Lego is replacing its clear plastic bags with recyclable paper

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The company wants its packaging to be sustainable by 2025, so the crinkly bags have got to go. If you buy a Lego set today, the toy bricks come packed in tiny numbered plastic bags. Every year, the toy manufacturer uses hundreds of millions of those bags. But the company is starting to phase out single-use plastic, with the goal of making its packaging sustainable by 2025—and those bags are a big part of it. Next year, it will begin rolling out an alternative, with bricks packed in Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper instead. Read Full Story

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Seventh Generation’s new line gets rid of all its plastic packaging

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Get ready to clean differently: For its new zero-plastic line, the natural cleaning supply company has also reinvented its products as powders instead of liquids. Seventh Generation, the cleaning product company known for its natural products, has spent years tweaking its packaging to improve sustainability, including a massive push to use more post-consumer recycled plastic. But the company is now using a different tactic, and beginning to move away from plastic completely, starting with a new line called Zero Plastic Homecare. Read Full Story

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Companies talk a lot about ending plastic pollution—but they’re not doing much to back it up

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A new report ranks companies based on things like packaging design, reusable material use, and investment in recycling. The highest score is a B–. Many companies failed entirely. For the past several years, the issue of plastic pollution—and how to fight it—has been a mainstay of corporate sustainability initiatives. But even as brands like Tide and Crest begin to experiment with reusable packaging , and as companies make pledges to improve packaging, no large companies are doing enough to solve the larger problem. Read Full Story

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Green is good, right? Consumers don’t always see it that way

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Researchers have found that consumers think eco-friendly products are less effective than their traditional, more polluting counterparts. Scroll through Instagram, and you’ll notice many brands touting their eco-friendly credentials. There’s an image of Allbirds, which uses sustainable wool to make high-tops, and Adidas, which is using plastic pulled out of the ocean to make running shoes. Blueland sells refillable cleaning spray bottles and tablets of soap that you dissolve in water, to cut down on waste. Grove makes toilet paper out of sustainable bamboo. Read Full Story

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This folding coffee cup eliminates the need for a plastic lid

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Unocup won the Packaging category in the 2020 Innovation by Design Awards. Tom Chan was just a sophomore at Cooper Union in 2015 when he came up with the original Unocup concept: a single unit with an origami-like lid that you fold into place to seal liquid inside, eliminating the need for single-use plastic lids. Countless coffee-shop interviews and more than a thousand prototypes later, he and long-time friend Kaanur Papo founded Unocup, in 2019. Funded by a Kickstarter campaign, they are now marketing their cup, a 100% plastic-free, compostable unit that replaces the traditional lid with paper folds that seal the drink tightly. “When people think of sustainable solutions,” Papo says, “they think of certain compromises that have to be made. What’s really exciting about this is that it’s a sustainable and practical solution at the same time.” Currently fulfilling small orders, ranging from 10 to 2,000 cups, that …

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This reusable ‘Origami Bottle’ folds to fit in your pocket

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Foldable, reusable packaging could accelerate the switch away from single-use plastics. If you push down on certain points on the new reusable water bottle called the Origami Bottle , the container collapses, folding up so it can easily fit in your bag or even squeeze inside your pocket. The design makes use of a unique geometrical structure that’s sturdy when unfolded—and holds 25 ounces of water—but quickly transforms when empty, with the aim of helping reusable packaging compete with single-use plastic. Read Full Story

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Daily Harvest’s CEO reveals new packaging, talks bootstrapping

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Founder and CEO Rachel Driori talks candidly about the cost of adding compostable containers, and why she’s moving ahead despite the hit to her company’s margins. Rachel Drori founded Daily Harvest in 2015 with a mission of providing organic, fruit and veggie-packed foods for people on the go. The company today is announcing new packaging that aligns with its “clean” ethos: Starting in April, its containers will be home and commercially compostable. It will first roll out the new packaging in its harvest bowls, soups, oat bowls, and chia bowls. (The company is also resizing some of its products; harvest bowls will grow to 150% of current size, while the chia and oat bowls will be reduced to about 75% of current size.) Though privately held, Daily Harvest is often noted for its celebrity investors—Serena Williams, Bobby Flay, and Gwyneth Paltrow are all backers—Driori bootstrapped the business in its early …

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Walmart, Target, and CVS team up to reinvent single-use plastic bags

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First they came for plastic cups. Now they’re coming for plastic bags. In 2018, McDonald’s and Starbucks teamed up to create an eco-friendly alternative to the single-use soft drink cup. Coordinated by the investment firm Closed Loop Partners with support from the design studio Ideo, it was an unprecedented, joint effort between rivals to fix the ecological impact at the core of their business. Several of the resulting winners were piloted in stores earlier this year . Read Full Story

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This eco-friendly hand sanitizer kills germs and is plastic-free

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By Humankind’s multitasking hand sanitizer kills viruses, moisturizes your skin, and keeps single-use plastic out of landfills. Just over a year after it launched on a mission to eliminate excess packaging and single-use plastic from personal care products, by Humankind has made a name for itself with smartly designed items such as an all-natural refillable deodorant stick, a well-reviewed bar shampoo and conditioner, and just-add-water mouthwash tablets . Read Full Story

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