Dasani Water Will Soon Be Sold in Aluminum Cans
Coca-Cola is stepping up its green initiative by giving a makeover to its Dasani brand, which is the best selling bottled water brand in a country where bottled water is the best selling beverage.
The beverage giant will start to sell Dasani water in aluminum cans next month in the Northeast and plans to expand distribution to other parts of the country by 2020, according to Bloomberg. Aluminum bottles will follow the aluminum cans. Worldwide, aluminum is exponentially more likely to be recycled and to be made from recycled material. Additionally, aluminum is far less likely to end up in oceans and rivers.
Coca-Cola's packaging follows a move by its chief rival PepsiCo, which announced it would sell its water brand, Aquafina, in cans at restaurants and arenas. Dasani and Aquafina are the country's top two water brands, in that order, with combined sales of more than $2 billon per year, according to Bloomberg.
The change to Dasani's packaging could help Coca-Cola eliminate 1 billion virgin plastic bottles, made with non-recycled plastic, from its supply chain over the next five years, according to CNN.
"We are a consumer company, and as consumers say, 'Well, we'd like to try cans,' we're going to put cans in the market," said Bruce Karas, vice president of environment and sustainability at Coca-Cola, as Fast Company reported.
Dasani will still be available in plastic bottles too, but, as part of Coca-Cola's "World Without Waste" initiative, it will reduce the amount of plastic in those containers through a process called light-weighting. The company is also unveiling a new hybrid bottle made with up to 50 percent recycled plastic and renewable, plant-based materials, according to CNN.
Additionally, Coca-Cola will also test a new Dasani vending machine that requires customers to bring their own bottle if they want water or seltzer. The company will issue 100 machines, called PureFill, to test out if customers respond well to it and help Coke deal with its plastic waste problem.
"It's actually an experiment in how comfortable are people with that type of delivery," said Karas, as Fast Company reported.
Not using a package at all is the only low-impact solution, according to a recent report from Green Alliance, a non-profit based in the UK. The report noted that mining aluminum and transporting glass both have a very large carbon-footprint, which means alternatives to plastic are not actually sustainable, as Fast Company reported.
"Refill systems can and must replace single-use plastic water bottles," said Dianna Cohen, cofounder and CEO of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, to Fast Company. "The time is now for all of us to think 'reusable' instead of 'disposable.'"
The World Without Waste initiative is a response to a public shaming of Coca-Cola's outsized use of plastic. It produced 3.3 millions tons of plastic in 2017. And, a recent report by Greenpeace called Coca-Cola "the most prolific polluter" compared to other top brands, as CNN reported.
Coca-Cola hopes its move to reduce plastic will reinvigorate interest in its water brand, which it fears will slip if would-be customers refill water bottles for free at a sink or fountain.
"We really think about the future of this brand differentiating on sustainability credentials," said Lauren King, brand director for Dasani, who noted that Dasani is growing along with the bottled water trend, according to CNN.
Sweden's reindeer have a problem. In winter, they feed on lichens buried beneath the snow. But the climate crisis is making this difficult. Warmer temperatures mean moisture sometimes falls as rain instead of snow. When the air refreezes, a layer of ice forms between the reindeer and their meal, forcing them to wander further in search of ideal conditions. And sometimes, this means crossing busy roads.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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