Recycling – has the government bottled it?

Barry White

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has given the go-ahead for a deposit return scheme (DRS) but it will not include glass and won’t start until October 2025, see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/deposit-return-scheme-for-drinks-containers-moves-a-step-closer. The failure to include glass in the scheme, which was a government 2019 manifesto promise, has been criticised by campaigners as a missed opportunity.

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Record heatwaves, deceit and doubts on reaching net zero

Barry White

Monthly temperature records  in 12 European countries were recorded last year according to an analysis undertaken by The Guardian see: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/10/twelve-european-countries-broke-temperature-records-in-2022#:~:text=Of%2027%20European%20countries%20analysed,for%20at%20least%20one%20month. In each case, the anomalies were more than 1.9C above the average temperature recorded between 1991 and 2020 for at least one month.

On average, global temperatures were 1.2C above the 1850-1900 average in 2022. While cooler than 2021, it marked another warm year meaning that the years 2015 to 2022 were the eight warmest on record.

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Some single-use plastics to be banned

Barry White

The government has confirmed that single-use items like plastic cutlery, plates and polystyrene trays will be banned in England, although no date has been announced when the ban will come into effect, it is likely to be in October.  This follows similar moves by Scotland and Wales.

Confirmation of the move from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) follows a long public consultation, which will be published on Saturday 14 January.

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Green washing from BP?

Barry White

If you watched ‘The Oil Machine’ on BBC iPlayer (see last story) https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/m001gf42/the-oil-machine you may recall a statement by a spokesperson from BP stressing the importance of being part of the transition to a lower carbon economy. He went on to explain (at 43.05 minutes) that they are ‘ramping up’ their investing in non-oil and gas forms of energy.

Imagine my surprise when greeted by the headline ‘BP to invest twice as much in oil and gas as renewables’ (The Guardian 27 December 2022). The article by Energy correspondent Alex Lawson went on to explain that the company had earmarked up to $7.5bn (£6.2bn) for oil and gas projects, compared with a range of $3bn to $5bn for green energy see: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/dec/27/bp-plan-spend-billions-fossil-fuels-green-energy-oil-gas-renewables.

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