Southend on Sea
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is pleased to announce the successful launch of a new commercial plastic recycling project.
PlastiCity is a three year, European funded, research project that aims to increase the amount of commercial and industrial plastics recycled in the 2 Seas region – United Kingdom, Belgium, France and Netherlands. The 2 Seas region has been identified as a significant producer of commercial and industrial plastic waste.
The project is led by the city of Ghent, Belgium, and brings together 2 Seas partners from the four countries. Southend-on-Sea is the only town in the UK to be part of the project, with University of Portsmouth assisting with research.
The aim of the PlastiCity project is to research and develop strategies and solutions to identify, collect and process more commercial and industrial plastics. This research should provide opportunities for businesses in the 2 Seas region to increase their overall recycling rates to 50%.
The council is now looking for ‘actors’ – local businesses, restaurants, schools, civic buildings and more – to register their interest in the project to gain support and guidance on how to recycle their plastic waste responsibly.
Increasing the amount of plastics recycled has the potential to benefit living conditions of more than half a million residents in the 2 Seas region by reducing the amount of plastic waste travelling through the oceans, polluting water and beaches and harming flora and fauna.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “The global amount of plastic not being recycled is totally unacceptable and this strategic approach to educate and support businesses in the recycling of commercial and industrial plastics is a big step in the right direction.
“It is a great opportunity for local businesses to become actively involved in learning more about the consequences of not recycling plastics properly and improve their own recycling rates, whilst developing the prosperity of their own environmental profile.
“Locally, we know more can be done. It gives me great pride that we’re the only UK town involved in this project and with the University of Portsmouth assisting with research, I am sure we can inspire residents and businesses alike to get involved and focus on keeping future generations safe and well.”
Further information about PlastiCity or to register an interest in signing up to the project, please contact PlastiCity@southend.gov.uk
Please follow the link for further information: www.interreg2seas.eu/en/PlastiCity
Composting is useful in all gardens. Only in the very smallest gardens will it be difficult to find space for a compost heap and material to fill it. Owners of such small plots could consider worm composting instead.
Although councils offer green waste collections, the RHS encourages home composting because it does not involve heavy transport, with its associated environmental costs.
When to compost
Composting is done all year, as and when suitable materials are generated in the garden or home. However late summer to early winter is the peak time for making compost.
How to compost
The site and container
It is important that the site is not subjected to extremes of temperature and moisture, as the micro-organisms (bacteria and fungi) that convert the waste to compost work best in constant conditions. Position the bin in light shade or shade; it is often more convenient to use a shady area of the garden.
An earth base allows drainage and access to soil organisms, but if you have to compost on a hard surface, then add a spadeful of soil to the compost bin.
Bins retain some warmth and moisture and make better compost more quickly, but even an open heap (not enclosed in a bin) will compost eventually. Any of the compost bins on the market should produce compost as long as they exclude rain, retain some warmth, allow drainage and let in air.
Bins less than 1 cubic m (1.3 cubic yd) in size are much less effective than larger ones.
Getting the right balance of composting materials
Aim for between 25 and 50 percent soft green materials (e.g. grass clippings, annual weeds, vegetable kitchen waste, or manure) to feed the micro-organisms
The remainder should be woody brown material (e.g. prunings, wood chippings, paper, cardboard, straw or dead leaves)
The bacteria and micro-organisms that produce the compost function best when the balance of green and brown materials is correct.
Avoid letting any one material dominate the heap - especially grass clippings, as these can become a slimy, smelly mess on their own.
1. The UK produces more than 100 million tonnes of waste every year, one tonne is about the weight of a small car. In less than two hours, the waste we produce would fill the Albert Hall in London, every eight months it would fill Lake Windermere, the largest and deepest lake in
. On average, each person in the UK throws away their own body weight in rubbish every seven weeks.
. The average household in the UK produces more than a tonne of waste every year. Put together, this comes to a total of 31 million tonnes per year, equivalent to the weight of three and a half million double-decker buses, a queue of which would go around the world two and a half times.
Every year we produce about 3% more waste than the year before. This might not sound much but, if we carry on at this rate, it means that we will double the amount of waste we produce every 25 years.
The average UK family throws away 6 trees worth of paper in their household bin a year.
. Paper and card make up about a fifth of the typical household dustbin.
About half of this consists of newspapers and magazines.
Two-thirds of paper is recycled, making it one of the main materials recycled
in the UK.
Each Christmas as much as 83 square kilometers of wrapping paper ends up in UK rubbish
bins, enough to cover an area larger than Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands.
. It is not known how long glass takes to break down, but it is so long that glass made in the
Middle East over 3,000 years ago can still be found today.
Glass milk bottles are used an average of 13 times before recycling.
In 2003, the recycling of glass saved enough energy to launch ten space shuttle
. We produce and use twenty times more plastic today than we did 50 years ago.
. Most plastic shopping bags are used only once and a plastic bag can take more than 100
years to decompose!
Peat is hugely important to our planet for lots of reasons. It acts as a carbon store, it is a great habitat for wildlife, it has a role in water management, and preserves things well for archaeology.
Peat is of great importance to our planet: as a carbon store – peat holds more carbon than the combined forests of Britain, France and Germany
for wildlife – many scarce species inhabit peatlands for water management – peat holds up to 20 times its own weight in water for archaeology – peat preserves a record of past vegetation, landscapes and people
These are what we call ‘ecosystem services’, a comprehensive analysis of which has been provided in the gigantic National Ecosystem Assessment – an amazing achievement.
To perform these critical functions, peat must be wet. Unfortunately, for centuries, peat and its vegetation have been cultivated, drained and degraded. Dry peat is easily eroded and washed away, and is also a fire hazard. Dry peat releases carbon dioxide and is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas.
The Trust looks after 40 peatland Sites of Special Scientific Interest, 3 per cent of raised bogs, significant fens and valley mires, and huge tracts of blanket bog. Our peatlands in England and Wales hold 2 per cent of the total carbon, in soil and vegetation. Some of our peatland has been damaged in the past by drainage, over-grazing and burning.
We’re working hard to reverse the negative decline and are now managing and restoring many of our sites to create resilient eco-systems, which will increase carbon storage capacity and reduce emissions. We regard this as a major function of land, along with biodiversity, food production and water storage.
Read more about the work underway on some of our key peatland sites. We often work in partnership and at some sites we were supported by Biffaward’s major Peatlands for the Future project; although that project has now ended, the work that it began continues.
Peatlands are naturally dominated by sphagnum moss vegetation which thrives in cool wet
conditions. Peat is formed below the living surface layer as the dead remains of bog mosses
and other plants are preserved in wet, acidic conditions, creating a set of unique landscapes
and habitats. This peat soil builds up over millennia and can reach depths of over five
metres in places.
Peatland habitats cover 1,727,000 hectares of Scotland, 22% of the land area4
and overlay deep peat reserves. The habitat types covered are blanket bog, upland flushes and mires, lowland raised bogs and fens. Shallower (less than 30cm deep) peaty and organo-mineral
soils contain less carbon, are frequently agriculturally managed and are also often associated
with wetland habitats such as rivers, lochs and pools. These cover approx. 60% of Scotland’s
This report focuses mainly on policies affecting the deep peat habitats as opposed to the
peaty soils. However, some land use policies will have an influence on both peatland
habitats and peaty or carbon-rich soils.
The RSPB and its partners have put together three consumer packages to help each of us
play a part in dealing with the ongoing and burgeoning environmental crisis which is
resulting in a threat to the world’s wildlife, climate change, droughts and famine, massive
wildfires and destructive floods.
Switching to greener alternatives is a great way for you to reduce your carbon footprint and
help save nature, and some switches are simpler than you might think.
1. Change starts here
Electricity and gas accounts for up to 50% of your household's carbon emissions. One of the
easiest changes you can make is to switch to 100% green electricity and carbon neutralised
You can switch online today to Britain's greenest energy company - Ecotricity. It takes five
minutes and they will do the rest. Check them out at www.ecotricity.co.uk.
When you switch, Ecotricity will donate £50 to the RSPB, plus £50 for every year that you
stay with them. Together the RSPB and Ecotricity have already saved over 10,000 tonnes of
carbon emissions through this partnership.
2. Travel Green
Save money and travel carbon neutral too, by using the new RSPB rail booking
You can make your trip carbon neutral through contributions to the RSPB's Gola Rainforest
project and save money on your ticket price too.
3. Holiday Green
Enjoy some of the UK's wild places and natural spectacles on a staycation.
The RSPB has teamed up with holidaycottages.co.uk to help restore ancient woodland,
locking up carbon and creating homes for nature. Choose from a huge range of properties
from North East Scotland to the tip of Cornwall. Some are pet friendly too!
More information can be found at www.rspb.org.