Connect with us


Nestle pledges to make all its packaging recyclable by 2025



Nestle wants to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, the Swiss food giant said on Tuesday, becoming the latest food company to vow to reduce plastic waste.

Environmentalists criticized the plan as lacking substance.

European governments have stepped up efforts to reduce plastic waste littering land and sea, and companies across the food supply chain are following suit. UK supermarket chain Waitrose pledged on Tuesday to ban disposable coffee cups from its shops by this autumn.

“Plastic waste is one of the biggest sustainability issues the world is facing today. Tackling it requires a collective approach,” Nestle Chief Executive Mark Schneider said in a statement.

The world’s biggest packaged food company said it would focus on eliminating non-recyclable plastics, encourage the use of plastics that allow better recycling rates and eliminate or change complex combinations of packaging materials.

“We are working on changing the colors used for our plastic packaging. Lighter colors are easier to recycle,” Nestle sustainability expert Duncan Pollard told reporters on a call.

Environmental group Greenpeace said Nestle had missed giving clear quantitative targets on the reduction of plastic waste, calling the announcement “greenwashing.”

“The company is one of the parties responsible for the serious plastic crisis in the oceans,” Greenpeace Switzerland spokesman Yves Zenger said in a statement, adding Nestle should ultimately completely renounce single-use plastic packaging.

Nestle’s Pollard said on the call the recycling of single-use plastics depended on there being a recycling infrastructure in place and particularly countries in South-East Asia, such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, had to make improvements in this area.

Nestle rival Unilever said last week it had struck a partnership to pioneer a new technology which converts PET (polyethylene terephthalate) waste back into virgin-grade material for use in food packaging. The company already committed last year to making all of its plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Coffee chain Starbucks is doing its bit by offering customers a discount on their drink if they bring in their own tumbler or cup.

The British government announced plans last month to introduce a deposit return scheme for single-use drink containers and EU regulators have said they want to increase recycling of plastic, after China banned imports of “foreign garbage” from the start of 2018.

Source link


Economy about to grow quicker due to vaccinations, fiscal support



Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before the Senate Banking Committee hearing on “The Quarterly CARES Act Report to Congress” on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 1, 2020.

Susan Walsh | Pool | Reuters

The U.S. economy is at a turning point thanks to government support and a speedy campaign to inoculate Americans against Covid-19, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in a new interview.

“What we’re seeing now is really an economy that seems to be at an inflection point,” Powell told Scott Pelley during an interview that will air Sunday evening on CBS News’ “60 Minutes.” CBS released a portion of the interview earlier Sunday.

“We feel like we’re at a place where the economy’s about to start growing much more quickly and job creation coming in much more quickly,” Powell said. “So the principal risk to our economy right now really is that the disease would spread again. It’s going to be smart if people can continue to socially distance and wear masks.”

Powell’s comments come as U.S. stock indices are at record levels thanks in part to optimism about the reopening of the economy. Investors will be watching closely next week as earnings season kicks off and company leaders issue forecasts for the coming year.

The nationwide vaccination drive has been speeding up in recent weeks, with nearly every state making all adults over 16 years old eligible for shots.

About 183 million doses of vaccine have been administered in the U.S., according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Nearly half the country’s adult population, and almost 80% of those 65 and older, have received at least one dose, CDC data shows.

Powell, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, has been one of the key figures in the federal government overseeing the nation’s response to the financial distress caused by the pandemic.

The Federal Reserve slashed its benchmark rate to near zero in March of 2020 and deployed massive emergency lending programs. Powell has said the Fed is unlikely to raise rates until the economy is essentially fully healed, even if inflation rises moderately above its 2% target.

Powell has also been supportive of aggressive federal spending programs implemented under both Trump and President Joe Biden to stem the worst impacts of the public health crisis.

The full interview with Powell will air on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.

Subscribe to CNBC Pro for the TV livestream, deep insights and analysis  on how to invest during the next presidential term.

Source link

Continue Reading


Stock futures slip after Dow, S&P 500 hit fresh records



A Wall Street street sign is displayed in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.

Bloomberg | Getty Images

Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes slipped at the start of the overnight session Sunday evening, suggesting Wall Street could see mild losses on Monday to curb last week’s strength in U.S. equity markets.

Dow futures lost 30 points around 6 p.m. in New York, while contracts tied to the S&P 500 shed 0.15%. Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.1%.

The movement in the futures market on Sunday followed yet another record close for the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday, when it gained nearly 300 points to end at 33,800.6. The S&P 500 gained 0.8% and hit its third straight record close.

Stocks linked to the recovering economy led many of last week’s gains as vaccinations efforts throughout the U.S. accelerated. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 climbed at least 2% last week. The Nasdaq rallied 3.1% over the same period as some traders snapped up big tech names, with Apple up more than 8% and Amazon and Alphabet each gaining more than 6%.

The first-quarter earnings reporting season gets underway in the week ahead, with expectations set for broadly positive news and an uptrend for U.S. equities thanks to a recovering economy. Many of the nation’s largest banks, including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase will report results for the three months ended March 31.

The coming week is also packed with Federal Reserve speeches and key economic data including a hotly anticipated inflation reading Tuesday, when the consumer price index is released.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell begins a week of multiple Fed appearances with a Sunday evening interview on “60 Minutes.” He also speaks Wednesday at an Economic Club of Washington event.

“A positive fiscal shock, strong housing tailwinds, a large stock of savings, and the Fed letting inflation run above 2% mark a fundamentally different economic backdrop,” Evercore ISI equity strategist Dennis DeBusschere wrote in an email. “US data is expected to be strong this week and US vaccinations are increasing. Real rates are still too negative and are headed higher, supporting risk-on factor outperformance.”

Investors will also keep an eye on President Joe Biden’s effort to advance his infrastructure plan known as the American Jobs Plan. Biden, who with other Democrats promised significant an infrastructure overhaul in the 2020 elections, will meet with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday to try to persuade Capitol Hill to back the $2 trillion package.

Congress will return to Washington this week and be in session for the first time since Biden debuted his proposal, which earmarks hundreds of billions of dollars for roads, bridges, airports, broadband, electric vehicles, housing and job training.

The president’s plan would also increase the corporate tax rate to 28% and crack down on other overseas tax avoidance strategies.

Enjoyed this article?
For exclusive stock picks, investment ideas and CNBC global livestream
Sign up for CNBC Pro
Start your free trial now

Source link

Continue Reading


Covid variant from South Africa was able to ‘break through’ Pfizer vaccine in Israeli study



An Israeli health worker of the Maccabi Healthcare Services prepares to administer a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine on February 24, 2021 in Tel Aviv.

Jack Guez | AFP | Getty Images

The coronavirus variant first discovered in South Africa is able to evade some of the protection of the PfizerBioNTech vaccine, according to a new Israeli study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University and Clalit, the largest health-care organization in Israel, examined nearly 400 people who had tested positive for Covid-19 after receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. They compared them to the same number of people who were infected and unvaccinated.

The researchers found the prevalence of the variant from South Africa, known as B.1.351, among patients who received two doses of the vaccine was about eight times higher than those who were unvaccinated. The data, published online over the weekend, suggest the B.1.351 is better able to “break through” the protection of the vaccine than the original strain, the researchers wrote in the study.

“Based on patterns in the general population, we would have expected just one case of the South African variant, but we saw eight,” Professor Adi Stern, who headed the research, told The Times of Israel. “We can say it’s less effective, but more research is needed to establish exactly how much.”

CNBC has reached out to Pfizer for comment on the study.

The new data comes as public health officials grow concerned that highly contagious variants, which studies have shown can reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, could stall the world’s progress on the pandemic.

Last month, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky issued a dire warning, telling reporters that she worried the United States is facing “impending doom” as variants spread and daily Covid-19 cases begin to rebound once again, threatening to send more people to the hospital.

“I’m going to pause here, I’m going to lose the script, and I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom,” she said March 29. “We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope, but right now I’m scared.”

Israel launched its national vaccination campaign in December prioritizing people 60 and older, health-care workers, and people with comorbid conditions. By February, it was leading the world in vaccinations, inoculating millions of its citizens against the virus.

In January, Pfizer and the Israeli Ministry of Health entered into a collaboration agreement to monitor the real-world impact of its vaccine.

The researchers noted the main caveat of the study was the same sample size. B.1.351 only made up about 1% of all Covid-19 cases, they said. B.1.1.7, the variant first identified in the U.K., is more prevalent.

As variants spread, drugmakers said they are testing whether a third dose would offer more protection.

In February, Pfizer and BioNTech said they were testing a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine to better understand the immune response against new variants of the virus.

Source link

Continue Reading