UK’s bottle banks overflow following the festive period

Following on from the UK’s Christmas and New Year celebrations, bottle banks across the country have been left overflowing with empty bottles that were once filled with wine, beer and other beverages. Unfortunately, instead of returning with the glass waste when the bottle banks have been emptied, users have been piling the bottles up next to the banks — in bags, boxes, or just loose — essentially flytipping, and not making the job of the recycling teams any easier! Let’s hope they are all emptied soon, as some of the images look like a health and safety hazard.

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Colgate launches a toothbrush recycling service

Colgate UK has announced that it has partnered with TerraCycle and set up the Colgate Oral Care Recycling Programme.

This new recycling scheme allows customers to post their used toothbrushes, empty toothpaste tubes, toothpaste caps, toothpaste packaging and electric toothbrush heads to TerraCycle for free, who will then recycle everything on behalf of Colgate. This scheme covers all brands of toothpaste and toothbrushes — not just Colgate.

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Aldi boosts its recycling rate with plastic tray switch

Budget supermarket, Aldi, has boosted its recycling rate by switching some of its black plastic fruit and vegetable packaging out for clear plastic packaging, which is much more easily recycled.

The rest of Aldi’s black packaging will be phased out as part of the company’s commitment to making sure all of its packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. This simple change from clear to black plastic will divert 265 tonnes of plastic from landfill annually.

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Air pollution linked to decline of city sparrows

The population of London’s house sparrows dropped by 60 per cent between 1994 and 2006, and the blame has been placed on an increase in air pollution — namely, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) produced by diesel cars. While some had only considered people and plants being affected by air pollution, a study by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has shown that birds and wildlife are sadly just as susceptible.

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Meet the world’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle

This week marked the unveiling of the world’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle. Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza has installed the trial aisle in its Amsterdam branch, and hopes to roll out similar aisles within its 74 other branches by the end of 2018.

The aisle features over 700 plastic-free products including fresh fruit and vegetables, sauces, meat, rice, snacks, cereal, yoghurt, and more. Those items that do require some kind of packaging have instead been packed in environmentally-friendly compostable biomaterials where appropriate, alongside more traditional glass, cardboard and metal.

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Textile waste: New clothing range that grows with kids

While it doesn’t hit the headlines as much as plastic waste, textile waste is also a large problem for our planet – especially since the advent of ‘fast fashion’. In fact, in 2015 alone, the UK sent an estimated 1.1 million tonnes of textile waste to landfill. Most of that will have been unwanted, old or outgrown clothing.

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