2018 in review: The top stories of the year

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The trend of the year. Sustainability: A colossal topic this year has been sustainability, exemplified in the rhetoric around plastic waste. This was dubbed the “Blue Planet effect” in the UK, where the wildlife documentary had a profound impact on viewers as it documented plastic waste being consumed by marine wildlife. War was declared on single-use plastic items and huge global players rallied to make high-profile plastic pledges banning straws or pledging to make all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by a set date. In October, more than 290 organizations, compromising 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced globally, signed The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. The commitment is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and UN Environment and aims to create “a new normal” for plastic packaging. A Plastic Planet, an organization which openly advocates the 100 percent discontinuation of plastics in food and beverage packaging, drove the launches of “plastic free zones,” the first of which in Amsterdam’s EkoPlaza supermarket.

Sustainability

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