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Electric goods 'should have repairability rating'

From next year, a scheme in France will label phones, fridges, lawnmowers and other items in this way to encourage more environment-friendly purchases. The Liberal Democrats and Green Party want this to be tested in the UK, which has a higher level of electrical waste. Ministers promised to "make it as easy as possible" to buy re-usable goods. The government added that it was "seeking powers" to make companies more "resource-efficient". Environmentalists have long campaigned against electrical manufacturers employing "planned obsolescence" - limiting the lifetime of their goods so that replacements can be sold sooner. A report published in the summer by the United Nations-backed Global E-Waste Monitor found the UK generated 23.9kg of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) per person in 2019. This was the second highest recorded amount in the world, after Norway's 26kg. In an effort to cut its waste, from next year the French government will make manufacturers give smartphones, televisions, laptop computers, washing machines and lawnmowers a repairability rating of one to 10 - showing consumers how easily they can expect to get them mended. Liberal Democrat environment spokeswoman Sarah Olney told the BBC her party would "welcome" a similar scheme being tested in the UK. "This is not just about empowering people to make informed choices about what they buy, but also has the potential to create new skilled jobs as part of a green recovery from the Covid crisis," she added. The Health and Safety Executive says more than 40% of the UK's WEEE is accounted for by large appliances such as fridges, washing machines and ovens. But households also discard "large volumes" of items such as toys, computers, kettles and watches, it adds. Electrical goods can contain hazardous substances, including arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury, which have to be disposed of carefully, whether they go to landfill or recycling. Ms Olney said: "It's not surprising most people are forced to replace items that break when repairing them is near impossible." The Green Party is campaigning for "repair cafes" - where people bring goods to be mended - on every high street. Deputy leader Amelia Womack argued the UK economy had "become reliant on a throwaway culture". "We would welcome government action to put a stop to this," she said, adding that it should be a "legal requirement for companies to lengthen the life of their products and ban the practice of planned obsolescence". Last year, the EU adopted Right to Repair standards, which mean that from 2021 firms will have to make appliances longer-lasting and supply spare parts for machines for up to 10 years. The UK government has pledged to "match and even exceed EU eco-product regulations" in the post-Brexit era. Orginal Source

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EA consults on ‘default building’ rule for waste sites

A new default rule which could see more waste operations having to take place in an “enclosed building” is causing concern within the waste management sector. The building proposal, which could prove costly to many businesses and local authorities as it covers civic amenity sites, is contained in a draft Environment Agency guidance document currently out for consultation. The document is a formal public consultation into “new guidance for permitted facilities taking non-hazardous and inert waste for treatment or transfer.” It comes on the back of the development of the European waste management BREF which covers the installations of a number of hazardous and non-hazardous treatments. Guidance The Environment Agency consultation guidance document is seen as implementing the BREF and the concept of BAT, best available Techniques. Explaining the draft guidance, the Agency states: “The guidance has been produced to improve the way that permitted facilities in the non-hazardous and inert waste sector are operated and designed. The aim is to ensure that standards are clear, consistent and enforceable. “The guidance will apply to existing and new facilities including household waste recycling centres, waste transfer stations, materials recycling facilities and sites producing soil and aggregates. “Unless specifically stated, the appropriate measures in the guidance will apply to all permitted waste management facilities in the sector, whether operating under an installation or waste operation permit.” The Agency adds: “The guidance will apply to newly permitted waste facilities through the environmental permit application process. It will also apply to existing facilities, which will be given time to implement the new standards.” Orginal Source

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Tesco to trial carton take-back scheme

Carton recycling points are to be introduced in 11 Tesco stores in England and Wales, as part of a five month trial in partnership with Kellogg’s and the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE). The trio have partnered up to trial the recycling points “to see how prepared customers are to return the packaging to stores for recycling”. The trail comes as part of Tesco’s ‘4R plan for packaging’ — Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle —and ACE UK says this builds on its “national carton bring bank network”. Kellogg’s, the company which owns the snack brand Pringles, added that the recycling points can also be used as a short term recycling solution for Pringles cartons. It said that it is “committed to improving the recyclability of the Pringles tube so the can be recycled in household collections”. Improve recycling rates Tesco’s head of packaging James Bull said: “We are overhauling our packaging by removing unnecessary and non-recyclable packaging from our business and will make sure everything we use can be recycled continuously. “Inconsistency in the UK’s recycling infrastructure remains a problem and it is vital that the Government quickly implements its plans for collection across councils. In the meantime, we will test new in-store recycling facilities for packaging such as cartons to see if we can improve recycling rates.” Mandy Kelly, recycling manager for ACE UK said, “We are delighted to be working on this collaborative project with Tesco and Pringles. Whilst our primary focus will remain on increasing kerbside collection for beverage cartons we know that the easier it is for consumers to recycle, the higher the recycling rate. “This trial represents an ideal opportunity to increase easy access to carton recycling while we continue to work hard to get cartons collected at kerbside everywhere in the UK.” Orginal Source

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Asda Opens New Sustainability Store

The supermarket has partnered with some of the UK’s most popular household brands including PG Tips, Vimto, Kellogg’s, Radox and Persil to create the store located in Middleton, Leeds. The store is designed to help shoppers reduce, reuse and recycle with ease and Asda estimates the numerous initiatives being trialled in Middleton will save one million pieces of plastic per year. Asda will use the Middleton store to test and learn which elements of its new offer appeal most to customers and can be developed at scale to be potentially rolled out to more locations in 2021. And to encourage customers to shop sustainably, the supermarket has also launched ‘Greener at Asda Price’ a national price promise that loose and unwrapped products will not cost more than wrapped equivalents. The new store includes the following features: 15 huge refill stations offering customers a selection of more than 30 household staples sold in refillable format. Products include a selection of different Kellogg’s cereals, PG Tips tea bags, Quaker Oats, Lavazza and Taylors of Harrogate coffee beans, Vimto cordial and Asda’s own brand rice and pasta. The refill zone includes popular brands of shampoo, conditioner, Persil laundry detergent, hand wash and shower gel from Unilever brands such as Simple and Radox sold in refillable format – a retail first. 53 fresh produce lines in total sold in loose and unwrapped format including 29 new lines such as cauliflowers, mushrooms, apples, cabbages and baby plum tomatoes. In addition, all Asda plants and flowers are sold either unwrapped or with a paper wrapping. Removal of the outer plastic wrapping on several popular Heinz and Asda Brand canned multipacks including beans and soups. Recycling facilities for items that are difficult to recycle in kerbside collections such as crisp and biscuit packets, plastic toys, cosmetic containers and toothpaste tubes. Asda’s first reverse vending machine for cans, plastic and glass drinks bottles and a hanger recycling facility that will be rolled out across all stores. The store will also showcase sustainable fashion lines through George including clothing made from recycled polyester and coat hanger-less denim. A new community zone for pop ups and partnerships with charities; the first is a three-month trial with the Salvation Army of a Drop and Shop outlet for customers to donate their unwanted clothing and bric-a-brac seven days a week. A partnership with Pre-Loved a vintage wholesaler who will be selling bespoke vintage clothing from well-known brands. In line with the opening of its new sustainable store, Asda has launched its new strategy for plastics and sustainability. Asda recognises that sustainable shopping must be affordable and accessible to all customers and commits customers won’t pay more for greener options. The company is also committed to generating zero carbon emissions by 2040, reducing waste by 50% and having a net regenerative impact on nature no later than 2050. In 2018, Asda set a weight-based target of 15% reduction in plastic packaging by 2021, with the company removing over 9,300 tonnes of plastic from their own brand products since then. Now it has introduced an additional commitment to remove 3bn pieces of plastic from own-brand products by 2025. It has also committed to introduce over 40 refillable products by 2023 and invest in 50 closed loop and circular projects by 2030, working closely with waste management companies, recyclers and product developers. Orginal Source

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Adidas unveils recyclable trainers

Adidas revealed on Wednesday (14 October) that it is handing out 1,500 prototype pairs of a shoe called the UltraBOOST DNA LOOP, which is made from a single type of plastic and does not contain any glue. The trainers are designed to be easily recyclable at the end of their use and Adidas has invested in dedicated recycling infrastructure to take back the shoes. 200 pairs of the first prototype of these shoes were handed out in April 2019, and then, in November 2019, the same 200 people received a pair of the second edition, made using recycled materials from the first batch. Adidas said in a statement that it has used the learnings from these trials to scale up production. The brand is planning to publicly launch the trainers and potentially other products with similar recyclability and recycled content claims in 2021, under the tagline ‘Made to be Remade’. In the meantime, the 1,500 recipients of a pair will be asked to log their experience through the Adidas app. “We don’t think of UltraBOOST DNA LOOP as simply a high-performance running shoe, but as an experience where every owner plays a vital part,” Adidas’ vice president of brand strategy James Carnes said. “To make this a success, we need to understand the human element – how people can be encouraged to return the shoes to be recycled – because while we control the creation, we can only influence what happens when the shoes leave us.” Adidas is notably working to remove all virgin plastic components from its products and packaging by 2024. It is currently designing alternatives made using post-consumer recycled, pre-consumer recycled and compostable materials, including ocean plastics and mechanically recycled yarn. Orginal Source

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Linda Crichton receives MBE for services to waste and recycling sector

There is good news for the resources and waste sector in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year with Linda Crichton (pictured above), a longstanding sector expert and member of CIWM, receiving an MBE. Linda began her career as an environmental consultant responsible for leading strategic and policy studies relating to waste and the environment both in the UK and internationally before moving to join WRAP to set up and manage WRAP’s local authority support programme. During her time at WRAP, Linda also headed up the organisation’s work on collections, recycling and material quality, including initiatives related to food waste and packaging, and the national consumer behaviour change campaign Recycle Now. In January 2018, Linda moved from WRAP to the Resources & Waste team in Defra to jointly lead the work to reform the UK packaging producer responsibility regime. “Linda has and continues to make a huge contribution to the sector, bringing a depth of knowledge and commitment which helped drive the rapid progress the UK made in recycling from the early 2000s and is now key to the development of the new packaging EPR framework, which will deliver the next step change in recycling. CIWM is delighted that her contribution has been recognised,” said CIWM’s Head of Policy, Knowledge & External Affairs Pat Jennings. Also honoured this year with a British Empire Medal, which recognises meritorious civil or military service, is Nigel Wheeler, Group Director for Prosperity, Development & Frontline Services at Rhondda Cynon Taf Borough Council. He is recognised for his services to waste collection and recycling during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Our warmest congratulations go to Nigel for his work during the last six months; he is a great example of how local authority professionals have worked tirelessly to ensure that essential frontline collection and local environmental quality services have been maintained in the face of considerable challenges,” said Pat Jennings. Orginal Source