• Aldi launches packaging made using plastic saved from the sea


    The new packaging is recycled from waste plastic collected by communities in coastal areas across the world. The move will prevent a claimed 76 tonnes of plastic entering the ocean each year, equivalent to three million bottles.

    Produced by Sharpak, part of Groupe Guillin, and supplied by Bantam Materials, the so-called “prevented ocean plastic” is said to be of fully traceable provenance.

    Aldi is one of a number of supermarkets to have introduced packaging recycled from ocean-bound plastic waste. Last year, Lidl launched fresh fish packaging partly made by recycling plastic waste collected from beaches in southeast Asia. Waitrose this week said it would use prevented ocean plastic, also supplied by Bantam, for 71 products ranging from fruit & veg to 13 new ready meal lines.

    Aldi has also reduced the size of its fishcake packaging, which will save a claimed further 32 tonnes of plastic annually, along with 23 tonnes of cardboard from its Specially Selected lines.

    “These changes will see us use less packaging overall, and also repurpose plastic that could otherwise end up polluting our oceans,” said Aldi UK plastics and packaging director Richard Gorman.

    “This is the latest in a series of initiatives we are rolling out to reduce our environmental impact and offer our customers even more environmentally sustainable options when they shop at Aldi.”

    Bantam Materials director Raffi Schieir said: “We developed prevented ocean plastic to be part of the solution to ocean plastic pollution and are delighted to be working with Groupe Guillin and Aldi to provide customers with a better plastic choice.”

    Aldi last year pledged to halve the volume of plastic packaging it uses by 2025, a target that is set to see 74,000 tonnes of the material removed from products over the next four years.

    The supermarket said today it was also on track to make all own-label packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022, and hit the same target for branded products by 2025.

  • McDonald’s expands sustainable packaging range to reduce plastic use by 120 tonnes per year


    The initiative is part of the Better M programme through which the company carries out a series of local actions with the aim of replacing plastic packaging with more environmentally friendly alternatives. Thus, McDonald’s Romania aligns to the company global commitment that, by 2025, the packaging intended for customers in all its restaurants will be 100% produced from renewable, recycled or certified sources.

    “We align with McDonald’s global promise to replace all plastic packaging by 2025 and contribute to meet the objectives by constantly developing and implementing new solutions in Romania. At the same time, we make sure that we maintain highest product standards and the best experience for our customers. Gradually, through all these actions, we are taking important steps and we estimate that we will reduce the amount of plastic used in our restaurants in 2021 by 120 tonnes. We will continue to test different alternatives to meet customer preferences, but also our goal to build a sustainable future with them, as part of the process of constant improving packaging solutions,” said Paul Dragan, Managing Director of Premier Restaurants Romania.

    The Better M programme includes all the actions carried out by McDonald’s in Romania with the aim of constantly improving the materials for the product packaging in order to reduce the amount of plastic used in restaurants and achieve the global goals by 2025.

    In Romania, these steps have been gradually implemented since last year:

    • January 2020 – the first step was made by replacing the packaging of McFlurry ice cream with a cardboard one without a plastic lid;
    • October 2020 – the “Straw on request” initiative was launched, through which straws were offered to customers only on request;
    • February 2021 – plastic straws were replaced with paper, biodegradable and compostable straws, which are still offered on request.
    • May-June 2021 – a new salad packaging from cardboard and wooden cutlery are introduced

    This year, the packaging of McSundae ice cream will also be replaced with a new alternative, and the efforts to contribute to a more sustainable future will continue in the coming years.

  • Co-op bans bags-for-life and calls for unified approach


    The announcement comes as it publishes a new report ‘Bag to Rights’ which sets out new policy recommendations for Government.

    As part of this move, and ahead of the new carrier bag levy increase coming in to place, the convenience retailer will also roll out compostable carriers to all stores to ensure that customers are able to purchase a low-cost, low impact alternative bag with a sustainable second use.

    The Co-op is calling for a policy to require major retailers to report on all reusable bags, as well as single-use bags, to provide greater transparency to track the true impact of carrier bag levy.

    Co-op’s other recommendations include requiring all single-use carrier bags to be certified compostable and to introduce a minimum 50p price for reusable bags to create a greater perceived value to encourage customers to reuse them instead of treating them as single-use.

    The convenience retailer is now looking to work with more food retailers to adopt a balanced and joined-up approach to their carrier bag offer.

    Co-op’s approach involves removing bags for life from sale, rolling out a compostable bags for 10p and setting the price of its lowest cost reusable bag at 50p. This approach is aimed at embedding real reuse of bags in the retail setting.

    Jo Whitfield, chief executive, Co-op Food, said: “Increased use of Bags for Life has led to a sharp rise in plastic use. With over 1.5 billion bags sold each year by retailers, this remains a massive issue for our industry as many shoppers are regularly buying so called ‘Bags for Life’ to use just once and it’s leading to major hike in the amount of plastic being produced.

    “To help tackle plastic pollution and the use of unnecessary plastic, we will be ceasing the sale of Bags for Life when current stocks are exhausted. We’re also ensuring all of our members and customers have access to a low price point option that’s more environmentally friendly, alongside more durable bags at a higher price point.

    “We believe that it should be mandatory for all retailers to report on the sales of all of their reusable bags, not just single-use bags. Right now, Co-op is the only major retailer to report on all of the bags it sells. This policy would enable a fuller understanding on the impact of the levy and its true effect on shopping behaviours when customers are making decisions at the tills.”

    Helen Bird, strategic engagement manager WRAP, said: “All bags, regardless of the material they are made from, impact on the environment. The most important thing to reduce this impact is reuse. Just as we all now carry a mask about ourselves, we should be doing the same with shopping bags.

    “Supermarkets have a responsibility to incentivise this and we would like to see transparent reporting on all types of shopping bags – whether they are made of traditional plastic, compostable plastic or paper. There will be times when we forget to bring a bag and in these instances we can still reuse those bags, and at the end of their life we recycle them at supermarket collection points. For Co-op’s shoppers this means that they are able to reuse carrier bags and if they have a food waste collection then they can use it as a caddy liner.”

  • Aptar Beauty + Home Launches Star Drop, the Next Generation Dropper Solution for Ultra-Fluid Formulas


    Design inspired by trends and consumer studies

    According to this year’s Pinterest Business report, “skinimalism” is a major beauty trend. It revolves around using less products in our daily routine (for skincare and makeup) and emphasizes simplicity to embrace slow and natural beauty. “Natural everyday makeup” jumped by 180% as the most searched terms on the platform as well as “natural glowing skin” increasing fourfold in the search words. For “skinimalism” one needs a precision dropper – that’s where Aptar Beauty + Home innovates with this new solution. Product flow is critical and often it is hard to control properly, and the pipette let’s the formula run and smudge during or after use. This is why Aptar Beauty + Home has developed a clean and practical solution to improve the overall user experience for consumers.

    Two patents for a new generation dropper

    Star Drop’s bottle is easy to squeeze, even with just one hand, and dispenses just the right amount of product. Thanks to a patented technology, its SimpliSqueeze® valve automatically cuts off the product flow as soon as one releases pressure on the barrel, with an instant retraction effect sucking the formula back inside the pack. This intuitive technology ensures clean and controlled dispensing every time, with no leakage. Its ultra-precise pipette applicator,also patented, is transparent allowing one to see the product rise inside the tip to control and deliver the right amount of formula, drop by drop.

    “Star Drop provides a satisfying, almost magical feeling of control asexact dosages are dispensed. The gesture is super simple for consumers but the level of precision is unparalleled shares Patrick Bousquel, EMEA Skincare and Color Cosmetics Marketing Director,Aptar Beauty + Home.”

    The SimpliSqueeze® technology combined with the high-precision pipette guarantees a flawless drop-by-drop dispensing with a clean finish. The ergonomics allow a high restitution rate of the formula and the packaging is recyclable. Its travel-friendly format reconciles design with effortless functionality for any fluid and ultra-fluid textures, whether makeup or skincare: foundation, primers, highlighters, serums, facial oils, beard oils and other. Thanks to its design and technology, it is the perfect match for high-value treatments or targeted serums.

  • Fry’s ditches plastic wrappers across range in packaging revamp


    Fry’s, which is part of the LiveKindly Collective of plant-based brands, has removed the plastic wrappers from seven of its main products, including its bestselling Chicken-Style Burgers, and other lines including its Chicken-Style Strips, Traditional Burgers and Sausage Rolls.

    It means the South African brand’s range – which is sold in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Ocado – will now be packaged straight into the brand’s fully recyclable cardboard boxes. The brand said the move would help it reduce plastic use by 1.5 tonnes per year.

    The packaging revamp also includes a new look and feel, with a stripped-back, modern design featuring Fry’s new logo – which it said built on its “iconic” red triangle – alongside new food imagery.

    As well as a vegan standard endorsement, ‘meat-free’ had been replaced with ‘plant-based’ throughout the packs to acknowledge the wider consumer understanding of the category, Fry’s added.

    “The vegan shelves are becoming a more and more competitive space by the day, so it is important to us to give our products the fresh new look and feel that they deserve,” said Fry’s international marketing director Tammy Fry.

    “We’re excited to be taking one more step towards more sustainable packaging with the removal of plastics where we can, with lots more developments to come across this year,” she added.

    “This new brand look and feel gives us great motivation to continue our commitment to creating the best tasting, best looking, most innovative, ethical, and plant-based meat alternatives for our customers.”

    The revamp comes ahead of a major investment in both above the line and below the line marketing for the brand in 2021, in a bid “to reach a wider audience of meat reducers and flexitarians”, Fry’s said.

    It follows a major round of acquisitions by the Livekindly Collective since it launched in March 2020, including the purchase of the Fry’s brand from its founding family, alongside Swedish brand Oumph and UK retailer Iceland’s No Meat frozen vegan brand in January.

    Livekindly also raised $335m (£242.5m) in its most recent funding round last month, as part of an aggressive expansion plan designed to make it the fastest-growing plant-based food company in the world.

  • L’Oréal Hong Kong Launches Cross-Brand Recycling Program


    L’Oréal Hong Kong is kicking off a cross-brand recycling program with its 13 beauty brands. This month, Kiehl’s, Lancôme and L’Oréal Paris will be taking the lead in accepting used product containers at their stores.
    By the end of Q2 2021, the program will cover the group’s other 10 beauty brands in Hong Kong, contributing together to Hong Kong’s sustainable development through joint effort of the brands. Partnering with local environmental social enterprise V Cycle, beauty packaging which can be recycled in the program includes not only plastic bottles but also glass and metal parts of the beauty products such as mascara tubes, brow pencils tubes and body, lipstick cases and compact powder cases, etc.

    “Having worked alongside L’Oreal Hong Kong for 2 years, we’re delighted and grateful for the opportunity to step up our efforts in this exciting citywide recycling program,” said Eric Swinton, founder and CEO at V Cycle. “In offering people a platform to recycle and reuse valuable resources, we are creating a circular economy that benefits both the environment and our society, while changing consumption habits by stemming the inflow of plastic. We are confident that together with L’Oreal Hong Kong, we will raise consumer awareness on the need to recycle and that this initiative will inspire people to take action.”

  • New initiative launched to promote place of mono PET flexible packaging in circular economy


    BOPET Films Europe vice chair Michael Kreuter comments: “We cannot achieve these goals in isolation, and through this Vita Nova initiative we hope to pull together knowledge from across the value chain to improve the circularity of flexible packaging.”

    It is the group’s view that mono PET packaging structures have the potential to deliver on all 4 European Plastic Pact targets and enable retailers and brand owners to meet their sustainability pledges.

    According to Vita Nova, replacing mixed plastic flexible packaging with mono PET solutions would enable better recyclability, improve resource-efficiency and lead to greenhouse gas emission reductions.

    Like the majority of flexible packaging materials, PET-films are not currently sorted and recycled in Europe at scale. Vita Nova aims to address this.

    Steven Davies, Chair of BOPET films Europe, says: “It’s a sad fact that currently virtually all flexible packaging is being incinerated. Vita Nova comes from the Latin for ‘new life’, and this is exactly what we are trying to give to flexible packaging by developing a model for true closed-loop recycling.

    Mono PET structures offer the packaging industry a best-in-class option in terms of material usage and recycling processes, and are a key element if the industry is to hit the collective goals we have signed up to by 2025.”

    The ultimate aim of the Vita Nova initiative is to ensure that flexible PET packaging structures reach their full potential as circular materials – keeping them in the economy and out of incinerators.

    Over the next 12 months, the consortium aims to develop and present material redesign options for moving from mixed plastics to mono PET, quality sorting guidelines, and a recycling pathway for PET films, considering both mechanical and monomer recycling.

    In addition, the group will reveal design for recycling guidelines for mono PET packaging, as well as launching research into viable end markets for mechanically recycled flexible PET and attempting to prove a closed-loop recycling process for monomer recycling.

  • New sanitizer bottles from Greiner Packaging

    Sanitizer bottles have been a part of our everyday lives since spring 2020 due to COVID 19 – whether used at home to keep family members safe, for trips out, for day-to-day work, or for professional and medical applications. As a result, Greiner Packaging has now expanded its range of bottles to meet the increased demand. 

  • New Rejoin™ PCR Masterbatch Makes 100 Percent PCR a Reality for Polyolefin Packaging


    Until now, masterbatch has generally been made using virgin material as a carrier resin. This means that at typical let-down ratios, the finished product would contain 3 to 5 percent non-recycled plastic. With major consumer goods companies actively defining sustainability goals of 100 percent PCR polyolefin packaging, Avient has responded by developing Rejoin PCR Masterbatch in customizable colors and special effects.

    “We understand that many consider the use of colorants and additives that rely on virgin resin carriers to nullify the claim of 100 percent PCR, so we worked to develop a solution that could help our customers deliver fully on their sustainability commitments,” said Bob Lee, marketing director, Color & Additives Asia at Avient. “This leading-edge product answers a growing industry need and demand.” 

    Rejoin PCR Masterbatch combines pigments and functional additives into a single solution without negatively affecting color or mechanical properties. It can be added during production using standard equipment with little to no impact on processing, and allows for full recyclability of the end product.

    Rejoin PCR Masterbatch is commercially available in major global markets. 

  • Maldives govt publicises list of banned single-use plastics, packaging


    According to the circular (8/2020), the ban comes into effect on June 1, 2021, and will apply to all products classified under the following 12 categories:

    1. Plastic drinking straw

    2. Single-use plastic-based plates, cutleries and stirrers

    3. Styrofoam lunch box

    4. Plastic shopping bags below 30x30 cm (including oxo-degradable and synthetic polymer-based biodegradable plastics)

    5. Plastic shopping bags below 50=micron thickness (including oxo-degradable and synthetic polymer-based biodegradable plastics)

    6. Imported sweet areca nuts in plastic wrapping

    7. Single-use plastic cups below 250 ml

    8. Cotton buds with plastic stems

    9. Shampoo and soap bottles in plastic packaging, that are 50ml and below

    10. Shampoo and soap bottles in plastic packaging from 50ml to 200 ml

    11. All imported beverages in PET bottles below 500 ml (water, carbonated and non-carbonated drinks)

    12. All imported water that is 01 litre and below packed in PET packaging

    A tweet, publicised by the Ministry of Environment, reiterated the message touted the previous by the President's Office, stating that its move to halt such imports marked the first stage of realizing the administration's pledge to "completely phaseout single-use plastics by the year 2023".

    Although on numerous occasions past and present leadership factions have officially acknowledged plastic pollution as an urgent concern for the low-lying island nation and placed the recent restrictions on trade, the country is yet to place stringent measures to curb the country-wide use of single-use-plastics for necessary inter-island facilities such as waste collection, and following the COVID19 pandemic, for use as personal protection.

    For instance, Maldives' Waste Management Corporation Ltd (WAMCO) presently only accepts trash collections when it is secured in plastic bags. Thus far, no plans to change existing guidelines to accommodate the new legislative amendments, have been made public.

    President Solih initially announced the government's intention to phase out single-use plastics from the island nation during his maiden trip to the United Nations General Assembly in 2019.

    The pledge was reiterated in the government's 2019-2023 Strategic Action Plan (SAP), which provides a framework for the state to implement measures in reaching the goals set by the incumbent administration. Single-use plastics or disposable plastics are items ntended for one-time purposes only, regardless of whether they are recyclable, labelled as bioplastics, biodegradable or compostable.

    Then, on November 5, President Solih approved a proposed plan by the Ministry of Environment and endorsed by the President’s cabinet to phase out single-use plastics in Maldives by the year 2023.

    In addition to single-plastic restrictions that have been initiated in various Maldives’ islands and atolls, one of the country’s first major moves against plastic came in July 2019, when the parliament passed a resolution to ban single-use plastics in Maldives from 2025 after students from 17 schools collectively submitted a proposal highlighting the dangers of single-use plastic.

    Notwithstanding a near-unanimous positive reaction to the ban, numerous environmentalists have also taken to media platforms expressing that the effectiveness of any plastic ban hinges on ensuring that the need for its day to day use is addressed as well and that the populace is adequately informed and educated.

    Referring to effective policies to address plastic waste Managing Director of UK-based NGO Common Seas Jo Royle said,” The Maldives should be commended for planning bold and radical action to rid the country of plastic garbage, which is spoiling the nation’s world-famous pristine environment.“

    “If the country approaches the issue wisely, it will be able to significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the natural environment.”

    This year, the plastic problem seems to have grown worldwide, with organisations such as the European Environment Agency reporting surges in single-use plastic following COVID lockdowns.

    Speaking at the virtual event co-hosted by Maldives with Norway, and Antigua and Barbuda to launch the 'Group of Friends to Combat Marine Plastic Pollution’, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid described the COVID-19 pandemic as a "wake-up call for humanity to build back better, in a more sustainable manner”, and called for a global response that would lead to an effective international framework to fight marine plastic pollution in the near future.


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