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.
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.
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 black to clear plastic will divert 265 tonnes of plastic from landfill annually.
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.
Tesco has announced it is planning to remove all ‘hard to recycle’ packaging from its stores by 2019, leaving them less than seven months to work towards their pledge.
Supermarket chain Waitrose has vowed to remove all disposable cups from its stores by autumn 2018. It currently gives out approximately 52m disposable cups per year through its loyalty scheme, myWaitrose, which offers shoppers a free hot drink from a self-serve machine each time they visit a store.
LEGO, the Danish company which is highly popular with both children and adults for its buildable plastic bricks, has taken the move to produce a new range of sustainable plastic pieces made from sugarcane. These are currently in production.
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.
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.
The Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF) latest report has shown that UK-based food and drink companies had successfully reduced their carbon emissions in 2016 by 51 per cent since 1990.