Eco News Spring 2022

Coca-Cola to add attached tethered lids to plastic bottles to reduce litter 

Coca-Cola Great Britain has confirmed plans to switch the packaging on 1.5-litre bottles by adding attached lids, to help capture more lids for recycling. This will include bottles of Fanta, Coca-Cola Zero and Diet Coke. All old bottles will be phased out by early 2024. The Coca-Cola Company has conducted consumer research finding that many consumers were not putting lids back on bottles before placing them in the recycling. However, using recycled content alone is not the solution to the world’s plastic pollution problem. Hence, environmental groups including Greenpeace have been urging Coca-Cola to do more to ensure that plastic packaging is recycled and to increase its use of single-use-plastic-free options. 

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$500m fund targets plastic waste 

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste and Lombard Odier Investment Managers have formed a partnership to launch a circular plastic fund. The fund will aim to raise $500m from investors for scalable solutions to remove plastic waste from the environment, increase recycling, control waste management, and drive the global transition towards a circular economy. Specifically, the fund will help develop new circular solutions including collection and sorting infrastructure, technology-enabled recycling infrastructure, and design solutions for improved plastic durability, reuse, and recyclability. Moreover, It will also aim to drive innovation in plastic chemistry and production which can simplify or make an end-of-life treatment for plastic products easier or more effective. The first Alliance members include ExxonMobil, Henkel, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, P&G, Shell, SCG Chemicals, Total, Veolia, and many others.  

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World’s largest wildlife crossing across California’s Highway 101 

 

A new ‘green’ bridge will be constructed above California’s Highway 101, specifically in the Santa Monica mountains to allow animals to pass from one side to the other. Since 2002, at least 25 mountain lions have been killed on freeways in Los Angeles. In addition to this, the highway has fragmented habitats and interfered with breeding, resulting in low genetic diversity and territorial fighting between mountain lions. When complete, the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing will become the world’s largest wildlife overpass at 210-foot long and 165-foot wide. Furthermore, the bridge will allow animals like mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, and snakes to safely cross US Highway 101. Additionally, the crossing will include sound walls covered with vegetation to shield nocturnal animals from noise and light from the highway. 

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Lidl launched their first ‘smart’ refill station in the UK  

In what claims to be the U.K.’s first smart laundry detergent refill station, shoppers can use a dedicated refill bottle with a choice of Lidl’s own brand detergents for the same price as standard single-use. You do need to purchase the refill bottle, but any refills then come with a 20p saving aiming to reduce customer spend and plastic. Likewise, the refill bottles have been designed with a smart chip – allowing the machine to recognise the bottle! The refill bottles are made using HDPE, which is a durable plastic that is 100% recyclable.  This is a trial happening in one store in Kingswinford, West Midlands – and can save nearly 3,000 single-use plastic containers.
 

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New plastic-eating enzymes are created to tackle plastic pollution  

 

Scientists in Britain and the United States have developed a plastic-eating enzyme that could help in the fight against pollution. These non-toxic enzymes are able to digest polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, which is used to create millions of tonnes of plastic bottles. This form of plastic is a great polluter to the environment as it takes hundreds of years to biodegrade. This revolutionary research began while the Britain’s University of Portsmouth and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory were examining the structure of a natural enzyme thought to have evolved in a waste recycling center in Japan. After this, they made some changes to this enzyme, which enabled it to digest PET faster and more efficiently.  

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