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Sustainability in the News – March 2018

This month I reflect on how difficult it is to be a conscious consumer in the modern world. Although I made my own Easter eggs, I spent some time perusing the shops wondering how (and if) anyone can get it 100% right.

What if the chocolate is fairtrade but the packaging is non-recyclable? What if it’s organic but it’s travelled for thousands of food miles?

For the Easter weekend we went to the Suffolk coast where we enjoyed visiting local markets, long walks on the beach (where I carried out a mini beach clean) and a lot of catching up on sleep!

Picking up litter at the beach

Looking a little cold as I pick up litter at the beach in Suffolk

Also this month, the UK considers a containers deposit scheme, a new mapping technology enables researchers to better understand plastic pollution and sustainability (literally) ends up on the menu. Read more below!

1. UK government considers a containers deposit scheme 

The government have proposed a deposit scheme that will cover single-use glass and plastic bottles as well as steel and aluminium cans.

Thought to be inspired by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2, the “reward & return” scheme will increase the price of certain goods but will see consumers getting their money back on the basis that they return the glass or bottle at deposit sites.

Similar schemes in Germany and Sweden have led to huge increases in recycling – the same result is hoped for the UK.

Source: BBC News

2. Help to map plastic pollution from your living room 

A charity has introduced a project to map plastic on the UK’s beaches and you can help …. from the comfort of your own home!

The Plastic Tide, together with the British Science Association, has taken over 250,000 drone images of British beaches that now need tagging by members of the public. By tagging plastics, you will be teaching the algorithm to identify them so that eventually there will be no need for public volunteers. Clever!

Once complete, the project will help researchers to better understand where our plastic waste goes – I absolutely love this idea and urge you all to get involved here.

Source: The Guardian 

3. A restaurant movement puts sustainability on the menu

On March 24th, One Planet Plate launched a campaign to put sustainability on the menu of one thousand restaurants across the UK.

Chefs will recommend one dish (based on its sustainability credentials) to help consumers identify the most sustainable option when choosing from the menu. Think local food, lower carbon footprint, better meat, sustainably sourced fish and no food waste.

The campaign calls for diners to participate by photographing the dishes and sharing it on social media with the hashtag #oneplanetplate.

Source: One Planet Plate

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