Top Stories

March 04, 2022


FMCG giants launch initiative to scale flexible plastics recycling

Five fast-moving consumer goods companies – Unilever, Nestle, Mars, PepsiCo and Mondelez – have launched a Europe-based flexible plastic recycling scheme, the ‘Flexible Packaging Initiative’. In a statement, member companies highlight the need for better recycling infrastructure for flexible packaging, which is used to house 68% of all products sold within the EU annually by volume and accounts for 44% of the bloc’s post-consumer packaging waste. In its five-point plan, the initiative calls on governments to provide incentives for advanced recycling solutions and to create more ambitious plastic recycling targets. It highlights the need for the bloc to support a ban for landfill and to adopt measures to reduce incineration, as well as implement mandatory collection of flexible packaging from buildings, and a new mandate to standardise on-pack packaging disposal instructions. (edie)


Agribusiness giants tried to thwart EU deforestation plan after Cop26

Five of the world’s biggest agribusiness firms sought to weaken a draft EU law banning food imports linked to deforestation, eight days after pledging to accelerate forest protection at COP26, according to documents seen by environmental NGO Greenpeace Unearthed. Trade associations representing agribusiness giants ADM, Bunge, Cargill, LDC and Viterra warned the EU that pursuing plans to segregate commodities according to deforestation links risked soaring prices and food shortages. In a leaked letter obtained by Greenpeace Unearthed, the trade associations said the proposed legislation would reduce “the offer for affordable food” by “increasing costs for farmers and EU-based industries.” The associations suggested a mass balance system to monitor “sustainable volumes” of commodities. However, environmental groups discredit this alternative, saying it will allow deforestation-linked commodities to enter EU markets undetected. (The Guardian)


TotalEnergies target of lawsuit to test ‘greenwashing’ in adverts

Oil and gas group TotalEnergies is the target of a test case brought by campaign groups over “greenwashing” in advertising, which could have implications for wider “green” marketing. The legal action by a coalition of environmental NGOs, led by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Notre Affaire à Tous and ClientEarth, argues that advertising campaigns by TotalEnergies breached European consumer protection law because it misled the public about the group’s commitment to be “carbon neutral” by 2050 despite commercial planning to invest in future fossil fuel projects. Campaigners say the case sought to challenge the oil and gas sector’s decarbonisation claims and set a standard for “the definition of net-zero in ordinary understanding”. TotalEnergies responded to say it is on track to meet its 2050 goal and called greenwashing allegations “false”. (Financial Times)*


Premier League considers adding human rights to new owners’ test

The English football league organisation Premier League is considering adding a human rights component to its owners’ and directors’ test as it conducts a review of the league’s governance. The review is part of a wide-ranging reassessment of the league’s governance and comes as pressure grows to expand the criteria by which it assesses prospective owners. The move comes after high-profile media interest in Chelsea club owner Roman Abramovich, his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his decision to put the club up for sale following talks of government sanctions on Russian oligarchs. League officials insist the review is part of normal practice and that human rights is one of many issues under review. Any changes to the tests would require approval from at least 14 of 20 clubs. (The Guardian)


Ford separates its EV business in drive to accelerate EV production

US automaker Ford has confirmed a restructuring of its business that will see its electric vehicle (EV) operations split from its petrol and diesel division. The move is aimed at accelerating the delivery of its EV and emissions commitments while boosting profitability. Building on a commitment to invest at least $30 billion in EVs by the end of 2025, Ford stated that the formation of its Ford Model e business unit will “accelerate innovation and delivery of breakthrough EVs at scale”. Ford Model e will also be part of the business tasked with developing vehicle software platforms and innovating the retailing experience. Ford’s EV goal is for one-third of all global sales to be accounted for by EVs by 2026, increasing to one-half of global sales by 2030. (edie)

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