The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
First 'Plastic Free' Label Debuts to Help Shoppers Cut Waste
On Wednesday, however, the environmental group A Plastic Planet debuted the world's first "Plastic Free Trust Mark" to help shoppers know that their products are packaged entirely without the non-biodegradable material, which harms marine life and has entered the larger food chain.
"Now we all know the damage our addiction to plastic has caused, we want to do the right thing and buy plastic-free. But it is harder than you think and a clear no-nonsense label is much needed," said A Plastic Planet co-founder Sian Sutherland in a statement.
"Our Trust Mark cuts through the confusion of symbols and labels and tells you just one thing—this packaging is plastic-free and therefore guilt-free. Finally shoppers can be part of the solution, not the problem."
According to Packaging Europe, Trust Mark-accredited packaging will include materials such as carton board, wood pulp, glass, metal and certified-compostable biomaterials.
Iceland Foods, which pledged to eliminate plastic packaging from its own brand of products by 2023, will sell eggs, cottage pie and vegetable burgers that feature the new "plastic free" label, which the company says will remove more than 600 tonnes of plastic out of circulation annually. Many of its other products are expected to make the switch.
"With the grocery retail sector accounting for more than 40 percent of plastic packaging in the UK, it's high time that Britain's supermarkets came together to take a lead on this issue," said Iceland managing director, Richard Walker, in a statement. "I'm proud to lead a supermarket that is working with A Plastic Planet to realize a plastic-free future for food and drink retail."
Ekoplaza, which launched the world's first plastic-free supermarket aisle in Amsterdam this past February, will roll out the Trust Mark at 74 branches across the Netherlands. It aims to have each store feature the label on selected Ekoplaza brands by the end of the year.
Teapigs co-founder Louise Cheadle said the company is pleased to add the mark to its packaging.
"A lot of tea drinkers have been surprised to learn that many teabags contain plastic," Cheadle said in a statement. "Our tea 'temples' have always been plastic free and our clear inner bags (that keep the tea nice and fresh) are made from Natureflex which looks like plastic but is made from wood pulp. The trust mark will make it easy for consumers to make the right plastic-free choices."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Allegra Kirkland, Jeremy Deaton, Molly Taft, Mina Lee and Josh Landis
Climate change is already here. It's not something that can simply be ignored by cable news or dismissed by sitting U.S. senators in a Twitter joke. Nor is it a fantastical scenario like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012 that starts with a single crack in the Arctic ice shelf or earthquake tearing through Los Angeles, and results, a few weeks or years later, in the end of life on Earth as we know it.
Air pollution particles that a pregnant woman inhales have the potential to travel through the lungs and breach the fetal side of the placenta, indicating that unborn babies are exposed to black carbon from motor vehicles and fuel burning, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.
Teen activist Greta Thunberg delivered a talking-to to members of Congress Tuesday during a meeting of the Senate Climate Change Task Force after politicians praised her and other youth activists for their efforts and asked their advice on how to fight climate change.
The University of California system will dump all of its investments from fossil fuels, as the Associated Press reported. The university system controls over $84 billion between its pension fund and its endowment. However, the announcement about its investments is not aimed to please activists.
By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
World leaders have a formidable task: setting a course to save our future. The extreme weather made more frequent and severe by climate change is here. This spring, devastating cyclones impacted 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Record heatwaves are hitting Europe and other regions — this July was the hottest month in modern record globally. Much of India is again suffering severe drought.
By Mark Hertsgaard
The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."