Tag Archives: plastic bottles


Splasticbagelfridges is to rid its stores of all single-use plastic water bottles as part of a campaign to reduce pollution of the oceans. Instead, the department store is encouraging customers to bring their own water bottles to fill at a newly-opened traditional drinking fountain in its London food hall. The initiative, part of an ongoing partnership with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Marine Reserves Coalition (MRC), aims to reduce plastic waste in the oceans and help facilitate a change in behaviour around the use of plastic. Selfridges said it sold around 400,000 single-use plastic water bottles a year through its food halls and restaurants. And Hawaii has become the first U.S. state to ban plastic bags! This follows Oahu joining the other Hawaiian islands in banning plastic bags from its stores. Although there are some exceptions to the ban, this is a step in the right direction for solving our planet’s plastic waste problem. Up to 13 milllion tonnes of plastic enters our seas each and every year year – entering the food chain, killing marine wildlife and birds, and polluting vast swathes of our oceans.

roadsiderubbishMotorists should be routinely fined for dumping litter amid claims that many roads are overwhelmed by rubbish, council leaders say. Local authorities should be given the power to levy penalties against car owners when litter is seen being flung from a window — even if it comes from back-seat passengers, it was claimed. The Local Government Association said councils were struggling to cope with the “staggering and spiralling” amount of discarded bottles, drinks cans, crisp packets and cigarette boxes. North hertfordhire recently removed 80 tonnes of litter from an 18 mile sytrech of A roads and In Leicestershire 20 tonnes of litter were found on a 10 mile stretch of the A42. At persent local authorities cannotfine unidentified litter throwers, however pig like, lazy and selfish they are. We need a PIG ISLAND for these people to move to where they can live and fester in their squalor. Drivers who drop litter from their cars should be fined and receive a penalty point on their licence, campaigners have urged. Keep Britain Tidy wants the penalty to apply even to those who drop apple cores and other biodegradable waste.

If Lancashire won’t frack we will, insist Yorkshire residents: The campaign to start a British fracking industry is to shift across the Pennines, with an application to frack in the North York Moors National Park. There are an estimated 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas in the bowland shale and as local pro-fracking group has been set up to support a move t bring hydraulic fracking to Kirby Misperton.  If only 10% of the gas were extracted it would provide Britain’s gas needs for the next 40 years. Ohhhh Yorkshire ….. fracking operations to extract shale gas in Britain could cause nearby house prices to fall by up to 7% and create a risk of environmental damage, according to a government report that has been published in full for the first time. Entitled Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) draft document was released on Wednesday after a freedom of information battle. As an official assessment of the impact of fracking, albeit in draft form only, the Report warns that leakage of waste fluids could affect human health through polluted water or the consumption of contaminated agricultural products.

Ecuador is planning to auction off three million of the country’s 8.1 million hectares of pristine Amazonian rainforest to Chinese oil companies, Jonathan Kaiman of The Guardian reports. The report comes as oil pollution forced neighbouring Peru to declare an environmental state of emergency in its northern Amazon rainforest. Ecuador owed China more than $7 billion — more than a tenth of its GDP — as of last summer. In 2009 China began loaning Ecuador billions of dollars in exchange for oil shipments. It also helped fund two of the country’s biggest hydroelectric infrastructure projects, and China National Petroleum Corp may soon have a 30 per cent stake in a $10 billion oil refinery in Ecuador. More here.

Prince Charles has given his backing to a campaign to discourage investent in fossil fuel companies. In a speech he said that coal, gas and oil cmpanies should not receive taxpaer subsidies and the Keep It In The Ground campaign was ‘clear, compelling and powerfully resonant”. He called for profound changes in the global economy to avoid catastrophic climate change.

BP_Petrol_StationBP has agreed to pay $18.7 billlion to settle legal actions brough in the USA over the  2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The envieonmental catastophe had already cost the oil giant $5.5 in fines under the Clean Water Act; the latest settlement came after an action from by the Department of Justice and the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Florida to cover damages to individuals and business not covered by anm earlier settlement. Judge Carl Barbier had found BP to have been ‘grossly negligent’ in its management of the oil well.

WWF and Unilever have launched a one-year partnership to engage consumers in the fight against deforestation. The partnership between the conservation organisation and the multinational consumer goods firm will seek to raise awareness of the importance of the world’s forests, as well as protect one million trees. The partners will support protection programmes in Brazil and Indonesia, two countries with some of the highest historical rates of deforestation in the world.

Clothing manufacturer Adidas has celebrated its partnership with Parley for the Oceans by creating a prototype shoe made from recycled ocean waste and deep-sea gillnets. The concept shoe, unveiled at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, is the first in a line of ocean-waste products that Adidas plans to release this year. Adidas global brands executive Eric Liedtke said: “This partnership allows us to tap into new areas and create innovative materials and products for our athletes. We invite everyone to join us on this journey to clean up the oceans.”

grousePeat bogs in the UK are at risk … just so some can shoot birds …….. “They are home to a diverse range of wildlife and up to 8,000 years old. And, according to a damning analysis by an independent government advisory body, the UK’s upland peat bogs are facing a sustained threat from the shooting classes’ desire to bag grouse. The Committee on Climate Change’s 2015 progress report to parliament notes: “Wetland habitats, including the majority of upland areas with carbon-rich peat soils, are in poor condition. The damaging practice of burning peat to increase grouse yields continues, including on internationally protected sites.” Burning creates different heather habitats. Young heather is nutritious while more established heather provides a place for nesting grouse. Creating a patchwork comprising heather of different lengths is a land management tool that experienced gamekeepers can use to increase grouse yields.” More on the Guardian website here.

London_smog-_UKLondon Mayor hopeful  Sadiq Khan MP, Member of Parliament for Tooting and Shadow Minister for London has released figures showing that London boroughs have routinely breached EU air pollution limits over the last 5 years. Almost all local authorities missed targets set for key air quality measures including levels of Nitrogen Dioxide, linked to asthma and lung damage,  and not one of the 32 boroughs meeting ozone objectives. There has been progress in reducing the amountof larger particles, known as PM10, in London’s air. Kahn had previously spoken out against the government’s inaction on air quality. Speaking at the launch of a national campaign against air pollution, Sadiq Khan MP has called for a national framework for Low Emission Zones to enable local authorities to encourage the use cleaner, greener, less-polluting vehicles. Sadiq has also called for greater powers for local authorities to tackle low levels of air quality in their communities.

UK Chancellor George Osborne has brought further uncertainty to green leaders, with an emergency Budget that confirmed more taxes for renewables along with tax-breaks for oil and gas. Delivering his second Budget in four months on Wednesday – the first all-Conservative budget in nearly 20 years – Osborne failed to offer much good news for the low-carbon economy; instead bringing further uncertainty to the sector. Osborne announced that the Government would be changing the Climate Change Levy, which businesses pay on their energy use. The Levy is “outdated”, according to the Chancellor, who said an exemption for renewables in the CCL will be removed.

Low-carbon economic growth can become the new normal and limit the impact of climate change, according to a new report from the New Climate Economy, part of the Global Commission on the Economy and the Climate. The report identifies ten economic opportunities that could close 96% of the gap between business-as-usual emissions and the level needed to stop dangerous effects of climate change – these include raisding energy efficiency,  committing to carbon pricing, investing $1trn in clean energy and restoring forests. The report argues low-carbon and climate-resilient growth is possible, but calls for investment and strong political willpower. Lord Stern, co-chair of the commission, said more and more counties were committed to integrating climate action into their economic plans, suggesting economic growth and emissions reduction could go hand-in-hand. More on edie.net here.

HoneyBeeA new study from Harvard University, published in the June edition of the Bulletin of Insectology, puts the nail in the coffin of the clever misinformation spread by the likes of chemicals giants  Bayer, BASF and Syngenta  about the rapid declines in the world’s bee populations. Neonicotinoids are killing bees at an exponential rate, they are the direct cause of the phenomenon labeled as colony collapse disorder (CCD). Neonicotinoid’s are the world’s most widely used insecticides. “The results from this study not only replicate findings from the previous study, but also reinforce the conclusion that the sublethal exposure to neonicotinoids is likely the main culprit for the occurrence of CCD.” For this study, researchers examined 18 bee colonies at three different apiaries in central Massachusetts over the course of a year. Four colonies at each apiary were regularly treated with realistic doses of neonicotinoid pesticides, while a total of six hives were left untreated. Of the 12 hives treated with the pesticides, six were completely wiped out. Those who make and spread misinformation about these chemicals should be imprisoned.

Revenues from sustainable products or services are growing up to six times faster than ‘normal’ equivalents, according to new research from the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi). The Institute, which provides data-driven information to investors, analysed 12 companies listed in the S&P 100 that sold and tracked ‘sustainable’ products and services.
The study found between 2010 and 2013, revenues from these portfolios grew by 91% – around six times faster than the rest of the companies’ products.

Coronation_Street_TitlesThe television industry has been in the news with ITV’s Coronation Street winning the Film & TV  Award in the Observer’s prestigious  Ethical Awards for the lowest possible environmental impact with innovations including “whether that be the art department or recycling old sets [Corrie has achieved an impressive 90% recycling rate for its waste streams] or making sure that new wood is from sustainable resources. We also have an allotment and we’re growing some of our veg on site here, too”, Televisual has highlighted the fact that whilst some shows have taken steps to reduce their carbon footprints, the production sector needs to do far more. Solar was used to power the entire shoot of Operation Grand Canyon with Dan Snow while Springwatch ran its unit base and remote camera set ups with energy from renewable generators – but Televisual says despite these success stories, the TV production sector has a poor track record when it comes to the environment and a ‘step change’ in behaviour is needed. Its not all doome and gloom. The BAFTA led ‘Albert’ Consortium have been working hard to reduce the impact of the UK TV industry and their carbon calculator has now logged over 1,000 productions – but says the TV sector needs t be more proactive in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and shrinking film and TV’s carbon footprint. With a new training course in place for 150 executives from film & TV in place and a news website called www.mediagreenhouse.co.uk, the Albert consortium are also launching a major new survey into sustainability and climate change and the challenges they pose for the TV industry. And if you want to know how Anna Karenina saved money with BS8909 – the answer is here and more on TELEVISUAL here

SensationAnd news from Julie’s Bicycle: Our friends at Julie’s Bicycle and ID&T have created a new carbon calculator tool for indoor events. This new addition to our IG Tools was launched at ID&T’s 40,000 capacity Sensation dance event at Amsterdam Arena last weekend. The Tool enables you to quantify a range of impacts associated with your indoor event, including: energy, water, waste and travel. You can graphically analyse results to help inform action and easily export your results too. It’s available now and free to use at www.ig-tools.com. Julie’s Bicycle CEO Alison Tickell said “When one of the biggest dance promoters in the world is getting passionate about carbon we know that change is coming. Getting to grips with actual environmental impacts is a huge step forward; the new IG Tool will help not just ID&T but promoters all over the world to step up to the climate challenge.” Carlijn Lindemulder, Head of Sustainability at ID&T added ““It was a long time wish for us to be able to measure the environmental impacts of our indoor events. Working with Julie Bicycle on this exciting new tool gives Sensation the possibility to understands its environmental impacts, and design effective strategies to reduce them.”

takethegreentrainTake the Green Train was a seminar on environmental sustainability in music and jazz held at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival at the Sage Gateshead in April 2015, featuring guest speakers, case studies, green touring top tips, and ideas for future trajectories for the EJN membership on environmental sustainability. We want to make sure the learning and outcomes of the day are shared as widely as possible among the network, so have produced the following event report which summarises the various presentations and discussions from the day. Download the report here.

MMMAnd finally from Julie’s Bicycle: Have a listen to the first edition of the EE MUSIC Mixtape Series, where artists from Elevate Festival have been exploring energy and the environment in a series of exclusive mixes. In Part 1, Mixmaster Morris has intertwined samples and songs combining everything from Onethrix Point Never, Louis Armstrong to visions of a sustainable energy future. LISTEN HERE!



floods in CroatiaThe delicate balance of the planet’s biosphere is tipping — threatening all life on earth. Scientists are calling it our ‘Holy Shit’ moment on climate change, and world leaders meet at the UN in just over 100 days — we have until then for all of us, everywhere, to act, in the largest day of action on climate change in history, to call for action and fight for everything we love. There’s no way to get around how big a task this is. But together, each small action will add up into a millions-strong movement that literally drowns out the opposition and gives our leaders the best reason to break free and build a hopeful, clean and green future. Click here to join in: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/join_to_change_everything_rb/?bWaAcdb&v=41497 

A $15 billion Australian coal project has suffered a set back after the Australian Government said that it would review concerns that the Carmichael coal and rail project which would see Adani Enterprises develop mines, railways and a giant port in Queensland could endanger the Great Barrier Reef by dumping 3 million cubic tonnes of sand by the Reef.Greenpeace said the project would endanger birds and drain away precious water supplies, spread toxic coal dust and threaten turtle nesting sites – all to provide India with highly polluting and high carbon emitting coal for energy generation. The UN has also voiced concern saying the dumped waste could irreparably damage the coral and Unesco’s World Heritage Committee is considering putting the Great Barrier Reef on its ‘in-danger’ list.

solarThe High Court in London has overturned a decision by the Eric Pickles to reject a planning application for a 24MW solar farm in Ellough, Suffolk.  Edie.net reports that  on June 23, Justice Lindblom found in favour of Lark Energy, who had planned to construct the solar farm on the site of a former WWII airfield. The scheme was recommended for consent by the Planning Inspectorate after a public enquiry. However, Mr Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, stepped in and overturned the decision, rejecting the application in October 2013.  The judge found that Mr Pickles’ decision was not made in the way required in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 causing ‘substantial prejudice’ against Lark Energy. The High Court has refused the Secretary of State leave to appeal against its ruling. Land remediation and regeneration firm Harworth Estates has announced the installation of 30MW of solar generation across four former colliery sites in the North and Midlands.  Three developments already have approval – Welbeck Colliery in Mansfield, Gelding in Labley and a third in Bilsthorpe – with a fourth at Askern in South Yorkshire awaiting planning consent – let’s hope they don’t end up ‘in a pickle’ !

Consumer appetite for sustainable brands is growing as new research reveals that more than half of online shoppers are prepared to pay a premium for socially responsible products and services. A study by Nielsen found that 55% of online consumers across 60 countries were willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.  The propensity to buy socially responsible brands is strongest in Asia-Pacific (64%), Latin America (63%) and Middle East/Africa (63%). The numbers for North America and Europe are 42% and 40% respectively.

food wasteSainsbury’s in Cannock will be the UK’s first supermarket to run on electricity generated solely from food waste.  The supermarket giant has partnered with leading waste management firm Biffa to convert food waste from Sainsbury’s stores across the UK into energy, using Biffa’s anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities – although there has been recent concern that too much edible food is being classified as waste and food and drink companies face renewed calls today to implement better product packaging and labelling measures as new research reveals 2 million tonnes of household food in the UK is thrown away because it is judged to be past its prime. A report from WRAP further reveals that half of this amount is thrown away either intact or in unopened packaging. In a third of cases (660,000 tonnes) passing a date label triggered disposal, while foods judged to be stale or mouldy were responsible for most of the remaining 1.3 million tonnes.

The UK’s Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) has got off to a flying start, issuing £2.61m to households during its first week. The new incentives added to the Green Deal now offer up to £7,600 cash back to offset the cost of developments to households in England and Wales making energy saving improvements.  And the Green Investment Bank has announced a £2m investment to help SMEs make improvements in energy efficiency. The investment – £1m of which comes from private equity firm SI Capital – will go towards ReEnergise Finance’s Smart Energy Finance vehicle which aims to provide loans to small businesses seeking funding for energy saving projects. ReEnergise Finance specialize in energy efficiency and the renewables market and looks to provide funding solutions for UK-based SMEs which have struggled to find finance or advice for their efficiency projects.

bottles(1)Glastonbury Festival organisers have estimated  that 1 million plastic bottles are used each year during the five days of music and fun, with more than 11 million litres of water  consumed on site each year at the festival – and this year in an effort to reduce plastic waste, organisers are distributing reusable steel bottles and have set up 400 drinking water taps around the site.  2011_03042011GLASTONBURYben0044Other businesses could significantly enhance their sustainability credentials by improving the way they measure, manage and report the amount of plastic they use in their operations and across the supply chain. That’s according to a new report from the Plastic Disclosure Project, the UK Environment Assembly and natural capital analysts Truscot which argues that tighter regulation, increased competition and more consumer demand would force plastic-intensive firms to pay the natural capital costs.  It highlights a growing concern about the threat that widespread plastic waste poses to marine life, with conservative estimates of the overall financial damage of plastics to marine ecosystems standing at US$13bn each.

Employing skilled sustainability professionals is essential if companies want to align better resource management with profitability, the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) has said. The Institute has published a practical guide today to help businesses adopt a circular economy approach when it comes to advancing resource efficiency. It has also released research which shows that SMEs can achieve cost savings of more than £5,000 a year by appointing a dedicated sustainability lead, a figure which rises to over £1m for larger corporations.

Security analysts in London and Baghdad say control of rivers and dams has become a major tactical weapon for Isis and that water supply is key to outcome of the conflicts in Iraq and Syria.

mantaray3The Guardian reports that Caribbean coral reefs ‘will be lost within 20 years’ without protection as a major report warns that loss of grazing fish due to pollution and overfishing is a key driver of region’s coral decline: A comprehensive analysis by 90 experts of more than 35,000 surveys conducted at nearly 100 Caribbean locations since 1970 shows that the region’s corals have declined by more than 50%. But restoring key fish populations and improving protection from overfishing and pollution could help the reefs recover and make them more resilient to the impacts of climate change, according to the study from the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the United Nations Environment Programme.

Scientists have warned that Emperor penguins are at risk of extinction:  The article in the journal Nature Climate Change says that the entire population of Antarctica’s famous emperor penguins could fall by a third by the end of the century because of disappearing sea ice, putting them at risk of extinction, researchers said which justified protecting emperor penguins under the endangered species act – as America already does for the polar bear.

UK Councils will have to recycle 70% of household waste by the end of the next decade, under proposals unveiled by the European commission. This would require a significant increase in the proportion of UK waste diverted from landfill. At least 80% of packaging waste will also have to be recycled by 2030, as Brussels toughens its stance on the amount of rubbish buried underground. By 2025, there would be a total ban on sending waste to landfill that could have been recycled. More here.

SLAemailheaderEarly bird entry for the Sustainability Leaders Awards closes on Friday 11th July, so make use you submit your entry now to take advantage of the £99.00 entry fee. After this date, for the final week of entries, the price will increase to £125.00 per entry. ENTER HERE.


summersunHaving taken a break in 2013, Leicester’s Summer Sundae festival has been permanently cancelled with organisers Concert Clinic saying “Having taken a hiatus for 2013, we have worked hard on a number of different options to try and make the festival viable moving forward. Sadly we have found that running a city-centre event of this size with such an array of entertainment and professional production standards is just not possible in the current economic climate. Read more at http://www.efestivals.co.uk/news/13/130904d.shtml#AQMoW7AQWSXE521y.99

2000Bowie4According to the Mirror newspaper, Live Nation have made a multi-million pound offer for David Bowie to play East London’s Olympic Park. The paper reports the two biggest promoters Live Nation and AEG have embarked in a bidding battle to persuade the iconic singer to make a return to the live stage after an eight year hiatus. Bowie is also rumoured as a possible Glastonbury headliner although Michael Eavis said he had lined up three big acts who had never headlined the Somerset 177,500 capacity festival before – Bowie headlined the Pyramid Stage in 2000. Any live dates next year would tie in with the singer’s 50th anniversary of his first single ‘Liza Jane’ released under the name Davie Jones with the King Bees when he was just 17. This year the 66 year old released his first new album in a decade ‘The Next Day’ sparking hopes of live dates although Bowie has not toured since a heart attack on stage in Germany in 2004.

city_of_circus_logoCreative Common has revealed details of the inaugural Bristol Circus Festival, opening on Friday 13th September. Set to “wow” crowds with 41 performances over 33 nights and featuring 8 local, national and European companies, 16 live bands and DJs, and 143 individual performers, the festival will celebrate the city’s historic and continuing strong links to the art form. Curated by Bristol’s very own Invisible Circus, the festival climaxes with the world premiere of their brand new show ‘Under A Dark Moon’. More exciting performances from Fringe First winners Pirates of the Carabina, family favourites The Insect Circus and stars of the National Theatre’s ‘Watch this Space’, Joli Vyann. Plus more Festival exclusives including Mr Scruff, The Sheelanagig Band and Twisted Fairground. For details of the full festival program and tickets, visit the  Creative Commons website.

SHAMBALATypically more than 60% of waste thrown on the ground at festivals is plastic pint cups and bottles. This takes staff time to clear, incurs waste management costs, and makes festival experience less pleasant. Bottled water is typically 2000 times as expensive as domestic tap water, often lower in quality, has a huge ecological burden, creates waste which endangers ecosystems, pollutes our own food chain with tiny plastic nodules, compared to tap water represents a massive contribution to green house gasses through production and transportation, is causing mass-scale pollution of rivers and oceans, is a risk to wildlife , and is a very resource-inefficient way to consume generally. The phenomenon of buying bottled water is a perfect expression of how ridiculous and disconnected to environmental cause-and-effect modern consumer society has become. Shambala has decided to tackle this issue head-on and in 2013 DECIDED TO BAN BOTTLED WATER: Shambala banned the sale of bottled water  with concessions onsite and asked all festival- goers, staff and artists to bring their own re-usable bottles to the event. To make the initiative work the Festival: (a) made it easier to get fresh clean water by installing more taps across the site; (b) Worked with charity FRANK Water to provide free chilled filtered water on all the bars and (c) Provided quality re-usable bottles for sale for those that forgot to bring a bottle. A new online pdf graphic on how they did it will be available online soon. We’ll drink to that!

Eco-art paints a greener picture

Art by Jo Allen

Art by Jo Allen

Eco-art is getting bigger and bigger and is moving “beyond the medium into the message” by highlighting environmental problems, green lifestyles and planet friendly thinking. This year the Barbican is hosting a new exhibition Radical Nature, Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet where artists like the Ant Farm Collective, Joseph Bueys and Richard Buckminster Fuller will be exhibiting along with 50 live events. At the Tate Britain over 80 works from Richard Long will be on show from June 3rd.   Kate Muir, writing in the Times Review (23rd May), says  “expect not merely a trend but a whole new wave: eco-art will be huge this summer” and points out the work of two Brighton based eco-artists, Lou McCurdy and Chloe Hanks,  whose Dirty Beach exhibition highlights the pollution on Brighton beach and around Britain’s coast – there are 2,195 pieces of rubbish per kilometre on Britain’s beaches. Similarly in the USA, Seattle based artist Chris Jordan uses his 2007 picture ‘Plastic Bottles’ to represent the two million plastic bottles used in the USA every five minutes. Artists have been re-using materials they have salvaged for a long long time but our own favourite is another south coast artist, Seaford based Jo Allen who exhibited at the Waveform Festival last year and works with AGreenerFestival. Jo salvages all of her materials from the flotsam and jetsom that washes up on Seaford’s beach and creates mesmerising sculptures with nautical themes and Jo has been exhibiting as part of the Seven Sisters Women’s Art Collective in Brighton. Jo’s website is at http://www.jo2jo.co.uk/J1/index.html and you can find her poetry there too.


Plastic Bottles (2007) by Chris Jordan 





Plastic Bottles (2007)  by Chris Jordan

7 (Small)
Lauren, Mother of the Bay  by Jo Allen