews discussing World Water Day, low-carbon buildings and a 12-step plan to improve health and sustainability in the city of Exeter.
Why Heineken is championing water circularity as its contribution to the SDGs
EXCLUSIVE: Brewer Heineken has called for more collaborative and circular approaches to water use, after launching a new 2030 strategy aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation.
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.
UK cafés and restaurants pilot lunchbox refill scheme to slash plastics waste
Dozens of independent cafés and fast food restaurants across the UK will allow customers to bring their own reusable lunchboxes as part of a pilot scheme aimed at reducing reliance on single-use plastic food packaging.
Evian's reusable water bottles and VW's 'carbon-neutral' EVs: 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.
Sustainability Leaders Awards 2019: Meet the Winners
Welcome to the winners report for the 2019 Sustainability Leaders Awards. Organised by edie, these awards recognise excellence across the spectrum of sustainable business; from the best efficiency programmes through to product innovation, from stakeholder engagement and CSR initiatives to the people making it happen.
Ikea to launch furniture rental offering as part of circular economy shift
The world's largest furniture retailer has unveiled plans to rent its products to consumers for the first time, as it strives to become a 'net-positive' business by 2030.
SC Johnson and Ellen MacArthur Foundation partner to spur circular economy progress
US-based consumer goods firm SC Johnson has forged a new circular economy partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in a bid to scale-up closed-loop solutions to the global plastics pollution problem.
Consumer goods giants team up to launch 'zero-waste' refill service
Unilever, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and PepsiCo are among the 24 corporate co-founders of a new 'waste-free' retail platform, whereby businesses will provide product refills while retaining ownership of their reusable packaging.
Webinar: Single-use plastics: How to lead a business transformation
edie is bringing together a selection of leading retailers, manufacturers and circular economy experts for a special one-hour webinar to discuss how business can collaborate, innovate and actuate to eliminate single- use plastics.
Black Friday is the antithesis of sustainable business, but there's an alternative
It's that time again. Today is Black Friday, the biggest sales event of the year, as Britain's retailers stack high and sell low before Christmas. Sustainable Development Goal 12 (sustainable consumption and production patterns) seems all but forgotten for the time being.
Sustainability Leaders Awards 2019: Meet the finalists
After a record-breaking year of entries, the judges have convened, decisions have been made and edie is proud to unveil the well-deserved finalists for the 2019 Sustainability Leaders Awards. This report outlines the who's who of sustainability excellence.
ATP unveils sweeping plastic phase-outs for Nitto Tennis Finals in London
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has unveiled new measures aimed at reducing the plastic waste footprint of its Nitto Tennis Finals event in London this month, in a bid to host its "most sustainable" tournament to date.
Mission Possible: Achieving a sustainable future for FOOD & DRINK MANUFACTURING
This brand-new sector insight report provides an end-to-end overview of the steps that organisations within Britain's food & drink manufacturing industry can take to achieve a sustainable future, today.
Scotland's cities can unlock £1bn circular economy boon, says report
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged Scotland's largest cities to transform waste processes and operations to capture a £1bn economic growth opportunity highlighted by a new Zero Waste Scotland report, released today (31 October).
In action: EDF's renewable energy-based renovation of a listed building
Between 2012 and 2015, EDF Energy embarked on an ambitious project to bring a listed 12th Century building into the 21st Century by installing onsite renewable systems to generate low-carbon heat, cooling and electricity.
Henkel bolsters its sustainable packaging strategy
German chemical and consumer goods firm Henkel has joined the corporate war on waste with a pledge to ensure consumers can recycle, reuse or compost its packaging by 2025.
'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.
Landsec partners with big-name retailers on shopping centre refill scheme
Property developer Landsec has launched a new water bottle refill scheme in its shopping centres, partnering up with a host of big-name retailers and food and beverage brands in a bid to drive customers away from single-use plastic bottles.
Coca-Cola offers 50% discounts at major UK theme parks in exchange for plastic bottles
Coca-Cola Great Britain is offering 50% discounts to UK attractions such as Thorpe Park, Alton Towers and Legoland in exchange for used plastic drinks bottles, in a bid to change consumer attitudes towards recycling.
Waste incineration set to overtake recycling in England, Greens warn
England is on the brink of burning more of its rubbish in incinerators than it recycles for the first time, according to a new analysis.
Starbucks to introduce 5p paper cup charge across all UK stores
Starbucks will add a 5p surcharge to paper cups in its 950 stores across the UK later this month, as well as vowing to eliminate single-use plastic straws from its global operations by 2020.
How close is London to achieving a circular economy?
EXCLUSIVE: A year after the launch of a route map outlining how the collective actions of the private sector could catalyse a transition to the circular economy in London, edie investigates how much progress has been made to close the loop.
MPs to examine environmental footprint of UK fashion industry
MPs are to investigate the environmental impact of throwaway "fast fashion" in the UK amid growing concerns that the multi-billion pound industry is wasting valuable resources and contributing to climate change.
C&A Foundation commits more than £1m to circular fashion innovations
C&A Foundation, the corporate foundation affiliated with global fashion retailer C&A, will invest more than £1m (€1.29m) in a string of initiatives aimed at accelerating the industry's transition to a circular economy.
VAT reductions could boost repair and reuse in ICT sector, says techUK
The Government should look to introduce VAT reductions to encourage repair, reuse and remanufacture activities in the ICT industry, according to a new report from techUK.
Ikea to ban single-use plastics, targets 'climate-positive' status under new strategy
Removing all single-use plastics products from its range globally, eliminating more greenhouse gas emissions than its value chain emits, and generating more renewables than it consumes are all headline goals of Ikea's updated People and Planet Positive strategy.
£8m compliance fees to boost electronics recycling
More than £8m generated through compliance fees from the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) will be used to fund projects that increase the reuse and recycling of electronic items, the Joint Trade Association (JTA) has confirmed.
How the circular economy is fuelling sustainable growth at Ikea
EXCLUSIVE: Ikea's aim of doubling sales by 2020 are not at odds with an embedded ambition to become more circular, according to the company's UK sustainability manager Hege Sæbjørnsen, who believes closed-loop solutions will be fundamental to future growth.
Iceland becomes first supermarket to trial in-store deposit-return system
Frozen food retailer Iceland has become the UK's first supermarket to trial an in-store deposit-return scheme in support of the Government's recently announced intention to launch a nationwide rollout of the scheme.
Reusable cup use climbs 156% at Starbucks during 5p charge trials
The number of consumers using a reusable cup in Starbucks stores located across London has shot up by 156% in just six weeks, following the introduction of a 5p paper cup charge.
Boston Tea Party becomes first coffee chain to ban all disposable cups
UK-based Boston Tea Party (BTP) will become the first coffee chain to implement an outright ban on disposable, paper-based coffee cups, with consumers having to purchase or loan reusable cups from 1 June 2018.
Plastic pledges provide gateway to circular economy, says John Lewis
The recent focus on plastic pollution has given sustainability professionals an opportunity to "reframe the narrative" on resource efficiency to move business models towards the circular economy, John Lewis's sustainability manager Ben Thomas has claimed.
Are reuse and refill missing pieces of our sustainable packaging jigsaw?
Last week the Church of England and Members of Parliament pledged to go single-use plastic-free for the 40 days of Lent, while the BBC plans to be similarly plastic-free in its operations by 2020. These are the latest (at time of writing at least) in an ever-growing list of sustainable packaging commitments being made at an almost breakneck pace.
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.
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.
Taking the lead on energy: 10 business examples of low-carbon innovation
The global energy system is undergoing a radical transition. Renewable energy costs are tumbling and new approaches to energy management such as battery storage and demand response are offering new ways for organisations to operate more sustainably.
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".
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.
Are developing nations the ideal testing ground for circular economy practices?
As UN ministers look set to create a taskforce to eradicate the 'ocean Armageddon' of plastic waste and foster growth of closed-loop systems, a new Chatham House briefing paper suggests that the circular economy would enable developing nations to "leapfrog" to more sustainable frameworks.
Ikea UK's resource-efficiency drive blossoms as revenues surge
Ikea UK has made strides to become a "truly circular retailer", with the company's annual report highlighting resource-efficiency progress and a second consecutive year of zero waste sent to landfill during a period of economic growth.
Test-bed: Driving economic growth through a remanufacturing business model
Norwegian firm Norsk Ombruk has developed an innovative business model that remanufactures kitchen and bathroom equipment to offer high-performing electronic equipment at half the cost, all while driving the economy for resource-efficient practices.
Sector insight: The state of sustainability in food and drink manufacturing
This exclusive edie Insight report explores some of the key drivers, challenges and opportunities facing sustainability in the UK's food and drink manufacturing sector.
Waste organisations prepare to tackle a horror show on Halloween
Halloween weekend is upon us, and whether people plan on carving Pennywise the Clown into pumpkins or go trick or treating as Donald Trump, the waste sector is gearing up for its own modern-day horror story.
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.
Raising the bar on sustainability: Not just “the what” you do, but “how” you do it
Sustainable business is on the rise. More and more organisations are realising that they can do well by being good to people and planet. The most recent report on sustainability performance of listed companies, from Carbon Clear, states that the transition towards more sustainable business is happening more because of carrots (demand) rather than sticks (regulation).
Global deposit return schemes
Deposit return schemes add a small deposit on to the cost of drinks which is refunded to the consumer when the container is returned. Hence, the incentive for consumers to recycle their drinks containers is much greater. Containers, such as glass, can be refilled and other such as cans can be recycled, eliminating wastage of the containers.
A circular economy does not mean a flat global economy
Achieving a truly circular economy is an ambitious yet realistic concept, and something that will require input from governments, businesses and people across the world to bring to fruition, as well as a broad change in thinking.
When it’s good to be a #ProperTosser
If there's one image that's helped to shift behaviour in the foodservice sector more than any other this year, then it is hard to think of a more effective one that that of the wretched turtle with a plastic straw up its nostril. Sometimes it takes a graphic in-your-face picture to make people sit up, think and act.