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Can Loop’s 21st century milkman fix plastic plague?

TerraCycle's new circular shopping platform rescues big packaged brands from PR crisis

Remember the sea turtle with a straw fused up its nose? The viral image that broke your heart and made you swear off straws? There’s more. On February 4, the UK’s RSPCA released the latest round of disturbing photos of wildlife - maimed seals, ducks, deer, even cats - ensnared in plastic bags, bottles and other snaggy remnants of our disposable economy. A flurry of British media headlines cut to the chase: record numbers of animals are killed or injured by plastic.

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Global 100 eyebrow raisers

Big oil and big pharma aren’t everyone’s vision of sustainability superstars. So why are they on CK's Global 100 list?

 

With additional reporting by Toby A. A. Heaps

Over nearly a decade and a half of writing a weekly column and several books under the Ecoholic banner, I ranked endless streams of products from worst to best in terms of planetary impact, from beer companies to banks, footwear to ethical funds. Many weeks, judging the environmental and social costs of, say, a bar of soap was often tough. Evaluating the sustainability of an entire publicly-traded multi-billion-dollar corporation is, well, a whole different ball game.

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How Gucci gang became the world’s most sustainable fashion corporation

Paris-based Kering has been ranked the world's second most sustainable corporation overall

Neon green, according to Vogue.com, is "winter’s hottest trend.” But while the fashion world fleetingly embraces this season’s blinding shade of chartreuse, one major international apparel corporation has been betting on the staying power of a deeper shade of green. Yes, the gang behind Gucci is making high heels with bio plastics, weaving abandoned fishing nets into men’s jackets and cladding metallic accessories with recycled palladium from old catalytic converters used in medical appliances.

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On the menu

The food industry is taking notice of the growing market movement towards alternatives to conventional meat

At a bustling restaurant in downtown Toronto, rumour has it Silicon Valley’s hottest innovation is here somewhere. Not the latest smartphone wedged to a diner’s ear two tables over, but a heaving burger, served up with pickles and special sauce, according the specials board. So, what does this burger do that makes Bill Gates and friends line up to throw bags of cash at it? Technically, it sizzles and “bleeds” much like any other rare burger – except no cows, or turkeys or chicken for that matter, were harmed in its making.

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Trash talk

A recent move by China to tighten recycling requirements has thrown municipal recycling schemes across Canada into turmoil.

In a riot of clamouring bottles and backfiring brakes, a week’s worth of your trash gets trucked off to be recycled. It's all very comforting to those of us who brag that we recycle everything – unless, like half the planet, your town was selling your discards to China.

After years of buying over 50 per cent of the world’s scrap paper and plastic to fuel its growing resource-hungry economy, China announced it’s through with being the world’s “garbage dump” and, as of January 1, barred imports of our recycling it says are too often contaminated with garbage and even hazardous waste.

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