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.
'Burnt and dumped': Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Unilever and Nestlé plastics waste fuelling climate change
Four of the world's largest users of plastic packaging - Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Unilever and Nestlé - are responsible for half a million tonnes of plastic pollution that are burnt or dumped each year in six developing countries, creating emissions equivalent to adding two million cars onto roads.
Mondelez signs up to UK Plastics Pact and Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Global Commitment
Global chocolate producer Mondelēz International, which owns brands including Cadbury and Dairy Milk has signed up to two major initiatives to tackle plastics waste in the UK and globally.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: A circular economy road trip
For episode 83 of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast, the edie team brings you four exclusive interviews with businesses innovating to bring about truly circular models - Elvis & Kresse, Teemill, Mulberry and Young Planet.
Patagonia and Surfdome trial removal of plastic polybags for clothes
Online sports retailer Surfdome has partnered with outdoor clothing firm Patagonia to trial the removal of plastic polybags from clothes orders in a way that doesn't impact product quality or generate an increase in lifecycle carbon emissions.
WRAP issues new guidance to target 3.6m tonnes of food wasted at farm level
WRAP has issued new guidance to help farmers and growers reduce the 3.6 million tonnes of food wasted on farms each year.
Houses and businesses connect to low-carbon heating network in Leeds
Households and businesses in Leeds are set to benefit from reduced energy bills and carbon emissions after being connected to a £36m district heating network that connects to the city's Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF).
McDonald's to ditch plastic Happy Meal toys
McDonald's UK and Ireland will remove plastic toys from its Happy Meals in 2021, after customers campaigned for plastic-free alternatives.
Biffa to halve emissions and quadruple plastics recycling under new strategy
Waste management firm Biffa has announced a new sustainability strategy that will aim to quadruple the group's plastics recycling capacity and halve its emissions by 2030.
MPs relaunch probe into the UK's electronic waste mountain
The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has re-launched its inquiry into how policymakers, businesses and the public can collaborate to tackle electronic waste - the world's fastest-growing domestic waste stream.
Starbucks trials compostable paper cups, places ban on reusables due to coronavirus
Starbucks has announced it will trial the use of recyclable and compostable paper cups in the UK, but has placed a ban on customers using personal re-usable cups due to concerns over the coronavirus.
University of Gloucestershire ditches paper in favour of digital-only prospectuses
The University of Gloucestershire has made the decision to end the production of printed prospectuses for students and will now only offer digital versions in a bid to reduce resource consumption.
Lifecycle approach required: Government's plastics policies could triple UK packaging emissions
The UK Government's ban on unnecessary single-use plastics could inadvertently triple the carbon emissions associated with packaging, unless policies are introduced to prioritise an "overall need to use less material" and to improve the energy efficiency associated with material production and recycling.
Danone Waters closes in on 100% recycled plastic and carbon-neutral goals in the UK
Danone has announced that Evian bottles will be made using 100% recycled plastics in the UK, while also achieving carbon neutrality in the UK for Evian and Volvic brands.
Ball Corporation achieves ASI certification and meets 100% renewables target
Aluminium packaging manufacturer Ball Corporation has been certified to Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) standards for environmental, social and governance impacts, while also revealing it is powering its operations in the UK, European Union (EU) and Serbia with 100% renewable electricity.
In numbers: The public's attitudes to plastics recycling and plastic-free packaging
As WRAP launches a new public awareness campaign on the recyclability and reusability of plastic packaging, edie explores the key behavioural barriers hampering a potentially circular economy for the material.
Plastic Leak Project launched to measure plastic pollution across corporate value chains
A new science-based metric has been produced by a range of public, private and scientific stakeholders that will enable businesses to conduct plastic leakage assessments to identify hotspot areas to combat the amount of plastic seeping into the natural environment.
Just Eat trials plastic-free takeaway boxes lined with seaweed
Just Eat will trial compostable takeaway boxes lined with seaweed at select London restaurants, a move which will prevent around 3,600 plastic boxes from entering the waste stream.
Andrex wet wipes certified as 'fine to flush' by Water UK
British toiletries brand Andrex has today (27 February) announced that its washlet wipes range has achieved Water UK's 'Fine to Flush' certification, which symbolises that flushing them won't contribute to damage to UK sewers.
Arsenal saves half a million single-use plastic cups from landfill
Friends of the Earth has called on sporting venues across the UK to promote reusable cup use, after Arsenal FC revealed that a scheme introduced at the Emirates Stadium has prevented more than half a million single-use plastic cups from being discarded.
McDonald's and Starbucks back 'smart' reusable cup trials in California
The cities of San Francisco and Palo Alto are set to trial "smart" reusable cup systems developed with support from McDonald's and Starbucks, in a bid to reduce the amount of single-use coffee cups that are being sent to landfill.
Why 2020 is the year of the collaborative circular economy
"The moment of crisis has come. We can no longer prevaricate." Naturalist and veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough pulled no punches in a recent BBC interview. If we are to keep global warming below 1.5C, greenhouse gas emissions must almost halve by 2030.
BrewDog to upcycle and trade used cans for company equity
Craft beer firm BrewDog has unveiled a new sustainability action plan that will allow consumers to trade in beer cans for upcycling and recycling in exchange for an equity stake in the company.
Government unveils fresh funding for business fight against food waste
The UK Government has announced a new £1.15m funding pot for businesses and non-profits aiming to reduce food waste in households and supply chains through behaviour change.
UK Government's 'gold standard' Environment Bill reintroduced
The UK Government's long-awaited Environment Bill has finally been reintroduced to Parliament, outlining powers to stop the exports of plastic waste to developing countries, and revamped governance systems on clean air and biodiversity and two-yearly reviews to update the Bill if required.
From measurement to action: Five best-practice lessons on going plastic-free
Having taken place on 16 January, edie's Plastic-Free Power Hour webinar included a collection of best-practice examples of sector-leading organisations taking control of their plastics-use - and delivering real organisational change. Here, we reflect on the key takeaways from the session.
Glasgow to phase-out single-use plastics within two years
Glasgow City Council has approved new measured to reduce plastic use across the local area, headlined by a commitment to phase-out single-use items by 2022.
Fishing for Plastic: Asda helps seafood suppliers collect ocean plastic pollution
Asda has unveiled plans to equip all of its seafood suppliers' boats with equipment that will enable workers to collect plastic pollution while bringing in the catch.
Bold targets and lifecycle assessments: Experts outline key drivers to combat single-use plastics
Sustainability experts from Sky, Surfdome and Nestlé have outlined how bold aspirations that target problematic plastics through the broader view of climate change can help spur the private sector towards a circular economy.
Businesses not examining carbon impact of plastics alternatives, edie survey finds
An edie survey of almost 300 sustainability and resource professionals has found that almost 50% of businesses haven't examined the carbon impact of single-use plastics alternatives, amidst growing calls for businesses to intertwine actions on plastics and climate change.
Spurring collaboration and collective action to create a waste-free future
In a viewpoint for edie's Single-use plastics: The 2020 roadmap for sustainable business report, Nestlé UK & Ireland's head of sustainability Anna Turrell explores the collective actions required by businesses to deliver a closed-loop future.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: edie and Nestlé's plastics deep dive
The Sustainable Business Covered podcast returns for 2020, with edie bringing you exclusive interviews with Sky, Tideway, the University of Leeds and episode sponsors Nestlé for an episode dedicated to tackling single-use plastics.
Available on-demand: Watch all three sessions of edie's single-use plastics online event
Sustainability experts from Sky, Nestlé, Eurostar, Canary Wharf Group and Surfdome all discussed the role of businesses in collaborating, innovating and actuate to eliminate single-use plastics, as part of an online event that is now available to watch on-demand.
Nestlé commits £1.6bn to food-grade recycled plastics, pledges to cut virgin plastics use by a third
Food and beverage giant Nestlé has committed £1.59bn to source food-grade recycled plastics to be used in its packaging, alongside a pledge to cut the amount of virgin plastics it sources by a third.
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.
edie launches best-practice guide for businesses tackling single-use plastics
edie has launched a new report, sponsored by Nestlé, that outlines the steps businesses can and should take to identify, reduce, replace and eliminate single-use plastics from their operations, supply chains and products and services.
Single-use plastics: The 2020 roadmap for sustainable business
It’s been one of the biggest sustainable business issues of the past decade: tackling the scourge of single-use plastics. In 2018-19, the so-called “Attenborough effect” gave this issue the mainstream attention it deserved, and thousands of businesses duly began to ramp up their efforts to eliminate single- use plastics from their operations and the supply chain.
Colgate launches recyclable plastic toothpaste tube
Colgate Palmolive has launched a new vegan-friendly toothpaste range packaged in a first-of-its-kind recyclable plastic tube, with the technology set to be shared with competitor brands.
Breaking the single-use cycle
With the welcoming in of the New Year humanity has entered the final decade where there is still time left to take meaningful action and undo the environmental damage caused by our consumerist habits.
Naked products and take-back schemes: How are businesses designing their way out of single-use plastics?
To mark edie's Plastics Week of content dedicated to helping businesses design their way out of single-use plastics, this round-up features the innovative ways that business giants have started to turn the tide on plastics waste.
Pragmatism and pouch recycling: How Little Freddie is navigating the war on plastics as a challenger brand
EXCLUSIVE: With action on plastics packaging from governments and big businesses proving too slow for the public's liking, there is an opportunity for challenger brands to act more rapidly.
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.
Viridor and phs agree deal to generate power from nappies and sanitary products
Waste management company Viridor has inked a new multi-million-pound contract with washroom services firm phs Group, that will divert non-recyclable hygiene waste such as nappies and sanitary products from landfill to be used for power generation.
Veolia joins business 'Roadmap' striving to halve food waste
Veolia has become the first recycling and waste company to join WRAP's Food Waste Reduction Roadmap - a cross-industry programme aiming to halve food waste by 2030.
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.
Single-use plastics: Two weeks left to register for free online event
Registration is now open for an afternoon of live, interactive webinar presentations and discussions from companies such as Eurostar, Nestlé and Sky on Thursday 16 January - all dedicated to helping businesses collaborate, innovate and actuate to eliminate single-use plastics.
Co-op targets 100% recyclable packaging by summer 2020
The Co-op has moved the deadline for ensuring that 100% of the packaging on its own-brand lines is easy-to-recycle forward from 2023 to summer 2020.
Kroger revamps action plan to eliminate food waste by 2025
US retail giant Kroger has unveiled new steps to eliminate food waste across its company by 2025 by prioritising food donations and technological innovations to drive action through a Zero Hunger, Zero Waste initiative.
In numbers: Why Christmas is the most wasteful time of the year
Christmas is said to be the most wonderful time of the year - but it's certainly the most wasteful. As the big day approaches, edie rounds up some of the most shocking resources and waste statistics of the 2019 festive season.
UK Plastics Pact 'set to eliminate one billion unnecessary single-use items'
Business signatories to WRAP's UK Plastics Pact are set to distribute one billion fewer pieces of "problematic" and unnecessary single-use plastic in 2020 than they did in 2018.
Mars and Nestle spearhead chemicals recycling scheme for plastics
Mars and Nestlé have teamed up with packaging solutions firm Citeo, energy giant Total and recycling technology provider Recycling Technologies to develop an industrial chemical recycling process for plastic packaging in France.
Hilton launches soap recycling initiative across UK hotels
Hilton is launching the largest UK initiative to recycle used soap and distribute 700,000 new bars to communities in need.
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.
Report: Carpet experiencing lower UK recycling and reuse rates than plastics
Green campaign groups are calling on the UK Government to implement stronger circular economy requirements around carpets, after research concluded that just 2% of the 130,000 tonnes sent to the industry's recycling body annually are recycled.
Nestlé, Walmart and Borealis sign up to Ellen MacArthur Foundation's global plastics commitment
The world's largest food company, Nestlé, and the world's largest retailer, Walmart, have joined chemicals company Borealis in becoming Core Partners to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy.
Whitbread to remove 'unnecessary' single-use plastics from premises by 2025
Hospitality firm Whitbread has pledged to rid all 800 of its UK hotels and restaurants of unnecessary single-use plastics by 2025, and has called on other UK firms to do the same.
Coca-Cola to replace plastic shrink wrap with paper packaging across Europe
Coca-Cola and its European bottling partners will remove shrink wrap from its can multipacks, to be replaced with a €15m (£12.8m) investment into a paper-based packaging solution by the end of 2021.
Progress over perfection: Can McDonald's design its way out of single-use plastics?
McDonald's vice president of global sustainability Keith Kenny has claimed that the consumer-facing business needs to couple lifecycle analysis of its packaging with consumer demands in order to phase-out plastics in a secure way and without impacting customer experience.
McDonald's ditches plastic McFlurry and drinks lids across Europe
McDonald's has announced a range of new trials and pilots to remove single-use plastics and improve recyclability, including the removal of plastic McFlurry lids across Europe, the introduction of renewable fibre lids in France and a toy take-back scheme in the UK.
High-street chains sign up to refill pilot to reduce single-use plastic packaging
A host of high-street food and drink retailers, including LEON, Asda, Waitrose and Costa have joined a new pilot offering refillable options for commodities such as water, coffee, groceries and toiletries, in a bid to cut down on the amount of single-use plastic purchased by consumers.
Circular economy 'number one priority' of European Green Deal and net-zero ambitions
The circular economy, including new waste and recycling laws, will represent "half" of the EU's effort to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and will be erected as "the number one priority" of the upcoming European Green Deal, officials have said.
Just Eat and Unilever brand Hellmann's to reduce plastics through seaweed sachet trials
Just Eat has partnered with Unilever brand Hellmann's to trial sauce sachets made of seaweed in an attempt to reduce single-use plastics.
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.
WRAP: Supermarkets must combat £14.9bn of food wasted in homes annually
WRAP has urged major food retailers to improve their packaging and make labelling less confusing for UK customers, who last year binned £14.9bn worth of groceries at home.
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.
Stella McCartney's fur-free fur and flying taxis: The top 10 green innovations of October 2019
Each month, numerous eye-catching and potentially transformational innovations that could help businesses and nations deliver on resource efficiency, low-carbon transitions and combat climate change emerge. Here, edie rounds-up nine of the best.
Marston's to remove 500,000 plastic bottles from inns by end of the year
Pub chain Marston's has committed to removing its annual use of almost 500,000 plastic bottles from its 60 inns by the end of 2019.
Beverage giants' pledge to recycle every plastic bottle they produce slammed as 'cowardly'
Green campaigners have criticised a new joint commitment from Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Keurig Dr Pepper to recycle the equivalent of one plastic bottle for every one they put on the US market.
Redesign, collaborate and collect: Inside Coca-Cola European Partner's plastics strategy
EXCLUSIVE: Coca-Cola European Partners' (CCEP) vice president of sustainability, Joe Franses, looks across the company's four-pillar sustainable packaging roadmap to outline how collection, redesign and removal can ensure that all its packaging is collected and reused.
Asda and Ella's Kitchen's baby food pouch recycling scheme goes national after trial success
Baby food brand Ella's Kitchen has unveiled plans to roll out its recycling scheme for packaging which isn't collected at kerbsides nationally, after a successful trial with Asda and TerraCycle.
Henkel invests in recycling innovation for flexible plastics packaging
Consumer goods giant Henkel has invested in a startup that has developed a recycling technology for flexible plastics packaging which contains aluminium foil, such as crisp packets, juice pouches and single-use toiletry sachets.
O2 recycles three million mobile devices in a decade
Telecoms company O2 has received more than three million devices as part of a trade-in scheme to boost the recyclability of smartphones, a move that has stopped more than 450 tonnes of phone-related waste from going to landfill.
Danone partners with The Ocean Cleanup Project to remove plastic pollution from rivers
Evian, through its parent company Danone, has forged a partnership with Dutch startup The Ocean Cleanup Project in order to develop and scale up innovations aimed at "catching" and removing plastic debris from rivers and waterways.
BP invests £19.5m in innovative pilot plant for 'unrecyclable' plastics
BP's Petrochemicals arm has unveiled plans for a multi-million dollar investment in an innovative recycling technology designed to create a second life for "previously unrecyclable" packaging.
P&G to more than double recycled plastic content for home cleaning brands in Europe
Procter & Gamble (P&G) has announced it will more than double the amount of recycled plastic used in its packaging for domestic cleaning brands such as Fairy and Flash in Europe by 2020.
Business giants making 'promising' progress in tackling plastic waste
Over the last 12 months, some of the world's biggest businesses have made "promising" progress in efforts to eliminate single-use plastics and transition to a circular economy, according to a new report which revealed that pledges to increase recycled plastic in packaging have grown five-fold.
Huggies to eliminate plastics from baby wipes and packaging
Kimberly-Clark-owned brand Huggies has pledged to eliminate plastics from its baby wipe range in the UK over the next five years and launch a portfolio next year that will allow consumers to return packaging to supermarkets to be recycled.
SC Johnson to improve recycling infrastructure in developing nation to combat ocean plastics
SC Johnson has partnered with economic development firm Plastic Bank to upscale access to recycling infrastructure in developing regions and leverage blockchain technology to stop plastic waste from entering into oceans while improving economic and social outlooks for communities.
Selfridges switches from plastics to compostable for Christmas food packaging
Selfridges is removing plastic packaging across its own brand range of Christmas food, switching to home compostable alternatives for 90,000 mince pies and 3,000 Christmas cakes.
UK retailers to generate 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste from Halloween costumes
Halloween costumes sold by UK retailers are set to generate more than 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste, equivalent by weight to 83 million bottles, according to new research from environmental charity Hubbub.
Paper Bottle Community: Is this the beginning of the end for the single-use plastic bottle?
EXCLUSIVE: Following the launch of Carlsberg's paper bottle prototypes, edie explores how Coca-Cola, The Absolut Company and L'Oréal are joining the brewer to scale-up paper-based solutions that replace or rival single-use plastic bottles.
Pret-A-Manger: We can't greenwash our way out of the war on plastics
EXCLUSIVE: As consumers continue to push hard for food-to-go brands like Pret-A-Manger to ditch plastic packaging altogether, the firm's global director of strategy & sustainability has urged the sector to avoid "over-simplified" announcements or token phase-outs.
Paper beer bottles: Carlsberg's bio-based packaging to be shared with corporate giants
EXCLUSIVE: Danish brewer Carlsberg has unveiled prototypes of the world's first beer bottles made from recyclable and bio-based materials, with the company's sustainability director claiming that the innovation could have "endless impact" if upscaled collaboratively by corporates including Coca-Cola and L'Oreal.
DS Smith to expand coffee cup recycling scheme following UK success
British packaging giant DS Smith has confirmed plans to launch its coffee cup recycling scheme in the Netherlands, following its success in the UK.
PepsiCo prices $1bn green bond to assist with plastics phase-out
PepsiCo has priced its first ever green bond at $1bn, which will be used to fund initiatives to reduce plastic content in packaging, improve supply chain engagement and management and boost water stewardship.
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.
Unilever to halve use of virgin plastic and collect more plastic packaging than it sells by 2025
Unilever has announced it will halve its use of virgin plastic by 2025 by reducing plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes, increasing the amount of recycled plastics it uses and collecting and processing more plastic packaging than it sells.
Social media advertising fuelling teenagers' unused 'trainer mountain'
Charity Global Action Plan (GAP) has found that UK teenagers own 58 million trainers, almost 30% of which remain unused, with a new study claiming that purchasing habits are a symptom of targeted digital and social media advertising.
Coca-Cola unveils drinks bottle made from recycled ocean plastics
Coca-Cola has unveiled sample bottles consisting of 25% recycled marine plastics, as the company ramps up efforts to improve the recyclability and collection of its products in Western Europe.
Dulux Trade and Veolia partner to launch 35% recycled paint
Paint manufacturer Dulux Trade has launched a new partnership with Veolia UK to offer a new matt emulsion made from 35% recycled paint, which also produces 10% lower carbon emissions per litre.
Turning the Resources and Waste Strategy from ambition into action
Now the industry has had time to reflect on the Resources & Waste Strategy, the consensus seems to be that it is pretty fair and addresses most of the major issues. While much detail is yet to be painted, the Strategy undoubtably provides welcome clarity on the direction of travel.
Pret extends shop floor cup recycling scheme to 350 UK stores
Pret has announced the expansion of its in-store coffee cup recycling scheme to more than 350 UK stores, following successful pilots in London, Leeds and Glasgow.
SC Johnson on track to make all plastic packaging closed-loop by 2025
US-based consumer goods firm SC Johnson's latest sustainability report has revealed the company is on target to meet its 2025 targets for plastic and recycling, Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy, with 94% of the firm's plastic packaging now recycle, reusable or compostable.
Meet edie's 30 Under 30 class of 2019: Matt Manning, Dixons Carphone
This new series profiles the members of edie's 30 Under 30 - a nomination-based community of 30 hugely talented young sustainability and energy professionals who have already achieved great things or are showing fantastic promise. Next up: Matt Manning, compliance & recycling operations manager at Dixons Carphone.
Net-zero not possible without circular economy, Ellen MacArthur Foundation finds
Focusing on decarbonising the energy sector alone will not put the world within touching distance of a net-zero carbon economy, according to a new report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation which claims that the transition to a circular economy is also vital.
Recycle Week 2019: The state of UK household recycling in 8 charts
This week is Recycle Week 2019 - an event hosted by WRAP, with the aim making the circular economy "the new norm" for UK Government, businesses and residents. Here, edie sets the scene by charting national recycling statistics.
UK business giants mitigate 53,000 tonnes of food waste
WRAP has today (24 September) revealed that 121 of the UK's biggest food businesses are now providing evidence of their efforts to halve food waste by 2030, in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Coca-Cola to replace plastic shrink wrap across can multipacks sold in Great Britain
Europe's largest independent Coca-Cola bottler has announced it will end the use of shrink-wrapped plastics across all can multipacks it sells in Great Britain, in a move that will replace plastic used on 30 million packs annually with sustainably sourced cardboard.
PepsiCo's latest packaging commitment targets 35% reduction in plastic use by 2025
Global beverage firm PepsiCo has announced plans to reduce the use of virgin plastic across its portfolio by 35% by 2025, which will eliminate around 2.5 million metric tonnes of the material from circulation.