What does a plastic-free life like look like?

If the latte levy got you ruffled enough to swap to a keep cup and the ban on microbeadsmade you think twice about the kinds of cosmetics you are using then you will know by now that it’s a challenge to lead a completely plastic-free life.

Here at Local Green Points, our philosophy is that the cumulative impact of individual actions can have a significant impact. So if like many environmental groups, you think the Government’s 25 year environmental plan lacks the urgency to tackle the plastics problem, then there’s a lot you can do at an individual level to generate change.
Here are some day-to-day steps you can take to make plastic free life a little easier:
The Last Straw
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Don’t dump! – How to Have a Zero-Waste Spring Clean

Finally, spring has finally sprung! Now the long, cold winter is over it’s time to emerge from your duvets, woolly scarves and hats and instead get out in your garden or start the inevitable spring clean out

It’s out with the old and in with the new, which is great for a fresh start, but not so great for our rubbish bins or our bank accounts. To avoid creating piles of avoidable waste or splashing out on a brand new wardrobe, garden or house makeover, make sure to follow our top tips for a zero waste Spring Clean:

1)      Clothes
Clothes should never end up in your rubbish bin! If you find yourself with clothes or textiles you no longer want, you can donate them to charity, swap with a friend, or - if they can’t be worn - recycle them. You even make some extra cash by selling your clothes at a local car boot sale, or save money by repairing your old clothes instead of buying brand new ones. ...
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The plastic tide is turning – but have we bitten off more than we can chew?

This week, Michael Gove announced that the UK will introduce a plastic bottle deposit return scheme (DRS) to increase recycling rates and reduce the amount of litter polluting our land and seas.

The scheme will work by using a “reverse vending” process, in which consumers are refunded money for returning their drinks bottles back to retailers. Research by the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee found countries with deposit return schemes tended to recycle between 80% and 95% of their plastic bottles. It is hoped that the scheme will be able to boost England’s stagnating recycling rate, which is 57% for plastic bottles, compared to other European nations who are recording recycling rates for bottles at 98%.

While the introduction of the DRS has been hailed as a success by many environmental groups, some troubling questions are starting to emerge about how the scheme will be implemented and how it will impact current systems in the ...
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International Women’s Day Blog: Dottie’s guide to a successful communications campaign


Today is International Women’s Day, so we’re catching up with Local Green Points’ Client Services Manager, Dottie Allan, to find out more about her work in the waste and recycling industry.


Dottie Allan
Dottie Allan
Client Services Manager, Local Green Points
How long have you been working in waste, recycling and sustainability?
“I’ve been interested in sustainability since I started studying my degree at UCL. I studied Earth Sciences and particularly focused on global environmental change and environmental politics. I’ve worked with Local Green Points for over two years now and as part of my role as Client ...
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The Truth behind China’s plastic ban - how recycling in the UK will really be effected

If you’ve heard about China’s Plastic Ban, you’re probably wondering how it will affect plastic recycling the UK...


Dispelling the myths
The news that China will no longer be taking the UK’s plastic waste has triggered questioning over our domestic recycling processes and the negative media coverage has left UK residents worrying that the plastic they recycle won’t actually be reprocessed. But, a closer look into what is happening on the ground in the UK recycling industry shows positive developments as a result of the ban on exporting plastic to China coming into action this January (2018).
New momentum
While the ban has been portrayed as a blow to the UK by the media, it has actually been ...
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What could a plastic bottle return scheme mean for the UK?

This week we heard that the UK government is considering adopting a plastic bottle scheme, similar to one used in Norway.

 The scheme would see people who return their plastic bottles refunded the equivalent of 10p to 25p, depending on the size.
In Norway the scheme is responsible for recycling 97% of bottles in the country and has massively reduced plastic litter in the environment and seas.  
Experts claim that local authorities could save up to £35 million ever year, if the deposit return scheme were to be introduced. A report based on the data from eight local councils with varying recycling rates found that councils could make savings of between £60,000 and £500,000 each, due to reduced littering and landfill ...
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ICiPS Collaboration Award Nomination for Warwickshire County Council and Local Green Points

Warwickshire County Council has been working in partnership with Local Green Points over the last 18 months to deliver the innovative Slim Your Bin campaign for residents across Warwickshire. The collaborative nature of the project and its success in improving recycling behaviours across the county has earned the campaign a nomination for the 2018 Collaboration Award with the Institute for Continuous Improvement in Public Services (ICiPS).

The Slim Your Bin campaign launched in November 2016 across Warwickshire’s five Boroughs and Districts as part of a drive to encourage households to recycle more and throw away less, thus ‘slimming’ their rubbish bins. Residents are encouraged to change their behaviours towards waste and recycling through a communications campaign, website and app and are rewarded for their actions with individual and community based prizes.

The Warwickshire Recycling Champion of the Year 2018 contest has since been launched ...

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War declared on plastic waste. Are we on track for a cleaner, greener Britain?

PM Theresa May promises that the UK will become international leaders on environmental issues, as she unveils a 25 year environmental plan. 

With plastic pollution at ‘near permanent levels of contamination to the natural environment’, down to humans having produced 8.3bn tonnes of the material since the 1950s, it’s fitting that the plans focus heavily on plastic waste. Proposed policies include plastic free aisles in supermarkets, extending the levy on plastic bags, increased funding for research and a tax on takeaway containers. 

After the hugely successful 5p levy on plastic bags, which saw 70% more shoppers switch to reusable shopping bags, May has promised to extend the levy to smaller shops. In a similar vein, we may soon see the levy charged on single-use plastic takeaway containers.

Another plan is to encourage ...

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Your Guide to Christmas Tree Recycling (Plus More Winter Tips)

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from all here at Local Green Points. 

At this time of year we all tend to waste more than usual because over the Christmas period we make 20% of our purchases for the whole year. All the packaging, food, cards and wrapping paper create so much more rubbish that our local councils usually have to rearrange our waste and recycling collections in order to pick up all the extra stuff. As there could be some changes to your collection dates, make sure you check your local council website or collection calendar for your Christmas bin collections!
While we’re on the subject of Christmas waste, there are plenty of steps you can take to waste as little as possible during the holidays. Whether it’s the box your crackers come in or an Amazon parcel, we all create cardboard waste – so much that we could use our Christmas cardboard waste to wrap the London Eye almost 50,000 times! You’ll be ...
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A Radical Policy change is required to get the UK to its 50% target by 2020

Last week, it became clear that a radical policy change will be needed for the UK to hit its household recycling target of 50% by 2020.

Figures from the end of December 2016 show a 0.6% decline from 2014’s peak of 44.8% to 44.2% at the end of 2016. These figures reveal a worrying trend that current household recycling rates in England have stagnated at under 45% and are a long way off our 2020 target.

So what’s holding us back?
“A clear national strategy to end stalling rates of recycling is still required,” said waste firm SUEZ’s chief executive David Palmer-Jones. “To increase household recycling rates, Government needs to integrate waste and recycling planning into a modern Industrial Strategy which values the things we throw away as raw materials for manufacturing, and as an energy resource.”
At Local Green Points we know one of the key barriers to recycling ...
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