Posts with term Mondelez International X

Has this company solved the recycling crisis?

The next time you reach into your freezer for a pint of Haagen Dazs Amaretto Black Cherry Almond ice cream, or perhaps grab a bottle of Pantene Moisture Renewal shampoo, you might be putting your hands on something unusual in the world of consumer goods — a reusable container.   More than 150 companies have signed up to work with Loop, an innovative alternative to Amazon where the products ± as well as the box they arrive in — are all shipped back to where they came from.   We are talking reusable here, not recyclable. The cold container for ice cream, as well as the shampoo bottle, are made of durable products and designed to be returned, cleaned and reused dozens, if not hundreds of times.   Loop is the brainchild of entrepreneur Tom Szaky, who created TerraCycle as a Princeton drop out to recycle the food waste from the university dining halls into fertilizer — using worms. His company is now worth $20 million, and he’s branching out.   Customers order their products online from a list of name brand items, all delivered via UPS in a sturdy tote. The empties go back into the tote, which UPS takes back to Loop’s New Jersey processing center. They are cleaned and refilled by the suppliers to be shipped out by Loop again. Even though consumers are buying just the contents, the products cost about the same as those sold in single-use containers — in part to offset the cost of the development and manufacturing of the more durable containers, as well as cleaning and refilling.   Although the selection is limited compared to Amazon, there is still an array of well-known staples to fill up the pantry: Hellman’s mayoTropicana orange juiceColgate toothpasteHidden Valley ranch dressingTide detergent, among many others — courtesy of some of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Danone, Mars Petcare and Mondelēz International.   Currently, Loop has about 25,000 customers in its test markets in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland and Washington, D.C., in the United States, and in Paris, France. But they are in the process of expanding across the United States and internationally, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and Japan. Watch how Szaky says he plans to grow his business into a juggernaut. Loop just recently announced it was partnering with Walgreens and Kroger to start offering its products in stores. So you can perhaps pick up that pint of that Amaretto Black Cherry Almond ice cream and return the container the very next day. Some video imagery courtesy of UPS and Loop.

Loop CEO: Zero-Waste Shopping Service Continues to Grow

hero It’s been nine months since the startup Loop, brainchild of TerraCycle founder and CEO Tom Szaky, took the world by storm with its zero-waste circular delivery service. If you’re like us at TriplePundit, you’re probably wondering how it is doing as it nears the one-year mark. While the company does not disclose its total number of subscribers, Szaky gave a candid update at last week’s Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit in New York.

Adding one brand per day

First announced at the World Economic Forum in January, Loop made its initial start with pilots in metro New York and Paris. Ever since, Szaky says, business has been quickly growing. Today, Loop is available in select areas in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland and Washington, D.C. It is in the process of expanding throughout the United States, as well as the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and Japan, Szaky said. And with comments such as “When is Loop coming to Illinois….I can’t wait!” sprinkled across Loop’s Instagram account, it seems expansion can’t come soon enough for many. Loop’s value proposition is enabling the consumer “to responsibly consume a variety of commonly used products from leading consumer brands in customized, brand-specific durable packaging delivered in a specially designed reusable shipping tote.” When finished with the product, the packaging is collected, cleaned, refilled and reused. There are no monthly membership fees or subscriptions, although customers do pay a refundable one-time deposit to borrow the reusable container. “Loop will not just eliminate the idea of packaging waste, but greatly improve the product experience and shopping convenience,” Szaky said at the launch. The initial coalition included 28 partners such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, PepsiCo, Mondelez International, Nestlé, Danone and UPS.  Today, the list has grown to 42 partners selling brands such as Häagen-DazsTide, Tropicana and Colgate. Essential to Loop’s success is its ability to offer consumers the same choice they would find in brick-and-mortar retail stores, and the Loop management team knew that quickly scaling up offerings was key. According to Szaky, Loop is now adding approximately one new brand per day. The brands themselves seem to be having fun with new packaging design, such as Procter & Gamble, whose ProPantene shampoo and conditioner containers are emblazoned with “I Reuse….I Love the Oceans.”

Shoppers love ice cream from Loop, but not for the reason expected

While the products do come shipped in reusable Loop containers, critics on social media have pointed out that some of the products that Loop sells—including detergent pods and wipes—contain plastic that is not recyclable. But it turns out that this may not be relevant to the majority of Loop consumers: Only a third of Loop subscribers joined the service based on sustainability concerns, Szaky said; the majority claim to have joined because of the model itself, including its convenience, something that even Szaky found surprising—and, it seems, a little frustrating given his zero-waste zeal. To date, the company says beverages in glass bottles such as Evian and Tropicana have been among the top-selling products among Loop subscribers in France. In the United States, top sellers include Clorox wipes, Cascade dishwasher detergent tabs, Pantene shampoo and Häagen-Dazs ice cream.

A few habits that throw this circular economy model for a loop

Another interesting learning that Szaky shared was that while Loop customers want similar prices for products they would buy in traditional stores, they have not been price sensitive to the deposit fees. “It’s exciting that consumers are willing to temporarily invest in the reusable containers,” he remarked. While temporary, the cost of the containers, in some cases, are not inexpensive. Take two of the top-selling products: The container for Clorox Wipes requires a $10 deposit, while the deposit for the Häagen-Dazs ice cream container is $5. Only time will tell if the model will continue to be successful, especially as more and more companies, from Unilever to Nestlépledge to reduce their use of plastic packaging in the next 10 to 20 years. For now, however, this service seems to be a model in high demand.

Brands Ask Consumers For Behavior Change To Reverse The Problem With Plastics

The problem with plastics has reached a tipping point. And whether you're an environmental crusader or just a citizen of the world, the impact on your life is inevitable. As a social impact professional, the consumer behavior implications underlying this movement is one to watch, no matter your impact area of choice. Starbucks strawless lid Starbucks has designed, developed and manufactured a strawless lid, which will become the standard for all iced coffee, tea and espresso beverages CREDIT: STARBUCKS Whether it's California imposing a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at large retail stores, companies like Starbucks pledging to eliminate plastic straws or the commitment of leading companies to “lock up” ocean plastics, companies and consumers alike are starting to feel the pressure to change daily plastic use habits. We all know that consumer behavior change is notoriously tricky to achieve. Several brands are trialing a variety of 'refill and reuse' options around the globe to determine the most feasible ways to help customers become more conscious consumers. A few examples of note: PepsiCo Hydration Station Floor Model 2 PepsiCo Hydration Station Floor Model 2 CREDIT: PRNEWSFOTO/PEPSICO PepsiCo will roll out a new, mobile-enabled hydration platform in select workplaces, universities and hospitality partners as part of their 'Beyond the Bottle' initiative. The platform is made up of three components: a water dispenser, smartphone app and personalized QR code sticker for reusable bottles that allows consumers to set their own hydration goals, track their environmental impact and save preferences like flavors and carbonation levels. Algramo tricycle delivering home products in Chile Unilever is partnering with Algramo in Chile to deliver home care products directly to consumer homes. CREDIT: UNILEVER Unilever is piloting an app-powered, intelligent dispensing system that uses electric tricycles to deliver homecare products to people’s homes in Chile. Shoppers buy reusable containers for laundry and dishwashing detergent, create an online account and then arrange a free visit of an electric tricycle to make a home visit to refill their product containers. When the tricycle arrives, consumers simply dispense the desired amount and pay per weight. Alaska Airlines water bottle Alaska Airlines asks flyers to #FillBeforeYouFly CREDIT: PRNEWSWIRE/ALASKA AIRLINES As part of their effort to reduce in-flight waste, Alaska Airlines is encouraging flyers to #FillBeforeYouFly by bringing their own water bottle and filling it before they board. As an incentive, the airline will plant a tree for every passenger who brings a pre-filled water bottle onto their flight and posts a photo to social media tagging @AlaskaAir with the hashtag #FillBeforeYouFly. Unilever circular stainless steel deodorants Unilever's first deodorants to be circular by design are made from stainless steel and developed to last forever. UNILEVER Global recycling organization TerraCycle unveiled a new "circular shopping platform" called Loop that replaces single-use disposable packaging with durable, reusable packaging on products ranging from ice cream to deodorant. Companies piloting the platform include Procter & Gamble, Unilever, PepsiCo, Mondelez International, Nestlé, Danone, and UPS. Consumers buy online and products are delivered in a reusable tote. Once finished, Loop picks the product container up from their home, replenishes the products and returns the refilled shipping tote back to the consumer’s doorstep. Whether you're involved in environmental issues such as the impact of plastics or not, the trend is clear: consumer behavior change can make a significant impact on a wide variety of causes. The companies and nonprofit organizations that will ultimately earn consumer attention are those that help make these behavior changes a bit easier to adapt by effectively leveraging innovative partnerships and available technologies.

Rethinking Food Packaging May Address the Plastic Crisis

As society comes to terms with its plastics problem, companies and individuals are finding alternative ways to package their food. Looking at the contents of the average grocery cart, it is no surprise that the World Economic Forum warns that there will be more plastic than fish by weight in oceans by 2050. From coffee bags to cheese wrappers—food and beverage packaging is a major contributor to plastic pollution. Scientists warn that the proliferation of plastics in the environment is creating a variety of health and ecological problems. Some companies are starting to recognize the need to act. Nestlé estimates that it produced about 1.5 million tons of plastic in 2018. In April 2018, Nestlé committed to make 100 percent of their packaging reusable or recyclable by 2025. Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said in the announcement, “Plastic waste is one of the biggest sustainability issues the world is facing today. Tackling it requires a collective approach. We are committed to finding improved solutions to reduce, re-use, and recycle.” From 2020–2025, Nestlé will phase-out all plastics that are not recyclable or are hard to recycle. And Nestlé will significantly raise the percentage of recycled plastics used in its water bottle lines by 2025. Starting in 2019, the company will begin to eliminate all plastic straws in their products. The newly created Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences will lead the development and evaluation of new sustainable packaging. Nestlé also joined Loop, a subscription home delivery service for foods and household goods with reusable packaging. Spearheaded by TerraCycle, the project will deliver items to the consumer’s front door in customized, durable packaging that is then collected, cleaned, refilled, and re-used. Nestlé will participate in the project through its brand Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream in New York City, thereby joining other consumer goods producers like Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, and Mondelēz International. Mondelēz International joins the platform with its Milka brand of biscuits, cakes, and sweet snacks as part of its commitment to making all packaging recyclable by 2025. The commitment also includes eliminating 65 million kilograms of packaging material worldwide and sustainably sourcing all paper-based packaging by 2020. Acknowledging the role consumers play in a complete recycling system, Mondelēz also aims to provide better recycling information to consumers by 2025 with clear instructions for their packaging. “Plastic waste and its impact on the planet is a broad, systemic issue that our consumers care deeply about, and which requires a holistic response. Together with partners from across the industry, as well as public and private entities, we can help to develop practical solutions that result in a positive environmental impact,” says Rob Hargrove, Executive Vice President, Research, Development, Quality, and Innovation at Mondelēz. Unilever—the owner of brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Lipton, and Dove—purchases over 2 million tons of plastic a year. The company committed to meeting various packaging goals by 2025: making all their packaging recyclable, compostable, or reusable; using 25 percent recycled plastic in their plastic packing, and halving the waste associated with the disposal of their products. Unilever plans to achieve their goals by developing new processes and technologies such as CreaSolv, which recycles high-value polymers from used tea sachets to make recyclable plastic packaging. The commitments from these companies come amid growing public outcry over the proliferation of plastics in the environment. After an exposition finding plastics from Nestlé, Unilever, and Colgate in a popular diving spot in the Coral Triangle, Abigail Aguilar, campaigner for Greenpeace Philippines, says, “If big companies such as Nestlé and Unilever don’t respond to our calls for reduction in single-use plastic production, these places of ‘paradise’ like Verde Island Passage, will be lost.” A 2018 report from the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives found Nestlé and Unilever were the brands most responsible for plastic pollution in the Philippines. Several public laws are taking steps to reduce plastic waste. Most notably, in October of 2018, the European Parliament voted for a ban of 10 different single-use plastics by 2020. By 2025, the proposition mandates a 25 percent reduction of plastics for which there is no current practical alternative and that 90 percent of beverage bottles will be recycled. One option companies have for reducing plastic moving forward is plant-based biodegradable packaging. NatureWorks uses corn to produce a biodegradable industrial resin or polymer in the form of polylactic acid (PLA). The polymer, called Ingeo, can be used to make products such as compostable coffee capsules and yogurt cups. However, waste administers and experts have found that products made with Ingeo are often not fully compostable or recyclable. It is important to note that biodegradable materials will not break down in landfills. An increase in the use of biodegradable packaging must be accompanied by more composting infrastructure. Another company, TIPA, has created a new packaging technology that is fully biodegradable in both industrial and home composting. They promote their technology as an alternative to conventional flexible packaging, such as candy bar wrappers and coffee bean bags. Flexible packaging is generally not recyclable. TIPA asserts their packaging is as good as conventional flexible packaging in terms of shelf life, durability, sealing strength, printability, and flexibility. Some smaller food and beverage companies have already paved the way for sustainable packaging. For example, Alter Eco’s quinoa packaging is compostable and made by Gone4GoodB.O.S.S. Food’s snack bars use compostable wrappers made by TIPA. It may be possible to avoid packaging altogether. Zero-waste stores popping up in places from Brooklyn to Malaysia allow customers to take home bulk products in reusable containers. While fruits and vegetables often come in bulk, many companies also package these foods to extend shelf life. Apeel Sciences has found another solution. Their product is a thin edible and tasteless coating made from plant material that can be applied to fruits and veggies to significantly improve shelf-life. Founder and CEO James Rogers says, “our [mission] at its core is looking at natural ecosystems to determine and identify what materials it’s using to solve problems and how we might be able to extract and isolate those materials to solve other problems for humanity.” People are also reducing their use of food packaging at home. Homemade or purchased bees wrap wax is a sustainable alternative to plastic wraps and plastic snack or sandwich bags. Not only is beeswax reusable, but it is also compostable, and it requires a lot less energy and greenhouse gasses to produce than aluminum foil. The homemade wraps are made from nothing but beeswax and cotton. Pre-made beeswax wraps are available for purchase from companies like Bee’s Wrap, who also uses tree resin and jojoba oil, a natural antibacterial.    

Two Major Household Products Now Available in Reusable Packaging

Detergent brands Cascade and Tide have joined circular shopping system Loop, with customers in the U.S. now able to buy the products in reusable packaging. Recycling specialists TerraCycle run the program, which enables customers to buy everyday products in durable packaging that can be cleaned, collected, refilled and reused.

Cascade and Tide join Loop packaging re-use scheme

The scheme, run by recycling specialists TerraCycle, enables customers to buy everyday products in durable packaging that can be cleaned, collected, refilled, and reused. Cascade and Tide are both owned by Procter & Gamble, which is one of the major consumer goods companies backing Loop alongside Nestle, PepsiCo, Unilever, Mars Petcare, The Body Shop, Coca-Cola European Partners, and Mondelēz International.

Clorox joins brands in Loop reusable packaging program

Clorox joins brands in Loop reusable packaging program Several major manufacturers are onboard for the circular use pilot. The Clorox Company (NYSE: CLX) has added two of its popular products to the list of items available through the TerraCycle Loop circular sustainable shopping pilot program. First announced at the World Economic Forum in January, Loop enables consumers to purchase commonly-used products in customized, durable packaging that is delivered in a reusable shipping tote. The initiative aims to establish a new model that supports responsible consumption and ends society’s dependence on disposability. Once products are used, consumers place the packaging in a special tote for free pickup, then Loop hygienically cleans the packaging, replenishes the products and returns them to the consumer. TerraCycle partnered with UPS to design its reusable, easily-cleanable tote to handle both liquids and dry goods over multiple uses, Recycling Today reported. The pilot program is available in the mid-Atlantic region of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Clorox crisp lemon disinfecting wipes and Hidden Valley Original Ranch topping and dressing will be available through the program, and the company plans to add a Glad food protection product to the platform later this year. Other products available through the Loop program include Procter & Gamble brands including Tide detergent, Cascade dishwashing products, Pantene haircare items and Oral-B dental care. “We are building on more than 180 years of innovation and world-class consumer insight to enable responsible consumption at scale,” Carolyn Tastad, P&G’s(NYSE: PG) Group President - North America, said. “We’re proud to partner with TerraCycle as the first CPG company to be part of this program as we work to accelerate sustainable innovation and explore new circular solutions that consumers love.” Companies including Unilever, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Danone, Mars Petcare, Mondelēz International are also onboard, per CNN, for a total of about 300 products. The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) and Walgreens (NASDAQ: WBA) are founding retail partners with Loop, and consumers in the pilot region can shop for products through www.thekrogerco.com/loop orwww.walgreens.com/loop, and in the future, the retailers hope to enable consumers to purchase Loop products in stores in select locations.  

Can Zero-Waste Product Packaging Save Us From Our Plastic Addiction?

To solve the ever-growing problem of too much waste and plastic, a coalition of major consumer product manufacturers is borrowing an old-fashioned idea.

Most Care2 readers probably won’t remember the days when the milkman came to call each morning. He used to bring milk and cream in glass bottles, which customers used and then put outside for him to retrieve. Today, that idea is getting a fresh coat of paint. Thanks to a new marketing platform called Loop, the producers of many of the items you buy will market their goods in reusable, returnable stainless steel containers. That’s called zero-waste packaging, my friends, and its time has come. “While recycling is critically important, it is not going to solve waste at the root cause,” Tom Szaky, CEO and cofounder of TerraCycle, one of the partners behind Loop, told Fast Company. “To us, the root cause of waste is not plastic, per se, it’s using things once, and that’s really what Loop tries to change as much as possible.” There’s a lot of truth in that statement. We buy so much stuff these days because it’s convenient and single-serve. Yes, it’s plastic — but it’s not plastic’s fault. Our love affair with convenience has landed us in the mess the world now faces. Here’s how the Loop platform will work:
  • Customers purchase products — anything from Dove deodorant to Haagen-Dazs ice cream — from Loop’s website
  • The purchase includes a deposit for the container
  • UPS, a Loop partner, will deliver the products to the customer’s home in a re-usable, compartmented tote
  • As the products are used up, customers place the empty containers back into the tote
  • When the tote becomes full, customers request a pickup via Loop’s website or drop off the tote at a UPS Store
Loop automatically replenishes the products a customer sends back, so the things you use all the time will come to you as you finish them. Loop calls it “the first subscription model that manages itself.” Each package is designed to be used at least 100 times. Use of that tote to move the products back and forth means there are no cardboard shipping boxes to get rid of — sorry, Amazon. Just consider the volume of garbage that will drop out of the waste stream if this model of packaging becomes the standard for the future. The array of brands participating in the Loop pilot program in New York City and Paris is remarkable. Here are only a few:
  • Crest
  • Seventh Generation
  • Tide
  • Clorox
  • Pantene
  • Nature’s Path Organic
  • Hidden Valley
  • Febreze
Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Danone, Mars Petcare, Mondelēz International and others will provide their products in reusable containers for Loop’s pilot program. Assuming all goes well, we can expect to see Loop roll this idea out to a broader geographic area. With a little luck, maybe zero-waste packaging will be the future of commerce. Sometimes old ideas are the best ideas, after all. Like the old song says — everything old is new again.

TerraCycle establishes global alliance to promote reusable and recyclable packaging / Over 20 major companies join Loop / Circular shopping platform

Another major coalition to reduce plastics waste has been announced (see PIEWeb of 17.01.2019) with consumer goods giants such as Procter & GamblePepsiCo and Coca-Cola participating. Established by waste management company TerraCycle (Trenton, New Jersey / USA; www.terracycle.com), Loop (Trenton; www.loopstore.com) is an e-commerce platform that will ship products in reusable packaging and collect it after use – "Loop is the milkman reimagined."
  Reusable shampoo bottles (Photo: TerraCycle)
Consumers can order products from participating companies, and empty used containers are then put into dedicated shipping tote bags and collected by Loop directly from households. The packaging will be cleaned for refill and reuse, or recycled as appropriate. The aim is to eliminate waste from single-use packaging and shipping materials, such as cardboard boxes. "Through Loop, consumers can now responsibly consume products in specially-designed durable, reusable or fully recyclable packaging made from materials like alloys, glass and engineered plastics," says Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle. Loop was presented at the World Economic Forum(WEF, Geneva / Switzerland; www.weforum.org) that was held from 22-25 January 2019 in Davos / Switzerland. Two pilot projects in New York and Paris will start in the coming spring, with more locations to be added during 2019 and 2020. The other companies taking part in the initiative include UnileverMars PetcareThe Clorox CompanyThe Body ShopCoca-Cola European PartnersMondelēz InternationalDanoneJacobs Douwe EgbertsLesieurBICBeiersdorfRBPeople Against DirtyNature's PathThousand FellGreenhouseGrillianceBurlap & Barrel Single Origin SpicesReinberger Nut ButterCoZie and Preserve. French food retailer Carrefour is the founding retailer, and Tesco will pilot Loop in the UK later in 2019. Transportation company UPSand waste disposal group Suez are also participating.  

DealBook Briefing: Your Davos Cheat Sheet

Tim Cook, Matt Damon, economic worries and social unrest The week of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is a fire hose of news. Headlines, predictions, sightings and tidbits that months and years later are recognized as the flash point for much larger shifts and trends can often get overlooked. To help you sort through it all, we’ve put together this crib sheet of everything that we think was important that happened here in Davos. (Yes, I’m writing this from Davos on my way home.) Before we get into the substance, a couple of observations. The World Economic Forum has traditionally brought together the world’s top political and business leaders. But this year, the political leaders were largely absent — remaining in their home countries to handle crises largely of their own making (President Trump with the shutdown and Prime Minister Theresa May with Brexit). The surprise guest this year was Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, making his first appearance; it may be an indication of Apple’s increasing dependence on foreign markets for growth.


The topic du jour (besides the shutdown) was a debate over where the global economy was headed. Chief executives professed confidence that their earnings would continue apace, while economists and investors talked about the prospect of a recession in 2020. And others, like Ray Dalio — and Seth Klarman, who did not attend, but whose annual letter was a constant talking point — worried about social unrest. Interestingly, Dr. Doom — Nouriel Roubini — was actually upbeat. A Chinese chief executive described his country’s economy as “ugly” — he used that world repeatedly — suggesting that the underlying foundation there was more fragile than most economists acknowledge. That could lead to weakness in China spreading to the rest of the world. And the general sense is that while the U.S. and China may reach a trade détente, we might be headed for a decades-long economic cold war. Larry Fink’s letter and the concept of E.S.G., shorthand for “environmental, social and governance,” got a lot of discussion this year — it felt like it might be a tipping point in the dialogue. European companies are still more interested in E.S.G. than U.S. companies, but it feels like a trend that isn’t going away. TPG’s Rise Fund started a new company, Y Analytics, to measure E.S.G. Bono, a board member of Rise, was on hand to talk about impact investing and to support his Red brand, which he started a decade ago in Davos (DealBook broke that story at the time) as well as his One franchiseMatt Damon was in town to raise money for his water.org, which is turning into a quite successful story (side note: Mr. Damon had to borrow a suit because his bag got lost by Swiss Air). Jane Goodall was also in Davos — and let me say that she is as nice as she is important. Even the Vatican sent a delegation to talk about conscious and inclusive capitalism. And Rebecca Blumenstein, the deputy managing editor of The New York Times, interviewed Bill Gates on Twitter about his work around the globe. ____________________________ Today’s DealBook Briefing was written by Andrew Ross Sorkin in Davos, Switzerland; Stephen Grocer in New York; and Tiffany Hsu and Gregory Schmidt in Paris. The U.S. versus China: It’s not a trade war, it’s a tech war The soap opera of tariff negotiations has riveted economists and executives: Will Beijing keep its promises? Will Washington cooperate? But the real drama is not about trade, but about technology, many in Davos have said. The brewing conflict could affect generations and disrupt the world order, according to Fred Kempe, the chief executive of the think tank Atlantic Council. He wrote: The growing danger is that the tech race could become the primary battleground in a struggle between democracy and autocracy — and between China and the U.S. The dangers of a technological Cold War, a zero-sum contest for global dominance that ultimately separates Chinese and U.S. tech sectors from each other and divides up the world, are increasing. What’s the worry? The billionaire George Soros said that artificial intelligence, when in the hands of authoritarian regimes, was a “mortal threat” to the world. He cited China, which is developing a social credit system that would use personal data to judge an individual’s trustworthiness, as an example. President Xi Jinping could eventually have “total control over the people,” making him “the most dangerous opponent of open societies,” Mr. Soros said. What do the Chinese think? The technology industry relies heavily on global interactions and is “probably suffering the most right now,” said Ken Hu, the deputy chairman of Huawei. The Chinese telecommunications company has been accused by multiple nations, including the U.S., of violating trade rules. Other players, such as the Chinese state-owned oil and gas company Sinopec, say they expect Chinese companies to scale back foreign investment — steps already taken by Alibaba and by GAC Motor. Last year, nearly 60 percent of Chinese C.E.O.s considered the U.S. to be the most important foreign market; this year, only 17 percent feel the same, according to one survey published this past week. Hope for resolution? Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said via video link that Washington was willing to play nice with Beijing if China pledged to protect intellectual property. At a dinner in Davos, a top Chinese regulator heard complaints from international business leaders about the ownership structure of state-owned enterprises and about the Made in China 2025 effort, which aims to take the lead in industries such as artificial intelligence and robotics. But China wants its space. Vice President Wang Qishan said in a speech that “it is imperative to respect national sovereignty and refrain from seeking technological hegemony.” He added: We need to respect the independent choices of model of technology management and of public policies made by countries, and their right to participating in the global technological governance system as equals. More forecasts for a global economic slowdown A recession may not be coming this year, but neither is a boom, Greg Ip of the WSJ writes. The International Monetary Fund downgraded its 2019 forecast for global growth to 3.5 percent. That’s a respectable number, he writes, but the world is struggling to sustain even that muted pace. The reason: The world cannot tolerate interest rates as high as it once did. The “neutral” interest rate — one that is high enough to contain inflation, yet low enough to avoid recession — is much lower than before. The underlying cause: As aging workers retire and birthrates drop, the labor force has grown more slowly. Productivity has also eked out smaller gains than in the past. The upshot: Central banks need to proceed carefully, because a little fiscal tightening goes a long way. More on the global economy: Ray Dalio, founder and chairman of the hedge fund Bridgewater, said he foresaw slower growth rates in the U.S. and Europe. France is sticking to a 1.7 percent economic growth forecast for 2019, the French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said. Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the I.M.F., warned against an overreliance on central banks, urging countries to strengthen their economies through fiscal and structural changes. In the absence of world leaders, the atmosphere was downbeat. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.CreditAndrew Harnik/Associated Press   Image Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.CreditAndrew Harnik/Associated Press Tax the rich Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t in Davos this week. It just felt like she was. The New York representative’s proposal to impose a 70 percent tax rate on income above $10 million came up frequently among the uber-wealthy in attendance. In those elite circles, filled with people whose fortunes have soared in recent years, the idea was not popular. Michael Dell, the billionaire founder of Dell Technologies, is not a fan, for one. Scott Minerd, the chief investment officer of Guggenheim Partners, said the concept was “scary.” Glenn Hutchins, the chairman of North Island and a co-founder of Silver Lake Partners, suggested that it was an attempt to “score political points” and that it would probably be unsuccessful. Ken Moelis, the chief executive of the investment bank Moelis & Company, said it would be “disastrous for the economy.” Stephen Schwarzman, the billionaire chief executive of Blackstone, said he was “wildly enthusiastic” about Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s pitch. (He was being sarcastic.) But as the economy slows and 2020 election talk surges, taxing the rich is a topic that will most likely continue to surface. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a Democratic candidate for president, proposed a so-called ultramillionaire tax this week on the 75,000 wealthiest families in the country, including President Trump’s. Still, top earners would probably figure out how to sidestep such rules, Mr. Minerd said. The political pendulum is swinging. The conservatives found out they’re being held hostage by the extreme right. Now the Democrats are going to find out they’re being held hostage by the extreme left. Defending the international order Globalization had some powerful defenders in Davos, with world leaders imploring delegates not to abandon postwar principles of international integration. Several took jabs at the absent President Trump without mentioning him by name, criticizing his “America First” foreign policy and his habit of provoking trade disputes. The vice president of China, Wang Qishan, whose own country has been accused of running roughshod over foreign competitors and global business rules, nonetheless condemned “practices of the strong bullying the weak and self-claimed supremacy.” Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong, said that certain countries were drifting from the multilateral framework of the past few decades. “If that is no longer the mainstream, we could be in trouble,” she said. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who leads a country that is deeply reliant on international trade and increasingly surrounded by neighbors confronted by protectionist tendencies, urged Western powers to “act against the fragmentation of the international architecture.” She said that global organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank should be reformed and that countries should embrace compromise. She added: I think we should understand our national interest in a way that we think about the interests of others, and from that create win-win situations that are the precondition for multilateralism. Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan, pledged his country’s support for “the free, open, and rules-based international order.” He called on forum participants to “rebuild trust toward the system for international trade.” A call for greater oversight of Big Tech World leaders called for more regulation. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan said his country would push for a new international system for the oversight of data use. His proposal was echoed by others: • The South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, said African Union leaders would discuss greater oversight of the tech sector at a meeting early next month. • Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany cited a need for the European Union to have a “common digital market.” • Vice President Wang Qishan of China also said that more international cooperation in regulating the market was required. Talk focused on global governance, data privacy and the impact of artificial intelligence, but there was no consensus on what approach to take. Some official sessions tried to put a positive spin on the effects of technological advances, but the optimism seemed out of step with public concern about the disruptive effect on privacy and politics. Tech leaders make the rounds: On his first trip to the forum, Tim Cook, the Apple chief executive, met with world leaders, including President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Dubai’s crown prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, acknowledged that her company needed to earn back the trust of the public. Microsoft’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, said that as facial recognition technology grew, he would “welcome regulation that will help the marketplace not be a race to the bottom.” The milkman makes a comeback Environmental issues took center stage, with world leaders and celebrities weighing in and new partnerships being formed. One of the biggest initiatives announced at the forum was an alternative recycling platform called Loop, which seeks to change the way consumers buy brand-name products. The concept: The project revives the milkman concept, in which products are delivered in reusable containers that are returned to the manufacturer. The partners: Some of the largest consumer goods companies — including Danone, Mars Petcare, Mondelez International, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and Unilever — are working together on the project as a way to limit waste. The pitchman: Tom Szaky, founder and chief executive of the recycling company TerraCycle, headed to Davos two years ago to meet with the leaders of packaged goods companies and push his big idea. Climate concerns dominated much of the discussion elsewhere at the gathering: • In an interview with Prince William, the naturalist David Attenborough took world leaders to task for waiting too long to address climate change. • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand joined the chorus, urging her global counterparts to think about the role they play in addressing climate change, while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan called for action on the issue. • The singer Bono poked fun at sustainable development goals, saying, “The S.D.G.s, it does sound like a sexually transmitted disease, doesn’t it?” • An expected drop in private jet traffic to Davos this year could be a sign that participants are taking the environmental impact of their travel more seriously. • Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, gave a speech urging the global elite to protect the planet. The best of the rest • Forum participants seemed receptive to Saudi Arabia’s damage control campaign over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Reuters) •The World Economic Forum hosts 3,000 official participants, but the population of Davos swells to 30,000 during the week. Here are the unaffiliated events, sessions and parties that drew celebrities like Matt Damon and Wyclef Jean. (CNBC) • The Bank of England is ready for Brexit and is disillusioned with Bitcoin, said its governor, Mark Carney. (Bloomberg) • Hundreds of protesters, some waving signs that read “Let them eat money,” complained that the elite participants at Davos cared more about the bottom line than about the state of the world. (AP)