What is the difference between recycling and upcycling?

The terms ‘recycling’ and ‘upcycling’ are sometimes used interchangeably but the two processes are actually unrelated and very different from each other.

In this article, we’ll take a look at both and then highlight the differences between the two, while also explaining why each is important from an environmental perspective.

Let’s start with a look at recycling.

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Can the zero-waste movement survive the coronavirus pandemic?

Before the outbreak of COVID-19, the UK public was taking steps towards living a less wasteful existence.

These steps included the plastic bag charge at supermarkets and large shops, and the rise of reusable coffee cups.

Unfortunately, 2020 has delivered an unexpected health crisis to the country (and the world), with a novel coronavirus that spreads itself through close contact between humans.

At the start of March, Starbucks announced that it was temporarily banning reusable cups to help contain the spread of the virus.

Many cafes across the country have since made the same switch for their takeaway services, too.

With the containment of the virus being a bigger priority than the environment right now in the eyes of most, we’re seeing many other changes taking place in society as well.

While the changes are temporary, none of us really know exactly how long ‘temporary’ will end up having to be.

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How to dispose of waste during the virus outbreak

We’re living in unprecedented times and our lives are looking very different from how they used to do only a few months ago.

There are not many aspects of normal life that have been left untouched by the coronavirus pandemic, and waste management is one of those affected areas.

While some local council waste collections have been unaffected throughout, many across the country have been.

This is due to a combination of things; mainly staff shortages due to periods of self-isolation, and the increase in domestic waste volumes due to everyone being at home more.

So, what should you be doing with your household waste during this time?

Check with your local council for your collection dates and read on to learn more about waste and COVID-19.

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Increase in domestic waste leads to councils burning recycling

With the majority of the UK at home for the foreseeable future — whether working from home, temporarily unemployed, or self-isolating — the amount of domestic waste being produced by households across the country has increased dramatically.

Usually, waste would be spread between household waste, public waste, and commercial waste. However, at the moment, with many workplaces, public bins and recycling centres closed, our domestic bins are filling up quicker than ever before.

In fact, local authorities have been reporting an increase of between 20 and 50 per cent on usual domestic waste volumes across the UK.

On top of this, councils are experiencing far higher staff absence levels than usual due to the self-isolation recommendations set by the government during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So, what impact has all of this had on the nation’s household waste collection services?

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Coronavirus: What happens to medical waste?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the world, some of you may be wondering what happens to single-use medical equipment once it’s been used.

This article explores the topic of medical waste in the UK, outlines the various types, and explains what happens to each at the end of its lifetime.

In particular, with regards to the coronavirus outbreak, there is currently a lot of discussion around PPE, which stands for Personal Protective Equipment. This will be covered below.

Medical waste must be dealt with separately from general waste. This is to avoid the spread of infection and to prevent the general public and the environment from coming to any harm as a result of the waste.

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How to reduce your restaurant or cafe’s plastic waste

Research suggests that one-quarter of all waste in England is created by its businesses. This waste is composed of general waste, food waste, plastic, cardboard, and glass – although, if not properly sorted and collected by a reputable waste management company, it could all be classed as general waste and sent to landfill.

As a restaurant or cafe owner, you are well-placed to make a difference when it comes to waste — not only for the planet but for your business’s budget, too.

When running an establishment that serves food and drink, there are plenty of really simple switches you can make in order to eliminate plastic from the menu; particularly single-use plastic which gets binned after just one use.

Let’s take a look at some of the changes you can make – from table to takeaways.

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A guide to cloth menstrual pads

We recently published a guide to menstrual cups, but not everyone can use menstrual cups or likes the idea of them.

Another more sustainable alternative to single-use menstrual products is the cloth pad, and so this blog post takes a look at that — what cloth pads are, how to use them, and all of the benefits and drawbacks of them.

Let’s start at the start with what they are.

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How to be eco-friendly in death

While we usually tackle eco-friendly matters of life, this blog is instead going to look at the matter of death and your choices for what happens to your body.

According to the Cremation Society of Great Britain, 75 per cent of the population currently opts for cremation after death, with the majority of the rest choosing traditional burial.

While the population is ever-keener to live more sustainably, it would appear that not many of us are considering our post-life choices and how they could be changed to be kinder to the planet.

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A guide to menstrual cups

In this guide, we’ll take a look at what menstrual cups are, how you use them, and the pros and cons of their use.

What is a menstrual cup?

A menstrual cup is a period product that fits inside the vagina and collects period blood. They are made from soft, flexible materials such as silicone and rubber, making them reusable, unlike tampons and pads.

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