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Coca-Cola Introduces Smart Vending Machine In China

October 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
As part of its World Without Waste program, Coca-Cola in China unveiled the new VenCycling vending machine that features facial recognition and voice interaction and allows customers to return packaging for recycling. The company said the machine has AI LEDs and two “eyes,” one that dispenses beverages and one that collects used bottles and cans. When customers return used cans or plastic bottles to the machine, they receive credits on their smartphones for beverages or products made from recycled plastics.
"Coca-Cola’s new vending machine lets consumers recycle packaging", FoodBev Media, October 01, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Asia-Pacific Is Ramping Up Efforts To Reduce Single-Use Plastic

September 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
There is a growing awareness of single-use plastic in the Asia-Pacific region, with governments and companies acting to reduce the volume of plastic waste. However, there are also concerns that too little is being done, and too slowly. In India, PepsiCo has committed to using 100% compostable, plant-based packaging for some of its snack brands, and Nestle plans globally to make 100% of its packaging either recyclable or reusable by 2025. Unilever has a similar target. In South Korea, supermarket chains Lotte Market, E-Mart, Mega Mart, Homeplus and Hanaro Mart, announced plans to reduce the number plastic shopping bags and encourage the use of reusable ones. In Singapore, a new zero-waste store opened in May 2018. Unpackt uses no packaging, inviting customers to bring their own containers. Governments too are acting. In India, the state of Maharastra introduced a ban on single-use plastics, and the whole country aims to be free of single-use plastics by 2022. A senate inquiry in Australia has recommended a national ban on single-use plastics, following state bans of single-use bags in Victoria and New South Wales. [Image Credit: © Unpackt]
Pearly Neo , "Tackling APAC’s plastic waste crisis: How Pepsi, Nestlé and Lotte are stepping up", Food Navigator ASIA, September 28, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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“Waste Bread” Incorporates Unsold Sourdough Loaves Into New Ones

September 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A British bakery has developed what it calls Waste Bread, made by crushing unsold loaves, rolls, and bloomers (London-style white bread) to make a porridge. A new batch of sourdough then incorporates the porridge.  Gail’s Bakery’s 43 sites in London, Oxford, and Brighton will introduce the sourdough in October at a price of $5.50 a loaf. The co-founder of Gail’s said the process took nine months to perfect because it is so complicated, but it is worth the effort because it continues the company’s commitment to sustainability and reduction of food waste.[Image Credit: © GAIL’s Limited]
Gill Hyslop, "U.K. bakery chain has developed a sourdough made from surplus loaves to cut down on food waste", BakeryAndSnacks.com, September 25, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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British Grocers, Producers, Hotels Commit To Food Waste Reduction Roadmap

September 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A British charity dedicated to waste reduction and sustainability has launched a Food Waste Reduction Roadmap with the cooperation of government, large food retailers, food producers, manufacturers, and hospitality and food service companies. The Roadmap encompasses the food supply chain from field to fork, and outlines the actions large businesses will take to address food waste in their own operations, among their suppliers, and with consumers. The first major milestone on the Roadmap, set for September 2019, is to have fifty percent of the U.K.'s largest 250 food businesses measuring, reporting, and acting on food waste, with all 250 companies doing so by 2026. [Image Credit: © The Waste and Resources Action Programme]
"A World First: U.K. Food Industry Commits to a Landmark Roadmap to Halve Food Waste", Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP), September 25, 2018, © WRAP
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Arkansas’ Food Companies Make Progress In Battle To Cut Food Waste

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food waste in manufacturing and packaging costs corporations $2 billion each year – in addition to $15 billion for farmers – while dumping 52 million tons of waste into landfills. In the state of Arkansas, food and beverage industry companies are taking steps to eradicate food waste. Tyson Foods this summer launched bite-sized chicken crisps, dubbed ¡Yappah!, made with upcycled chicken breast, rescued carrots, and celery puree from juicing, or malted barley from beer brewing. Walmart has introduced a technology that focuses on tracking the freshness of produce as it travels from farm to wholesaler to retailer to table. Eden’s sensors measure and report temperature, moisture and metabolite data used to assess carton-level freshness and shelf life based on FDA standards. And ConAgra Brands says it achieved an 81.7 percent landfill diversion rate in 2017 corporate-wide.[Image Credit: © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)]
"How one state is fighting food waste", Brandpoint Content, September 17, 2018, © Brandpoint
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New Facility In Upstate N.Y. Will Reclaim, Convert Food Scraps Into Energy

September 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A solid waste manager in the upstate New York city of Utica says about 14 percent of the 169,000 tons of municipal waste that ends up in a local landfill is food scraps. But Bill Rabbia believes there’s a better way to deal with discarded leftover food from restaurants and homes than dumping in the landfill. Construction is scheduled to begin next month on a $3.4 million facility with equipment that can separate food scraps from wrappers, packaging, utensils, etc., then turn it into a “slurry” that will end up in Oneida County’s anaerobic digester. There, in an oxygen-free setting, microorganisms break down biodegradable material and turn it into a gas – such as methane – that can be transformed into energy. [Image Credit: © Ben Kerckx from Pixabay]
Greg Mason, "Project under way to recycle food waste in Oneida, Herkimer counties", Utica Observer-Dispatch (N.Y.), September 16, 2018, © Gatehouse Media LLC
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Starbucks Establishes Framework For Building, Operating “Greener Stores”

September 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Starbucks Coffee Company announced a commitment to build and operate 10,000 “Greener Stores” around the world by 2025. The company will follow a “Starbucks Greener Stores” framework of comprehensive performance criteria for the new stores. The company also said it would audit all existing stores in the U.S. and Canada using the framework criteria, which will be shared with other retail businesses. The framework will be co-developed by experts, including World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and will be audited and verified by SCS Global Services, a third-party verification organization that also oversees Starbucks Coffee and Farmer Equity (CAFE) Practices. CEO Kevin Johnson said, “Simply put, sustainable coffee served sustainably is our aspiration."[Image Credit: © Starbucks Corporation]
"Starbucks Announces Global Greener Stores Commitment", Starbucks, September 13, 2018, © Starbucks Corporation
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How Companies Are Working To Meet Demand For “Free From” Foods

September 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
As American consumers increasingly seek out foods that are “free from” gluten, antibiotics, pesticides, and genetic modification – sales of which are poised to grow 15 percent by 2022 – food manufacturers are taking extraordinary measures to ensure they are meeting that demand, changing the way they procure, process, and package food. General Mills Inc., for example, which was forced recall gluten-free Cheerios – oats do not naturally contain gluten – because wheat flour got into a facility in California. The company built a special eight-story sorting plant to make sure gluten particles from neighboring fields did not end up in their oat-based cereals.[Image Credit: © General Mills Inc]
Jen Skerritt, Megan Durisin and Craig Giammona, "`Free-From' Foods Are Changing the Way Your Meals Are Produced", Bloomberg News, September 09, 2018, © Bell Media
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KFC Initiative On Single-Use Plastic in Macau and Hong Kong

September 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
KFC outlets in Hong Kong and Macau will stop automatically giving out plastic straws and lids for customers eating in the store, but will provide them if asked. They will also be added to takeaways and select items. KFC made the decision following a trial in which most customers were happy not to have a plastic straw or lid. Greenpeace has acknowledged the move but added that plastic straws and lids are just a fraction of the plastic disposables used by the chain. The environmental group estimates that KFC uses some 42 million plastic disposable items each year, but even this is less than some local chains, according to Greenpeace.[Image Credit: © Christopher on pexels.com]
Naomi Ng, "KFC to ditch plastic straws and drink lids for dine-in customers in all of its Hong Kong and Macau restaurants", South China Morning Post , September 07, 2018, © South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd
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N.Y. State Allocates $2M For Pantries, Municipalities To Combat Food Waste

September 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The N.Y. State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will award $2 million in grants to food pantries and other emergency food relief organizations as part of a comprehensive effort to reduce food waste and increase food waste recycling. Non-profit emergency food relief organizations are eligible to receive funding to purchase equipment such as refrigerators for fruits and vegetables and staff expenses that result in increased collection and distribution of food. Funds may also be used to promote the reduction of wasted food, increase food donation efforts, and to increase food scraps recycling through the construction of composting facilities or other means. Grant funding totaling $800,000 will be made available for emergency food relief organizations; $1.2 million is slotted for municipalities.[Image Credit: © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)]
"DEC Announces $2 Million In Grants For Local Food Rescue Organizations And Municipalities To Increase Food Donation And Food Scraps Recycling", New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), September 06, 2018, © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
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Rockefeller Grant Funds Baltimore Food Waste Initiative

September 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced that the Rockefeller Foundation has awarded the city $200,000 to launch a long-term plan in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council to reduce food waste over the next 20 years. Baltimore becomes the second city, after Denver, to participate in the pilot initiative. The city’s sustainability agency will hire a full-time director to oversee the program for two years. The agency will award grant money to local organizations already working on food waste and composting. The program will also receive technical assistance form the NRDC. The main goals of the program are: reducing food waste by educating consumers about their role; boosting food recovery by working with grocery stores, hotels, restaurants and farmers markets to gather surplus food and distribute it to communities; and launching composting pilot programs.[Image Credit: © The Rockefeller Foundation]
Carley Milligan , "Baltimore launches plan to reduce food waste with funding from Rockefeller Foundation", Baltimore Business Journal, September 05, 2018, © American City Business Journals.
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Online Retailer In U.K. Sells Wonky Beef Cuts To Reduce Waste

August 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Selling misshapen or “wonky” fruits and vegetables at a discount is a well-established practice, but now healthy eating firm MuscleFood.com has launched a discounted wonky steaks program, selling odd shapes and sizes of two beef cuts from just $1.30 each to reduce food waste. The British company is selling the imperfect steaks in packs of 10, 20, or 30 that weigh from 3.5 ounces to 6.5 ounces each. A $39 pack of 30 works out to be $1.30 each for rump steaks; a $44 sirloin pack is $1.56 per steak. The company says the meat is free-range and grass-fed and the same quality served in restaurants. Eateries reject the cuts as too big or too small and usually end up grinding them into mincemeat.[Image Credit: © MuscleFood Ltd]
Imogen Blake, "Healthy eating brand launches the U.K.'s first 'wonky' rump and sirloin steaks that are too imperfect for restaurants from just £1 Each", MailOnline, August 31, 2018, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Beverage Company Trials Edible Drinks Sachets

August 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
One novel approach to reduce single-use plastic is being tested by Lucozade Ribena Suntory. The beverage company is trialing seaweed-based edible sachets at two UK September 2018 sports events, the Richmond Marathon and West Sussex Tough Mudder. The sachets have been produced in partnership with packaging company Skipping Rocks Lab. Oohos can be eaten, sent to household waste or composted. Decomposition take some six weeks. The company is assessing how feasible it would be to make all of its packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable. It also recently signed the UK Plastic Pact, committing to working with other producers to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic. The Oohos sachets are also being trialed by Just East, an online food ordering service, and Selfridges is supporting the move by stocking a range of soft drinks served in Oohos in its London store food hall. [Image Credit: © Lucozade Ribena Suntory Limited]
Sarah George, "Lucozade to trial edible drinks sachets to reduce single-use plastic at sports events", Edie.net, August 30, 2018, © edie.net
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Aramark Makes Inroads To Eliminating Single-Use Plastic In Its Operations

August 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


Customer service business, Aramark, which operates in the food and facilities management sectors, announced a commitment to reducing significantly single-use disposable plastics globally by 2022. To date, it has eliminated over 400,000 plastic straws from locations in the UK, with another 418,000 planned in Ireland by the end of the year. It has also replaced with a compostable substitute some five million plastic-lined coffee cups and soup containers. It is now setting its sights on other single-use plastics items, including bags and cutlery.[Image Credit: © Aramark]
Donna Ahern, "Aramark Announces Plans To Phase Out Single-Use Plastic", Checkout Magazine, August 30, 2018, © Checkout Magazine
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Methane Producer To Build $120M Food Waste Digester In Philadelphia Area

August 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Renewable methane producer RNG Energy Solutions has formed a joint venture with Philadelphia Energy Solutions, operator of the huge South Philadelphia refinery complex, to build a $120 million digester to convert more than 1,100 tons of food waste daily into methane gas. To be built on 22 acres of vacant land at the refinery, the Point Breeze Renewable Energy Project would take two to three years to permit and to build. The biogas project would divert food wastes from landfills, reducing the escape of methane from decomposing landfill waste into the atmosphere. The facility would produce three million cubic feet of gas a day. There is a strong market among owners of truck fleets and municipal buses for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets.[Image Credit: © RNG Energy Solutions LLC]
Andrew Maykuth, "Philly refiner plans $120M plant to convert food scraps to fuel for trucks and buses", Philadelphia Inquirer, August 28, 2018, © Philadelphia Media Network (Digital), LLC
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Some People Are Seeing Single-Use Plastic Reduction As An Opportunity

August 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
With estimates suggesting that each minute some million plastic bottles are purchased globally and a truckload of plastic enters our oceans, there remains a long way to go in addressing the problem of plastic waste. Governments and companies are accelerating programs to reduce single-use plastic, but work is also going on to find substitutes. New solutions are emerging, such as bio-plastics and edible plastic, as well bamboo toothbrushes and straws made of pasta. Some entrepreneurs are viewing the challenge as more of an opportunity. Houston’s Plum Vegan Catering offers a zero-waste catering service. And investors are getting on board too. Final Straw, which makes foldable steel straws, raised $1.8 million via Kickstarter.[Image Credit: © FinalStraw]
Tracy L. Barnett, via Rice Business Wisdom , "What comes after plastic? The movement recognizing the harm of single-use plastic bags, straws, cups and other containers is already imagining the products that come next.", Houston Chronicle, August 28, 2018, © Hearst
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Perdue To Begin Offering Lower-Priced Organic Chicken Products

August 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Maryland-based Perdue Farms announced its Simply Smart Organics chicken products – including frozen and refrigerated whole grain, gluten-free, and lightly breaded nuggets, strips and tenders – will be available next month at about half the cost of other organic brands. The company says the new organic products will be more affordable relative to other similar products, without compromising organic standards, convenience or taste. The line of chicken products can already be found in stores, but beginning in October they’ll carry the USDA certified organic seal. U.S. sales of organic broiler chickens were up 78 percent in 2016 from the previous year, totalling $750 million, according to the USDA.[Image Credit: © Perdue and its affiliates or subsidiaries]
Sara Swann, "Perdue organic chicken line targets affordability", Salisbury Daily Times, August 28, 2018, © www.delmarvanow.com
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General Mills Drops “Natural” Claim For Granola Bars

August 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills will no longer claim on its Nature Valley granola bars that they are 100 percent natural, according to a news report. The company recently settled a 2016 lawsuit that said that oats used in the bars contained the herbicide glyphostate, the active ingredient in the Monsanto product Roundup that has been connected to cancer. Tests by an independent lab found .45 parts per million glyphosate in the Nature Valley products. The company reportedly settled instead of going through "the cost and distraction of litigation" and instead will focus on making sure products have 100 percent whole grain oats.[Image Credit: © General Mills]
Brett Molina, "General Mills drops '100% Natural' on Nature Valley granola bars after lawsuit", USA Today, August 24, 2018, © USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.
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The US And Other Countries Should Look To Norway For Possible Solutions To The Plastics Problem

August 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Norway is being seen as a standout for innovation aimed at reducing plastic use. It recycles all but a small percentage of plastic bottles, using a bottle deposit scheme nationally that enables consumers to exchange containers over the counter in a range of stores as well as reverse vending machines in public spaces. In return, consumers receive cash or store coupons. The recycled plastic is used in a variety of ways, including packaging, textiles and new bottles. With China, for example, backing away from accepting recyclable materials from other countries, the US and other economies are having to look at alternative approaches to dealing with the problem of plastic trash, and some of the reactions, such as Oregon recycling processors being allowed to send recyclable materials to landfills, are not long-term solutions. Dune Ives, executive director of the Lonely Whale Foundation, believes the US should look at the way Norway and other countries are tackling the issue, by improving the messaging and changing consumer behavior. Ives said that US consumers were surprised at how much wasn’t being recycled and were open to ways to improve the situation. Bottle deposit schemes might be one approach that US consumers might embrace, but brands must also explore other possible solutions, including next-generation plastics that can be composted, reused, eaten or more easily recycled. Norway, for example, chose two PET resins for manufacturers to work with and then established a value chain that focused on recycling them.[Image Credit: © Matthew Gollop]
Lucy Siegle, "Norway Has A Radical Approach To Plastic Pollution, And It’s Working", Huffington Post, August 22, 2018, © Oath Inc
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Consultancy Says Businesses, Governments Should Partner On Food Waste

August 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
According to a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), aggressive action by companies, agricultural players, governments, and others can significantly reduce a global food waste problem expected to hit 2.1 billion tons – worth $1.5 trillion – through 2030. Five key drivers of the problem include: lack of awareness by consumers and others; inadequate supply chain infrastructure; supply chain inefficiency; a lack of collaboration within the food value chain; and poorly designed tax and regulatory policies. The report suggests 13 concrete initiatives companies can take to help combat the problem, addressing a major societal challenge while delivering business value. [Image Credit: © Sporkist | Wikimedia Commons]
"A Coordinated Global Offensive Can Reduce Annual Food Loss and Waste by $700 Billion", The Boston Consulting Group, August 19, 2018, © The Boston Consulting Group
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Full Harvest Hopes To Keep Surplus Produce Out Of Landfills

August 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Online surplus produce marketplace Full Harvest has snagged $8.5 million in a Series financing round led by Spark Capital. The company aggregates excess produce supply at scale and provides a buy/sell experience to growers and food buyers via software. Full Harvest will use the investment to further scale its technology platform, expand its U.S. footprint and triple the size of its technology, sales and operations teams. The company says it has already helped large farms sell and deliver nearly seven million pounds of produce – keeping it from landfills – driving revenue for farmers and savings for food and beverage companies. Other benefits include the conservation of drinking water and the prevention of CO2 emissions. [Image Credit: © Full Harvest]
"Full Harvest Closes on Investment to Tackle Food Waste Problem", waste360.com, August 17, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Denmark Continues Leadership In Food Waste Efforts

August 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Danish collaboration of players in the food industry has committed to halve food waste in the country by 2030. The collaboration comprises 17 Danish food makers, retailers, and NGOs hopes to improve climate action through lower CO2 emissions, to ensure better use of the Earth's resources, and contribute positively to the Danish economy. Among participants in the partnership are Denmark’s largest food retailer, Salling Group, along with food processors Nestlé, Unilever, Arla, and HK Scan. Backing the collaboration are anti-food waste group Stop Wasting Food, and Danish food redistribution organization The Food Bank. Nearly 2,000 tons of food waste are produced every day – 700,000 tons annually – in the Danish food chain. [Image Credit: © Stop Wasting Food]
Katy Askew , "It’s going to require openness and courage : Nestlé, Unilever, Arla, Salling join Danish push to halve food waste", FoodNavigator.com, August 16, 2018, © William Reed Business Media
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Regulators, Organic Industry, Work To Shore Up Labeling Standards

August 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Though organic food represents only five percent of total U.S. food sales, the $45 billion industry is large enough to be experiencing growing pains, including fraudulent and slack labelling practices. The problem is causing consumers to wonder whether the USDA organic label is worth paying premium prices. The USDA says it’s working to fix label issues involving imported foods, as well as questionable practices within the egg and dairy industries. The agency hopes to step up inspections, coordinate with other agencies, and implement technologies to better track products across global supply chains. The Organic Trade Association, meanwhile, says it's testing ways to detect fraud and, once fine-tuned, will share the methods with its membership. [Image Credit: © USDA | Wikimedia Commons]
"Is the "organic" seal worth it, given disputes on standards?", Associated Press, August 15, 2018, © Associated Press
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Big Investors Back Food Waste App Start-Up

August 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Two-year-old Swedish tech start-up Karma has caught the interest of serious investors intrigued by an app that links restaurants and supermarkets with consumers looking for a food bargain. The company just completed a $12 million Series A funding round whose participants include Bessemer Venture Partners of the U.S., Kinnevik, and Electrolux, the global appliance manufacturer. So far Karma has convinced 1,500 food sellers, including hotels, cafes and bakeries, to distribute surplus food to 350,000 Karma users. The win-win proposition gives customers half-price food while providing food sellers income on food that otherwise would end up in the dumpster. [Image Credit: © Karma]
Amelia Heathman, "Expansion of Karma app shows tech industry is taking food waste problem seriously", Evening Standard, August 15, 2018, © Evening Standard Ltd
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Diageo To Launch Edible Straws

August 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


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]

Edith Hancock , "Diageo has launched lime, strawberry, and chocolate-flavoured edible straws", The Drinks Business, August 14, 2018, © Union Press Ltd
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Ugandan Student’s Invention Speeds Drying Of Fruits, Vegetables

August 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A 23-year-old Ugandan engineering student has invented a produce drying device that he believes could help solve a serious food waste problem in Africa and beyond. Dubbed the Sparky Dryer, the dehydrator runs on garden waste – not electricity, which is scarce. It dries fruit and vegetables quickly so they last months instead of days, cutting down on food waste. Lawrence Okettayot’s device – starting price $80 – looks like a small refrigerator and can dehydrate 10 kg of mangoes in two hours. A small chamber contains a gas fire that heats a separate drying chamber above where the sliced produce is stacked in shelves. A catalytic converter prevents harmful gases from being released during the drying process. The device is a better option than traditional methods because it doesn’t rely on scarce electricity and can operate during the rainy season. [Image Credit: © www.Nhillfilms.com]
Alfonso Daniels , "The student trying to solve the food waste crisis", BBC, August 14, 2018, © BBC
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Lush And Change Please Team Up To Offer Free Drinks In Reusable Cups

August 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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]
"Lush draws attention to single-use plastics with new London pop-up", Cosmetics Business, August 13, 2018, © HPCi Media
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Edible Cutlery From Bakeys Is Attracting Criticism…From Environmentalists

August 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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]
Emily Court, "Company Met With Criticism After Launching Edible Utensils To Fight Plastic Waste", Plant Based News, August 11, 2018, © Plant Based News
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Retailers Back The New Zealand Government’s Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags

August 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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]
Aimee Shaw, "Saying bye to plastic: What Kiwi shops say about Government's plan to ban single-use plastic bags", Nzherald.co.nz, August 10, 2018, © NZME. Publishing Limited
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After Whole Foods, Former co-CEO Tackles The Food Waste Problem

August 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Former Whole Foods Market co-CEO Walter Robb has joined the boards of two companies focused on reduction of food waste. Robb left the company when Whole Foods was sold to Amazon and has since become an investor, mentor and adviser to FoodMaven, a digital platform company that sells oversupplied and imperfect food to restaurants at a significant discount, and to Apeel Sciences, which extends the shelf life of produce using a natural coating. Both companies give grocers tools to address the mismatch between supply and demand, Robb says. He also says he’s a fan of upcycled products such as Renewal Mill's okara flour, made from a by-product of soymilk production, and Regrained's Supergrain+, made from spent distiller grains. [Image Credit: © USDA | Wikimedia Commons]
Dana Gunders, "Whole Foods' Walter Robb Is Taking On Food Waste", Forbes.com, August 10, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Australian Exporters Hope To Exploit U.S. Love Of Grass-Fed Beef

August 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Australian grass-fed beef exporters see a niche market in the U.S. as American producers face mounting beef, pork, and poultry supplies that could soon export suppress prices. The demand for chilled grass-fed beef is being driven by Millennials looking for “all natural” protein supplies. Since 2012, Australia’s grass-fed beef trade with the U.S. has increased 100 percent, and now represents 25 percent of total volume shipped there, the second largest beef market after Japan. The grass-fed, HGP-free, antibiotic-free product range is a fast-growing,albeit competitive, niche in the U.S. The sale of meat with natural claims has a CAGR of four percent, while meat labeled hormone- and antibiotic-free is growing at nine percent. [Image Credit: © redjar – jared benedict | Wikimedia Commons]
Shan Goodwin, "Mounting US protein supply drives home need for niche ", Stock and Land, August 09, 2018, © Fairfax Media
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Investors See Big Opportunities In Food Waste Solutions Start-Ups

August 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Four start-ups that are battling food waste in their own unique ways have secured significant backing from major investors. Four-year-old BlueCart, originally founed to provide restaurants with an online procurement tool, realized that the technology also reduced waste. The company raised $22 million in three years from VCs. It now boasts 53,642 foodservice venues and 7,078 suppliers that have cut food waste by 52 percent. Other food waste start-ups include: Winnow, helping commercial kitchens cut food waste with a monitor and digital scale connected to a tablet ($11.5 million in funding); and FoodMaven, providing an online marketplace and logistics to capture revenues from lost food ($9.1 million). Funding initiative ReFED says more than $100 million in private funding has been provided to food waste innovators. [Image Credit: © BlueCart]
Arlene Karidis, "A Look at Some Food Waste Innovators with Major Backing", waste360.com, August 09, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Aldi In Australia Justifies Its Use Of Fruit And Veg Packaging

August 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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]
Brittany Chain, "Revealed: The reason why Aldi wraps its fruit and vegetables in plastic – and it's all to do with speeding things up at the checkouts", Daily Mail Australia, August 09, 2018, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Morrisons Steps Up Fight Against Single-Use Plastic By Removing Cucumber Sleeves

August 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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]
Rachel Graham , "Morrisons removes cucumber plastic sleeves to reduce waste", The Grocer, August 07, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd.
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US Paper Straw Maker Aadvark Acquired By Hoffmaster To Meet Growing Demand

August 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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.]
Natasha Bach , "Aardvark, the Only Producer Of Paper Straws In the U.S., Just Got Acquired", Fortune.com, August 07, 2018, © Time Inc
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AgTech Firm Sues Walmart, Alleging Illegal Use Of Food Waste Technology

August 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Agricultural tech company Zest Labs and its parent company Ecoark Holdings are suing Walmart in federal court for $2 billion, alleging violations of the Arkansas Trade Secrets Act and other offenses. Data created and insights created by Zest Labs’ Zest Fresh technology reduces field to shelf food waste and improves delivered freshness, helping food distributors and retailers reduce the $85 billion problem of fresh food waste. Zest Labs in 2015 helped Walmart adopt the technology, in the process sharing trade secrets. In March 2018, Walmart announced Eden, a technology to keep track of food freshness from farms to stores. Zest Labs says it was “surprised and concerned by how similar Walmart’s Eden description was to Zest Fresh,” triggering the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. [Image Credit: © Zest Labs]
"Ecoark Holdings and Zest Labs File $2 Billion Complaint Against Walmart", Globe Newswire, August 01, 2018, © GlobeNewswire, Inc
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Kraft Heinz Commits To Environmentally-Friendlier Packaging By 2025

August 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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]
Alexandra Deabler, "Kraft Heinz announces 100 percent of packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025", Fox News, August 01, 2018, © FOX News Network, LLC.
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New FreshCloud Platform Monitors Produce Quality Through The Supply Chain

July 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food preservation company AgroFresh Solutions announced the launch of its FreshCloud platform, a data- and insights-driven solution for monitoring produce quality through the supply chain. The company also announced the acquisition of Verigo, an “Internet of Things” (IoT) company offering end-to-end visibility and management of cold-chain logistics. FreshCloud offers real-time predictive data insights that improve efficiency in the delivery of produce to global consumers.  Verigo's technology is the foundation of FreshCloud Transit Insights, and triggered a revamp of AgroFresh's AdvanStore offering, now called FreshCloud Storage Insights. FreshCloud Predictive Screening, also a component of the FreshCloud platform, predicts the risk of disorder development during storage by analyzing gene expression at commercial harvest, resulting in more informed storage management decisions. [Image Credit: © AgroFresh]
"AgroFresh Launches FreshCloud Platform", PRNewswire, July 31, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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NRDC: Beef, Pork Producers, Fast-Food Chains, Should Reduce Antibiotics Use

July 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Natural Resources Defense Council is happy that poultry producers and fast-food chains are weaning themselves from chickens raised with human antibiotics, but wonder why beef and pork are ”another story.” Progress in the chicken industry is “in stark contrast” to what’s happening with pigs and cattle. In fact, according to the NRDC, pretty much the same amount of medically important antibiotics is sold for use in pigs as for use in treating sick people in the U.S. But pork producers in many countries raise pigs without routine use of antibiotics. Beef producers represented by the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) – which also includes fast-food chains – are also falling short when it comes to antibiotics use. “It is time to clean up antibiotic use practices behind the beef and pork served on [fast-food] menus,” the Council said. [Image Credit: © Stephen Fulljames | Wikimedia Commons]
Lena Brook, "More Chicken Antibiotics Pledges; Where's the Beef & Pork?", Natural Resources Defense Council , July 30, 2018, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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Bakey's Sells Eco-Friendly Edible Spoons And Forks To India And The World

July 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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]
Lavaniya Rajah, "Cutlery you can eat: One company's approach to the plastic pollution problem", CBC News, July 29, 2018, © CBC/Radio-Canada
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Plastic Straws Become Main Target Of Anti-Plastic Pollution Campaigns

July 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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]
Nick Stockton, "How Plastic Straws Slip Through the Cracks of Waste Management", Wired.com, July 26, 2018, © Condé Nast
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Hormel Removes Carrageenan From Line Of Natural, Organic Deli Meats

July 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Hormel’s Applegate brand of natural and organic meats announced it has eliminated the controversial ingredient carrageenan from its deli meat products after consumers complained about it.  Carrageenan is a sulfated polysaccharide derived from seaweed that is used as a thickener and stabilizer in foods. The USDA now allows the use of carrageenan in natural and organic foods. Hormel also requires a no-antibiotics policy on the farms that produce meats for its Applegate products. [Image Credit: © Hormel]
"Applegate Does Deli Better with Ingredient and Packaging Updates ", Hormel Foods Corporation, July 26, 2018, © Hormel Foods Corporation
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Georgia Tech Scientists Develop Environment-Friendly Plastic-Like Packaging Material

July 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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]
Noel Kirkpatrick, "How crabs and trees could soon replace plastic", Mother Nature Network, July 25, 2018, © NARRATIVE CONTENT GROUP
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Court Squashes Suits Seeking Human Rights Disclosure Labels On Foods

July 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A federal appeals court has ruled that California consumer laws do not require food companies to put disclaimer labels about supply-chain issues on their products. The 9th circuit court’s decision ends class action suits that have sought to force companies to disclose possible human rights violations within the supply chain. The U.S. Department of Labor has reported that forced child labor occurs in the harvesting of cocoa beans in the Ivory Coast and the collection of fish and shrimp in Thailand. Companies such as Mars and Nestlé have acknowledged that such abuses occur, but plaintiffs in the class action suits say such efforts do not go far enough.
Glenn G. Lammi, "Demands For On-Label Disclosure Of Possible Supply-Chain Abuses Fail In Ninth Circuit", Forbes.com, July 25, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Students Turn Food Processing Waste Into Profit Center

July 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Danish technology students who were asked to find a sustainable process to recycle carrot peels and pulp have come up with a way to turn to it into flour. Vegetable supplier Greens Wholesale generates 100 tons of biological waste every month as it produces fresh juices and produce. Much of the waste is converted to biogas or fertilizer, but the company wanted to optimize its production process to reduce costs and perhaps turn a profit. Turning carrot waste into flour was the winning idea: it can replace up to half of the wheat flour in a recipe. The company and the Technical University of Denmark students hope to commercialize the idea within a year. [Image Credit: © Cokolatetnica | Pixabay]
Miriam Meister, "Technical University Of Denmark: Out-of-the-box thinking transforms carrot peel into carrot flour", Technical University of Denmark , July 25, 2018, © Technical University of Denmark
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Aramark Aims To Reduce Or Remove Plastic Straws From Facilities It Serves

July 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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]
Chris Morris , "Food Service Giant Aramark Is Phasing Out Plastic Straws", Fortune.com, July 24, 2018, © Time Inc.
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Just Eat Tests Seaweed-Based Sachets Developed With Skipping Rocks Lab

July 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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]
"Just Eat trials seaweed sachets as alternative to single-use plastics", edie.net, July 24, 2018, © edie.net
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Next Major Food Trend Could Be “Allergen-Free”

July 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Companies that sell foods that claim to not only be gluten-free but free of other ingredients that trigger allergic reactions expect solid growth over the coming years. Chicago’s Enjoy Life Foods, for example, saw an opportunity when the U.S. FDA designated eight common food allergens, including peanuts and gluten. The company has seen double-digit growth every year since 2011. No one is really tracking the allergen-free market yet, so there are no reliable measures of it. But the rate of anaphylactic reactions to food increased 377 percent between 2007 and 2016. Another company, Safe + Fair, says its chocolate chip cookie is free of nuts, but does contain wheat, egg and soy. The company, which recently completed a $10 million Series C funding round, is developing a line of nut-free cookies and crackers called Skeeter Snacks. [Image Credit: © Aney | Wikimedia Commons]
"Allergy-Free: The Next Gluten-Free?", NACS, July 24, 2018, © NACS
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Bulldog Launches Shower Gel In Environment-Friendly Refill Box

July 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


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]
Lucy Whitehouse , "Bulldog’s new refillable product reduces plastic waste by 85%", Cosmetics Design Europe, July 24, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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British Company To Open Waste Food Catering Business

July 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A British non-profit company is planning to use unused food to offer catering and meal services to people, businesses and organizations, beginning in September. Real Junk Food Manchester’s program will focus on commercial outside catering services such as buffets and hot meals. The venture will be housed in a large commercial kitchen in partnership with a local social housing provider and will collaborate with local charity and public-sector groups to supply meals to vulnerable people across the city. RJFM opened its first waste food pay-as-you-feel restaurant concept last year as a short-term pop-up concept and doubled in size. [Image Credit: © Real Junk Food Manchester]

"British firm Real Junk Food Manchester to open waste food catering business", MarketLine NewsWire , July 23, 2018, © Verdict Media Limited
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