Could You or Your Colleagues Be Waste Fit Champions?

Have you been busy shedding paper weight? Do you know someone who’s lost pounds of plastic, aluminum and glass? Is your business slimming down sustainably? Rubicon Global — a leader in providing waste, recycling, and smart city solutions to businesses and governments — is on the hunt for the leaders who are shaping up their organization’s sustainability plans by slimming down on waste. More and more companies and cities across the U.S. are focusing on reducing waste and achieving a more circular economy, and we want to recognize all the sweat equity that goes into building and

Nat Geo’s ‘Planet or Plastic?’ Initiative Latest Attempt to Save the Oceans from Plastic

As the amount of single-use plastic in the world’s oceans continues to grow, National Geographic is announcing a new, global commitment to tackle this pressing problem. On Wednesday, the media giant launched Planet or Plastic?, a multiyear initiative aimed at raising awareness of this challenge and reducing the amount of single-use plastic that enters the world’s oceans. As a global brand with a rich history of scientific

Garnier, TerraCycle Launch Campaign to Divert 1M Beauty Empties from Landfill

Despite the rise of recyclable packaging for beauty and personal care products, only half of US consumers responsibly dispose of these products. To boost bathroom recycling, beauty brand Garnier has teamed up with TerraCycle and to launch the second year of Rinse, Recycle, Repeat, a national recycling campaign and college campus competition that aims to educate young people on how to responsibly recycle

Circular Economy 101: Waste Not, Get More

Across the globe, about 50 percent of CO2 emissions are tied to materials — goods that often produce a significant amount of physical and financial waste. The United Nations estimates that the 41.8 million tonnes (Mt) of electronic waste generated in 2014, for example, included 16 Mt of copper and 300 tonnes of gold, plus other precious metals such as palladium. This material had a combined value of $52 billion. And the amount of e-waste is only growing; it is expected to reach 50 Mt in 2018. The momentum gathering

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

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. A new refrigerated shelving system is being piloted at the chain’s Bishopdale, New Zealand store, which allows New World to display fresh produce without plastic packaging. Dubbed “Food in the Nude,” the project rolled out in January 2017 and New World Bishopdale

Circularity, Sustainability Take Hold in Toy Industry

The closed-loop conversation is often one that focuses on e-waste, fashion and single-use plastics, but LEGO Group and Antwerp-based design furniture brand ecoBirdy are aiming to change that by bringing the concept of circularity and sustainability to the toy front. Supported by the EU’s program for the competitiveness of SMEs (COSME), ecoBirdy has launched its first collection of design furniture for kids made entirely from recycled plastic toys. The launch follows

NFL, PepsiCo Team Up to Score Zero Waste at Super Bowl LII

The NFL has joined forces with PepsiCo, Aramark, U.S. Bank Stadium and the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority to make Super Bowl LII a zero-waste event. Together, the partners have launched Rush2Recycle, a game plan to recover more than 90 percent — over 40 tons — of stadium waste during Super Bowl LII on Sunday, February 4. This zero-waste effort aims to leave a positive legacy at U.S. Bank Stadium and create a playbook for other

Trending: New Tools, Rules, Partnerships Take Food Waste, Hunger Head On

Around 52 million tons of food are wasted each year in the United States despite 1 in 7 US citizens lacking reliable access to sufficient, affordable and nutritious food. While raising consumer awareness is an important food waste reduction strategy, interventions at the corporate level have a crucial role to play in addressing the issue on a large scale. A new action guide from ReFED, a partnership between DoorDash and Feeding America, and commercial legislation in New York are among the latest efforts to simultaneously tackle food waste and hunger. ReFED, a multi-stakeholder nonprofit committed to reducing

Trending: Coca-Cola, Evian, Amcor Unveil Ambitious Circular Packaging Strategies

Beverage giants Coca-Cola and Evian and global packaging company Amcor have announced new efforts that will fundamentally reshape their approaches to packaging. By 2030, Coca-Cola says it will collect and recycle 100 percent of its packaging; Evian has pledged to produce all of its plastic bottles from 100 percent rPET by 2025; and all of Amcor’s packaging will be recyclable or reusable by 2025. The world has a packaging problem and The Coca-Cola Company is gearing up to help fix it. The company has announced a new global packaging vision for a World Without Waste, which it intends to back with a multi-year investment that includes ongoing work to make its packaging 100 percent recyclable. World Without Waste is

Trending: Plastic Packaging Takes Backseat to Seaweed, Origami-Inspired Alternatives

Though the normalization of single-use plastic packaging has made plastic pollution out to be an insurmountable problem, consumers’ and brands’ growing awareness of the implications of take-make-dispose models is helping drive the development of recyclable and renewable packaging alternatives. Ellen MacArthur Circular Design Challenge winners TrioCup and Evoware are two examples of packaging innovators leading the charge towards a more circular economy. Though a seemingly mundane product, coffee cups are garnering

Trending: New Filtering, Recycling Technologies to Take Water Stewardship to the Next Level

As the problems of microplastics and water scarcity persist, businesses are looking to new technologies to encourage greater consumer and corporate water stewardship. Platform technology company Xeros Technologies has developed a washing machine component capable of removing microfibers from home laundry wastewater. According to research from Eunomia Research & Consulting, approximately 190 thousand tons of microplastics from textiles are leaked into the marine ecosystem each year. A 2016 study pioneered by Patagonia and conducted by the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management also found that a single fleece jacket can shed up to 250,000 microfibers during a single wash. The fibers are so small that they pass through wastewater treatment facilities and enter our streams, rivers, lakes

UK Unveils National Action Plan to Slash Plastic Waste by 2042

The UK government has unveiled a national action plan to eradicate avoidable plastic waste by 2042. The announcement aims to quell concerns of critics regarding the potential negative impacts Brexit could have on the UK’s sustainability performance. The plan outlines actions the government will take over the next 25 years to address the issue, such as extending a 5p charge for single-use plastic bags to all retailers, encouraging supermarkets to create plastic-free aisles and introducing a tax system for single-use plastic packaging, such as polystyrene

Trending: Local Solutions Could Hold the Key to Reducing Global Food Waste

While food industry giants and software companies have played an important role in creating solutions for reducing food waste, local community members are proving to be just as critical in driving the movement forward. Efforts to curb food waste in Europe, the UK and North America are on the rise, with new solutions

Trending: Circular Sportswear Is Next on Sustainable Fashion’s Checklist

Circular design principles continue to infiltrate the fashion industry as fast fashion giants and emerging labels alike turn their attention to sustainable activewear. Despite recent criticism over its decision to send its discarded clothing to Swedish incinerators, H&M continues to stride forward on its mission to accelerate the circular fashion movement. The fast fashion brand has expanded its Conscious Collection to include an activewear

How Do the World’s Recyclers Solve a Problem Like China?

For decades, China has been an open door for foreign waste, importing recycled material from around the world to help feed its manufacturing boom. In 2016, the country imported 7.3 million metric tonnes of waste plastics from developed countries. However, this is all about to change. Last year, the country notified the World Trade Organization its intention to ban 24 types of solid waste material by the end of 2017 — including unsorted paper and plastics. This crackdown on imports, known officially as China’s National Sword programme, took complete

Trending: Food-Focused Tech Solutions Helping Slash Waste While Recouping Revenue

Food waste may be on the rise, but startups across the globe are developing new solutions to drive waste — and costs — down to an all-time low. With US food waste topping $200 billion a year, startup goMkt has developed a new food shopping platform designed to connect consumers with retailers offering special deals on food that would otherwise go to waste. Through its discounted “flash sales,” goMkt helps divert food from landfill while enabling businesses to recoup

Dow Makes Moves to Reduce Marine Plastic Pollution in Japan, Indonesia

According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), up to 8 million tons of plastic waste are dumped into the world’s oceans annually. In 2016, The Dow Chemical Company announced a commitment to spend $2.8 million over the next two years to drive solutions that address global marine debris and litter. Dow is now making good on that promise with new efforts in Japan and Indonesia. In Japan, the company’s Packaging and Specialty Plastics (P&SP) business unit is supporting the launch of the first quantitative research in the Asia Pacific region into the

Trending: Step Change in Design, Recycling Efforts Essential for Addressing E-Waste

In today’s digitally dependent world, e-waste management is a critical issue that requires urgent attention from both the public and private sector. Published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) — the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technology — together with the United Nations University (UNU) and the International

Trending: Improved Resource Efficiency Signals Major Win for Circularity in Fashion, Carpet, Steel

Circular principles continue to drive a more sustainable future, as the fashion, carpet and steel industries zero in on resource efficiency and innovative raw materials. Over the last decade, Eileen Fisher has established itself as a leader in the sustainable fashion movement, a position that is largely the result of its ability to successfully integrate circularity into its supply chain. In 2009, the

Closed-Loop Recycling and the Far-Reaching Impact of Local Partnerships

In northwestern Vermont, an innovative closed-loop recycling program is harnessing the synergy of a paper shredder, a paper maker and a paper distributor to provide real-time environmental metrics for Champlain College — a small, but nationally recognized college in Burlington, Vermont. In an effort to keep the loop as local as possible, the college selected the highest-quality local and regional partners available. For many years, Champlain has worked closely with Foley Distributing, out of Rutland, Vermont; SecurShred — a South Burlington-based shredder and e-cycling service provider; and Essity — a global

Sustainable Surf, MAFIA Bags Launch Sustainable Daypack Made Entirely from Waste

Sustainable Surf, a nonprofit focused on protecting ocean health, has teamed up with Swiss designer Yves Béhar and MAFIA Bags, a Bay Area-based brand making bags and backpacks from upcycled sails, to create an urban adventure bag that supports the local community and diverts valuable resources from landfill. Collaborating with Béhar and MAFIA, Sustainable Surf created the Deep Blue Bag, a superlight technical daypack made from upcycled spinnaker sails, climbing ropes from Yosemite Valley and wetsuit/dry suit material. The bag features a slew of functional features — such as a water-resistant wet pocket, weather-proof zippers and external gear loops — geared at enhancing and enabling people’s connection to the outdoors and

Perfect Sustainable Product Design Needs to Start with a Circle

Electronic waste is the world’s fastest-growing waste stream, and according to a United Nations report, it’s projected that 50 million tons of e-waste will be accumulated by 2018. There are many reasons for such a staggering amount of waste — a lot of it starts with the fact that products and devices are replaced by upgraded versions within a few years of owning them and, with around 50 percent of consumers not sure what to do with them once they are finished with them, many end up in landfills and oceans. Another reality is that many tech products live out the rest of their days unused. And with around 30 percent of consumers with tech products lying around the house, compared

Trending: Resource Optimization Is Driving the Future of Food

In the face of climate change, embracing new methods of agricultural production, consuming responsibly and adopting circular business models will be critical to forging a sustainable future and achieving both income and food security. According to research conducted by nonprofit ReFED, sixty-three million tons of food worth $218 billion is wasted each year in the United States — one-third of which is wasted by restaurants and commercial food service businesses. To stop food waste in its tracks, the James Beard Foundation, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, teamed up with Drexel University’s Center for Food & Hospitality to design and implement a curriculum around