Sustainable Wins: Eco News for 19th June 23

Sustainable Wins: Intro

Welcome, to Play It Green’s weekly sustainability news, where we bring you the latest updates on sustainable wins that are shaping our world for the better. In today’s edition, we highlight three inspiring stories that showcase the power of individual actions. These actions drive positive change and influencw businesses towards a greener future.

Join us as we celebrate these sustainable wins and discover how each and every one of us can make a difference. Read on to explore these remarkable stories and find out how you can contribute to a greener future. Together, let’s be the change we want to see in the world.

Sustainable Wins: Mars Trials Paper Wrappers

In an exciting sustainability move, Mars Inc. has launched a pilot test with Tesco, its U.K. retail partner, introducing paper-based packaging for their popular Mars bar. For a limited time, Mars bars wrapped in recyclable paper packaging will grace the shelves of Tesco stores. This trial aims to significantly reduce plastic usage associated with these beloved candy bars.

Richard Sutherland-Moore, a packaging expert at Mars Wrigley U.K.’s Research and Development Centre, expressed their commitment to exploring alternative packaging solutions for their confectionery products. The challenge lay in finding the right paper packaging that would ensure food safety and prevent waste.

As well as this, the initiative aligns with Mars Inc.’s Sustainable in a Generation Plan. Their aim to reduce their reliance on virgin plastics. As well as this, the company plans to apply the insights gained from the Tesco pilot to further its sustainability goals.

Tesco’s packaging development manager, Andrew Flood, expressed enthusiasm for their partnership.  Furthermore, he applauded the alternative Mars bar packaging as it aligns with their strategy of reducing plastic and packaging in their business.

Sustainable Wins Mars and Tescos are collaborating to sell Mars bars with recycled paper wrappers
Tescos are collaborating with Mars to sell Mars bars with recycled paper wrappers

Read on to discover more inspiring stories of people and businesses making a positive impact on our planet and be inspired to be part of the change.

Sustainable Wins: Co-Op to Restore Peatlands

The Co-op supermarket is making history with a ground-breaking charity partnership. The partnership aims to restore carbon-removing peatland habitats across the UK. Teaming up with the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds), the Co-op aims to revive upland peatland habitats covering. Incredibly they will revive enough land to cover around 400 football pitches. Focused on repairing eroded peatland on RSPB-owned land in Scotland and Wales. The initiative enhances carbon sequestration, regulates water flow, improves water quality, and reduces flood risk.

With nearly 80% of the UK’s peatlands degraded, preserving these crucial carbon sinks is vital. The initial focus is on Cerniau in Powys, Wales and Lumbister in one of Shetland’s most northern islands.

Rebecca Munro, RSPB’s executive director for income and conservation investment, emphasises the partnership’s significance in addressing the climate crisis. As well as this it provides a lasting refuge for wildlife. Aligned with the Co-op’s 10-point Climate Action Plan, this collaboration is helping to drive a net-zero value chain by 2040.

Interestingly, carbon removals resulting from peatland restoration won’t count towards the Co-op’s carbon targets. It will be an external additional benefit. While climate change, peat burning, and extraction degrade peatland, responsible retailers like the Co-op have taken action. Since 2021, they exclusively sell peat-free alternatives.

Sustainable Wins Peatland is a great carbon sink and needs restoring in the UK
Peat land is a great carbon sink and needs restoring in the UK

Stay tuned for more inspiring sustainability news and discover how more people and businesses positively impact our environment.

Sustainable Wins: Baking Soda Could Solve Hydrogen Storage Issues

In a world of rising temperatures, the consensus is clear: we need energy sources with minimal carbon emissions. That means moving beyond coal, oil, and natural gas and embracing renewable alternatives. One promising option is clean hydrogen, a renewable energy carrier produced without fossil fuels.

Hydrogen, the universe’s most abundant element, holds immense potential. With its non-toxic and highly combustible properties, hydrogen is gaining attention from researchers worldwide. The problem with Hydrogen is how to store it safely and researchers have come up with an innovative solution. Autrey Gutierrez and the team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have found that baking soda – a non-toxic, abundantly available product could be the solution to hydrogen storage.

Not precisely baking soda. The PNNL team is examining the long-studied bicarbonate-formate cycle’s capacity to store hydrogen energy. (Formate is a harmless, gentle organic liquid molecule.) Here’s how it works: Solutions of formate ions (hydrogen and carbon dioxide) in water carry hydrogen based on non-corrosive alkali metal formate. The ions react with water in the presence of a catalyst. That reaction makes hydrogen and bicarbonates the “baking soda” Autrey admires for its absence of environmental impacts.

Sustainable Wins Could baking soda be the solution to Hydrogen storage
Could baking soda be the solution to Hydrogen storage

It might seem a bit complicated, but the long and short of it is that if this works, it takes hydrogen energy closer to the mainstream and hydrogen supply is pretty much limitless. Not only that but the waste product of using hydrogen for energy is water.

That concludes this week’s sustainable wins. Stay tuned for more inspiring stories next Monday!

That’s a Wrap

Today’s sustainable wins showcase the impressive initiatives of Mars and Tesco, the Co-op and the RSPB, and PNNL, driving sustainability forward. Together, these efforts bring us closer to a greener future. Stay tuned next week for more inspiring stories, and join us in shaping a sustainable world.

If you’re passionate about sustainability and want to take your efforts to the next level, we encourage you to join the Play It Green community. 

For just £5 per month, you’ll have access to a supportive network of like-minded individuals and resources to help you make even more sustainable choices in your daily and working life. 

As well as that you will plant lots of trees and regift to a charity of your choice. Together, we can create a brighter and more sustainable future for all.

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