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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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San Francisco Chef Plans Food Waste-Focused Restaurant

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

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

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

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

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

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food waste in manufacturing and packaging costs corporations $2 billion each year – in addition to $15 billion for farmers – while dumping 52 million tons of waste into landfills. In the state of Arkansas, food and beverage industry companies are taking steps to eradicate food waste. Tyson Foods this summer launched bite-sized chicken crisps, dubbed ¡Yappah!, made with upcycled chicken breast, rescued carrots, and celery puree from juicing, or malted barley from beer brewing. Walmart has introduced a technology that focuses on tracking the freshness of produce as it travels from farm to wholesaler to retailer to table. Eden’s sensors measure and report temperature, moisture and metabolite data used to assess carton-level freshness and shelf life based on FDA standards. And ConAgra Brands says it achieved an 81.7 percent landfill diversion rate in 2017 corporate-wide.[Image Credit: © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)]
"How one state is fighting food waste", Brandpoint Content, September 17, 2018, © Brandpoint
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Premier Nutrition Corporation Partners With Tetra Pak To Launch A New Earth First Packaging Initiative For Its Premier Protein Shakes

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In its commitment to reduce its environmental impact, Premier Nutrition decided to change the packaging for its Premier Protein shakes by using Tetra Pak cartons certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The cap is durable, recyclable, free from genetically modified organisms and made from sugarcane. Company president, Darcy Horn Davenport, claims the growing environmental awareness of consumers prompted them to reevaluate the product line's packaging.[Image Credit: © PREMIER NUTRITION CORPORATION]
"Premier Protein Introduces Sustainable Packaging for its Line of Ready-to-Drink Protein Shakes", PR Newswire, September 17, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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New Facility In Upstate N.Y. Will Reclaim, Convert Food Scraps Into Energy

September 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A solid waste manager in the upstate New York city of Utica says about 14 percent of the 169,000 tons of municipal waste that ends up in a local landfill is food scraps. But Bill Rabbia believes there’s a better way to deal with discarded leftover food from restaurants and homes than dumping in the landfill. Construction is scheduled to begin next month on a $3.4 million facility with equipment that can separate food scraps from wrappers, packaging, utensils, etc., then turn it into a “slurry” that will end up in Oneida County’s anaerobic digester. There, in an oxygen-free setting, microorganisms break down biodegradable material and turn it into a gas – such as methane – that can be transformed into energy. [Image Credit: © Ben Kerckx from Pixabay]
Greg Mason, "Project under way to recycle food waste in Oneida, Herkimer counties", Utica Observer-Dispatch (N.Y.), September 16, 2018, © Gatehouse Media LLC
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Starbucks Establishes Framework For Building, Operating “Greener Stores”

September 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Starbucks Coffee Company announced a commitment to build and operate 10,000 “Greener Stores” around the world by 2025. The company will follow a “Starbucks Greener Stores” framework of comprehensive performance criteria for the new stores. The company also said it would audit all existing stores in the U.S. and Canada using the framework criteria, which will be shared with other retail businesses. The framework will be co-developed by experts, including World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and will be audited and verified by SCS Global Services, a third-party verification organization that also oversees Starbucks Coffee and Farmer Equity (CAFE) Practices. CEO Kevin Johnson said, “Simply put, sustainable coffee served sustainably is our aspiration."[Image Credit: © Starbucks Corporation]
"Starbucks Announces Global Greener Stores Commitment", Starbucks, September 13, 2018, © Starbucks Corporation
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How Companies Are Working To Meet Demand For “Free From” Foods

September 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
As American consumers increasingly seek out foods that are “free from” gluten, antibiotics, pesticides, and genetic modification – sales of which are poised to grow 15 percent by 2022 – food manufacturers are taking extraordinary measures to ensure they are meeting that demand, changing the way they procure, process, and package food. General Mills Inc., for example, which was forced recall gluten-free Cheerios – oats do not naturally contain gluten – because wheat flour got into a facility in California. The company built a special eight-story sorting plant to make sure gluten particles from neighboring fields did not end up in their oat-based cereals.[Image Credit: © General Mills Inc]
Jen Skerritt, Megan Durisin and Craig Giammona, "`Free-From' Foods Are Changing the Way Your Meals Are Produced", Bloomberg News, September 09, 2018, © Bell Media
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KFC Initiative On Single-Use Plastic in Macau and Hong Kong

September 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
KFC outlets in Hong Kong and Macau will stop automatically giving out plastic straws and lids for customers eating in the store, but will provide them if asked. They will also be added to takeaways and select items. KFC made the decision following a trial in which most customers were happy not to have a plastic straw or lid. Greenpeace has acknowledged the move but added that plastic straws and lids are just a fraction of the plastic disposables used by the chain. The environmental group estimates that KFC uses some 42 million plastic disposable items each year, but even this is less than some local chains, according to Greenpeace.[Image Credit: © Christopher on pexels.com]
Naomi Ng, "KFC to ditch plastic straws and drink lids for dine-in customers in all of its Hong Kong and Macau restaurants", South China Morning Post , September 07, 2018, © South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd
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N.Y. State Allocates $2M For Pantries, Municipalities To Combat Food Waste

September 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The N.Y. State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will award $2 million in grants to food pantries and other emergency food relief organizations as part of a comprehensive effort to reduce food waste and increase food waste recycling. Non-profit emergency food relief organizations are eligible to receive funding to purchase equipment such as refrigerators for fruits and vegetables and staff expenses that result in increased collection and distribution of food. Funds may also be used to promote the reduction of wasted food, increase food donation efforts, and to increase food scraps recycling through the construction of composting facilities or other means. Grant funding totaling $800,000 will be made available for emergency food relief organizations; $1.2 million is slotted for municipalities.[Image Credit: © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)]
"DEC Announces $2 Million In Grants For Local Food Rescue Organizations And Municipalities To Increase Food Donation And Food Scraps Recycling", New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), September 06, 2018, © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
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Rockefeller Grant Funds Baltimore Food Waste Initiative

September 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced that the Rockefeller Foundation has awarded the city $200,000 to launch a long-term plan in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council to reduce food waste over the next 20 years. Baltimore becomes the second city, after Denver, to participate in the pilot initiative. The city’s sustainability agency will hire a full-time director to oversee the program for two years. The agency will award grant money to local organizations already working on food waste and composting. The program will also receive technical assistance form the NRDC. The main goals of the program are: reducing food waste by educating consumers about their role; boosting food recovery by working with grocery stores, hotels, restaurants and farmers markets to gather surplus food and distribute it to communities; and launching composting pilot programs.[Image Credit: © The Rockefeller Foundation]
Carley Milligan , "Baltimore launches plan to reduce food waste with funding from Rockefeller Foundation", Baltimore Business Journal, September 05, 2018, © American City Business Journals.
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Indian Collaborators Achieve Large Savings Manufacturing Hand Bags With Paper Waste And Pulp

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