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How the Coronavirus has affected the Zero Waste movement

From plastic bag charges to the promotion of reusable coffee cups, these were the steps included in the action plan for the UK public to be less wasteful. That was until 2020 hit the entire world with an unexpected health crisis, the Coronavirus.

At the beginning of March 2020, Starbucks made the decision to temporarily pause the use of personal cups or tumblers in their stores across the UK, as a precaution to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Many cafes and restaurants have made the switch to takeaway and delivery services, which too comes with its effects on the environment too. With food which would usually be served on a plate, now in takeaway packaging, and food waste rising due to unpredictable ordering patterns making it easy to prepare more food than is needed leading to an increase in food waste.

If you use an online grocery delivery service from supermarkets, you may have also noticed the plastic bag charge has been temporarily suspended by the Government and is expected to end on 21st September 2020. According to the Government, the change will speed up deliveries and reduce the risk of contamination. People have also taken it upon themselves to stop using their reusable shopping bags in stores, and start using the single-use plastic bags which they can then dispose of once they have finished with them. Indeed many delivery companies like Ocado have suspended their carrier bag takeback schemes.

For many Governments and Organisations across the world containing the virus is currently a greater priority than environmental concerns. But, no one truly knows how long these temporary changes will need to last. Can the zero waste movement survive the Coronavirus?

 

   

Is your city the worst fly-tipped in the UK?

Fly tipping is the illegal dumping of waste onto land, including being tipped on a site with no license to accept waste, instead of using authorised methods such as kerbside collection.

Fly tipping is bad for the environment, it spreads diseases and encourages vermin, and the earth could absorb toxins leading to the prevention of future greenery growth. It’s bad for wildlife, household goods could contain substances which potentially can kill a wild animal if it gets ingested, or they can get entangled in plastic which can lead to suffocation or strangulation. And, it gives communities a bad reputation as being run down or dirty.

The Solar Centre have looked at 59 cities across the UK and ranked them against 10 key eco-friendly metric, we’re going to focus on fly tipping to identify the worst and least fly-tipped cities.

The Worst Fly-Tipped City

With a score of 0/10 the worst fly-tipped city is Plymouth, according to Plymouth Live, “A third of all reported incidents of fly-tipping in the South West, for the financial year ending in March 2019, came from Plymouth. Statistics released by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) showed that 59,334 incidents occurred, 19,622 of which were in Plymouth. That number is up from the 13,953 incidents from the previous year, an increase of more than 40%.” Closely followed is Southhampton, and Leeds.

   

The Least Fly-Tipped City

Scoring a perfect 10, Chester is the least fly-tipped city according to The Solar Centre, closely followed by Chelmsford and Bangor.

What to do if you have waste you need to get rid of?

We can provide a wide of services to suit you and the waste you have, from skip hire to on demand waste collections, to pallet collections, we can help. All you have to do is get in touch with us on 0115 896 5460 or click contact us below, and we’ll do the rest.