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food / travel

Grape Pulp And Snow Plows: Swiss Firm Clears Winter Roads With Winemaking Waste

Alcohol, apples and seashells… Swiss authorities have tried almost everything to clear snow off roads and sidewalks. This time, a Geneva-based startup claims it can cut down the use of salt by 70% by replacing it with 'Snowfree', a produ

(graybee)
(graybee)

*NEWSBITES

Why does snow melt so much faster in vineyards than elsewhere? This remark got a Swiss perfumer thinking and ultimately led to the creation of Snowfree: small pellets made of grape "waste" – seeds and pulp remaining after the fruit has been pressed into wine — each containing a small quantity of salt.

The startup company that sells Snowfree claims that the product is considerably more environmentally friendly than pure salt, which tends to damage roads and buildings over the long haul. The product also offers a good way to recycle agricultural waste, and could lead Swiss authorities to use 70% less salt for snow removal.

The product, already tested in France, is 15 to 20% more expensive than regular salt, but the Swiss company claims that it lasts significantly longer.

Read the full story in French by Marie-Laure Chapatte

Photo – graybee

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Geopolitics

Olaf Scholz: Trying To Crack The Code Of Germany's Enigmatic Chancellor

Olaf Scholz took over for Angela Merkel a year ago, but for many he remains a mysterious figure through a series of tumultuous events, including his wavering on the war in Ukraine.

man boarding a plane

Olaf Scholz boading an Air Force Special Air Mission Wing plane, on his way to the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Tirana.

Michael Kappeler / dpa via ZUMA Press
Peter Huth

-Analysis-

BERLIN — When I told my wife that I was planning to write an article about “a year of Scholz,” she said, “Who’s that?” To be fair, she misheard me, and over the last 12 months the German Chancellor has mainly been referred to by his first name, Olaf.

Still, it’s a reasonable question. Who is Olaf Scholz, really? Or perhaps we should ask: how many versions of Olaf Scholz are there? A year after taking over from Angela Merkel, we still don’t know.

Chancellors from Germany’s Social Democrat Party (SPD) have always been easy to characterize. First there was Willy Brandt – he suffered from depression and had an intriguing private life. His affected public speaking style is still the gold standard for anyone who wants to get ahead in the center-left party. Then came Helmut Schmidt. He lived off his reputation for handling any crisis, smoked like a chimney and eventually won over the public.

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