Coca-Cola has unveiled a new bottle cap redesign in the UK that tethers it to the bottle. The effort is supposed to make it easier to recycle the whole bottle, while keeping caps out of garbage.
The brand expects plastic bottles of Coke, Coke Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite and Dr Pepper to have attached caps by early 2024, though this only applies to such products in the UK.
The move is Coca-Cola’s response to addressing plastic waste via its global “World Without Waste” initiative, which sets a 2030 goal of helping to collect and recycle empty bottles or cans for each one sold. World Without Waste also projects to have its cans and bottles to have 50% recycled material by 2030, while aiming to have product packaging 100% recyclable by 2025.
I’m hoping the next step for Coca-Cola would include re-usable bottles, a better alternative to addressing plastic waste in the world.
Here’s a toast to sustainability… literally. Diageo, the maker of brands like Ciroc and Don Julio, recently announced the creation of the world’s first ever 100% plastic free paper-based spirits bottle.
Made entirely from sustainably sourced wood, the bottle debuted with Johnnie Walker earlier this year.
Created through a new partnership with Pilot Lite, Pulpex Limited is a new sustainable packaging technology company. To ensure that the technology can be used in every area of life, Pulpex Limited has established a partner consortium of world leading consumer goods companies in categories including Unilever and PepsiCo. The consortium partners are each expecting to launch their own branded paper bottles, based on Pulpex Limited’s design and technology, this year.
“We’re proud to have created this world first. We are constantly striving to push the boundaries within sustainable packaging and this bottle has the potential to be truly ground-breaking,” said Ewan Andrew, Diageo’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “It feels fitting that we should launch it with Johnnie Walker, a brand that has often led the way in innovation throughout its 200 years existence.”
Pulpex Limited has developed a scalable paper-based bottle designed and developed to be 100% plastic free and expected to be fully recyclable. The bottle is made from sustainably sourced pulp to meet food-safe standards and will be fully recyclable in standard waste streams. The technology will allow brands to rethink their packaging designs, or move existing designs into paper, whilst not compromising on the existing quality of the product.
Pulpex Limited’s technology allows it to produce a variety of plastic-free, single mold bottles that can be used across a range of consumer goods. The packaging has been designed to contain a variety of liquid products and will form part of Diageo’s commitment towards Goal 12 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’.
What is your preferred method of prolonging your fruits’ shelf life — keeping it in the fridge, freezing, canning or even dehydration? What if I told you there’s another technique that not many folks know about? In northern Afghanistan there is a surprising long-established food hack that effectively preserves fruits of summer into winter months, known as kangina.
The kangina looks like two loaves of sourdough bread stuck together. Each kangina is made up of two layers of wet clay-rich mud, with each layer shaped into a bowl and then baked under the sun.
When each pair of kangina is completely dried, ripe fruit is put inside and sealed with another serving of mud to form an air-tight vessel. The kangina are then stored in a cool area, away from direct sunlight, with some actually being buried underground.
This preservation technique has been utilized for hundreds of years, yet it has barely been documented or studied, which is unexpected since the geographical area of Afghanistan has been growing grapes since at least 2000BC, making it one of the most age-old grape growing areas in the world.
So imagine, no refrigerator, no preservatives or chemicals — just a clay container. This technique works so well that they are able to preserve fruit for six months; think an archaic version of Tupperware or a ziplock bag.
So, will you be ditching your plastic containers and bags for this historic eco-friendly hack?
Despite being kind of distracted the past two years with other major issues, climate change has still been having an impact on our environment. Unpredictable weather patterns are increasing and one area sure to experience changes in the coming years is our food supply.
I had the pleasure of talking to Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Dr. Rosenzweig, along with many NASA scientists compile independent analysis with the help of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Their work discovered that 2021 tied with 2018 as the sixth warmest year of all time. Additionally, the past eight years have been the warmest consecutively since modern record keeping began in 1880. Increased heat isn’t good news for our food supply.
California has become well known for its drought conditions due to heatwaves. An important piece to our food industry, the state produces two-thirds of all fruits and nuts grown in the U.S. Each year the summer heat quickly turns the greenery of spring to brown. Between the period of 1980 to 2000, Los Angeles only experienced six extreme heat days annually, now the city is expecting an increase to 22 days.
When unpredictable weather causes changes to soil, it can affect critical growing periods and water use, resulting in lesser yield and higher costs. Droughts, downpours and flooding are the most common causes of crop loss.
Crops are already being impacted — NASA’s Global Temperature Update projects a -24% decrease in corn by the end of the century if greenhouse emissions continue rising (Jonas Jaegermeyr 2021).
Potatoes are harder to project due to the number of varieties, which means some types will be negatively impacted while others are affected positively. Ultimately, considerable increases in heat or rainfall will negatively impact crops, and livestock as well (SRCCL 2019).
Climate change is a slow process, which makes it tricky to talk about. But each of us hold the power to combat climate change by making small lifestyle changes here and there. At the very least, it’s important to be informed on these matters.
To inspire small lifestyle changes, NASA has many resources and initiatives available to the public. Alternatively, here are more specific ways each of us can work on reducing our carbon footprint. Hopefully with more awareness we’ll be able to ensure a future where our bellies stay full.
Few foods share as popular of a consensus around the world as cheese. With countless varieties, there’s definitely a cheese made specifically for your tastebuds. Cheddar, born from a village of the same name in Somerset, New England, has just evolved into its next form thanks to Wyke Farms.
Wyke Farms is the UK’s largest independent producer of cheese and renewable energy. By taking one small step for cheese, one giant leap for cheesekind — and using their award-winning Ivy’s Reserve Vintage Cheddar — Wyke Farms has created the world’s first carbon-neutral cheese.
Put simply, carbon neutral means having a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. In order to achieve neutrality, Wyke Farms worked closely with Carbon Trust, the world’s leading independent certification body for carbon footprints. A neutral status requires PAS 2060 certification to qualify. The PAS 2060 is internationally recognized and sets specifications for carbon neutrality.
Wyke Farm’s Managing Director, Rich Clothier highlights the company’s efforts:
‘This has been a 12-year journey for us. We started our ‘100% Green’ strategy in 2010 when we made a commitment to energy independence and generating all of our gas and electric from renewables. Since then, we have invested in our knowledge base across this business and on farm driving environmental improvement year on year. Ivy’s Reserve is a world first and an industry shake-up. This will continue to be our focus in the years ahead as we push for more net positive improvements.”
Aside from the benefits to our environment, Wyke Farm’s new carbon-neutral cheese still retains its award-winning flavor. Using wood, Ivy’s Reserve is matured for 18 months, making it complex, slightly sweet and nutty.
If you like to enjoy your cheese with a nice pairing of carbon-neutrality, Ivy’s Reserve Vintage is available at selected UK Lidl stores, Southwest ASDA, Tesco and online.
Blue Sky Family Farms, is a brand creating humane, ethical eggs, with their latest egg innovation being a line of free-range, pasture-raised eggs sustainably farmed with regenerative practices, that will debut on store shelves nationwide beginning August 10, called Helpful Hens
It’s a big step towards climate-friendly agriculture products, as the brand’s continues their efforts to research and implement regenerative techniques that create a vibrant ecosystem for its hens to flourish.
The Helpful Hens product line will include four styles of eggs – Pasture Raised Organic, Pasture Raised Non-GMO, Free Range Non-GMO, and Free Range Organic – all coming from hens that are raised in complete support of their natural behaviors, all while sustaining efforts to restore the earth to its most organic state.
Regenerative farming is a boost to sustainable efforts in food production, with techniques being implemented Blue Sky Farms showing as the following:
Practices that create a rich environment for plants, pollinators, and hens to thrive, including careful planning of nutrient-rich cover crops and trees to help absorb carbon while purifying the air.
Implementing a three-tiered vegetation program in the pasture including grasses, shrubs, and trees, allowing for carbon sequestration to occur at multiple elevations in the pasture.
Twenty species of diverse vegetation that will allow healthy interactions between plants and animals, and shade for hens.
Frequent testing of soil and bird behavior as a form of measurement to determine benchmarks for its regenerative practices and performance metrics for future farms.
Food waste has persisted as a global problem that many companies are trying to find solutions for. Upcycled foods and waste reduction are two industries that have formed to combat excess food waste, but 1.4 billion tons still gets tossed every year, the majority of which is at home or at restaurants.
On the restaurant end, there’s a large network of connected local restaurants called Too Good To Go that’s striving to make a massive impact on rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste.
Consumers can tap into this network via the Too Good To Go app, which allows them to reserve “Surprise Bags” from spots around them that are in the system for $5-$6. What you get in return is approximately $15 worth of food that the restaurant would have otherwise thrown out.
Overall, the restaurant wins by making a little extra money off of food they would’ve lost, you get to score on a massive discount for some food, and Too Good To Go profits slightly off of the cost of the bag. Pretty much, everybody benefits, including the planet, as food waste is cut and helps lower waste and resulting greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s not just restaurants that you can get food from, however, as Too Good To Go partners with restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets, and hotels. Currently, they’re linked with 75,000 different spots worldwide.
Too Good To Go, founded in 2016, is currently in the midst of a massive push to expand globally. They’ve recently made a debut in San Francisco, and can also be seen in New York City, Chicago, Austin, and other metropolises worldwide.
It’s one of the biggest ways to fight against food waste, and it pretty much works the same for a customer as a food delivery app would. Sure, there’s a lot more we can do at home to combat food waste too, but this is a pretty convenient way to get started.
Within the US, over half of the population drinks coffee. That’s 150 million people getting their caffeine fix, and typically at a three cup per day average. Additionally, single-use coffee pods have become a popular choice for caf-fiends with 41% of Americans owning a single-cup coffee maker.
Great for productivity, but not so awesome for our environment, over 50 billion paper cups are thrown away within the U.S. each year. It’s even said that discarded coffee pods, which are made of aluminum and plastic, could circle the entire globe a staggering 10 times. Despite this level of massive waste, coffee popularity shows no signs of slowing down.
To help combat coffee consumption waste, forward-thinking company NEXE Innovations has created the world’s first compostable single-use coffee pods. Founded in 2015, NEXE Innovations uses 3D-printing to design, prototype and patent the pods, offering a sustainable option for eco-conscious coffee lovers. The idea came through a desire to replace non-biodegradable plastic. Spending six years in development, the company is now a leader in plant-based manufacturing. Their first commercial product is aptly-named the NEXEpod.
“Through continued trial and error, we have developed a pod that can consistently withstand the heat and pressure of a Keurig coffee brewing system while also being plant-based, fully compostable and still provides the freshness and great taste that our consumers expect from a good cup of coffee. To be able to provide these qualities and do so in batches of thousands of pods at a time has been a very difficult process and a definite engineering feat,” says Ash Guglani, President of NEXE Innovations.
The company currently uses 3D-printing technology to quickly design the NEXEpods, moving from design to concept in under a day. They now have most of the necessary equipment to produce over 230 million of the bamboo and corn based pods per year.
Introduced earlier this year, XOMA Superfoods is the company’s in-house coffee and superfoods brand. Created as a vehicle to deliver high quality coffee and superfoods to market, XOMA also helps to ensure NEXE adheres to their sustainability goals. The first product offered was a soluble micro-ground coffee blend fortified in MCT-oil and packaged in the NEXEpod. Since then, they’ve expanded to offer additional options like their Keto and Mushroom coffees, each of which can be ordered online.
Moving forward, NEXE Innovations plans to continue expanding their proprietary coffee and superfoods lines into conscious coffee consumers. Only available on their website and Amazon currently, the company hopes to achieve Amazon Prime status soon. They’re also in talks with various other online platforms that cater to plant-based and coffee enthusiasts.