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10 : 03 : 20

Veles turns food waste into cleaning products, Just Eat trials sustainable delivery boxes and travellers are keen to step out of their comfort zones.

An all-purpose cleaner made from food waste

Closed-loop cleaning by Veles, US
Closed-loop cleaning by Veles, US Closed-loop cleaning by Veles, US
Closed-loop cleaning by Veles, US Closed-loop cleaning by Veles, US

US – Veles has launched a closed-loop cleaning product made entirely from food waste.

The all-purpose cleaner is setting a new standard for sustainable home cleaning by being resource-negative – which means it does not use raw materials and treats waste as a resource. Created using a bio-refining process, the product contains various acids, such as acetic acid, lactic acid and alcohol to form its base, with only 3% comprised of essential oils for natural scent. Closing the loop completely, the product is also packaged in aluminium, which is infinitely recyclable.

With liquid cleaning products typically made from over 90% water, according to Veles, founder Amanda Weeks saw an opportunity to recover water from food waste streams. ‘The largest component of food waste is water and inside the 1.3bn tons of food wasted globally each year is 45 trillion gallons of water,’ she explains. According to the brand’s estimates, if every household in the US used a bottle of Veles cleaning product every month, it would divert 2.5m tons of food waste from landfill.

In our Food Waste Innovation market, we explore how brands are finding new applications for food waste, upcycling surplus into desirable new products.

Just Eat experiments with seaweed-based packaging

Seaweed-based container by Just Eat, UK Seaweed-based container by Just Eat, UK
Seaweed-based container by Just Eat, UK Seaweed-based container by Just Eat, UK

UK – Just Eat is taking action against the ecological impact of food delivery by testing the use of seaweed in its delivery boxes.

First launching on a trial-basis in London, Just Eat is partnering with sustainable packaging manufacturer Notpla to introduce a fully biodegradable, seaweed-based takeaway container. The brand has developed the packaging to be entirely recyclable and home-compostable, with the aim of mitigating the amount of plastic waste generated by their operations.

‘Over half a billion plastic boxes are used across the takeaway industry every year, and we know that eventually, they end up in landfill,’ says Andrew Kenny, Just Eat UK’s managing director. ‘This is why we’ve been working closely with Notpla to create an innovative alternative that is recyclable, home-compostable, and which degrades in a matter of weeks.’

Food and drink packaging is one of the key sources of household waste, but, as we uncover in Material Far Futures, pioneers are creating new solutions with smarter, stronger and less ecologically damaging alternatives.

This online reading group counters isolation in China

China – An online reading programme, Shanghai Book Fair, has been set up to ease the isolating effects of coronavirus (Covid-19) among Chinese nationals.

The programme is accessible online every day between 8:00pm and 9:00pm, and aims to break down social distance – exploring topics such as health, art, family, science and education. With many Chinese consumers experiencing feelings of fear amid the global epidemic, the platform hopes to ease worry and create connections.

‘We hope this programme can break the isolation between people during the epidemic outbreak and promote a positive lifestyle through online reading and culture sharing,’ says Xu Jiong, deputy director of the city’s publicity department. ‘It can allow residents to enjoy a high-quality and wide variety of cultural services at home.’

Amid global uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, there is an opportunity for brands to take a stand against distrust, disconnection and disenfranchisement. For more, read our macrotrend, The Dislocated World.

Love Reading Love Life by Shanghai Book Fair, Asia Love Reading Love Life by Shanghai Book Fair, Asia

Stat: Consumers are looking to travel to build resilience

A global study by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has found that 95% of travellers agree that travel is an opportunity to challenge themselves physically or mentally. The survey, which supports the hospitality brand’s Take Your Time initiative, examines the personal benefits of travel, such as taking risks.

For example, one third of respondents reported doing something on holiday that they didn’t realise they could, while in the UK, 38% of respondents said they have a greater ability to manage stress following time spent on holiday. ‘Today’s travellers are seeking purpose through authentic experiences, returning home with a different understanding of the world around them,’ says Christian Clerc, president of global operations at Four Seasons.

As consumers seek to break out of safe spaces and comfort zones, the travel sector is evolving in line with Resilience Culture.

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