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Period: January 1, 2019 to January 15, 2019
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Packaging Coffee Beans In Aluminum Cans Is An Imperfect Answer To A Complex Problem

Blue Bottle Coffee is starting to pack its coffee beans in aluminum cans with recyclable plastic lids, shifting from PLA packaging. PLA is a compostable polymer made from corn. James Freeman, the brand’s founder, says the cans will be a third more expensive than the compostable paper bag, but the environmental problem of packaging is not simple. For example, coffee bags described as biodegradable might contain a lining that will take years to decompose. Metal, on the other hand, is more easily recycled: the Aluminum Association says most aluminum contains 70 percent of recycled product. Cans aren’t the perfect solution either, but they can at least be recycled whole without having to be first dismantled. 

"Why Blue Bottle Coffee Is Putting Coffee Beans In Cans", Forbes Media, November 30, 2018

N.J. Lawmakers Tackle Food Waste Problem With Package Of Bills

A N.J. Assembly committee has approved a package of bills aimed at reducing hunger statewide. Assembly Bill 4705 would create a 12-member New Jersey Food Waste Task Force whose purpose would be to devise ways to reduce wasteful food consumption in the state 50 percent by 2030. Assembly Joint Resolution 174, meanwhile, would urge retailers and consumers to find and adopt ways to reduce food waste. Suggestions outlined in the legislation for retailers include lowering “unreasonably high cosmetic standards” for their products, urging food manufacturers to drop “best by” labels and establishing systems for donating surplus foods to charities. To curb food waste among consumers, the resolution suggests retailers could provide food reduction tips and recipes to use leftovers and organize “waste less” campaigns.

"Lawmakers eye ways to reduce food waste among restaurants, stores", NJBIZ, November 30, 2018

Mexican Beer Brand Corona Testing Plastic-Free Six-Pack Rings

Plastic rings holding a six-pack of beer together are ubiquitous, but Corona, the Mexican beer brand, is trialing rings from biodegradable plant-based fibers. It follows an announcement by Carlsberg earlier this year to withdraw plastic rings in favor of a glue. Corona’s innovation will break down into organic matter, according to the brand and will first be tested in the Mexican town of Tulum in 2019. The move is a part of Corona’s commitment to Parley for the Oceans, a non-profit focusing on plastics accumulating on beaches and marine environments. 

"Corona to introduce plastic-free six-pack rings on its beer cans", FoodBev Media, November 30, 2018

Supermarkets In Australia Seeing Up To 90 Percent Reduction In Single-Use Plastic Bag Use

Since July, 1.5 billion fewer single-use plastic bags have been used by large Australian supermarkets. A ban by Coles and Woolworths were added to a total ban across the state of Queensland. Reusable options have helped bring about an 80 percent drop in plastic bag use, and some retailers have reported a 90 percent reduction. The supermarkets have donated profits from the sale of reusable bags to community organizations, including Clean Up Australia, Little Athletics Australia and Guide Dog.

"Australian supermarkets eliminate 1.5 billion single-use plastic bags", Packaging Gateway, December 04, 2018

Kellogg Europe Executive Outlines Bio-Based Cereal Pouches Goal

According to Rupert Maitland-Titterton, Kellogg Europe’s senior director of sustainability and corporate communications, the company is working towards its pledge to ensure 100 percent of its packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. An interim goal is to develop bio-based cereal pouches, recyclable in all Kellogg’s markets, to replace oil-based pouches by the end of next year. Although it’s up to consumers to contribute to the recycling process, he says, food companies must work with stakeholders, including suppliers and waste management companies, to design packaging that can be recycled and to improve the infrastructure. Kellogg Europe has started an audit of recycling structures in its largest 25 markets. Kellogg is one of the 250-plus signatories to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which aims to eliminate single-use plastic. Maitland-Titterton believes this scale of collaboration is crucial and that the food industry can’t ...  More

"How Kellogg Europe is targeting a sector-wide shift to sustainable packaging", edie.net, December 04, 2018

Finnish Companies Team Up To Develop Biocomposite Straws

Two Finnish companies are collaborating on biodegrabale drinking straws. Made from Sulapac’s biocomposite material of wood and natural binders, the straws can be recycled by industrial composting, and will biodegrade in the sea. Stora Enso, a packaging manufacturer, will jointly develop the products. The partners announced a demo launch for the products and they are targeting commercial availability by the end of the first half of next year.

"Stora Enso and Sulapac partner to create biodegradable straws", FoodBev Media , December 04, 2018

Food Companies Finding Ways To Upcycle, Recycle For Profits, Sustainability

The packaged-food industry, both CPG giants and start-ups concerned about sustainability, along with foodservice chains and providers of plastic packaging, are seeing the benefits of the so-called “circular economy.” By recycling and upcycling as much as they can, they are benefiting their bottom line and helping preserve the planet. Many companies are engaged in efforts to try to reduce food waste. About two dozen CPG manufacturers and food retailers are working with the EPA as U.S. Food and Waste 2030 Champions, setting a target to cut food waste in half by 2030. An increasing number of start-up manufacturers are using food-waste reduction as a primary platform. Barnanas, for example, has become a $15 million company in six years, selling banana “bites” in several varieties made from bananas that were a bit ripe.

"Food Waste Has Manufacturers Engaging The Circular Economy", Chief Executive , December 04, 2018

Major Drinks Companies, Retailers And Green Groups Seek To Improve Plastic Recycling In Hong Kong

Beverage companies, green campaigners and others are joining forces to tackle the issue of poor recycling rates in Hong Kong. The voluntary Drink Without Waste initiative was announced by the Single-use Beverage Packaging Working Group, a coalition of charities, drink producers and bottlers, recycling companies, environmental groups and retailers. They are looking at a range of possible initiatives, including installing water dispensers around the city and a “cash on return” scheme for plastic bottles. Manufacturers are also encouraged to look at their packaging to improve recycling rates. In 2017, Hong Kong dumped some 1.7 billion empty drinks containers in landfill or as litter. Two-thirds were plastic bottles. Less than 10 percent of the single-use plastic bottles sent to rubbish tips are recovered and recycled. 

"Major Hong Kong drinks manufacturers join forces with green groups for initiative aimed at increasing city’s dismal recycling rate", South China Morning Post, December 06, 2018

Unilever Invests €100,000 To Solve Single-Use Plastic Sachet Problem

Unilever has set its sights on eliminating single-use plastic sachets for laundry products, piloting a technology in which it is investing €100,000. The crowd-sourced plastic-free tablet, which uses a plant-based coating, emerged from the company’s “Rethink Plastic” Hackathon. Other ideas from the event included a subscription model for detergent in ceramic or glass bottles, and soluble sheets of detergent, or ‘Laundry on a roll’. Teams from Unilever will look at some of these other ideas. 

"Unilever to invest €100,000 in a crowdsourced solution as part of its drive to rethink plastic packaging", Unilever, December 06, 2018

Starbucks Says Plastic-Lined Coffee Cups Can Be Converted Into New Cups

Coffee chain Starbucks says it has converted 25 million of its coffee cups into new cups as part of a pilot scheme introduced earlier in 2018, overturning conventional wisdom that the plastic lining means they couldn’t be recycled. Mike Mueller of WestRock, the company that recycled the cups, said the company is aiming to raise awareness about how it can be achieved and scaled. Other initiatives used by Starbucks include charging a small fee to its London customers for single-use cups, and it is working on a cup that can be easily recycled and composted. Customers in most stores can expect a discount if they bring their own reusable cup.

"Starbucks Proves That Single-Use Coffee Cups Can Be Recycled", LIVEKINDLY , December 06, 2018

Corn Flakes To Beer: Kellogg U.K. Program Cuts Food Waste 12.5 Percent

The U.K. unit of breakfast food company Kellogg is brewing a new business: beer. The company has launched a program, “Throw Away IPA,” that turns rejected corn flakes – too small, too big, undercooked – into beer, the revenues from which are partially donated to Fareshare, a food poverty charity. The English beer, made by Seven Bro7hers Brewery, tastes sweeter than the usual IPA, and has the iconic golden color of its breakfast cereal ingredients. Each Throw Away IPA brew uses roughly 132 pounds (60 kilograms) of rejected cornflakes. Since the program was launched, Kellogg says it has reduced its U.K.-based food waste by 12.5 percent.

"In Bid to Cut Food Waste, Kellogg’s is Using Their Rejected Cornflakes to Make Beer ", Good News Network, December 07, 2018

New Program From L.A. Food Delivery Company Cuts Food Waste, Feeds The Homeless

California food delivery service Postmates has launched a new endeavor: rescuing food before it is sent to landfills and taking it to where it will do the most good. The company’s drivers in Los Angeles are picking up leftover foodstuffs from local restaurants and delivering it to local homeless shelters. The FoodFight! program was incubated in the company’s social impact arm, Civic Labs, and launched in October.  Participating restaurants simply touch a button to coordinate food pickup at the close of business. Four hundred restaurants in the L.A. area are eligible to make surplus food donations. The biggest problem for the program is a logistical one: shelter hours. Many shelters close for donations earlier than restaurants are finished serving, so the Civic Labs team is working on creative solutions, including additional funding for staffing.

"Postmates is Starting a FoodFight in L.A.", LA Weekly (CA), December 07, 2018

Ukrainian Startup Has Developed A Disposable Toothbrush Based on Paper

Effa, a Ukrainian company, is producing toothbrushes with a paper body covered by a nano-layer of PLA, a cornstarch-based polymer. The head is also made from PLA, and the bristles from nylon mixed with castor oil. The packaging is water-soluble. Effa is looking to develop a range of everyday goods that are more environmentally-friendly, targeting hotels, airlines and prisons. 

"Disposable toothbrush is made from paper", Springwise, December 10, 2018

Hospitality Industry Can Play A Major Role In Reducing Food Waste

American consumers looking to escape the bad news that bombards them daily are visiting hotels and restaurants and supporting CPG brands that are doing the right thing. Hospitality industry trend-watcher Andrew Freedman notes that the hospitality industry should be supporting good causes, like reducing food waste. Freedman says the movement to reduce food waste will continue to gain traction in 2019 as local governments start to restrict restaurants from disposing of food waste in landfills, prompting them to look for new solutions. Some hotels and restaurants are teaming with nonprofits and companies like Goodr Co. to redirect leftovers to those who are food insecure. Others are using food in unexpected ways to reduce waste, such as the Amazing Pasta Straw, which makes straws out of pasta.

"Consumers will embrace brands that do the right thing, AF & Co. trendologists predict", FoodNavigator-USA.com, December 10, 2018

NRDC Study Sheds Light On How Cities Might Prevent Food Waste

A new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council summarizes a food waste baseline assessment study in three U.S. cities – Denver, Nashville, and New York City – for residential and non-residential sectors, including the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sectors. The study characterizes the amount of food wasted in the cities and identifies reasons why the food is wasted. For example, six of the top 10 most commonly wasted edible foods in households were the same in all three cities: coffee, milk, apples, bread, potatoes and pasta. Accumulated data was used to help inform and inspire municipal initiatives to prevent food waste, to rescue surplus food to benefit people in need, and to recycle food scraps. The study also offers templates and descriptions of the methodologies to help other cities perform similar assessments. 

"Analyzing Food Waste at the City Level", waste360.com, December 10, 2018

Pladis UK & Ireland Steps Up Its Plastics Commitments

Another company announcing its intention to make all plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025 is Pladis UK & Ireland, which makes biscuits and confectionery. It has joined the UK Plastics Pact, is joining the On-Pack Recycling Label scheme, and has extended its partnership with Terracycle to make its packaging recyclable. 

"Pladis UK & Ireland pledges to reduce plastic waste by 2025", Foodbev.com, December 10, 2018

Bottled Water Brands Need To Raise Their Game On Recycled Plastic

Bottled water brands are facing a major problem caused by growing consumer awareness of the environmental damage caused by plastic. One iconic brand, Evian, has pledged to increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles from 30 percent to 100 percent by 2025, a goal that requires new technology for turning used and dirty plastic into plastic that can be used in new bottles.

Consumers are showing signs of losing patience with bottled water brands, and some offices, stores and visitor venue have decided to stop selling bottled water. New York City is considering banning single use plastic bottles in some locations, including parks and beaches, and the European Parliament is backing changes that will force member states to collect 90 percent of plastic bottles for recycling. Some brands are coming up with innovations, such as Pepsi’s reusable water bottles with flavor capsules. It also trialing stations for dispensing Aquafina water in various flavors.

The answer is proving ...  More

"Plastic Water Bottles, Which Enabled a Drinks Boom, Now Threaten a Crisis", The Wall Street Journal , December 12, 2018

Whole Foods Withdraws Some Food Packaging In Response To Study On PFAS

In a study of five major US grocery retail chains, Whole Foods Market was ranked as worst for food-contact packaging. The study from three watchdogs, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and Toxic-Free Future, found the paper it used at its salad and hot food counters had high levels of fluorine. Whole Foods has since removed the packaging highlighted in the report. Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are getting a lot attention from concerned consumers and the Environmental Protection Agency, and finding fluorine in the packaging indicates it was treated with a type of PFAS. The chemicals have been linked to cancer and shown to hinder the immune system. Albertsons, Kroger and Ahold Delhaize had fewer items shown as containing the chemicals. Trader Joe’s had none, but does not have any food bars. 

"Whole Foods Ranked Worst on Cancer-Linked Package Chemicals", Bloomberg, December 12, 2018

KFC To Use Plastic-Free Food Buckets At Australia’s Upcoming Big Bash Cricket League

KFC, in partnership with Graphic Packaging International, is supplying half a million food buckets using sustainable materials for the Big Bash League 2018, a cricket event in Australia. The move is aligned with the Government’s commitment to ensure all packaging in the country will be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. The plastic-free buckets will be made at Graphic Packaging’s plant in the UK and will have a grease-resistant lining. 

"KFC to launch recyclable buckets for Australia’s Big Bash League 2018", Sharp Reports, December 12, 2018

Aldi To Replace Polystyrene Pizza Discs With Recyclable Discs

The Aldi supermarket chain in the UK is introducing 100 percent recyclable pizza discs to replace the Polystyrene discs. Earlier this year, Aldi in the US said it would roll out How2Recycle labels across its own brand products over the next two years, and in March the company committed to using 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging for own-label products by 2022. In the UK, it has also stopped offering customers 5p plastic bags, only 9p reusable bags made from plastic waste.

"Aldi introduces 100% recyclable pizza discs in UK", Packaging Gateway, December 13, 2018

Ioniqa’s Process For Hard-To-Recycle PET Materials Is Gaining Attention From Large CPGs

Coca-Cola is supporting Dutch firm Ioniqa Technologies with a loan, to help it develop the technology for producing recycled PET content from PET waste that is typically difficult to recycle. The move is a part of  Coca-Cola’s target of using packaging containing 50 percent or more recycled content by 2030. The  technology allows recycling of colored PET bottles, typically excluded from some recycling processes, to be used in food-grade PET. Unilever announced earlier this year its collaboration with Ioniqa.

"Coca-Cola supports Ioniqa in its efforts to develop recycled PET", Foodbev.com, December 14, 2018

Philadelphia Company Delivers Half-Price “Misfit” Produce Directly To Consumers

Philadelphia start-up Misfits Market is giving new life to so-called “wonky” or misfit produce – misshapen, small or overabundant but edible – by delivering it directly to customers' doorsteps at a discount from grocery store prices. The idea came to founder Abhi Ramesh when apple-picking with friends. He saw farm workers culling out bruised apples to be used for cider, for feeding pigs, or for the landfill. The company sells the "misfit" produce at half price from grocery stores, making it easier for families to afford fresh food while reducing food waste. The company focused at first on produce from small and medium-size farms near Philadelphia, especially on organic, non-GMO farms already certified. The company idelivers to all parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Delaware.

"Would you eat 'misfit' produce? New Pennsylvania company delivers boxes to your home at a discount ", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 19, 2018

New Clearer Use-By Labels Now On Nine Of Ten Foods

The Grocery Manufacturers Association says ninety percent of food products now have easier-to-understand labels featuring use-by dates. The food industry launched an initiative to streamline labels in February 2017 because of confusion over expiration dates. The adage “when in doubt, throw it out" was causing tremendous food waste – in part due to unclear date labeling. Two labels – Best If Used By and Use By – were created and are now in use by 87 percent of grocery products. The association projects that 98 percent will bear the simplified labeling by the end of 2019; all will carry the labels – along with the FDA’s new Nutrition Facts panel – by January 2020. “Date labeling is a step toward meaningful food waste reduction," a GMA spokesman said,

"Use-by labels become clearer on groceries", Supermarket News, December 19, 2018

Sodexo Honored By EPA For Food Waste Prevention Measures

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named food services and facilities management company Sodexo as national Endorser of the Year for its commitment to food waste prevention. The company was honored for educating businesses/organizations, including its clients, about the importance of sustainable management of food and the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. In 2018, Sodexo influenced 60 of its sites to join the challenge, including Loyola Marymount University, New Mexico State University, and Kansas State University among others. The company hosted hands-on waste reduction training for Sodexo employees and clients, redeveloped and revamped a waste reduction action plan available to all Sodexo operators, and deployed a technology combining sustainability and efficiency through an automated food waste tracking and analytics platform, at Sodexo sites globally. 

"EPA Recognizes Sodexo for Food Recovery Achievements", Sodexo , December 20, 2018

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