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Court Squashes Suits Seeking Human Rights Disclosure Labels On Foods

July 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A federal appeals court has ruled that California consumer laws do not require food companies to put disclaimer labels about supply-chain issues on their products. The 9th circuit court’s decision ends class action suits that have sought to force companies to disclose possible human rights violations within the supply chain. The U.S. Department of Labor has reported that forced child labor occurs in the harvesting of cocoa beans in the Ivory Coast and the collection of fish and shrimp in Thailand. Companies such as Mars and Nestlé have acknowledged that such abuses occur, but plaintiffs in the class action suits say such efforts do not go far enough.
Glenn G. Lammi, "Demands For On-Label Disclosure Of Possible Supply-Chain Abuses Fail In Ninth Circuit", Forbes.com, July 25, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Georgia Tech Scientists Develop Environment-Friendly Plastic-Like Packaging Material

July 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new type of material that can be used for packaging like plastics, without the latter's harmful impact on the environment. According to an article published in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, the new material consists of layers of cellulose nanocrystals from wood pulp and chitin nanofibers, which can be derived from shells of crabs and shrimp. Fully compostable, packaging made from this material can also keep food fresher longer, the researchers claimed.[Image Credit: © Georgia Institute of Technology]
Noel Kirkpatrick, "How crabs and trees could soon replace plastic", Mother Nature Network, July 25, 2018, © NARRATIVE CONTENT GROUP
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Just Eat Tests Seaweed-Based Sachets Developed With Skipping Rocks Lab

July 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Online food-ordering company Just Eat has partnered with packaging technology firm Skipping Rocks Lab to develop a sachet made from seaweed. Part of the company's efforts to cut the volume of plastics used by its restaurant partners in the UK, the seaweed-based sachets can be composted and are environment-friendly. According to Just Eat, the company will test the sachet for six weeks with The Fat Pizza in Southend, and determine the possibility of introducing the packaging to its 29,000 partner restaurants. [Image Credit: © Just Eat Holding Limited]
"Just Eat trials seaweed sachets as alternative to single-use plastics", edie.net, July 24, 2018, © edie.net
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Aramark Aims To Reduce Or Remove Plastic Straws From Facilities It Serves

July 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food service company Aramark said it plans to reduce the use of plastic straws and plastic stirrers and provide environment-friendly alternatives at food and dining facilities it serves. Aramark, which manages food service operations for various locations, including schools, convention centers, and arenas, across the US, said the reduction will depend on the location. According to the company, it plans to have 100-percent removal of plastic straws from parks and residential dining halls of colleges and universities.[Image Credit: © Aramark]
Chris Morris , "Food Service Giant Aramark Is Phasing Out Plastic Straws", Fortune.com, July 24, 2018, © Time Inc.
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Next Major Food Trend Could Be “Allergen-Free”

July 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Companies that sell foods that claim to not only be gluten-free but free of other ingredients that trigger allergic reactions expect solid growth over the coming years. Chicago’s Enjoy Life Foods, for example, saw an opportunity when the U.S. FDA designated eight common food allergens, including peanuts and gluten. The company has seen double-digit growth every year since 2011. No one is really tracking the allergen-free market yet, so there are no reliable measures of it. But the rate of anaphylactic reactions to food increased 377 percent between 2007 and 2016. Another company, Safe + Fair, says its chocolate chip cookie is free of nuts, but does contain wheat, egg and soy. The company, which recently completed a $10 million Series C funding round, is developing a line of nut-free cookies and crackers called Skeeter Snacks. [Image Credit: © Aney | Wikimedia Commons]
"Allergy-Free: The Next Gluten-Free?", NACS, July 24, 2018, © NACS
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Bulldog Launches Shower Gel In Environment-Friendly Refill Box

July 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


UK-based men's grooming company Bulldog has announced the launch of the Original Shower Gel Refill Box. To be sold exclusively at Whole Foods from August 2018 and on the company's online store, the product contains the equivalent of 25 bottles of shower gel. This is to help reduce plastic packaging waste, the company said.[Image Credit: © Bulldog Skincare Limited]
Lucy Whitehouse , "Bulldog’s new refillable product reduces plastic waste by 85%", Cosmetics Design Europe, July 24, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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British Company To Open Waste Food Catering Business

July 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A British non-profit company is planning to use unused food to offer catering and meal services to people, businesses and organizations, beginning in September. Real Junk Food Manchester’s program will focus on commercial outside catering services such as buffets and hot meals. The venture will be housed in a large commercial kitchen in partnership with a local social housing provider and will collaborate with local charity and public-sector groups to supply meals to vulnerable people across the city. RJFM opened its first waste food pay-as-you-feel restaurant concept last year as a short-term pop-up concept and doubled in size. [Image Credit: © Real Junk Food Manchester]

"British firm Real Junk Food Manchester to open waste food catering business", MarketLine NewsWire , July 23, 2018, © Verdict Media Limited
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Nippon Paper Group Develops Earth-Friendly Paper Packaging Material

July 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Japan-based Nippon Paper Group said it has developed a new type of paper packaging material designed to help reduce plastic pollution. According to the company, it is receiving an increasing number of orders for the paper, which can be used as packaging for various food products. Designed as a replacement for plastic packaging, the material is processed to keep products, such as potato chips and cereals, fresh.[Image Credit: © NIPPON PAPER INDUSTRIES CO., LTD.]
"Companies work to reduce plastic waste", NHK World - Japan, July 22, 2018, © NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)
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Major Beverage Makers Start Compliance With Indian State Maharashtra's Buyback Rules For PET Bottles

July 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Leading beverage companies in India have started printing buyback values on plastic bottles of products sold in the state of Maharashtra. Part of their efforts to comply with the state's new regulations and to help control plastic pollution, buyback schemes allow consumers to return used plastic bottles and get paid based on buyback values indicated on the bottles. While the scheme is likely to be adopted by other Indian states, some industry observers there is a need for a unified, holistic approach to dealing with plastic pollution.[Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier]
Ratna Bhushan, "Plastic ban impact: Coke, Pepsi, Bisleri start printing buyback value on PET bottles", Economic Times, July 20, 2018, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd
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Tomatoes With Longer Shelf Life Will Soon Reach Market

July 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, tomato food waste costs American households $2.3 billion annually. But California-based food technology company Arcadia Biosciences and hybrid seed developer Shriram Bioseed may have come up with a solution. They announced development of extended shelf life (ESL) tomatoes with improved yield and fruit quality. The new hybrids are in the pre-commercial, wide-area field testing stage with anticipated launch in 2019. Arcadia used a non-GM advanced screening and breeding technique called TILLING to screen genetic variations that allow tomatoes to fully ripen on the vine yet remain durable enough to survive the packing and shipping process.

"Arcadia Biosciences and Shriram Bioseed Reach Milestone in Developing Extended Shelf Life Tomatoes", Plus Company Updates (PCU), July 20, 2018, © Arcadia Biosciences
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Which? Study Shows A Third Of Plastic Packaging Used By UK Retailers Hard To Recycle

July 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Results of an analysis by Which?, a consumer group, revealed that as much as 29 percent of plastic packaging used by UK retailers is non-recyclable through the usual collection schemes or hard to recycle. Results of the study of packaging used for 27 everyday private-label products sold by 10 leading retail chains showed Lidl had the lowest percentage of easily recyclable packaging at 71 percent. Morrisons topped the results with 81 percent of tested products with packaging considered widely recyclable.[Image Credit: © Anja Osenberg]
Rebecca Smithers , "One-third of UK supermarket plastic is not easily recyclable, analysis shows", The Guardian, July 19, 2018, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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Calif. Court Rules Acrylamide Warning On Breakfast Cereals Not Necessary

July 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A California appeals court has ruled that healthful whole grains trump potential cancer-causing chemicals when it comes to food labeling. The court said breakfast cereals like Cheerios and Grape-Nuts Flakes do not have to put a warning label about a chemical ingredient that may cause cancer under the state's Proposition 65, because the labels could discourage consumers from buying healthful foods. The cereals contain the chemical acrylamide, but so do other foods, the court said, including peanut butter, rye and whole wheat bread, sunflower seeds, and prune juice. [Image Credit: © Amin | Wikimedia Commons]
Bob Egelko, "Cancer labels on cereal ruled unnecessary; Breakfast cereals don't need cancer warnings, California court rules", The San Francisco Chronicle (California), July 18, 2018, © Hearst
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IKEA Says To Remove All Single-Use Plastics From UK And Ireland Stores By October 2018

July 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Furniture retailer IKEA said it plans to remove all single-use plastic straws from its stores in the UK and Ireland by October 1, 2018. Part of the company's efforts to do away with single-use plastics in all its operations by 2020, the move will see IKEA stop selling or offering plastic straws in all its restaurants, stores, and online shops. Earlier in 2018, IKEA updated its People Plant Positive policy, which seeks to stop the use of single-use plastics.[Image Credit: © Inter IKEA Systems B.V.]
"IKEA sets October 2018 deadline for plastic straw ban", BusinessGreen, July 17, 2018, © Incisive Business Media (IP) Limited
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Food Freshness Card Honored As Best New Food Safety Solution

July 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Food Freshness Card developed by Natures Natural Solutions was recently named the Best New Safety Solution by United Fresh. The card is laboratory and commercially tested to keep food fresher longer, according to the company, whose mission is to address the global problem of food waste and spoilage, “inside and outside of a refrigerator.” The Food Freshness Card combines specific frequencies, elements and customized programs and encodes information on a substrate enabling it to extend shelf life. It can prolong freshness at any point in the food chain: from the farm to packaging, pallet, container, distributor and retailer. The company says supermarkets that use the card average an instant 20 percent decrease in shrink/spoilage and prevent more than $3,000 a month per store in waste. [Image Credit: © FoodFreshnessCard.com]
"The Food Freshness Card; The Newest Technology in the Food Industry Wins the 2018 United Fresh Innovation Award for Best New Safety Solution", PR Newswire, July 16, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Coca-Cola UK Presents List Of Features Of Ideal Deposit Return Scheme

July 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola European Partners has revealed the characteristics of what the company believes is a deposit return scheme that is workable and likely to succeed in the UK. According to the company, a DRS for recycling cans and bottles should be “easy for public to recycle and no penalty for doing the right thing and should have “good financial management and fraud control.” Also, the company said a good DRS should have a “common approach covering the whole of Great Britain” and should be managed by a “not-for-profit management company.”[Image Credit: © Coca-Cola European Partners]
Paul Sanderson, "Coca-Cola sets out its view on what constitutes a good deposit return scheme", REB Market Intelligence, July 16, 2018, © Hanicke Robins Sanderson Limited
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Morrisons Rewards Shoppers For Returning Plastic Bottles

July 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Supermarket company Morrisons has started a deposit return schemes by placing vending machines for plastic bottles at its stores in North Yorkshire and Scotland. Part of the company’s efforts to promote recycling of plastics, the program will reward shoppers for every plastic bottle they return with coupon for 100 Morrisons More points or let customers donate 10p to charity organization CLIC Sargent, which helps children and young people who have cancer.[Image Credit: © Morrisons Ltd]

Michael Holder, "Morrisons trials plastic bottle return machines with offer of reward points or charity donation", Business Green, July 13, 2018, © Incisive Business Media (IP) Limited
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US Foods Cleans Up Four Of Its Product Lines

July 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. Foods Holding Corp. announced that four of its product lines will be produced with clean label profiles. The Metro Deli, Rykoff Sexton, Chefs Line, and Stock Yards Exclusive Brand products will be made with simple, more recognizable ingredients by avoiding, removing or replacing ingredients and food additives found on the company’s new “Unpronounceables List.” The list comprises more than 80 ingredients the company will avoid using in more than 1,000 of its Exclusive Brand products. Product ingredient labels across the four best-quality Exclusive Brands will now be free of ingredients such as artificial flavors, artificial (FD&C) colors, high-fructose corn syrup, disodium guanylate, sodium benzoate, and monosodium glutamate. [Image Credit: © US Foods]
"United States : U.S. Foods Introduces Clean Labels Across Four of the Company’s Exclusive Brands", Business Wire , July 13, 2018, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Coca-Cola Europe Clarifies Bottle Recycling Plans

July 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The head of sustainability at Coca-Cola European Partners told attendees at a recent industry meeting that the company plans to make sure all of its bottles are made from 50 percent recycled plastic within two years, and that its large PET bottles will be made with 40 percent recycled content starting in October. The two-year plan will affect 14 bottle designs and seven production lines, resulting in re-use of 100 million more bottles a year. Under its “This Is Forward” initiative, the company has committed to ensuring that at least half of the material used for PET bottles will be recycled plastic by 2025.
Madeleine Cuff, "'Making recycling sexy': Coca-Cola ramps up recycled content in drinks bottles", Business Green, July 13, 2018, © Incisive Business Media (IP) Limited
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Companies, Cities Announce Anti-Plastic Straws Plans And Policies

July 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Several companies have announced their plans to stop using plastic straws, while a number of towns and cities have revealed proposals to ban single-use plastics and fine firms and organizations that will not comply. Starbucks said it plans to remove all plastic straws from its stores by 2020 and replace them with recyclable plastic lids for cold beverages. Starting September 1, 2018, plastic straws would only be available by request at its hotels, Hyatt said. For its part, Hilton Hotels said it plans to remove plastic straws from 650 locations in 2018.[Image Credit: © PublicDomainPictures]

Erin Corbett , "These 8 Companies Are Ditching Plastic Straws. Here’s How They Are Replacing Them", Fortune.com, July 11, 2018, © Time Inc.
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Bacardi Mixes With Lonely Whale To End Use of Single-Use Plastic Straws by 2020

July 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Liquor brand Bacardi has joined nonprofit group Lonely Whale to stop the use of 1 billion single-use plastic straws by 2020. As part of the company’s efforts to help protect the environment, Bacardi has committed to review its global supply chain to remove non-essential and non-recyclable single-use plastic waste. Also, the company will encourage consumers to join its #TheFutureDoesntSuck campaign.[Image Credit: © Lonely Whale]

"Bacardi in global collaboration to reduce single-use plastic waste", FoodBev.com, July 11, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Starbucks Imposes 5p “Latte Levy” On Single-Use Paper Coffee Cups In UK

July 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coffeeshop chain Starbucks has started charging customers 5p for single-use paper coffee cups in the UK. Part of the company’s efforts to reduce the use of 2.5 billion disposable cups each year, the “latte levy” was rolled out nationwide after a three-month trial in London. Customers who use reusable mugs receive a 25p discount off any Starbucks drink, while in-store customers encouraged to use ceramic cups instead.[Image Credit: © Starbucks Corporation]

Rebecca Smithers, "Starbucks introduces 'latte levy' of 5p on single-use paper cups", The Guardian, July 10, 2018, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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Specialty Breads Eyes 50-Percent Cut In Plastics Use By 2020

July 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Specialty Breads, a company that supplies frozen bread and dough to restaurants, hotels, pubs, cafés and caterers, has announced its plan to reduce by 50 percent its use of single-use plastics by 2020. Also, the company said it aims to use recyclable or recycled packaging, use solar cooling to enhance efficiency of refrigerators, provide sales staff with low emission or hybrid cars, and achieve zero-landfill status for its bakery operations.[Image Credit: © Specialty Breads Ltd]

Vince Bamford, "Speciality Breads aiming to halve single-use plastics", Bakery Info UK, July 10, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Hyatt To Check Out Plastic Straws And Picks From Its Hotels Worldwide

July 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Hospitality company Hyatt has announced that it will remove single-use plastics, including plastic straws and drink picks, from its hotels worldwide. Part of the company’s efforts to help protect the ocean, the move will see the company providing straws and picks on request only. Also, the company said environment-friendly alternatives will be provided where available. Hyatt’s move follows coffeeshop chain Starbucks’ earlier announcement of its plan to become straw-free by 2020.[Image Credit: © Pete H]

Melissa Locker, "So long, sucker: Hyatt is also ditching straws and single-use plastics", Fast Company, July 09, 2018, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Starbucks Says Goodbye To Plastic Straws, Says Hello To Earth-Friendly Lids

July 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coffeeshop chain Starbucks has announced plans to stop using plastic straws at its more than 28,000 locations worldwide by 2020. Part of the company’s efforts to reduce waste and protect the environment, the move will also see Starbucks replacing plastic straws with the recyclable lid developed by Emily Alexander, an engineer at the chain’s Global Research and Development. At present, the recyclable lids are used for some drinks, including Draft Nitro and Cold Foam in more than 8,000 locations in the US and Canada. These lids will be used for all iced drinks, the company said, except Frappuccino, which will have a straw made from paper or compostable plastic made from fermented plant starch or other environment-friendly material.[Image Credit: © Starbucks Corporation]

Bonnie Rochman , "Straws are out, lids are in: Starbucks announces environmental milestone", Starbucks Newsroom, July 09, 2018, © Starbucks Corporation
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Expenditures On Food Waste Reduction Significantly Reduce Operating Costs

July 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Champions 12.3 organization has determined that every dollar food service operators spend on programs to curb food waste results in a six-dollar reduction in operating costs. Researchers looked at financial cost and benefit data for 86 sites – including hospitals, schools, sports arenas, and similar facilities – in six countries and found that within one year, the sites had reduced food waste by 36 percent on average, and 64 percent had recouped their investment. The food service operators involved in the study invested in various food waste reduction programs, including purchasing smart scales or similar technology to measure their food waste, training staff in measurement and techniques to reduce waste, and redesigning menus. Seventy-nine percent of sites were able to keep their total investment in food waste reduction below $10,000.
Mike Buzalka, "Report: $1 investment on food waste reduction saves $6", Food Management (Penton), July 06, 2018, © Informa business
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Expenditures On Food Waste Reduction Significantly Reduce Operating Costs

July 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Champions 12.3 organization has determined that every dollar food service operators spend on programs to curb food waste results in a six-dollar reduction in operating costs. Researchers looked at financial cost and benefit data for 86 sites – including hospitals, schools, sports arenas, and similar facilities – in six countries and found that within one year, the sites had reduced food waste by 36 percent on average, and 64 percent had recouped their investment. The food service operators involved in the study invested in various food waste reduction programs, including purchasing smart scales or similar technology to measure their food waste, training staff in measurement and techniques to reduce waste, and redesigning menus. Seventy-nine percent of sites were able to keep their total investment in food waste reduction below $10,000.
Mike Buzalka, "Report: $1 investment on food waste reduction saves $6", Food Management (Penton), July 06, 2018, © Informa business
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Coca-Cola Goes Global With Its Reverse Vending Machine “World Without Waste” Program

July 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
As part of its long-term “World Without Waste” goal of recycling every PET bottle and aluminium can it produces, Coca-Cola is rewarding customers who return used beverage containers to its army of Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs). Earlier this month the company used the occasion of the 50th anniversary 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle to promote the initiative. Each container returned to an RVM triggered a 5¢ donation to Special Olympics Washington through the Coca-Cola Give platform. Participants were prompted to text the word “give” to learn about more opportunities to support local communities. Coca-Cola is conducting various versions of the promotion at music and sports events around the world, including recently Singapore, the U.K., India, and Bangladesh.
"Coca-Cola Expands Reverse Vending Machines for Recycling", brandchannel , July 03, 2018, © Interbrand/brandchannel
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PCC Community Markets Says To Remove Plastics From Delis by 2022

July 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Food co-op PCC Community Markets has promised to stop using plastics in its delis by 2022. At present, the company uses more than 5 million plastic packaging containers every year. According to PCC, it plans to replace plastic packaging with biodegradable compostable containers. In 2015, the company replaced plastic straws and utensils with compostable alternatives. [Image Credit: © Puget Consumers Co-op]

Michael Browne, "PCC to eliminate plastic in delis by 2022", Supermarket News, July 02, 2018, © Informa USA Inc
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Vancouver Retailer Nada Tells Shoppers Bring Their Own Packaging

July 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Nada, a new retailer in Vancouver, British Columbia, has started selling food products without packaging. Aimed at reducing plastic pollution, the move encourages customers to bring their own clean containers and bags for the food items they buy from the store. Customers can pay for bulk items by weight, while a dishwasher-safe tag will keep a record of the empty container, making the process faster the next time they shop. Nada sells package-free dry food items, bakery products, and toiletries and cleaning supplies. [Image Credit: © Nada]

Kate Bratskeir , "The rise of the plastic-free, zero-waste grocery store", Mic.com, July 02, 2018, © Mic Network, Inc.
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Australian Retailers Broadcast Their Environment-Friendly Credentials

July 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In Australia, supermarkets are using their environment-friendly efforts as marketing tools. Retailers are also using their “green credentials” to position themselves against their competitors and shield themselves from the bad PR effects of news reports about pollution-related disasters. For example, in April 2018, Woolworths announced it will stop using single-use bags across the country by end of June. Ikea Australia said it will buy back and resell used furniture, a practice it has been doing in other countries. As more companies make environment-friendly claims, they face the risk of consumers becoming skeptical about their corporate social responsibility efforts and, consequently, the brands being damaged.[Image Credit: © Stefan Schweihofer]
Louise Grimmer, et al., "Green is the new black: why retailers want you to know about their green credentials", Inside Retail, July 02, 2018, © InsideRetail
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International Companies Urge India’s Maharashtra State To Ease Plastic Ban

June 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Multinational corporations, including Amazon and H&M, are reportedly urging the state of Maharashtra in India to relax its recently approved ban on single-use plastic. Coming after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign for an end to the use of single-use plastic in the country by 2022, the state’s move is expected to raise operating costs for companies. Retailers and beverage manufactures are among companies that use plastic packaging. Business groups, including the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, have called on the government to soften its anti-plastic policies.[Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier]

"Amazon, H&M Pressing to Soften India's Plastic Ban", The Business of Fashion, June 29, 2018, © The Business of Fashion
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Student’s Invention Helps Fight Food Waste At Home

June 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Eleven-year-old British student Rumaan Malik didn’t like it when apples went bad while sitting in the fruit bowl at home. Concerned about wasted food, she invented what she calls the “Alarm Cup,” in the process winning online supermarket Ocado’s Food Waste Challenge award. The grocer then partnered with design website, Little Inventors, to create a prototype of the cup.  Her invention sounds an alarm before the fruit goes bad, thereby keeping it out of the trash. The cup also has a small touchscreen display with icons for different produce, and recipes such as apple crumble and banana bread that put aging fruits to good use. [Image Credit: © LittleInventors.org]
"Eleven-year-old girl's groundbreaking invention could help reduce food waste; Some £13bn-worth of food is binned annually", The Independent (United Kingdom), June 29, 2018, © Independent Digital News and Media Ltd
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Dairy Farmers Can Turn Waste Products Into Electricity, Methane Gas

June 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A recent podcast sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation presented ideas for recycling inedible products from dairy farms. One farmer in Pennsylvania, for example, who is participating in the No Taste for Waste campaign uses an anaerobic digester – the original purpose was to reduce odor –  to recycle food waste into enough electric power and methane to supply the farm and roughly 100 other homes. It’s a better way to deal with waste than sending it to a landfill. But another solution is to, whenever possible, channel surplus food “to those that are less fortunate” and to animal feed processors. [Image Credit: © Univ. of Minnesota Extension]

Micheal Clements, "Farms Can Help Reduce Food Waste", American Farm Bureau Federation, June 29, 2018, © American Farm Bureau Federation
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RAW Pressery Founder Lets “Ecological Karma” Guide His Company

June 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Anuj Rakyan, founder and managing director of Rakyan Beverages, producer of India’s RAW Pressery juices, is a strong believer in the “sustainable lifestyle” and “ecological karma” and wants his brand to reflect these guiding principles. Rakyan’s three-part plan to achieve a sustainable lifestyle begins with the use of solar power in a new plant in Panvel (near Mumbai). The second leg is to put the waste material – seeds, stems, and pulp – to good use on farms and at animal shelters creating secondary raw material like manure or fodder. The third leg is trickier, because there really is no alternative to using BPA plastic bottles, an environmental hazard, as packaging because his juices are pressurized. The answer for Rakyan was to create Rawcycle, an initiative to increase awareness about plastic pollution and to offer incentives to recycle PET bottles.

Arun Janardhan, "From thought to action on reusing and recycling", Live Mint, June 25, 2018, © HT Media Ltd
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Blockchain-Based App Helps Atlanta Businesses Reduce Food Waste

June 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A technology that allows distribution – but not copying – of digital information, blockchain was originally devised for the digital currency Bitcoin. Now a food waste management company in the Atlanta, Ga., area is using a blockchain-based app to connect businesses with local charities to ease deliveries of leftover food. The idea behind the Goodr app is to reduce food waste by providing data about what types of surplus food app users are producing. The Goodr app keeps a data ledger for clients showing how much food is wasted, and where they might be losing money. Data indicate what food gets wasted the most, what the community connections are, and how the environment is affected. Goodr hopes to expand to Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Miami, Dallas, Houston and San Francisco by the end of 2019.

Gillian Brassil, "Meet Goodr, the company using blockchain technology to reduce food waste", CNBC, June 24, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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Cut Back On Plastic Packaging, Leading Manufacturers Hear From As You Sow

June 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

As You Sow, a nonprofit group representing 25 investment companies managing more than $1 trillion in assets, has called on Nestle SA, PepsiCo Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., and Unilever NV, to reduce their use of plastic in packaging of their products. Signed by investment managers, including Hermes Investment Management and Impax Asset Management, the initiative calls plastic packaging damaging to the environment. Companies should reveal their annual use of plastic packaging, establish goals for reducing plastic packaging, and exert efforts to recycle plastic packaging, the group said.[Image Credit: © Emilian Robert Vicol]

Emily Chasan, "Investors Demand Nestle, Pepsi and Others Cut Plastic Use", Bloomberg, June 22, 2018, © Bloomberg LP
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U.S. Organic Coffee Producer Chameleon Debuts Sustainability Program

June 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Texas-based Chameleon Cold-Brew has launched a global sustainability program that hopes to create five community-driven coffee farming projects in four countries this year that will lead to better organically-grown coffee and improved farmer livelihoods. The company says it believes strongly that empowering farmer-partners with “proper tools, resources, and support” will drive sustainability at the grassroots level. The company’s first two projects include the completed Cenfrocafe Coffee Quality lab in San Ignacio, Peru, and the Myanmar Organic Initiative. Chameleon was founded in 2010 and acquired by Nestlé USA in 2017. It uses only certified organic, responsibly-sourced coffee.

"Chameleon Cold-Brew Launches Multifaceted Sustainability Program", Bevnet.com, June 21, 2018, © Bevnet.com
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Chicago Restaurant Chain Plans To Stop Using Plastic Straws

June 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Chicago-based restaurant chain operator Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise said it plans to stop using plastic straws by October 1, 2018. With more than 100 local restaurants and bars having committed support for the Shedd Aquarium’s “Shedd the Straw” campaign, the company’s support for the movement could speed up the elimination of plastic straws. Popular among restaurants and similar establishments, plastic straws are not easily recycled and usually end up in the ocean. [Image Credit: © LETTUCE ENTERTAIN YOU ® ENTERPRISES]
Greg Trotter, "Lettuce Entertain You restaurant empire to phase out plastic straws at its 120 restaurants", Chicago Tribune, June 20, 2018, © tronc
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New App Helps Reduce Food Waste With Smart Shopping, Storage, Cooking

June 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Silicon Valley-based Chefling, Inc., has created a smartphone app that helps consumers minimize daily food waste. Available now on the App Store and Google Play, the app includes food inventory organization, intuitive recipe suggestion, and shopping list management. According to the company, consumers using the app can track and make the most out of recently purchased and existing ingredients in the pantry. The app monitors the freshness of added foods, notifies the consumer when foods are about to expire, and suggests recipes for the foods already purchased. The app also features integration with voice assistant devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home: it will add foods to a shopping list and provide step-by-step cooking instructions. [Image Credit: © Chefling, Inc.]

"Chefling App Provides Consumers with a Simple Way to Minimize Food Waste with Intuitive Recipe Suggestions", PR Newswire, June 20, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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EU Clarifies Rules On Surplus Food Used As Animal Feed

June 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Surplus food cannot be categorized as food waste when it is used as animal feed, according to revised European Union rules known as the Waste Framework Directive. Substances already covered by feed legislation would not be unnecessarily included in the scope of waste legislation, a clarification advocated by the trade group European Former Foodstuff Processors Association (EFFPA), which represents companies that turn foodstuffs into animal feed. According to an EFFPA representative, under the old rules Europe-wide processors of surplus food occasionally would have had their operations interrupted by environmental control authorities who incorrectly interpreted former foodstuffs as a waste. [Image Credit: © Europa.eu]

Jane Byrne, "Legal clarity for surplus food used in feed", FeedNavigator.com, June 19, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Mexico’s AvoWater Arrives Soon In U.S. In Biodegradable Bottles

June 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The founder of Mexico’s Grupo Escamp says it is finalizing modifications to packaging and labeling and will launch its avocado drink AvoWater in the U.S. within two or three months. The preservative-free RTD water, made with avocado, fresh lemon juice and peppermint, is rich in fiber, vitamins and protein, says Evelyn Escalera. It is sold in three sweetener variants: stevia, pure cane sugar and blended sugar-stevia. The drink is packaged in PET bottles, but the company recently rolled out 100 percent biodegradable bottles made with avocado seed resin. AvoWater will be sold in 500 ml and 360 ml bottles in the U.S., about half and half PET and biodegradable. 

Kacey Culliney, "AvoWater primed for US expansion and focused on biodegradable bottling", Beverage Daily, June 15, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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McDonald's In The UK To Phase Out Plastic Straws

June 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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

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

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

June 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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

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

June 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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

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

June 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


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

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

June 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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

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

May 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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

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

May 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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

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

May 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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

Megan Tatum, "Reversing the rot on food waste: two years of our campaign", The Grocer, May 26, 2018, © William Reed Business Media
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