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173 countries have agreed to halve emissions from the global shipping industry by 2050, compared to 2008 levels, in a non-binding deal arranged by the International Maritime Organisation. Saudi Arabia, the US and several other countries raised objections to the proposed emissions cuts. Shipping was not covered by the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change.
Frozen food supermarket Iceland has pledged to remove palm oil from all of its own-brand lines by the end of 2018, citing concerns over collapsing orangutan populations and deforestation. The initiative - the first of its kind among major UK supermarkets - should reduce demand for palm oil by over 500 tonnes a year.
The Sustainable Restaurant Association has launched its One Planet Plate campaign, asking restaurants to showcase sustainable and ethical eating by devising one dish that uses local sourcing, zero waste, better meat, lower carbon footprint or other environmental or ethical considerations. Hundreds of restaurants are taking part in the scheme.
Start-up Wild Type have raised $3.5 million towards the development of a platform and set of technologies that they hope could allow any type of meat to be cultured in the laboratory.
A sugar tax came into force in the UK on 6 April. Soft drinks manufacturers will be levied 18p per litre of drink that contains more than 5 grams of sugar per 100ml. Unsweetened fruit juices and milk are exempt.
Walmart has developed a machine learning tool to predict when fruit and vegetables will spoil and make supply chains less wasteful.
A report (PDF link) tested bottled water in nine different countries and found that 242 out of 259 bottles contained small pieces of plastic. The report suggests that at least some of the plastic particles may be coming from the packaging or the bottling process.
UK farmers may be given targets to reverse soil damage and restore soil health by 2030, as part of an agricultural bill to be brought before parliament later this year.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have sequenced the genomes of 913 types of microbes found inside cows’ digestive systems, hoping to discover more about the types of enzymes that the microbes use to break down the food.
A wireless soil probe that measures soil conditions every 15 minutes could help farmers to apply fertilisers more efficiently and prevent overwatering. Each probe has 23 sensors and sends data to a software interface that summarises the information for farmers. Factors measured include levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, pH, moisture, temperature and aeration.
Dutch shopping chain Ekoplaza has launched a plastic-free pop-up store in Amsterdam. Products sold include meat, rice, sauces, dairy, chocolate, cereals, fruit and vegetables. The aisle includes conventional packaging materials such as cardboard, glass and metal, but also introduces biodegradable replacements for plastic.
Greenpeace is calling for global meat and dairy consumption to be halved by 2050, citing climate change, the health benefits of plant-based foods and the association of animal farming with antimicrobial resistance.
Genetically modified salmon could potentially be on the US market by 2019.
Since 2016, French grocery stores have been banned from throwing away edible food. This story examines the effects of the new law. For example, donations to food banks have increased in quantity and quality.