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Plastics

And The Corporate Response

CORPORATE ACTION: Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola PH Donates Used Bottle Caps To Water Accessibility Initiative

Coca-Cola Philippines has started recycling used plastic bottle caps to make rubber gaskets for water ram pumps. The firm's bottling partner, Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines, has already delivered over 65 kilograms of high-density polyethylene and 625 kilograms of polypropylene caps to Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, which was developing a cost-efficient and easily-maintained ram pump model. The scrap bottle caps will be used to manufacture ramp pump spare parts. This is part of Coca-Cola's Agos Program, a water accessibility initiative that makes use of hydraulic ram pumps and gravity to supply water to upland communities without the need for electricity or fossil fuel. [Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]

CORPORATE ACTION: Other

Eat17 Escalates The Fight Against Single-Use Plastic

Eat17, the eco-friendly retail and restaurant chain, is joining the battle against single-use plastic, introducing paper straws and bamboo cups in its restaurants. It is also bringing in refillable stations in its Bishop’s Stortford store for a range of products, including organic milk, wine, nuts, cereals and grains, and also washing up liquid and laundry detergent. It expects to roll the stations out to other stores during the year. Eat17 said the moves align with customers looking to become more eco-friendly and cut down on single-use plastics and pre-packaged food.[Image Credit: © EAT17]

Ecover Opens “Rubbish Café” Pop-Up

Ecover, a household cleaning brand with green positioning, opened a pop-up café that aimed to educate consumers about single-use plastic by inviting them to swap their plastic for a free meal in the “Rubbish Café”. It was part of the brand’s "Let's Live Clean” campaign, to raise brand awareness and also recognition of the problem of single-use plastics. It ran for two days in early May in London’s Covent Garden.[Image Credit: © Ecover UK Ltd]

CAMPAIGNS, COMMITMENTS & NGOs

Over 40 Firms Form UK Plastics Pact, Promising To Cut Single-Use Plastic Packaging

Over 40 firms, responsible for over 80% of plastic packaging on products sold in the United Kingdom, have joined the government and several trade organizations in establishing the UK Plastics Pact, led by sustainability group WRAP. The agreement lays out a set of pledges undertaken by firms to reduce plastic pollution over the next seven years. It promises to eliminate single-use plastic packaging, including 2025 goals to make 100% of packaging recyclable or compostable, to recycle or compost 70%, and to use 30% recycled material in plastic packaging. The pact signatories include Coca-Cola, Asda, Procter & Gamble, and Marks & Spencer. Environmental groups including Friends of the Earth and Ellen MacArthur Foundation expressed their support. [Image Credit: © The Waste and Resources Action Programme]

MARKET NEWS

Companies Start To Adopt World’s First Plastic-Free Packaging Mark

A ‘plastic-free’ Trust Mark has been launched to advise shoppers on the material used to package food and drink, as part of initiatives to cut the use of plastic in packaging. It was created by environmental group A Plastic Planet. Iceland is the first British retailer to adopt it, and it plans to use on its own-label products as part of its pledge to stamp out single-use plastic packaging by 2023. Beverage brand Teapigs will also display the Trust Mark on its packaging, and Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza is another early-adopter. It is the first retailer to build plastic-free aisles in its supermarkets. [Image Credit: © A PLASTIC PLANET]

INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY

Polish Student Invents Edible Vegetarian Packaging Made From Kombucha

Edible packaging is becoming a reality with the creation of Scoby, the brainchild of Polish design student, Roza Janusz. With the potential to help reduce the use of plastic in packaging, Scoby is a vegetarian wrapping material made by mixing sugars and other organic substances with kombucha, a fermented drink produced with yeast, bacteria, and tea. During the process, the biocellulose membrane forms on the surface of the mixture and layers into a sheet-like material, similar to how an onion grows. With its long shelf life, Scoby can be used to wrap farmers' produce including vegetables, fruits, herbs, and seeds. It can also be used to pack instant meals. Given Scoby's acidic PH level and mineral compounds, it can also be used by farmers as a natural fertilizer. While Scoby is not yet available in the market yet, Janusz said plans are in the pipeline to make this alternative packaging commercially available soon.  [Image Credit: © Growing Pakaging]

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