All posts by Alison Meadows

About Alison Meadows

Alison Meadows has a PHD in Economic Trends in Modern Times and is a known writer who focuses on hedge fund investments. Meadows, her husband, and three kids live in Boston, where she grew up and attended college. Contact Alison at alison[at]businessdistrict.com

Coca-Cola UK Introduces Attached Bottle Caps

Everyone is familiar with the content feeling of walking through smooth, silky sand at the beach only to be suddenly irked by stepping on something hard and painful. While it may sometimes be a seashell, often we stomp on all sorts of litter, frequently bottle caps.

As part of Coca-Cola’s “World Without Waste” initiative, the company’s UK branch has begun manufacturing new models of its plastic bottles. The new design features an attached cap, making it easier to recycle the whole piece and eliminate tossing the caps. The global initiative’s main mission is to collect and recycle one can or bottle for every one that they sell by 2030. It also aims to produce cans and bottles made of 50% recyclable material by 2030 and to offer 100% recyclable packaging by 2025.

Jon Woods, Coca-Cola Great Britain’s general manager, explained the new bottle design: “This is a small change that we hope will have a big impact, ensuring that when consumers recycle our bottles, no cap gets left behind.”

In addition to the pollution problem the loose caps pose, it is also an image concern for companies like Coke. The population notices the shorelines and landfills overflowing with these items, associating the trash with the company and negatively impacting their brand’s reputation. New regulations by the EU also require companies to attach the caps to some plastic bottles by the end of 2024.

While some environmentalists believe Coca-Cola should switch from plastic to reusable containers, the shift the UK spur is making in its bottle design is surely a step in the right direction.

Printed Solar Panels to be tested in Tesla

In an effort to increase awareness about climate change, scientists in Australia are busy experimenting with printed solar panels. The team from the University of Newcastle is getting the newly invented panels ready for a 15,100-km (9,400-mile) trip in a Tesla electric car which will begin in September.

Charge Around Australia is a project that plans to power a Tesla vehicle using 18 of these special solar panels. With each plastic panel measuring 18 meters (59 feet) long, they are meant to be rolled out on the ground to absorb sunlight in order to charge. Created from laminated PET plastic, the printed solar is lightweight and costs less than $10 per square meter.

According to Paul Dastoor, the developer of the panels and coordinator of the project, the plan is twofold: the first purpose is to check the durability of the plastic panels and the second is to test the possibility of using the panels for other purposes in the future. He explained, “This is actually an ideal test bed to give us information about how we would go about using and powering technology in other remote locations, for example, in space.”

The 84-day journey is sure to raise interest in the effects of climate change. The team’s findings will have significant impact in the use of sustainable energy and solutions for the security of our planet.

FDA Finally Certifies Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine as Fully Approved

Despite the fact that hundreds of millions of Pfizer-manufactured mRNA vaccines have been injected into people’s arms, until today the shot’s widespread consumption has been only under an “Emergency Use Authorization.” Today the US Food and Drug Administration has decided it can throw its full weight of approval behind the vaccine, opening the way for organizations, governments, and other large entities to mandate vaccination for staff and others.


It is expected that the certification, which has been in process since the vaccine entered the world stage in December 2020, will increase confidence in the treatment, helping overcome the last traces of vaccine hesitation which has led in part to the current surge in COVID-19 around the world, due to the spread of the Delta variant.


The US defense establishment announced that it will in all likelihood make vaccination mandatory for all members of the armed services. Universities have also said that they will require students and staff to be vaccinated if they want to attend in-person learning, among them the University of Minnesota and major public universities in Louisiana.


The FDA said it was able to upgrade the approval rating based on the large amount of hard evidence proving that serious side-effects are highly unusual, and the benefit of the vaccine vastly outweigh any risk presented by its administration.


President Joe Biden said, addressing those who have been wary of the vaccine because it was only being given under the emergency use authorization, that now that the vaccine has received the “gold standard” approval, “the moment you’ve been waiting for is here!”

Dr. Alan Mendelsohn: Pioneer of Cataract Surgery in South Florida

Cross-sectional view in grayscale of right human eye.

In 1987 Dr. Alan Mendelsohn was a newly minted graduate of the fellowship training program at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami. That year he opened his ophthalmology practice in Hollywood and was excited to be a part of what was then a new breed of ophthalmologists who pioneered the practice of out-patient cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery is an out-patient procedure today, but until this moment in history eye doctors admitted their patients into the hospital for three days: the night before the surgery, the day of the surgery, and then one extra night after the surgery. There are several advantages to reducing the length of hospital stays, including: reducing the extra bother and expense; and more importantly, lowering the risk of contracting hospital induced infections. Out of hospital cataract surgery was an attractive alternative right from the beginning.

Dr. Alan Mendelsohn was at the cusp of this new model for cataract surgery. For the next ten years this was standard practice. Then, in the mid to late 1990s another revolution transformed the field of ophthalmology: “No Stitch” cataract surgery. Phaco surgery, short for Phacoemulcification, allowed eye doctors like Alan Mendelsohn to remove cataracts in a far quicker and safer way, resulting in better eyesight overall. In addition, the risks of edema, infections and inflammations were drastically reduced.

Today Dr. Mendelsohn’s practice is experiencing a third revolution: Laser-assisted cataract surgery. This type of surgery not only eliminates the cataract, but also can correct for low or moderate levels of astigmatism. This problem can be either improved or completely eliminated in many cases, resulting in a visual acuity improvement unprecedented from this type of surgery in the past.

Italian Confectioner Ferrero Buys Nestle USA

Photo courtesy of Avelinak

After considering several buyers for its US chocolate business, food giant Nestle picked the Italian luxury chocolate brand, Ferrero in a deal worth about $2.5 billion. Last week it was reported that Ferrero had outbid its rival Hershey for the prize.

The deal makes Ferrero the third largest chocolate company in the US, after Mars, Inc. and Hershey. Before the buyout, Ferrero was the fifth largest confectioner, but only controlled 3% of the market. The Hershey group had 31.5% of the industry and Mars with 27.1%.

Ferrero also makes Ferrero Rocher pralines and Kinder chocolate eggs. It was founded in 1946, in the small Italian town of Alba, in Piedmont, by the grandfather of the present CEO, Giovanni Ferrero.

In 2011, after the death of his brother, Giovanni became the sole CEO of the company. Until that point the business grew solely through internal growth. After that the company started growing through acquisitions of other companies.