Waitrose products will be black plastic packaging free by end of 2019

…And black plastic will not be used for Waitrose meat, fish, fruit and veg by end of this year.

Waitrose has pledged to not sell any own label food in black plastic beyond 2019 – this is the earliest date a supermarket has committed to removing black plastic from its shelves.

Reducing the use of plastics is a top priority for Waitrose, which has already removed 65% of black plastic from its fruit and vegetable packaging. The retailer will stop using black plastic for meat, fish, fruit and vegetables by the end of 2018.

Last year the warmest year on record without an El Niño

Provisional figures for global average near-surface temperatures confirm that last year, 2017, was the warmest year on record without the influence of warming from El Niño.

When viewed alongside 2015 and 2016 – both of which were dominated by a significant El Niño – last year was the second- or third-warmest year for annual global temperatures since 1850.

Scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia‘s (UEA) Climatic Research Unit produce the HadCRUT4 dataset, which is used to estimate global temperature.

Waitrose to Stop Selling Packs of Plastic Straws by September 2018 and Reduce Black Plastic Trays

© WaitroseThe supermarket Waitrose will remove black plastic trays from meat, fish and fruit and veg ranges by end of year.

The retailer has today announced that it will stop selling packs of disposable straws from September 2018. This builds on its track-record for being the first supermarket to stop selling items containing microbeads from September 2016 and switching exclusively to paper-stem cotton buds. Plastic straws will be replaced by non-plastic alternatives.

Iceland supermarket chain aims to be plastic free by 2023

Supermarket chain Iceland has said it will eliminate or drastically reduce plastic packaging of all its own-label products by the end of 2023.

Iceland says the move will affect more than a thousand own-label products.

New ranges will be packaged using a paper-based tray, rather than plastic.

It follows recent outcries over the packaging of cauliflower “steaks” and coconuts, and Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet programme, which showed vivid images of plastic pollution.

Read more at BBC.co.uk

How flowering plants conquered the world

Scientists think they have the answer to a puzzle that baffled even Charles Darwin: How flowers evolved and spread to become the dominant plants on Earth.

Flowering plants, or angiosperms, make up about 90% of all living plant species, including most food crops.

In the distant past, they outpaced plants such as conifers and ferns, which predate them, but how they did this has has been a mystery.

New research suggests it is down to genome size – and small is better.

Read more at BBC.co.uk

Scientists react as Government launches Environment plan

The Government has today launched its 25 Year Environment Plan, pledging to improve the natural environment by 2042.

Many headlines have been made by the pledge to eradicate avoidable plastic waste, but the plan also considers sustainable land management, nature enhancement and reducing pollution, among other things.

Leading environmental scientists at the University of Reading have reacted to the government’s plan.