Sustainability in the News – April 2018

Finally – I think we can call it spring here in the UK! After what felt like the longest winter, we are now able to enjoy warmer days and prettier roadsides with blossom demanding our attention everywhere we go. At home in Essex even the bluebells have flowered, creating a perfect haven for wildlife such as butterflies.

My personal highlight this month was a week-long trip to Sicily with my uni friends. We enjoyed plenty of sun lounging, a mini beach clean, lots of Aperol Spritz (no plastic straws!) and a tour of Mount Etna.

Plastic waste found on the beach in Sicily
Plastic waste found on the beach in Sicily

And in the news, I was pleased to hear the recent updates from Waitrose and Iceland as well as Theresa May’s latest pledge. Read more below!

1. Waitrose stops using disposable coffee cups

Waitrose have announced that they will save 52 million cups from going to landfill each year by removing them from all stores. Instead, customers who get a free tea or coffee as part of the supermarket’s loyalty scheme, will now have to bring their own reusable cup.

The initiative has already been rolled out in 9 stores, with the rest due to follow by autumn. The first 9 stores are: Banbury, Billericay, Ipswich, Newmarket, Norwich, Sudbury, Wymondham, Upminster and Cambridge. Is your local on the list?

Source: BBC

2. Iceland removes palm oil from own-brand products

Having been alerted to the environmental challenges associated with palm oil (including habitat loss and air pollution), Iceland will remove it from all own-brand products by the end of this year. The oil is currently found in over half of the supermarket’s products including biscuits and soaps.

As the first major UK retailer to address the issue head on and start exploring alternatives to palm oil, let’s hope that other retail chains follow suit!

Source: Huffington Post

3. The UK bans plastic straws

In the government’s latest commitment towards tackling plastic waste, the UK bans plastic straws – hooray! And with 8.5 billion straws thrown away in Britain every year, marine conservationists hope that the ban (which also covers plastic cotton buds and stirrers) should significantly reduce the plastic pollution that ends up harming our local ecosystems.

Other countries form an orderly queue please – who’s next?

Source: Independent

 

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