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And The Corporate Response


California Judge Says Class-Action False Advertising Claim Against Colgate May Proceed

US Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero rejected Colgate’s request to dismiss a class-action lawsuit arising from false advertising claims regarding the recyclability of the brand’s toothpaste tubes. According to the plaintiffs who are California residents, recycling facilities in the state or in the country do not accept Colgate’s used toothpaste tubes and apparently are not recyclable contrary to the brand’s advertising claims. For its part, Colgate claimed the complaint has no merits because the Green Guides do not control consumer understanding of the term “recyclable tube” and that its recyclability claims meet the Green Guides requirements.[Image Credit: © Bruno from Pixabay]


Lidl Launches Bottle-Return Scheme Across All Its Stores In Glasgow

Lidl launched its own bottle-return program across all 21 retail stores in Glasgow. Expected to recycle 10.5 tonnes of plastic and aluminum beverage containers every month, the scheme places no deposit on retail prices. Also, customers will receive a 5p reward for every qualified item returned, which can be redeemed and spent in-store or donated to a charity.[Image Credit: © Lidl Great Britain Limited]

CORPORATE ACTION: Procter & Gamble

P&G, Watsons Donate Recycled Plastic To Hong Kong Schools For STEM Applications

P&G Hong Kong said Plastic Reborn, a plastic recycling program jointly launched with Watsons Hong Kong in 2021, succeeded in its third year in transforming recycled plastic bottles into materials and tools used in 3D printing. The partners donated the recycled materials to 50 primary and secondary schools for educational purposes. Also, P&G Hong Kong partnered with MakerBay Foundation to deliver the recycled materials to schools for use in STEM courses.[Image Credit: © Procter & Gamble]


Greenpeace In London Protests Unilever’s Plastic Polluting Ways

Greenpeace activists gathered at Unilever’s headquarters in London to protest against the company’s role in plastic pollution. Held the day before the company released its 2023 earnings report, the protest saw activists hanging a 13 meter wide banner across the building’s entrance with the message: “Profit Warning: Plastic Polluted Money”. Greenpeace’s protest also coincided with the recent release of a report by the Break Free From Plastic group highlighting the company as one of the top 3 worst plastic polluters worldwide.[Image Credit: © Greenpeace International]

Flexible Plastic Fund Reports Success Of Kerbside Flexible Plastic Collection And Recycling Trial

The Flexible Plastic Fund, the organization established by the five largest plastic users in the UK (Unilever, Mars UK, Mondelēz International, Nestlé and PepsiCo) has released an interim report about the FlexCollect flexible plastic collection and recycling project. Established in May 2022, the project ran a three-year trial kerbside collection of flexible plastic waste across nine waste collection authorities in the country. Data from the report showed that collections were added successfully into existing kerbside recycling services, with more than 89 percent of households saying they were “very satisfied” the service across four pilots.[Image Credit: © Vivianne Lemay on Unsplash]


Walmart, Other Retailers To Launch Reusable Container Pilot In Ottawa

Canadian retailers, including Walmart, Metro and Sobeys, are working together to create a pilot program for reusable containers in Ottawa. Nonprofit Circular Innovation Council is running the pilot, which is expected to run from April 2024 to March 2025. Environment and Climate Change Canada will help finance the initiative, while Reusables.com will monitor containers across the cycle and install smart return bins at local drop-off locations. [Image Credit: © Circular Innovation Council and GLOBE NEWSWIRE ]


SC Johnson Partners With Ellen MacArthur Foundation To Help Solve World’s Plastic Pollution Problem

Since joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment in 2018, SC Johnson substantially increased the post-consumer recycled content in its packaging, cut its use of virgin plastic, and made more than 50% of its plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable. Also, the company posted the highest percentage of reusable plastic packaging in the Commitment’s household and personal care sector. It also engages with governments worldwide to advocate for stronger plastics regulations. Its Blue Paradox exhibit in Chicago highlights how small ordinary actions can help solve the single-use plastic problem.[Image Credit: © S.C. Johnson & Son Inc.]


Repurpose Global Launches Fund To Promote Fair Access To Reusable , Refillable Packaging

Repurpose Global launched the $1 million Reuse Outcomes Fund, created to promote fair access to reusable and refillable packaging solutions. Aimed at overcoming barriers to popular adoption of reuse and refill systems, such as lack of infrastructure and high cost of adoption, the fund will focus on infrastructure for refilling water and other beverages and returnable packaging in ecommerce and physical retail. Also, the fund is focused on creating a circular economy for all, with emphasis on solutions that serve low- and middle-income communities in the US, Canada and India.[Image Credit: © rePurpose Global Inc.]


World Bank, Citi Jointly Launch $100M Plastic Credit Bond For Ghana And Indonesia

The World Bank partnered with Citi to launch a $100-million bond aimed at fighting plastic pollution. Repayments will be determined in part by the sale of plastic and carbon offset credits, and the bond will finance plastic waste collection and recycling projects in Ghana and Indonesia. Also, the World Bank guarantees that bondholders will get their principal back after seven years, plus interest.  [Image Credit: © Magda Ehlers from Pexels]


Study Shows UK Consumers Do Not Understand Sustainability-Related Terms Used By Businesses

UK consumers have a very poor understanding of the terms commonly used by companies and brands in sharing messages about sustainability, according to new research from Trajectory and Fleet Street. Data from the report, “The Language of Sustainability,” which surveyed 1,000 adults, showed that only 11 percent of consumers believe they completely understand the term “carbon offsetting”, while just 4 percent can confidently define the term “circular economy”. 25 percent feel they have a complete understanding of “green” and 26 percent feel the same way about “sustainability”. [Image Credit: © Andreas Gücklhorn on Unsplash]


Mondi Eyes Takeover Of DS Smith’s Plastic-Free Packaging Center

Mondi is offering to acquire rival packaging company DS Smith’s mock-up store in Suffolk, England. DS Smith’s packaging technology center highlights innovations aimed at replacing hard-to-recycle plastic. The proposed takeover helped raise shares of DS Smith’s stock by 12 percent to boost its value to £4.3 billion; however, innovation director Wim Wouters wants to replace plastic with fiber packaging for the long term.[Image Credit: © DS Smith]


Flipkart Seeks To End Use Of Plastic Packaging, Adopts Environment-Friendly Alternatives

Indian online retailer Flipkart aims to remove all plastic from its operations. To achieve this goal, the company is working with recyclers and adopting scalable and environment-friendly packaging alternatives. These initiatives include the use of paper shreds as replacement for poly pouches and two-ply rolls, and the removal of single-use plastic. [Image Credit: © flipkart.com]


EU Plans To Force Cosmetics Companies To Pay More For Micropollutant Cleanup

The European Parliament and Council approved new rules requiring cosmetics companies to pay more for the cleanup of micropollutants in urban wastewater. According to the proposed rules, companies that sell medicines and beauty products will have to pay for at least 80 percent of the additional costs of removing micropollutants, with EU member countries’ governments paying for the rest. [Image Credit: © FLY:D on Unsplash]

States Consider ERP, Other Sustainable Packaging Legislation In 2024

In 2024, legislators in many US states are expected to put emphasis on legislation related to extended producer responsibility and other sustainable packaging issues. EPR legislative bills are likely to come with recycled content mandates, requirements for more waste diversion methods, or added focus on the use of chemical recycling. Also, states are expected to update their container deposit laws, while others will aim to establish their own bottle-return and recycling schemes. States, including New Hampshire, New York,and Washington, have introduced EPR bills for packaging.[Image Credit: © tanvi sharma on Unsplash]


Demand For Sustainable Products Drives Innovation In Plastic-Free Beauty Packaging

Consumer demand for sustainable beauty products is driving innovations in environment-friendly packaging within the industry. Knoll Packaging to advance the technical features of its Ecoform Molded Pulp with applications for plastic-free makeup compacts including mirrors that can be removed easily to improve recyclability.[Image Credit: © Knoll Printing and Packaging, Inc.]


GreenBiz Says It Is Accepting Nominations For The 2024 Reusies Awards

GreenBiz announced the opening of nominations for The Reusies to Circularity 24, the 2024 edition of the award ceremony recognizing the people, communities and organizations promoting reuse solutions for consumer packaging and products. GreenBiz partnered with nonprofit organization Upstream to bring the award ceremony to Chicago. Nominations may be submitted until February 29, 2024, according to the organization.[Image Credit: © Upstream]
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