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Poland Spring Bottled Water Goes Nationwide Beginning In May

April 25, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters NA brand Poland Spring is making its bottled spring water available nationwide for the first time. Poland Spring ORIGIN will be packaged in “ergonomic” 100 percent food-grade recycled plastic (rPET) bottles. According to Nestlé Waters, ORIGIN's 100 percent natural spring water has been sustainably sourced from the White Cedar Spring in Maine, filtered by 10,000-year-old glacial sands. It contains no additives other than the minerals that come from the earth, including naturally occurring electrolytes. The product will be nationally available on Amazon.com in a 12-pack of 900 ml bottles, and via delivery by ReadyRefresh Nestlé. From May 2019, Poland Spring ORIGIN will be available in select retail locations in Florida and Texas with plans for national retail expansion in 2020. Meanwhile, litigation over the sources of Poland Spring water continues to churn in courts in Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.
Matt Reynolds, "Poland Spring, Nestlé Waters debut ergonomic rPET bottle", Packaging World, April 25, 2019, © PMMI Media Group
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At Google’s Cafés, Chefs Pay Close Attention To Food Waste

April 24, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
At its headquarters in Mountain View, California, Google operates several cafés that serve 200,000 free meals a day. In 2014, Google started working with Leanpath, a company that provides equipment to measure and track food waste, and it coaches chefs on how to use that data. Google’s chefs carefully weigh ingredients that can’t be used to determine exactly how much food is wasted. They cook in batches to avoid preparing too much food, and adjust through the meal. By using these methods, Google says, it has kept more than six million pounds of food from going to landfills or compost. “The reality is that the act of measurement is, in and of itself, a very profound intervention,” says Andrew Shakman, CEO of Leanpath. [Image Credit: © Free-Photos from Pixabay]
Adele Peters, "How Google saved over 6 million pounds of food waste in its cafés", Fast Company, April 24, 2019, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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New York Enacts Law To Reduce Food Waste, Feed The Needy

April 16, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
New York State has enacted first-of-its-kind food waste legislation designed to direct more healthy food to disadvantaged New Yorkers while reducing climate pollution around the state. The Food Donation and Food Scrap Recycling Act, effective in 2022, will require large food generators – including supermarkets, colleges, hotels, and sporting venues – to donate leftover edible food. Remaining scraps must be prepared as animal feed or compost if a recycling facility is within 25 miles. However, most food generators covered under the law are exempt from this provision because they're more than 25 miles from a recycler. Proponents of the food waste requirements expect that the language in the recently adopted state budget will encourage businesses to open organic recycling facilities in the next two and a half years.[Image Credit: © pasja1000 from Pixabay]
David Lombardo, "New York aims to curb food waste", Times Union, April 16, 2019, © The Hearst Corporation
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Meat Companies May Be Misleading Consumers By Claiming Products Are “Natural”

April 11, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Although American consumers want “all-natural” meats – with no antibiotics, hormones, or preservatives – the USDA says that in meats and poultry “natural” only means no artificial ingredients and minimal processing. Major meat companies, meanwhile, are catering to consumer desires by claiming or implying in advertising that their products are natural. Those claims are legal, as long as they follow USDA guidelines, even if they mislead shoppers. That was basically the ruling of the D.C. Superior Court when on April 8 it dismissed a lawsuit by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) alleging Hormel was misleading consumers. But in statements disclosed in the court filing, a Hormel executive said the same pigs it uses to make its famous Spam brand meat product are also used in Natural Choice pork products. Those pigs are often given antibiotics and are rarely allowed outdoors. An ALDF attorney said Hormel was engaged in “a massive attempt to manipulate and dupe the consumer to purchase something they have no intention to purchase.” [Image Credit: © Lloyd's Barbeque Company, LLC]
Richard Binder, "Hormel lawsuit reveals that 'natural' meat might not be", Law.com, April 11, 2019, © ALM Media Properties, LLC
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British Food Waste Recycler Tells Foodservice Industry How To Cut Waste

April 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
ReFood, the U.K.’s leading food waste recycler, believes the country should be ranked higher than 24th in the world in reducing food waste. The British foodservice industry is producing a million tons of unnecessary food waste annually at a cost of $3.2 billion a year. Research suggests 75 percent of this waste is completely avoidable. The country’s pubs, restaurants and food outlets can implement several ReFood strategies to reduce waste: be sensible with stock, storage and stock rotation; use accurate temperature control to prevent growth of harmful pathogenic bacteria and minimize spoilage; label all stored food clearly; review portion sizes to prevent uneaten food from being wasted; link up with a local charity and donate leftovers; mix up the menu to give customers more choice about what’s on their plate; and expand food safety training to include food waste training.[Image Credit: © Free-Photos from Pixabay]
Philip Simpson, "Is your restaurant throwing away its profits? Seven ways to cut food waste", BigHospitality.co.uk, April 10, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Rhode Island City Expands Leftover Food “Sharing Tables” To All Schools

April 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Pawtucket, R.I., has begun implementing a plan to cut down on food waste and make sure hungry children are properly fed. The plan is based on the concept of “sharing tables,” once an informal way for students to take food discarded by classmates. The method is being expanded to more schools this year. Beginning in April, foodservice provider Aramark will add ice packs and soft-shell coolers, allowing more items to be saved and given to students who need or want them. Company representatives will also be able to track exactly how much waste is being reduced by weighing poundage thrown away. Incorporating coolers, ice packs, signage, and training of staff will help make sharing tables a “routine staple of what we do.” An Aramark rep said.[Image Credit: © Mabel Amber from Pixabay]
Ethan Shorey, "‘Sharing tables’ taking off, reducing waste", Valley Breeze: Pawtucket Edition (Rhode Island), April 10, 2019, © Breeze Publications, Inc.
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Three Federal Agencies To Work Together To Reduce Nation’s Food Waste

April 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have joined forces to create an interagency strategy to address food waste. At an event held at EPA headquarters, state, local and community leaders and others shared ideas on how all levels of government can cooperate to reduce food waste. The “Winning on Reducing Food Waste Strategy” includes six priority areas the agencies will focus on over the next year: enhance interagency coordination; increase consumer education and outreach efforts; improve coordination and guidance on food loss and waste measurement; clarify and communicate information on food safety, food date labels, and food donations; collaborate with private industry to reduce food loss and waste across the supply chain; and encourage food waste reduction by federal agencies in their respective facilities. “Our nation’s agricultural abundance should be used to nourish those in need, not fill the trash,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. [Image Credit: © USDA]
"USDA, EPA, and FDA Unveil Strategy to Reduce Food Waste", USDA, April 09, 2019, © U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Company Seeks Quick Commercialization Of Onsite Food Waste Processor

April 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Micron Waste Technologies is expanding a collaboration with BC Research Inc. (BCRI) to rapidly commercialize the company's second-generation food waste processing system, dubbed the Organivore 2.0. The equipment is designed for onsite waste processing by commercial producers of food waste, including supermarkets and food processors, producers and distributors. Innovations developed for the Cannavore system, which Micron and BCRI built for the cannabis industry, will be incorporated into Organivore 2.0. Market readiness is anticipated in the second half of this year. Micron says the Organivore reduces air and water pollution by, among other things, using an aerobic process with patented microbes and enzymes to break down food waste without producing methane; and treating organic waste onsite into clean water and reusable biosolids, resulting in diversion of up to 95 percent of the waste sent to landfills.[Image Credit: © Micron Waste Technologies Inc.]
Waste360 Staff, "Micron Waste to Commercialize Organivore System for Food Waste", waste360.com, April 09, 2019, © Informa Markets, a trading division of Informa PLC.
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Campus Education Programs Alone Won’t Cut Waste At All-You-Can-Eat Buffets

April 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

According to a University of Illinois study, diners at all-you-can-eat buffet-style restaurants or university dining halls have little incentive to pile less food on their plate. The result? They tend to overindulge, but don’t necessarily consume all that they heap on their plates, and a lot of food is wasted. A food waste-reduction campaign might serve as a low-cost way to extol moderation at the buffet line. Unfortunately, however, such campaigns don’t seem to work. Consumer economist Brenna Ellison suggests that for greater waste reduction, education campaigns should be combined with environmental changes such as removing the flat-fee pricing structure or pre-portioning food items.[Image Credit: © University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign]
Phil Ciciora, "Study: Impact of Food Waste Campaigns Muted, But Point Toward Right Direction", Phys.org, April 08, 2019, via University of Illinois System-Urbana-Champaign , © Phys.org
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Community Refrigerators Reduce Food Waste While Helping To Feed The Needy

April 6, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A British environmental charity is turning to community refrigerators set up in public spaces as a way to reduce food waste and foster more nutritious eating.  The refrigerators, set up in community centers and churches, for example, would give restaurants, supermarkets, home cooks, and others a place to drop off excess food as a donation and ensure it remains fresh. The food would then be picked up by people in need, free of charge. Hubbub, the charity installing the fridges, has placed  50 community refrigerators so far, and hopes to install another 50 across Britain by the end of 2020. On average, a community refrigerator site is visited by more than 200 people a month, though that number could climb to about 1,000 visitors for busier locations.[Image Credit: © https://www.hubbub.org.uk/the-community-fridge]
Shannon Larson, "'Community' refrigerators aim to freeze out food waste", Reuters, April 06, 2019, © Thomson Reuters
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Oatly Battles Dairy Milk On The Environmental Front

April 1, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Swedish dairy milk alternative Oatly has begun displaying the climate footprint of its product on all packaging to give consumers more information about the environmental impact. The company claims that its non-dairy beverage contains as much calcium as dairy milk, plus protein, carbs, unsaturated fats and “the beneficial properties of oats” – without the detrimental effects on the climate associated with milk production. The drink's carbon footprint will be presented using a number that defines its climate impact, expressed in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). According to the company, swapping one liter of whole cow's milk for the equivalent measure of Oatly saves 1.16 k of CO2, the greenhouse gas equivalent of driving 10 km in an average gasoline-powered car.
Imogen Watson, "Dairy-free Oatly labels to include climate footprint figure to encourage milk swap", The Drum, April 01, 2019, © Carnyx Group Limited
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Smaller Portions At Eateries Might Help Solve The Food Waste Problem

March 25, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema says that in an era of global malnutrition – and, ironically, rampaging obesity – and burgeoning food waste, the nationwide restaurant practice of serving “dishes that practically call for building permits” is especially disturbing. For example, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse in Chicago serves full-size fruit pies cut into “a mere four slices;” a sandwich at the Smith in Washington, D.C., comes with what looks like four cups of French fries; and New York’s Bistro Pierre Lapin serves a cote de porc a la "shake & bake" that weighs in at about a pound. Doggie bags are not the answer to waste because they often get tossed out at home. Reversing this trend requires the cooperation of restaurants and patrons. Restaurants could offer smaller portions of a dish while letting diners order more of it and pay for the privilege. Lastly, diners faced with huge plates of unwanted food could "share, share, share" with dining companions.[Image Credit: © RitaE from Pixabay]
Tom Sietsema, "In an era of excessive food waste, a plea to restaurants: Cut down your portions; Sure, we can ", Washington Post Blogs , March 25, 2019, © Washington Post
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AI Technology In Restaurant Trash Bins Helps Reduce Food Waste

March 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
An AI-powered trash bin known as the Winnow Vision uses a camera and smart scales that tell chefs the types of food they are throwing away too often. The technology recognizes and keeps track of food items being disposed of, helping commercial kitchens reduce the amount they purchase. The camera takes still images of the food inside the bin and checks it against a global database to identify it. AI algorithms play it back to staff in real time to let them know the value of what's being binned. Winnow Vision bins have been tested in more than 75 kitchens in the U.K. belonging to Ikea and luxury real estate development group Emaar Hospitality Group. The average kitchen catering for a business requires between one and two Winnow Visions.[Image Credit: © Winnow Solutions Ltd]
Joe Baker, "Could an AI-powered ‘smart bin’ help reduce food waste at restaurants?", i-Independent Print Ltd, March 22, 2019
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Chefs Can Play A Major Role In Boosting Nutrition, While Reducing Food Waste

March 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A UN-sponsored symposium in Paris concluded that an increasing number of restaurant chefs worldwide are not only promoting food linked to territory and local culture, and the consumption of local, fresh food. They are also becoming increasingly involved in the global movement to reduce food waste, championing food waste reduction efforts in their own restaurants, as well as empowering local communities to fight food waste. A publication, "Chefs as agents of change," produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), highlights the role of chefs as advocates for healthy and culturally diversified diets.[Image Credit: © skeeze from PIxabay]
"Chefs are Key Ingredient in Promoting Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy and Culturally Diversified Diets", Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, March 22, 2019, © FAO
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New App Helps Home Cooks Cut Food Waste During Food Prep

March 19, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Save The Food, a campaign that has been working for years to reduce household food waste, has introduced a free app called Meal Prep Mate that provides valuable storing, cooking, and portioning advice. At a time when 40 percent of food sold in the U.S. for human consumption – $218 billion worth – never gets eaten, people who cook meals at home need a way to save time and keep healthy eating on track while reducing food waste. Using Meal Prep Mate, home cooks can make their own customized meal prep plan or choose an existing one. They input the number of people eating and the number of days they're prepping for. The app will provide a tailored shopping list, pre-designed recipes, and accurate portioning for every meal.[Image Credit: © Natural Resources Defense Council]
Katherine Martinko, "New app helps you avoid food waste while prepping meals", Treehugger, March 19, 2019, © Narrative Content Group.
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Premium Gin In U.K. Is Made From Upcycled Surplus Table Grapes

March 14, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
HYKE premium gin, made from unsold table grapes, is now available at 300 Tesco stores in the U.K. as part of the grocery chain’s commitment to reducing food waste. The grape-based gin was developed through a partnership involving major British fruit supplier Richard Hochfeld Ltd and craft spirits distiller Foxhole Spirits. They are upcycling an estimated 166 million surplus table grapes to make the beverage, which debuts at a time of burgeoning gin popularity in the U.K.: gin sales are at a 50-year high and demand for premium gin at Tesco was up by nearly 90 percent in 2018. Hochfeld says it loses the equivalent of 1.4 million baskets of table grapes in the packing process. HYKE is made with those surplus grapes blended with botanicals from Africa and South America.[Image Credit: © Tescoplc.com]
"First ever gin made from surplus table grapes to launch across U.K.", Tesco PLC, March 14, 2019, © Tescoplc.com
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Genetically Engineered Salmon: Appearing Soon At Your Local Grocery Store

March 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA has lifted a ban on genetically engineered salmon, clearing the way for its appearance in grocery stores. The company AquaBounty may now import its AquaAdvantage Salmon eggs to a land-based facility in Indiana, where the salmon can be grown for food. The fish have been genetically engineered to grow faster than farm-raised Atlantic salmon. But Native American tribes, food groups, and environmentalists are concerned that there is no requirement that the gene-manipulated fish be labeled as “genetically engineered.” Instead, they can be labeled “bioengineered,” a less-loaded term that can appear on packages as a symbol that says “BE” or a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone to find out if it's genetically engineered. "So it's quite a bit more burdensome,” according to a Center for Food Safety attorney. The FDA first approved genetically engineered salmon as safe to eat in 2015.[Image Credit: © AquaBounty Technologies, Inc]
Courtney Flatt, "Concerns raised over genetically engineered salmon", The Daily Astorian, (Oregon), March 13, 2019, © The Daily Astorian
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“Natural” Claim Continues To Lure Shoppers, Despite Lack Of Definition

March 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A Label Insight-sponsored survey of 1,000 adult consumers finds that using the word “natural” on food packaging will motivate as many as 53 percent of Americans to make a purchase. Natural is generally accepted to mean the absence of artificial flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, and color additives in products that are minimally processed. Fifty-one percent of shoppers were swayed by "no preservatives," particularly older generations. Sixty-three percent of Baby Boomers say a product with that claim would motivate them to buy compared to 46 percent of Generation X and 41 percent of Millennials. Other ingredients Americans are concerned about include: high fructose corn syrup (57 percent of older adults) and sugar (all ages). And shoppers increasingly want to know the conditions under which the fish, poultry and livestock they're eating were raised: "antibiotic free" (34 percent); "free range" (26 percent); "grass fed" (25 percent); and "pasture-raised" (17 percent) are the key terms. Oddly, free range and pasture-raised are synonymous.[Image Credit: © Label Insight, Inc.]
"New Survey from Label Insight Reveals Which Loosely-Regulated Marketing Claims Motivate Shoppers to Buy", PR Newswire, March 13, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Singapore Airline Caterer Invests In Technology That Reduces Flight Food Waste

March 12, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Hoping to cut the number of extra meals that end up in the trash after every flight, Singapore-based airline caterer Sats has invested in new pasteurization technology that extends the shelf life of cooked food for as much as 24 months. Fresh meals chilled immediately can now be stored for up to 90 days without added preservatives instead of the typical 48 hours. Thanks to pasteurization and sterilization, ready-to-eat meals – e.g., braised chicken rice, chicken briyani, beef stroganoff, pasta alfredo, and black pepper chicken udon – can be stored without refrigeration for six to 24 months. There is no adverse impact on food safety, nutrition or taste. Sats recently opened an extended kitchen facility at a Singapore airport that can now produce up to 60,000 meals a day, compared to 45,000 before.[Image Credit: © SATS Ltd]
"Sats unveils S$25m investment in new technology to boost output, cut waste", The Business Times Singapore, March 12, 2019, © SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS LTD.
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Developers Of New Food Spoilage Sensor Technology Seek Development Funding

March 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A new technology that will “smell' when fruit or vegetables are deteriorating is in the works in the U.K. and, once some technical bugs are dealt with, could someday save tons of food waste. The quick and cost-effective quality assessment system would apply a technique commonly used in space science to allow food suppliers to pinpoint the peak condition of produce. The researchers have identified the unique molecular markers given off by rocket (arugula) leaves before they spoil, and want to see if the technique can be applied to other produce. The big challenge, however, is to take the complex technology and apply it to a cost-effective platform so that it can be used at different points in the supply chain, from production through to retail, the researchers said. They have a working prototype but now need funding to conduct the production design and develop an affordable device.[Image Credit: © RitaE from Pixabay]
"Using Space Know-How to 'Sniff' Out Salad Quality", Science and Technology Facilities Council (U.K.), March 08, 2019, © UK Research and Innovation and Science and Technology Facilities Council
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Milk Dispensers In Schools Reduce Milk Waste, Eliminate Milk Carton Waste

March 4, 2019: 12:00 AM EST


Harrisonburg (Va.) City Public Schools measured milk waste for a week in January, finding that on average students consumed 220 cartons of milk at lunch a day, adding to about 39,000 cartons each school year. Because they are not recyclable, they end up in the trash. Moreover, students consumed about 70 percent of the milk in the cartons, wasting 30 percent, or about four gallons a day. To combat the problem, Bluestone Elementary School, and others in the state, are installing $3,000 milk dispensers in the cafeteria that allow students to fill their own reusable cups with as little or as much chocolate or regular milk as they want. The savings on milk aren’t much, about a cent per 8-ounce serving, but with a tight budget every little bit helps, a school representative said. Not to mention the complete elimination of trashed milk cartons.[Image Credit: © Daily News-Record]
Megan Williams , "Moo-ve Over Cartons; School Installs Milk Dispensers", Daily News-Record, March 04, 2019
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Starbucks Meal Donation Program In Canada Will Reduce Hunger, Cut Food Waste

February 28, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Starbucks Canada has launched a national initiative to provide ready-to-eat meals through its more than 1,100 company-owned stores. FoodShare builds on a successful pilot program with Second Harvest, the largest food rescue organization in Canada. The initiative launched in February at 250 stores in the greater Toronto area, and will expand to more cities and provinces and eventually to the whole country. In Canada, the company has always donated unsold pastries and baked goods, but will now donate more healthful breakfast sandwiches, paninis, protein boxes, salads, yogurt, milk, and dairy alternatives like soy and coconut. The company says the initiative not only helps combat hunger, it diverts food surplus from landfills, helping to minimize the company's environmental footprint. [Image Credit: © Starbucks Coffee Company]
"Starbucks Canada to the 'food waste' rescue!", Fast Casual, February 28, 2019, © Networld Media Group
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Are “Newfangled Devices” The Answer To The Food Waste Problem? Maybe Not

February 24, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Nonprofit coalition ReFed says start-ups dedicated to fighting food waste attracted $125 million in venture capital and private equity funding in the first ten months of 2018. Products included smart tags that change color when milk goes bad, a mist to prolong the shelf life of fruit, and software to help grocery stores order the right amount of produce. Investors see food waste as “a big business opportunity," according to a marketing exec at Apeel Sciences, which sells a water-based solution that extends the ripeness of avocados by four days. But the products – and the trend – have their skeptics. Elizabeth Balkan, director of the Natural Resource Defense Council’s food-waste program, says, "I worry about this food-tech, food-waste boom becoming a food-waste bust."  Consumers are a major contributor to the food waste problem, so if they want to throw away less food, what they have to do is plan better and store smarter. “Newfangled devices” may not be the answer.[Image Credit: © Ben Kerckx from Pixabay]
Deena Shanker, "Big Money Joins Fight Against $1 Trillion in Wasted Food", Bloomberg , February 24, 2019, © Bloomberg LP
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Time To Start Communicating What Food Date Labels Really Mean

February 20, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Johns Hopkins researchers say misunderstood food date labels – and keen awareness of food safety issues –are major reasons why as much as 31 percent of all food is wasted by supermarkets and consumers, according to the USDA. Under U.S. federal law, product dating is not required on food or beverage products, except for infant formula. Meat, poultry, and egg products may be voluntarily labelled if the labels comply with USDA regulations. A Johns Hopkins survey found 84 percent of consumers discarded food near the package date "at least occasionally" and 37 percent reported that they "always" or "usually" discard food near the package date. The researchers found that among labels assessed, "best if used by" was most frequently perceived as communicating quality, while "use by" was one of the top two perceived as communicating safety. The researchers concluded that there is a need for a strong food date labeling communications campaign, especially among those aged 18 to 34.[Image Credit: © Daniel Albany from Pixabay]
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Study: Food date labels can cause widespread confusion and unnecessary food waste", FoodNavigator-USA.com, February 20, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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German Government Sets Goal Of Halving Food Waste By 2030

February 20, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Acknowledging that reducing food waste is an "economic, ecological, and ethical obligation" for everyone, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet has adopted a goal of cutting food waste in the country in half by 2030. The idea is not only aimed at customers in supermarkets, but also at food manufacturers, companies, organizations, politicians, and scientists. Every year, the average German throws away 120 pounds of food, an unfortunate and avoidable situation. The most important part of the plan is packaging food in smaller quantities, German experts say, which food manufacturers can certainly help with. [Image Credit: © MikesPhotos @ Pixabay.com]
"German government rolls out plan to curb food waste", Deutsche Welle, February 20, 2019, © Deutsche Welle
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Hospital Adopts A “Room Service” Model To Cut Food Waste

February 18, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The rate of wasted food for an individual hospital can vary from six to 65 percent, according to a European report. The University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center, however, has implemented a change in its food service that has cut waste by 30 percent, no small achievement in an industry that tosses about $3 billion worth of food a year. The change? Instead of serving meals at predetermined times, it serves on-demand, much like hotel room service: when they’re ready.  The customization does require more labor, so UCSF had to roll out on-demand dining in waves as the labor and budget became available. But each time it was introduced to a new part of the hospital, food waste levels dropped by 30 percent. The hospital is now adding delivery robots to help ease the labor costs associated with the program.[Image Credit: © Ben Kerckx from Pixabay]
Dana Gunders, "Hospital Wastes A Third Less Food After This One Change", Forbes Media, February 18, 2019
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Company Creates Stickers That Keep Produce Fresher Longer

February 18, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

Kirkland, Wash.-based start-up Stixfresh has developed a stick-on label it claims can keep fruit fresh for up to 14 days longer, thereby helping to reduce food waste. The coating on the stickers is made from beeswax and other natural ingredients that have a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status from the FDA. The compounds work together to create a protective layer around the fruit. By slowing down the ripening process, Stixfresh labels can extend the freshness of a wide variety of fruits by up to 50 percent. The company is launching a crowdfunding campaign in February to give consumers anopportunity to test the product and join the brand. [Image Credit: © STIXFRESH]
"Stixfresh develops stickers to keep fruit fresh for two weeks", FoodBev Media , February 18, 2019, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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“Upcycled Food” Is A Marketable Term That Could Help Reduce Food Waste

February 14, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Drexel University scientists have reported on consumer perceptions of “upcycled food" – leftovers from processing that are put into new, value-added products – after originally using the term “value-added surplus products." A survey of more than 1,000 consumers asked what term would encourage them to buy products from materials leftover after processing, including salvaged, repurposed, reprocessed, and rescued. The clear winner was “upcycled,” the scientists found, because it’s a familiar term from fashion that suggests recycling and environmental goodness. What’s more, consumers were also willing to pay more for upcycled than conventional food. The researchers concluded that the right message and marketing would benefit food companies by reducing food waste while achieving equal or greater value from products.[Image Credit: © Couleur from Pixabay]
Arlene Karidis, "Addressing Consumers’ Perceptions of “Upcycled Food"", waste360.com, February 14, 2019, © Informa USA, Inc.,
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Vermont Enters Final Implementation Stages Of 2012 Food Waste Law

February 14, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Enacted in 2012, Vermont’s universal recycling law (Act 148) is nearing the end of its long implementation phase. By July 1, 2020, Vermonters will have to keep food scraps out of their trash bins. The act quotes a waste composition study that showed more than half the state's waste comprises recyclables, yard debris, and food scraps that could be diverted and repurposed. In 2014, the law required some of the largest producers of food waste – grocery stores, food manufacturers – to keep food waste out of the trash. In 2020, individual residents will finally be required to do the same. When the law goes into effect, trash haulers must provide a food waste pickup service to customers. The requirement is being debated in the state capital, because trash haulers don't have the right equipment for this service and might not want to invest since the revenue stream isn't guaranteed, especially if residents compost in their backyard or feed scraps to animals.[Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier @ Pixabay.com]
Amanda Brooks, "Vermonters prepare for food waste law", The Milton Independent (Vermont), February 14, 2019, © The Milton Independent
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Zero-Waste Cooking Is Top Restaurant Trend In 2019

February 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The National Restaurant Association says zero-waste cooking in restaurants is one of the major trends of 2019.  The basic idea is to create menu items that make use of ingredients that would otherwise be discarded as waste. Washington, D.C.’s Teaism restaurant, for example, has come up with a way to use broccoli stems trimmed from florets. The chef grins the broccoli stems, mixes them with goat cheese and seasonings, rolls them together, breads them with panko and fries them. Another restaurant breathes new life into used coffee grounds by cold steeping them to flavor homemade coffee ice cream.[Image Credit: © jacqueline macou]
"Zero-waste cooking trends: Broccoli stems and broken scallops ", National Restaurant Association, February 10, 2019, © National Restaurant Association
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German Researchers Develop Infrared Scanner That Senses Food Freshness

February 7, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Fraunhofer researchers in Germany have developed a mobile food scanner that will allow consumers and supermarket operators to test whether food items have gone bad. The pocket-size device uses infrared measurements to determine the ripeness and shelf life of produce and display the results via an app. The scanner, still in the testing stages, contains data for only two foods so far and permits the shelf life of products to be estimated. The core of the mobile scanner is a near-infrared (NIR) sensor that measures the ripeness of the food and identifies the amount and composition of its contents. Infrared light is beamed with high precision at the food and the scanner measures the spectrum of the reflected light. The absorbed wavelengths permit inferences to be made about the chemical composition of the food.[Image Credit: © Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft]
"Pocket-size food scanner to battle food waste", Fresh Plaza, February 07, 2019, © FreshPlaza.com
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Canadian Start-Up Gets $1M Investment To Develop An Upcycling Machine

February 6, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Halifax-based Beyond Food Inc. has raised $1 million from a range of investors – including several NHL players – to develop its first Zero Waste Pod and launch a partnership with a Canadian supermarket chain. The company’s mission is to reduce food waste – $31 billion a year in Canada – by using supermarket produce that is about to be tossed out to make a nutritional food ingredient. The patent-pending Zero Waste Pod is a modular facility about the size of a shipping container that can process aging fruits and vegetables into a fine powder for use as a nutritious ingredient in food manufacturing.[Image Credit: © Beyond Food]
Peter Moreira , "Entrevestor: Beyond Food raises $1 million to launch Zero Waste Pod", Chronicle Herald (Halifax, Nova Scotia), February 06, 2019, © SaltWire Network
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Nonprofit Pickup Service Makes It Easy For Restaurants To Compost Food Scraps

January 24, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The owners of an Ohio eatery have partnered with a local nonprofit “food waste composting courier” whose mission is to address the “logistical problem of collecting food waste separately from traditional waste.” GoZERO Services picks up the Crest Gastropub’s food and kitchen waste and composts it. Restaurants are given a plastic bucket with a tight-fitting lid from GoZERO services in which to place food scraps. The scraps are eventually dumped in a bin which is picked up by GoZERO and transported to the composting site. Residents can use the service too for a subscription fee.[Image Credit: © GoZERO Services Ltd.]
Kevin Parks, "Residents can join Crest Gastropub's composting efforts", ThisWeek Community Newspapers (Columbus, OH), January 24, 2019, © GateHouse Media, LLC
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Washington State Legislators Introduce Food Waste Bill

January 23, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Three Washington state Democratic legislators have introduced a bill to fight food waste that has the backing of a broad coalition of food producers, manufacturers, retailers, and food banks. HB 1114 establishes a goal to reduce food waste in the state 50 percent by 2030, compared to levels from 2015. According to the bill, food waste results from the storage, preparation, handling, cooking, selling or serving of food for human consumption. The bill includes a prevention goal that includes strategies to reduce waste, disperse edible food to food banks and other productive uses, including animal feed, compost and energy production. The bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Beth Doglio, Vandana Slatter, and Jake Fey, and discussed at a public hearing on January 17 before the House environment panel.[Image Credit: © PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay]
Madeline Coats, "Lawmakers aim to create plan to cut food waste by 50 percent", Peninsula Daily News, January 23, 2019, © Peninsula Daily News and Sound Publishing, Inc.
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Suntory To Install High-Speed Bottling Technology At U.K. Factory

January 15, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Fulfilling a pledge to limit its water consumption in line with planetary boundaries – and meet a 2020 target of reducing its overall water footprint by 15 percent – Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS) announced it is investing $17 million in new high-speed bottling technology for its Gloucestershire (U.K.) soft drink factory. The innovative technology could reduce the factory's overall water footprint by 4.4 percent. The faster bottle filling devices will reduce the amount of water required to produce each soft drink bottle by 40 percent, delivering a 40 percent reduction in the amount of energy used during the manufacturing process at the same time. It will be installed in the spring and come online before the end of 2019, LRS announced. The technology purchase is supported by a $17 million grant from Suntory headquarters in Tokyo. 
Sarah George, "Lucozade Ribena Suntory to fit U.K. factory with water and waste-saving bottling technology", Edie.net, January 15, 2019, © edie.net
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Nestlé To Use Company’s Bi odegradable Plastics In Future Water Bottles

January 15, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé and biodegradable plastics specialist Danimer Scientific have partnered to develop biodegradable bottles using bio-based resins for Nestlé’s water business. A 2018 University of Georgia study confirmed i that Danimer’s PHA polymer Nodax is an effective biodegradable alternative to petrochemical plastics. Existing partner PepsiCo may also gain access to the resins developed under this collaboration using Danimer Scientific’s PHA polymer Nodax. The company says Nodax PHA is suitable feedstock for industrial compost, home compost, and anaerobic digester facilities as well as reuse through recycling. 
"Nestlé and Danimer Scientific to Develop Biodegradable Water Bottle", Nestlé , January 15, 2019, © Nestlé
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Oregon Is Latest State To Legalize Harvesting Of Roadkill For Use As Food

January 7, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Oregon recently enacted legislation that legalizes the harvesting and use of roadkill as food. The state is the latest of about 20 states that allow people to scoop dead animals off the road and serve them for dinner. One of these is the state of Washington, which issued 1,600 roadkill salvaging permits within one year of legalizing the practice in 2016. The rules vary by state, though most require timely reporting of the collection to authorities, and most absolve the state of responsibility if the meat turns out to be stomach-churning. Oregon allows the salvaging of deer and elk and for human consumption only. People who pick up a carcass must apply online for a free permit within 24 hours, and they must turn over the animal's head and antlers to the state wildlife agency within five business days.[Image Credit: © Free-Photos from Pixabay]
Karin Brulliard , "Roadkill on menu in growing number of U.S. states; Hunters and advocates see dead animals as wasted source of food", Bangor Daily News, January 07, 2019, © Bangor Daily News
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Missouri Lawmakers Are Considering Bill To Require Food Donations

January 3, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

Lawmakers in Missouri are considering legislation that would require foodservice and other food companies with revenues of $5 million or more to donate ten percent of any excess edible “to needy individuals or to nonprofit organizations that provide food to needy individuals." If passed, the bill would make it a misdemeanor punishable by a $25,000 fine if it is discovered that a business is making their food inedible to avoid the donations.[Image Credit: © filmbetrachterin from Pixabay]
Lexi Spivak, "Pre-filed bill would create the Missouri Food Waste Law and help charities", KY3/KSPR News , January 03, 2019, © ky3.com
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Sodexo Honored By EPA For Food Waste Prevention Measures

December 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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. [Image Credit: © USA.gov]
"EPA Recognizes Sodexo for Food Recovery Achievements", Sodexo , December 20, 2018, © Sodexo
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Philadelphia Company Delivers Half-Price “Misfit” Produce Directly To Consumers

December 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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.[Image Credit: © Misfits Market]
Rebecca Sodergren, "Would you eat 'misfit' produce? New Pennsylvania company delivers boxes to your home at a discount ", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 19, 2018, © PG Publishing Co
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ShopRite’s Partnership With Perdue Produces Antibiotics-Free Fried Chicken

December 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
East Coast grocery chain’s partnership with Perdue Farms has led to the introduction of an eight-piece grab-and-go fried chicken item that promises “no antibiotics, ever” (NAE). The relationship with Perdue has also produced rotisserie chicken, roaster breast, and roaster leg quarters. The fried chicken is the company's newest style of NAE poultry that is hand-breaded, raised cage free and made fresh throughout the day. According to ShopRite, the products are priced at or below most conventional rotisserie and fried chicken offerings. ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative based in New Jersey and the largest supermarket cooperative in the U.S.[Image Credit: © Wakefern Food Corp, Inc.]
Kristen Brissette, "ShopRite Introduces No-Antibiotics-Ever Fried Chicken", The Shelby Report, December 19, 2018, © The Shelby Report
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New Clearer Use-By Labels Now On Nine Of Ten Foods

December 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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,[Image Credit: © monicore fromPixabay]
Russell Redman, "Use-by labels become clearer on groceries", Supermarket News, December 19, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Swiss Coca-Cola Bottler Tests Technology That Draws CO2 From The Air

December 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Bottler Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland has partnered with Climeworks, a pioneer in applying a technology that captures carbon dioxide directly from air. Coca-Cola will use the technology in bottles of the sparkling water Valser. Climeworks uses stacked shipping containers that pull air inside and through filters that capture CO2 like an ultra-powerful tree. Once a filter is full, the collector is heated, releasing the gas in a pure form that can be injected deep underground for storage. The company’s first partnership was with a nearby greenhouse that used the CO2 to help plants grow faster; the beverage industry was the natural next step. Drawing CO2 from the atmosphere is more expensive than getting it from other sources, but the developers believe that declining costs eventually will make the technology more economically feasible.
Adele Peters, "This sparkling water is the first drink to get its fizz from CO2 captured from the atmosphere", Fast Company, December 14, 2018, © Mansueto Ventures
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Ioniqa’s Process For Hard-To-Recycle PET Materials Is Gaining Attention From Large CPGs

December 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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.[Image Credit: © Ioniqa Technologies]
"Coca-Cola supports Ioniqa in its efforts to develop recycled PET", Foodbev.com, December 14, 2018, © Foodbev.com
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Aldi To Replace Polystyrene Pizza Discs With Recyclable Discs

December 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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.[Image Credit: © Lutz Peter from Pixabay]
"Aldi introduces 100% recyclable pizza discs in UK", Packaging Gateway, December 13, 2018, © Verdict Media Limited
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Carcinogenic Synthetic Flavors Ordered Removed From Food Products

December 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA has ordered the removal of six artificial flavors from food products because they cause cancer in animals at doses far higher than what a person would consume. The six flavoring substances include synthetically-derived benzophenone, ethyl acrylate, eugenyl methyl ether (methyl eugenol), myrcene, pulegone, and pyridine. The substances are being removed under the Delaney Clause of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The food industry has two years to comply, though the FDA believes the ingredients are safe in the trace amounts they are used. Neither the FDA nor the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association responded when asked for examples of products the six ingredients are used in. But they noted that the compounds have natural counterparts in foods like basil, coffee, grapes and peppermint, and that the action does not affect the naturally derived versions.[Image Credit: © U.S. Food and Drug Administration]
"Artificial flavors are mystery ingredients", Chicago Sun-Times, December 13, 2018, via The Associated Press, © The Associated Press
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Whole Foods Withdraws Some Food Packaging In Response To Study On PFAS

December 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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. [Image Credit: © vedat zorluer from Pixabay]
Tiffany Kary and Deena Shanker, "Whole Foods Ranked Worst on Cancer-Linked Package Chemicals", Bloomberg, December 12, 2018, © Bloomberg LP
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Nestlé Acts To Increase Redistribution Of Its Surplus Food In U.K.

December 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has partnered with a British anti-food waste charity and a surplus food redistributor in a program to curb food waste by ensuring that more of its surplus food is available for both charitable and commercial use. The company says its arrangement with WRAP and Company Shop will mean that more of its part-processed products can be redistributed instead of being used for animal feed or anaerobic digestion. The approach will increase the levels of charitable redistribution from Nestlé’s U.K. operations by the equivalent of two million meals a year, on top of the products that already go to another redistribution organization, Fareshare. [Image Credit: © Nestle ]
Andy Coyne, "Nestle Launches New Food Waste Initiative in the UK", Just-Food, December 12, 2018, © just-food.com
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Bottled Water Companies Continue To Struggle With A Major Packaging Challenge

December 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Growing consumer criticism of the disposable plastic bottles that contain America’s most popular beverage – bottled water – not to mention stricter new government regulations and bans by public facilities have created a major problem for bottlers. They have yet to come up with a more enviro-friendly bottle, though they are searching for answers. PepsiCo says its acquisition of countertop water carbonator SodaStream will help it move “beyond the bottle.” Poland Spring-owner Nestlé is rolling out glass and aluminum packaging for some brands. Evian has pledged to make all its plastic bottles entirely from recycled plastic by 2025, up from 30 percent today. Parent company Danone SA hopes the move will help it regain market share and win over plastic detractors who are already pressuring the makers of straws, bags and coffee cups. Advanced recycling technologies wait in the wings, but no one knows whether they will work or be economically feasible.
Saabira Chaudhuri, "Plastic Water Bottles, Which Enabled a Drinks Boom, Now Threaten a Crisis", The Wall Street Journal , December 12, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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KFC To Use Plastic-Free Food Buckets At Australia’s Upcoming Big Bash Cricket League

December 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


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. [Image Credit: © KFC Corporation]
Ojaswita Kutepatil , "KFC to launch recyclable buckets for Australia’s Big Bash League 2018", Sharp Reports, December 12, 2018, © Sharp Reports
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