Fossil fuels in bailout bonanza as drinks giants look to ditch plastic

Written by Lori Campbell on 18th May 2020

Fossil fuel giants in the US are in line for a bailout bonanza to help them recover from the coronavirus crisis as Coca-Cola and Carlsberg back all-plant drinks containers that can rot to nothing within a year. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank commits to putting 200 billion euros into sustainable investment by 2025, Clim8 Invest smashes its crowdfunding target with £1.5 million raised so far and Superdrug removes all plastic from its tampon applicators. It’s the Good With Money news brief. 

 

Fossil fuel giants set for coronavirus bailout bonanza

Fossil fuel giants and coal-powered utilities in the US are set to gain from a $750 billion (£605 billion) government bailout bonanza to help them recover from the coronavirus crisis.

At least 90 fossil fuel companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron and Koch Industries, stand to benefit from the Federal Reserve’s coronavirus bond buyback programme. More than 150 utilities including coal-heavy firms such as American Electric Power and Duke Energy will also qualify.

The bond buyback scheme is expected to be worth at least $750 billion (£605 billion) in total and will be paid out by the end of September. The size of the payout that could go to fossil fuels and utilities is as yet unknown. The scheme is to be discussed in the US Senate on Tuesday.

Jason Disterhoft, a senior campaigner at Rainforest Action Network, which carried out the analysis, said public money should be used to bail out companies only with strict conditions attached. “Our concern is that these recovery funds should be prioritising people and communities and they are going instead to big companies to pay down their debts,” he said.

Meanwhile, a new study of six European oil and gas giants reveals that despite taking steps towards net zero, none of the companies are currently aligned with the 1.5 degrees global temperature goal.

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Coca-Cola and Carlsberg back all-plant drinks containers that can rot to nothing

Drinks giants Coca-Cola and Carlsberg have backed a project aiming to replace drinks containers with an all-plant material that completely decomposes within one year.

The global beverage companies see the Plastic Bottle Project as a promising solution for moving their drinks packaging moving away from plastics.

The project is run by The Paper Bottle Company (Pabaco), a joint venture between paper packaging material developer BillerudKorsnäs and bottle manufacturing specialist ALPLA.

Dutch biochemical company Avantium is also part of the project and is working to develop a plant-based material strong enough to hold drinks.

Its XYZ plant-to-plastics PEF material will provide the strengthening layer supporting the paper bottle. When the paper and plant-plastic are separated, the entire bottle can be recycled.


Plastic pollution: the technologies helping to clean up our oceans


Deutsche Bank targets 200 billion euros of sustainable investment by 2025

German lender Deutsche Bank plans to pump at least 200 billion euros (£178 billion) into sustainable financing and investments by 2025.

The money will include loans provided by the bank, bonds placed on behalf of its clients and assets managed by its private bank. It does not include assets managed by its fund arm, DWS.

The move, its first formal target for sustainable investment comes as pressure builds on banks to support the globally agreed transition to a low-carbon and more environmentally-friendly economy.

Deutsche Bank said it would base its definition of sustainable activities on a planned European Union framework, known as the sustainable finance taxonomy or use its own “transparent criteria”.


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Clim8 smashes crowdfunding target with £1.5 million raised

Sustainable investing app Clim8 Invest has exceeded its public crowdfunding by three times – reaching £1.5 million – as investors look to tackle climate change.

It’s 1200 investors include venture capital fund 7percent Ventures and directors of leading fintechs including N26. The raise, which is still open for investment, makes it one of the most successful crowdfunds on CrowdCube of 2020 so far.

Clim8 now has more than 5,000 people on a waiting list ahead of its launch this summer.

The platform will provide a simple way to invest into a targeted portfolio of companies that are making a positive impact on climate change.

Investors can choose to put their money into clean energy, clean technology, sustainable food, electric mobility and/or recycling.


Read the Good With Money interview with Clim8 founder Duncan Grierson here.


Superdrug removes all plastic from its tampons

Superdrug has removed all plastic from its own-brand tampons and launched a new range of organic menstrual products.

The move by the health and beauty retailer will save more than 418kg of plastic per year. The brand will use cardboard applicators to replace the plastic varieties, alongside offering non-applicator tampons.

Superdrug joined forces with environmental activist Ella Daish after she campaigned for companies and governments to remove plastic from women’s sanitary products.

Daish, the founder of the #EndPeriodPlastic movement, said she hopes to see other retailers make the same decision.

Meanwhile, Wilko has launch an eco range. Bottles in the range are recycled as well as recyclable, ingredients are plant-derived and friendly to aquatic life, and the whole kit is vegan-friendly. It’s also pocket-friendly with washing-up liquid and bathroom spray available from just £1.


Check out our five easy steps towards living plastic free