Sustainability News: Waste-free shellfish, India talks trash & crisis becomes opportunity

by Sep 5, 2019

News of the Week

Waste-free Shellfish – The Spoon

Compostable, anti-microbial packaging that keeps food fresher, longer? Sounds like a dream. The same packaging, made from shellfish waste? THAT sounds like a fantasy. Thanks to CuanTec, turning Scotland’s seafood waste into compostable packaging is becoming a reality. Shellfish exoskeletons contain chitin – a valuable molecule and natural polymer already used in several applications. And CuanTec is doing research to use fermentation rather than harsh chemicals to extract the chitin and then mix it with biopolymers to create flexible, compostable film that can be used as food packaging.

India Talks Trash – Fast Company

India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, is over plastic. Fast Company journalist Melissa Locker writes that “with no processing plants in most cities, India is facing a trash crisis as some 70% of the plastic consumed there is simply discarded…” Modi responds to the crisis with a vow to ban the single use plastics that are threatening to trash the future. Amazon India and Walmart’s Flipkart heard Modi and subsequently pledged to make and meet sustainability goals that include using less (or no) plastic and increasing recyclable packaging. Flipkart may even have said something about electric delivery vehicles.

Crisis Becomes Opportunity – Fortune

The plastic problem-turned-crisis has inspired the world to look more closely at the climate and waste issues that are all around us and has compelled the R&D necessary to secure a healthy, prosperous future on earth. Many are despairing, but not Rob Kaplan and Vanessa Wright. At the Fortune Sustainability Forum, Kaplan shared, “I’ve been in the environmental space for 20 years. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a topic driven from almost obscurity to priority number one on a global scale so fast.”

Americans Say ‘Enough’ to Plastic

American consumers care about the problem of plastic waste more than ever – even more than climate change, our 2019 research reveals. We polled 1,000 Americans on environmental issues, and “plastics in the ocean” ranked as their top concern. Now is the time for brands to tell their plastic waste story, and to step up and give consumers what they want: alternatives to single-use plastic – perhaps some circular options.

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Ryan-Ashley Anderson

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