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Ioniqa’s Process For Hard-To-Recycle PET Materials Is Gaining Attention From Large CPGs

December 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is supporting Dutch firm Ioniqa Technologies with a loan, to help it develop the technology for producing recycled PET content from PET waste that is typically difficult to recycle. The move is a part of  Coca-Cola’s target of using packaging containing 50 percent or more recycled content by 2030. The  technology allows recycling of colored PET bottles, typically excluded from some recycling processes, to be used in food-grade PET. Unilever announced earlier this year its collaboration with Ioniqa.[Image Credit: © Ioniqa Technologies]
"Coca-Cola supports Ioniqa in its efforts to develop recycled PET", Foodbev.com, December 14, 2018, © Foodbev.com
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Aldi To Replace Polystyrene Pizza Discs With Recyclable Discs

December 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The Aldi supermarket chain in the UK is introducing 100 percent recyclable pizza discs to replace the Polystyrene discs. Earlier this year, Aldi in the US said it would roll out How2Recycle labels across its own brand products over the next two years, and in March the company committed to using 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging for own-label products by 2022. In the UK, it has also stopped offering customers 5p plastic bags, only 9p reusable bags made from plastic waste.[Image Credit: © Lutz Peter from Pixabay]
"Aldi introduces 100% recyclable pizza discs in UK", Packaging Gateway, December 13, 2018, © Verdict Media Limited
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Carcinogenic Synthetic Flavors Ordered Removed From Food Products

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

December 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In a study of five major US grocery retail chains, Whole Foods Market was ranked as worst for food-contact packaging. The study from three watchdogs, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and Toxic-Free Future, found the paper it used at its salad and hot food counters had high levels of fluorine. Whole Foods has since removed the packaging highlighted in the report. Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are getting a lot attention from concerned consumers and the Environmental Protection Agency, and finding fluorine in the packaging indicates it was treated with a type of PFAS. The chemicals have been linked to cancer and shown to hinder the immune system. Albertsons, Kroger and Ahold Delhaize had fewer items shown as containing the chemicals. Trader Joe’s had none, but does not have any food bars. [Image Credit: © vedat zorluer from Pixabay]
Tiffany Kary and Deena Shanker, "Whole Foods Ranked Worst on Cancer-Linked Package Chemicals", Bloomberg, December 12, 2018, © Bloomberg LP
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Nestlé Acts To Increase Redistribution Of Its Surplus Food In U.K.

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

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

December 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


KFC, in partnership with Graphic Packaging International, is supplying half a million food buckets using sustainable materials for the Big Bash League 2018, a cricket event in Australia. The move is aligned with the Government’s commitment to ensure all packaging in the country will be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. The plastic-free buckets will be made at Graphic Packaging’s plant in the UK and will have a grease-resistant lining. [Image Credit: © KFC Corporation]
Ojaswita Kutepatil , "KFC to launch recyclable buckets for Australia’s Big Bash League 2018", Sharp Reports, December 12, 2018, © Sharp Reports
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Consumers Expect Colors – Artificial Or Not – In Their Foods

December 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Colors are important to food companies because, apparently, they’re important to consumers. Though big food companies like McDonald’s and Kellogg have promised to get rid of artificial dyes, they continue to use – or have reinstated – colorings because consumers want them. General Mills, for example, eliminated artificial colors from Trix, it added them back in last year after consumers demanded a return to the “classic” look. The cheddar cheeses sold by Boar’s Head, Cabot, Kraft, and Tillamook contain annatto, a plant extract commonly used for color.  Because salmon buyers expect salmon to be pink, farmed salmon is often fed synthetic astaxanthin, a version of a naturally occurring compound. It makes economic sense: darker salmon commands an extra 50 cents to $1 per pound when offered next to lighter salmon.[Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay]
Candice Choi , "Artificial dyes fading, but food will still get color boosts", Associated Press, December 11, 2018, © The Associated Press
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Bottled Water Brands Need To Raise Their Game On Recycled Plastic

December 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Bottled water brands are facing a major problem caused by growing consumer awareness of the environmental damage caused by plastic. One iconic brand, Evian, has pledged to increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles from 30 percent to 100 percent by 2025, a goal that requires new technology for turning used and dirty plastic into plastic that can be used in new bottles.

Consumers are showing signs of losing patience with bottled water brands, and some offices, stores and visitor venue have decided to stop selling bottled water. New York City is considering banning single use plastic bottles in some locations, including parks and beaches, and the European Parliament is backing changes that will force member states to collect 90 percent of plastic bottles for recycling. Some brands are coming up with innovations, such as Pepsi’s reusable water bottles with flavor capsules. It also trialing stations for dispensing Aquafina water in various flavors.

The answer is proving difficult to find, with brands having to weigh up the convenience of plastic packaging with the pressures to find an alternative. Loop Industries, a Canadian startup, has created a way to break down plastic into base ingredients, but it will take a while to scale. Water brands have so far failed to deliver on promises to increase their use of recycled plastic, but Danone, the parent of the Evian brand, said it is confident that Loop’s technology is feasible. Evian aims to start receiving Loop’s plastics by 2020, but Danone is looking at other solutions too.[Image Credit: © Adam Novak from Pixabay]
Saabira Chaudhuri, "Plastic Water Bottles, Which Enabled a Drinks Boom, Now Threaten a Crisis", The Wall Street Journal , December 12, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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McDonald’s In The Vanguard Of Movement To Reduce Antibiotics In Beef

December 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
With a nudge from the Natural Resources Defense Council, McDonald's announced it has told its beef suppliers around the world to cut back on the use of antibiotics beginning in 2019. Implementation will begin with pilot projects in ten markets around the world, including in the U.S. McDonald’s is the first big burger chain to launch such a policy, though other fast food leaders – Chipotle, Panera, Subway – have either cut antibiotic use in their beef supplies or have committed to do so. A spokesman for the NRDC said: “Nobody in the world sells more burgers than McDonald's, and their actions can shape the future of the industry.” Forty-three percent of medically important antibiotics sold to the U.S. livestock industry go to the beef sector, compared to only six percent for chicken.[Image Credit: © McDonald's]
"McDonald’s Commits To Reducing Antibiotic Use In Its Global Beef Supply", Natural Resources Defense Council , December 11, 2018, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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NRDC Study Sheds Light On How Cities Might Prevent Food Waste

December 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council summarizes a food waste baseline assessment study in three U.S. cities – Denver, Nashville, and New York City – for residential and non-residential sectors, including the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sectors. The study characterizes the amount of food wasted in the cities and identifies reasons why the food is wasted. For example, six of the top 10 most commonly wasted edible foods in households were the same in all three cities: coffee, milk, apples, bread, potatoes and pasta. Accumulated data was used to help inform and inspire municipal initiatives to prevent food waste, to rescue surplus food to benefit people in need, and to recycle food scraps. The study also offers templates and descriptions of the methodologies to help other cities perform similar assessments. [Image Credit: © Natural Resources Defense Council]
Willona Sloan, "Analyzing Food Waste at the City Level", waste360.com, December 10, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Hospitality Industry Can Play A Major Role In Reducing Food Waste

December 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
American consumers looking to escape the bad news that bombards them daily are visiting hotels and restaurants and supporting CPG brands that are doing the right thing. Hospitality industry trend-watcher Andrew Freedman notes that the hospitality industry should be supporting good causes, like reducing food waste. Freedman says the movement to reduce food waste will continue to gain traction in 2019 as local governments start to restrict restaurants from disposing of food waste in landfills, prompting them to look for new solutions. Some hotels and restaurants are teaming with nonprofits and companies like Goodr Co. to redirect leftovers to those who are food insecure. Others are using food in unexpected ways to reduce waste, such as the Amazing Pasta Straw, which makes straws out of pasta.[Image Credit: © The Amazing Pasta Straw, LLC]
Elizabeth Crawford , "Consumers will embrace brands that do the right thing, AF & Co. trendologists predict", FoodNavigator-USA.com, December 10, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Pladis UK & Ireland Steps Up Its Plastics Commitments

December 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Another company announcing its intention to make all plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025 is Pladis UK & Ireland, which makes biscuits and confectionery. It has joined the UK Plastics Pact, is joining the On-Pack Recycling Label scheme, and has extended its partnership with Terracycle to make its packaging recyclable. [Image Credit: © pladis global]
"Pladis UK & Ireland pledges to reduce plastic waste by 2025", Foodbev.com, December 10, 2018, © Foodbev.com
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Ukrainian Startup Has Developed A Disposable Toothbrush Based on Paper

December 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


Effa, a Ukrainian company, is producing toothbrushes with a paper body covered by a nano-layer of PLA, a cornstarch-based polymer. The head is also made from PLA, and the bristles from nylon mixed with castor oil. The packaging is water-soluble. Effa is looking to develop a range of everyday goods that are more environmentally-friendly, targeting hotels, airlines and prisons. [Image Credit: © Effa Corp.]
"Disposable toothbrush is made from paper", Springwise, December 10, 2018, © Springwise
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New Program From L.A. Food Delivery Company Cuts Food Waste, Feeds The Homeless

December 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California food delivery service Postmates has launched a new endeavor: rescuing food before it is sent to landfills and taking it to where it will do the most good. The company’s drivers in Los Angeles are picking up leftover foodstuffs from local restaurants and delivering it to local homeless shelters. The FoodFight! program was incubated in the company’s social impact arm, Civic Labs, and launched in October.  Participating restaurants simply touch a button to coordinate food pickup at the close of business. Four hundred restaurants in the L.A. area are eligible to make surplus food donations. The biggest problem for the program is a logistical one: shelter hours. Many shelters close for donations earlier than restaurants are finished serving, so the Civic Labs team is working on creative solutions, including additional funding for staffing.[Image Credit: © POSTMATES INC]
Hannah Sentenac , "Postmates is Starting a FoodFight in L.A.", LA Weekly (CA), December 07, 2018, © LA Weekly, LP.
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Nestlé Waters NA Knows That Plastic Bottles, Water Sourcing Practices, Are Big Challenges

December 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters North America CEO Fernando Mercé acknowledges that the bottled water business is going gangbusters – growth reached 6.2 percent in 2017 – but worries about the growing negative perceptions sparked by environmental concerns. For Nestlé, it’s a two-pronged challenge: plastic bottles and water sourcing practices.  The company is committed to having half of its bottles made from recycled plastic within six years. But the company seems unsure about how to deal with controversial water sourcing problems, which have caused high-profile public-relations issues. Nestlé faced boycott threats in 2016 after buying a well in Ontario that a Canadian township wanted to buy. It was also criticized that year for increasing the amount of water it was pumping from a source in Michigan, 120 miles from Flint, a city known for its water crisis.
Kate Taylor, "The CEO behind the biggest bottled-water brand in the world says the industry needs to solve a massive problem", Business Insider , December 07, 2018, © Business Insider Inc
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Irish Food Ingredient Company Licenses Enzyme That Reduces Acrylamide

December 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The chemical compound acrylamide, a cumulative neurotoxin formed in brewed coffee and in starchy foods heated to high temperatures, such as chips and French fries, is being targeted by governments with regulations limiting its use and adding warning labels on foods and beverages. In the meantime, Irish food ingredient  company Kerry has signed a licensing agreement with Renaissance BioScience Corp. to manufacture the company’s non-GMO acrylamide-reducing yeast enzyme, Acryleast. The enzyme reduces acrylamide by up to 90 percent across food and beverage products, including biscuits, crackers, French fries, crisps, coffee, and instant food. According to Kerry, it is a clean label solution that requires minimal changes to the manufacturing process and has no impact on taste, aroma, or texture.[Image Credit: © Kerry Inc]
Katy Askew, "We anticipate great demand : Kerry and Renaissance BioSciences ink partnership on acrylamide-reducing yeast enzyme", FoodNavigator.com, December 07, 2018, © William Reed Business Media
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Corn Flakes To Beer: Kellogg U.K. Program Cuts Food Waste 12.5 Percent

December 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The U.K. unit of breakfast food company Kellogg is brewing a new business: beer. The company has launched a program, “Throw Away IPA,” that turns rejected corn flakes – too small, too big, undercooked – into beer, the revenues from which are partially donated to Fareshare, a food poverty charity. The English beer, made by Seven Bro7hers Brewery, tastes sweeter than the usual IPA, and has the iconic golden color of its breakfast cereal ingredients. Each Throw Away IPA brew uses roughly 132 pounds (60 kilograms) of rejected cornflakes. Since the program was launched, Kellogg says it has reduced its U.K.-based food waste by 12.5 percent.[Image Credit: © Seven Bro7hers Brewery]
McKinley Corbley, "In Bid to Cut Food Waste, Kellogg’s is Using Their Rejected Cornflakes to Make Beer ", Good News Network, December 07, 2018, © GNN, LLC
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Unilever Invests €100,000 To Solve Single-Use Plastic Sachet Problem

December 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever has set its sights on eliminating single-use plastic sachets for laundry products, piloting a technology in which it is investing €100,000. The crowd-sourced plastic-free tablet, which uses a plant-based coating, emerged from the company’s “Rethink Plastic” Hackathon. Other ideas from the event included a subscription model for detergent in ceramic or glass bottles, and soluble sheets of detergent, or ‘Laundry on a roll’. Teams from Unilever will look at some of these other ideas. [Image Credit: © Unilever]
"Unilever to invest €100,000 in a crowdsourced solution as part of its drive to rethink plastic packaging", Unilever, December 06, 2018, © Unilever
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Major Drinks Companies, Retailers And Green Groups Seek To Improve Plastic Recycling In Hong Kong

December 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Beverage companies, green campaigners and others are joining forces to tackle the issue of poor recycling rates in Hong Kong. The voluntary Drink Without Waste initiative was announced by the Single-use Beverage Packaging Working Group, a coalition of charities, drink producers and bottlers, recycling companies, environmental groups and retailers. They are looking at a range of possible initiatives, including installing water dispensers around the city and a “cash on return” scheme for plastic bottles. Manufacturers are also encouraged to look at their packaging to improve recycling rates. In 2017, Hong Kong dumped some 1.7 billion empty drinks containers in landfill or as litter. Two-thirds were plastic bottles. Less than 10 percent of the single-use plastic bottles sent to rubbish tips are recovered and recycled. [Image Credit: © Drink Without Waste]
Ernest Kao, "Major Hong Kong drinks manufacturers join forces with green groups for initiative aimed at increasing city’s dismal recycling rate", South China Morning Post, December 06, 2018, © South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd
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Starbucks Says Plastic-Lined Coffee Cups Can Be Converted Into New Cups

December 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coffee chain Starbucks says it has converted 25 million of its coffee cups into new cups as part of a pilot scheme introduced earlier in 2018, overturning conventional wisdom that the plastic lining means they couldn’t be recycled. Mike Mueller of WestRock, the company that recycled the cups, said the company is aiming to raise awareness about how it can be achieved and scaled. Other initiatives used by Starbucks include charging a small fee to its London customers for single-use cups, and it is working on a cup that can be easily recycled and composted. Customers in most stores can expect a discount if they bring their own reusable cup.[Image Credit: © Starbucks Corporation]
Kat Smith, "Starbucks Proves That Single-Use Coffee Cups Can Be Recycled", LIVEKINDLY , December 06, 2018, © LIVEKINDLY Media Inc.
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Finnish Companies Team Up To Develop Biocomposite Straws

December 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Two Finnish companies are collaborating on biodegrabale drinking straws. Made from Sulapac’s biocomposite material of wood and natural binders, the straws can be recycled by industrial composting, and will biodegrade in the sea. Stora Enso, a packaging manufacturer, will jointly develop the products. The partners announced a demo launch for the products and they are targeting commercial availability by the end of the first half of next year.[Image Credit: © Stora Enso]
"Stora Enso and Sulapac partner to create biodegradable straws", FoodBev Media , December 04, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Kellogg Europe Executive Outlines Bio-Based Cereal Pouches Goal

December 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
According to Rupert Maitland-Titterton, Kellogg Europe’s senior director of sustainability and corporate communications, the company is working towards its pledge to ensure 100 percent of its packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. An interim goal is to develop bio-based cereal pouches, recyclable in all Kellogg’s markets, to replace oil-based pouches by the end of next year. Although it’s up to consumers to contribute to the recycling process, he says, food companies must work with stakeholders, including suppliers and waste management companies, to design packaging that can be recycled and to improve the infrastructure. Kellogg Europe has started an audit of recycling structures in its largest 25 markets. Kellogg is one of the 250-plus signatories to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which aims to eliminate single-use plastic. Maitland-Titterton believes this scale of collaboration is crucial and that the food industry can’t solve it alone.[Image Credit: © KELLOGG Company]
"How Kellogg Europe is targeting a sector-wide shift to sustainable packaging", edie.net, December 04, 2018, © edie.net
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Supermarkets In Australia Seeing Up To 90 Percent Reduction In Single-Use Plastic Bag Use

December 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Since July, 1.5 billion fewer single-use plastic bags have been used by large Australian supermarkets. A ban by Coles and Woolworths were added to a total ban across the state of Queensland. Reusable options have helped bring about an 80 percent drop in plastic bag use, and some retailers have reported a 90 percent reduction. The supermarkets have donated profits from the sale of reusable bags to community organizations, including Clean Up Australia, Little Athletics Australia and Guide Dog.[Image Credit: © Woolworths Group Limited]
"Australian supermarkets eliminate 1.5 billion single-use plastic bags", Packaging Gateway, December 04, 2018, © Verdict Media Limited
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Food Companies Finding Ways To Upcycle, Recycle For Profits, Sustainability

December 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The packaged-food industry, both CPG giants and start-ups concerned about sustainability, along with foodservice chains and providers of plastic packaging, are seeing the benefits of the so-called “circular economy.” By recycling and upcycling as much as they can, they are benefiting their bottom line and helping preserve the planet. Many companies are engaged in efforts to try to reduce food waste. About two dozen CPG manufacturers and food retailers are working with the EPA as U.S. Food and Waste 2030 Champions, setting a target to cut food waste in half by 2030. An increasing number of start-up manufacturers are using food-waste reduction as a primary platform. Barnanas, for example, has become a $15 million company in six years, selling banana “bites” in several varieties made from bananas that were a bit ripe.[Image Credit: © Barnana]
Dale Buss, "Food Waste Has Manufacturers Engaging The Circular Economy", Chief Executive , December 04, 2018, © Chief Executive Group, LLC
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Mexican Beer Brand Corona Testing Plastic-Free Six-Pack Rings

November 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Plastic rings holding a six-pack of beer together are ubiquitous, but Corona, the Mexican beer brand, is trialing rings from biodegradable plant-based fibers. It follows an announcement by Carlsberg earlier this year to withdraw plastic rings in favor of a glue. Corona’s innovation will break down into organic matter, according to the brand and will first be tested in the Mexican town of Tulum in 2019. The move is a part of Corona’s commitment to Parley for the Oceans, a non-profit focusing on plastics accumulating on beaches and marine environments. [Image Credit: © Constellation Brands, Inc.]
"Corona to introduce plastic-free six-pack rings on its beer cans", FoodBev Media, November 30, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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N.J. Lawmakers Tackle Food Waste Problem With Package Of Bills

November 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A N.J. Assembly committee has approved a package of bills aimed at reducing hunger statewide. Assembly Bill 4705 would create a 12-member New Jersey Food Waste Task Force whose purpose would be to devise ways to reduce wasteful food consumption in the state 50 percent by 2030. Assembly Joint Resolution 174, meanwhile, would urge retailers and consumers to find and adopt ways to reduce food waste. Suggestions outlined in the legislation for retailers include lowering “unreasonably high cosmetic standards” for their products, urging food manufacturers to drop “best by” labels and establishing systems for donating surplus foods to charities. To curb food waste among consumers, the resolution suggests retailers could provide food reduction tips and recipes to use leftovers and organize “waste less” campaigns.[Image Credit: © Community FoodBank of New Jersey]
Daniel J. Munoz, "Lawmakers eye ways to reduce food waste among restaurants, stores", NJBIZ, November 30, 2018, © BridgeTower Media
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Packaging Coffee Beans In Aluminum Cans Is An Imperfect Answer To A Complex Problem

November 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Blue Bottle Coffee is starting to pack its coffee beans in aluminum cans with recyclable plastic lids, shifting from PLA packaging. PLA is a compostable polymer made from corn. James Freeman, the brand’s founder, says the cans will be a third more expensive than the compostable paper bag, but the environmental problem of packaging is not simple. For example, coffee bags described as biodegradable might contain a lining that will take years to decompose. Metal, on the other hand, is more easily recycled: the Aluminum Association says most aluminum contains 70 percent of recycled product. Cans aren’t the perfect solution either, but they can at least be recycled whole without having to be first dismantled. [Image Credit: © BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE Inc.]
Esha Chhabra, "Why Blue Bottle Coffee Is Putting Coffee Beans In Cans", Forbes Media, November 30, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Coca-Cola Brazil Expand Commitment To Returnable Bottles

November 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola Brazil hopes to increase the use of returnable bottles from 20 percent to 40 percent over the next two years, and has invested another $26 million to roll out universal formats with detachable labels to improve recyclability, reduce waste, and improve carbon footprint. The company launched the returnable bottle initiative in 2008 with several brands, including Coca-Cola, Grape Fanta, Sprite, and Guarana Jesus, among others. Consumers can return empty bottles to stores and receive newly filled bottles at a reduced rate. The returned bottles can be re-used 25 before final recycling. The program was launched in São Paulo and the Northeast of Brazil, and will be expanded to Rio de Janeiro and eventually  Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia and Mexico.[Image Credit: © Coca-Cola]
Kacey Culliney , "Coca-Cola Brazil wants 40 percent of its bottles to be returnable by 2020", Beverage Daily, November 28, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Costa Coffee Uses Barclays’ Wearable Chip Technology In Its “Clever Cup”

November 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Retail coffee chain Costa Coffee is launching the U.K.'s first reusable coffee cup equipped with contactless payment technology. The “Clever Cup,” launched in partnerhip with Barclaycard, will be available in Costa Coffee stores as part of a relaunch of Costa's reusable range to encourage customers to avoid single-use takeaway cups. The new cup is powered by Barclaycard's bPay technology, a contactless payment technology that tracks user spending using the dedicated bPay app or online. The contactless element is detachable for ease of washing. According to Barclays, its wearable chip technology allows almost any accessory to be transformed into a smart payment device.[Image Credit: © Costa]
Tim Maytom, "Costa Coffee and Barclaycard team up for contactless 'Clever Cup'", Mobile Marketing, November 28, 2018, © Mobile Marketing
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British Meal Replacement Company Huel Launches RTD Protein Beverage In U.S.

November 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
U.K. meal replacement marketer Huel, whose products launched in the U.S. in 2017, has entered the RTD protein market with the debut of a fully recyclable 16.9-ounce bottle. The products come in vanilla and berry flavors, each containing 20 grams of plant-based protein, available online on December 28. Huel’s line of powdered meal replacements contain oats, pea protein, flaxseed, brown rice protein, MCTs from coconut, sunflower lecithin, and 27 minerals and vitamins. The company received its first external investment of $26 million from growth equity firm Highland Europe to “accelerate growth” by expanding its product portfolio and entering new markets. Huel reached $10 million in sales as of June 2018, its first year in the U.S.
Mary Ellen Shoup , "Huel ups convenience factor with RTD beverage launch ", FoodNavigator-USA , November 28, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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U.K. Business Leaders Urge Government To Set Long-Term Emissions Goals

November 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola European Partners, along with other big food, consumer goods, and utilities companies, are urging the British government to set a goal of net zero emissions by 2050. The letter, which marks the tenth anniversary of the U.K.’s Climate Change Act, says that U.K. emissions have fallen by 40 percent over this time. Nevertheless, the government should set clear long-term goals so that businesses can plan for long-term success; and manage a smooth transition over time. The Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group also includes Danone, Unilever, Anglian Water, IAG, ScottishPower, Signify U.K. & Ireland, and Thames Water Utilities Ltd.
Rachel Arthur , "Coca-Cola, Unilever and Danone call for net zero emissions by 2025", Beverage Daily, November 27, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Nashville Mayor Challenges Local Businesses To Cut Holiday Season Food Waste

November 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The mayor of Nashville, Tenn., has partnered with local organizations to challenge restaurants, hotels, and event venues to slash food waste. According to Mayor David Brinley, as many as 100,000 Davidson County residents, including more than 25,000 children, are food-insecure. By responding to the challenge, businesses could have a “meaningful impact” on the lives of many of our residents during the holiday season. Businesses that participate are being asked to select and implement practices from a menu of options to prevent food waste, to donate food and recycle food scraps, and to report on their progress. Organizations joing in the challenge include the Nashville Food Waste Initiative, the Greater Nashville Hospitality Association, and Nashville Originals.[Image Credit: © Natural Resources Defense Council]
"Mayor David Briley issues food saver challenge to prevent food waste this holiday season", Nashville Pride (Tennessee) | Black Press USA, November 23, 2018, © National Newspaper Publishers Association
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Report Covers Novel Food And Beverage Packaging Solutions That Cut Food Waste

November 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A report by Chicago-based research company PreScouter covering food and beverage packaging innovations highlights nine shelf-life extension solutions that could go a long way toward reducing the 1.3 billion tons of food wasted globally each year. The solutions, in various stages of development, include the move toward more natural food- and plant-based additives and packaging. Other solutions feature superior coating materials, novel additives, and putting a new spin on older technologies. Six of the nine solutions have been approved for food use[Image Credit: © PreScouter]
"Extending the Shelf Life of Food and Beverages", PreScouter, November 18, 2018, © PreScouter
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New Milestone Targets For The UK Plastics Pact

November 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Campaign group Wrap has issued targets for plastic waste reduction by businesses in the UK. Its ‘roadmap’ sets stage targets for April 2019 and end-2022, towards the end date of 2025. Signatories to the UK Plastics Pact have committed to making 100 per cent of plastic packaging either reusable, recyclable or compostable. The roadmap also sets milestones for other goals, including developing ways to address non-recyclable materials. Wrap’s CEO said he was impressed with the progress business has made since the Pact was launched in April, but added that consumers have a role and responsibility too.[Image Credit: © Waste and Resources Action Programme]
Steve Farrell , "Wrap unveils plastic waste reduction 'roadmap'", The Grocer UK, November 15, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Start-Ups Targeting Food Waste Get $125M So Far In 2018

November 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
ReFED, a nonprofit organization devoted to solving food waste problems, has issued a report revealing that $125 million has been invested by the private sector in food waste start-ups since the beginning of 2018. Investment firms like Andreessen Horowitz, S2G Ventures, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, and DBL Partners obviously see great potential in the fact that an estimated $218 billion of food is wasted annually. Apeel Sciences ($70 million) produces a natural second skin to extend the shelf life of produce; Food Maven and Full Harvest ($8.5 million each) create B2B marketplaces for excess or wonky food; Spoiler Alert helps businesses better manage unsold food; ReGrained makes a flour out of spent distiller grains; and Goodr offers an on-demand food rescue service. [Image Credit: © ReFED]
Dana Gunders, "More Than $125 Million Poured Into Food Waste Startups In 2018", Forbes.com, November 14, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Waitrose Has Accelerated Its Work To Eradicate Single-Use Plastic In Own-Label Packaging

November 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Upmarket UK grocery retailer Waitrose has accelerated its commitment to making own-brand packaging more recyclable, reusable or compostable, bringing forward its 100 per cent target from 2015 to 2023. It has hit the 70 per cent level already and expects to reach 80 per cent by 2020. It says it is also close to taking all its own-label fruit, vegetables, meat and fish out of black plastic by the end of 2018, and will stop selling its own-label products in black plastic after the end of next year. [Image Credit: © Waitrose]
Marianne Calnan , "Waitrose brings recyclable packaging commitment forward", The Grocer UK, November 13, 2018, © William Reed Business Media
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Kao Is Stepping Up Its Battle Against Plastic Packaging

November 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Global consumer goods company Kao has launched Smart Holder, allowing consumers to use refill packages and reduce the amount of packaging it uses. Eighty per cent of Kao’s personal care and household products are now in refillable packs, reducing plastic waste sold in Japan by 74% for those products. Innovations include the ‘bottle-like pouch’ (BLP) refills, designed to be easy to use (or “raku raku” in Japanese, translated as “so easy”). It has also been working to reduce packaging by innovating the products, such as developing the first super-concentrated liquid detergent in the world. In the US, Kao is to partner with How2Recycle on adding easy-to-understand recycling labels on packaging. The company is also working on a number of other plastics initiatives back in Japan, to raise consumer awareness and involvement in recycling plastics, such as encouraging residents of Kamakura to deposit empty refill pouches, which were converted into blocks to build a life-size model of a popular local train, displayed in front of city hall. [Image Credit: © Kao Corporation]

Kate Bertrand Connolly , "Japan’s Kao Group makes sustainability look raku raku (‘so easy’)", Packaging , November 09, 2018, © UBM Canon
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“Clean Label” Appearing More And More On Foods, Despite Lack Of Standard

November 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Though there is still no firm definition of the term, the “clean label” claim is joining other food marketing words and phrases like “natural” and “artisanal” on packaging. As the phenomenon grows, organizations have appeared claiming to test and certify food products and award a "clean label" seal of approval. The Denver-based Clean Label Project, for example, tests products for 130 harmful environmental and industrial contaminants and toxins, including heavy metals, pesticides, BPA, BPS, acrylamide, and melamine and its analogs. But “clean label” can mean other things as well – no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no preservatives, and no high-fructose corn syrup – depending on the product. What may be needed is for regulators to nail down the definition of clean label so it can have some universal application.[Image Credit: © Clean Label Project]
Khalil Akhtar, "'Clean label' joins 'all natural' and 'artisanal' as the next big food marketing claim", CBC News, November 08, 2018, © CBC/Radio-Canada
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Nonprofit Certifies Food Trucks For Green Disposal Practices

November 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
North Carolina-based nonprofit Don’t Waste Durham has developed a green food truck certification program to help vendors – who crank out hundreds to a thousand or so meals a day and mega volumes of wasted food and packaging – reduce their carbon footprint. Businesses are checked on use of reusable service ware or compostable materials, and serving on recyclable supplies when reusable and compostable are not options. Vendors learn of local foodservice suppliers, are hooked up with compost haulers and taught how to cut costs and waste. They get discounts for supplies, affordable pickup service and priority bookings at venues.[Image Credit: © Don't Waste Durham]
Arlene Karidis , "Small Wave of Food Trucks Go Green", Waste360, November 08, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Bunge Debuts High-Protein, Clean Label Lentil Flour As Starch Substitute

November 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food ingredient company Bunge North America (Chesterfield, Mo.) has added a non-GMO lentil flour to its portfolio that manufacturers can use as a functional “clean label” substitute for modified starches in ingredient lists. Bunge’s lentil flour is made using non-GMO lentils, water, and heat. Unlike modified starches, Bunge’s lentil flour boosts protein content. It also offers the nutrition of other pulse-based flours, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals, with a more neutral flavor profile suitable for both sweet and savory applications. [Image Credit: © Bunge North America, Inc.]
Mary Ellen Shoup , "Bunge unveils functional lentil flour for clean label formulations", FoodNavigator-USA.com, November 07, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Blockchain Technology Improves Walmart’s Food Safety, Reduces Food Loss

November 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart is using blockchain technology to help track and manage the chaotic and decentralized food supply system comprising producers, suppliers, and intermediaries such as processors that change constantly. Blockchain technology, like the food system, is based on a decentralized and distributed model that fits the modern food system perfectly. Each player in the network can update data, but also stops them from entering false data or making false changes. The speed with which blockchain enables companies to trace products and problems back to the source means improved food safety and less economic loss, and reduced food waste. It quickly and accurately identifies the source of a problem so that only impacted products are recalled or removed, rather than everything in the category.[Image Credit: © Tumisu from Pixabay]
Elizabeth Crawford , "From 7 days to 2 seconds: Blockchain can help speed trace-back, improve food safety & reduce waste", FoodNavigator-USA.com, November 06, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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New Plastics Promise Launched By PZ Cussons

November 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

PZ Cussons has introduced new targets for single-use plastic by 2025. Its Plastic Promise commits the company to reducing by 25 per cent the amount of plastic it uses. It is also aiming for 100% of the plastic uses to be reusable, recyclable or compostable, and its plastic packaging will contain 30% recycled material. The company has already eliminated single-use plastics from its Manchester, UK headquarters.[Image Credit: © PZ Cussons]
Daniel Selwood , "PZ Cussons unveils targets for single-use plastic reduction", The Grocer, November 05, 2018, © William Reed Business Media
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Celebrity Chef Teaches Whirlpool Employees How To Cut Down On Food Waste

November 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Joel Gamoran, a national chef with Sur La Table and the host of a cooking show called "Scraps," recently gave a cooking demonstration for employees at the global headquarters of Whirlpool Corp. Michigan. His mission was to show his audience how common household foods normally tossed in a garbage disposal can be used to create nutritious meals. He pointed out that Americans waste $319 billion worth of food every year while one out of eight people go to bed hungry. For his TV shows he partners with food waste champions around the U.S. to celebrate the local cuisine and create a delicious meal with food items many consider to be waste, like banana peels, shrimp shells, chicken bones, and carrot stems. The program is sponsored by Whirlpool’s KitchenAid brand, so he uses the brand's stand mixers, food processors, and blenders throughout his travels.[Image Credit: © Whirlpool Corporation]
Tony Wittkowski , "Eliminating food waste: Whirlpool hosts celebrity chef for cooking demo", The Herald-Palladium (St. Joseph, Michigan), November 01, 2018, © The Herald-Palladium
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Frozen Meal Maker In The UK Shifts To Cardboard Trays

October 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Cook, a UK manufacturer of frozen ready meals, is to start transitioning its products away from black plastic and into cardboard-based recyclable trays. Its aim is to use more sustainable packaging for the entire range by end-2020. It is beginning the move with its kids range, because those products are best-suited to the new tray, and because it will be kids that will be most affected by the plastics issue. The board in the new trays comes from sustainable sources.[Image Credit: © COOK Trading Ltd]
Andrew Don , "Cook to switch frozen meal plastic to recyclable trays", The Grocer, October 31, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Food Distributor’s Program Moves Ugly Produce To Restaurants Rather Than Landfills

October 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

One of America’s largest fresh food distributors is showing chefs and restaurants that “imperfect” produce – fruits and vegetables that don’t meet aesthetics and size requirements – has real value. Baldor Specialty Foods’ Imperfect Produce program allows farmers sell these commodities to chefs, and directly to the public through community-supported agriculture (CSA) models. An estimated 24.7 percent of on-farm produce waste occurs because of disposal of imperfect produce.[Image Credit: © Baldor Specialty Foods]
Arlene Karidis, "Imperfect Produce Gets a Market Boost", waste360.com, October 31, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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“Certified Transitional” Label Is Slow To Catch On

October 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The “Certified Transitional” label launched in 2016 through a partnership between Quality Assurance International (QAI) and natural cereal brand Kashi was created to help increase the supply and availability of USDA organic products as would-be organic farmers weathered the 36-month transition from conventional to organic farming methods. However, roadblocks have impeded the success of the label. The USDA, for example, initially approved a National Certified Transitional Program in 2017 that would have set up a national standard but not a label for the end product, as QAI's certification currently does. The USDA withdrew support for the program due to internal roadblocks and disagreement. According to the department, the significant challenges to creating a national standard for transitional production convinced it to not move forward with ongoing certification. [Image Credit: © Kashi Company]
Ariel Knoebel, "Is Certified Transitional The New Organic?", Forbes.com, October 31, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Global Companies Join The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

October 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nearly 300 organizations have has joined a global initiative to eliminate plastic waste. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment signatories include recycling companies, packaging producers and  retailers. It was announced at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s 'Our Ocean' conference in Bali, and was launched in collaboration with UN Environment. The initiative has three main aims: eradicate unnecessary plastic and move away from single-use packaging; work towards 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging by 2025; and to circulate plastic by increasing the volume of plastics that can be converted into new products or packaging. CPG companies that have signed up include Johnson & Johnson, SC Johnson, Danone, L’Oréal, Mars, PepsiCo, Unilever and Coca-Cola. Other signatories include Walmart, Target, Carrefour, Metro AG, Lidl, Ahold Delhaize, H&M, Amcor and Novamont.  [Image Credit: © New Plastics Economy]
Beth Wright , "Inditex, M&S, Target join pledge to end plastic waste ", Just-style.com, October 29, 2018, © Just-style.com
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PepsiCo Strengthens Its Commitment To Using Recycled Material In Packaging

October 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo has pledged to use 25 per cent recycled content in plastic packaging by 2025, building on its 2016 ‘Performance with Purpose’ sustainability initiative that aims to make 100 per cent of its packaging recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2025. The company says that its work with partners will ensure PET beverage bottles will incorporate 33 per cent recycled PET material by 2025. In the EU, it is aiming for a 50% target. The new target also builds on its commitment to Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s  New Plastic Economy initiative. PepsiCo has also announced it had entered a multi-year supply agreement with Loop Industries, Inc., which develops sustainable plastic. PepsiCo will start to use Loop™ PET plastic, which contains 100 per cent recycled material, in its product packaging by early 2020. [Image Credit: © New Plastics Economy]
Matt Mace, "PepsiCo to use 25% recycled content in plastics packaging by 2025", edie newsroom, October 29, 2018, © Faversham House Ltd
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FDA Ponders Adding Sesame Seeds To List Of Allergens That Need Labeling

October 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The U.S. has yet to add sesame seeds to the list of major food allergens, but is now exploring whether it should require sesame seed warnings on foods.  FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb acknowledged that evidence is mounting that sesame seeds are a major food allergen, and is asking for comments about a possible change. In the U.S., the major allergens are milk, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. They accounted for 90 percent of the serious food allergic reactions in 2004 when the law was passed. About 300,000 people in the U.S. have sesame seed allergies, nearly as many as those with allergies to soybeans or fish. The European Union, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada already list sesame as a major allergen that requires food labeling.[Image Credit: © PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay]
"FDA mulls requiring sesame seeds be disclosed as food allergy on labels", The Examiner (Washington, DC), October 29, 2018, © Washington Examiner
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