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McDonald’s says it will switch to cage-free eggs in the US and Canada

The decision to switch to cage-free eggs is part of a push to reinvent the chain, and signals a growing sensitivity among customers to animal welfare issues

McDonald’s says it will switch to cage-free eggs in the US and Canada over the next decade, marking the latest push under CEO Steve Easterbrook to try and reinvent the Big Mac maker as a “modern, progressive burger company”.

Under pressure to revive slumping sales, McDonald’s has already announced a number of changes since Easterbrook stepped into his role earlier this year. In March, the Oak Brook, Illinois company said it would switch to chickens raised without most antibiotics. And in April, it said it would raise pay for workers at company-owned stores, which represent about 10% of its domestic locations.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

US private equity firm KKR takes 24.9% stake in Marshall Wace

London hedge fund hails ‘true, long-term partnership’ with KKR, which will have option to increase holding to up to 39.9%

The US private equity multinational KKR has taken a 24.9% stake and entered into a long-term strategic partnership with Marshall Wace, one of London’s best-known hedge funds.

Under the agreement, KKR – which had a big stake in Pets at Home, the pet care retailer that floated in London last year – will have the option to increase its holding in Marshall Wace to up to 39.9%.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Aviation safety advances helped stave off BA plane fire disaster

While it was terrifying for the passengers, the pilot’s quick response and Boeing 777-200’s containment systems meant the blaze was put out quickly

The escape from a dramatic blaze on a British Airways plane on take-off from Las Vegas underlines advances in aviation safety, according to experts, who note parallels to past incidents that caused widespread fatalities.

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will lead an investigation into exactly how the Boeing 777-200 suffered a catastrophic failure to its left engine while accelerating down the runway, but the pilot’s response and the plane’s containment systems meant the fire was swiftly extinguished without serious harm to passengers – terrifying though it may have been for those on board.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Seattle calls on Bill Gates to divest from fossil fuels

Former city mayor launches campaign of daily protests outside Gates’ Foundation visitor centre till it commits to divestment

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is facing fresh calls to move his charity’s investments out of fossil fuels from the community in Seattle where it is based, led by the city’s former mayor.

The Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation is the world’s largest charitable foundation and funder of medical research. It had $1.4bn (£1bn) invested in fossil fuel companies, according to its latest available tax filings from 2013.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Solar industry is being slashed and burned by the Tories

The government’s claim to be leading a solar revolution is a bad joke when it is instead pursuing ideological warfare against ‘green crap’

The government wasted no time after the election in killing the country’s onshore wind power sector and is now taking its wrecking ball to the solar industry, despite the call from the energy and climate change secretary, Amber Rudd, only months ago for a “solar revolution”.

Her claim, repeated this week, that this is the greenest government ever, is a bad joke. The problem is that the Tories’ actions, far from pushing down electricity prices, will push them up. They are playing politics with our money.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Brazil's top chefs turn to Amazonian insects for new menu

Chefs in São Paulo are leading a gastronomic revolution by adding creepy-crawlies to their dishes – reclaiming them as part of the national diet

When people think of an ant in the kitchen, it is probably of an uninvited little insect painstakingly transporting food remains to its colony. But this concept might soon change.

Brazilian top chefs are leading a gastronomic revolution by including bugs and other Amazonian ingredients, cooked with pioneering techniques, into their sophisticated menus, in a move that acknowledges the value of Brazil’s native food culture.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Three reasons why businesses win by providing clean water, taps and toilets

Providing access to clean water is no longer a philanthropic act, it’s central to corporate success

Included in the sustainable development goals to be endorsed by heads of state and government later this month, is a dedicated goal to ensure available and sustainable water and sanitation for all.

Universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) cannot be achieved without the private sector. In the past, companies’ support for the provision of clean water to communities was viewed as a philanthropic activity. Yet there is a strong business case for this too.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Turning Banana Stems Into Textile Fibres

The textiles sector faces significant challenges moving into the future. The most common fibres, like cotton, are generally  inseparable from chemicals and binders and consequently very expensive to reprocess to the recycle or biodegrade. In a sector where there is significant turnover in terms of products, it is becoming apparent that finding a way to utilise materials in more than one cycle could offer companies a significant economic advantage.

It’s no surprise then that new innovations in terms of fibre recycling technologies and alternative material sources are being invested in and explored. One unusual example of that solution seeking, which was recently unearthed by the Philippine Textile Research Institute, is the potential opportunity to use banana plant stems as the source of a new bio-sourced fibre. Research found that around one billion tonnes of banana plant stems are wasted every year with the potential for banana plantations in the Philippines alone generating more than 300,000 tonnes of textile fibre.

As is the case with most exploratory materials, the full potential and possibilities of the banana stem fibre is pretty much an unknown. However, textile company Offset Warehouse are one of the first movers experimenting with the new material, which is likened to hemp or bamboo. It needs fewer chemicals and less water to manufacture and can be mostly bio-degraded at the end of use.

Source: Forget about cotton, we could be making textiles from banana and pineapple

Licensed under CC – credit Flickr user: Jenn Vargas

The post Turning Banana Stems Into Textile Fibres appeared first on Circulate.

Source: Circulate News RSS

Dutch Recycled Plastic Manufacturer Bought By Veolia

Dutch-based recycled plastic manufacturer AKG Kunststof Groep has been purchased by multinational environmental services company Veolia. AKG are a significant player in the European recycled plastics market selling 37,000 tonnes of material with revenues of around £25 million in 2014.

Licensed under CC - credit Flickr user: John Lillis
Licensed under CC – credit Flickr user: John Lillis

Broadly, AKG are a specialist manufacturer of polypropylene granulates, which are sold directly to plastic product manufacturers. Veolia has stated its intention to make the company a cornerstone of an expansion into the recycled materials market.

The news is perhaps made more interesting because of its place in the broader context. Circulate has previously featured articles the topic of the secondary raw materials marketplace and the challenges it faces in the context of low oil prices. It’s clear that major players in the European energy and resource management sector, like Veolia, are still interested in investment in the area of recycled materials.

Source: Veolia buys Dutch recycled plastic manufacturer AKG Kunststof Groep

The post Dutch Recycled Plastic Manufacturer Bought By Veolia appeared first on Circulate.

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Graduate recruiters under pressure to attract more women

AGR says women must be ‘actively encouraged’ to apply to UK grad schemes as proportion of female hires remains stagnant for last five years

Big employers at this autumn’s graduate recruitment fairs are under pressure to attract more female applicants as new figures show that only 42% of hires to big training schemes are women – even though almost 60% of graduates are female.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS