It’s time to turn off the tap
Greenpeace recently tweeted, 'If your bath was overflowing you wouldn't immediately reach for the mop - you'd turn off the tap'. In this instance, they were referring to the spiralling impact of single-use plastics but in truth, this statement holds true for pretty much any type of waste, as Richard Gillies explains.
Progress to tackle fishing 'ghost gear' missing best-practice leadership, report claims
Progress has been made on discarded and abandoned fishing gear in the world's oceans, but more needs to be done on the issue, a new report has been suggested.
UK's first nationwide recycling scheme for plastic six pack rings unveiled
Plastic six pack ring producer Hi-Cone has partnered with recycling firm TerraCycle to launch the UK's first national recycling scheme for the packaging.
Leon and Veolia partner to launch reverse-vending scheme in London
Restaurant chain Leon and waste management firm Veolia have collaborated to install a reverse vending machine at London King's Cross Station, in a bid to encourage consumers to recycle.
Walkers collects 500,000 crisp packets in recycling scheme
Walkers has posted the first update on its nationwide crisp packet recycling scheme, revealing that more than 500,000 packets have been collected since its launch in December 2018.
Europe's largest Coca-Cola bottler reveals progress on plastic reduction
Europe's largest independent Coca-Cola bottler used 27.6% recycled content in its plastic bottles last year - more than ten times the beverage sector's global average proportion of 2-3%.
Business giants unveil new plastics pledges after joining global Ellen MacArthur Foundation commitment
A coalition of more than 150 businesses has revealed new pledges to reduce their plastics use and waste, after joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's new Global Commitment, which was launched late last year.
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.
Brewer Anheuser-Busch agrees sustainable rice deal
American brewer Anheuser-Busch has partnered with a firm to enable sustainable rice production for use in its beverages.
UK doubles aid support for plastic recycling in developing nations
The UK has doubled the amount of financial aid it will send to developing nations to help combat plastic pollution and boost plastic recycling rates overseas.
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.
Corporates yet to take responsibility for role in the plastics crisis, report warns
Despite a fresh wave of commitments from corporates to reduce their plastic footprint or ban certain single-use items, the wider business community is still failing to accept responsibility for the plastic pollution it produces by placing the onus on consumers.
Sky partners with Ambienta to spur corporate funding for projects tackling ocean plastic
Broadcaster Sky's Ocean Ventures arm has forged a partnership with European investment fund Ambienta to help drive investment into projects targeting plastic pollution across all levels of the value chain.
Landsec launches textile take-back scheme to combat fast-fashion
Property developer Landsec is launching a fashion take-back scheme at one of the UK's largest shopping centres in a bid to encourage consumers to divert used textiles from landfill.
World's deepest waters becoming 'ultimate sink' for plastic waste
The world's deepest ocean trenches are becoming "the ultimate sink" for plastic waste, according to a study that reveals contamination of animals even in these dark, remote regions of the planet.
Circular roundtable: How can businesses accelerate the resource revolution?
Sustainability and corporate responsibility managers from a range of businesses recently gathered in London for an exclusive roundtable hosted by edie and EDF Energy, to discuss how organisations are stepping up efforts to accelerate a circular economy.
Closed-loop solution for black plastics receives £800,000 Government backing
A project aimed at creating a solution for hard-to-recycle black plastic that places recycled content into food-grade packaging has been awarded £800,000 under the UK Government's Innovate UK grant scheme, in order to bring the technology to market.
Iceland removes plastic packaging from fresh produce lines in 'greengrocer' scheme
Supermarket Iceland is trialing the removal of plastic packaging from its fruit and vegetable lines at one of its largest UK stores, in a bid to gauge whether consumers are willing to buy loose produce.
Cross-party MPs back call for nationwide ban on single-use plastics by 2025
A group of MPs from across the political spectrum have given their backing to a new draft bill on plastic pollution, which calls for all "non-essential" single-use plastics to be banned across the UK by 2025.
Business giants team up to combat plastic pollution 'leaks'
Adidas, Dow Chemical Company and McDonald's are among the 18 big-name businesses to have co-founded a new alliance aimed at creating frameworks to measure, map and reduce plastic and microplastic pollution across the globe.
Lidl's community food redistribution scheme surpasses 58,000 meals in Manchester
Since moving to donate surplus food directly from its stores to local community causes last February, Lidl has provided more than 58,000 meals to those in need in Manchester, the supermarket has revealed.
Big-name supermarkets to use innovative blast freezers in fight against food waste
Sainsbury's, Aldi and Marks and Spencer (M&S) are among a group of big-name supermarkets to back an innovative new 'blast freeze' technology which enables surplus stock to be frozen rapidly, ready for redistribution.
Hovis launches nationwide bread bag recycling scheme
British bread brand Hovis has announced a new partnership with recycling specialist TerraCycle to make it easier for its fully recyclable plastic bread bags to be correctly disposed of by households.
Government turns to blockchain to boost waste management transparency
The UK Government has unveiled plans to invest in startups which are using digital technologies like blockchain and machine learning to solve the nation's most pressing waste management issues.
Aldi launches new regional redistribution scheme in bid to slash food waste
Discount supermarket chain Aldi is set to directly donate surplus food from 24 of its UK stores to local charities after partnering with product redistribution platform Neighbourly.
Tax fashion brands to fund circular economy for garments, MPs urge
A group of MPs is calling on the UK Government to introduce policies which would see fashion brands pay a producer responsibility charge of 1p for every garment they produce, in addition to lower rates of tax for companies minimising the environmental footprint of their products.
All in or on-the-go?: Green economy reacts to Defra's deposit return scheme vision
The consultation on the UK's waste management process has sparked new debates on standardised waste collections and the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regime. But the green economy wants to go "all in" on deposit return systems.
Government unveils deposit return scheme blueprints as part of waste management revamp
The UK Government has launched a 12-week consultation to explore how a "world-leading" tax on plastic packaging, standardised waste collections across the country and varying deposit return schemes for single-use items could overhaul and modernise the national waste management system.
Investing in food waste prevention can provide financial boost for restaurants, study finds
Restaurants that actively invest in measures to reduce food waste can unlock new economic revenue streams, as a new report from a coalition of major organisations reveals that for every $1 spent on food loss prevention, restaurants can save $7 in operating costs.
Asics to host fashion recycling schemes at large-scale sporting events
Asics is set to run a garment recycling scheme across eight of the largest European running events that it sponsors, in a bid to slash its carbon footprint and encourage consumer behaviour change.
Lord Deben: Closed-loop plastic system 'perfectly possible' with revamped policy
Measures outlined in the Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS) could spur progress towards a “completely circular economy” for plastics by forcing businesses to reexamine "vested interests" and financial incentives, the Committee on Climate Change Chairman Lord Deben has argued.
Plastic budgets: Climate Change Act model could solve UK plastics crisis, MPs claim
Ahead of the Government's Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS) consultations, MPs are calling for the "urgent" introduction plastic waste legislation which follows the framework of the Climate Change Act, setting ever-stricter and legally binding recycling targets.
Chiltern Railways rolls out coffee cup recycling scheme across all its stations
Train operator Chiltern Railways has rolled out a coffee cup recycling scheme across its entire estate of 32 UK stations, after forging a partnership with waste solutions provider Simply Cups.
Plastic waste: UK should not pass buck to world's poorest, say MPs
A cross-party group of MPs is calling for a ban on the export of plastic waste over concerns the UK is passing the buck to the world's poorest people to clean up its rubbish.
Eurostar turns to phase-outs and recycled content to lower plastics footprint
High-speed rail service Eurostar will phase-out plastic water bottles from its business lounges during 2019, in a move that will reduce the organisation's plastics footprint by more than 100,000 bottles annually.
Waste management crisis: Officials warn of putrefying piles of rubbish after no-deal Brexit
Government officials are preparing to deal with "putrefying stockpiles" of rubbish in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to documents leaked to the Guardian.
Sustainable snow days: How remote working can reduce environmental impacts for business
As the first snow of 2019 starts to fall across large parts of the UK, many of us will be working from home more than usual. With this in mind, edie outlines how remote working is can help businesses reduce their carbon, energy and waste footprints.
Adidas to double production of ocean plastic trainers in 2019
Sportswear giant Adidas has confirmed that it will produce more than twice as many pairs of trainers made using ocean plastic this year than it did in 2018, as consumer demand for products and packaging free from virgin plastic grows.
Scotland's first coffee cup recycling scheme launched in Glasgow
Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful has launched what it claims is the nation's first coffee cup recycling initiative in Glasgow, where 95 million disposable cups are used annually.
M&S rolls out in-store take-back scheme for hard-to-recycle plastics
Retail giant Marks & Spencer (M&S) has pledged to install take-back bins for hard-to-recycle plastics across the UK by the end of the year, after launching a new plastics recycling scheme this week.
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.
In numbers: The global extent of marine plastic pollution
New research into the extent of the world's plastics pollution problem, which lays bare the environmental consequences of plastic waste entering oceans and waterways, has just been published. Here, edie rounds up the key facts and figures.
KFC pledges to remove all single-use plastic packaging by 2025
Fast food chain KFC has pledged to remove all single-use plastic items from its range of consumer-facing packaging by 2025, in a bid to minimise its waste output.
Davos 2019: Circular economy opportunities and everything else you may have missed
Over the past few days, sustainability professionals have been bombarded with reports and announcements as more than 3,000 business leaders, policymakers, thought leaders and Matt Damon gathered in Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF). This round-up highlights the key talking points that you need to know.
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.
'A 1.5C world is circular': Nations urged to drive resource productivity to reach climate goals
A new report released today (22 January) at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos has outlined the urgent need for nations to "wake up to the potential" of the circular economy in order to push the world towards the Paris Agreement's more ambitious pathway.
Enel and Hewlett Packard Enterprise join CE100 to accelerate closed-loop transition
Enel Group and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) have become the latest corporate members of Circular Economy 100 (CE100), the innovation platform launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to accelerate closed-loop ambitions.
Top 10 tips to eliminate single-use plastics from your business
During a plastic-themed webinar late last week, representatives from Sky, Cranswick, Aquafil and A Plastic Planet gave their advice for professionals looking to eliminate single-use plastics from their organisations. Here, edie rounds up their key takeaways.
Available to watch on demand: edie's single-use plastics business transformation webinar
Sustainability professionals seeking insight on reducing and eliminating single-use plastics can now watch a free webinar that took place Thursday 17 January at 2pm, featuring expert speakers from A Plastic Planet, Sky and Cranswick.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Advancing the plastics debate with Waitrose and Co-op
As part of a week of action on single-use plastics and the launch of edie's Plastics Hub, the Sustainable Business Covered podcast returns for 2019 with exclusive, plastic-focused interviews with sustainability experts at the Co-op, Surfers Against Sewage and Waitrose.
M&S removes plastic packaging and 'best-before' dates from produce
Retail giant Marks & Spencer (M&S) has begun trialling dozens of plastic-free fruit and vegetable lines without 'best-before' date stickers, in a bid to reduce consumer packaging and food waste outputs.
Lord Deben: Corporate action on plastic to 'evolve' beyond packaging
EXCLUSIVE: After two years of awareness-building and action on packaging sustainability, businesses must now approach the plastic waste crisis as a whole-systems issue, Committee on Climate Change (CCC) chairman Lord Deben has argued.
edie opens applications for 'Plastics Thinkathon' at Sustainability Leaders Forum
Sustainability, energy and resource efficiency professionals are being called upon to help businesses collectively solve the problem of plastics pollution by taking part in a unique 'Plastics Thinkathon' on the sidelines of edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum in London next month.
Business giants commit $1bn to launch Alliance to End Plastic Waste
Major companies from across the plastics value chain, including Procter & Gamble (P&G), Veolia and ExxonMobil, have today (16 January) committed more than $1bn (£777m) as part of a new alliance aimed at eliminating plastic waste in the environment.
Ocean Rescue: How Sky's plastics campaign has ignited a wave of transformation
EXCLUSIVE: Two years on from the launch of its global campaign to educate and inspire the public and businesses to phase-out single-use plastics, Sky's head of Sky Ocean Rescue Fiona Ball sits down with edie to discuss the transformational impacts the project has had both inside and outside of the company.
UK's first national recycling scheme launched for contact lenses
Consumer goods giant Johnson & Johnson has teamed up with Boots Opticians and recycling firm Terracycle to launch the first UK-wide recycling scheme for contact lenses and their packaging.
edie launches Mission Possible Plastics Hub to help businesses solve plastic pollution
edie has today (15 January) launched the Mission Possible Plastics Hub - a brand-new, content-driven campaign that will support sustainability and resource efficiency professionals on our collective mission to eliminate single-use plastics.
Are brands ready to turn their plastics ambitions into actions?
Like plastics, talk is cheap. The world's largest businesses are continuously committing to various plastic phase-outs, but the time is now to move the dial and turn ambitions into action - and edie is here to help.
A Plastic Planet: Businesses must do more than recycle to stay relevant
EXCLUSIVE: In an era of unprecedented consumer demand for plastic-free packaging and products, companies making their offerings recyclable are no longer doing enough - they must radically transform their business models to stay relevant and retain consumer trust.
Lush to open UK's first plastic-free cosmetics store in Manchester
Health and beauty brand Lush has unveiled plans to open its first plastic-free shop in the UK this week, following the success of its 'naked' stores in Germany and Italy.
Defra launches £5m food redistribution scheme to help businesses slash waste
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has today (11 January) launched a new £5m scheme aimed at helping UK businesses to redistribute surplus food and minimise their food waste outputs.
Crunch time for crisp makers as EU waste targets loom
The European Commission has set an EU-wide objective for all packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2030. But crisp packets are a particular headache for policymakers and the recycling industry because they are so small and lightweight.
Canary Wharf Group launches AI-based app to help spur plastics action
London-based property giant Canary Wharf Group (CWG) has launched a smartphone app which uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to encourage visitors to its estate to minimise their plastic waste footprint.
How can we turn the Blue Planet effect into impactful behaviour change?
In the UK, we have seen a growing public debate about the impact our lives have on the environment largely driven by the debate on single-use plastics, but how can we turn this awareness into impactful behaviour change?
Swindon eyes up ground-breaking facility that recycles 'all plastic'
Swindon Borough Council has today (7 January) announced that it is working on plans to deliver an advanced recycling facility for practically all plastics, including crisp packets and plastic film.
Iceland collects more than 300,000 plastic bottles in reverse vending trial
Frozen food retailer Iceland has unveiled the results of its trial of an in-store deposit return scheme for plastic bottles, revealing that the scheme has captured more than 300,000 bottles since its launch in May 2018.
Sky and Cranswick confirmed for edie's single-use plastics webinar
edie is bringing together a selection of leading retailers, manufacturers and circular economy experts for a special one-hour webinar taking place on Thursday 17 January to discuss how business can collaborate, innovate and actuate to eliminate single-use plastics.
Food waste chief to target 'scandal' of 250 million binned UK meals
The Government has appointed a food waste champion to tackle the problem of 250 million meals being thrown away in the UK each year.
From puddings to packaging: Inside the UK's Christmas waste problem
It's the most wonderful time of the year - and also one of the most wasteful. With Christmas less than a week away, edie rounds-up some of the most shocking sustainability statistics of the festive season.
WRAP: UK fashion industry moving quickly to improve environmental footprint of clothing
The UK's fashion industry is moving at a pace to reduce carbon emissions and water waste within its supply chains, although far slower progress is being made on research efficiency, new research from WRAP has concluded.
Ribena to launch lightweight bottles made from 100% recycled plastic
Soft drinks firm Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS) is set to launch a lightweight redesign of its Ribena bottles in the new year, in a bid to further reduce its plastic output.
Resources and Waste Strategy: Green business community reacts
In the newly-launched Resources and Waste Strategy, Defra has pledged to make producers pay for the full costs of recycling or disposing the packaging they produce. But how has this commitment, alongside the Strategy's other key measures, been met by members of the green community?
Waitrose targets glitter phase-out by 2020
Waitrose has pledged to phase out glitter from its own-label cards, wrap, crackers, tags, flowers and plants, as part of plans to reduce the impact of plastics on the environment.
Supermarket shoppers urged to serve 'wonky' Christmas dinner
Supermarkets have increased their efforts to reduce the national food waste mountain at Christmas by offering shoppers edible produce nearing the end of its shelf life, as well as "wonky" sprouts, carrots and parsnips.
Landsec leads industry-wide coffee cup recycling scheme
Property developer Landsec has joined forces with a group of national coffee retailers including Costa Coffee to "dramatically" increase the amount of coffee cups recycled in the UK.
Danone partners with Ecosurety to reduce reliance on export packaging recovery notes
Consumer goods giant Danone's UK arm has partnered with waste compliance organisation Ecosurety in a bid to improve the nation's recycling infrastructure and boost transparency around its resource and waste management efforts.
England stays in 'doldrums' as recycling rates inch forward
England's household recycling rates have increased by 0.3% to 45.2% in 2017, the latest Government statistics have revealed.
Aldi switches to 100% recyclable pizza discs
Discount supermarket Aldi has introduced fully recyclable pizza discs across its entire range, as part of the supermarket's aim to ensure all own-label product packaging is 100% recyclable by 2022.
Costa: PRN reform, not latte levy, needed to tackle coffee cup waste
A reform to the UK's Producer Responsibility Obligation (PRO) framework and Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) system would accelerate the shift to a circular economy more effectively than a 'latte levy', Costa's energy & environment manager Oliver Rosevear has claimed.
UK's first national crisp packet recycling scheme launched by Walkers
The UK’s largest crisp brand has this week launched a UK-wide crisp packet recycling scheme, after partnering with TerraCycle to develop a recycling solution for the packaging.
Hubbub to launch third waste-cleaning boat as part of UK 'plastic fishing' tour
Environmental charity Hubbub has unveiled plans to launch its third waste-cleaning boat made from recycled plastic, after partnering with media giant Mirror Group to launch a nationwide "plastic fishing" tour.
Confectionary giant strengthens packaging commitments
The snack manufacturing company behind brands such as McVitie's and Jacob's has today (7 December) joined WRAP's UK Plastics Pact, committing itself to making all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
Government pledges £60m to spur development of bioplastic innovations
The UK Government has today (5 December) unveiled plans to invest £60m in projects aimed at developing closed-loop bioplastics made from industrial or post-consumer food waste.
How Kellogg Europe is targeting a sector-wide shift to sustainable packaging
EXCLUSIVE: As consumer and investor demand for sustainable packaging rises, companies within the global food and drink sector must co-create solutions to resource efficiency and recycling infrastructure challenges with their competitors, consumers and supply chains.
Maximising the power of Energy-from-Waste: edie launches free business guide
Organisations seeking to capitalise on the sustainability benefits offered by Energy-from-Waste (EfW) now have access to a new edie Explains guide which breaks down everything you need to know about deploying EfW solutions across business operations.
Coca-Cola European Partners inks deal to purchase 100% recycled PET
Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has entered a supply agreement with Loop Industries to purchase 100% recycled PET (rPET) plastic to boost the use of recycled materials in its bottles.
Costa launches reusable coffee cup with contactless payment technology
On-the-go food and drink giant Costa Coffee is stocking a reusable coffee cup with a contactless payment chip across its UK stores, in a bid to incentivise customers to reduce their takeaway cup consumption.
High-street fashion giants urge viscose suppliers to bolster sustainability
A group of big-name fashion retailers including H&M, ASOS and Inditex are urging their suppliers to take ambitious action to make their viscose processing methods more sustainable, after an investigation found that many were dumping toxic wastewater in waterways and fisheries.
In numbers: The growing consumer demand for sustainable packaging
A new survey of 7,000 consumers across seven European markets garnering their views on plastic packaging, packaging recyclability and related green policies has been published. Here, edie rounds up the key facts and figures.
Merlin Entertainments begins single-use plastic phase out, starting with straws
The Legolands, Sea Life and Madame Tussauds operator has launched a review into the sale and distribution of single-use plastic items across its global estate, pledging a removal of plastic straws from its operations by the end of 2018.
Report: Tyres and synthetic clothes 'big cause of microplastic pollution'
Vehicle tyres and synthetic clothing are the two leading contributors to microplastic pollution from UK households, according to a new report from Friends of the Earth.
UK businesses target resource productivity through 'waste to wealth' commitment
A group of more than 40 major businesses including Unilever, Sky, Iceland and PwC have signed a new "waste to wealth" commitment that aims to double the UK's resource productivity by 2030.
Business transparency needed to help consumers overcome the 'plastics fear'
Coca-Cola's new European sustainability director believes that honest and transparent conversations will help businesses change consumer perceptions on the use of plastics, which in turn will catalyse a movement towards a "world without waste".
Tetra Pak partners with Veolia to improve recyclability of beverage carton components
Packaging giant Tetra Pak has partnered with global resource and waste management firm Veolia to develop technologies and infrastructure that will enable all components of beverage cartons to be recycled within the European Union (EU).
Plastics Pact Roadmap unveiled as campaigners condemn high-street plastic action
A roadmap to help UK businesses tackle the global plastic waste problem has been published, on the same day that research has claimed that British supermarkets are still not doing enough to reduce their plastic footprint.
The challenges have been set, now business must rise to them
In the food business, Mission Possible should really be 'Mission Necessary'. We'll have to feed nearly 10 billion people by 2050. And we'll have to do so without destroying the natural resources on which food production depends.
Retailers to pay up to £1bn for recycling under waste strategy
Supermarkets, retailers and major drinks brands are set to pay tens of millions of pounds more towards recycling their used packaging under the government's new waste strategy expected to be published this month, the Guardian understands.
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.
University of Leeds unveils plan to become 'plastic-free' by 2023
The University of Leeds and Leeds University Union have pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic items, including coffee cups, disposable cutlery and straws, from their operations by 2023.
Princes stops using export packaging recovery notes
Food and drinks giant Princes has funnelled around £750,000 into projects improving the UK's recycling infrastructure since the start of 2018, after refusing to use export packaging recovery notes (PRNs).