Carbon neutral and the packaging paradox

An English A-level student known to me has frequently asked what’s the difference between an oxymoron, a paradox and irony?

A couple of packaging labels put the question into full perspective. Both companies claim to be carbon neutral – a noble aim in a world more geared towards sustainability than of old. Some businesses are concerned about how far their products travel and how they are made and have been making strides to improve for years or even decades.

Yet their packaging…

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Riding a sustainable travel path after Covid-19

It is wonderful to see that nations, or cities, are pondering a more environmentally friendly future as society ponders an exit from Covid-19 lockdown.

Indeed, sustainability is part of the solution – and our local authorities can act swiftly to play their part.

Last week, world leaders came together to try to agree on a “greener” future. That seemed a message of hope for a long-term plan.

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Pouch high to improve your recycling

When hundreds of people regularly mailed back crisp packets to Walkers, the Post Office – obliged to deliver them – complained to the company it was costing them too much to do so.

Walkers set up a partnership with TerraCycle and a way, once collected, to reuse the material.

TerraCycle was set up by a Princeton University student in 2001 and now works with many brands to recycle their packaging through a public network.

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It’s time the bell tolled for ‘not currently recycled’

Locally, Clap for Carers has replaced bell practice at St John’s Church as the reminder that it is put the bins out night – Thursday evening. 

This time of the week is the culmination of a weekly battle to decide what sort of plastic can go in the mixed recycling wheelie bin. 

Most of us are well past needing to check the Reigate and Banstead Borough Council for what can be recycled and there is an annual four-page A5 sheet delivered, to give us a handy guide each week if we want to keep it on our fridge or other noticeboard place.

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Ditch the tea bag for fully blended compost

Every time I see that advert asking “Coffee in a bag? Why didn’t we think of this before?” I scream back at the television: “Because it can’t be good for the environment!”

The company responsible says on its website that it is using PLA (Polylactic acid) made from natural materials instead of plastics, which is becoming popular among brands and which scientists say biodegrades but still slowly.

Manufacturers have made huge strides in recent years – possibly decades – to make their packaging more environmentally friendly.

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Food wrapper litter

Return to offender and tackling repeat litter offenders

Yesterday was Earth Day, the 50th such annual day when we are encouraged to think of our planet.

The official website of the movement says that “on April 22 we flooded the world with hope, optimism and action” about improving the earth’s future, environmentally.

Plenty of organisations took up the theme, including Surfers Against Sewage, based in Cornwall, which campaigns to improve the plight of oceans, particularly in relation to beaches.Read More »Return to offender and tackling repeat litter offenders

A pollution-free window into the future?

The “silly season” stories – as some on newspapers call them – usually start in June, when the studies that “state the bleedin’ orbvious” clog up the inbox. The studies reveal what we already knew – had we been bothered to stop and think about it.

The phenomenon came to mind via a Guardian headline this week: “Disbelief in big cities as pollution falls”, caused by coronavirus lockdown.

In fairness, the national news outlet which actively seeks out the environmental angle, was merely quoting residents in Delhi, remarking in their WhatsApp group how clean the air was (positively Alpine), without all that pesky polluting traffic.

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Don’t make bonfires the bane of summer – or before

For some reason, the anti-social brigade seem to think it is poignant to set fire to their garden or household waste on the hottest days of the year, when their neighbourhoods are desperate to open every crevice that passes for a window so as to let in some refreshing air.

These miscreants do not do us any favours by waiting until evening, either, when the heat and humidity just hang around, when it lasts longer at a low level. And when the smoke is going we have to close the windows and sweat ourselves to sleep.

Read More »Don’t make bonfires the bane of summer – or before