It’s a tough time to be a plastic straw producer. Over the past few months, it seems the message has broken through that plastic straws are harmful to the environment – and marine life in particular – that phase outs and bans are warranted.
Today at SB’18 Vancouver, The North Face will announce the launch of The North Face Renewed — a collection of refurbished products for consumers who want to access affordable gear and reduce their environmental impact. All “Renewed” items — which are sourced from returned, defective or damaged apparel — have been thoroughly inspected, cleaned and refurbished to The North Face quality and performance standards.
Today, Savers® released its third annual State of Reuse Report, which reveals that while people consistently state they are donating or finding ways to extend the life of their items, there is still a long journey ahead to fully embrace reuse — as 60 percent of North Americans shop secondhand only once a year or less.
These days — especially in sustainability circles — it seems impossible to avoid hearing about the massive problem that is plastic pollution, and what we can do to address it. In the past two weeks alone, there have been announcements from public, non-profit and private organizations alike, such as the European Commission, City of Vancouver, Zero Waste Scotland, and Hilton. It’s great to see, but before we declare that we’re “winning the war” on plastic waste, we need to take it one battle at a time.
How does food get on a plate? Unless you’re growing it yourself, that food may have had a long, complex journey before it arrived on your fork. That long trail all too often results in a lot of food wasted and lost along the way. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that around 40 percent of food production is lost before it even reaches the market.
The US food industry uses roughly 30 billion disposable gloves per year. Estimates vary but between 45-75 percent of these are vinyl (PVC) disposable gloves. There are many scientific studies analyzing the effects of various health and food safety aspects of vinyl — including the dangers of plasticizers such as phthalates and the emission of dioxin at incineration or landfill, as well as at manufacture.
On April 21st, at the Palace Cinema in Raffles City, Changning, Shanghai, I attended the premiere of the first of a three-part documentary series, “Jackie Chan’s Green Heroes” — a joint project by the action movie star, National Geographic Partners LLC and Buick — which captures stories of sustainability innovators to inspire and educate the public.
Around the globe, over one million individuals have signed petitions, taken to stores and restaurants, and posted photos of ridiculous packaging on social media to call out corporations for their massive single-use plastic footprints.
Long before concepts such as future-fit and circular became buzzwords, Fuji Xerox was already busy redefining business as usual and demonstrating the opportunities to be harnessed by embracing a more sustainable, resource-efficient business model.
In their biggest contest yet, TerraCycle, Colgate and ShopRite’s annual partnership is offering students across the eastern US the chance to win a playground for their school made entirely of recycled materials. It is the fifth edition of the Recycled Playground Challenge, which aims to teach school students, teachers and communities about preserving healthy smiles and a healthy environment.
Today, Soma and Parley for the Oceans announced their exclusive and limited-edition product for Starbucks; the world’s first reusable water bottle with a sleeve made using Parley Ocean PlasticTM, a material created from upcycled plastic intercepted from marine environments.
As much as one third of the world’s food is being wasted. The United States alone wastes roughly 63 million tons, or $218 billion, of food annually. As awareness of this issue has grown over in recent years, a variety of initiatives have taken root.
On foot, by bicycle, through water and combinations of the above, distance races such as marathons and ocean races are a global phenomenon. Running and cycling races have become a big business in recent years, due to the opportunity for sponsorship and the brand affinity that comes with it.
Earlier this year, tech giant Dell announced an innovative partnership with actress Nikki Reed’s jewellery company, Bayou with Love, which spawned a new line of fine jewellery made using recycled gold from the motherboards of end-of-life Dell computers. The juxtaposition of fine, intricate jewels with old computers has driven media interest and raised the issue and importance of sustainability within the tech sector. ‘The Circular Collection’ has been positioned as an example of circular economy success, but how deep does this move go?
Discussion around the future of mobility is dominated by discourse around the shift away from fossil fuels, but this is only one small part of a more complex conversation. Even clean energy vehicles have impacts on environmental and human health. China’s industry ministry, General Motors and Goodyear are taking these often-overlooked impacts into account by focusing on waste recovery and prevention approaches that seek to establish closed-loop systems.