Eco News December 2021

Eco News Round-Up December 2021


“Love Your Clothes”: Government program for second-hand clothing 

The UK-wide ‘Love Your Clothes’ campaign (funded by the national government and the WRAP, the UK’s circular economy institution) visits cities around the country, holding events that encourage individuals to reuse their clothing. Examples of events include ‘Make an Upcycled Infinity Scarf’ and ‘T-shirt Upcycling’ in Cardiff and a ‘Sewing Workshop’ Brent, London. This circular economy campaign ‘Love Your Clothes’ was created to combat the estimated 350,000 tones of clothing sent to landfills every year, as well as inspire and influence consumers to make small, conscious changes that will reduce the impact of clothes on the environment. 



Portugal goes Coal-Free  

Portugal put an end to coal use nine years ahead of its targeted end in 2030, becoming the fourth country in the European Union to become ‘coal-free. Portugal closed its final remaining coal plant in November 2021. This was the country’s second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide.  Belgium, Austria and Sweden were the first three European countries to have already stopped using the polluting material for power generation. “The challenge now is to ensure utilities do not make the mistake of replacing coal with fossil gas, or unsustainable biomass,” said Kathrin Gutmann, campaign director at Europe Beyond Coal. Portugal’s exit from coal comes after the European Commission announced it would be suing the country for failing to act on poor air quality. Way to go Portugal!  



Beach litter at its lowest in 20 years due to plastic bans 

Good news about our UK beaches!  According to a recent survey conducted by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the amount of litter on British beaches is decreasing.  The average amount of rubbish is dropping year on year, according to the clean-up and survey which found an average of 385 items per 100-metre stretch of beach this year, down from 425 items in 2020 and 558 in 2019. One of the main reasons, there was a decrease in beach litter was because of the plastic ban on various products, such as cotton buds sticks and single-use plastic bags. Even though, we are seeing lower litter levels on UK beaches we still need to take action to minimise the use of plastic at a personal, local and national level.  



Europe’s First Polystyrene Advanced Recycling Pilot Facility in Swindon UK 

It has been announced that Europe’s first polystyrene advanced recycling pilot plant will be built next year in Swindon, UK.  Moreover, the Swindon pilot plant will be based on Recycling Technologies’ fluidised bed reactor technology, which offers excellent scalability and new depolymerisation technology making it a favourable choice for future recycling plants. This innovative technology will convert polystyrene waste feedstock into Styrene (building block) which can then be used to manufacture new polystyrene with identical properties to the virgin material. In addition to this, depolymerisation is a greener solution as it produces less greenhouse gas emissions when compared with the traditional production of polystyrene.  



IKEA Foundation donates £4.5m to help drive ‘transformative’ change to sustainable finance 

We all know, the IKEA homeware superstore, but have you heard of IKEA Foundation? IKEA Foundation is an organisation created by IKEA that helps many organisations accelerate their efforts in combatting climate change.  This year, the IKEA Foundation donated £4.5 million to the University of Oxford and specifically, to the University of Oxford’s Sustainable Finance Group to help drive ‘transformative’ change to sustainable finance. The UOO Sustainable Finance Group’s projects aim to make a significant contribution to aligning finance and the financial system with the goals of the Paris Agreement, by transforming financial decision-making to attain the net-zero goals by 2050.