European parliament approves sweeping ban on single-use plastics

The European parliament has overwhelmingly backed a wide-ranging ban on single-use plastics in an effort to tackle pollution in seas, fields and waterways.

Under the proposed directive, items such as plastic straws, cotton swabs, disposable plastic plates and cutlery would be banned by 2021, and 90% of plastic bottle recycled by 2025.

Described by the European commission as a clampdown on “the top 10 plastic products that most often end up in the ocean”, the proposed legislation passed 571 votes to 53.

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Source: The Guardian

Tesco trials reverse vending machines

Tesco has begun trialling in-store recycling machines which will pay customers for every plastic bottle returned.

Trials will take place at selected stores in Borehamwood, Swansea, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham and will pay 10p for bottles returned.

Customers will also be able to reuse their own plastic containers when they buy meat, cheese or fish from the deli and fish counters, a move introduced by Morrisons earlier this year.

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Source: Recycling & Waste World

August 2018 was 5th hottest August on record for the globe

August 2018

The average global temperature in August was 1.33 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.1 degrees. This was the fifth highest global temperature for August in the 139-year record (1880–2018). Last month was also the 42nd consecutive August and the 404th consecutive month with temperatures above average.

The year to date I January through August

The year-to-date average global temperature was 1.37 degrees F above average of 57.3 degrees. This is the fourth highest on record for the January through August (YTD) period, but 0.47 of a degree lower than the record high set in 2016 for the same period.

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Source: Environmental News Network

Mars to overhaul cocoa supply chain with new sustainability scheme

Mars Wrigley Confectionery, one of the world’s largest buyers of cocoa, has launched a new sustainability plan that aims to tackle what it describes as the “broken” cocoa supply chain.

The maker of M&Ms and Snickers said that it is overhauling its cocoa supply chain in a bid to tackle problems that the wider sector has so far failed to address including deforestation, child labour, and poverty.

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Source: Food Drink & Franchise

Aldi acts on black plastic

The retailer has revealed that it is phasing out difficult-to-recycle black plastic trays on its fruit and vegetables in the UK.

In the UK, discount retailer Aldi has announced plans to phase out its use of black plastic trays for fruit and vegetables in favour of clear recyclable ones, according to a report from The Grocer.

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Source: Fresh Produce Journal

Arctic’s strongest sea ice breaks up for first time on record

The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up, opening waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen, even in summer.

This phenomenon – which has never been recorded before – has occurred twice this year due to warm winds and a climate-change driven heatwave in the northern hemisphere.

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Source: Guardian

Mandatory carbon reporting announced for all large UK companies

All large companies will be required to report their carbon emissions and energy use from next April under a new framework announced by the UK government yesterday.

The proposals will apply to all unquoted organisations with at least 250 employees, or those that have an annual turnover greater than £36m and balance sheet total above £18m.

These firms will join all listed companies that have been mandated to report their carbon performance since 2013, with the new rules intended to help deliver an energy efficiency boost of 20% by 2030.

IEMA described the move as a “significant step forward” after working on the issue for almost a decade, and contributing extensive research to the initial carbon reporting consultation in 2012.

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Source: Transform

Researchers race to make bioplastics from straw and food waste

Scientists looking to replace oil as the source of the world’s plastic are harnessing everything from wood-eating bugs to chicory.

New bioplastics are being made in laboratories from straw, wood chips and food waste, with researchers aiming to replace oil as the source of the world’s plastic.

The new approaches include genetically modifying bacteria to eat wood and produce useful chemicals. But the bioplastics are currently significantly more expensive to make than fossil fuel-based plastics.

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Source: The Guardian

UK supermarkets launch voluntary pledge to cut plastic packaging

UK supermarkets and food companies launched a new voluntary pledge to cut plastic packaging on Thursday as ministers consider forcing them to pay more towards collecting and recycling the waste they produce.

In a first response to a growing public backlash against the huge volumes of plastic rubbish, most of the UK’s largest supermarkets signed up to support the UK Plastics Pact – an industry-wide initiative which says it aims to transform packaging and reduce avoidable plastic waste.

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Source: The Guardian

Etihad Airways slashes carbon emission in ’17

Etihad Airways successfully eliminated around 195,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2017, thanks to a wide range of fuel-saving initiatives across its network.

Following a number of improvements aimed at enhancing operational efficiencies, Etihad was able to reduce the amount of fuel consumed by its aircraft by over 62,000 tons of fuel. The result represents a 3.3 per cent improvement from the year before, and is the equivalent of 850 flights between Abu Dhabi and London.

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Source: Saudi Gazette