Close the Loop & become Plastic Free

As we hear more and more about climate change, we are asking local businesses in Wetherby, Boston Spa & Villages to make a voluntary pledge to sign up to our Sustainable Local Business Award Programme, as part of our collective journey to attain Plastic Free Community status:

  • 1star for joining the Refill scheme;
  • 2stars for ditching single use polystyrene and plastic bags
  • 3stars for removing 3 or more single use plastics (this helps the community achieve its Plastic Free Community Status)
  • 4stars for selling cold drinks in cans rather than plastic bottles and/or using reusable cups & containers (where appropriate).
  • 5stars for participating in the Community Close the Loop initiative (read more below).

Interested in starting your Plastic Free journey?, or you might wish to let people know that your business has already started to make changes. Let us know by completing this form (in the Comment section please let us know how many stars you wish to be recognised for & why, then we’ll share these in local press, on this website, various social platforms & with our members);

We’ll also pop along and give you a poster to display in your business, to shout about the difference you are making too.

Businesses also have the opportunity to participate in West Yorkshire Combined Authorities ‘Circular Economy Initiative’, which would be a 20minute phone call to understand your business hurdles to becoming more sustainable.

We have run multiple Q&A Town Hall forums over the past 6months, if you wish to participate in a future forum, please use the form above too.

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 on Saturday 2nd October to find out more.

Close the loop initiative

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 do we close the loop?

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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