To reduce food waste, scientists are making labels that track produce as it spoils

This new label mimics the product's decline in freshness by forming a bumpy surface.

A new type of use-by label for milk bottles that decomposes as the liquid inside goes sour could appear on UK supermarket shelves later this year. Labels such as these, capable of telling consumers exactly when fresh produce has gone bad, are being developed by scientists who want to stop food from being prematurely discarded. … Read more

To slash emissions, industries must capture carbon and store it

Carbon capture and storage is the only way for many industries to significantly reduce emissions, according to Sintef scientist Kristin Jordal.

The technology to help limit global warming to 1.5˚C already exists, but there needs to be the will to use it, according to Kristin Jordal, an engineer and senior research scientist at the Norwegian research organisation Sintef. As coordinator of the CEMCAP project, she and her colleagues have been investigating how to reduce greenhouse gas … Read more

In a zero-waste society, people will need to share and repair

Recycling can be inefficient when parts such as dashboards from cars are too hard to dismantle, says Felipe Maya.

Businesses and consumers need to stop thinking of products as things to own and move towards a culture of sharing and repairing if we are to fulfil the ambition of creating a circular economy, according to Felipe Maya, project and innovation manager at sustainable engineering firm Exergy, headquartered in Coventry, UK. Maya and his colleagues … Read more

Seaweed-powered trucks – hope or hype?

The infrastructure for turning seaweed into a sustainable alternative for livestock feed, chemicals and energy is still in its infancy.

Seaweed has long been touted for its potential as a sustainable ingredient for biofuels, green chemicals and biodegradable materials, but scaling up production to industrial levels in a way that maintains its environmental credentials is proving a real challenge for scientists. ‘The potential is there, all the data points to it,’ said Dr Jaap van … Read more

Discarded waste could be a treasure trove of rare metals

Magnetic fields are among the techniques being developed to extract metal particles from slags (stony waste matter).

Miners could soon be scouring mounds of industrial waste to extract rare metals that are needed for products such as electronics, pacemakers, aircraft parts and bicycle gears. Researchers are attempting to figure out how to recover metals that are in limited supply in Europe from material that is often dumped or used in low-grade applications. They … Read more

Flat-pack homes and profit-sharing retrofits are making sustainable housing affordable

Solar panels help the SOLACE flat-pack houses produce more energy than needed.

Wealth-generating, flat-pack solar houses and a profit-sharing scheme that incentivises retrofitting are bringing sustainable living to people who would otherwise not be able to afford it. ‘One of the biggest problems that we see right now is (the creation of) a big gap between the lower and the middle classes. Everyone is talking about this … Read more