Close the Loop

As we hear more and more about climate change, we are asking local businesses to make a voluntary pledge for all food and drink single use takeaway packaging to be compostable in Wetherby, Boston Spa & Villages as part of our collective journey to attain Plastic Free Community status.

We’d also ask that partners pledge to:

  • sell cold drinks in cans rather than plastic bottles;
  • join the Refill scheme;
  • ditch single use polystyrene and
  • recommend the use of reusable cups & containers where appropriate.

If you are a local business, please join us for an open Q&A Town Hall on any of the following dates;

Monday 19th July at 18.00 Jubilee room at Boston Spa Village Hall (as part of the Boston Spa Parish Council meeting).

Tuesday 20th July at 19.00 location to be confirmed (as part of the Wetherby Town Council Climate Emergency committee meeting).

Tuesday 21st September at 19.30 Jubilee room at Boston Spa Village Hall.

Tuesday 22nd September at 19.30 location to be confirmed in Wetherby.

We continually update this page with updates, please check back for additional dates and times.

If you are a member of our community please support our local businesses in making this change. You are also invited to come along to our EcoFair in Wetherby later this summer to find out more.

Ambition

To achieve net zero, we not only need to reduce carbon emissions (by keeping fossil fuels in the ground), we also need to remove carbon too.

We can do both of these things by switching to compostable takeaway packaging, made from plants not plastic. In its simplest form, taking carbon out of the atmosphere, creating less GHGs, using less energy in their manufacture and ultimately returning back to enrich the soil through the composting process #circular. Thus keeping fossil fuels in the ground.

Food contaminated packaging is perfect for an initiative such as this, working with a local in vessel composter. And is consistent with the National Waste and Resources strategy and the ambition to collect food waste (waste which has a far bigger carbon footprint).

How?

Simple! All food waste and all compostable takeaway food packaging, in one designated bin, placed in strategic locations around our villages.

Local businesses voluntarily working together, from cafes, coffee shops, bakers and greengrocers. In partnership with a local invessel composter on our doorstep and a local food & compostable waste collection company (Forge Recycling).

We can demonstrate we can truly close the loop on waste, rather than drive demand for oil based plastic.

The use of compostable stickers, allows clear communication, so the public are very clear about what are compostable & hence put in the designated street side bins.

Did you know, there are compostable alternatives to most single use plastics. From hot & cold cups/lids, to takeaway boxes, cutlery, trays, sandwich packaging, binbags, food prep gloves, clingfilm, produce bags, meat trays, sushi platters, soup containers, salad boxes, deli & bakery sheets, straws & stirrers. All available from a variety of businesses.

Objectives

  • Potential to reduce business waste collection costs with ‘local rate’
  • Improve food waste collections by more than 50% (aligns with Government Waste & Resources Strategy)
  • Reduce volume of general waste collected (commercial & streetside) by more than 50%, saving collection costs.
  • Reduce waste to incineration, saving attributed costs and linked pollution
  • Improves soil quality (aligns with DEFRA Safeguarding our Soils)
  • Opportunity to launch local ‘keep it tidy & compost’ campaign

Context

Due to CO2e accumulation we are more than likely going to overshoot the 1.5degC 2050 target that was proposed at the 2015 Paris Agreement (& that only gives us a 66% chance of avoiding climate change tipping points). Sure to be reviewed at the forthcoming COP26 held in Glasgow this November

There is huge change needed. LCC & the PCAN roadmap to net zero already has a 40% gap between adoption of all technically possible solutions & net zero (scope 1&2 emissions only).

Closing the loop on the majority of single use food & drink takeaway packaging in our local area (becomes a circular economy), rather than let it go to incineration (which is linear) – sadly LCC currently incinerates more waste than we recycle and nationally recycling rates have stalled at c44%.

‘If we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always got’.

1 Comment

  1. Linda Richards on May 11, 2021 at 12:30 PM

    Great Post Adrian. Says it as it is 😊

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