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Mars, Snickers and Milky Way chocolates to receive a major eco-friendly packaging makeover in a bid to reduce waste

Mars, Snickers and Milky Way chocolate bars will be going green with the long-used plastic-based packaging set to be replaced with recyclable paper-based wrapping.

Mars Wrigley Australia announced the major makeover on Monday, and the new-look chocolate bars will hit the shelves in April of next year. 

All of the manufacturer’s Australian-made chocolate bars will be switching to the new recyclable packaging as part of Mars Wrigley’s ongoing sustainability campaign. 

 

All chocolate bars produced by the company will aim to be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

This puts them firmly in line with the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation’s 2025 National Packaging Targets.

APCO’s CEO Chris Foley welcomed this week’s announcement from Mars Wrigley.

“Mars Wrigley’s switch to paper-based packaging sets an excellent example to all businesses in Australia of the critical role innovative packaging formats that are more readily recyclable play in meeting the 2025 National Packaging Targets,” he said.

The Australian packaging rollout is a world first for the manufacturer, who hopes to implement the changes across the globe. 

The move will eliminate more than 360 tonnes of plastic from Mars Wrigley’s value chain.

In a big win for ease of use, the packaging can be recycled using comingled recycling bins and paper/cardboard recycling bins across Australia.

General Manager Andrew Leakey said making sure Australians are able to easily recycle the new packaging was a key concern for Mars Wrigley’s research and development team. 

“Mars’ ongoing investment in local R&D has allowed us to be agile and create solutions that have a positive impact on our environment, meet our stringent quality and food safety standards but are also convenient for our consumers to recycle via kerbside recycling,” he said. 

“This was crucially important for us as we wanted to ensure consumers had easy access to recycle our new paper-based packaging.”

The launch of the paper-based packaging was a “significant step” for the manufacturer, he said. 

“As one of the largest snacks and treats manufacturers in Australia, Mars has a responsibility to reduce our environmental footprint right across our business, including packaging.”


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Affordable, sturdy & eco-friendly alloys are future of artificial limbs

Titanium is a strong, resilient and relatively light metal. Its properties have also been well studied; scientists know a great deal about it.

All of this makes it the ideal base for fashioning artificial limbs – particularly knees and hips – and teeth. It is less likely than other metals to rust and, as research has shown, it is more compatible with the human body than, for instance, stainless steels and cobalt based materials.

But there’s a major problem: titanium is not cheap. Precise data is hard to come by, but a conservative average cost of titanium-based prostheses is between US$3,000 and US$10,000. That’s expensive for most people, and prohibitively so for the majority of people in middle- and low-income countries like those in Africa.

Again, data is scarce, but a recent study about sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa, which has better facilities for such procedures than most other countries on the continent) found that 606 hip and 763 knee replacements were performed between 2009 and 2018.
Many more people in the region likely need replacements but will go without because they simply can’t afford the procedure. And, with the global population of those aged 65 and older rising, the demand for implants is set to increase; this age group is prone to diseases like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

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That’s why we are working to produce cheaper titanium based materials that can be used to make affordable limbs. In our latest research my colleagues and I experimented with metallic elements like titanium, aluminium, iron and vanadium to create new alloys. We tested each in a solution that mimics humans’ bodily fluids.

We found that the new alloys showed negligible rust in the solution. The new alloys, which are slightly cheaper than the commercial grade alloy, performed as well as it does – and one alloy even outperformed it.

Pure Titanium vs Titanium alloys

The biggest benefit of titanium for making artificial hips, knees and teeth is that it’s safe for use in the human body because it doesn’t degrade easily when exposed to body fluids.

However, when titanium is used in its pure form, it lacks the necessary strength and wear resistance required to cope with the rigours of human activity.

That’s why other metallic elements are added. Examples include aluminium, vanadium, zirconium, tantalum, niobium, molybdenum and iron. Scientists use these and other elements to create new alloys that are stronger and resistant to wear.

Currently the most utilised alloy in artificial hips and knees is Ti-6Al-4V: 90% titanium, 6% aluminium and 4% vanadium. Though it is effective, it has two major drawbacks. The first is the cost. Vanadium is nearly as expensive as titanium.

The second is toxicity: aluminium and vanadium are toxic in large quantities. When the material degrades through corrosion, ions are released into the body and can cause chronic inflammation. These ions have also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

For this study we reduced the amount of aluminium and vanadium that are added to Ti-6Al-4V to make new titanium based materials. We also excluded aluminium and replaced vanadium fully with iron to make another, cheaper, titanium based material.

Then we investigated whether these new implant materials would degrade quickly when immersed in the human body fluid. We used a solution called Hanks Balanced Salt Solution which contains the main ingredients in the human body fluid. We compared the new titanium materials with the commercial grade Ti-6Al-4V that is commonly used.

The Findings

Almost all the new alloys performed better than Ti-6Al-4V in the salt solution. Those that fared worse in the solution were still on a par with Ti-6Al-4V. And none of the new alloys degraded more than 0.13 millimetres per year, the maximum permissible degradation rate allowed for implant material.

The alloys without vanadium and aluminium performed well, meaning they are potentially safer than Ti-6Al-4V because they have lower toxicity levels.

And, crucially, the new alloys are cheaper to produce than Ti-6Al-4V. We are not working on the actual manufacturing of artificial limbs – this research focuses on the chemical composition of the alloys.

So we can’t say what the ultimate cost-saving would be if these alloys were to be used. But, merely by altering the starting materials as we did, replacing aluminium and vanadium fully or partially with iron, up to 10% cost savings can be achieved.

A Promising Step

From 2030 and beyond, more older adults will reside in developing countries such as those across the African continent. As this population increases, the demand for artificial limbs may also rise. That’s why identifying affordable, safe materials is so important. Our research is a promising step towards meeting that goal.

(This is a PTI story syndicated via The Conversation)


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Bellevue Bohol, Your Time Import & Export launch eco-friendly mobile classroom for Panglao pupils

MOBILE CLASSROOM. The Bellevue Resort in Bohol and its partner Specialized Training and Education for Pilipino Students (Steps) have teamed up with Your Time Import and Export to open the Mobile Classroom of Hope for pupils in Barangay Doljo, Panglao. In the photo are (from left) Steps Familia Mission Philippines vice president Joy Gamonez and president Manny Gamonez, Your Time Import and Export owners Jeannie Jin and Anthony Wu, First Lady of Panglao Aniceta Arcay, Panglao Mayor Edgardo Arcay, The Bellevue Hotels and Resorts chairman Johnny Chan, The Bellevue Resort managing director Dustin Chan and Roberto Rossino, the hotel’s general manager. / CONTRIBUTED

MOBILE CLASSROOM. The Bellevue Resort in Bohol and its partner Specialized Training and Education for Pilipino Students (Steps) have teamed up with Your Time Import and Export to open the Mobile Classroom of Hope for pupils in Barangay Doljo, Panglao. In the photo are (from left) Steps Familia Mission Philippines vice president Joy Gamonez and president Manny Gamonez, Your Time Import and Export owners Jeannie Jin and Anthony Wu, First Lady of Panglao Aniceta Arcay, Panglao Mayor Edgardo Arcay, The Bellevue Hotels and Resorts chairman Johnny Chan, The Bellevue Resort managing director Dustin Chan and Roberto Rossino, the hotel’s general manager. / CONTRIBUTED

THE Bellevue Resort in Bohol, through its partner foundation Specialized Training and Education for Pilipino Students (Steps) Mission School, recently teamed up with Anthony Wu and Jeannie Jin of Your Time Import and Export to open the Mobile Classroom of Hope for pupils in Barangay Doljo, Panglao.

The classroom primarily stands as a supplementary day care center to teach children how to read before they enter grade school. It also offers livelihood training programs for parents of enrolled students.

With The Bellevue Resort’s longtime commitment to sustainability, it has made certain that this project is no exception. The resort harnesses its energy from solar panels to minimize environmental impact and maximize cost efficiency which they also see as a great opportunity to educate children about climate change and the importance of promoting sustainability.

“When we learned that 40 percent of fourth graders in public schools still do not know how to read, we thought of different ways to help the community here in Bohol. And one of our best means is to increase access to education.” shares Dustin Chan, managing director of The Bellevue Resort. “We are grateful to Steps and Your Time Import and Export for partnering with us to give hope and guidance to children to have brighter futures.”

Barangay Doljo’s preschool has 50 pupils under the mentorship of two full-time and part-time teachers. The organization also currently holds phonics classes for 80 first-grade pupils from different elementary schools in the local community.

With the addition of the Mobile Classroom of Hope, the project now has five existing classrooms. Classes are completely free. Parents need only to sign a commitment to participate in educating their children by continuing the teaching at home.

Since The Bellevue Resort launched its Mission School with Steps 10 years ago, it has reaped the priceless reward of seeing thousands of graduates, including pupils who have finished at the top 10 of their classes during elementary school.

For more information on The Bellevue Resort – Bohol’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, one can contact (+6338) 422 2222 or email info@thebellevuebohol.com.

To know more about the resort, one can visit www.thebellevuebohol.com.

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MBA Grad Turns Banana Waste into Eco-Friendly Crafts, Earns Lakhs

A major banana-growing district, Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh has over 16,000 hectares of land dedicated solely to the cultivation of the fruit. The farmers here usually clear the stems and leaves of the banana trees from their fields before planting new crops, for which they hire extra labour. A large amount of banana waste is then dumped in pits or somewhere else, left to rot. 

But one person to realise the potential of this supposed waste was Mehul Shroff, an MBA graduate from the same district. He decided to turn it into a viable business.

“From my childhood, I have seen the farmers in our area dumping the banana waste after the harvest. I, too, wasn’t aware of the huge potential it had as agricultural waste until I did some research. So I wanted to build a sustainable business and help farmers,” Mehul tells The Better India.

Started in 2018, Mehul’s sustainable startup makes banana fibre out of stems, which can be turned into useful products like handicrafts, textiles and paper. Today, he sells around three to five tonnes of banana fibre every month, earning a turnover of around Rs 30 lakh annually.

More than just waste 

After completing his MBA in 2016, Mehul joined his family’s jewellery business. But he always nurtured a dream of starting a business of his own. 

In an effort to fulfil this dream, he began researching to find a viable and socially responsible business idea. “That’s when I met the District Magistrate of Burhanpur. When I expressed my idea to start a unique business, he suggested that I start by thinking about what I can do in my own district. This, in fact, made me search for ideas within my region,” says the 20-year-old.

Mehul also attended a workshop organised by the district administration and Navsari Agricultural University in Burhanpur. “In the workshop, they talked about how fibres can be made from the banana stem and how it can be used in the textile, paper and handicraft industries,” he says, adding that he spent around two years on his research and finally came up with a solid business plan.

Mehul Shroff (left) and a yoga mat made from banana fibres (right).
Mehul Shroff (left). A yoga mat made from banana fibres (right).

“Through my research, I understood that banana stems, though normally considered agri-waste, are rich in cellulose and natural fibre content. Therefore, they make for the perfect input to produce fibres that can be turned into fabrics,” he explains.

Before starting his business, Mehul made sure that he understood all the aspects of the trade, including the risks, challenges, and scope of the market. He also attended training from the ICAR-National Research Center for Banana, Tiruchirappalli, which is at the forefront of promoting banana fibre and its applications. He also interacted with the farmers of Burhanpur and shared his idea with them, garnering their support.

Mehul started his sustainable business, christened Shroff Industries, in 2018. He set up a processing unit in Burhanpur and started sourcing banana stems across the district from farmers. 

Intricate works of art 

Products made from banana fibres.
Products made from banana fibres.

Mehul says one of the main challenges he faced was finding a market for banana fibre. 

“Our country is the largest producer of bananas in the world, but we are yet to explore the maximum potential of the crop. There is a need to spread awareness in this regard,” he says. 

“Even while marketing, it was a bit difficult to convince those in the textile industry about the scope of banana fibre. They were hesitant to try something different and natural. So, I gave him the fibres at minimum cost and even below the margin. Once they found the result to be positive, they were convinced.”

He eventually moved on to explore the scope of making handicrafts from these fibres. He gave them out to women in the rural regions of Burhanpur to make different handicraft items. 

“It was yet another challenge to train the artisans in making handicrafts, as they were not familiar with the raw material. At first, I used to help them with it, but now I have appointed a trainer who guides them in making banana fibre-based handicrafts,” says Mehul.

Mehul with the women artisans
Mehul with the women artisans.

“Currently, we have around 40 women who make handicrafts for us. We also have 10 employees in our processing unit,” he adds.

These handicrafts include baskets, planters, ropes, bags, brooms for worship, yoga mats, worship mats, wall clocks, and so on. These products are priced between Rs 100 and Rs 2,000, depending on the size and work involved.

In 2020, the business hit a low when with the advent of the pandemic. “The sales went down and it was one of the most difficult times. Now that the situation has improved, we are on the path of recovery,” he says, adding that currently, they produce around three to five tonnes of fibres per month.

Other than handicrafts, fibres are a perfect alternative for making paper. “But the process of making paper out of the banana fibre is very labour-intensive. Therefore, we now outsource the processing work by providing the raw materials,” he adds.

Handicrafts made from banana fibres.
Handicrafts made from banana fibres.

Mehul says he has also introduced an organic liquid nutrient using banana waste as a base. “This was tested by Navsari Agricultural University in Burhanpur. The product contains not only essential plant nutrients but also growth regulators and waste-decomposing organisms. It will help improve soil fertility, thereby increasing productivity,” he elaborates.  

A helping hand to banana farmers

Mehul’s initiative is a blessing to many banana farmers in the region, he says. 

“When a farmer informs me when they need to clear the field post-harvest, we send our procurement team to the field. They cut and clear the agri-waste from the fields and transport it to our processing unit. This helps them save the cost of the labour involved in cutting the stems and clearing the field,” says Mehul, adding that currently, he sources stems regularly from around 50-100 farmers in the region.

A single banana stem gives around 200 grams of fibre. 

Cutting banana stems (left) for processing into fibres (right)
Cutting banana stems (left) for processing into fibres (right)

Bhaulal Kushwaha, a banana farmer in Burhanpur, has been collaborating with Mehul for the past few years. He says clearing up his 3 hectares of the field after harvest was an expensive affair until Mehul came along. 

“After the harvest, I had to hire labourers to cut the stems and clear up the field. They used to charge around Rs 3 per stem and it cost me around Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 in every harvest cycle. But now with Mehul’s initiative, I have been able to save more than I used to,” he elaborates.

Mehul currently works on a B2B model of marketing for his business. “Most of our sales happen through exhibitions. There is also demand for products through word of mouth,” he says.

He notes, “Banana fibre is an agri-waste and it doesn’t need to be cultivated for the purpose of procuring fibres, like cotton. It is a sustainable alternative to many energy-intensive oil-based fibres. It is also biodegradable and hence eco-friendly. Therefore, it is essential to spread awareness in this regard and more people should explore this business opportunity, thereby building a market for such sustainable products.”

For more information and enquiries, you can contact Mehul at shroffindustries@yahoo.com

Edited by Divya Sethu; Photo credits: Mehul Shroff

Source: Burhanpur district website




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Msu Students Develop Organic Eco-friendly Clothing Range | Vadodara News

Vadodara: Ten students of MS University’s Institute of Fashion Technology (IFT) have developed eco-friendly, natural dyed organic clothing range that can be used for retail manufacturing.
The third-year students have developed the collection – ‘Stand out in the noise – eco clothing’ – that has been made out of pure organic cotton fabric dyed with the added aesthetics of natural dyes. The students of the programme of fashion and apparel technology have developed this clothing range as part of product development subject.
“The eco clothing collection is inspired by the asymmetrical balance. Asymmetrical balance refers to the uneven proportion within the silhouette which suggest today’s day-to-day life. It imitates our journey which depicts the highs and lows,” said Tehmina Pathan, a faculty member who, along with Jenifer Homi, has mentored the students at IFT.
The collection made out of pure organic cotton fabric has been hand-dyed with natural dyes and ingredients extracted from the botanical sources like madder, indigo, pomegranate and walnut. The surfaces have been ornamented by incorporating running stitch embroidery. The garments are also free-sized. Promoting the concept of zero waste production, the students have also curated a line of bags (accessories) from the extra pieces or the fabric that is leftover after cutting.
“The purpose to create this collection was to design apparel reducing fabric waste and promote sustainability. It also celebrates freedom of expression within the chaos in today’s time,’’ she said.
According to faculty members, apparel industry currently draws criticism because of chemical dyes – a prime contributor to pollution. “One effective way to address the problem would be to increase the use of natural dyes which are environment friendly, have no health hazards, and generate no non-biodegradable waste,” she said.




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Eco-friendly murals in Peruvian capital bring color to ‘gray city’

By Carla Samon Ros

Lima, Nov 25 (EFE).- A score of murals painted by Latin American artists are livening up walls in the notoriously gray Peruvian capital while also purifying the air with an eco-friendly paint and helping combat the notion of street art as vandalism.

On one corner of Alfonso Ugarte Avenue, in the heart of downtown Lima, Chile’s Araceli Villarreal puts the finishing touches on a macromural whose magical motifs offer some relief from the chaotic traffic of that busy thoroughfare.

Her work covers a wall measuring 27 meters (88.5 feet) in length and four meters in height that a week ago was “white and dull,” the 28-year-old painter and graphic designer, whose artistic name is Lari, told Efe.

Lari, who had never before traveled outside her homeland, is visiting Peru as a guest artist in the inaugural edition of the Picante Festival, which this month has brought together more than 20 muralists from seven regional countries, including Mexico, Colombia, Paraguay and Bolivia.

The event is the brainchild of Chile’s Karim Sabal and Peru’s Mucho Gonzalez, artists and cultural promoters whose goal is to spruce up several Lima districts while providing the added “bonus of air purification.”

“Each square meter that’s painted will be representing the equivalent of two trees being planted,” Sabal told Efe.

He added that the paint used for the murals has an ingredient developed by Chilean company Pholio that degrades contaminating gases when activated by sunlight.

Calling the process similar to photosynthesis, he said the environmental benefits provided by Lari’s work alone are comparable to the planting of 200 trees in the city’s downtown.

The murals vary in terms of size and style and also extend to the Lima districts of Santiago de Surco, Barranco and Miraflores.

In that latter upscale shopping district south of downtown Lima, Colombia’s Sara Sifuentes used pink paint to “give life to a dusty and dirty wall” located a few meters from Parque Kennedy.

The 33-year-old Medellin native – whose favored images are dolphins, animals that she says transmit “messages of love, empathy and joy” – said she hopes her works fill the lives of Miraflores’ residents with “new energy,” even if only for a “microsecond.”

The creators of the festival’s first edition say their main goal is to make a positive contribution to the city of Lima and its inhabitants by demonstrating the value of this type of artistic expression and challenging the belief that street art is vandalism.

According to the score of guest artists, however, the festival also is an opportunity to share ideas and visions, support their sector and become acquainted with different techniques and styles.

“Far beyond painting these spaces and providing more room for artists, I think what’s being created is community … ties between people and the culture of street art,” Bolivia’s Abraham Velasco, another participant in the event whose artistic name is Oveja, told Efe.

With the inaugural edition now coming to a close, the Picante Festival is now is setting its sights on holding similar events in other parts of Latin America, starting with neighboring Chile. EFE

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8 ways to make your Christmas more unique and eco-friendly

The environment always pays a very high price during the festive season. From tinsel decorations and shiny wrapping paper to food waste, we are collectively responsible for creating tons of Yuletide rubbish that ends up in landfill sites.

According to Enviro Waste, 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper, six million trees, 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging and one billion Christmas cards are thrown out every year in the UK alone.

So maybe now’s the time to do your bit for the planet – and here are a few ways to make your Christmas more eco-friendly.

1. Go for a pre-loved tree

Looking for a new tree? Instead of buying one, why not go for a rental instead? Or, if you prefer artificial trees, picking up a pre-loved one (from places like eBay or Gumtree) could not only save you money, you’d also be doing the environment a favour.

2. Make your own decorations

You could channel your inner Kirstie Allsopp and make your own festive decorations or upcycle your old ones.

Not feeling particularly crafty? Shop for decorations in eco-friendly shops such as Chou’s Cottage, Reuzi or The Kind.

3. Don’t spend money on wrapping paper

There’s a lot of free paper out there, so why spend money on buying gift wrap that’s hard to recycle? You can get creative and turn your old stash of magazines or newspapers into gift wrappers.

Alternatively, you could pick up some reusable organic cotton gift wrap.

4. Upcycle your old Christmas cards

If you are feeling crafty, you might manage to make your own Christmas cards – a family-friendly activity for the kids and an extra personal Christmas card in the post.

5. Think sustainable when buying presents

Looking to buy a beauty hamper for your best friend? Or some luxury items for your mum? Chances are you’ll find eco-friendly versions out there that are equally good.

While you’re at it, do some research and find homegrown businesses to support; it’s much better than making a big online order that comes with an even bigger carbon footprint.

7. Don’t feel bad about regifting

Okay, this might make you look like a bad person but sometimes one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure.

So if there’s something you are not keen on but know someone who’s trying to get their hands on it, then go make the deal – it’s basically a win-win for everyone.

8. Opt for LED or solar-powered lights

Want to reduce your electricity bills and help the environment at the same time? Christmas fairy lights add to our electricity bills, so swap them for LED or solar-powered ones.

9. Think about reducing food waste

A big dinner is a key ingredient to Christmas day but, before you start peeling a hundred spuds for your five-person table, have a think about portion sizes and how much food you’re actually going to get through.

How many guests will really be popping in for a mince pie? And how many will actually opt for a second bowl of jelly? Reduce your shopping list down to what you’ll actually need – it will prevent food waste and save you money!

If you are left with some extra potatoes on St. Stephens Day, check out Lilly Higgins’ one-pan ham hock and kale dish.




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Air Busan Launches Eco-friendly Flight

This file photo provided by Air Busan shows an A321neo passenger jet taking off from a local airport in South Korea.

This file photo provided by Air Busan shows an A321neo passenger jet taking off from a local airport in South Korea.

SEOUL, Nov. 25 (Korea Bizwire)Air Busan Co., a budget carrier unit of Asiana Airlines Inc., said Thursday it has launched eco-friendly flight initiatives, including the deployment of aircraft mounted with highly efficient new engines.

The company announced that the BX 747 flight from Incheon to Bangkok will be operated under the eco-friendly theme “Eco Flight.”

The BX747 flight will use an A321neo passenger jet that features a 15 percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the existing first-generation A321 model, thereby having the effect of reducing annual carbon emissions by 5,000 tons.

Flight attendants will use tablet PCs rather than paper prints for briefing at flight preparation meetings.

For in-flight drinking, paper cups certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) will be used instead of plastic cups.

For purchases of duty-free items, eco bags created by recycling hotel blankets will be used instead of existing vinyl bags.

Air Busan will also provide passengers with slippers made by recycling waste fabric materials.

Ashley Song (ashley@koreabizwire.com)


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