42 Food Giants Pledge to Ax Plastic

2018 gave us a lot of eco-friendly changes in the food industry: Pepsi debuted reusable bottles for flavored beverages, Dunkin Donuts ditched foam cups from their packaging, even McDonald’s followed suit with foam cups and plastic straws. I hate to say that this environmentalist trend among food giants has reached its peak with the good news I bring now, but it does feel like a culmination of sorts.

A total of 42 food companies in the UK — composed of retailers, supermarkets, manufacturers, and brands — have pledged to ax single-use plastics by 2025.

Together, the signatories represent roughly 80% of the plastics sold in UK supermarkets. The initiative . . . has set a series of goals to cut wasteful packaging over the course of the next seven years. For starters, the initiative will ensure that 100% of plastic packaging must either be recyclable, compostable, or reusable in order to make it onto supermarket shelves. Some supermarkets have gone even further and declared that plastic packaging will no longer be used on fruits and vegetables.

The signatories include UK brands like Asda, Nestle, Lidl, Coca-Cola, Aldi, PepsiCo, Unilever, Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons, Sainsbury, and many others. Besides ensuring the elimination of single-use plastics, the pledge also covers recycling. The current recycling rate is 30%, and the participating food giants seek to bump it up to 70%.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who is backing the pact, said in a statement: “Our ambition to eliminate avoidable plastic waste will only be realized if government, businesses, and the public work together.”

In addition to bringing super chic eco-bags to the supermarket, well, I guess I just have to remember this pledge to feel less guilty when buying those apples.

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Pepsi Debuts Ingenious Reusable Bottle

There’s a lot you can do with a plastic bottle. Turn it into an electricity-free lamp or, if you have enough of it, a piece of furniture. Now that sea levels are rising at unstoppable rates, Pepsi is taking sustainability to heart. The beverage manufacturer is debuting the Drinkfinity pod system, a 20-ounce reusable water bottle.

The pods themselves, which feature two compartments—one for liquid flavoring and one for dry ingredients like chia seeds—are made with 65 percent less plastic than a standard 20-ounce bottle.

Four varieties of flavorful pods aim to replace caffeine and sweet tea, and boast vitamin and electrolyte benefits. Talk about an all-in-one sports drink. At $20 a bottle and $5 for a pack of pods, Pepsi isn’t hogging all the cash delights.

To round out a drink tailor made for the present day and age, PepsiCo will donate $1 from each purchase made in 2018 to Water.org (mitigating the product’s potential success, the company has capped their contribution at $100,000).

Gatorade for a cause? I’m all in!

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