NewsBits

NewsBits

McDonald's has announced it will be phasing out expanded polystyrene beverage cups in favor of paper cups at its 14,000 U.S. restaurant locations. The move follows a pilot phase-out of EPS cups at 2,000 McDonalds restaurants on the West Coast in 2012, and is the latest effort by the fast-food giant to respond to ongoing packaging and environmental concerns among shareholders and advocates.

California authorities arrested five individuals for an alleged large-scale fraud operation in which thousands of used beverage containers were purchased from Nevada recycling centers and then brought by the truckload to redemption centers in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley areas. Authorities say the scheme was valued at more than $300,000.

The U.K.'s first plastic bag recycling facility has begun production in southeast London. PlasRecycle managed to raise roughly $17.1 million to build the facility and plans to open another plant in the north of England. PlasRecycle's founder said the move is in part a reaction to China's recent effort to curb imports of lower-grade plastic film.

Voters in the small town of Homer, Alaska will decide the fate of a bag ban on Oct. 1, 2013 with a referendum on whether to repeal the measure. The ban was introduced in January of this year after strong public support convinced city council members to adopt the ordinance.

North American packaging group PAC NEXT announced its support for a recent protocol from the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers that aims to decrease contamination in PET bottle recycling streams. The protocol identifies adhesives that allow for easier removal of labels.

Researchers at Australia's University of Adelaide have developed a process for transforming plastic grocery bags into a "nanomaterial" that can be used in filtration and energy storage systems as well as biomedical technologies. The researchers vaporize bags in a heating chamber, and the resulting material is used to create tiny strands of carbon atoms that have been proven to be extraordinarily strong and lightweight.

 

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