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UK reaches milestone of half a million tonnes of plastic recycling

LSPS Blog 80A recently published ‘Household Plastics Collection Survey’ by Recoup of local authorities across the UK has revealed a 2.7% increase in plastics recycling across the nation which has brought the total amount of recycling to over half a million tonnes.

The latest figures from the charity show that 512,475 tonnes of plastic were collected for recycling in 2016. Upon analysis the figures show that 340,000 tonnes of recycling accounted for was categorised as plastic bottles and a further 170,000 tonnes consisted of other plastics like pots, tubs and trays.

While these figures seem impressive, Recoup has been quick to add that the figures show an increase of less than 1% in collection of plastic bottles from households. There have also been just seven new kerbside collection schemes launched in the past year by local authorities. When looking at some of the reasons behind this, Recoup reported that 51% of Local Authorities in the UK received budget cuts for waste and recycling collections or to their communications departments who seek to get the word out about good waste recycling habits.

The report goes on to stress the importance of consistency in recycling standards among Local Authorities so that a consistent message can be given out to households over what they can and cannot recycle – helping to increase the number of people recycling and reduce the amount of contaminated waste. Click here to read the survey: http://www.recoup.org/p/229/uk-household-plastics-collection-survey-2017.

Do you think recycling rules are clear enough? Tweet us at @LSPSltd and let us know.

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.

What can we do to make the UK’s water sources cleaner?

LSPS Blog 79In the UK it’s estimated that over 8 million tonnes of plastic finds its way into our rivers, seas, oceans and other waterways every year. At the current rate this means that by the year 2050 there would be more plastic in our waters than there would be living fish. The impact of plastic pollution is felt not only by animals but also humans with micro-plastic fibres found in tap water samples worldwide and the average seafood eater expected to consume 11,000 pieces of micro plastic year on year.

With this in mind, many environmental charities such as Recycle Now, Greenpeace and Surfers Against Sewage are leading the way in encouraging both businesses and individuals to take steps to reduce their plastics consumption. Here are a few ways that you can reduce your impact on the oceans with small and simple steps.

1 – Phase out your plastic bag usage and bring your own material bag with you next time you go shopping.

2 – Avoid shower gels, toothpaste and scrubs which contain microbeads – look for alternatives that are more friendly to our oceans.

3 – Avoid ‘single use’ plastics. Plastic products like straws, bags, cutlery, cup lids and water bottles are often only used once before they are thrown away. Opt for items that will get much more use out of them instead.

4 – Carry your own cutlery and non-plastic water bottle with you to avoid the need to use disposable ones which are also single-use items.

5 – Find new uses for plastics. Packaging can’t be avoided completely but that doesn’t mean you have to throw it out. Try and find new and unique ways to reuse any materials that you do end up with to stop them ending up in landfill.

6 – Support companies which package their products in environmentally friendly materials. Let them know through social media or through letters and phone calls if you think they are doing a good job. Equally make sure you voice your concerns if they are excessive with their packaging.

7 – Cook your own food instead of ordering takeaways, or at the very least try and reuse as much of the packaging as possible.

8 – Pick up litter next time you go to the beach or to the park – even one coffee cup or cigarette butt can cause damage to the nearby environment.

9 – Buying products that you get through regularly in bulk can help to cut down wastage and can also save you money in the long run.

Do you have any of your own tips for cutting your plastic usage? Tweet us at @LSPSltd and let us know.

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.

What does it mean to be a ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ company?

pexels-photo-128421More and more businesses every day are recognising the need for environmental sustainability. By analysing their operations and taking steps to reduce their wastage they can not only make a positive contribution to the environment but also save money and improve their corporate image.

‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ is a certification which means that a company aims to ensure that all of their waste, whether manufacturing or non manufacturing, avoids landfill. To do this it is composted, recycled or reused. However, the term does not have a universal standard which means that some businesses take a more relaxed approach to ZWTFL and view the idea as more of a guideline than an a stringent set of rules to stick to.

Typically a business will analyse themselves and look at their various ‘waste streams’ – usually things like cardboard, glass, food waste and plastics. They would then undergo steps to ensure that these materials avoid landfill. For example food waste might be used as compost, glass melted into new products or plastic and cardboard used for new packaging materials. Following this they would be audited by a certification provider who if satisfied with their efforts and will award them certification.

With advocates of ZWTL including companies like Ford and Proctor and Gamble it’s obvious that there are many benefits to the certification. Not only can it help businesses to make significant savings and create revenue, but it also provides a good PR opportunity as the businesses can talk to local press about their transition, generating news coverage.

Many businesses also view becoming a ‘Zero Waste’ company as a good opportunity to attract new customers - typically environmentally conscious buyers who want to spend their money with businesses that take a pro-active approach towards environmentalism.

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.

Meet the bin that does your recycling for you!

crumpled-paper-1551431_640Do you like to ‘do your bit’ when it comes to recycling but simply don’t have the time? An invention by a Polish technology company could save precious time for would-be recyclers who don’t have enough hours in the day.

The Smart Bin designed by start-up company Bin.E automatically recognises different types of waste and sorts it for you. Using sensors and cameras it senses the type of waste that has been entered and automatically partitions it into one of several smaller internal bins.

According to CTO Marcin Lotysz, the Smart Bin not only saves time but also helps to cut down on unintentional waste contamination. “People often unintentionally dispose of items in the wrong way. In most cases this is not down to laziness or carelessness, but confusion because it can be difficult to know what the things we dispose are actually made of. This means objects and packaging is repeatedly placed into the wrong types of bin. This can result in contamination, and lead to the entire contents of the recycle waste bin ending up in landfill,” he explained.

Currently in the UK homeowners are often given several different bins to cover non-recyclables, metals, plastics, paper, cardboard and garden waste. However, without a proper understanding of what is supposed to go in each bin and how to prepare items for recycling it can be easy to fall foul of the guidelines. For instance, while you might think that a pizza box can be recycled – if the box is heavily soiled from oils and other residue then it is normally classed as contaminated and unable to be recycled. So, without proper diligence recycling efforts can sometimes be wasted.

Bin E’s smart bin is set to launch in 2018 and as well as a home edition there are also plans afoot for voice activation, a smart phone app and an office bin to help businesses recycle waste in their working environments.

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.

Recycling rate of aluminium cans reaches 70%

cans-fuzzy-drinksAccording to figures released by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) as many as seven out of every 10 aluminium drinks cans sold in the UK last year were eventually recycled.

The European metal packaging sector is collectively working towards a goal of having 80% of metal packaging recycled by the year 2025, so these latest reports show positive signs that the target will be reached, perhaps even sooner than the target year.

Aluminium is one of the best examples of recyclable materials on the market. It can be reused time and time again without degrading and its production uses just 5% of the energy needed to create metal out of raw materials. In terms of C02 emissions, recycling aluminium again creates just 5% of the C02 produced by making metal from scratch.

While the latest figures are focused on drinks cans, aluminium is used in a variety of other products which can also be recycled at home after being properly prepared for recycling. Foil trays, for instance, are regularly used in ready meals and can be recycled after being given a quick rinse under a tap. Aerosols such as deodorant and hair sprays can also be recycled provided they are not squashed or pierced – just be careful to remove the plastic cap if it is safe and easy to do so. Other examples of commonly used household aluminium products include bottle tops found on wines, alcohol and cooking ingredients like olive oil as well as wrapping used for cakes, sandwiches and other cooking products. While these rules are best practice for most councils, your council may have different guidelines under which they operate, so it is best to seek advice from your local council website.

We take recycling seriously at LSPS. For more information or to find out how we can help with your waste disposal efforts, please visit our website or call us on freephone 0800 083 7807.

UK on track to meet annual recycling targets

silver-jubilee-bridge-suspension-bridge-runcorn-bridge-bridge-53439Figures just released by the National Packaging Waste Database have shown signs that the UK is closing in on targets for the recycling of packaging and will likely meet its quota by the end of 2017.

The latest figures published by the National Packaging Waste Database on behalf of the Environment Agency show that the amount of recycling in the UK has already achieved at least two-thirds of required targets with paper achieving 73% of its quota and wood already reaching 94%. However, the picture looks less promising for Glass and Plastics recycling which lag behind at around 52-54% respectively. The report can be viewed in full here: https://npwd.environment-agency.gov.uk/Public/PublicDEFRAReport.aspx.

Despite the positive indications from wood and paper, some industry figures such as Ecosurety have raised concerns about the levels of plastic recycling, noting that the price of plastic continues to rise, spurred on by the Chinese Government’s plans to ban imports of scrap plastics and unsorted paper waste. As of last year china imported 7.3 million tonnes of waste plastics per annum accounting for over half of the world’s imports and valued at around £2.8billion. Early indications show that China’s clampdown on waste plastics may push the flow of materials into other markets such as India, or may even begin to open up wider trading throughout the UK and Europe rather than relying to heavily on China.

We take recycling seriously at LSPS. For more information or to find out how we can help with your waste disposal efforts, please visit our website or call us on freephone 0800 083 7807.

Interesting tips for reducing household waste

canning-762195_640In a recent article by The Guardian readers sent in some of their best tips for reducing their household waste, inspired by the Australian TV programme War on Waste. Here are a few of our favourites.

One reader uses garden waste instead of bin liners. Instead of using a bin liner to catch liquids and nasty smells from their rubbish they use a layer of garden soil. They simply empty the soil back out into the garden and replace with fresh soil after emptying and sorting their general waste.

Another reader recommended home brewing their own beer. While you may have to wait a little longer than normal to have a drink you can save money and cut down on bottle waste by reusing old bottles for your homebrew.

Rather than using freezer bags one user decided to wrap unwanted food portions in baking paper. This meant less food waste as they could simply store them away in their freezer unit until they needed thawing out for a later meal. Alternatively one couple claimed that they simply gave the large majority of their food waste to their chickens who returned the favour by providing them with the occasional free range egg for breakfast.

One interesting tip recommended was to group certain materials together if you fear they may be too small to recycle. For example, plastic cutlery is often too small to be effectively recycled and may be rejected but if you group it together by placing inside a container or a bottle then it can be processed.

Another genius repurposing of household waste that we discovered was to use jam jars or coffee jars as cups for hot drinks. The glass jars and lids are perfect for storing your drink and a closable lid means no spillage. Click here to read the full article for more tips. Don’t forget to tweet us at @lspsltd and share your own tips for repurposing waste.

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.