The UK's Abundance of Unused Tech; Quality Street Environmental Makeover; Only 1 in 4 Smokers Aware of Plastic Butts; and LIDL's On-Shelf Smart Refill Machines.
In this month’s roundup, we pull together our pick of the latest environmental news and innovations from the last month.
20.7 Million Unused Tech Electricals Currently in UK Homes
According to the Recycling Electrical Producers’ Industry Consortium (REPIC), UK households ‘hoard’ 20.7 million unused electricals.
This totals around £5.63 billion worth of gadgets and gizmos that could be reused or recycled.
For broken tech, the research has identified it equates to 18.6 million items, including laptops, tablets, computers and games consoles, all items which could be easily recycled.
Louise Grantham, Chief Executive at REPIC said: “Decluttering enables precious material to be recovered and reused in the manufacturing of new products and collectively makes a big difference to our environment by reducing the demand for new raw materials.”
The research also offers the following advice for selling unwanted electrical items. Sort and separate into sell, donate, or recycle piles. Prepare the items by removing batteries, bulbs, and deleting important data. And lastly, ensure you get the best sale price by checking out peer-to-peer marketplaces.
Quality Street Environmental Makeover
After 86 years, Quality Street chocolates will no longer be wrapped in their iconic colourful foil and plastic packaging. Instead, manufacturer Nestlé will opt for a more sustainable alternative, wrapping their chocolate in recyclable waxed paper.
It follows Nestlé's criticism for its massive plastic footprint in recent years. With this change, 2.5 billion sweet wrappers will avoid ending up in landfill every single year.
The new packaging will be part of a phased operation within the coming weeks and months.
Nestle Head of Sustainability, Cheryl Allen said: “We think we’ve done a really good job with the redesign and feel confident that people will respond positively.”
Campaign Launched to Tackle Plastic Litter in Cigarettes
Environmental charity Hubbub has launched its campaign to tackle litter from cigarettes as its survey highlights that only 1 in 4 smokers are aware cigarette butts contain plastic.
After surveying 1,500 smokers, they revealed that 36% of respondents don’t realise the cotton wool butts are made from Cellulose Acetate – a type of plastic that can release thousands of chemicals once smoked. With another 36% unaware that butts don’t ever decompose.
The charity has highlighted the need for awareness to encourage smokers to dispose of their butts responsibly.
They have outlined techniques to combat the issues, such as placing Ashtrays and Cigarette Bins in “hotspots” such as park benches and bus stops can reduce litter by up to 90%. Additionally, they have also launched a recycling on-the-go toolkit and funding for local authorities.
LIDL First UK Supermarket for on-shelf Smart Refill Machines
Circuluar Online. (13/10/2022)
Customers now have access to an on-shelf refill machine with ‘smart’ pouches for their laundry detergent.
The compact refill machines will take up space equivalent to 66 standard single-use detergent bottles but have the potential to fill over 235 individual pouches, increasing capacity by nearly 300%.
The machine is an automated touchscreen experience where customers simply take the pouch, choose their favourite detergent, and follow the simple on screen instructions.
Mark Newbold, CSR Manager at Lidl GB said: “It’s our strong belief that good quality and value should go together. We are committed to providing our customers with cost saving solutions that can help their wallets and the planet.”