Want your groceries wrapped in banana leaves? Try shopping in Vietnam
Vietnam and Thailand are taking a different approach to reducing the environmental impact of packaging. They’re not bothering with processing plants in to plastic, instead going straight to the source and wrapping groceries in banana leaves. Reaction has been favourable during trials in a Lotte in Ho Chi Minh City, which is hoping to use organic packaging on other products, including meats.
Indonesian plant to produce 25,000 tonnes of recycled plastic a year
Jakarta is about to get a new recycling plant. Veolia Services Indonesia has started construction work on the plant in Indonesia and once operational is expected to generate 25,000 tonnes of recycled PET per year. One of the customers for the projects is Danone-AQUA, which is aiming to collect and recycle more plastic waste than it produces.
The plant, together with the educational and collection services being created around it, is being promoted as a sign of Indonesia’s commitment to reducing its impact on the environment and will encourage more inward investment in green tech.
WWF report paints disappointing picture of move to sustainable palm oil
The WWF and ZSL has called into question commitments to using sustainable palm oil. Their latest report claims a quarter of members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) submitted incomplete progress reports, while a fifth didn’t submit anything. They’ve also claimed while most members have committed to remove non-sustainable palm oil from products by 2020, few are on the path to achieving that goal.
45 companies were suspended and another four ejected from the RSPO for failing to submit their reports.
You can check whether your suppliers are members on the RSPO website.
Can eBay revive the high street with “pop-up” store?
Online auction giant eBay is opening a pop-up concept store aimed at “reinventing” the high street. The store, which will open in Wolverhampton, will allow local businesses to “showcase” their products and is part of a project to show how online and the high street can work together.
We shall be watching with interest.
ExxonMobil commits $100M to lower emissions research
ExxonMobil has committed $100 Million over the next decade to renewables research at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The NREL currently receives the majority of its funding from the Department of Energy, its owner. Exxon is hoping its investment will create innovations in “lower emissions” technology that can be scaled, as well as benefit from access to more than a dozen other federal laboratories and their research.
The investment comes two months after the company was nearly banned from lobbying the EU Parliament after refusing to appear before a climate change committee.
US behaviour at Arctic conference a “moral failure” – Inuit leader
Dalee Sambo Dorough, chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, has condemned the US over its stance at the Arctic Conference. He described the stance as a “moral failure” and called into question whether its undermined the Arctic Council.
It’s been reported the US blocked any mention of “Climate Change” in the final statement, preferring to focus on growing Chinese influence and the opportunities melting sea ice present to exploit oil and gas reserves.
The Inuit are at the forefront of Climate Change in the arctic, seeing their way of life increasingly under threat as temperatures rise and sea ice recedes.
EU should put a quarter of its budget towards fighting climate change
Eight EU countries have called for a quarter of the bloc’s budget be invested in fighting climate change. Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden have also said the EU should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. It comes on the back of an almost endless stream of reports warning of the causes and consequences of human activity on the environment.
So far the proposal has been blocked by Italy, Germany and Poland.
Could removing material from organic solar cells make them more robust?
Although easier to produce and more flexible, organic solar cells haven’t been able to compete with more “traditional” varieties in cold and damp conditions. A technique developed by researchers at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering may solve this problem. After treatment they stripped the top layer off the organic cells and found the resulting panels to be stronger and more robust under harsh conditions.
Eco-start-up claims algae panels could clean air and provide food
Creating food and cleaning air are the twin objectives of a technology developed by Aroborea. The UK based start-up has created panels that allow algae to grow quickly, generating both clean air and an organic biomass that can be turned into food. The company claims its panels can clear air at a rate 100 times faster than a similar volume of trees.
With the population growing and food in greater demand, algae are increasingly being turned to as a viable food source. Aroborea’s tech could turn the sides of buildings into vertical food farms.
Students encouraged to submit sustainable tourism theses
Students studying tourism are being encouraged to submit their thesis for a competition sponsored by TUI and CELTH. Entry forms can be requested from CELTH, and submissions must be from theses completed between June ’18 and August ’19.
€25,000 prize up for grabs for circular economy start-ups
An award part-funded by the EU is offering start-ups in the circular economy a €25,000 award, as well as networking opportunities and support. Applications have to be received by the end of June.
Image by Michael Davis-Burchat.