Disposable cutlery ban
France could soon say “non” to plastic cutlery. The National Assembly has voted in favour of a ban on disposable forks, spoons and plates from 2020. A ban on plastic bags could also come in to force next year, reported The Connexion newspaper. Both measures are included in a bill on renewable energy – the plan was to put them in a new biodiversity law but the government is apparently keen to act sooner rather than later. The senate will now scrutinise the proposals.
Ugly biscuits save waste
A French supermarket is to launch a new campaign next month to promote ugly cakes and biscuits that would ordinarily have gone to waste. Intermarché, which has also been pushing ugly fruit and veg to customers at reduced prices, said the nutritional and taste qualities of the products will remain the same. Almost half of all food waste is generated before a product reaches the supermarket. More ugly products could also start appearing on UK supermarkets shelves, with news that “Les Gueules cassées”, a firm selling deformed fresh produce, has launched an English website under the “ugly mugs” brand.
Game risk for children
DEFRA is currently mulling over a controversial report that suggests 10,000 children are growing up in households where “they could regularly be eating sufficient game shot with lead ammunition to cause them neurodevelopmental harm and other health impairments”. Adults could also be affected, the Telegraph reported. The as-yet-unpublished findings of the Lead Ammunition Group are, according to the likes of the Countryside Alliance, not based on sound scientific evidence. Half the group resigned before the report was completed.
Holyrood reveals milk price
The Scottish government pays 69ppl (pence per litre) for its milk via contract catering firm Sodexo. All of it is Scottish. Public sector bodies pay between 40ppl and 121ppl. The figures were revealed following questions put to environment secretary Richard Lochhead. Talking to Footprint at a recent event in Glasgow, Lochhead said the government has “kept a close eye” on its suppliers. He is currently targeting the high street coffee chains in a bid to “dramatically increase” the amount of local milk they source.
New organic regulations
The EU this week moved to update organic rules, including a “tailored” approach to food fraud controls. The changes are not as strict as the original proposals, which could have seen farmers unable to produce organic and conventional food on the same farm.
And in other news…
The Union Square Hospitality Group has done away with tips in a bid to compensate all staff fairly.
Universities are well behind the Higher Education Funding Council for England target to reduce emissions by 43% by 2020. Consultants at Brite Green suggest they’ll get to 12%.
Upmarket catering firm Vacherin is to “future proof” its menus with more fruit and veg. “It’s healthier, cheaper and better for the environment,” said the company’s sustainability lead Anthony Kingsley at a recent SRA breakfast event.
The backlash against member states banning GM crops continues. Professor Dame Anne Glover said she would defend the country’s right to decide not to grow GM, but banning the crops due to a lack of scientific evidence is questionable. Professor Glover has formerly held posts as chief scientific advisor to the Scottish Government and the President of the European Commission.