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This week scientists revealed that plastic pollution is creating an ‘evolutionary trap’ for young sea turtles. The study, led by the University of Exeter, found juvenile turtles along the east and west coast of Australia are consuming vast quantities of microplastics which sit on the sea surface, and as a result, the turtles swim into highly polluted areas such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

In more positive news, Lidl GB announced that it has removed over one billion pieces of plastic from stores across the UK as part of its pledge to remove 1.5 billion pieces of plastic by the end of 2021 and 2 billion pieces by the end of 2022.

Meanwhile, Procter & Gamble unveiled its first paper bottle for Lenor in partnership with paper bottle company Paboco, announcing a pilot scheme for it across Western Europe in 2022.

As always, we hope you enjoy reading.

John Higginson
Editor-in-Chief
Plastic Free Post

Plastic pollution is creating an ‘evolutionary trap’ for young sea turtles

Plastic pollution creates an ‘evolutionary trap’ for young sea turtles, according to a new study. A research team led by the University of Exeter has found plastic inside small juvenile turtles along both the east and west coasts of Australia. After hatching on beaches, the animals then travel on currents and spend their early years in the open ocean. However, these currents accumulate vast quantities of plastic and because the young turtles primarily feed near the surface, many inadvertently swallow plastic as a result. Dr Emily Duncan, of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation on Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall, said: “Juvenile turtles have evolved to develop in the open ocean, where predators are relatively scarce. However, our results suggest that this evolved behaviour now leads them into a trap, bringing them into highly polluted areas such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.”

Read more here.

Lidl announces removal of over one billion pieces of plastic

Lidl GB has announced that it has removed over one billion pieces of plastic from stores across the UK as part of its strategy to eliminate plastic waste. This includes more than 24 million plastic trays and punnets being removed from its fruit and vegetable ranges, and up to 25 million plastic lids from dairy and yoghurt ranges. In addition, the discounter said it has cut nearly 19 million plastic tags from its fruit and vegetable lines, and 3.5 million pieces of plastic packaging on fresh flowers. Lidl GB has also committed to building on this, by pledging to remove 1.5 billion pieces of plastic by the end of 2021 and 2 billion pieces by the end of 2022.

Read more here.

Procter & Gamble announces Lenor paper bottle pilot

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has unveiled its first paper bottle for Lenor in partnership with paper bottle company Paboco, announcing a pilot for Western Europe in 2022. The bottle will be the first of its kind produced at scale, in its design and technology, made from sustainably sourced FSC-certified paper and initially a thin plastic barrier made from post-consumer recycled PET. Future versions of the bottle will integrate the barrier into the paper lining to create a seamless, 100% bio-based bottle, fully recyclable in the paper stream. P&G said it was confident this alternative form of packaging is increasingly viable and scaling at pace, and is backed by Coca-Cola, Carlsberg Group, The Absolut Company, L’Oréal, BillerudKorsnäs.

Read more here.

Aldi to trial fully recyclable sandwich packaging

Aldi has announced the introduction of ‘fully recyclable sandwich packaging’ as part of a trial with its supplier Greencore. The supermarket will trial a new sandwich box made from recyclable cardboard with a paper-lined film, rather than the plastic equivalent which is currently used in most sandwich packaging. Aldi states that this will be made from ‘100 per cent paper’ and will be ready to be recycled in home paper recycling bins. The new packaging does not impact shelf life, according to the company, and is being trialled on two sandwich products across a number of stores from September.

Read more here.

Concern as discarded face masks add to litter across Scotland

A sharp increase in face mask litter across Scotland has sparked renewed pleas for people to be more responsible. Local authorities, beach cleaning volunteers and environmental organisations said the problem is growing worse. In recent months used ­disposable masks have been increasingly found contaminating local ­authority ­recycling collections as well as ­littering the countryside, according to officials. With currently no set date for ­face masks to stop being mandatory in Scotland, concern is growing about the amount of plastic pollution being caused by the items and the risk to wildlife. 

Read more here.

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