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5 Exciting Innovations in Plastic Recycling That You Never Knew Existed

5 exciting innovations in plastic recycling that you never knew existedScience is once again helping to pave the way to innovation and in turn reducing waste and helping protect the environment. Here we look at five of the most exciting recycling innovations currently in production or being rolled out as we speak.

1 – PET
PET stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate and is among the worst offenders when it comes to packaging that plagues our environment. Currently only 50% of PET, commonly found in drinks bottles and food packaging, winds up being recycled while the other half winds up in landfill or littered. However, a team of Japanese researchers have recently uncovered a possible way to break down these plastics with the help of nature itself. The team have unearthed a microorganism with the capability to degrade plastic. The bacteria contain naturally produced enzymes which can break down PET’s tough make up over time. However, the team has stressed that the research is only in early development and tests have only broken down a piece of plastic smaller than the size of a ‘postage stamp’ thus far.

2 – Cigarette Butts
Another problem waste product that litters streets worldwide is the cigarette butt. Currently around 6trn cigarettes are produced every year and a large number are littered after they are used. Cigarette buts are full of dangerous chemicals and are responsible for as many as 1 million deaths of seabirds and 100,000 mammals every year. Researchers in Austria have been investigating possible solutions to this problem material and have discovered a way to repurpose cigarette butts. They suggest that cigarette butts could be encapsulated into material such as asphalt that covers our roads. The material will not only remove a “waste stream” but could also help to reduce thermal conductivity, which will keep roads cooler.

3 – Edible Packaging
While we can’t cut out plastic use all together, there are examples of where we should be seeking to reduce our daily usage. One example of this is that of single-use cutlery such as forks, knives and sporks which are commonly sold with chilled supermarket and takeaway food. An Indian company called Bakeys is aiming to tackle the problem by producing edible cutlery. Made from rice, wheat and grain their cutlery comes in sweet, savoury and plain flavours and have a taste similar to that of a cracker.

4 – Plastic Housing
A social enterprise group called Conceptos Plasticos based in Bogota, Colombia has come up with innovative way to not only tackle plastic waste but also help reduce the countries housing shortfall. According to the groups crowd funding page they are in the process of manufacturing homes, emergency housing, shelters, classrooms and other dwellings from a mixture of recycled plastics. They hope that if the project gathers stream they will be able to help tackle housing deficits of up to 40% in countries throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America.

5 – Fuel
University of Illinois researchers have uncovered a way to make petroleum products such as diesel fuel from the humble plastic shopping bag. Currently an estimated 500 billion – 1 trillion plastic shopping bags are used worldwide and often end up in landfill sites. However, the researchers have developed a way to create fuel for a variety of applications including jet fuel, car fuel and even candle wax. What’s more, it may even be more efficient than traditional diesel. At present, only 55% of petroleum crude oil that is distilled ends up as fuel, however using their newly developed technique researchers have been able to convert roughly 80% into useable fuel.

Here at LSPS, recycling is of great importance to us and we help businesses and individuals all across Leicestershire to reduce the amount of their waste that ends up at landfill sites. Our Waste Transfer Station is open to traders and has an extensive range of state of the art equipment.

To find out how about we can help with your waste disposal needs please contact us on 0800 083 7807, or visit our website for further information.

UK Government Announces Long Term Environmental Strategy

uk goverment announces long term environmental strategyThe UK government has launched a comprehensive 25-year plan which aims to protect the environment and crack down on “avoidable” plastic waste.

Entitled “A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment” the report pledges to bring an end to avoidable plastic waste in the UK by 2042.

Under the plan, the government will strive to introduce “plastic-free” aisles in supermarkets where packaging is kept to a minimum and consider charges on items such as takeaway containers. The plan also confirmed that the popular 5p charge for plastic carrier bags will be extended to all retailers in England. There are also pledges to fund research into ‘plastics innovation’ and to help developing nations tackle pollution and plastic waste.

However, while there has been praise for the plans from some corners, environmental campaigners such as Greenpeace have criticized the plans as vague and said that they are skeptical of whether they will follow through with their pledges. Questions were also raised as to why there were no plans for bottle-return schemes, and as to whether a firm timetable had been put in place to realize the pledges.

Last year, in the UK over half a million tonnes of plastic was collected from British homes. This included bottles, tubs, trays and other plastic items. However, while the figures may sound encouraging in total they represented just a 1% increase from the previous year. Recoup, who produced the figures, cited budget cuts and poor communications to homeowners from their local authorities as to what can and cannot be recycled.

Here at LSPS, recycling is of great importance to us and we help businesses and individuals all across Leicestershire to reduce the amount of their waste that ends up at landfill sites. Our Waste Transfer Station is open to traders and has an extensive range of state of the art equipment.

To find out how about we can help with your waste disposal needs please contact us on 0800 083 7807, or visit our website for further information.

Is your house a tip? Hire a skip!

is your house a tip hire a skipIt’s a common headache for households at this time of year. The Christmas tree is coming down, the mince pies are all gone, and the stockings stored away for another year, yet the house is looking more cluttered than ever. The New Year can often bring a fresh perspective and the chance for some positivity and goal setting, but if your home is crowded with too much “stuff” then it can be hard to get started.

In fact, it’s a well-known fact that humans work best in clear and organized settings. A home that is cluttered and messy can make it hard to focus on the task ahead, whether that’s managing the morning school rush or simply just relaxing to read a book. What’s more, an abundance of things in your home can also contribute to negative mental states like stress and anxiety. Not the best footing to start 2018.

So, what can you do? Well if you want to avoid the headache of a long and laborious clean up and several journeys to the local tip then the best place to start is by hiring a skip to the dirty work for you.

How do I order a skip?
With our new online booking system, it’s easier than ever to order your skip. Click here and order your skip with just a few clicks. Or alternatively give us a call on 0800 083 7807 to speak to one of our team.

What am I not allowed to put in a skip?
While skips are the number one most effective tool in clearing the clutter from your home, there are still a few items which don’t belong in there. The following items do not belong in a skip: liquids, oil, petrol, diesel, paint and paint cans, fluorescent tubes, gas bottles, gas canisters, asbestos, batteries, tyres, fridges, freezers, air conditioning units, hazardous or toxic materials and clinical or medical waste. For help disposing of these items please call our team for advice.

Do I need a permit?
If your skip is going on your driveway or your own private land, then you don’t need to worry about a permit or license. However, if you are short on space and wish to put it on a public road or pavement then you will indeed need one. Failing to do so could lead to the skip being removed early, or even monetary fines. Permits are typically issued by councils and can take a bit of time (3-7 days) to be issued, however we know the process well and can apply on your behalf.

Ready to book your skip and reclaim your home? Call us now on 0800 083 7807 or click here to order your skip online.

What impact does fly tipping and litter have on local wildlife?

what impact does fly tipping and litter have on local wildlifeDid you know that there are as many as 900,000 cases of fly-tipping in the UK each year and that the annual cost for cleaning it up accounts to almost £1billion? These figures from the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) are quite shocking; however, the negative impact goes beyond just the financial, as the impact on the environment and local wildlife is even more worrying.

As demonstrated in this blog from Countryfile Magazine, some of the nation’s greatest national parks including the Peak District, Dartmoor, Yorkshire Dales and Snowden have all been severely blighted by the dumping of unwanted waste. Incidents of fly-tipping among our national parks, nature parks, woodland areas and waterways is becoming increasingly common and it is having a devastating effect on wildlife.

Animals who use these areas as their homes can suffer direct health problems because of anti-social fly tipping. Take marine litter for example. Marine litter effects as many as 1 million birds and 100,000 marine mammals every year as they become entangled in litter or ingest it.

On land, animals can often become trapped in ropes, nets or plastic containers. They can injure themselves on sharp objects or find their food sources contaminated by hazardous chemicals or liquids. What’s more, money that could have been spent on improving and protecting wildlife reserves is often diverted towards the clean up of waste, or volunteers who donate their time end up collecting litter rather than spending their time on conservation efforts, restoring and improving wildlife habitats.

The legal side of fly-tipping
Fly-tipping is entirely against the law and poses a dangerous threat to both people and wildlife. If you see anyone disposing of waste in an illegal way then you should report their activity to the police and your local authority. Make a note of the amount of waste, the type of waste, how many people were there, and details of any vehicles used to transport it.

Here at LSPS recycling is of great importance to us and we help businesses and individuals across Leicestershire to reduce the amount of their waste that ends up at landfill sites. Our Waste Transfer Station is open to traders and has an extensive range of state of the art equipment.

To find out how about we can help with your waste disposal needs please contact us on 0800 083 7807, or visit our website for further information.

Reducing your food waste at Christmas

reducing your food waste at christmasDid you know the average household in Britain wastes over £480 worth of food every year? This typically means excess food that you buy, store in your fridge and then never get around to eating before it goes ‘off’.

At Christmas many of us take this to the extreme as our eyes become bigger than our bellies and we stock up on all the party food and trimmings we can get our hands on. Here are a few tips to be more frugal at this time of year, but still have a good time.

1 – Write a list and stick to it!
It’s so easy to get carried away when we go shopping. Supermarkets pull out all the tricks at Christmas time and it’s hard to turn down some of the excellent deals that you run into as you push your trolley around. However, a few days down the line that extra food that you weren’t planning on buying could be scraped or chucked straight in the bin. Instead, you should plan out exactly what you are going to eat over the festive period, including meals, drinks and snacks. Write all down on a list and stick to it as you make your way down the aisles. If you want to take all of the temptation out of the shopping experience, then you could even order online.

2 – Be realistic
It’s easy to get carried away with portion sizes, but how many of us end up over indulging and then bashfully searching Google for the cheapest gym membership you can find come New Years Day? What’s more, according to consumer goods giant Unilever, as many as 4.2 million Christmas dinners are thrown away in the UK every year – food that we thought we wanted but we became too full to eat! The average Brit spends around £112 on food alone at Christmas, but ask yourself, do you really need that much food?

3 – Make the most of your freezer
If you do decide to go for the 2-4-1 bargains and offers and you unsurprisingly end up with more food than you are likely going to eat, then make the most of your freezer. Free up space in the run up to Christmas and leave yourself room to freeze any unwanted food for later on. Leftover deserts, breads, cheeses, vegetables and some meats are all fine to freeze.

4 - Use your leftovers
What would Christmas be without leftovers? Your leftovers can keep you going for ages if you’re creative. Vegetables and meats can be used in sandwiches, soups, omelettes, fajitas, curries and much more.

Here at LSPS we take recycling very seriously. To find out how about we can help with your waste disposal needs please contact us on 0800 083 7807, or visit our website for further information.

What to do with unwanted presents?

what to do with unwanted presentsWe’ve all been there – nervously unwrapping a Christmas gift, knowing that your nan has yet again bought you a garish jumper or a bottle of your least favourite spirit. It’s not too difficult to force a smile and a thank you, but once all the festivities are over what exactly do you do with your unwanted gifts and presents? Here are a few ideas.

1 – Swap your presents
Just because you don’t like a present doesn’t mean that someone else won’t. Maybe your sister-in-law is feeling the same way about her third-successive ‘Selfie-Stick’ as you are about your Michael Buble album. Ask around the table to see if anyone fancies swapping – but try to be sly, you don’t want to upset anyone!

2 – Auction them off
Research from eBay suggests that every year we open around 115 million ‘undesirable’ gifts which equates to around £2.2billion. They also say that they see a huge rise in the number of listings in the days and weeks surrounding Christmas. Some items will of course make more money than others, and some items you won’t be able to get rid of no matter how hard you try. However, for the vast majority of unwanted gifts you should be able to list them easily and get a nice portion of pocket money to buy something else you actually want.

3 – Exchange
If you’re really lucky then you might find the receipt tucked away inside the gift wrapping. This is the perfect scenario really. Let’s say you receive a really tacky piece of jewellery, you can avoid upsetting the gifter by enthusing about the gift when you get it, only to return it to the shops in a few weeks. Just keep your fingers crossed that your relative doesn’t ask why you aren’t wearing it next Christmas!

4 – Pay it forward
One selfless option which will do a great deal of good is to consider gifting your unwanted goods to charity. Christmas is supposed to be the season of good will, and there is always someone in more need than you, and someone who hasn’t had anything to open on Christmas morning. Search online or in the paper for schemes operating in your area and get some karma points in return.

5 – Recycle, recycle, recycle!
Some presents you just can’t give away – and not for positive reasons. If you’re left with a particularly horrible bottle of whiskey, then you shouldn’t drink it just for the sake of it. If despite all your best efforts you can’t find a new home for it then pour it down the drain and recycle the bottle. Always be careful to open the item and filter out any recyclable packaging that could be used again and will avoid adding more waste to landfill sites.

Here at LSPS we take recycling very seriously. To find out how about we can help with your waste disposal needs please contact us on 0800 083 7807, or visit our website for further information.

How to declare WAR on junk: a room by room guide

how to declare war on junkAs discussed in our recent blog there are plenty of reasons for clearing the clutter from your home. From making money on old video games and electrical items to providing a warm coat for someone without a home, there are plenty of reasons to have a good clear out.

However, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here we will provide a few key tips for tidying each room of the home.

Sheds and garages
‘Out of sight, out of mind’. We often have grand ambitions for our sheds and garages, perhaps hoping to turn them into home-cinemas, gyms, offices or workshops. However, more often than not, these rooms end up as abandoned outposts where step ladders, plant pots and long forgotten toys go to die. The best way to tackle your shed and garage is to do it in the summer when the weather is good. This way you can make the most of your garden or driveway and begin sorting through all your discarded objects. Remember, it’s okay to use sheds and garages as storage space but only keep what you think you’ll use in the future.

Living room
After the kitchen, the living room is the second most important room in most people’s homes. This is where we relax, where we read and where we do our homework. As these are quite social rooms, our living rooms don’t always tend to be the worst offender for junk, but that isn’t always so. Electrical items are usually the biggest offenders here so have a root through your cupboards and chuck out any long unused VHS tapes, DVD’s and that coffee table that’s seen better days.

Kitchen
The kitchen is the beating heart of the home and where we spend much of our time. A good restaurant chef knows that to create a good meal everything must be in its rightful place and your kitchen should be no different. Often the best way to keep your kitchen clutter-free is to organise it well. This means taking a minimal approach with just the basic amount of furniture and appliances that you need, allowing you space to do your thing.

Bedroom
It’s proven that clutter inhibits a good night’s sleep, so the bedroom is certainly one room which needs to be tackled in your war on junk. To improve your sleep, you need to have a real dedicated sort out. Begin by sorting your clothes into piles, take a view of clothes that you regularly wear, never wear or are broken and get rid!

Bathroom
No-one wants a dirty bathroom, but they can be hard to keep clean. To keep things in order you should try and get in the habit of picking up after you and throwing away any empty products such as toothpaste and shampoo. Easier said then done, so it might be worth doing it in one great swoop once a month.

Final thoughts
Doing a full audit of all our belongings can be a difficult thing to do. It’s not unusual to form emotional bonds with the things that you own, however you shouldn’t be afraid to chuck them away. After all, the benefits of having a clean and tidy household with space to breathe cannot be overestimated!

If you’re planning your own mass clear-out then we can help. To book a skip, please contact us on 0800 083 7807, or visit our website for further information.