Monday, 23 March 2009

UK Deposit Recycling Schemes

Greetings,

A recently published report by the CPRE and the Policy Exchange think tank has concluded that a deposit recycling schemes could help to significantly boost recycling rates and reduce littering at no cost to local authorities.

The theory is simple, currently a soft drink in a plastic bottle costs somewhere in the region of 90p, if you add a recycling deposit onto the drink cost and sell it to the consumer at say 110p, they then reclaim 20p when they take it back to the retailer for recycling.

The report cites similar schemes in New York, Germany, Denmark and Sweden as being extremely successful and Bill Bryson, the President of CPRE claims the government seem "intent" on avoiding the introduction of similar schemes in the UK.

CPRE Press Release - "Stopping The Litter Bugs"

This type of scheme has already been proven to be very successful across Europe and I for one think that anything which encourages consumers to think environmentally has to be worth serious consideration.

Onwards & upwards!

Lucy.

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Thursday, 19 March 2009

UK Recycling Hits £1 Billion Value!

Greetings,

Hurrah! - some really positive news: according to recent figures published by Recycle Now the total value of UK waste recycled since 2003 has just passed the £1 billion mark. This is a phenomenal achievement and even though we still have a long way to go it's worth standing back to take stock.

According to the figures, since 2003 the UK has recycled the following:
  • 10.1 billion aluminium cans – Laid end-to-end, the cans would stretch to the moon three times.
  • 24.2 billion steel food cans – 21 times the amount of steel used in the construction of Wembley stadium.
  • 9.5 billion 75cl glass wine bottles – Saving 5.4 million tonnes of raw materials including silica sand, limestone, dolomite, soda ash and others.
  • 26.1 billion newspapers – equivalent to supplying all men and women in the UK over the age of 15 with one newspaper per day for over two years
  • 13.5 billion 500ml plastic bottles – Equivalent to world’s population recycling two plastic bottles each over the five year period.
  • 2.8 billion square metres of cotton fabric – Laid out flat would cover an area the size of London twice over.
Obviously this is very encouraging progress and hopefully we will see these figures continue to improve, Recycle Now's figures show on average a 30% increase year on year in total recycling rates. As more and more people switch onto recycling and waste minimisation who knows, the zero waste ideal might not be too far around the corner.

Onwards & upwards!

Lucy.

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Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Recycling Clarity for Consumers?

Greetings,

A national scheme was launched today offering a system of standardised labelling for recycleable packaging. The new OPRL (On Pack Recycling Label) system has already got on board a number of food manufacturers (Associated British Foods, Britvic, Kellogg’s, Premier Foods, Rachel’s Organics, Robert Wiseman Dairies, Weetabix) and retailers (Asda, the Co-operative Group, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose.) who hope the system will increase recycling rates and offer consumers advice on best recycling practice in their area.

In a press release from OPRL, Liz Goodwin the Chief Executive of WRAP is quoted as saying:

“I welcome this development as it improves the recycling information on-pack and addresses the question that many consumers ask ‘what can be recycled here in the UK?’ As the UK’s infrastructure improves, the labels on-pack can reflect this, helping us all recycle more things more often.”


Systems like this can only help to raise awareness with consumers and help to prevent them sending unnecessary material to landfill and I think all of the parties involved should be applauded.

Onwards & upwards!

Lucy.

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Thursday, 12 March 2009

Economists Question Future Sustainability

Hi folks

Thought you might find this article interesting: certainly food for thought...

"Let’s today step out of the normal boundaries of analysis of our economic crisis and ask a radical question: What if the crisis of 2008 represents something much more fundamental than a deep recession? What if it’s telling us that the whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically and that 2008 was when we hit the wall — when Mother Nature and the market both said: “No more.”"

Friedman is about as mainstream a commentator as one can get - he passionately defends corporate globalization -- so it's good to see that even he is starting to pick up on some of our ideas. This article was published in the New York Times, and raises some interesting questions about how we live and whether it is truly sustainable.

Lucy.

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Monday, 9 March 2009

EMERGE fundraising for Fareshare Manchester

Greetings

For everyone who was interested in the Big Green Challenge, and wondered how to go about donating for this very just cause, we have now set up a page on Justgiving which ensures you can donate securely and the funds will get to Fareshare immediately to start helping to make a difference to people in need straight away.

EMERGE Food Justgiving Page

Onwards & upwards,

Lucy.

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Monday, 2 March 2009

Eco Easter Eggs

Greetings,

I've just read a really great story, following a report by the Advisory Committee on Packaging it was discovered that 59% of adults canvassed felt that easter eggs were over-packaged and would support reductions in packaging methods and materials.

What is really impressive is that for once the manufacturers and retailers sat up and listened. Companies including M&S, Thorntons, Nestle UK, Cadbury UK and Mars UK signed up to work alongside WRAP as part of the Seasonal Confectionary Industry Working Group to reduce the amount of packaging for their seasonal produce.

Mark Barthel, special advisor for WRAP, said: "With seasonal confectionery receiving criticism for excessive packaging over recent years, I'm delighted to see the sector responding so positively and collectively. Customers should see a real difference on supermarket shelves this year."

There are a number of examples of the commitments the companies involved have made this year in this article from letsrecycle.

Isn't it inspiring when we work together and achieve something that will make a real difference to the amount of unnecessary waste generated by the food industry!

Onwards & upwards!

Lucy.

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