The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics
The circular economy is gaining growing attention as a potential way for our society to increase prosperity, while reducing demands on finite raw materials and minimising negative externalities. Such a transition requires a systemic approach, which entails moving beyond incremental improvements to the existing model as well as developing new collaboration mechanisms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
£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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jaguar Land Rover expands its aluminium circular economy drive
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has launched the REALITY programme, an expansion on its closed-loop aluminium recycling programme that will place end-of-life materials into new high-performance JLR products.
Sector insight: The state of sustainability in manufacturing
This edie Insight report explores some of the key drivers, challenges and opportunities facing sustainability in UK manufacturing.
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.
Thinking outside the box: going circular
Many businesses now recognise the importance of moving towards a circular economy; the environmental imperatives stare us straight in the face. We cannot continue along a linear path of take, make, dispose forever, or indeed for much longer. It is simply not sustainable for the planet nor for long term value creation within business. The potential size of the prize of a more circular approach for the economy and society is also large.
M&S pioneers Neighbourly non-food redistribution scheme
Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced it will become social platform Neighbourly's first retail partner to extend its food redistribution scheme to include non-food product donations.
Scotland's circular drive reaches re-use milestone
Scotland's drive for a circular economy has reached a major milestone with today's (8 August) announcement that 100 quality-certified re-use stores are now in operation.
UPS logistics service drives resource efficiency for TerraCycle
Recycling experts TerraCycle has diverted more than 40m pounds of waste from landfills since 2012, through a partnership with global customs and logistics firm UPS that has expanded recycling programmes across the globe.
What a competition tells us about the circular economy
In July, I was privileged to be asked to join a brainstorming session with the Amsterdam Economic Board. This regional advisory body works with businesses, government agencies and knowledge institutes to sustainably enhance the prosperity and wellbeing of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, which has a population of more than 2.3 million people.
Carbon footprint of UK clothing on the rise, despite uptake in resales
The carbon footprint of clothing has climbed by 9% since 2012 in the UK, despite the amount of clothing in household residual waste falling by 50,000 tonnes in the same period, although changes to shopping habits could alleviate environmental pressures.
Brexit is happening: how can the waste industry realise the opportunities?
In recent months I have heard many people in the waste industry portray Brexit as a huge risk to their businesses. Granted, there is much uncertainty at present about the details of Brexit. But I think the industry needs to realise that Brexit is happening; adapt to this reality, and realise that it is as much an opportunity as a threat.
Retailers urged to seize growing consumer demand for electrical trade-ins
An overwhelming majority of British consumers have a desire to embrace circular business models when it comes to unwanted electrical and electronic products, according to new research from WRAP.
Leading businesses rally to place circular economy into the office workplace
A host of private sector organisations including Interserve, Lloyds Banking Group and JLL have all backed a new initiative aimed at reducing the estimated £15bn waste costs incurred by the private sector, by championing the circular economy in the workplace.
Retailer set to become the UK's largest fridge recycler
Online electricals retailer AO looks set to become the UK's largest fridge recycler, after merging with The Recycling Group (TRG) in a move expected to recycle up to 700,000 fridges annually.
A circular economy for the built environment
Circular economy concepts are being developed and trialled so fast that the Construction Products Association has created a Knowledge Resource for Circular Economy Thinking in Construction just to keep pace with the subject.
edie Energy Insights 2017
EXCLUSIVE REPORT: edie's latest report offers an insight into business energy procurement, planning and purchasing priorities from efficiencies to onsite generation.
Ikea pilots UK textile take-back scheme
The world's biggest furniture retailer Ikea has launched its first UK-based textile take-back pilot, offering consumers in Cardiff the option to hand in unwanted purchases to be reused, repaired or recycled.
Will Mrs May keep her eye on the circular prize?
Since last year's Brexit vote, the cry of "What has the EU ever done for us?" has been a popular opener in the pub for a Monty-Python-inspired recitation of the many benefits of EU membership. "OK, the freedom to live and work in Europe ... easy holidays ... millions of jobs ... access to markets... but apart from that, what has the EU ever done for us?"
Insight and inspiration - a roundup of the latest edie interviews with the experts
EXCLUSIVE: From behaviour change to smart buildings, energy security to driving efficiency at scale, we round up the latest exclusive insight and interviews with sustainability business leaders.
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
How to avoid wasting wastewater
On the 22nd of March, the world celebrated World Water Day. This year's theme was wastewater and to mark the day, UNESCO and UN-Water (the United Nations inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater related issues, including sanitation) released their annual World Water Development Report. A report entirely dedicated to wastewater; a neglected resource that has huge potential to reduce water scarcity.
A guide to effective sustainability communications
Whether it's driving engaging with employees to maximise results, with stakeholders to translate progress, or with consumers to drive awareness and brand value, getting sustainability communications right is crucial, and getting it wrong can be disastrous.
Collaboration for Impact: Insights Report
New research by Corporate Citizenship reveals that an era of collaboration is upon us. As companies aspire to achieve greater societal impact, they are moving away from traditional partnership models and seeking out new models of collaboration.
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.
Putting the O in H2O: Where is the Opportunity in water?
I've been working on Environmental Management Systems (EMS) with businesses for over 20 years. Their drivers for EMS (often legal compliance and cost savings) have led some to focus on quick-wins, typically in waste and energy.
How to win the war on waste in the UK
Many EU senior officials are now saying that the move to a circular economy is an economic and environmental necessity. As fossil fuels subsidies come to an end and the UK triggers Article 50, there is a sense of urgency to create a society where nothing is wasted to ensure we don't fall behind the rest of Europe and the world in our actions to save the planet.
Internal communication key to driving resource efficiency in fast-fashion world
Sustainability professionals working within incumbent fashion retailers need to be more closely aligned with procurement departments in order to accelerate the transition to more sustainable fashion industry.
Recycling gets its time to shine at EFRA inquiry
The food waste debate has largely revolved around methods to cut back on the amount of waste produced, and as new initiatives are introduced on a seemingly weekly basis, it's time that recycling is seen as a viable option.
Three aims mobile reuse scheme towards disadvantaged communities
Communications provider Three UK is attempting to connect disadvantaged citizens to the digital world, through a new recycling donation scheme aimed at redistributing unused mobile phones across the nation.
Online reuse hub could save universities £1m in 2017
British universities have been tasked with saving £1m this year by internally sharing resources through an online reuse scheme.
We must get behind wonky veg in the food waste war
As the food waste debate rages on, we need to leverage increased consumer interest to encourage real change in waste disposal attitudes and methods across the supply chain
MEPs bolster EU recycling and landfill targets
Members of the European Parliament's Environment Committee yesterday (24 January) moved to increase draft EU recycling and landfill targets that had been lowered by the European Commission in its re-tabled Circular Economy Package.
New Plastics Economy: Businesses support action plan to recycle 70% of global plastic packaging
A cross-sector coalition of multinational businesses have today (16 January) thrown their weight behind the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's new global action plan to recycle and re-use 70% of the world's plastic packaging.
Carbon Trust: ZERO WASTE TO LANDFILL
How your organisation can reduce its environmental impact through reuse, recycling or recovery
Sustainability Leaders Awards 2017: Meet the finalists
This report provides a unique insight into the fast- expanding green business community, summarising the businesses, initiatives, teams and individuals that have been shortlisted as finalists for edie's 2017 Sustainability Leaders Awards.
10 top tips to move from compliance to competitive edge on energy management
The energy efficiency path can be a long and winding road for businesses, but cutting through it can prove invaluable for long-term success.
Most Scottish businesses meet environmental compliance
The overwhelming majority of Scottish businesses are now following environmental regulations, the country's environment protection agency has revealed.
Britain throws away 20 Olympic swimming pools of paint a year – let’s recycle it
Despite a positive shift in attitudes about waste and recycling in recent years, there is one household product that is still being wasted in scandalous quantities: paint.
Collaboration the catalyst for circular economy adoption, say business leaders
Businesses are beginning to understand and reap the benefits of implementing circular operating models, but adoption across numerous sectors will likely flounder unless enhanced cooperation paves the way to the "collaborative economy".
TerraCycle: Recycling won't solve the waste dilemma, but consumers can
Improving economic incentives behind waste collection models and a "silent revolution" in how consumers interact with products will be essential in tackling "monumental environmental crises", all of which can be linked back to waste.
Timberland continues collaborative circular economy drive
Outdoor clothing company Timberland is ramping up its circular economy efforts as a number of innovative closed-loop models for footwear now approach the next stages of development.
Waste managers urge business to address re-use - the 'neglected child' of waste hierarchy
The business case for product re-use is being restricted by poor engagement, financial constraints and a general lack of good practice guidance, a new report from a UK resource and waste management industry body has claimed.
Furniture manufacturers urged to solve circular economy conundrum
Britain's mattress manufacturers must become advocates of the circular economy by taking the lead on producer responsibility schemes which could significantly reduce the sector's vast waste-to-landfill rates.
Wales doubles recycling rates in 10 years
Wales continues to lead the UK on waste management as new recycling figures for this year reveal that the country has doubled the amount of waste it has recycled over the past decade.
AkzoNobel unveils new paint remanufacturing centre
The world's largest paint and coatings manufacturer has unveiled an innovative not-for-profit paint remanufacturing facility in North West England, as part of the company's ambition to produce 100,000 litres of remanufactured paint by the end of 2017.
A Resourceful Future – Expanding the UK Economy
This report by SUEZ reveals that more than £9bn could be added to the UK economy by integrating circular economy principles into the country’s emerging industrial strategy.
Greening the Apple: How sustainable is the new iPhone 7?
It features a longer battery life, is more energy-efficient, and a waterproof design will prevent damaged products going straight to landfill. But the ditching of the headphone jack could itself open up an e-waste black hole. So just how sustainable is Apple's new iPhone 7?
Could a '100% recyclable' polymer drive the new plastics economy?
The developers of a packaging polymer that is both 100% recyclable and 100% biodegradable in standard waste management facilities claim the new material could help to create a much-needed circular economy for plastic packaging.
Rio 2016 Olympics: How sustainable is the greatest show on Earth?
It was dubbed a "green games for a blue planet" during the bidding process, but the event has since become shrouded in controversy, with venues contaminated with waste, waters infected with superbugs, and the host city's air quality remaining at deadly levels. So, just how 'sustainable' is the Rio 2016 Olympics?
How will Brexit impact our involvement in the Circular Economy Package?
The Circular Economy Package launched by the EU in December 2015 has many angles to it. Its main areas of focus are the use of natural resources, the manufacture and consumption of products, their disposal, recovery and reuse, as well as the markets for secondary raw materials.
General Motors turns to resource efficiency to alleviate regulatory 'perfect storm'
EXCLUSIVE: Amidst all of the political uncertainty surrounding the UK's pending departure from the European Union, General Motors' (GM) regulatory affairs and CSR manager has said that embedding closed-loop processes is enabling the company to thrive amidst an ongoing "regulatory storm".
Non-compliance with the WEEE Directive: what’s the worst that can happen?
The risk of prosecution for potential non-compliance with the WEEE Directive is often of uppermost concern to companies. In our experience, most companies will weigh up this and any associated risks against the costs associated with changing their current practices. However, many fail to recognise the opportunities that an effective compliance system offers in terms of its support for cost reduction and product innovation.
Could this new material resolve the UK's great coffee cup recycling debate?
With big coffee chains including Starbuck and Costa facing increased public scrutiny over the recyclability of paper coffee cups, could a unique recycled resin provide an answer to the war on waste?
The Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Episode 04 - Plan A progress and carbon-neutral beer
Listen to exclusive interviews with M&S's director of sustainable business Mike Barry, the new director of the Corporate Leaders Group Jill Duggan, and Heineken's director of global sustainable development Michael Dickstein in this fourth episode of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast.
Energy generation in space will 'save' the world, says Jeff Bezos
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has outlined the future for his ongoing space exploration ambitions, which could see Earth "saved" by building around-the-clock solar factories in space that would replace energy-intensive manufacturing sectors.
Why Sadiq Khan must focus on food waste to ignite London’s circular economy
This month represented the beginning of a new era as we waved goodbye to Boris Johnson and welcomed Sadiq Khan, who has given London its second Labour mayor since the post was created in 2000.
Edinburgh launches 'Remakery' to ignite re-use and repair revolution
An Edinburgh social enterprise has set up a unique re-use and repair superstore to encourage second-hand shopping and enable more people to learn key repair skills in the Scottish capital, as a way of driving a circular economy.
Veolia: energy and heat are the missing pieces of the circular economy jigsaw
EXCLUSIVE: Businesses are missing out on the benefits of taking a closed-loop approach to energy and heat consumption due to being too "hung-up" on waste-driven models, the head of circular economy at Veolia has claimed.
Are you missing opportunities to reduce your water bill?
Water should be top of mind for edie Live visitors.
Scotland 'well-prepared' to embrace disruptive circular economy business models
EXCLUSIVE: The willingness of Scotland's universities, councils and health services to embrace new initiatives based on circular economy principles has allowed disruptive innovators to gain a foothold in the UK market and expand their business.
WRAP calls on UK SMEs to take 'circular leap of faith'
Liz Goodwin, the soon-to-depart chief executive of the Government's Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), has today (8 March) provided new evidence of how the circular economy is beginning to make a big difference for small businesses across the UK.
WRAP unveils phase two of England recycling plans
The Government's Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has kick-started phase two of its collaborative, cross-industry plan to bring greater consistency to household waste and recycling collections in England.
Car industry launches free take-back scheme
The British automotive industry has launched a new take-back collection service designed to help recycle 'orphan' cars.
A Guide to Implementing Energy Savings Opportunities
Undertaking ESOS audits is intended to help businesses to identify opportunities to save energy – DECC analysis suggests that businesses could save over £250m (and 3TWh of energy) per year if they achieve just 5% of the cost-effective energy efficiency potential that audits should identify for buildings and industrial processes and modest savings on their transport energy consumption.
Veolia continues green expansion with biomass acquisition
Environmental services firm Veolia has snapped up the business and assets of Boomeco Limited, a waste wood processor and producer of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).
Helping businesses to draw the perfect circle
With the concept of the circular economy entering the mainstream, there are new opportunities on the table for the business community and for those who fund them.
Water - a sector brimming with opportunity
"The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger - but recognise the opportunity." - John F. Kennedy.
Bypass a dangerous complacency to secure future success
Much has been said about the fall back in metals prices. With mining capacity having grown and trade barriers taken apart, prices across the global market have dropped significantly in the last few years, boosting the profitability of the European tech industry - a major importer.
From utilities to mining: How Veolia has paved the way for a circular economy
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Veolia's executive vice-president Estelle Brachlianoff discussed her biggest achievements, challenges and secrets to success in a revealing on-stage interview with edie.