Companies sign up to pledge to cut down on plastic pollution

It has recently been announced by the BBC that more than 40 companies have signed up to a pact to reduce plastic pollution over the next seven years.

The companies, which include Coca-Cola and Asda, have promised to honour a number of pledges such as eliminating single-use packaging through better design. They have joined the government, trade associations and campaigners to form the UK Plastics Pact.

The companies are responsible for more than 80% of plastic packaging on products sold through UK supermarkets.

Led by the sustainability campaign group WRAP, the pact is described as a “once-in-a lifetime opportunity” to rethink plastic both to make use of its value and to stop it damaging the environment.

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Simple ways to cut back on plastic

1: Stop buying bottled water:

In the UK we use more than 35 million plastic bottles every year. A simple way of reducing that number is to carry a reusable bottle with you everyday and the added bonus is that it will save you money too. In fact, there’s an app which actually tells you where you can refill your bottle for free.

2: Refuse plastic straws:

Plastic straws are one of the top 10 items found in beach clean ups so unless it’s a paper version going in your drink, say no.

3: Use material bags:

Since the 5p charge was introduced for plastic bags in England, there’s been a 85% drop in their use.

4: Buy loose:

Whether it’s fruit, veg or tins of beans, buying them loose means you avoid the plastic packaging that keeps them all together in a multipack.

If you want to read more about how to cut down on the use of plastic, check out this BBC newsreport.

Fashion Waste: How big is the problem?

What happens to the clothes we don’t buy? You might think that last season’s coats, trousers and turtlenecks end up being put to use, but most of it (nearly 13 million tons each year in the United States alone) ends up in landfills. Fashion has a waste problem, and Amit Kalra wants to fix it. He shares some creative ways the industry can evolve to be more conscientious about the environment — and gain a competitive advantage at the same time. Listen to his Ted Talks presentation to get informed.

Recycle unwanted goods and waste products

recycling containersNowadays, recycling waste products is second nature for most people. Seriously, it’s really not that hard to separate your rubbish into organic waste, glass, paper and plastic. However, according to the local council, we’re not that good at it. Indeed, a recent online article suggested that 30% of the stuff we recycle in Málaga has to be dumped as general waste as it’s contaminated. The council reports that, by far, the biggest problem is the incorrect recycling of broken drinking glasses and milk cartons. So, if you’re not sure, you had better check out the council’s advice for effective recycling.

Unfortunately, they don’t give you any productive information on how to recycle useless boyfriends; believe me, I checked!
ebayFurthermore, recycling doesn’t stop at waste products. Remember, you can donate unwanted items to charity or make some extra cash and sell them online. I did try to sell my boyfriend on ebay, but luckily for him, nobody placed a bet so he’s still for sale. If anyone is interested, drop me an email and please don’t worry about the cost; he’s as cheap as chips and we could arrange a deal whereby you return him if you’re not satisfied.

Noise Pollution linked to severe health issues!

Noise pollutionExperientially speaking, I completely get this idea.  However, for me, the most annoying environmental noise isn’t from traffic, factories or the ferocious seagulls that live in Málaga, it’s the incessant jibber-jabba of people and the unmelodious noise that some buskers make with their musical instruments . So, what type of noise gets on your nerves?

If you want to find out the ins and outs of this piece of research, then click here.

Rubbish here, rubbish there, rubbish everywhere!

Malaga strike rubbish collectionMy most overused word of the week is: ‘rubbish’.
The USA presidential primaries are rubbish; I mean, come on, who the hell is voting for Mr Trump?! The new face cream I bought the other week which is supposed to give me a face lift without invasive surgery is rubbish and now my city is pile high with rubbish. Yep, it’s all rubbish!

rubbish with your breakfastRegarding the trash that is decorating the streets of Málaga, the newspapers allege that the dispute is about a productivity bonus and holiday entitlement. They further suggest that the strike is likely to continue indefinitely as there is no sign of a resolution being made between the trade unions, Limasa and the local council.

Ok, perhaps it’s not surprising that negotiations have broken down, I mean we don’t even have a functioning government at the moment, but, it seems to me there are lots of simple short-term solutions that can be implemented to ensure that the residents of Málaga don’t contract cholera while they take a stroll or commute to work.  Not to mention the fact that dog-sized rats are now a common sight in the historical centre.   So, if you worked for the local council, what would you do in the short term to minimise the risk of a health hazard and what might you do as a long-term measure?

Environment: How green is the sun?

solar powerYes, I’m sure you are as shocked as me. I, like many Spaniards, think that it’s never sunny is the UK.  However, perhaps we’re not seeing the bigger picture.  Indeed, my mother is much smarter than me as she already has solar panels on her house in the UK.  Anyway, if you want to know what all the excitement is about, check out the full report here.