This month, we dig deeper into the growing number of innovations and initiatives aimed at eliminating pollution caused by the most ubiquitous material on earth.

Trending: £25M Investment Scheme, Climate-Positive Sack Will Reduce Packaging Waste

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Plastics and packaging are ubiquitous and leading to major problems both for waste management and ocean pollution. While many companies are committing to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics, there is still a lot of work to do on all fronts.

Trending: Dutch Task Force, Startups Among Latest to Join Food Waste Fight

WASTE NOT - 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.

McDonald’s Endeavors to Reduce GHGs, Improve Chicken Welfare, Phase Out Plastic Straws

WALKING THE TALK - McDonald’s has made strides towards sustainability this month: it’s the first restaurant company to set an approved Science-Based Target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; it’s launching a Chicken Sustainability Advisory Council; and it will begin trials to test paper straws – rather than plastic – in several of its U.K. locations.

Overcoming Complexity: The Perennial Challenge in Sustainability-Led Behaviour Change

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - We’re increasingly living in a world of purpose-led brands, as growing numbers of consumers are more interested than ever in the “big world” issues related to the products they buy, and how they use them. And yet, when it comes to the sustainability sector, we still struggle to apply some of the most basic communications principles to the issues we are trying to solve.

12 Asian Entrepreneurs Win $10K for Low-Carbon Mobility, Plastic Waste, Energy Ideas

CLEANTECH - UN Environment has awarded seed funding to twelve young people with business ideas on how to foster energy-efficient, low-waste and low-carbon lifestyles. Each of the winners of the Asia Pacific Low Carbon Lifestyles Challenge will receive US$10,000 and mentorship to help bring their ideas to fruition.

Cleaning Up Courses: How to Bring Distance Events Closer to the Sustainability Finish Line

WASTE NOT - 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.

Trending: New Circular Solutions for Polyester, Almonds Drive Textiles, Plastics Towards Zero Waste

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - The potential of a circular economy continues to unfold as new technologies are help transform everything from post-consumer textiles to almond shells into high-quality raw materials. CARBIOS, a pioneer in the field of bioplasturgy, has taken its enzymatic depolymerization process to the next level, rendering it applicable to PET polyester fibers from textile waste.

Sustainability Lexicon: Top Terms to Know for International Day of Forests

PRESS RELEASE - One-third of the Earth’s land mass is covered by forests – beautiful, useful, and the essence of sustainability.

Braskem to supply green plastic to the LEGO Group

PRESS RELEASE - Braskem, the world's largest biopolymer producer, will supply the LEGO Group with its I'm greenT polyethylene, a globally certified plastic made from sugarcane. Already in 2018, Green Plastic will be used in the 'botanical' elements range, such as trees, bushes and leaves of the Danish company known worldwide for its building bricks.

Increasing Campus Sustainability: PepsiCo Recycling Awards Funding to 19 Colleges and Universities

PRESS RELEASE - College and university students have both a special drive and the capability to positively change the world around them. Through the PepsiCo Recycling Zero Impact Fund, students are empowered to do exactly that – create proposals to address sustainability challenges on their campuses through unique, innovative solutions. In its second year, PepsiCo Recycling’s Zero Impact Fund received more than 60 proposals and will award 19 colleges and universities up to $10,000 to accomplish their environmental goals. Projects that will be funded through the Zero Impact Fund this year include:

Timberland Unveils New Spring 18 Footwear Collection Made with Recycled Fabric

PRESS RELEASE - Global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland releases three new Timberland X Thread men’s footwear styles for spring, made with Thread’s recycled Ground to Good™ fabric. The collection marks the brand’s second collaboration with Thread, a Certified B Corporation that transforms plastic bottles from the streets and canals of Haiti and Honduras into one of the most responsible fabrics on the planet.

Trending: How Retailers, NGOs Can Engage Consumers to Catalyze Circular Economy

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Businesses have a critical role to play in cleaning up the global economy, but it is consumers whole truly hold the key to achieving a more sustainable future. In a new report, PA Consulting Group shows that retailers can build customer loyalty — and grow sales — by providing customers with reasons to stay engaged by returning to stores to resell, recycle and donate clothing and electronics.

Coke, Dow, Kimberly-Clark Join Coalition to Tackle Ocean Plastics in SE Asia

WASTE NOT - Corporate action to tackle the mounting problem of ocean plastics is on the rise with new commitments and cross-industry initiatives cropping up regularly.

Trending: Food Industry Says Sayonara to Single-Use Plastics

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - The war against single-use plastics rages on as even more brands rise to the challenge of creating a plastic-free future. Online food delivery companies Just Eat and Deliveroo are the latest businesses to hop aboard the sustainable packaging bandwagon.

Plastic Scan Ushers in New Era for Supply Chain Transparency

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - A new online tool developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and social enterprise Searious Business could help stem the massive tide of microplastics entering the world’s oceans each year. The tool, dubbed Plastic Scan, allows businesses to measure their plastic emissions and provides recommendations on how to reduce impact across the textile supply chain.

BASF joins the World Plastics Council

PRESS RELEASE - BASF joined the World Plastics Council (WPC), a global organization of key leaders in the plastics industry. The WPC promotes industry topics of global relevance like the responsible use of plastics, efficient waste management and solutions to marine littering.

Trending: Momentum Continues Gathering to Phase Out Single-Use Plastics

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Single-use plastics continue to lose their appeal as the global community rallies around the concept of a circular economy. The UK, in particular, is taking the lead, setting a new standard for both the public and private sector, while food and beverage giant Nestlé is helping ease the transition away from a take-make-dispose model.

Sustainable Funding for Private Green Businesses

FINANCE & INVESTMENT - Financing tends to be on the top of the list of hurdles for sustainable companies looking to scale. A business does not survive on a mission alone, and in order to generate profits and revenue, it needs capital to operate. But for sustainable enterprises setting out to meet the triple bottle line (“Planet, People, Profit”) while minimizing impacts, attracting and raising funding can be a particularly challenging task.

Trending: Supermarkets, Government, the Queen Take Stand Against Single-Use Plastics

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Plastic packaging continues on its downward spiral as supermarkets, government and even the Queen begin to explore more sustainable alternatives. Kiwi supermarket chain New World is setting a new standard for the food industry by drastically reducing the amount of plastic packaging stocking its shelves.

Nestlé Pure Life® Launches New Bottle Made From 100% Recycled Plastic

PRESS RELEASE - Today, Nestlé® Pure Life® Purified Water, the world's leading bottled water brand, is announcing the introduction of a 700-mL bottle made from 100 percent food grade recycled plastic*, known as rPET. The new package is available starting this month on retail store shelves in North America. “Nestlé Waters North America is the original bottled water company in the U.S., and environmental sustainability is an integral part of our company’s purpose and heritage,” said Antonio Sciuto, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Nestlé Waters North America. “This new bottle made from 100 percent recycled plastic for our namesake brand is the latest way we’re satisfying consumer demand for healthy hydration on-the-go and inspiring consumers to recycle.”

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