BRAG, EFoE highlight dangers of plastic pollution at Festival of Waste

Brentford Recycling Action Group (BRAG) joined Ealing Friends of the Earth (EFoE) at Brentford Market on 29 July to host an anti-plastic-pollution stall at the Festival of Waste organised by local mental-health charity The Cathja Project.

A plastic-bedecked octopus, created by EFoE for a previous event, caused a sensation, and we succeeded in collecting two and a half pages of signatures for Friends of the Earth’s petition asking for urgent government action to reduce manufacturers’ and retailers’ production of plastic waste. Continue reading

Advertisements

A Plastic Planet rolls out first-ever ‘plastic free’ Trust Mark

Environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet has launched the world’s first ‘plastic free’ Trust Mark, to let shoppers know which food and drink products have been packaged without plastic.

Early adopters of the Trust Mark include UK supermarket giant Iceland, Dutch retailer Ekoplaza and tea brand Teapigs.

For further information, click here.

Morrisons customers can now bring their own containers when buying meat or fish

Supermarket chain Morrisons has announced it will allow customers to use their own containers for meat and fish from the Morrisons’ Market Street Butcher and Fishmonger counters as from this month.

The new policy is part of a number of measures the Bradford-based supermarket is taking to reduce plastic pollution, in addition to committing to make all its own-brand plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by no later than 2025.

For further information, click here.

Leading retailers and manufacturers sign up to the UK Plastics Pact

More than 40 companies have signed up to a pact that aims to cut plastic pollution over the next seven years.

The firms, which include Coca-Cola and Asda, have promised to honour a number of pledges that include eliminating single-use packaging through better design.

They have joined the government, trade associations and campaigners to form the UK Plastics PactContinue reading

Zero-waste shopping

Zero-waste shopping can mean a number of things: buying articles designed to last, eg, good-quality T-shirts that last for years rather than cheap ones that lose their shape after a couple of washes; buying secondhand from charity shops, eBay, etc, or obtaining goods from Freecycle, Freegle, etc; and repairing or repurposing items.

It can also mean using your own containers when you buy unpackaged groceries. Shops like As Nature Intended offer the opportunity to refill washing-up and laundry liquid bottles, and many Lush products are unpackaged.

As for food, loose fruit and veg are readily available from shops of all kinds, but it isn’t all that easy to buy other kinds of products in loose form. The Zero Waster has a comprehensive list of places where you can do just that, as well as much other useful information about avoiding waste.

The Source Bulk Foods has just opened in Chiswick, at 24 Turnham Green Terrace. It has a range of about 450 products, including flour, rice, cereals, honey, oil and vinegar, as well as cleaning and personal care products. You can buy whatever quantity you need and fill your own containers. Have a look next time you are in the area.

Tips for using less plastic. No. 1

Reducing the amount of plastic you use needn’t be hard. With this post, BRAG kicks off a series of tips on how to do this, one tip at a time, and in no particular order of priority, so you can gradually introduce plastic-reducing changes into your routine. And we’d love to hear your tips, too.

Tip no. 1: Carry cutlery in your bag, and refuse offers of plastic knives, forks and spoons in food outlets. If you work in an office, keep a plate, bowl, glass and cutlery in your desk.

Handy tips for improving the quality of your recycling

China has recently announced that it will be taking less recycling from the UK. One of the main reasons for this change in policy is that much of the recycled material China receives is contaminated, meaning it is of poor quality or includes items that cannot be recycled, or that are difficult and expensive to sort for recycling.

A recent article on the Recycle Now website shows what we in the UK can do to improve the quality of what we put in our recycling bins. It also offers tips on what you can recycle and where to find your nearest recycling centre. To read the article, click here.

Join Friends of the Earth in reducing single-use plastic products

Friends of the Earth (FoE) has launched #PlasticFreeFriday, a campaign to encourage people to stop using single-use plastic products.

FoE says that if we encourage enough people to make small changes to their lives, we can cut down the amount of plastic pollution in our environment – and send a message to companies and governments that they need to act too. Continue reading

BBC to ban single-use plastics

The BBC has announced that it plans to ban single-use plastics by 2020, after the television series Blue Planet II highlighted the devastation wrought by plastic pollution in the seas.

Throwaway plastic cups and cutlery will be scrapped at BBC sites by the end of this year, followed by plastic containers in canteens by 2019.

The Scottish Parliament has also announced that it plans to ban plastic straws, following similar announcements by restaurants including Pizza Express, Wagamama and JD Wetherspoon.

For further information, click here.

BRAG’s first Restart Party kicks off at Friends of Cathja

BRAG held its first Restart Party on 25 November. The Friends of Cathja charity shop provided a room for us to use for repairing electric and electronic items. Rishi from the shop, and Jo from the Restart Project were our fixers.  West London Waste lent us some basic equipment, Jo brought his own repair kit and there were some tools available in the shop. Continue reading