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Big Beverage Companies To Urge Vietnam To Create Plastic Recycling Program

June 25, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Amid growing global outrage over plastic waste in the planet’s oceans, beverage major Suntory Holdings announced collaboration with rivals Coca-Cola and Nestlé to encourage the Vietnam government to create a large-scale plastic recycling system. Japan has said it will discuss the problem at the G20 summit it is hosting this month. Suntory told Reuters it plans to switch out pure petroleum-based plastic bottles in all markets by 2030, using only recycled or plant-based materials at a cost of $467 million. Recycling plastic is a vexing problem in Southeast Asia, which lacks lacks sophisticated systems for collecting, sorting, and treating used plastic. Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said he wants his country to phase out single-use plastics by 2025 using unspecified “drastic measures.”
"Japan’s Suntory joins rival Coca-Cola to push Vietnam on plastic recycling", CNBC, June 25, 2019, © CNBC LLC
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Personal Care Startup By Humankind Offers Refillable Options For Your Bathroom

June 25, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

New York-based By Humankind, a personal care direct-to-consumer subscription startup, is looking to reduce its use of plastic by introducing refillable products, including a shampoo, deodorant and mouthwash. The refillable containers come with a lifetime guarantee, but can also be recycled. The company calls the refills “"kindfills", which are in pods made from biodegradable paper and shipped in envelopes made from recycled material. The shampoo (solid bar) and mouthwash (tablets) are heavily concentrated to reduce packaging. The deodorant is available unscented or with eucalyptus.[Image Credit: © By Humankind, Inc]
"By Humankind wants to banish single-use plastic from your bathroom", Dezeen, June 25, 2019, © Dezeen Limited
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Brown Paper Bags Will Replace Plastic Bags At Boots In The UK

June 24, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
UK health and beauty retailer Boots will from next year phase out plastic bags, replacing them with unbleached brown paper ones, starting immediately with 53 stores across the country. It will also move to unbleached paper bags for prescriptions. It will charge for the new bags, even though they are not covered by the plastic bag tax. Instead, profits from the bags will go to the BBC Children in Need charity. Boots cites its own research to demonstrate the extent to which consumers support moves to address the problem of plastic waste. The bags are from Forest Stewardship Council certified recycled brown paper, easily recycled at home, and display the On-Pack Recycling Label. [Image Credit: © The Boots Company PLC]
"Boots UK to replace plastic carrier bags with unbleached paper bags in all stores", Boots UK, June 24, 2019, © The Boots Company PLC
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The Mr Muscle® Line In The UK Extends SC Johnson’s Expansion Of Refillable Options

June 24, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

In August this year, UK consumers will see the first concentrated refill for SC Johnson’s Mr Muscle® cleaning products. The refills will be available on Amazon, and will allow consumers to add tap water to the concentrate in the reusable trigger bottle. The bottle should be refillable “dozens of times”. The Windex® concentrated refills were the company’s first foray into refillable products, in 2011, since when it has added brands including Pledge®, Shout® and Scrubbing Bubbles®. SC Johnson has also recently announced it will expand its concentrate options globally, including in Mexico, in July, and China and Japan, in September.[Image Credit: © S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.]
"SC Johnson to Launch Its First-Ever Concentrated Refill in the U.K., Reinforcing Commitment to Plastic Waste Reduction", SC Johnson, June 24, 2019, © S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
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P&G Is Looking To Lead Sustainability In The Consumer Goods Arena

June 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble is aiming to raise its profile as a standard bearer for corporate sustainability, led by its CEO, David Taylor. Last year, he and P&G co-founded the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a coalition aiming to invest $1.5 billion in appropriate schemes. He has also elevated the role of vice president of sustainability to chief sustainability officer and led the launch of a program called Ambition 2030, which aims to link creating value for shareholders and consumers with a positive impact on the environment and society, to develop P&G as a force for good and growth together. Ambition 2030 will help drive the transition of packaging for its major brands to be 100% recyclable or reusable, introduce more sustainable innovations, and develop other environment-focused initiatives.[Image Credit: © Procter & Gamble]
Dale Buss, "P&G CEO Taylor Embraces Sustainability Thinking in C-Suite and Beyond", Chief Executive, June 21, 2019, © ChiefExecutive.net
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Which? Study Finds UK Supermarkets Could Do Better To Help Improve Recycling Rates

June 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A study from Which?, the UK consumer campaigning group, found that almost half of packaging in items sold (primarily online) by the UK’s 11 supermarket chains can’t be easily recycled. Morrisons fared worst, and Tesco and Waitrose had the most items that could be recycled easily, but improvement was needed from all. It also found that recycling labels could be better, and 42% of packaging was either labeled incorrectly or not at all. Which? says that it’s not only about the use of plastic, but the type of plastic used: black plastic containers are not recyclable, and clear plastic bottles are more easily recycled than Tetra Paks. Many pizzas are still sold with non-recyclable polystyrene bases, and grease contamination of the cardboard packaging means that can’t be recycled either. Which? has made five key recommendations: make labeling clear and accurate; avoid unnecessary single-use plastic packaging; eliminate the use of black plastic PET trays; provide in-store plastic bag collection points; and offer products loose, where possible.[Image Credit: © Which?]
Vicki Crowe , "Almost half of supermarket packaging isn’t easily recyclable, Which? Finds", Which?, June 22, 2019, © Which?
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McDonald’s UK & Ireland Makes Further Plastic Use Reductions

June 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The McFlurry’s ice cream range at McDonald’s in the UK and Ireland will be sold without the single-use plastic lids from September this year. McDonald’s will also use 100% renewable and recyclable cardboard packaging for all main meals and side salads, replacing the plastic containers. The cardboard will contain 50% recycled content. The company says that the changes will reduce plastic waste by nearly 500 million tonnes a year. Its global commitment is to use only renewable or recycled packaging by 2025 and it has started replacing plastic straws with paper straws. [Image Credit: © McDonald's]
"McFlurry gets a makeover in McDonald’s UK latest sustainability drive", McDonald’s UK , June 21, 2019, © McDonald's
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Swedish Startup Introduces The Veggio Reusable Bag For Fruit And Veg

June 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Carrinet, a Swedish startup, has developed a machine-washable, reusable drawstring bag, called Veggio, made from 100% recycled PET bottles, for fruit and vegetables. Each bag can hold up to 10kg and the netting design allows the produce to be rinsed while still in the bag. 2Tech is distributing the bags in the UK. It says the bags give consumers an alternative to using the free plastic bags provided in supermarkets, and it aims to persuade supermarkets to stock the Veggio bags.[Image Credit: © Allmänna villkor]
Flora Southey, "Start-up tackles packaging waste with bags made from 100% recycled bottles", Food Navigator , June 21, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Three Of Coca-Cola Europe’s Brands To Be Packaged In rPET Bottles By 2020

June 18, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola Western Europe announced that three of its brands will be sold in 100 percent plastic (rPET) bottles in several markets on the continent beginning in 2020. According to the company, the adoption of the new bottles for the Honest, GLACÉAU Smartwater, and Chaudfontaine brands will save about 9,000 tons of virgin plastic a year across Western Europe. The company also said it will change the packaging for its Sprite brand from a green PET bottle to a clear PET pack, which it claims is easier to recycle. The changes are part of Coca-Cola’s pledge to ensure that at least half of the plastic used in its PET bottles across Western Europe will come from recycled sources by 2025.
Martin White, "Three Coca-Cola brands to adopt 100 percent rPET bottles in Europe", FoodBev Media , June 18, 2019, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Great Britain Announces New Sustainable Packaging Initiatives

June 18, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
100% recycled PET will be used in GLACÉAU smartwater bottles sold by Coca-Cola Great Britain, removing over 3,000 tonnes of virgin plastic each year, and the unit also expects to double to at least 50% the recycled content of all of its plastic bottles, across the 20 brands, by early next year. These moves should reduce the volume of virgin plastic it uses by over 23,000 tonnes each year. Coca-Cola is also replacing the green Sprite bottle with clear packaging to ease recycling into new bottles. General Manager of Coca-Cola Great Britain, Jon Woods, said that more needs to be done to address the problem, but more packaging needs to be collected and recycled to support the move towards higher rPET content. He said the company is supporting calls for “a well-designed deposit return scheme for drinks containers.” [Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]
"Coca-Cola Great Britain continues sustainable packaging drive with move to 100% recycled plastic in all GLACÉAU smartwater bottles", Coca-Cola , June 18, 2019, © The Coca-Cola Company
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John Lewis & Partners Trails Recycling Initiative With Its Customers

June 17, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
John Lewis & Partners, one of the UK’s leading department store chains, is testing a beauty packaging recycling scheme that gives its loyalty program members £5 discount on any beauty purchase if they return make-up and skincare packaging for recycling. It’s being conducted in partnership with waste management company, TerraCycle. The program is being called BeautyCycle, and TerraCycle will separate the empty containers into metals, plastics and fibers, to be recycled, composted or turned into plastic pellets for re-use in items like plastic benches or lumber. All packaging is being accepted except aerosol cans, and fragrance and nail varnish bottles. The retailer says it wants to make being sustainable as easy as they can for consumers. The scheme will be trialed from mid-June for a month in the 36 John Lewis stores with a full-line beauty service.[Image Credit: © John Lewis plc]
"John Lewis & Partners Launches ‘Beautycycle’ Recycling Trial", John Lewis & Partners , June 17, 2019, © John Lewis plc
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Consumer Acceptance Is Key In Raising PCR Levels In Plastic Packaging

June 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

Melissa Craig, senior manager of packaging sustainability at Unilever North America, says that the company is working towards 100% packaging recyclability, with the main challenge being “flexibles”. Its Hellmann's mayonnaise containers in US will move to 100% rPET by the end of 2019. However, Craig admitted there must be some degree of compromise, such as slightly tinted plastic, or black specks, and consumer acceptance might be an issue. The company has pledged a global target of 25% post-consumer resin in total packaging by 2025, but the North America business is aiming for 50% by the end of this year. [Image Credit: © Unilever UK]
Jim Johnson, "Sustainability requires at least some compromise, Unilever says", Plastics News, June 13, 2019, © Crain Communications, Inc.
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Danone Waters NA Wins B Corp Certification As PBC

June 12, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
White Plains, N.Y.-based Danone Waters NA announced it has achieved B Corp Certification and is now a public benefit corporation (PBC). The certification indicates that the company has proven its commitment to meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability, the company said. It plans to use the B Corp Certification and PBC status to engage business partners, stakeholders, and consumers in this “important movement." Danone is the U.S. and Canadian importer and distributor of Evian natural spring water, Badoit sparkling natural mineral water, and Volvicnatural spring water,
"Danone Waters Of America Becomes A Certified B Corporation And Announces Reincorporation As A Public Benefit Corporation", PR Newswire , June 12, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Coca-Cola In Belgium Asks Consumers Not To Buy Its Products Unless It Plans To Recycle Them

June 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola in Belgium is trying an ambitious approach to raising awareness of the need to recycle plastic, with a summer campaign that asks consumers not to buy Coke products if they aren’t willing to help the company recycle. Some 85% of Coca-Cola packaging in the country is currently recycled, but the company says this rate is not high enough. The campaign is also being adopted in the Netherlands, on TV ads as well as activations in towns and at festivals. Although the campaign ends in September, it will be incorporated in other advertising.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
"‘Don’t buy Coca-Cola if you’re not going to help us recycle!’ Coca-Cola launches recycling campaign", Beverage Daily, June 10, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Aldi UK Replaces Plastic Checkout Bags With Paper Or Compostable Options

June 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST



Aldi in the UK will from July this year replace plastic bags in half of its stores with paper bags, and biodegradable bags at the other half. After the trial, Aldo will choose the most popular. The Bioplast 100% compostable bags will cost 6p. Aldo is charging 19p for the paper bags. [Image Credit: © Aldi Stores Limited]
Sarah Young, "Aldi announces plans to reduce traditional plastic bags with paper and compostable versions", Independent UK, June 10, 2019, © Independent Digital News and Media Limited
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Brazil’s Ambev Brewing Company To Spend $36M On Solar Plant Construction

June 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Brewing company Ambev SA is collaborating with four partners to create a “distributed generation” system in Brazil that includes construction of solar plants to supply clean energy to the brewer’s 94 distribution centers by the end of March 2020. The company will pay $36 million over 10 years to its partners, which in turn will spend about $13 million to build the 31 facilities. More than 50,000 solar panels generating 2,600 megawatt hours (MWh) a month will be built, saving 2,900 tons of carbon dioxide annually. Ambev, of which Belgian AB InBev owns 62 percent, operates in 16 countries in the Americas, including Argentina and Chile, where its breweries are powered by either wind farms or a mix of wind farms and solar plants.
"Brazilian Brewer Ambev Signs $36m Deal To Build Solar Plants", Hospitality Ireland, June 10, 2019, © Hospitality Ireland Magazine
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Organic Farming Has A Plastics Problem Too

June 7, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Organic farming, like traditional farming, has hit an obstacle caused by the move to limit single-use plastic, which is used as mulch to suppress weeds, improve irrigation and water conservation, and support plant growth. Plastic film to cover acres of arable land represents miles of film, which is disposed of in landfills after one use. There are as yet no feasible alternatives. Biodegradable plastic, for example, is disallowed under existing organic rules in the US, and natural mulches are expensive and labor-intensive. Manufacturers of biodegradable options, including BASF, have been calling on the USDA's National Organic Program to change the rules, but the long-term impact has yet to be identified. [Image Credit: © Siggy Nowak from Pixabay.com]
"Organic Farming Has A Plastic Problem. One Solution Is Controversial", NPR, June 07, 2019, © NPR
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ProAmpac Develops FDA-Compliant Flexible Pouch With 25% Post-Consumer Recycled Content

June 5, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
ProAmpac collaborated with purveyor of flavored nut butters, Justin’s, to develop a plastic pouch made of 25% post-consumer recycled (PCR) that is FDA-compliant. PCR is used for 40% of the sealant film, which equates to 25% of the total packet. The pouch will be used for a new line of almond butter covered almonds and cashew butter covered cashews. The packaging ensures product freshness with high oxygen- and moisture-barrier properties. ProAmpac overcame hazy printing common with use of high PCR by combining flexographic inks and coating technologies, and changing the lamination processes.[Image Credit: © Business Wire, Inc.]
"JUSTIN’S® and ProAmpac Pioneer Sustainable High-Barrier FDA-Compliant Flexible Pouch Using Post-Consumer Recycled Content ", Business Wire, June 05, 2019, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Suntory To Switch To Bottles Made From Renewable Plant-Based Resins By 2030

May 28, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
As companies globally increase efforts to reduce plastic waste, Suntory Holdings says it plans to make all of its plastic bottles from renewable materials like resins and other plant-based components by 2030. Suntory’s bottles now are made from 10 percent PET (polyethylene terephthalate) resin from recycled plastic bottles. It will raised that to 60 percent to 70 percent by 2030, and make up the remainder with plant-based resin from pine trees and sugarcane residue. To meet its goal, Suntory is investing $457.5 million in a U.S. factory with Anellotech of New York. Mass production will begin in 2023, with soft drinks in bottles made from 100 percent plant matter available in 2024.[Image Credit: © Suntory Holdings Limited]
"Suntory to make all plastic bottles from 100 percent renewable materials", Nikkei Asian Review, May 28, 2019, © Nikkei Inc.
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Coca-Cola Again Tops List Of Most-Chosen FMCG Brands

May 23, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Kantar’s annual Brand Footprint report ranks Coca-Cola as the most-chosen fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) brand in the world for the seventh year in a row, with Pepsi and Nescafe in the top 10 at number six and seven. Sprite again came in at number 17, while Fanta was No. 33, and Lipton was No. 48. In households where the brand was purchased at least once, Coca-Cola reached 41.9 percent penetration, Pepsi 22.7 percent, Nescafe 22.7 percent, and Sprite 24.8 percent. Kantar measures brands using Consumer Reach Points (CRP), a combination of penetration, population and consumer choice. Out-of-home (OOH) purchases had a significant impact on the success of major soda brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi because of consumer impulse purchases, according to the researcher.
Beth Newhart , "Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nescafe top Kantar’s Brand Footprint rankings", Beverage Daily, May 23, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Bisleri Says First Year Of “Bottles For Change” Recycling Initiative Has Been A Success

May 20, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Indian bottled water company Bisleri says its “Bottles for Change” initiative to educate people about the importance of recycling plastic has conducted more than 200 plastic recycling awareness and collection drives in the country. The program has conducted workshops in corporate offices, housing societies, schools, colleges, malls, festivals, and other events. The company itself has recycled more than 4,800 tons of plastic. A Bisleri spokesman says “Bottles for Change” has made “tremendous progress in one year alone” and the company plans to introduce new platforms to spread awareness and “reach out and engage more citizens.”
"Bisleri ‘Bottles for Change’ generating awareness around plastic", Indiantelevision , May 20, 2019, © Indiantelevision Dot Com Pvt Ltd
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Poland Spring 100% rPET Bottled Water Goes Nationwide Beginning In May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 4, 2019: 12:00 AM EST


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

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

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

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

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

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

February 18, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

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

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

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