Kickstart: A growing UK shortage has one industry losing its fizz

If you’ve thought that you were seeing problems with supply shortages in the U.S., the United Kingdom is looking far worse, seeing a lack of chickens that shut down fast-food restaurants, a driver shortage and now a carbon dioxide shortfall that could force the U.K. soft drink industry to shut down.”Some soft drinks manufacturers have only a few days of CO2 supply left in reserve,” Sept. 20. “As it stands, most CO2 suppliers are currently not scheduling beyond 24 hours in advance, meaning there is no visibility as to U.K. stocks and no certainty around deliveries. If soft drinks manufacturers cannot get hold of CO2 supplies after their reserves have run out, production of certain products will have to cease.”Much of the problem has to do with less production at fertilizer factories. The CO2 is a byproduct of fertilizer operations.The soft drinks sector supports more than 300,000 jobs in the U.K., the association noted as it urged lawmakers to prioritize CO2. That includes bottling and other packaging suppliers.The shortage in the U.K. is linked both to pandemic-related slowdowns and a lack of labor, but the recent Brexit from the European Union also means that the supply of CO2 from European suppliers from regions such as the Netherlands is being allocated to EU customers first.Failing to act now, the association says, will mean fewer fizzy drinks during the Christmas holidays.Sherri Mason, sustainability coordinator at Penn State Behrend, is also an expert on plastics pollution. Sherri Mason, sustainability coordinator at Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pa., has been named a recipient of a for her work on marine plastics in the Great Lakes.Mason is one of the top experts in the nation on microplastics and joined Penn State Behrend in 2019 to help guide the next generation of plastics engineers and managers.”There is an awareness, not only in the industry, but within the program, about end-of-life issues with plastics. And I think they have an honest interest in really looking at that and thinking about it and finding an honest solution to it,” earlier this year. She is one of six people recognized by the Great Lakes Protection Fund this year. “When everyone else was focused on Plastic in the ocean, [she] was looking at the Great Lakes, not only finding plastic there, but identifying where it was ending up and how it might be impacting our health,” David Rankin, executive director for the fund, said. The tiny toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals are about to get a little greener.The restaurant chain announced Sept. 21 that future toys will be made with either recycled or bio-based plastics or use paper or other materials.Jenny McColloch, McDonald’s chief sustainability officer, and Amy Murray, vice president of global marketing enablement, are among those at McDonald’s working on the plans to convert future toys, according Advertising Age.Murray and McColloch and their team are bringing in both kids and toymakers to make sure everyone is on the same page.While the toys are small, they add up. According to McDonald’s, its virgin plastics reduction represents the equivalent of more than 650,000 people eliminating plastics from their lives each year. Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you’d like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at Please enter a valid email address.Please enter your email address.Please verify captcha.Please select at least one newsletter to subscribe. Staying current is easy with Plastics News delivered straight to your inbox, free of charge. Subscribe to Plastics News Plastics News covers the business of the global plastics industry. We report news, gather data and deliver timely information that provides our readers with a competitive advantage.Customer Service:

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