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Period: November 25, 2018 to December 2, 2018
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Lidl In Ireland And Northern Ireland Is Eradicating Its Use Of Black Plastic

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 It will be withdrawn from fresh fish products by February next year, and its poultry and fresh and cured meat products will follow by August.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. 

"Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland Remove Unrecyclable Black Plastic Packaging", Packaging Europe, October 08, 2018

North London Budgens Opens Plastic-Free Zones

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.

"Budgens store becomes one of world's first to have plastic-free zones", The Independent, October 08, 2018

Seventh Generation Introduces ‘Game-Changing’ Innovation In Laundry Detergent Packaging

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. 

"PepsiCo, Seventh Gen, CLF Bring Sustainable Plastics Closer to Reality", Sustainable Brands, October 10, 2018

UK’s Ocado Will Soon Stop Using Non-Recyclable Polystyrene And PVC In Own-Label Items

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.

"Ocado pledges further cuts to its single-use plastic packaging", The Grocer UK, October 16, 2018

Global Drinks Makers Seek To Dilute EU Plastics Legislation

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. 

"Coca Cola, Pepsi and Nestle attempt to water down new plastics laws, leaked letter reveals", The Independent, October 19, 2018

Sodexo’s North American Unit Is To Cut Single-Use Plastic Dramatically

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. 

"Sodexo to reduce single-use plastics in food service", Plastics News, October 20, 2018

Snap Kitchen Shifts To Eco-Friendly Food Trays

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.

"Snap Kitchen Moves to Compostable Plant Based Packaging", Waste Management World, October 24, 2018

Two Global Companies Partner To Develop Plastics Recycling Technologies

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. 

"Veolia and Unilever team up to tackle plastic waste", Resource.co, October 25, 2018

PepsiCo Strengthens Its Commitment To Using Recycled Material In Packaging

PepsiCo has pledged to use 25 per cent recycled content in plastic packaging by 2025, building on its 2016 ‘Performance with Purpose’ sustainability initiative that aims to make 100 per cent of its packaging recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2025. The company says that its work with partners will ensure PET beverage bottles will incorporate 33 per cent recycled PET material by 2025. In the EU, it is aiming for a 50% target. The new target also builds on its commitment to Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s  New Plastic Economy initiative. PepsiCo has also announced it had entered a multi-year supply agreement with Loop Industries, Inc., which develops sustainable plastic. PepsiCo will start to use Loop™ PET plastic, which contains 100 per cent recycled material, in its product packaging by early 2020. 

"PepsiCo to use 25% recycled content in plastics packaging by 2025", edie newsroom, October 29, 2018

Global Companies Join The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

Nearly 300 organizations have has joined a global initiative to eliminate plastic waste. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment signatories include recycling companies, packaging producers and  retailers. It was announced at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s 'Our Ocean' conference in Bali, and was launched in collaboration with UN Environment. The initiative has three main aims: eradicate unnecessary plastic and move away from single-use packaging; work towards 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging by 2025; and to circulate plastic by increasing the volume of plastics that can be converted into new products or packaging. CPG companies that have signed up include Johnson & Johnson, SC Johnson, Danone, L’Oréal, Mars, PepsiCo, Unilever and Coca-Cola. Other signatories include Walmart, Target, Carrefour, Metro AG, Lidl, Ahold Delhaize, H&M, Amcor and Novamont.  

"Inditex, M&S, Target join pledge to end plastic waste ", Just-style.com, October 29, 2018

Frozen Meal Maker In The UK Shifts To Cardboard Trays

Cook, a UK manufacturer of frozen ready meals, is to start transitioning its products away from black plastic and into cardboard-based recyclable trays. Its aim is to use more sustainable packaging for the entire range by end-2020. It is beginning the move with its kids range, because those products are best-suited to the new tray, and because it will be kids that will be most affected by the plastics issue. The board in the new trays comes from sustainable sources.

"Cook to switch frozen meal plastic to recyclable trays", The Grocer, October 31, 2018

Waitrose Has Accelerated Its Work To Eradicate Single-Use Plastic In Own-Label Packaging

Upmarket UK grocery retailer Waitrose has accelerated its commitment to making own-brand packaging more recyclable, reusable or compostable, bringing forward its 100 per cent target from 2015 to 2023. It has hit the 70 per cent level already and expects to reach 80 per cent by 2020. It says it is also close to taking all its own-label fruit, vegetables, meat and fish out of black plastic by the end of 2018, and will stop selling its own-label products in black plastic after the end of next year. 

"Waitrose brings recyclable packaging commitment forward", The Grocer UK, November 13, 2018

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