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Lidl In Ireland And Northern Ireland Is Eradicating Its Use Of Black Plastic

October 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Lidl announced it is eliminating black plastic in packaging before Christmas from its fruit and vegetables in all of its stores in Ireland and Northern Ireland. It will be withdrawn from fresh fish products by February next year, and its poultry and fresh and cured meat products will follow by August. Lidl also announced that it had stopped selling single-use plastic items, such as straws, plastic plates, cups and cutlery. They will be replaced by biodegradable items. The retailer added that it continues to test unpackaged fruit and vegetables. Over a quarter of its fresh produce has no packaging. [Image Credit: © Lidl UK GmbH]
"Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland Remove Unrecyclable Black Plastic Packaging", Packaging Europe, October 08, 2018, © Packaging Europe Ltd. A Rapid News Communications Group Company.
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Kroger Fund Food Waste Prevention Curriculum For El-Sec Students

October 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Grocery chain Kroger has joined a Zero Hunger | Zero Waste partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to prevent and recover food waste in U.S. elementary and secondary schools. WWF, whose WIld Classroom provides an environmental curriculum for teachers and parents, is expanding the curriculum with the help of a $400,000 grant from Kroger’s foundation to focus on promoting food conservation education and best practices. The Food Waste Warrior Toolkit, a classroom-friendly curriculum that aligns with USDA and state educational standards, turns the school cafeteria into a classroom to inspire students to become Zero Heroes by making a lifelong commitment to reduce food waste. The free toolkit was tested in Washington, D.C., using resources from science, math, ecology, conservation, and sustainability.[Image Credit: © The Kroger Co.]
"Kroger Partners with World Wildlife Fund to Educate Students About Responsible Food Practices", PR Newswire, October 08, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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North London Budgens Opens Plastic-Free Zones

October 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A north London branch of supermarket chain Budgens is introducing plastic-free zones. The Belsize Park outlet, Thornton’s Budgens, offers over 1,700 products in plastic-free packaging, using alternative materials such as beechwood nets, paper and glass to wrap foods. It enlisted the help of A Plastic Planet, a campaign group, and created the zone in 10 weeks. Mr. Thornton claims his store is just the second worldwide to have plastic-free zones, with Dutch supermarket Ekoplaza the first.[Image Credit: © Booker Retail Partners GB Limited]
Sabrina Barr, "Budgens store becomes one of world's first to have plastic-free zones", The Independent, October 08, 2018, © Evening Standard Ltd
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FDA Drops Seven Approved Flavoring Chemicals After Data Prove They Cause Cancer

October 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Responding to two food additive petitions, the Food and Drug Administration has removed seven synthetic flavoring substances and flavor enhancers (adjuvants) from its list of approved ingredients because they have been proven to be carcinogenic. Data presented in one of the petitions submitted to the FDA by Breast Cancer Fund and nine other watchdog groups show that six of the synthetic substances caused cancer in laboratory animals under the conditions of the studies. The seventh synthetic flavor was dropped from the list because it is no longer used by industry. The six flavoring substances include synthetically-derived benzophenone, ethyl acrylate, eugenyl methyl ether (methyl eugenol), myrcene, pulegone, and pyridine. [Image Credit: © Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (Formerly Breast Cancer Fund)]
"FDA Removes 7 Synthetic Flavoring Substances from Food Additives List", USFDA, October 05, 2018, © U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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Nestlé USA Forms New Partnerships With Innovative Food Start-Ups

October 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé USA announced three new partnerships with innovative food start-ups as part of the TERRA Food & Agriculture Accelerator founded by RocketSpace and Rabobank. The partnerships are with with Jackson's Honest, Miyoko's and Here, each of which is “creating on-trend foods focused on plant-based nutrition, simple labels and fresh ingredients.” Chicago-based Here Foods turns fresh produce ingredients grown by independent farmers into products like cold-pressed juices, spreads, dips, and salad dressings. Jackson’s Honest sells more than 20 Non-GMO Project verified snacks, including potato chips, tortilla chips, and grain-free puffs cooked “low and slow” in organic coconut oil. Miyoko Creamery makes non-dairy cheese, butter, and other products from organic nuts, legumes, and other plant-based ingredients.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]
"Nestlé USA Partners with Start-ups Disrupting the Healthy Snacking and Plant-based Foods Categories", PR Newswire, October 03, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Belgians Adopt Food Nutrition Labeling Scheme Developed In France

October 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Belgian government has introduced a voluntary scheme for front-of-pack nutritional labeling that is now being implemented by the country’s grocery retailers. The Nutri-Score scheme was developed by the French government and put in place in France a year ago. The system was designed to inform consumers about the nutritional quality of a product by using color coding associated with letters from A to E. Five levels range from the most nutritionally favorable product (class A) to the least (class E). U.S exporters to Belgium will not have to comply with the scheme if they don’t want to. Two large retail chains, Ahold Delhaize and Colryut, have committed to applying the scheme by the end of 2018.[Image Credit: © Ahold Delhaize]
"Belgium Adopts Nutri-Score for Front of Pack Nutritional Labeling", USDA Foreign Agricultural Service , October 03, 2018, © USA.gov
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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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Australian Coca-Cola Unit Commits To Full Recyclability By 2025

September 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Australia’a Coca-Cola Amatil has promised that all bottles, cans, plastic wrapping, glass, and cardboard will be fully recyclable by 2025 and compliant with the National Packaging Targets announced by Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price. The company will also focus on removing unnecessary single-use packaging through improved design, innovation or the implementation of recycled alternatives. The recently announced packaging targets include 70 percent of Australia’s plastic packaging to be recycled or composted by 2025 and 30 percent of packaging to be made from recycled content.
"Coca-Cola Amatil to make all packaging recyclable by 2025", Packaging Gateway, September 28, 2018, © Verdict Media Limited
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Australian Hair Care Company Kevin Murphy To Integrate Ocean Plastics Into Supply Chain

September 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Company founder, Kevin Murphy, will use ocean plastics for his products' packaging in 2019 in an attempt to help reduce ocean plastic debris. Murphy, during a vacation in Bali, Indonesia, observed the environmental threat posed by plastic worldwide as an estimated 5 trillion tons of plastic currently litter the ocean. Danish packaging manufacturer Pack Tech is helping Murphy and his team switch to 100 percent ocean plastic packaging. To part offset the high cost of transporting, treating and reprocessing ocean plastic, Murphy increased the sale price of his products by 7 percent. Other companies that have similar advocacy include Dell and Adidas.[Image Credit: © Luis Murphy and Natasha Childs]
Eillie Anzilotti, "This beauty brand will source 100% of its packaging from ocean plastic", Fast Company, September 28, 2018, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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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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McDonald’s Removes Artificial Preservatives, Flavors, Colors From Menu Items

September 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Hoping to attract more health-conscious consumers to its restaurants, McDonald's is getting rid of the artificial ingredients in its menu items. Seven classic burgers – the hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, McDouble, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and Big Mac – will no longer contain artificial preservatives, flavors or colors. The changes apply to the bun, the cheese, and the sauce, but not to the pickles. Ingredients eliminated include the artificial preservative calcium propionate from buns and the preservative sorbic acid from its American cheese. Th company is also removing potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and calcium disodium EDTA from the Big Mac Special Sauce without "sacrificing that signature taste."[Image Credit: © McDonald's]
Jordan Valinsky , "McDonald's removing artificial additives from its burgers", CNN Money, September 27, 2018, © Cable News Network
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FDA May Soon Require Non-Dairy “Milks” To Change Their Labeling

September 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In what may be the first step toward changing the way plant-based dairy substitutes are labeled, the FDA is soliciting comments from producers and other experts on how consumers use the alternative “milk.” The agency wants to know whether American consumers understand how substitutes differ from cow’s milk in nutritional content and cooking performance. As sales of non-dairy substitutes like soy and almond milk National Milk Producers Federation asked the FDA to enforce what's known as a "standard of identity." The for milk reads, in part: "the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum” – the milk produced after giving birth – “obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows." Companies and consumers have 60 days to respond to the FDA's questions.[Image Credit: © rawpixel from Pixabay]
Anna Edney, "U.S. Explores Renaming Almond Milk in Victory for Dairy Industry", Bloomberg, September 27, 2018, © Bloomberg LLC
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A2 Milk Company Partners With Crediton Dairy To Replace Plastic Bottles With Paper-Based Cartons

September 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A2 Milk Company becomes the first fresh milk brand in the UK to replace plastic bottles with cartons, even though cartons are often used for similar products, including fruit juice and non-dairy milk. The company's partnership with Crediton Dairy aims to reducing the 38.5 million plastic bottles used in the UK daily by switching to recyclable paper-based cartons carrying the Forest Stewardship Council label. The A2 Milk Company is responding to increased pressure from consumers for packaging that uses less plastic. The brand, which uses milk free of the A1 protein type typically found in cow’s milk, is still relatively small in the UK, but is well-established in the US and has 10 percent of the Australian market.[Image Credit: © The a2 Milk Company]
Rebecca Smithers, "a2 Milk becomes first mainstream dairy brand to ditch plastic bottles", The Guardian, September 26, 2018, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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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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“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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Suit Alleges Pret a Manger’s Baked Goods Contain Weed Killer Ingredient

September 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Beyond Pesticides announced it is joining GMO Free USA and Organic Consumers Association in a lawsuit charging restaurant chain Pret a Manger with “deceptive marketing and sale of certain bread and other baked goods” as "natural food" though they tested positive for glyphosate. The lawsuit accuses Pret of exploiting consumers' preferences and willingness to pay more for products marketed as natural. A component of Roundup weed killer, glyphosate is patented as a chelator and an antibiotic, but is linked to adverse health effects including cancer, infertility, and non-alcoholic fatty liver and kidney diseases. The suit would have Pret fully disclose glyphosate in its products and reformulate them to be glyphosate-free.[Image Credit: © Beyond Pesticides]
"Nonprofits Sue Pret A Manger for Deceptive Marketing of Foods as 'Natural'", PR Newswire , September 25, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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FDA May Soon Update The Definition Of, And Permitted Ingredients For, Yogurt

September 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA is looking into the possibility of “modernizing” regulations governing the content and even the definition of yogurt. The dairy industry has been pushing to open up the yogurt standard as manufacturing practices and consumer tastes have changed. The FDA established a standard for foods labeled as "yogurt" in 1981 that limited the ingredients. But the industry objected; the following year the agency suspended enforcement of various provisions and allowed the addition of preservatives. A 2009 rule that was never finalized created a unified standard that allowed emulsifiers as well, but yogurt makers said the rule created confusion and left it open to lawsuits. Meanwhile, milk producers hope the FDA’s “modernized” standards will soon crack down on soy and almond drinks that call themselves "milk," which current standards say must come from a cow.[Image Credit: © Aline Ponce from Pixabay]
Candice Choi , "'Yogurt' to get more modernized definition in U.S.; Industry wants greater liberty to use term in food labels", The Associated Press, September 25, 2018, © The Associated Press
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British Supermarket Chain The Co-op Replaces Plastic Bags With Biodegradable Alternatives

September 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The Co-op became the first supermarket chain in Great Britain to adopt compostable alternatives as a replacement for single-use plastic bags. The move follows the 2015 law that requires retailers to charge five pence for plastic bags and reflects the supermarket's commitment to eliminate non-recyclable plastics from its products. The biodegradable plastic bags will be distributed in all 2,600 Co-op locations. Supermarket Waitrose & Partners also indicated it would switch to compostable bags while Lidl announced it would remove all black plastic from packaging (black plastic has been targeted since it’s harder for recyclers to process).[Image Credit: © Co-operative Group Limited]
Olivia Rosane, "Supermarket Becomes First in UK to Replace Single-Use Plastic Bags With Compostable Alternative", EcoWatch, September 24, 2018, © EcoWatch
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Land O’Lakes Launches Digital Tool To Help Farmers Get More Sustainable

September 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN is to launch Truterra Insights Engine, an interactive digital platform to help farmers and food companies measure their sustainability in real time. The platform combines agronomic expertise and technical capabilities from several contributors, including the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, and combined with other tools can help farmers measure the economic and environmental benefits of their sustainability efforts. It also helps them identify farm management options. The company claims Truterra Insights Engine is better suited to farmers since it was created by a farmer-owned cooperative.[Image Credit: © Land O’Lakes, Inc.]
"Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN debuts first-of-its-kind digital platform to support farmer-led stewardship", PR Newswire, September 24, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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San Francisco Chef Plans Food Waste-Focused Restaurant

September 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Although there have been restaurant pop-ups focused on food waste, no one in the U.S. with a fine dining background has opened a restaurant devoted to food waste. But San Francisco chef Nick Balla, who has a reputation for creating delicious meals from surplus foods, is toying with the idea. He recently shared his business plan during the San Francisco Global Climate Action Summit at an event focused on reducing food waste. Balla says the restaurant he launches, possibly in the Bayview neighborhood, will have to have room for equipment needed to juice, dehydrate and jar the tons of food he will process. There will also be a bakery for incorporating leftovers into bread. He predicts that embracing surplus and ugly food will soon move from buzzword status to a national trend.[Image Credit: © Couleur from Pixabay]
Tara Duggan , "San Francisco chef Nick Balla plans food-waste-focused restaurant ", The San Francisco Chronicle , September 21, 2018, © Hearst
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AlgoTek Develops An Algae-Based, Degradable Plastic For Single-Use Market

September 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Startup AlgoTek has developed an edible and biodegradable plastic made mainly from brown algae powder. The plastic, which is created using a proprietary process, is durable and can be used for various single-use products such as capsules and bottles. The plastic, which is degraded by water, can withstand heat up to 140 degrees F and cold down to 10 degrees F. AlgoTek was established by chief executive officer David Crinnion and his college friends to help address the global plastic waste problem. AlgoTek has raised 35,000 dollars, is looking for manufacturing partners and aims to secure patents so it can license its technology to other users.[Image Credit: © AlgoteK ]
Eric Mack, "It's Plastic. It's Edible. It Could Be A Very Big Deal.", Forbes, September 21, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Multinational Corporations Support Campaign To Reduce Ocean Plastic Pollution

September 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Multinational corporations, including Coca-Cola and Walmart, pledged their support for the Ocean Plastics Charter signed by Britain, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy in June 2018. Despite an abstention by the two other G7 nations, United States and Japan, several non-G7 nations supported the plan to achieve 100 percent plastics recyclability by 2030. An announcement by Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKena to create a new partnership with businesses to reduce plastic waste secured support from several companies, including Loblaws, Walmart, and IKEA, and Nestle Canada. Separately, Unilever announced the launch of a not-for-profit venture to reduce consumer and business waste.[Image Credit: © kakuko from pixabay]
"Coca-Cola, Walmart to cut plastic pollution in oceans", Phys.org, September 20, 2018, © AFP
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Novel Edible Utensils Enhance Customer Experience And Help Eliminate Plastic Waste

September 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Companies are responding to consumer concerns about plastic pollution and regulation restricting the use of plastic straws, with a range of innovative solutions. After announcing it would remove single-use straws globally by 2020, Starbucks introduced a pumpkin spice cookie straw. In the summer Diageo introduced flavored edible straws that supposedly complemented its canned cocktails. Beyond straws, British packaging startup Skipping Rocks Lab partnered with delivery service Just Eat to offer seaweed-based edible sauce sachets. Consumer awareness continues to rise as the scale of the issue becomes clear. One study found that just 9 percent of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic produced worldwide is recycled, underling the work still to be done.[Image Credit: © Skipping Rocks Lab]
Emily Safian-Demers, "Edible utensils", J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, September 19, 2018, © J. Walter Thompson U.S.A., LLC
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Government Legislation, Documentaries Help Change Consumer Perception To Fuel Interest In Plastic Alternatives

September 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Anti-plastic sentiment globally has created challenges for established plastic-using brands, but also an opportunity for businesses to capitalize on the growing demand for plastic alternatives. The change has been driven by pressure from a range of directions, including governments and campaigns, supported by TV programs like War on Waste in Australia and the BBC’s Blue Planet II in the UK. A study by Kantar Worldpanel found that 44 percent of respondents are now more worried about single-use plastic than they were, and 70 percent aim to adopt more sustainable alternatives. Some of the companies bringing more sustainable options to market are doing more than merely offering alternatives to plastics. They are building brands of their own: Turtle Savers, which makes reusable stainless steel straws, will leverage social media to highlight branding on the product when it launches later this year, and S’well, a US-based steel bottle brand is sold as a fashion accessory.[Image Credit: © TurtleSavers]
Erin Lyons, "Fighting the war on plastic: The brands trying to break our plastic addiction", Marketing Week, September 19, 2018, © Centaur Communications Ltd
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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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Premier Nutrition Corporation Partners With Tetra Pak To Launch A New Earth First Packaging Initiative For Its Premier Protein Shakes

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In its commitment to reduce its environmental impact, Premier Nutrition decided to change the packaging for its Premier Protein shakes by using Tetra Pak cartons certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The cap is durable, recyclable, free from genetically modified organisms and made from sugarcane. Company president, Darcy Horn Davenport, claims the growing environmental awareness of consumers prompted them to reevaluate the product line's packaging.[Image Credit: © PREMIER NUTRITION CORPORATION]
"Premier Protein Introduces Sustainable Packaging for its Line of Ready-to-Drink Protein Shakes", PR Newswire, September 17, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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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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Indian Collaborators Achieve Large Savings Manufacturing Hand Bags With Paper Waste And Pulp

September 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
India's Khadi And Village Industries Commission (KVIC) And Kumarappa Handmade Paper Institute (KNHI) are collaborating to manufacture paper carry bags by mixing plastic waste with paper pulp. KVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena claims the unique manufacturing process has resulted in a 34 percent reduction in the cost of producing handmade paper, from 100,000 rupees per metric ton using white cotton rags to 66,000 rupees per metric ton using mixed paper pulp and polythene waste. KVIC expects the new initiative, which was renamed REPLAN, will help KNHI grow as well as increase its profits.[Image Credit: © Khadi & Village Industries Commission, Government of India]
"KVIC develops carry bags made by mixing paper, plastic waste", The Times of India, September 02, 2018, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd
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McKinsey Encourages Chemical Industry To Cut Plastics Pollution Via New Recycling Business

September 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
McKinsey believes the chemical industry has a key role to play in addressing plastics pollution and that in doing so it has the opportunity to create a new recycled plastics business with a profit poll of $55 billion by 2030. Effectively tackling this issue will require a shift from the ‘one and done’ principle that has underpinned plastic production. McKinsey estimates that just 16 percent of plastics waste is currently reprocessed to make new plastics and that the volume of plastics going to recycling could increase fivefold by 2030. Effective recycling could capture a valuable resource as well as avoid large disposal costs. The three major approaches to plastics recycling include mechanical, chemical, and processing the plastics waste back to basic feedstock through catalytic or thermal processing.[Image Credit: © Monica Volpin @ Pixabay.com]
Thomas Hundertmark, Chris McNally, Theo Jan Simons, and Helga Vanthournout, "No time to waste: What plastics recycling could offer", McKinsey & Company, September 01, 2018, © McKinsey & Company
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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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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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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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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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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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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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Omnichannel Ad Campaign To Boost Natural And Organic Products

August 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
With sales of natural and organic products in the U.S. climbing 6.5 percent to $207 billion in 2017 – sales are expected to top $ 250 billion in 2020 – Mambo Sprouts and SKUlocal have partnered to produce and distribute an omnichannel education and savings program focused entirely on natural and organic products for health-conscious consumers. Direct Connect is targeting two million shoppers via direct mail, email and a network of social influencers. The direct mail portion will target homes within five miles of Whole Foods stores in California and in select areas in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions. N.J.-based Mambo Sprouts is a pioneer in delivering natural and organic consumer and shopper solutions.[Image Credit: © MamboSprouts.com]
"SKU local and Mambo Sprouts to provide savings on natural, organic products for health-conscious consumers", ENP Newswire, August 23, 2018, © PR Newswire Association 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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Water Is The Key Component Of A Healthy Life, Survey Finds

August 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Water is the most important part of a healthy life, according to a study commissioned by Nestlé Waters NA. Twenty-seven percent of consumers and 32 percent of experts rank water higher than sleep and healthy foods. The study surveyed a total of 6,142 American consumers and experts on water-related topics. Water conservation efforts were found to be a key priority for Americans, with more than half of consumers (55 percent) and experts (60 percent) saying they think about their water usage on a daily basis. But an average of 42 percent admit that they do not conserve water, but are willing to do so. [Image Credit: © Nestlé Waters North America Inc.]
"Americans Say That Clean Water Is the Most Important Factor to Living a Healthy Lifestyle, According to Second Annual Study from Nestlé Waters North America", PR Newswire, August 14, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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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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