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Is all this bad news about plastic and pollution depressing you?

Well it needn’t because you have the power as a consumer and an employee to make a difference at home and at work. Firstly, you don’t need to feel bad about all packaging. It actually has a vital role to play in reducing waste, and without packaging of some description, far more food and goods would be wasted getting from the farm or factory to the shops. In India, for example, where packaging is much less sophisticated, 44% of the annual harvest is lost before it even reaches a single customer. [i] But by all means do feel cross about packaging which isn’t sensible or well thought through.  Take, for example, black food trays for takeaway food. These are notoriously difficult to pick and sort for recycling, so Waitrose has responded by switching to a different material to overcome this. Similarly, packaging made from compound materials, such as plastic attached […]

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Kettering General Hospital becomes coffee cup recycling champion

Kettering General Hospital (KGH) has recently launched a campaign to end the use of disposable coffee cups and encourage hydration and good health. The hospital has given 2,000 reusable cups free to staff, provided by its waste management partner, Cawleys, to be used instead of single-use coffee cups. In the UK, it is estimated some 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups are thrown away every year. In theory, they are “recyclable”, but in reality, only a tiny percentage is dealt with sustainably. For a cup to be recycled, it is first necessary to separate the inner plastic layer from the paper outside. MPs are calling for a 25p “latte levy” on disposable coffee cups – and a total ban by 2023 unless recycling improves. Over 3,200 people work at KGH and it has 600 beds and sees 40,000 outpatients a year. Cawleys, which manages the waste at KGH has noted that […]

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