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How to teach your child about recycling

how to teach your child about recyclingIn the UK alone, there are over 30 million tonnes of waste in the UK generated from households every year. That sounds like a startling figure, but how would you explain that to a child who might not understand the gravity? Well, you could start by comparing it to some things that they do understand the weight of. 30 million tonnes is the equivalent of 4,000,000 elephants and 800,000 times as heavy as an adult hippopotamus.

In the same way that we teach our children about practicing good hygiene, looking both ways when they cross the road and how to look after their money, we also need to teach them the importance of looking after the world we inhabit, and recycling is a key part of that process.

The Three R’s

One of the best methods of teaching your children how to recycle is the ‘Three R’s’ which stand for reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce is the idea of trying to use, buy and consume less. Reuse is the idea of putting the waste that we do use to a new use and recycle is to properly throw away items that can be recycled so that they avoid going to landfill.

A simple way to teach your children the three R’s is to write them on the fridge and to quiz them occasionally on what they are to see if they still remember. However, to really get the three R’s to stick with your children, you need to teach them why they are important and ultimately a positive thing instead of a chore. Watching nature programmes and highlighting stories about habitat destruction, global warming and other forms of disruption to the environment can help them to understand why they need to do their bit.

That might sound a miserable way to spend your time, but lots of fun can be had with the three R’s too. For example, you can play games in the supermarket where the person who finds a product with the most recyclable form of packaging, or the largest bulk product (to cut down on repeat waste) wins a small prize.

It can also teach valuable life skills too. Instead of throwing away a toy, game or piece of clothing when it breaks you can show them how to repair them instead. Even if you don’t know yourself how to fix something, there are often great instructional articles and videos ‘littered’ around the internet that can show you how.

Another fun activity to enjoy with your children that falls under the reuse category is to enjoy some creative time with your children. Often products like paper, napkins, plates, cups and other household waste items can be repurposed into fun crafts that bring out your child’s artistic side.

Teaching your children about the finite resources of our planet and how we need to help protect it can help your children to not only lead responsible lives but also equip them with valuable skills for the future.

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.

How are the new bottle deposit schemes going to work?

how are the new bottle deposit schemes going to workEnvironment Secretary Michael Gove recently announced that the government will commit to introducing further efforts to cut plastic waste in the UK, including a bottle and can deposit scheme, in efforts to boost recycling figures and cut down on the impact of plastic waste on the environment.

Consultation will take place later this year to look at rolling it out, but how will the scheme actually work? Luckily there are lots of other examples around the world that can give us a clue or two.

The basic premise of a bottle and can deposit scheme is that a levy is added to the cost of any single-use glass or plastic bottle or steel and aluminium can. This extra cost can then be refunded when the bottle or can is returned. This helps to boost recycling and ultimately cut down on waste that goes to landfill or is littered into the environment.

Some factors that are still to be decided are the cost and the price of such a scheme. Across the world there are currently 40 counties that utilize a deposit return scheme as well as 21 US states. The price of the extra cost addition to the drink ranges between 8p and 22p with Germany at the top-end and Sweden the cheapest.

In terms of returning the bottles and cans, most schemes either see collections made at supermarkets and shops where they are purchased, or at automated collection points, typically in easy to access public areas such as supermarket car parks.

Obviously, not everyone will make the effort to return their bottles and cans for a deposit and what happens to the money when this happens varies from country to country. In some cases the money is donated to charities, while in other schemes the money goes back to the producer, retailer or is put towards the costs of running the scheme.

Currently in the UK only 7.5 billion plastic bottles are recycled every year out of the 13 billion sold. Another 15,000,000 are dropped as litter, landfilled or incinerated every day, a process which creates almost 250,000 tonnes of CO2 in the atmosphere. The move towards a recycling scheme has also been welcomed by environmental activists concerned about the effect that plastic waste has on marine life, with recent figures showing that plastic pollution could treble in our seas within the decade unless efforts are taken to keep it in check.

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.

Co-op chain to embrace part-recycled bottles

co-op chain to embrace part-recycled bottlesUK supermarket chain The Co-Op is to become the first retailer in the UK to sell all its bottled water in recycled containers – a move it says could save almost 350 tonnes of plastic annually.

The new 50% recycled bottles offer a “cloudy” appearance, making them less aesthetically pleasing than the current bottles that the retailer uses. However, the society has said that they are putting their faith in the ethics of their customers who they say would like to see more sustainable packaging options available.

The new bottles, which are processed by Cleantech in Hemswell, Lincolnshire, are made up of 50% recycled plastic, however are 100% recyclable according to the supermarket chain and could amount to a saving of almost 350 tonnes of plastic year on year. The bottles, which contain either still, sparkling or flavoured water, will contain to contain water sourced from Montgomery Spring, North Wales and Princes Foods’ Eden Valley in Cumbria.

Commenting on the move, Co-op Environmental Manager Iain Ferguson said: “Working with stakeholders across both supply and waste value chains is key to increasing the recyclability of our products and sourcing scalable, sustainable alternatives as we strive towards a more circular economy”.

This latest environmentally friendly move from the retailer follows other recent initiatives including a fully biodegradable paper tea bag that contains no plastics for its 99-tea brand. Many teabags in the UK are currently sealed using plastic which means they often are sent to landfill instead of being 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.

An end to wheelie bins? Introducing a flat that recycles for you

a flat that recycles for youAn innovative new scheme set for East London plans to make recycling far easier than in the past, removing the need for wheelie bins and allowing greater amounts of waste to be recycled.

The scheme, which has already been piloted in cities like New York, Stockholm and Doha, allows for rubbish to be “sucked” through household shoots and sent into bins at the bottom of an apartment block. These bins feature cyclone technology which sorts recyclable materials from non-recyclable materials and sends the unrecyclable material to an incinerator. The recyclable material is then stored in the bins before it is collected as normal.

The scheme is set to be incorporated as part of the brand-new Barking Riverside development in London. This will be one of the “most ambitious and important new developments in the UK” where over ten thousand homes will be built on the site of a former power station, lying across the banks of the Thames. This follows on from the Quintain project in Wembley Park which has incorporated a similar system with great results, including a reported cut in carbon emissions.

In such a populous city, waste can be a real problem to deal with, a problem that is often exacerbated in flats and apartment blocks where less space is available for bins. A development of the same size as Barking Riverside would typically require as many as 19,000 waste bins and collections, however the new cyclone technology may help to reduce this number down to just 460 waste processing outlets instead.

Around the world, many local authorities and planners are looking at ways to reduce the overall output of waste among households. In Bergen, Norway for instance, households share communal chute bins on housing estates. Here in the UK, in North West Cambridge, a modern eco development in the city has incorporated specially designed kitchen bins as well as composting areas and further underground waste bins that have replaced wheelie bins.

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 urged to do more to improve household recycling figures

uk urged to do more to improve household recycling figuresThe latest figures from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) demonstrate slow progress in the amount of household waste that is recycled.

In the ‘UK Statistics on Waste’ report by DEFRA, figures show that while the amount of waste sent for recycling from UK homes crept above 45% for the first time in 2016, progress has been too slow to have a realistic chance of meeting binding EU targets set for 2020.

Recycling rates among UK households differed between nations, with Wales the best performing country with a rate of 57% and Scotland, the worst with 42.8%. The recycling rate overall increased only marginally from 44.6% in 2015, to 45.2% in 2016.

These fractional improvements have been condemned by environmental groups such as the Environmental Services Association (ESA) who commented that UK recycling rates “remain in the doldrums” and that it was unlikely that we would reach targets set by the EU of 50% home recycling by 2020. He went on to encourage DEFRA to turn their resources and waste strategy towards the issue of sustainable markets for recyclable materials, and the residual waste capacity gap.

This year the UK government, launched a comprehensive 25-year plan aimed at protecting the environment and cracking down on so-called “avoidable” plastic waste - a move welcomed by green groups who pointed out that over half a million tonnes of plastic was collected from UK homes in 2017. However, some groups such as Greenpeace voiced scepticism as to whether the government would follow through with their plans and criticized them for not tackling other environmental issues.

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.

Starbucks to trial 5p cup charge in stores

starbucks to trial 5p cup charge in storresCoffee shop giant Starbucks has launched a three-month trial scheme aimed at reducing the environmental impact of their products and joins a growing number of businesses looking to address their environmental sustainability.

Instantly nicknamed the ‘latte levy’, Starbucks stores will introduce a 5p charge on takeaway cups, beginning with an initial trial in London across 35 stores.

The company hopes that the new charges will encourage customers to bring their own reusable cups and therefore reduce the amount of single-use plastic cups that can end up littering streets or in landfill. They have also confirmed that the proceeds of the trial scheme will go to Hubbub, an environmental and behaviour change charity.

“We’re hoping that this charge will remind customers to rethink their use of single-use plastic lined cups, as it has with plastic bags,” explained Simon Redfern, vice president of communications at Starbucks.

The recycling programme follows on from other large coffee companies such as Costa Coffee who have also taken steps to reduce coffee cup litter. Costa launched a scheme in October 2016 which introduced 45 cup collection points across the UK in stores which would be taken to specialist recycling plants to allow them to be reused.

Coffee lovers can also enjoy discounts in Starbucks stores for bringing in their own cup. Bringing your own reusable cup to enjoy your coffee will net you a 25p discount in Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Paul, a slightly reduced 20p discount in Greggs and an impressive 50p in Pret A Manger stores.

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

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.

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