Top Stories

December 10, 2021


L’Oréal to source recycled plastic for cosmetic packaging from Veolia

Cosmetics giant L’Oréal and waste and resource management company Veolia have announced a new partnership for the supply of recycled plastic for L’Oréal’s packaging worldwide. According to Veolia, using recycled plastic for cosmetic packaging can avoid 50% to 70% of CO2 emissions compared to a standard bottle. Veolia utilises a “pelletisation” technology to recycle plastics, which produces plastic at a quality equivalent to that of virgin plastic. The plastic used will be derived from waste from consumer packaging, especially plastic bottles. The new partnership works to meet the ‘L’Oréal for the Future’ sustainability programme, which includes commitments such as moving to recycled or bio-based sources for 100% of the plastics used in L’Oréal’s products’ packaging, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% per finished product by 2030. (ESG Today)


Uber, Deliveroo and other gig economy firms face strict new rules in Europe

Legislators in Europe have proposed tough new rules for gig economy companies such as Uber and Amazon-backed Deliveroo. The proposals published by the European Commission are a major step toward requiring gig economy companies to classify drivers, couriers, cleaners, fitness coaches, masseuses and other workers who use apps and online platforms to find work as employees. The proposals have been welcomed by labour unions and could affect an estimated 4.1 million gig economy workers across Europe, although they have to go through several legislative steps before they become law. Moving to an employee status will entitle the gig economy workers to a minimum wage, holiday pay, unemployment and health benefits, and other legal protections depending on the country where they work. (CNBC)


EU confirms first green finance taxonomy rules, key decisions still to come

The European Union has passed the first set of rules under its new green finance taxonomy, which determines which activities can be classed as "green". Decisions have been taken on sectors including shipping, renewable energy and car manufacturing. In car manufacturing, only zero-emission vehicles will be classed as ‘green’. Shipping is badged as a “transitional economic activity”, with the EU stating that it is a less carbon-intensive mode of transport than many alternatives including aviation. Tighter emissions rules will come into effect from 2026. There could, from this point, be a ‘green’ classification for certain shipping technologies. The most politically sensitive decisions remain outstanding. In particular, nations are split over whether gas and nuclear are badged as transitional activities, and whether some parts of these sectors could be labelled green. (edie)


New Zealand to address tobacco, ban cigarettes for future generations

New Zealand are expected to enact a new law next year to prevent anyone born after 2008 to buy cigarettes or tobacco products in their lifetime. The move is part of a sweeping crackdown on smoking announced by New Zealand's health ministry, which will reduce access to tobacco and restrict nicotine levels in cigarettes. As part of the measures, the government has introduced other tobacco controls, including significantly restricting where cigarettes can be sold to remove them from supermarkets and corner stores. The number of shops authorised to sell cigarettes will be drastically reduced to under 500 from around 8,000 currently with licenses. New Zealand’s health authorities also warned of the harms of vaping, quoting research of hazardous agents found in e-cigarette liquids, but stopped short of regulating it. (BBC News)


McDonald's opens its first net-zero carbon restaurant in the UK

McDonald's UK & Ireland has opened a new-build restaurant which is its first to meet net-zero carbon standards in construction and operation. The restaurant, in Shropshire, will act as a blueprint for McDonald’s UK & Ireland’s future new-build and retrofitted restaurants, as it works towards its interim commitment to achieve net-zero for all offices and restaurants by 2030. To reduce emissions from construction, the project was planned to maximise efficiencies and to incorporate innovative recycled materials. The cladding, for example, is made from recycled IT equipment and white household goods. To reduce operational emissions, an onsite solar array has been fitted, as well as two wind turbines that will significantly decrease its reliance on the grid.  Additionally, there are electric vehicle charging points on site. (edie)


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B4SI Annual Review 2021