29 January 2019 by Elizabeth Slow

News in brief (29/01/2019)

With news on: Morrisons trials paper grocery bags; Westminster team tackles fly-tipping; Waitrose launches plastics initiative; Welsh projects benefit from landfill community scheme; Bakers targets expansion.


Morrisons trial paper grocery bags

Morrisons is to give customers the option of using large paper carrier bags in eight of its stores from this week. According to the retailer, the trial is a response to customers who have told Morrisons reducing plastic is their “number one environmental concern”.

Morrisons is trialing large 20p paper carrier bags in eight of its stores

The new ‘US-style’ paper grocery bags have handles and are a similar capacity to standard plastic carrier bags. Priced at 20p each the paper grocery bags, which can be reused and ultimately recycled, are labelled ‘Reusable Paper Bag’.

As part of the trial, Morrisons is also increasing the price of standard plastic carrier bags from 10p to 15p to further reduce plastic use.

This trial follows Morrisons’ removal of the 5p carrier bags early in 2018 which it says led to 25% reduction in overall bag sales. This 15p standard plastic carrier bag is produced in the UK and is made from recycled material reclaimed from Morrisons stores.


Westminster team tackles fly-tipping

A group of trained ‘SWAT’ officers have been deployed to Bayswater by Westminster city council to tackle fly-tipping.

Two of Westminster city council’s trained ‘SWAT’ officers

The Street Waste Action Team (SWAT) was assembled last year as part of a twelve-month pilot undertaken by the council’s waste partner Veolia. The project aims to reduce fly-tipping and waste dumping in Westminster’s worst affected wards.

Westminster council’s cabinet member for environment and city management, Cllr Tim Mitchell, said: “We know our residents in some wards have concerns about rubbish dumping, particularly around shared bin areas, which is why we formed the The Street Waste Action Team (SWAT). The pilot was an overwhelming success last year and reduced the problem substantially within the five pilot wards.

“We are delighted to work with Veolia to roll out the SWAT service permanently and look forward to seeing even better results.”

Over six weeks the team will visit properties to talk to residents about how to dispose of their waste and recycling correctly. The SWAT team will continue to be deployed by the Council in wards across Westminster throughout the year on a case-by-case basis.


Waitrose launches £1 million plastics initiative

Waitrose & Partners has launched a £1 million grant fund to give money to projects designed to reduce ‘unnecessary’ plastic and tackle plastic pollution.  

Plan Plastic – The Million Pound Challenge will award money, over one year, to projects that can demonstrate an impact on plastic pollution now and in the future. The retailer is partnering with environmental charity Hubbub to support the chosen projects and measure the impact of the grants.

According to Waitrose, the £1 million fund has been raised from the sale of 5p carrier bags and grants will range from £150,000 to £300,000.

Applications for Plan Plastic are open until 24 February and will be welcomed from a range of organisations including charities, academic bodies, social enterprises, and schools & colleges.


Welsh projects benefit from landfill community scheme

Local green space improvements, an outdoor children’s education area and conservation programmes to save endangered species are some of the projects set to benefit from more than £1 million through the Welsh Government’s Landfill Disposal Tax Community Scheme.

The scheme is a new funding programme managed by Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA).

A total of 27 projects across Wales will receive Grant Awards in the first round of funding raised by the scheme.

The Welsh Government established the scheme to support local community and environmental projects in areas affected by disposals to landfill. It is funded by the new Welsh Landfill Disposals Tax (LDT) which replaced UK Landfill Tax in April 2018.

It is the first time that money raised from the Landfill Disposals Tax has been used to support a bespoke Welsh funding scheme.

Applications for a second round of funding have recently closed. However, two rounds of funding will take place in each year the scheme operates.


Bakers targets growth after HSBC funding

Leicester-based Bakers Waste Services and its sister business Driving Talent Limited have secured a multimillion-pound finance package from HSBC UK to support the continued expansion of both businesses.

Paul Baker, managing director of Bakers Waste Services and Kate Beretta, relationship director HSBC UK

The commercial waste management business, which specialises in waste removal, recycling, shredding and skip-hire, will use the HSBC UK finance to support ‘further growth and development’.

The funding will enable Bakers Waste to increase capacity and expand its customer-base, HSBC said. In addition, the business will seek to grow its paper, glass and card recycling offering as demand increases for reduction of waste going to landfill.

The package provides long-term support with facilities in place to fund the business’s plans for growth over the next five years.

Paul Baker, managing director of Bakers Waste Services, explained: “With the UK’s increasing focus on sustainability, we’re seeing a rise in demand for recycling services – and we’re perfectly placed to meet this need.

“The support of HSBC UK, and our Relationship Director Kate Beretta, has meant we have the financial backing to deliver larger projects for our clients and secure additional contracts which, in turn, sets us up for further growth.”

The funding provided by HSBC UK will also support the expansion of Driving Talent, a separate business created by Mr Baker in 2017. Driving Talent offers Business Support Solutions including Recruitment and Training, offering all aspects of LGV Driver Training and other associated commercial training such as Forklift, Hiab and wide range of other courses.

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