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Coca-Cola company trials first paper bottle

Coca-Cola is to test a paper bottle as part of a longer-term bid to eliminate plastic from its packaging entirely. The prototype is made by a Danish company from an extra-strong paper shell that still contains a thin plastic liner. But the goal is to create a 100% recyclable, plastic-free bottle capable of preventing gas escaping from carbonated drinks. The barrier must also ensure no fibers flake off into the liquid. That would pose a risk of altering the taste of the drink - or potentially fall foul of health and safety checks. But industry giants are backing the plan. Coca-Cola, for example, has set a goal of producing zero waste by 2030. (BBC)


President Joe Biden has called on U.S. farmers to lead the way in offsetting greenhouse gas emissions to battle climate change — a goal fourth generation cattle rancher Loren Poncia set out to achieve over a decade ago. Despite working in the beef sector, a big contributor to global warming, Poncia has transformed his Northern California ranch into one of the few carbon-positive livestock operations in the country. Experts estimate that farmers across the world can sequester a large enough portion of carbon through regenerative agriculture practices to avert the worst impacts of climate change. Research suggests removing carbon already in the atmosphere and replenishing soil worldwide could result in a 10% carbon drawdown. Poncia’s ranch sequesters more carbon than it emits through practices like rotational cattle grazing systems that allow soil and grass to recover, applying compost instead of chemical fertilizers to pastures to avoid tilling, building worm farms and planting chicory to aerate the soil. (CNBC)


Britain’s coronavirus-ravaged economy slumped by 9.9 per cent in 2020, the biggest annual crash in output in more than 300 years, but it avoided heading back towards recession at the end of last year and looks to be on course for a recovery in 2021. Official figures showed gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.0 per cent between October and December, at the top end of the range of forecasts by economists in a Reuters poll. This makes it likely that Britain will escape two straight quarters of contraction - the standard definition of recession in Europe - even though the economy is set to shrink sharply in early 2021 due to the effects of a third COVID lockdown. Britain’s economy grew 1.2 per cent in December alone, after a 2.3 per cent fall in output in November when there was a partial lockdown, leaving output 6.3 per cent lower than in February before the start of the pandemic, the Office for National Statistics said. (Reuters/CNA)


U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly fell in early February amid growing pessimism about the economy among households with annual incomes below US$75,000, even as the government is poised to deliver another round of COVID-19 relief money. The ebb in sentiment reported by the University of Michigan on Friday was also despite a decline in new coronavirus cases and an improvement in the distribution of vaccines. It underscored the so-called K-shaped recovery, where better-paid workers are doing well while lower-paid workers are losing out. The government provided nearly US$900 billion in additional fiscal stimulus in late December, which included direct cash payments to mostly lower-income households and an extension of a weekly unemployment supplement. The U.S. Congress is working on President Joe Biden’s proposed US$1.9 trillion recovery plan, which would see more stimulus checks sent to poor families. (CNA/Reuters) mannyrabacal1144@