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Plastics

And The Corporate Response

CORPORATE ACTION: Aldi

Aldi In Australia Justifies Its Use Of Fruit And Veg Packaging

With more and more attention being focused on single-use plastic, Aldi in Australia has been forced to explain its use of plastic packaging for fruit and vegetables. The company says its down to its focus on cost efficiency, by making the checkout process easier, but it is working to minimize the use of plastics. However, some shoppers have responded by removing the packaging at the tills. Aldo also said it keeos the items fresher and avoids customers handling the food. It added that “over the coming years our customers can expect to see changes in our stores that reflect our commitment to protecting the environment.” [Image Credit: © ALDI Stores]

CORPORATE ACTION: Diageo

Diageo To Launch Edible Straws


Moving on from recyclable and compostable drinking straws, Diageo is attaching edible straws to its ready-to-drink cans to be sold through UK online drinks vendor 31Dover later this year. There are four flavors, to complement the drink: lemon, lime, strawberry, and chocolate. This follows a similar announcement by Pernod Ricard, which is working Loliware, an edible plastics maker. Other drinks and hospitality companies, including the hotel chains Marriott and Hilton, have pledged to stop using single-use plastic straws.[Image Credit: © Diageo]

CORPORATE ACTION: Kraft Heinz

Kraft Heinz Commits To Environmentally-Friendlier Packaging By 2025

The Kraft Heinz Company has committed to making its packaging 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025, and it will also work towards reducing the amount of packaging. The CEO, Bernardo Hees, said that the company needs to look at how its greenhouse emissions are generated throughout the supply chain, and not just from direct operations. The initiatives are a part of its ‘Growing a Better World’ program it announced in 2017.[Image Credit: © The Kraft Heinz Company]

CORPORATE ACTION: Lush

Lush And Change Please Team Up To Offer Free Drinks In Reusable Cups

Lush, the vegan beauty brand, has opened a pop-up coffee shop called #carrythecup in Beak Street, in Central London. It has partnered with Change Please, a social enterprise that helps London’s homeless, to raise awareness of single-use plastic. Lush is providing free drinks, including tea as well as hot and iced coffee, in reusable cups. The pop-up is open from mid-August for four weeks. The initiative follows its 2017 launch of the Bath Oil Box, a biodegradable container from recycled coffee cups to store bath bombs.[Image Credit: © Lush Retail Ltd]

CORPORATE ACTION: Other

Morrisons Steps Up Fight Against Single-Use Plastic By Removing Cucumber Sleeves

UK supermarket chain Morrisons is responding to the call for less single-use plastic in packaging by removing the plastic sleeves on cucumbers, although the Cucumber Growers’ Association claims that the shrink-wrap keeps the cucumber hydrated and helps prevent it being damaged. Removing the sleeve reduces shelf life by two days to five. The move only applies at the moment to whole cucumbers sourced from the UK and Netherlands. Mini and pre-cut cucumbers will also retain their plastic covering. The move follows other initiatives from the chain, including replacing plastic bags in the produce aisles with brown paper bags, and selling at a discount reusable containers on its fresh meat and fish counters.[Image Credit: © Krzysztof Jaracz]

Aramark Aims To Reduce Or Remove Plastic Straws From Facilities It Serves

Food service company Aramark said it plans to reduce the use of plastic straws and plastic stirrers and provide environment-friendly alternatives at food and dining facilities it serves. Aramark, which manages food service operations for various locations, including schools, convention centers, and arenas, across the US, said the reduction will depend on the location. According to the company, it plans to have 100-percent removal of plastic straws from parks and residential dining halls of colleges and universities.[Image Credit: © Aramark]

Bulldog Launches Shower Gel In Environment-Friendly Refill Box



UK-based men's grooming company Bulldog has announced the launch of the Original Shower Gel Refill Box. To be sold exclusively at Whole Foods from August 2018 and on the company's online store, the product contains the equivalent of 25 bottles of shower gel. This is to help reduce plastic packaging waste, the company said.[Image Credit: © Bulldog Skincare Limited]

IKEA Says To Remove All Single-Use Plastics From UK And Ireland Stores By October 2018

Furniture retailer IKEA said it plans to remove all single-use plastic straws from its stores in the UK and Ireland by October 1, 2018. Part of the company's efforts to do away with single-use plastics in all its operations by 2020, the move will see IKEA stop selling or offering plastic straws in all its restaurants, stores, and online shops. Earlier in 2018, IKEA updated its People Plant Positive policy, which seeks to stop the use of single-use plastics.[Image Credit: © Inter IKEA Systems B.V.]

CONSUMER & PUBLIC OPINION

Edible Cutlery From Bakeys Is Attracting Criticism…From Environmentalists

Bakeys, a dining ware manufacturer in India, has come under criticism from environmentalists for its edible cutlery, made from sorghum, rice, and wheat flours. Although they can be eaten - they reportedly taste like crackers - they will also decompose in a few days. The company raised $280,000 through Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform, but critics have highlighted the environmental damage from producing, packaging and transporting the products, and that a better solution would be for consumers to carry reusable cutlery when they go out.[Image Credit: © Bakeys Foods Private Limited]

Plastic Straws Become Main Target Of Anti-Plastic Pollution Campaigns

Despite their relatively small share of the total count of plastic pollutants, plastic straws have a significant impact on the environment. Plastic straws have captured a huge share of anti-plastic pollution efforts and attention. After a video depicting their harmful impact on wildlife became viral, several companies, including Starbucks, Ikea, and Hilton Hotels, announced plans to stop using plastic straws. Several factors amplify the effects of plastic straws on the environment and implications for efforts to control plastic pollution. For example, they can easily slip through the “cracks” of recycling processes because of their characteristics, such as being small and lightweight, and consumers mistakenly believe they are recyclable because they are made of plastic.[Image Credit: © Rupert Kittinger-Sereinig]

MARKET NEWS

US Paper Straw Maker Aadvark Acquired By Hoffmaster To Meet Growing Demand


Hoffmaster Group from Wisconsin has acquired Fort Wayne, Indiana company Aardvark, the only supplier of paper straws in the US. Terms were not disclosed. Hoffmaster has a plan to help Aardvark meet the growing demand for paper straws. Some orders are currently taking several months to fulfill. Aardvark claims that its straws are superior to the cheaper imported alternatives.[Image Credit: © Aardvark® Straws, a division of Precision Production Group.]

Which? Study Shows A Third Of Plastic Packaging Used By UK Retailers Hard To Recycle

Results of an analysis by Which?, a consumer group, revealed that as much as 29 percent of plastic packaging used by UK retailers is non-recyclable through the usual collection schemes or hard to recycle. Results of the study of packaging used for 27 everyday private-label products sold by 10 leading retail chains showed Lidl had the lowest percentage of easily recyclable packaging at 71 percent. Morrisons topped the results with 81 percent of tested products with packaging considered widely recyclable.[Image Credit: © Anja Osenberg]

POLICY, REGULATION & LEGAL

Retailers Back The New Zealand Government’s Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags

New Zealand retail companies have added their support to Government plans to ban single-use plastic bags. The Countdown chain was the first to commit to stopping by the end of this year, and more chains have joined the list of those making similar commitments. Foodstuffs, which includes a number of supermarket banners, such as Pak'nSave and Liquorland, will stop providing single-use bags from January 2019. Steve Anderson, managing director, said the Government’s plans level the playing field, but the company will ensure every customer is offered an affordable alternative.[Image Credit: © BRRT]

Major Beverage Makers Start Compliance With Indian State Maharashtra's Buyback Rules For PET Bottles

Leading beverage companies in India have started printing buyback values on plastic bottles of products sold in the state of Maharashtra. Part of their efforts to comply with the state's new regulations and to help control plastic pollution, buyback schemes allow consumers to return used plastic bottles and get paid based on buyback values indicated on the bottles. While the scheme is likely to be adopted by other Indian states, some industry observers there is a need for a unified, holistic approach to dealing with plastic pollution.[Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier]

INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY

Bakey's Sells Eco-Friendly Edible Spoons And Forks To India And The World

India-based Bakey's developed and sells environment-friendly, edible spoons and forks. Developed in 2010, Bakey's cutlery is the first of its kind and is made from millet, rice, and wheat flours. According to company founder and directing manager, Narayana Peesapaty, Bakey's cutlery was developed in response to pollution caused by plastic spoons and forks. Peesapaty said he was also concerned with the health effects of plastic utensils, with research showing chemical components in plastic products can leach into food. Some environmentalists, however, have expressed doubts about the product's environment-friendly features. [Image Credit: © Bakeys Foods Private Limited]

Georgia Tech Scientists Develop Environment-Friendly Plastic-Like Packaging Material

Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new type of material that can be used for packaging like plastics, without the latter's harmful impact on the environment. According to an article published in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, the new material consists of layers of cellulose nanocrystals from wood pulp and chitin nanofibers, which can be derived from shells of crabs and shrimp. Fully compostable, packaging made from this material can also keep food fresher longer, the researchers claimed.[Image Credit: © Georgia Institute of Technology]

Just Eat Tests Seaweed-Based Sachets Developed With Skipping Rocks Lab

Online food-ordering company Just Eat has partnered with packaging technology firm Skipping Rocks Lab to develop a sachet made from seaweed. Part of the company's efforts to cut the volume of plastics used by its restaurant partners in the UK, the seaweed-based sachets can be composted and are environment-friendly. According to Just Eat, the company will test the sachet for six weeks with The Fat Pizza in Southend, and determine the possibility of introducing the packaging to its 29,000 partner restaurants. [Image Credit: © Just Eat Holding Limited]

Nippon Paper Group Develops Earth-Friendly Paper Packaging Material

Japan-based Nippon Paper Group said it has developed a new type of paper packaging material designed to help reduce plastic pollution. According to the company, it is receiving an increasing number of orders for the paper, which can be used as packaging for various food products. Designed as a replacement for plastic packaging, the material is processed to keep products, such as potato chips and cereals, fresh.[Image Credit: © NIPPON PAPER INDUSTRIES CO., LTD.]
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