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.

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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

Petition calls for 5p charge on disposable coffee cups

A recently launched petition is calling on environment secretary Michael Gove and business secretary Greg Clark to impose a 5p charge on disposable coffee cups. It also encourages people to bring in a reusable cup to coffee shops for their daily caffeine routine.

As of 3 November, nearly 64,000 had signed the petition; the goal is to reach 75,000 signatures. To sign, click on this link.

 

UK government launches public consultation on bottle deposit scheme

Environment Minister Michael Gove has just launched a public consultation about introducing a bottle deposit scheme in England. The news follows the delivery of a bottle deposit petition, an initiative of Surfers Against Sewage, to 10 Downing Street. The petition attracted 250,000 signatures, calling on the minister to help protect our oceans and beaches from plastic pollution. Continue reading

Borough Market to ban plastic bottles

Borough Market plans to ban sales of single-use plastic bottles and instead introduce refillable bottles made from recycled plastic, which customers can buy from stalls around the south London food market. The market has introduced three new drinking fountains, giving visitors easy access to free water. Borough Market’s managing director, Darren Henaghan, said the move is part of its commitment to make it the greenest place to shop in Britain, and said he hopes others will follow suit.

Source: Daily Telegraph