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McDonald's In The UK To Phase Out Plastic Straws

June 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

McDonald’s in the UK will start using recyclable paper straws later this year, with plastic straws withdrawn completely next year. The company in the UK uses some 1.8 million straws each day, and the move follows a two-month trial at certain UK restaurants. It also follows a similar announcement by UK supermarket chain Waitrose. McDonald’s in other countries, including France, Norway, Sweden and the US, are expected to run trials later this year in their own efforts to find schemes to eliminate plastic straws.[Image Credit: © Manfred Richter ]

Adam Vaughan, "McDonald's to switch to paper straws in UK after customer campaign", The Guardian, June 15, 2018, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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TIPA Of Israel Develops Biodegradable Plastic Packaging

June 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Israel-based TIPA said it has developed a fully compostable plastic packaging film. While the product has most of the characteristics of plastic packaging, it disintegrates into water, carbon dioxide, and organic matter that can be degraded by bacteria. In 2016, TIPA began selling its packaging film, which the company started developing in 2012. Later, the company secured the required certifications, including for food packaging. TIPA, which now has 30 employees, saw sales of its packaging films grow four times in 2017 from the previous year.Israel-based TIPA said it has developed a fully compostable plastic packaging film. While the product has most of the characteristics of plastic packaging, it disintegrates into water, carbon dioxide, and organic matter that can be degraded by bacteria. In 2016, TIPA began selling its packaging film, which the company started developing in 2012. Later, the company secured the required certifications, including for food packaging. TIPA, which now has 30 employees, saw sales of its packaging films grow four times in 2017 from the previous year. [Image Credit: © TIPA Corp.]
Ruth Schuster , "Israeli Company Invents Plastic Packaging You Can Compost", Haaretz, June 14, 2018, © Haaretz Newspaper
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Tesco Sells Greener Lemons To Help Prevent Food Waste At Home

June 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

British supermarket chain Tesco has relaxed its rules on the color quality of lemons it sells to prevent food waste at home. The company is selling lemons that are slightly green to extend the shelf like by an extra couple of days. According to the company, the lemons are as crisp and zesty as the fully yellow versions. Tesco imports most of its lemons from South Africa, whose lemon harvesting season begins in late June. The company will now take the greener South African lemons earlier than usual to keep supplies going. [Image Credit: © Tesco]

"Tesco to sell perfect 'green' lemons to help customers facing U.K. shortage and cut down on food waste", Fresh Plaza, June 11, 2018, © Fresh Plaza
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Carlsberg Sees Coal-Free Power Generation Within Four Years

June 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Danish brewer Carlsberg is committed to obtaining all of its energy from renewable sources and eliminating the use of coal by 2022. With the energy storage market expected to double six times over the next 12 years, Danish brewer Carlsberg is exploring integration methods for energy storage to support and optimize onsite renewable power generation. Carlsberg’s director of environment and utilities told a webinar that storage solutions are being explored as only one part of the energy matrix. The company considers battery storage a supplementary solution along with solar projects. Carlsberg is one of only three major companies that has approved a science-based target to reach a 1.5 C ambition in line with the Paris Agreement. It sources 45 percent of its electricity onsite, but storage solutions aren’t as advanced as onsite renewables. 

"Carlsberg exploring energy storage to supplement onsite generation", Edie.net, June 08, 2018, © Faversham House Ltd
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Indian PM Announces Single-Use Plastic Ban By 2022

June 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, announced that the country plans to scrap single-use plastic by 2022, as part of World Environment Day, which India is hosting this year. Modi also announced a scheme to address marine plastic, and agreed to join Clean Seas, a UN campaign.[Image Credit: © United Nations Environment Programme]

"India to eliminate the use of single-use plastics by 2022", FoodBev , June 06, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd.
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N.Z. Supermarket Tests Bring-Your-Own Meat Containers

June 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A New Zealand supermarket is testing an unusual solution to waste management: customers may bring their own reusable containers to the store to package fresh meat purchases. For the time being, the test is limited to the butcher and seafood counters, but if successful could be extended to bakery, deli and bulk foods. Other stores, however, are casting a skeptical eye at the initiative, mainly because of concerns about food safety, hygiene and correct measurement of weight. The store says there are restrictions: containers must have lids and be suitable for weighing and handling; price labels must be placed on containers for security; and customers must provide clean containers and accept the safety risk. ]

Michelle Cheng , "Supermarket encourages customers to bring their OWN containers for meat and seafood - but is it safe?", Daily Mail Australia, June 01, 2018, © Associated Newspaper Ltd.
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Carrefour Announces 100% Recyclable, Reusable Or Compostable Packaging Goal

May 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

French supermarket chain Carrefour is aiming for own-brand packaging that is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, and to stop using non-recyclable packaging for organic fruit and vegetables by the end of this year, as well as ending the sale of plastic straws. By 2022, it intends to use 50% recycled plastics in bottles for its juice, soda and water products. The announcement coincides with a European Commission announcement to ban single-use plastics like straws and drink stirrers in the European Union. Plans also cover plastic cutlery and cotton buds, and by 2025 EU states will be expected to collect 90% of single-use plastic beverage bottles.[Image Credit: © annca]

"Carrefour own-brand products to have fully recyclable packaging", FoodBev , May 31, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd.
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In India, Coca-Cola Learned A Lesson About Addressing Community Concerns

May 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

People in communities around the world where Coca-Cola bottlers operate know that water is the main ingredient in the company’s products and assume that production consumes vast amounts of water. When the people of Kerala, India, accused the local Coca-Cola bottler of depleting the water supply – the company denied the charge – it dawned on executives that it needed to “address its responsibility for water” beyond the confines of the plant. The company launched a risk assessment, interviewing customers, supply chain partners, academics, NGOs, governments, and industry peers. The conclusion: “action on the state of water was necessary.” Coca-Cola realized that a sustainable approach to water was essential. But the assessment also shed light on the fact that the social aspects of water use, especially local community concerns, need to be addressed when implementing strategic goals.

Barie Carmichael and Brian Moriarty , "How Coca-Cola came to terms with its own water crisis", The Washington Post, May 31, 2018, © The Washington Post
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Food Industry Paper Reports On Progress In Fight Against Waste Since 2016

May 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

After the British food waste experts at Wrap reported on the enormity of the problem, trade newspaper The Grocer in 2016 launched an editorial campaign to double the amount of edible food being redistributed, to lobby for governmental fiscal incentives to curb waste, and to encourage greater engagement and cooperation in the food industry. Wrap had reported that 1.9 million tons of edible food was being wasted annually, some by grocery stores, but the most by producers who left ugly but otherwise perfectly good produce in the fields to rot. A lot of edible food – 525 million meals – could have been donated to serve the hungry but wasn’t. Since the launch of the campaign, there have been some major changes in the U.K. food and beverage distribution system, particularly in the areas of redistribution; commitment by retailers, suppliers, trade bodies, and campaigners to waste reduction; and increased transparency about waste policies and practices in the food industry.

Megan Tatum, "Reversing the rot on food waste: two years of our campaign", The Grocer, May 26, 2018, © William Reed Business Media
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Iceland Trials Return Scheme For Plastic Bottles

May 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

UK supermarket Iceland has installed a reverse vending machine in its Fulham store in London. The trial supports a government plan for return schemes to cut down on single-use plastics. The machine gives a 10 pence voucher, redeemable in-store, for each returned Iceland plastic bottle. The retailer has also pledged to eliminate plastic packaging from its own-label products. Earlier in May, the Co-op supermarket said it is going to trial a deposit scheme using machines at a number of music festivals over the summer.[Image Credit: © Iceland Foods Ltd]

"Iceland reverse vending machine pays customers to return bottles", FoodBev , May 21, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd.
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UK Plastics Tax May Reduce Single-Use Plastic, But Efforts Must Be Coordinated

May 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Introducing charges or taxes on plastics might reduce single-plastic usage in the United Kingdom. However, in response to a HM Treasury consultation on the proposals, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) wants to ensure that any initiatives avoid duplicating policies and the costs associated for both businesses and consumers. In particular, the ACS has asked HM Treasury to consider the interaction with the current Packaging Recovery Notes System and the work being undertaken to reform it. 

Liz Wells, "ACS responds to consultation on single-use plastics", Talking Retail, May 18, 2018, © Independent Retail News
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Companies Start To Adopt World’s First Plastic-Free Packaging Mark

May 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A ‘plastic-free’ Trust Mark has been launched to advise shoppers on the material used to package food and drink, as part of initiatives to cut the use of plastic in packaging. It was created by environmental group A Plastic Planet. Iceland is the first British retailer to adopt it, and it plans to use on its own-label products as part of its pledge to stamp out single-use plastic packaging by 2023. Beverage brand Teapigs will also display the Trust Mark on its packaging, and Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza is another early-adopter. It is the first retailer to build plastic-free aisles in its supermarkets. [Image Credit: © A PLASTIC PLANET]

Sarah Knapton, "World’s first plastic-free mark will help shoppers choose eco-friendly products", The Telegraph, May 16, 2018, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Polish Student Invents Edible Vegetarian Packaging Made From Kombucha

May 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Edible packaging is becoming a reality with the creation of Scoby, the brainchild of Polish design student, Roza Janusz. With the potential to help reduce the use of plastic in packaging, Scoby is a vegetarian wrapping material made by mixing sugars and other organic substances with kombucha, a fermented drink produced with yeast, bacteria, and tea. During the process, the biocellulose membrane forms on the surface of the mixture and layers into a sheet-like material, similar to how an onion grows. With its long shelf life, Scoby can be used to wrap farmers' produce including vegetables, fruits, herbs, and seeds. It can also be used to pack instant meals. Given Scoby's acidic PH level and mineral compounds, it can also be used by farmers as a natural fertilizer. While Scoby is not yet available in the market yet, Janusz said plans are in the pipeline to make this alternative packaging commercially available soon.  [Image Credit: © Growing Pakaging]

Jesus Diaz, "This new edible packaging is grown from kombucha", Fast Company Design, May 16, 2018, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Successful Australian Start-Up Sells Snap Frozen Unwanted Berries

May 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

An Australian couple committed to reducing food waste in their region have created a company that puts so-called “wonky” (i.e., miscolored, misshapen, or otherwise unsold) fruits rejected by supermarket chains to good use. They maintain a warehouse where they and their small staff snap freeze raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackcurrants. Stuart and Allison McGruddy say they wanted to help berry growers manage any oversupply and reduce the waste. In 2016 found a niche market for safe and quality frozen berries, restoring public faith in the product after food scares associated with imported berries. The berries are carefully hand-picked, washed and frozen on the same day before being packaged into transparent zip-locked pouches. The berries arrive at the buyer’s door packed in dry ice.[Image Credit: © myberries.com.au]

"Couple put the freeze on berry growing waste", Moreton Life, May 16, 2018, © Moreton Life
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Singapore’s New Food Waste Standard: 70 Percent Recycled By 2030

May 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

After Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) reported that the country generated more than 800,000 tons of food waste in 2017 – 140 kg per person – the Food Standards Committee and chief science agency issued a standard for food manufacturers to limit food waste. Singapore recycles about 16 percent of food waste now, according to the government; an NEA official said the new national target is 70 percent by 2030, requiring industry-wide cooperation between stakeholders, manufacturers, and processors. The new standard is expected to help reduce food waste and improve manufacturing practices through the more efficient use of food resources at all levels of the supply chain. It will consider food loss, waste, overproduction, expiration, spoilage, overcooked items, and contaminated foods.[Image Credit: © Singapore NEA]

Talal Husseini, "Singapore unveils first standard for food waste reduction", Food Processing Technology, May 16, 2018, © Verdict Media Limited
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Eat17 Escalates The Fight Against Single-Use Plastic

May 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Eat17, the eco-friendly retail and restaurant chain, is joining the battle against single-use plastic, introducing paper straws and bamboo cups in its restaurants. It is also bringing in refillable stations in its Bishop’s Stortford store for a range of products, including organic milk, wine, nuts, cereals and grains, and also washing up liquid and laundry detergent. It expects to roll the stations out to other stores during the year. Eat17 said the moves align with customers looking to become more eco-friendly and cut down on single-use plastics and pre-packaged food.[Image Credit: © EAT17]

Liz Wells, "Eat17 introduces initiatives to cut plastic waste", Talking Retail, May 15, 2018, © Independent Retail News
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Keeping Coke Relevant In Nepal

May 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola’s country director for Nepal Ambuj Deo Singh says Coke has remained pretty much the same during its 132-year history but has also managed to be relevant in his country, and in many others. Relevance, he notes, comes from talking to consumers about their needs “in the language that they want us to speak.” An example is the recent ad campaign (“Coke Kham Russia Jam”), which “relates to everyone here in Nepal” because it is associated with momo (a type of dumpling). Coca-Cola is also associated with the festival of Dashain, celebrating human relationships. Singh says the company is planning to introduce new products, such as juices, in the near future. Plans also include making Kinley available nationwide and expanding the distribution base.

"‘Staying locally relevant under global vision is Coca-Cola’s mantra for success’", Onlinekhabar, May 10, 2018, © Onlinekhabar.com
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Sen. Casey‘s Bill Would Reimburse Farmers For Food Donation Costs

May 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) introduced the Farm to Food Bank Act of 2018 (S. 2824) to establish food recovery networks in each state that would incentivize farmers to donate their produce directly to food banks to be distributed to the needy. The bill would authorize assistance to farmers and ranchers by reimbursing them for the costs to produce, harvest, pack, process, store, or transport to foodbanks food that is safe for consumption but lacks access to a retail market or supply chain. The bill is a response to the fact that food is often discarded on the farm if considered "ugly," overproduced, market conditions are unfavorable, or if an existing contract or retail market is lost. According to Feeding Pennsylvania, the commonwealth produces an abundance of fresh and nutritious food, yet 1.7 million residents struggle with hunger every day, 500,000 of whom are children.[Image Credit: © Sen. Bob Casey]

Sen. Bob Casey, "Casey Looks to Fight Hunger, Address Food Waste", Sen. Bob Casey, May 10, 2018, © Sen. Bob Casey
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Ecover Opens “Rubbish Café” Pop-Up

May 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Ecover, a household cleaning brand with green positioning, opened a pop-up café that aimed to educate consumers about single-use plastic by inviting them to swap their plastic for a free meal in the “Rubbish Café”. It was part of the brand’s "Let's Live Clean” campaign, to raise brand awareness and also recognition of the problem of single-use plastics. It ran for two days in early May in London’s Covent Garden.[Image Credit: © Ecover UK Ltd]

Georgina Brazier, "Ecover uses 'Rubbish Cafe' to educate consumers on clean living", Campaign Live UK, May 08, 2018, © Haymarket Media Group Ltd.
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USDA Secretary Perdue Commits To Raising Food Waste Awareness

May 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

At a recent roundtable discussion, U.S Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue discussed food waste with legislators, food industry leaders, and non-profit groups to raise awareness while discussing solutions with leaders throughout the food supply chain. Perdue later issued a statement saying that America’s food supply should “nourish those in need, not fill the trash.” He said groups and companies should cooperate with each other on finding “holistic” solutions to the food waste problems. USDA remains committed to helping reduce food waste, Perdue said, and “excited to work with all stakeholders from farm to fork.” Food loss and waste eats up nearly 40 percent of the food supply in the U.S., while millions of Americans need access to safe, wholesome, affordable food, the USDA said. [Image Credit: © USDA]

"Washington: Secretary Perdue Commits to Prioritizing Food Waste Solutions", USDA, May 08, 2018, © USDA.gov
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Dutch Restaurants Thrive on Sustainability, Re-Purposing, Zero-Waste

May 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Restaurants in The Netherlands, particularly in the capital Amsterdam, are showcasing innovative and accessible sustainability projects that focus on zero-waste practices and creative reuse of buildings and materials. Moer Restaurant, for example, is housed in a former Michelin tire shop; its serving pans are made from old train tracks. It has replaced the traditional buffet table piled high with bound-for-the-bin meats, cheeses, and pastries with a buffet of all-organic offerings, including juices from Dutch orchards, dairy and egg products from a local farm, and homemade granola and breads made with grain and beer waste from brewery Gulpener. The Instock restaurant uses only surplus food for ingredients and wastes nothing. It gets unused food from Albert Heijn, the country's largest supermarket chain. There is so much discarded but edible food that the restaurant has set up a wholesale distribution center to serve other restaurants.[Image Credit: © Moer Restaurant]

Diane Daniel, "Doing good, deliciously: Sustainable dining in Amsterdam", The Washington Post (published in the Toronto Star), May 05, 2018, © Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd
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Japanese Entrepreneurs Tackle Food Waste Problem With Smartphone Apps

May 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

According to Japan’s agriculture ministry, 6.46 million tons of untouched food were discarded in 2015. Japanese entrepreneurs, however, are making progress using technology to tackle this crticial food waste issue. Among the advanced solutions are online services that link restaurants with consumers wishing to buy food at lower prices that would otherwise be discarded. An example is Shifft Inc., which launched the Reduce Go smartphone app service last month to offer registered users economic benefits by allowing them to pick up food directly twice a day from restaurants and food outlets for $18 (¥1,980) a month. About 25,000 users have signed up for the free version of the app, while 32 restaurants, bars, and shops in Tokyo and its environs have signed on to the food giveaway.

Sakura Murakami, "Tokyo-based startups look to link consumers with restaurants to curb food waste", The Japan Times, May 05, 2018, © The Japan Times Ltd
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USDA Issues Proposed GMO Food Labeling Rules For Public Comment

May 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The USDA has issued proposed rules on the labeling of foods that contain “bioengineered” ingredients, a more neutral term than “genetically modified organisms” (GMO). The rules implement a federal law enacted in 2016 (National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, PL 114-216) that was a victory for backers of federal mandatory labeling, but also for opponents because it did not require all food companies to put readable information on packages. The law also barred states from writing their own mandatory labeling laws. The proposed rules allow small food manufacturers to inform consumers via websites or telephone numbers. Larger companies can use a label on packages, a symbol to be developed by USDA or bar codes, or other digital means scannable with smartphones. Public comment on the proposal is open until July 3; the final rules will be issued July 29.

Cathy Siegner , "GMO labeling moves one step closer to reality, but what will it look like?", Food Dive, May 04, 2018, © Industry Dive
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Coca-Cola PH Donates Used Bottle Caps To Water Accessibility Initiative

May 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola Philippines has started recycling used plastic bottle caps to make rubber gaskets for water ram pumps. The firm's bottling partner, Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines, has already delivered over 65 kilograms of high-density polyethylene and 625 kilograms of polypropylene caps to Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, which was developing a cost-efficient and easily-maintained ram pump model. The scrap bottle caps will be used to manufacture ramp pump spare parts. This is part of Coca-Cola's Agos Program, a water accessibility initiative that makes use of hydraulic ram pumps and gravity to supply water to upland communities without the need for electricity or fossil fuel. [Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]

"Coca-Cola backs plastic recycling", Manila Standard, May 03, 2018, © manilastandard.net
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Detroit Area Benefits From Tyson Foods, Flashfood Food Waste Initiative

May 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Tyson Foods has partnered with Toronto, Ont.-based Flashfood Inc. in a Detroit area pilot program that lets shoppers buy quality surplus food items at a discount rate. The Flashfoodbox program involves other services – nonprofit Forgotten Harvest, Michigan Farm to Freezer for processing and packaging, and AxleHire Inc. for shipping – but the core is the Flashfoodbox. The boxes are ordered online or via the Flashfood app and are delivered directly to customer homes. Weekly, biweekly, or monthly subscriptions come with a 10 percent discount. At $44.99 a box, customers get about five pounds of protein, including meat, and nearly 10 pounds of rescued vegetables and fruits, enough to prepare 14 meals at less than $4 per plate. [Image Credit: © Flashfood Inc.]

Tyler Clifford, "Companies partner to reduce food waste in Detroit", Crain’s Detroit Business, May 02, 2018, © Crain Communications, Inc.
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Kroger Provides Update On Its Zero Hunger-Zero Waste Program

April 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The Kroger Co. says that since it launched the Zero Hunger-Zero Waste food rescue initiative last September it has provided 325 million meals for “food-insecure” families across America. The company directed a total of $181 million in food and funds to end hunger in local communities and rescued 91.2 million pounds of unsold safe, nutritious food from its retail stores, or shipped from its distribution centers and manufacturing plants. The food was donated to Feeding America food banks in 2017. The program was originally launched 10 years ago as the Perishable Donation Partnership. Kroger said it is also working with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on a company-wide food waste analysis to identify where the company stands today in its journey to zero food waste. The company said it will donate $5 to WWF for each customer who shares a food waste reduction idea or photo on Kroger’s Facebook page.[Image Credit: © Kroger Co.]

"Kroger Celebrates Zero Hunger-Zero Waste Progress", Kroger Co., April 27, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Starbucks Hopes To Trim $75M In Food Waste by 2020

April 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Starbucks Corp. is losing $500 million a year on waste in its more than 8,000 company-operated U.S. stores, but hopes to cut that by 15 percent ($75 million)over the next year-and-a-half through greater efficiency. The company says its business model – “strict product quality requirements” plus “product availability” – always results in some waste. Food discarded because after the expiration date, and lost sales associated with a lack of inventory, are part of the costs. During Starbucks' fiscal second quarter, it cut waste costs by focusing on “outlier stores” that had high waste as a percentage of sales. It also improved training on the process of pulling .

Coral Garnick, "Wasted food, other items cost Starbucks $500 million a year", Puget Sound Business Journal, April 27, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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Over 40 Firms Form UK Plastics Pact, Promising To Cut Single-Use Plastic Packaging

April 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Over 40 firms, responsible for over 80% of plastic packaging on products sold in the United Kingdom, have joined the government and several trade organizations in establishing the UK Plastics Pact, led by sustainability group WRAP. The agreement lays out a set of pledges undertaken by firms to reduce plastic pollution over the next seven years. It promises to eliminate single-use plastic packaging, including 2025 goals to make 100% of packaging recyclable or compostable, to recycle or compost 70%, and to use 30% recycled material in plastic packaging. The pact signatories include Coca-Cola, Asda, Procter & Gamble, and Marks & Spencer. Environmental groups including Friends of the Earth and Ellen MacArthur Foundation expressed their support. [Image Credit: © The Waste and Resources Action Programme]

David Shukman, "Companies sign up to pledge to cut plastic pollution", BBC, April 26, 2018, © BBC
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“Smart Packaging” Helps Extend Food Shelf Life, Reduces Waste

April 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A New Zealand university scientist who specializes in “smart packaging” says there are a number of viable solutions that can cut food waste. Each type of packaging acts differently depending on the food being protected. According to Dr. Jenneke Heising, “active packaging” extends shelf life by reducing negative factors, such as oxygen, that react with the food. Active packaging can also react to ethylene gas, slowing the ripening process of produce, and can also regulate the level of moisture, other gases, and temperature. Still another type of packaging uses antimicrobial materials to curb bacterial growth on fresh produce, reducing the need for preservatives.  [Image Credit: © Rabobank New Zealand ]
"High-tech packaging means less food waste", Rabobank, April 19, 2018, © Rabobank
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Food Waste In The U.S. Exacts A Huge Environmental Toll

April 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A new study by university and USDA researchers has found that about 25 percent of all food available to eat in the U.S. – one pound per person, or about 30 percent of available calories – is wasted each day. The environmental costs of such food waste are huge. About 30 million acres of cropland, 4.2 trillion gallons of water, and nearly two billion pounds of fertilizer are used to produce the wasted food. The most wasted foods – fruits and vegetables – are actually the healthiest: produce waste amounts to 39 percent of the food wasted by each person, according to the study published in the journal PLOS ONE. 
Chris Mooney , "The staggering environmental footprint of all the food that we just throw in the trash", The Washington Post, April 18, 2018, © The Washington Post
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Retail Grocers Are Major Culprits In America’s Food Waste Problem

April 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Supermarket chains in the U.S. are contributing significantly to the nation’s food waste problems, according to a new report. Nine of the ten largest grocery retailers – Ahold Delhaize is the exception – do not publicly report their total volume of food waste. The study, conducted by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Ugly Fruit and Veg Campaign, listed five companies – Target, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Costco, and Publix – who earned a “D” grade for efforts to reduce waste. Aldi flunked the evaluation, while Walmart earned a “B.” Food retailers generate 40 percent of the food waste in the U.S., more than restaurants or foodservice providers, the study noted. A CBD spokesperson said food waste squanders farmland and water and puts food security at risk. “We can stop this massive waste, but only if supermarkets are part of the solution," Jennifer Molidor. 
Russell Redman, "Supermarkets don’t make grade in reducing food waste", Supermarket News, April 17, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Banana Cleaners Make Peels Edible, Keep Them Out Of Landfills

April 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A California-based company looking to reduce food waste has launched the “Save the Peels” campaign with a goal of redirecting 18 million pounds of banana peel waste from landfills. More than 3.2 billion pounds of bananas are eaten every year in the U.S., adding 780 million pounds of peels to landfills where they decompose, forming harmful methane gas. EatCleaner has developed cleaning solutions that allow peels to be cleaned of agricultural sprays, waxes, chemicals, and germ-laden debris. Ripe, clean peels can then be used to make smoothies, banana breads and muffins are rich in fiber, amino acids, and antioxidants.  [Image Credit: ©   EatCleaner ]
"eatCleaner Launches an "a-peel-ing" Campaign to Minimize Food Waste and Boost Nutrition", PR Newswire , April 12, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Danone NA Certified As Eco-Friendly B Corporation

April 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Danone North America, maker of plant-based milk beverages and yogurts, was recently certified as a B Corporation that has established standards regarding social and environmental performance. Recently renamed from DanoneWave, the company also changed its legal structure to become a public benefit company. There was some worry that B Corporation certification and environmental friendliness would be costly, but that has not proven to be the case. The company’s largest dairy manufacturing plant has cut water usage, for example, by using new technology. The plant now saves 250,000 gallons a day. The company is encouraging suppliers to adopt sustainable practices, noting that plant-based packaging saves money that can be used to pay workers higher wages.
"Danone's North America business hits key social, environmental milestone", CNBC, April 12, 2018, © CNBC
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The Many Possible Uses Of Coffee Grounds

April 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
British consumers are very much into coffee: 2.4 billion cups are consumed each year. But making that coffee creates 500,000 tons of grounds each year, most of it ending up in the landfill. Advocates of better use of coffee grounds have come up with a fairly long list of alternatives to simply trashing them. Among the creative options are using grounds in: making cocktails; insect repellant; skincare exfoliant; fueling vehicles; fertilizing gardens and deterring slugs; cooking; keeping shoes and refrigerators fresh; growing mushrooms; and making paint. 
"From skincare to fertilizer and fuel: 10 ways to reuse coffee grounds ", telegraph.co.uk, April 10, 2018, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Technology Can Cut Down On Food Waste In Foodservice Kitchens

April 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Portland, Ore.-based foodservice technology company has developed a measurement system that helps restaurants and other establishments reduce overproduction – and waste – of food. LeanPath believes food waste can be prevented in the world’s kitchens through proper measurement using the company’s sophisticated, easy-to-use technologies like scales, cameras, and touchscreen devices that show what’s going into the landfill stream, the compost stream, and even the donation stream. The company last year tracked food waste in more than 1,200 foodservice kitchens in 20 countries. The data and imagery collected from the research revealed that overproduction is the main cause of food waste in foodservice. To solve the problem, kitchens need to: accurately forecast the amount of food needed; learn to properly use knives in food preparation; and creatively use “imperfect produce.”  [Image Credit: ©   LeanPath ]
Mallory Szczepanski, "How Overproduction is Food Waste’s Biggest Culprit and Opportunity", Waste 360, April 10, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.,
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Hotels Benefit Financially From Spending On Food Waste Solutions

April 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A review of 42 hotels in 15 countries by Champions 12.3 has found that on average facilities achieved a 21 percent reduction of kitchen food waste by weight in just one year. Within the first year, more than 70 percent recouped their investment. The average hotel saved $7 for every $1 invested in reducing kitchen food waste. Within two years, 95 percent had recouped their investment. Nine out of ten sites kept their total investment in food waste solutions below $20,000, less than one percent of sales on average. The data came from budget, mid-range, casino resort, and luxury market hotels. Champions 12.3 comprises 40 executives in government, business, and civil society dedicated to achieving Target 12.3 of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. 
Elaine Simon, "Study quantifies cost savings of reducing food waste", Hotel Management, April 06, 2018, © Questex LLC
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U.K. Project Is Studying How Robotics Might Help Reduce Food Waste

April 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Innovate U.K. has awarded $1.2 million to an industrial R&D project that will study the food waste problem to determine how robotics might reduce the inefficiencies that cause it. Roboticists engineers, computer scientists, and food specialists will work together to figure out how to eliminate the 51 percent of food waste that is avoidable. The goal of the two-year project is to remove the human error from the crucial early stages of handling, preparing and weighing raw ingredients. The project is led by Olympus Automation (OA), which will collaborate with the University of Lincoln's National Center for Food Manufacturing and supplier English Provender. 
Megan Tatum, "How robots can help reduce supply chain food waste", The Grocer UK, April 06, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Food Waste Collaboration Connects Farmers And Consumers

April 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A group of organizations and companies concerned about food loss in food production have banded together to create he “No Taste for Waste” campaign. The initiative includes an interactive website, “bookazine,”, and social media resources for farmers and ranchers trying to reduce food loss in the fields and for consumers who want to reduce household food waste. One goal of the campaign is to connect consumers with farmers and ranchers who are using sustainable practices in land stewardship while reducing food waste. Participants in the campaign are the American Farm Bureau Federation, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, Valent BioSciences Corporation, FLM Harvest, the CropLife Foundation, and Meredith Agrimedia. 
"American Farm Bureau Federation Helps Launch ‘No Taste for Waste’ Campaign", News release, AFBF, April 03, 2018, © American Farm Bureau Federation
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Nestlé Waters NA Makes Progress On Factory Sustainability Efforts

March 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Third-party accrediting organization Alliance for Water Stewardship has certified a Nestlé Waters NA factory in Ontario, Calif., along with facilities in Canada, for sustainability achievements. Last week AWS certified Nestlé’s Los Angeles and Cabazon, Calif., factories. AWS is an alliance of businesses, nonprofits, public-sector agencies, and academic institutes. The organization’s audit of the California facilities showed combined savings of more than 54 million gallons of water between 2016 and 2017, according to Nestlé Waters. Eight Nestlé Waters facilities worldwide have met the AWS standard; two more plants in North America are expected to be certified by the end of this year.
Paul Schott, "Nestle Waters factories gain sustainability certifications", Stamford Advocate, March 30, 2018
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Henkel Seeks To Leverage Big Data To Identify Efficient Opportunities, Sets Ambition Goal

March 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Henkel seeks to leverage big data to reach ambitious efficiency goals. By 2030 it aims to triple its efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint globally by 75 percent. Critical to its efforts is an Environmental Management System (EMS) that it implemented in 2014 in collaboration with Schneider Electric. The EMS captures over 3,000 data points across a wide range of the company’s global production network, including metrics on consumption of electricity, fossil fuels, compressed air and water. Through capturing data centrally the company is able to identify best practice. The company estimates its Laundry & Home Care unit could reduce energy use by 24 percent.[Image Credit: © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA]
"Reducing the environ­mental foot­print through Big Data", Henkel, March 28, 2018, © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
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Henkel Partners With NGO To Remove Plastic Litter From World’s Oceans, Rivers

March 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Henkel has partnered with NGO Waste Free Oceans in a three-year initiative to remove plastic waste from oceans and rivers. Removed plastic waste will be recycled into a million bottles used for its Henkel’s Lovables laundry brand. The two organizations hope to remove enough plastic from rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans to produce 100 metric tons of usable recycled material each year. According to Waste Free Oceans, about 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year, the equivalent of 15 grocery bags filled with plastic for every meter of coastline in the world. Lovables bottles are made from 100 percent recycled material. [Image Credit: © Henkel]
"Henkel partners with Waste Free Oceans to fight marine plastic litter", News release, Henkel, March 22, 2018, © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
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Company’s AI Technology May Provide Answer To Food Industry Supply Chain Waste

March 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A high-tech home food delivery start-up that is using artificial intelligence technologies to modernize the grocery supply chain has launched a B2B platform targeting food industry companies. Farmstead’s FreshAI model would benefit supermarkets, cafeterias, food production facilities, restaurants, quick service food chains, and convenience stores that need to reduce food waste and improve profit margins. Current methods of supplying stores cause supermarkets to discard 35-40 percent of all perishable foods, the company said. FreshAI, however, allows food businesses to upload operations data securely. The platform then provides daily and weekly recommendations on exactly how much to order of each SKU based on historical sales and consumer tastes.. [Image Credit: © Farmsted   ]
"Farmstead Launches New 'Fresh AI' Platform That Applies Artificial Intelligence To Help Food Companies Reduce Waste And Improve Margins", News release, Farmstead, March 20, 2018, © Farmstead
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High-Tech “Bumpy” Labels May Extend Shelf Life Of Perishable Foods

March 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
British dairy products maker Arla is testing high-tech food labels that gain a “bumpy” texture as food goes bad. When products like milk, cheese, and cream reach the end of their shelf life, gelatin in the label reacts to changes in the packaged food and temperature outside. The resulting molecular breakdown causes the packaging to develop bumps that consumers can see and feel. They no longer need to sniff the product to determine whether it is still safe to eat or drink. Arla teamed up with food technology company Mimica Touch to create the technology that could give suppliers the confidence to offer longer shelf-lives by calculating expire dates based on a best-case scenario. [Image Credit: ©   Mimica Touch]
Adam Bennett, "Bumpy Labels that Signal When Food Has Gone off Are Set to be introduced for Dairy Products", The Telegraph, March 18, 2018, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Voracious Fly Larvae Offer An Interesting Food Waste Solution

March 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
For a long time, composters the world over have known about the amazing ability of ravenous black soldier fly larvae [left] to break down food waste and create rich plant fertilizer. Now scientists at the National University of Singapore – which has an abundance of the species – are working to breed the fittest, hungriest flies. At the same time, Singapore's first insect farm, Insectta, is turning about 500 kg of food waste from food suppliers, stalls, and homes into fertilizer every day by 100 kg of black soldier fly larvae. The fertilizer is then used to grow kale, lettuce, and other vegetables. Researchers at Insectta are also studying how the larvae can be turned into other products, like pet food.. [Image Credit: ©  Blacksoldierflyblog.com ]
Samantha Boh, "Using Insect Army to Fight Food Waste", The Straitstimes, March 16, 2018, © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co.
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Freezing Bread At Home Would Help Cut Down On Food Waste

March 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
More than 24 million slices of bread are tossed into the trash every day in the U.K. because it has not been consumed in time. It’s a huge food waste problem that has some simple solutions. Fifty-six percent of Britons aged 18 to 34 eat bread at least four days a week, a poll found, and 31 percent eat it every day. Sixty-nine percent throw bread away every week and 26 percent know they can make toast straight from frozen bread, but don’t do it. A representative of food waste group Love Food Hate Waste said if everyone stored their bread in the freezer it would keep fresh longer and reduce food waste. “You can even use bread straight from the freezer to make toast without needing to defrost it first," said Sarah Clayton.. [Image Credit: ©  LivingWellSpendingLess.com ]
James Andrews, "Simple Mistake Most Young Brits are Making with their Bread - and It's Costing Them", Mirror, March 14, 2018, © MGN Limited
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Bolthouse Expands Organic Portfolio With Plant-Protein, Cold-Pressed Drinks

March 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Calif.-based Bolthouse Farms is expanding its 1915 Organic beverage portfolio with several plant-based and cold-pressed products. The protein drinks contain 12 grams of pea-protein, nine grams of sugar, have no more than 160 calories, and come in four flavors. The two new sugar-free cold-pressed juices are available in cucumber a green (leafy green vegetables, ginger, moringa), and watermelon and lemon. The USDA-certified organic beverages are vegan, non-GMO, and packaged in 12-oz. bottles ($3.99). The company has begun packaging its beverages in sustainable, eco-friendly bottles that use 25 percent less plastic.
Gisselle Gaitan, "Bolthouse Farms Goes Plant-Based with 1915 Organic Juices", Drug Store News, March 13, 2018, © Drug Store News
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Carlsberg Denies It, But Tests Show Its Nepal Brewery Is A Polluter

March 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Carlsberg has admitted to creating air and water pollution problems near its brewery in Nepal, but claims that an upgraded water purifying plant at the facility – along with employee education on avoiding soot particle pollution – has solved the problem. Not so, according to research conducted the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) and investigative media company Danwatch, which collected water samples near the brewery. The samples, presented to pollution experts, confirmed massive pollution in one one of the biggest rivers in the country caused by the Carlsberg brewery. “The tests show that the river is contaminated in connection with the brewery and there is a risk that fish will die from lack of oxygen,” said a professor and wastewater expert at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).
"Despite 'Solved Problem', Carlsberg Brewery Turns Water Toxic in Nepal", My Republica, March 10, 2018, © Nepal Republic Media Pvt. Ltd.
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Colorado Issues Guidelines For Schools That Offer A Food Share Program

March 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Schools in Colorado are now allowed to share unwanted school-sponsored lunch items by placing them on a “share table” rather than tossing them in the trash. Shareable items include unopened milk or juice, whole fruits, or packaged items. Hungry students, especially low-income ones, can grab the food for free. Food left over at the end of the day is checked to make sure it’s still safe to eat, then is put back into circulation the next day. The Colorado Department of Education recently released rules that school districts follow, after many districts implemented their own programs. The state also has promotional materials, guidelines, and signs. [Image Credit: ©  WBUR.org ]
Andrea Tritschler, "Waste Less, Eat More: 27J’s Food Share Program Cuts down Cafeteria Waste at Schools", The Standard Blade, March 07, 2018, © The Standard Blade
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If Customers Want Fresh Beef, McDonald’s Will Serve It

March 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Beginning in May, McDonald’s will make its quarter-pound hamburgers from fresh beef in a move to satisfy customers who have gotten picky about eating processed food. The move will make logistics more complicated for the company and its 14,000 restaurants who have positioned themselves as the place to go for reliable, fast, cheap and delicious food. The company is convinced its basic business is selling burgers, and if consumers want the better quality – and pricier – offerings at fast-casual chains, McDonald’s will offer that. So, franchisees are installing new refrigerators and containers to store the fresh meat. It’s worth the effort, the company feels, to serve burgers that compete well with fast-casual offerings “without sacrificing the consistency and speed McDonald’s customers expect.” [Image Credit: © McDonald's]
Patrick McGroarty, "McDonald’s Puts Fresh Beef on the Menu", The Wall Street Journal, March 06, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company Inc.
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Raw Pressery Juice Relies On Ethics, Innovation, Technology In Fast-Growing Market

March 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In a recent interview, Sreejit Nair, sales director of India’s Rakyan Beverages, said its Raw Pressery juice brand is applying advanced technologies to maintain market leadership in clean-label, cold-pressed juices. The fruit-based beverage category has grown at a CAGR of more than 30 percent over the past decade, thanks to the rise of health-conscious beverage consumers looking to avoid preservatives, chemicals, sugar, and artificial colors. The company uses HPP (high pressure processing) technology to pasteurize its juices, made with fresh fruits and vegetables sourced from farmers across India and abroad. The pasteurization method extends the shelf life of the juices to 21 days. Robotics and inventory automation ensure proper warehousing. The supply chain is using digitization to control costs, quality, temperature, and time. The company is also working with technology developers to create heat sensing devices that help maintain chiller temperature. In terms of innovation, the company recently launched a cold-pressed almond milk in coffee, cacao, and turmeric flavors. This year it expects to introduce a grapefruit-flavored juice, and to extend its product line to both chilled and ambient retail shelves.
""We Look to be Asia’s Largest Clean-Label Beverage Co"", Food And Beverage News, March 05, 2018, © Food And Beverage News
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