- Bottled water giants back new global plan to cut plastic waste
- Here’s an incredibly simple solution to plastic packaging waste
- Robert Downey Jr. has vowed to use robotics and AI to significantly clean up the Earth in the next decade
- U.S. Renewable Power Capacity Surpasses Coal For The First Time
- Levi’s found a way to make hemp feel like cotton, and it could have big implications for your wardrobe
1) Bottled water giants back new global plan to cut plastic waste
Evian’s mother company, Danone, is partnering with packaging giant TetraPak and other global bottled water brands on a new initiative to boost plastic recycling especially in developing countries. Image: The world’s biggest yoghurt maker Danone and food packaging giant Tetra Pak are among companies leading a global scheme to reduce plastic waste, launched on Tuesday, as public concern rises over the environmental damage caused by rubbish. The 3R Initiative—also backed by Swiss food giant Nestle, which owns Perrier and Vittel bottled waters, and French utility Veolia—aims to reduce, recover and recycle more plastic waste by helping companies measure and reach pollution-cutting goals. “We wanted to create a mechanism that could incentivise new and expanded collection and recycling of waste plastic,” said Julianne Baroody, a director at US-based non-profit Verra which will craft new standards for measuring plastic waste. Companies are trying to improve their environmental record, as consumers become increasingly aware of the damaging impact of plastic, with millions of tonnes of food packaging and bottles ending up in landfills and oceans each year.
2) Here’s an incredibly simple solution to plastic packaging waste
Solving the global plastic pollution problem is a dilemma that has many innovators and companies scratching their heads. Better recyclables, thinner and more compact packaging, biodegradable materials, and refillable reusables are some of the solutions that get bandied around. All of these are valuable ideas, but what if we dug deeper and analyzed the actual products being shipped? Perhaps these could be reformulated in such a way as not to need the kind of packaging that we’ve come to view as necessary. When you stop to think about it, much of what we’re shipping around the world is water . Whether it’s cleaning products or personal care products, these are mostly made up of water, with ingredients mixed in to clean, moisturize, color, or do whatever task you need. Now imagine if we could remove the water and only ship the additive. It could come in dry tablet or bar form and, depending on its use, could be dissolved in water to create a product just as strong as anything you’d buy at the store, or used in bar form directly on your body.
3) Robert Downey Jr. has vowed to use robotics and AI to significantly clean up the Earth in the next decade
Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t pretend to be a brilliant scientist — even though he’s played Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, for the past 11 years. But on Tuesday night he attended Amazon’s new open-to-the-public Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics, and Space (re:MARS) tech conference in Las Vegas — a room filled with artificial-intelligence legends, astronauts, and other dignitaries — as a keynote speaker. And just when the crowd thought Downey was just there to entertain, he got the audience to cheer: At the end of his talk he announced that he was launching a new initiative called Footprint Coalition. Its goal is nothing less than to use robotics, artificial intelligence, and technology to clean up the Earth and reverse its carbon footprint in a decade.
4) U.S. Renewable Power Capacity Surpasses Coal For The First Time
The revolution in renewable power hit a new milestone in April. Last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released it’s latest Energy Infrastructure Update (EIU), with data through April 2019. According to a press release by the non-profit SUN DAY Campaign, which analyzed the data, “that was enough to push renewable energy’s share of total available installed U.S. generating capacity up to 21.56%. By comparison, coal’s share dropped to 21.55% (down from 23.04% a year ago).” The press release also notes that: FERC only reports data for utility-scale facilities (i.e., those rated 1-MW or greater) and therefore its data does not reflect the capacity of distributed renewables, notably rooftop solar PV which – according to the EIA – accounts for approximately 30% of the nation’s electrical generation by solar. That would suggest that solar capacity is now actually 4% – or more – of the nation’s total and could increase by more than 20,000 MW by May 2022.”
5) Levi’s found a way to make hemp feel like cotton, and it could have big implications for your wardrobe
Denim icon Levi Strauss & Co. debuted garments made from a soft hemp-cotton blend in March, and head of innovation Paul Dillinger said he expects 100% cottonized-hemp products in about five years. Hemp uses significantly less water and chemicals than cotton during cultivation. Levi’s has found a way to soften hemp using far less water than was previously used. Dillinger said the long-term goal is to incorporate sustainable cotton blends by using fibers such as hemp into all of its products. This article is part of Business Insider’s ongoing series on Better Capitalism. With the legalization of hemp in the United States last December, the industry has been exploding: Reports and Data estimates it’ll be worth $13.03 billion by 2026. While you’ve probably noticed hemp-derived CBD products everywhere, hemp also has major implications for sustainable clothing — and denim icon Levi Strauss & Co. has made significant progress in making this happen.