Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Are we finally ready to kill off the plastic bag?

This weekend, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will announce that a 5p tax on supermarket plastic bags should come into play in England by the end of 2015, bringing us in line with Wales and Northern Ireland, who already have a charge in place, and Scotland, where it will be introduced this time next year.

Calls for plastic bag charges in England have been steadily increasing in recent months, and why not -  usage has dropped by up to 80% in Wales and Northern Ireland since charges were introduced. This can only mean good news for the environment.

  


The revenue from the tax will be used for environmental and charity initiatives and the move will be widely supported by the environmental and waste management sectors. However, let's not get carried away. Dealing with plastic bags has long been a tagline when the subject of 'environmental protection' is mentioned in political circles in the UK, but it's important not to see it as the be all and end all of our waste problem, as Friends of the Earth spokesperson Craig Bennett told the BBC: "This small step will do little to tackle the nation's huge waste mountain and can't disguise the government's woeful green record."

These are tough times, and tackling environmental problems through taxes picked up by consumers isn't ideal. However, it is having the desired effect in Wales and Northern Ireland, and there's no reason it can't work here. I think we should welcome this small charge, providing that any revenue goes towards supporting environmental projects, but at the same time remain aware that this isn't a get out of jail free card for policymakers- so much more action will be needed if the UK is to build a greener future.


EMERGE provides environmental education and advice on resource management, waste composition and sustainable procurement issues. Our business services include everything from recycling collections to confidential document shredding.  

We are now working in partnership with Cooler Projects to deliver carbon literacy training for businesses across Greater Manchester.  For more info see www.carbonliteracy.com or speak to Liz Lauder on 0161 223 8200 to book your places. 

Visit our new pop-up shop in Manchester city centre! Promoting the 3Rs of waste reduction, reuse and recyling, we are selling goodies and local arts and crafts with a 'Made in Manchester' theme.  Find us at Brazennose House West, Brazennose St, M2 5AS. Opening hours are usually 12-5pm Wed-Sat but are subject to change. Please contact office@emergemanchester.co.uk for more info.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Planned Obsolescence II - A New Hope?

Further to our previous blog post on planned obsolescence this week, it's worth sharing this promotional video for Phonebloks, a novel concept for a new mobile phone which is engineered to be extensively repairable and upgradable- a phone built to last!





It works on the premise of manufacturers collaborating together on an open platform to provide different replaceable 'bloks'. This in itself is clearly a huge barrier to the project, as it's always going to be difficult to get corporations to work together to provide a new product which is specifically designed to last - and therefore reduce consumption and profit. That's why Phonebloks is calling for our help to shout out support for the idea across the web and get manufacturers' attention. I'm not sure it'll work immediately, but these sort of concepts are going to be needed if we're ever going to achieve the goal of a more sustainable society. For that reason alone, it deserves our support.


EMERGE provides environmental education and advice on resource management, waste composition and sustainable procurement issues. Our business services include everything from recycling collections to confidential document shredding.  

We are now working in partnership with Cooler Projects to deliver carbon literacy training for businesses across Greater Manchester.  For more info see www.carbonliteracy.com or speak to Liz Lauder on 0161 223 8200 to book your places. 

Visit our new pop-up shop in Manchester city centre! Promoting the 3Rs of waste reduction, reuse and recyling, we are selling goodies and local arts and crafts with a 'Made in Manchester' theme.  Find us at Brazennose House West, Brazennose St, M2 5AS. Opening hours are usually 12-5pm Wed-Sat but are subject to change. Please contact office@emergemanchester.co.uk for more info.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Planned Obsolescence- What a load of rubbish!


Educational, very amusing and very very infuriating. Perfect watching for a midweek lunch break, then!

This video is a timely reminder outlining the pressing need for a change in the engineering of 21st century consumerism and our throw-away culture. (Credit goes to Australian TV show The Checkout.)








EMERGE provides environmental education and advice on resource management, waste composition and sustainable procurement issues. Our business services include everything from recycling collections to confidential document shredding.  

We are now working in partnership with Cooler Projects to deliver carbon literacy training for businesses across Greater Manchester.  For more info see www.carbonliteracy.com or speak to Liz Lauder on 0161 223 8200 to book your places. 

Visit our new pop-up shop in Manchester city centre! Promoting the 3Rs of waste reduction, reuse and recyling, we are selling goodies and local arts and crafts with a 'Made in Manchester' theme.  Find us at Brazennose House West, Brazennose St, M2 5AS. Opening hours are usually 12-5pm Wed-Sat but are subject to change. Please contact office@emergemanchester.co.uk for more info.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Help your business tap into the future

I thought I'd share with you a recent poll (pdf) I found whilst researching passing the time, which forecasts the environmental views of tomorrow's generation. On first impression, it may not seem too relevant to us in Manchester. The poll was conducted in the US, and focuses on the political views of young people with regard to the Democratic-Republican spectrum. HOWEVER, do not think that it means nothing to us over here. Allow me to explain.

Basically, the future consumers, citizens and leaders of this world are on the whole very interested in all this environmental lark (for the basis of argument I'm assuming that the views of America's youth sort of match the views of UK's youth, which is a fair assumption in the globalised world us young'uns inhabit). No matter what political side of the spectrum young people seem to inhabit, the majority would vote for someone who places high priority on protecting the environment.

This is important news, not just for politics, but for businesses wanting to tap into the interests of future consumers. If you want to make it in tomorrow's world, you will need to have a credible environmental record. Recycling is the first step on this journey, and also the easiest.

For businesses in Greater Manchester, EMERGE can help you get started. We provide full recycling services, including dealing with confidential waste, as well as helpful consultancy services, advice, and carbon literacy training for your staff. Also, if you don't mind me saying so, we are very very nice people. Ethical community-focused business practice is at the core of what we do. And that's what future consumers will be looking for. Take a look at our website for a full list of services and how to contact us.




EMERGE provides environmental education and advice on resource management, waste composition and sustainable procurement issues. 

We are now working in partnership with Cooler to deliver ‘Carbon Literacy’ trainings for businesses across Greater Manchester. This is a relevant, informative and practical training – you will return to your desk/vehicle/role knowing what your personal carbon footprint is and with actions you can do to reduce it. 
For more info see www.carbonliteracy.com or speak to Liz Lauder on 0161 223 8200 to book your places. 

Visit our new Pop-Up Shop in Manchester city centre! Promoting the 3Rs of waste reduction, reuse and recyling, we are selling goodies and local arts and crafts with a 'Made in Manchester' theme. We have cards, soaps, jewellery, second hand books, clothes, records, bric a brac and lots of gift ideas from the cheap and cheerful to great works of art! 
Find us at Brazennose House West, Brazennose St, M2 5AS. Opening hours are usually 12-5pm Wed-Sat but are subject to change. Please contact office@emergemanchester.co.uk for more info.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Zero Waste Week- taking stock of our food waste problem

Today is the last day of national Zero Waste Week. Hopefully, you may have caught wind of this in advance, and if so, I hope you've had a successful time trimming the pounds off your bin bags. If not, I'll fill you in.

This year the focus was on reducing food waste and is being done in partnership with The Rubbish Diet, which is not just a clever name but also a very educational food waste website. Now, this subject has already been in the news a lot over the past few months, as we've documented ourselves. One of our regular bloggers, Debbie, has even provided a short list of easy tips to help reduce your food waste. Food wastage is all the more important when we take a moment to consider the wider environmental issues around global food security. For a quick easy-watching video on this latter topic, take a look here.

EMERGE's sister charity, FareShare North West, focuses on harnessing Manchester's commercial food waste and donating it to those in food poverty. this is a great initiative that provides a vital service for those in need in Greater Manchester. For more information, take a look at our website.

For advice and information on helping to reduce food waste in your business, contact us! This is an important issue, so help us help you help all of us.


EMERGE provides environmental education and advice on resource management, waste composition and sustainable procurement issues. 

We are now working in partnership with Cooler to deliver ‘Carbon Literacy’ trainings for businesses across Greater Manchester. This is a relevant, informative and practical training – you will return to your desk/vehicle/role knowing what your personal carbon footprint is and with actions you can do to reduce it. 
For more info see www.carbonliteracy.com or speak to Liz Lauder on 0161 223 8200 to book your places. 

Visit our new Pop-Up Shop in Manchester city centre! Promoting the 3Rs of waste reduction, reuse and recyling, we are selling goodies and local arts and crafts with a 'Made in Manchester' theme. We have cards, soaps, jewellery, second hand books, clothes, records, bric a brac and lots of gift ideas from the cheap and cheerful to great works of art! 
Find us at Brazennose House West, Brazennose St, M2 5AS. Opening hours are usually 12-5pm Wed-Sat but are subject to change. Please contact office@emergemanchester.co.uk for more info.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Call for action: help improve the EU's recycling targets!

In our 21st Century world, recycling is finally getting the attention it deserves as a vitally important process in society. We are steadily moving towards what is known as a circular economy, where recycling waste will play a central role.

The EU is currently reviewing its recycling target for 2020, which currently stands at 50%. But, as Friends of the Earth note, it could be so much higher. We'll need to be more ambitious if we want to ensure a cleaner environment and an economy that has a healthy consumption of resources. Please sign this petition calling for higher recycling targets in the EU! We only have until 10th September to make our voices heard on this issue, and it'll only take you a minute.

If you run a business that aims for higher recycling rates, contact us! Take a look at what EMERGE can offer you.





EMERGE provides environmental education and advice on resource management, waste composition and sustainable procurement issues. 

We are now working in partnership with Cooler to deliver ‘Carbon Literacy’ trainings for businesses across Greater Manchester. This is a relevant, informative and practical training – you will return to your desk/vehicle/role knowing what your personal carbon footprint is and with actions you can do to reduce it. 
For more info see www.carbonliteracy.com or speak to Liz Lauder on 0161 223 8200 to book your places. 

Visit our new Pop-Up Shop in Manchester city centre! Promoting the 3Rs of waste reduction, reuse and recyling, we are selling goodies and local arts and crafts with a 'Made in Manchester' theme. We have cards, soaps, jewellery, second hand books, clothes, records, bric a brac and lots of gift ideas from the cheap and cheerful to great works of art! 
Find us at Brazennose House West, Brazennose St, M2 5AS. Opening hours are usually 12-5pm Wed-Sat but are subject to change. Please contact office@emergemanchester.co.uk for more info.