Category Archives: Environment

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.

Transitioning to Lab-Made Diamonds

The weather is warming up and the sun is finally shining. As engagement season approaches, there is generally a rise in sales in the diamond industry. With the increasing popularity of factory-made diamonds, however, authentic diamond sales have been slowing down.

Independent diamond industry analyst, Edahn Golan, explains that the number of engagement rings with a lab-made diamond sold in March increased by 63% compared to last year, while the amount of traditional engagement rings featuring a natural diamond decreased by 25%. Data from February showed an even larger increase in purchases of rings with manufactured diamonds, at 80% more than the previous year. Golan cautions, “The big fear in the natural diamonds industry is that consumers will start accepting lab-grown diamonds in engagement rings.” He continues, “Too late. It’s actually happening.”

Why the switch to man-made diamonds?

The most apparent reason is cost. With a one-carat round lab-made diamond retailing at $2,318, it’s equivalent natural stone would average at $8.740 – a difference of over 70%. This disparity enables couples to purchase larger stones without worry about compromising on clarify or perfection.

Aside from cost, manufactured diamonds are becoming more popular as the population learns more about them. Negative association connected to child labor in African diamond mines and “blood diamonds” used to finance conflict in war-torn areas leaves a bad taste to many. According to The Knot wedding planning website, the younger population is more conscientious about the background of natural diamonds and the ethical issues related. A lab-made diamond offers an appealing solution.

Large jewelry companies are accommodating these new concerns and the market trends. Zales and Kay Jewelers are producing more man-made bridal options. Pandora, the world’s largest jewelry company, made a drastic move last year, announcing the company’s plans to stop using natural diamonds altogether, and shift to manufactured diamonds only.

If the statistics from the past few months are telling, it seems that demand for manufactured diamonds will only continue to increase. As long as budget and ethics remain priorities for consumers, more jewelry companies are bound to follow the path some major ones have already taken.

Ecosia Founder Plants Trees with Profits

Christian Kroll, the German founder of search engine Ecosia, says he wants “to make the world a greener, better place.”

He adds that he also wants “to prove that there is a more ethical alternative to the kind of greedy capitalism that is coming close to destroying the planet.”

Ecosia, which the 35-year-old Kroll launched in 2009, has a unique business model. Most of its profits are spent on planting trees, via 20 tree-planting projects it supports around the world.
The search engine makes money the same way as Google: by charging advertisers every time someone clicks on their ads. Since not everyone searching the internet clicks on an advertisement, the company estimates that it takes about 45 searches to raise just 0.22 euros (about 26 US pennies), which is the cost to plant one tree.

But strength is in numbers. Although the Berlin-based Ecosia has only 15 million users, compared to Google’s 5.6 billion searches per day, by giving away 80% of his profits Kroll has been responsible for the planting of over 105 million trees in Indonesia, Brazil, Kenya, Haiti, and beyond.

Despite this success, Kroll is thinking big. He is planning to “scale massively, win more users, and plant billions of trees.”

Kroll also says he will never purchase a yacht, as some other search engine founders have done. He explains why not:

“While they have big yachts, I have an inflatable dinghy that I take to lakes. Ego consumption is not appropriate in a world where there’s climate change.”

There is a more technical reason he will never buy a yacht, or any other expensive luxury: he put two legally binding restrictions on his business—shareholders and staff are forbidden from personally selling their shares or taking profits outside of the company.

Ecosia has 70 employees and puts its financial statements online monthly. All the company’s electrical needs are met through solar power. The company says that 80% of its users are under age 29.

SEC Allows Exxon to Block Shareholders from Demanding Climate Goal Transparency

Exxon Building in NY. Courtesy of Wikipedia

The SEC has decided that Exxon does not have to allow its shareholders to vote on a company proposal to make public its goals for lowering CO2 emissions. This move is in reaction to a push by activist investors and led by the New York state comptroller to have Exxon set annual targets which will reach the goals prescribed by the international Paris climate agreement of 2015.


In January Exxon requested the SEC disallow a vote on the proposal to disclose such climate-oriented goals. The SEC answered this week, stating that it would not recommend the SEC to take any enforcement action against Exxon if the company decides to keep the proposal out of May’s annual shareholder meeting.


Activists say they want to vote on the issue to compel Exxon to be more responsible and accountable about climate change.


A lawyer for the SEC said the oversite agency decided in Exxon’s favor because the proposal would “micromanage” the company and harm the value and supplant the judgement of Exxon managers and directors.

West Lake Landfill: Best for Business, Best for Environment

The West Lake Landfill has to stay where it is. That is best for business and for the environment. There has been no evidence even indicating that there is a connection between the contamination that exists at a park near Hazelwood’s Coldwater Creek and the West Lake Landfill. Therefore it should be left where it is; good for business, good for the environment.

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