recycling of Unilever’s food packaging; Plastic ban in the EU; bamboo bottles


What packaging?weekly updates on new developments in the field of sustainability.

Unilever to recycle post-consumer polypropylene food packaging: Unilever has joined Nextek’s global NEXTLOOPP project to create food grade recycled polypropylene (rPP) from post-consumer packaging waste. Polypropylene (PP) is a commonly used packaging material for foods around the world. Yet post-consumer PP packaging is not widely recycled in conventional mechanical recycling infrastructure. Unilever has pledged to halve the use of virgin plastic in its packaging and phase out over 100,000 tonnes of plastic by 2025 with its “Less, Better, No Plastic” framework as a guiding principle for driving the transition to a circular economy.

The EU bans single-use plastics: Ten single-use plastic products (SUPs) that have ravaged European beaches for years will largely be banned from July 3 with the entry into force of the 2019 European Single-Use Plastics Directive. cotton swabs, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, balloon sticks, and Styrofoam food and beverage containers cannot be sold as of Saturday. Oxo-degradable plastic bags which are marketed as biodegradable but which, according to the EU, break down into microplastics which remain in the environment for a long time are also thrown in the trash. These disposable plastics represent around 70% of marine litter in Europe. Cafes and restaurants will now be forced to stock cups and straws made from bamboo, cellulose or other biodegradable materials. SUP bags, bottles, food and beverage containers for immediate consumption, packages and wrappers, tobacco filters, sanitary ware and wet wipes will still be restricted, while producers will have to pay for cleaning and organize awareness campaigns on their environmental impact. . The end goal is an EU circular economy model whereby all remaining disposable plastics will be reusable or recyclable by 2030.

Bamboo bottles as green alternatives to plastic: Even as the UN estimates that a million bottles are added to the world’s plastic waste pile every minute, Dhritiman Borah, a resident of Assam, had a glimmer of hope. A few years ago he started making bamboo bottles – an initiative that has found many takers across India. Bora, who has 20 years of crafting experience, originally said he only made a few hundred bottles, but now 5,000 bottles come out of his workshop every month. Known as the poor man’s wood, bamboo is also the fastest growing plant and plays a crucial role in the food and nutrition security of the tribal-dominated provinces of northeastern India. India has the highest, at 13.96 million hectares (34.4 million acres) of land cultivated with bamboo. It is the second richest country, after China, in terms of bamboo diversity with 136 species (125 indigenous and 11 exotic). Bora is not the only one. There are others. Debashish Kundu from West Bengal, also started making bamboo bottles after Covid-19 affected his catering business. Meanwhile, Pavan Kumar Vadde from the southern province of Andhra Pradesh has many business houses lined up to buy his bamboo bottles, which he has started making with some modifications.


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