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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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City Travelers Swap Plastic Bottles For Bus Rides

October 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The Indonesian city of Surabaya is encouraging residents to swap used plastic bottles for free bus journeys. Travelers can drop off their bottles at the terminal or on the bus. The local authority aims to be free of plastic waste by 2020. One bus has the capacity for 250kg of plastic daily. The caps and labels are removed before the bottles are auctioned to recycling plants, and any money raised is invested in the city’s transport system. The scheme has had a good response from residents. [Image Credit: © Adam Novak from Pixabay]
"Plastic bottles accepted as public transport payment", Springwise, October 28, 2018, © Springwise
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Two Global Companies Partner To Develop Plastics Recycling Technologies

October 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever is teaming up with Veolia, a waste management company, to develop technology to increase plastics recycling. The partnership will first focus on India and Indonesia, on collecting and recycling  waste and re-using recycled material. As a founding member of the UK Plastics Pact, Unilever is also working on the Pact’s 2025 targets, such as ensuring 70 per cent of all packaging is either recycled or reprocessed, and that all packaging has 30 per cent recycled content. Veolia, in partnership with RECOUP, a plastics recycler, produced a study that found consumers might pay extra more to increase the amount of their products that contain recycled material. It also found, however, that the infrastructure required to achieve this in the UK needs to be improved considerably. [Image Credit: © tkremmel from Pixabay]
Kate Dickinson, "Veolia and Unilever team up to tackle plastic waste", Resource.co, October 25, 2018, © Resource Media Limited
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Snap Kitchen Shifts To Eco-Friendly Food Trays

October 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


US fresh food retailer Snap Kitchen has introduced compostable packaging materials in 35 locations. It expects to cut its use of plastic by 227 tonnes annually. It has partnered with World Centric, which manufactures compostable products. Snap Kitchen said that the eco-friendly packaging uses much less energy: five of the new trays can be produced using the same amount of energy as one petroleum-based plastic tray. The packaging is microwave- and oven-safe.[Image Credit: © Snap Kitchen, LLC.]
Ben Messenger, "Snap Kitchen Moves to Compostable Plant Based Packaging", Waste Management World, October 24, 2018, © WEKA Industrie Medien GmbH
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Using, Rather Than Tossing, Surplus Foods Saves A Lot Of Money For Family Of Four

October 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Boston globe writer who decided earlier this year to spend more time with her children says she needed to trim grocery costs to make up for lost income.  By cutting food waste – using instead of throwing away things like wilted celery and cherry jar syrup – she got her monthly grocery bill down to about $420. That’s considerably less than a “liberal” grocery budget of $1,016, and $100 less than what the USDA calls a “thrifty” plan of $520 for a four-person family with young kids. At a time when the average American family wastes about $1,600 in food a year, Elspeth Hay says preventing food waste wasn’t really a chore this summer: “frugality tasted more like freedom.”[Image Credit: © Esther Merbt from Pixabay]
Elspeth Hay, "How to reduce food waste and live frugally", The Boston Globe, October 24, 2018, © Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC
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No Longer Discarded, Experimental Spuds Head To Oregon’s Food Banks

October 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Until recently, the batches of experimental potato varieties grown at an Oregon agricultural research facility were deemed unsuitable for commercial sale and carted off to landfills. But thanks to a partnership between the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center and the Walchli Farms potato processors, most of the potatoes will go now to the Oregon Food Bank to be distributed to community food pantries across the state. The endeavor involves many hands: donated labor and equipment to harvest the potatoes; trucks provided by a trucking company; donated processing, washing, and packaging; and storage provided by a local farmer. The total haul surpassed 100,000 pounds of potatoes.[Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay]
"Local partnership sends surplus potatoes to food banks", Capital Press, October 23, 2018, © Capital Press
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German Airport Foodservice Company Tests Surplus Food Distribution App

October 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The foodservice subsidiary of Munich Airport is testing an app that lets airport visitors, passengers, and employees order surplus food from the airport’s eateries at discount prices. The food is available for pickup between 8:00 pm and 9:30 pm every day. The first restaurant at Munich Airport to join the Allresto pilot project is Surf & Turf in the Munich Airport Center (MAC). A Danish start-up created the "Too Good To Go" app – its goal is to avoid food waste, save money, and foster sustainability – which is now running in nine European countries.[Image Credit: © Too Good To Go]
Tatiana Rokou, "Munich Airport announces partnership with "Too Good To Go"", Travel Daily News, October 22, 2018, © TravelDailyNews Media Network
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Large 4-Year Study Finds Reduced Risk Of Cancer Among Eaters Of Organic Foods

October 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
French government scientists have published a study demonstrating that the risk of cancer declines significantly when people eat organic foods, especially those free from pesticides. The scientists tracked the diets of nearly 69,000 people over four years. Those who consumed the most organic foods were 25 percent less likely to develop cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, all lymphomas, and postmenopausal breast cancer. Pesticides linked to cancer include the weed killer glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, and the organophosphate pesticides malathion and diazinon. The scientists focused on 16 organic food and beverage products, including fruits and vegetables, soy-based foods, eggs, dairy, grains, meat and fish, among others. The study was published in a journal of the American Medical Association.[Image Credit: © Environmental Working Group]
"Massive Study Finds Eating Organic Slashes Cancer Risks", Environmental Working Group, October 22, 2018, © Environmental Working Group
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Target Is Testing App That Highlights Foods Nearing “Best Used By” Dates That Sell At A Discount

October 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Canadian start-up that developed a food waste app is being tested at select Target stores in the Midwest and with the Loblaw (Canada) grocery chain. The Flashfood app pinpoints food close to the "best used by" or expiration dates so that users can pay via the app and then pick up the deeply discounted food at the store. Flashfood takes a cut of each sale. Stores benefit by selling food that would otherwise be tossed into the dumpster, and consumers benefit by getting lower-priced food that is still perfectly edible. Target’s goal is to reduce overall retail waste by 70 percent by 2020, and is moving forward with strategies that include waste-stream audits and an in-store tracking program to prevent wasted food at some of their stores,[Image Credit: © flashfood]
Catherine Roberts, "App aimed at cutting food waste wins pilot at select Target stores", Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), October 21, 2018, © StarTribune
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Sodexo’s North American Unit Is To Cut Single-Use Plastic Dramatically

October 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Sodexo North America plans to significantly reduce single-use plastics. The food service company’s North American Single-Use Plastics Reduction Plan targets the end of 2019 to stop using single-use plastic bags and stirrers, with 2025 the cut-off date for expanded polystyrene packaging. The company has stopped short of committing to complete elimination of single-use plastic. It will adopt a "by request" policy for plastic drinking straws, for example. John Hocevar, Greenpeace Oceans Campaign Director, applauded Sodexo's initiative but urged other food service companies, such as Sysco and Compass Group, to act on reducing single-use plastics. [Image Credit: © Sodexo 2016]
Jim Johnson, "Sodexo to reduce single-use plastics in food service", Plastics News, October 20, 2018, © Crain Communications, Inc.
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Cold Plasma Technology: Future Food Could Easily Be Made Mold-Free

October 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Plant scientists in Australia are testing the use of cold lightning plasma technology to extend the life of fruits and vegetables by keeping them mold-free. Food passes under a cold “flame” plasma, similar to lightning in a storm, that kills bacterial, fungal and viral contaminations. Plant scientist Kirsty Bayliss says the technology could result in a higher yield, greater revenue, and a chemical-free product that is more attractive to buyers. She has worked extensively with strawberry and avocado growers, treating mold and extending shelf life. "We've had avocados that are three weeks after harvest and are still fresh," she says, adding that the next major step for the technology is to create a company and garner investment.[Image Credit: © Murdoch University]
"Cold lightning keeps food fresh", Daily Business Alerts (Australia), October 19, 2018, © Business News
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Global Drinks Makers Seek To Dilute EU Plastics Legislation

October 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Some large beverage companies are reportedly trying to limit European Union legislation on plastics reduction. A letter signed by Danone, Coca-Cola, Nestlé and PepsiCo urges EU states to postpone proposals that would force companies to ensure bottle caps can’t be detached. The EU is considering plans for tethered caps to be mandatory by 2025. The four signatories of the leaked letter counter-propose a commitment to recycle 90 per cent of plastic bottles by 2025. Some of these companies have been identified as the heaviest contributors to plastic pollution. The companies argue that tethered caps shouldn’t be compulsory unless 2021 recycling targets aren’t met, but critics say the EU’s aims aren’t difficult to achieve and the companies are just using classic delaying tactics. [Image Credit: © goranmx from Pixabay]
Ben Chapman, "Coca Cola, Pepsi and Nestle attempt to water down new plastics laws, leaked letter reveals", The Independent, October 19, 2018, © Evening Standard Ltd
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Ahold Delhaize Unit Commits To Removing Artificial Ingredients From House Brands

October 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Salisbury, N.C.-based Retail Business Services, an Ahold Delhaize USA subsidiary, announced a commitment to making its house brands cleaner and more natural by 2025. The company promised to remove from its foods: synthetic colors; artificial flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners; MSGs; and high fructose corn syrup. It also plans to reduce salt and sugar, advance transparency and sustainable chemistry practices used in products and packaging, and reduce plastic and packaging waste. The company also promised to produce more allergen-free products. Retail Business Services, LLC, serves six East Coast grocery brands, including Food Lion, Giant Food, Giant/Martin's, Hannaford, Stop & Shop, and online grocery retailer Peapod.[Image Credit: © United States Retail Business Services, LLC]
"Retail Business Services Commits to Removing Artificial Ingredients from All Private Brand Products for Consumers by 2025", Globe Newswire, October 17, 2018, © GlobeNewswire, Inc
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Loliware Introduces Edible Straws Made From Seaweed

October 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
As pressure intensifies on single-use plastics, one bioplastics company claims to have the answer to eliminating plastic straws. Loliware has developed the LOLISTRAW, made from a bio-degradable and marine-degradable material sourced from seaweed. They come in different colors, last for a day in a beverage, become soil in around 60 days, and are edible - flavors include “citrus” and “vanilla dust”. One variant – “air” – is clear and has no flavor. The straws follow the company’s edible cups, which it pitched to the Shark Tank reality investor TV program in the US in 2015.[Image Credit: © LOLIWARE]
Mia Mercado, "LOLIWARE's Edible Straws Could Be A Solution To The Plastic Straw Problem", Bustle, October 17, 2018, © Bustle
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Kiwi Scientists Figure Out How To Convert Fermented Plant Pulp Into Flour

October 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
New Zealand scientists have developed a technology that transforms pinot noir grape – and other plant – fermentation by-products into zero-waste, gluten-free, vegan, low-carb, low-fat, fiber- and nutrient-rich flour. Greenspot Technologies has successfully created flour from pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, apple, beetroot, orange, carrot and parsnip pulp. The sophisticated fermentation process was developed in the research labs of the University of Auckland. The key to the process is the conversion of sugars in the pulp into nutritious protein. The flours can be used to make bread, snack bars, protein bars, biscuits, vegan products, pasta, pizza, or as a dietary supplement. The start-up is using an investment of $782,700 to spread the word in France.[Image Credit: © BY GREEN SPOT TECHNOLOGIES]
Cecile Meier, "Could this zero waste, gluten-free, vegan, low-carb NZ pinot noir flour be the next superfood?", Stuff.co.nz, October 16, 2018, © Stuff Limited
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UK’s Ocado Will Soon Stop Using Non-Recyclable Polystyrene And PVC In Own-Label Items

October 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


UK online supermarket Ocado says it will stop using non-recyclable PVC and polystyrene from its own-label products before Christmas and will remove black plastic by next spring. Ocado signed the UK Plastics Pact earlier this year, which is a commitment to stop using “problematic and unnecessary” single-use plastic packaging by 2025. Ocado’s website includes ‘low plastic’ and ‘recyclable’ categories, and has also added a ‘widely recycled’ category.[Image Credit: © Ocado Retail Limited]
Steve Farrell , "Ocado pledges further cuts to its single-use plastic packaging", The Grocer UK, October 16, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Austin’s Eateries Must Recycle Unsold Food – Or Compost It

October 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Austin, Texas, has barred its restaurants from trashing unsold made-to-order and other processed foods, the city’s Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO), whose goal is greater sustainability, requires eateries to compost food scraps or give them away. Food enterprises covered by the new law include restaurants, shops, and farm markets that serve made-to-order food, as well as places that prepare and process food. Employees of these establishments are required to receive training in handling the waste. The ordinance also covers dirty or used paper, like cardboard, paper towels and napkins; flowers, and landscape trimmings from restaurant plants and gardens. Violators can be fined as much as $2,000. According to a local government study, 37 percent of materials sent to landfills is organic and could be donated or composted.[Image Credit: © City of Austin]
"US city bars restaurants from throwing away food waste", World Economic Forum , October 12, 2018, © Primedia Broadcasting, A Division of Primedia (Pty) Ltd
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Seventh Generation Introduces ‘Game-Changing’ Innovation In Laundry Detergent Packaging

October 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


Unilever’s Seventh Generation detergent brand has launched what it claims is a game-changer. The 23oz bottle contains 100 per cent recycled PET and uses 60 per cent less plastic and 50 per cent less water than a typical 100oz bottle, for the same number of laundry loads. The product also features EasyDose™, a new automatic dosing technology in the cap. The EasyDose™ Ultraconcentrated Laundry Detergent was launched as an online exclusive. [Image Credit: © Seventh Generation, Inc]
"PepsiCo, Seventh Gen, CLF Bring Sustainable Plastics Closer to Reality", Sustainable Brands, October 10, 2018, © Sustainable Life Media Inc.
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Lidl In Ireland And Northern Ireland Is Eradicating Its Use Of Black Plastic

October 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
As part of its World Without Waste program, Coca-Cola in China unveiled the new VenCycling vending machine that features facial recognition and voice interaction and allows customers to return packaging for recycling. The company said the machine has AI LEDs and two “eyes,” one that dispenses beverages and one that collects used bottles and cans. When customers return used cans or plastic bottles to the machine, they receive credits on their smartphones for beverages or products made from recycled plastics.
"Coca-Cola’s new vending machine lets consumers recycle packaging", FoodBev Media, October 01, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Australian Coca-Cola Unit Commits To Full Recyclability By 2025

September 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Australia’a Coca-Cola Amatil has promised that all bottles, cans, plastic wrapping, glass, and cardboard will be fully recyclable by 2025 and compliant with the National Packaging Targets announced by Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price. The company will also focus on removing unnecessary single-use packaging through improved design, innovation or the implementation of recycled alternatives. The recently announced packaging targets include 70 percent of Australia’s plastic packaging to be recycled or composted by 2025 and 30 percent of packaging to be made from recycled content.
"Coca-Cola Amatil to make all packaging recyclable by 2025", Packaging Gateway, September 28, 2018, © Verdict Media Limited
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Asia-Pacific Is Ramping Up Efforts To Reduce Single-Use Plastic

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

September 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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

September 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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

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