News in brief (17/07/23)

With news on: NAWDO backs LGA call for a ban on vapes; Ocado teams up with Polytag and Bower; Re-Gen chief questions Agency criticism; and, Canterbury hopes to complete ‘full round’ of collections despite strike.

NAWDO backs LGA call for a ban on vapes

The National Association of Waste Disposal Officers (NAWDO) has released a statement in support of the Local Government Association’s call for a ban on disposable vapes in the UK.

Over the weekend, the LGA called on the government to implement a ban on the sale and manufacture of single-use vapes on both environmental and health grounds (see letsrecycle.com story).

Vapes have soared in popularity recently as a smoking alternative (picture: Shutterstock)

In its statement NAWDO highlights the major impact on waste management operations as the major reason it supports the ban.

NAWDO said it “strongly supports” a ban on the sale of disposable vapes, coupled with the implementation of a robust collection system under extended producer responsibility to address the existing circulation of these devices.

The group said: “We are eager to collaborate constructively with the government to address this critical issue and would welcome the opportunity to further explore the available options for tackling this problem.”

Ocado teams up with Polytag and Bower to offer recycling reward scheme

The first 20,000 scanned codes will reward consumers with 20p

Polytag, Ocado Retail, and recycling app Bower have joined forces to offer a recycling reward initiative, testing the feasibility of Digital Deposit Return Schemes (DDRS).

To participate in the scheme Ocado customers can scan the unique QR codes, which are printed on the company’s own-brand two and four-pint milk bottles.

The first 20,000 scanned codes will reward consumers with 20p, which will appear in their digital wallet within the Bower app. This amount matches the deposit that will be redeemable under the upcoming deposit return scheme legislation set to launch in 2025. The 20p reward can then be withdrawn to the user’s bank account.

To ensure integrity, the QR codes, printed at Interket UK using standard industry processes, can only be scanned once. This prevents users from repeatedly claiming deposits from the same package. The Bower app utilises GPS technology to validate that users are claiming the 20p reward while being near a registered home recycling bin.

Laura Fernandez, senior packaging and sustainability manager at Ocado Retail Ltd, commented: “To be able to launch a workable digital deposit return scheme that actually pays consumers back for recycling is a game-changing move for recycling and the circular economy in the UK. We already know that Ocado shoppers have an appetite for such a scheme as when we surveyed them last year, 80% were likely or very likely to scan a QR code for a deposit return.”

Re-Gen chief questions Agency criticism

The managing director of Northern Irish waste management company Re-Gen Waste has questioned some of the criticism levelled at the Environment Agency. 


In a statement, Joseph Doherty explained that while there is

Joseph Doherty is Re-Gen’s managing director

frustration in the industry over growing waste crime and “nit-picking” of legitimate sites, “if we are going to give the Environment Agency more responsibility, we have to acknowledge their current resourcing deficiency and rebuild them back up into an effective regulator”.

He added that this is needed “to dissuade intentional or criminal activity and build confidence in the sector that we can all operate on a level playing field and we can trust our referee to deal with us fairly and impartially.”

Mr Doherty concluded: “We live in an imperfect world but there are things we have to get right so the stakeholders can have confidence in the system and its outcomes.”

Canterbury hopes to complete ‘full round’ of collections despite strike

Canterbury city council has said it hopes to complete a full round of bin collections today despite crews from its in-house Canenco company striking. 

Canenco workers represented by the GMB Union are on strike for the ninth consecutive day today in a dispute over pay.

According to the council, the depot is currently being picketed, “but we are pleased to say a number of crews are working again today”.

Canenco is aiming to complete the full Monday refuse (black bin) service.

Three garden waste crews are also working, the council said, and they will “empty as many garden bins as possible, but if your property is not visited by the end of today, please take them back in and wait for your next collection”.

There will however be no recycling or food waste collections, with residents asked to bring dry recycling inside for the next collection and food was to be put in the residual bins.


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