News in brief (27/07/23)

With news on: Vaping body raises concern with Scotish government report; Portsmouth installs clothing banks across city; Tom White introduces visual booking system for skip hire; Canterbury extends customer subscriptions for garden waste collections; and, WRAP supports international plastics pacts.

Vaping body raises concern with Scotish government report

The UK Vaping Industry Association has written an open letter to the Scottish Parliament to raise concerns about a recent report it wrote on the environmental impact of single-use e-cigarettes.

‘Prohibition ‘has been proven ineffective’ the Vaping Association said

The report, prepared by Zero Waste Scotland and Dr. Dominic Hogg from Equanimator Ltd, has drawn criticism from the body for its “potential implications on public health and the lack of impartiality in its preparation”.

The main issues highlighted by the vaping industry in the letter are the absence of proper public consultation and the “seeming bias of the lead reviewer”. The industry claims that the consultation process did not adequately involve stakeholders, including the vaping sector, and raises doubts about the objectivity of the review.

The association has called on the Scottish government to “carefully consider” the impact of any proposed prohibitive measures and to engage in “meaningful discussions with industry stakeholders” to find a balanced approach that addresses both environmental concerns and public health goals.

Portsmouth installs clothing banks across city

Portsmouth city council and Hampshire Search and Rescue (HANTSAR) have partnered to install four clothing, shoes, and textiles banks across the city.

Cllr Ashmore with the new HANTSAR clothing bank

Residents can now drop off their used clothes, shoes, and accessories, along with home furnishings like bed linen, tablecloths, towels, and curtains. .

The HANTSAR banks were set up at Lock View in Port Solent, Lake Road in Charles Dickens by the Fratton Road bus stop opposite Madani Academy, Havant Road in Farlington in front of Tesco Express, and at the corner of Boulton Road/Lawrence Road in Southsea. These new sites complemented the existing Salvation Army banks located around the city.

Cllr Dave Ashmore said: “Recycling and reusing fabrics and buying pre-loved fabric and clothing is one of the best ways we can reduce our consumption. I know that recycling is very important to the residents in Portsmouth, and I am glad to see we are making this easier.

“These new textile banks will provide residents with more opportunities to recycle their unused furnishings and clothing items. It will hopefully also encourage us all to shop in a more sustainable way for items we need rather than just want.”

Tom White introduces visual booking system for skip hire

Coventry-based waste management specialist, Tom White, has unveiled an upgraded company website featuring a visual booking system for skip hire and Click and Clear services.

Julian Tranter, managing director at Tom White

The new online platform aims to simplify the waste management process for local customers in the Coventry and Warwick area.

The website upgrade was driven by Tom White’s commitment to being a people-first business and promoting sustainability. The new platform offers a smooth booking experience and includes a news and downloads section with helpful guides and key information.

Julian Tranter, managing director at Tom White, said: “We are really passionate about being a people first business, so it was vital that our recent website upgrade reflected that. We wanted to ensure that it delivered a smooth booking experience that enables customers to access what they needed quickly and effectively, while also showcasing the diverse range of sectors we support.”

Canterbury extends customer subscriptions for garden waste collections

Canterbury city council has announced a “goodwill gesture” to compensate garden waste customers for missed collections due to strike action by GMB members working for waste contractor Canenco.

Canterbury city council’s garden waste customers are to be given an extra month’s collection in March

To make up for the collections that were disrupted during the strike, customers’ subscriptions will be automatically extended. Instead of renewing their subscriptions in February, they will be invited to sign up again for collections starting in April.

The extension means that garden waste bins will be emptied twice in March, providing customers with additional service. Furthermore, the council has promised to remove all the accumulated garden waste generated by subscribers since the beginning of the dispute when waste collection services return to normal.

In the midst of the strike, the council has prioritised general waste collections. It is aiming to empty 60% to 80% of garden waste bins on the designated collection days.

For those who missed out on a collection, the council is making efforts to target them during the very next garden waste collection cycle, ensuring that services return to normalcy as soon as possible.

Cllr Charlotte Cornell, cabinet member for heritage, open space, waste and recycling, said: “We’re sorry for the very real disruption and inconvenience the strike has caused for all residents, including those customers that pay us extra for their garden waste bin to be emptied.”

WRAP supports international plastics pacts

WRAP has said that funding it provided in partnership with Innovate UK has supported actions across the world in “pollution hotspots.

The funding was provided by the pair through the International Circular Plastics Flagship Competition

Projects in Chile, Colombia, India, Kenya, Mexico, and South Africa have all received funds. More details of the projects can be found on the WRAP website here.

David Rogers, WRAP’s international director, said: “Having a network of international plastics partnerships is key in progressing consistent work around the world to repair our planet. Each is uniquely placed to make the changes urgently needed within its own territory, and I am delighted that the Global Sustainable Plastic Packaging Programme has proven to be such a strong platform to support and create Plastic Pacts. The quality of applicants and projects delivered under the International Circular Plastics Flagship Competition has been fantastic, and I’m particularly pleased to see Notpla go on to win an Earthshot Prize.”

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