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300,000+ Plastic Bottles Recycled in 'Reverse Vending Machines' Test Run in UK
One UK store's attempt to fight plastic pollution has turned out to be a smashing success.
Last year, supermarket chain Iceland became the first UK retailer to install "reverse vending machines" that allow customers to return plastic bottles purchased at the store and receive a 10 pence voucher in return. The program has proved popular, according to figures published Wednesday and reported by The Guardian. Customers had returned 311,500 bottles to date.
"Iceland has continually led the way in the fight against the scourge of plastic since making our announcement to eliminate plastic from our own-label product packaging," Iceland Managing Director Richard Walker said, according to The Guardian. "The launch of reverse vending machine trials in our stores is one sign of this. We've gained hugely valuable insights into both consumer interest and the functionality of the schemes, and it's clear from the results that consumers want to tackle the problem of plastic head on and would be in support of a nationwide scheme."
The store found that customers had earned more than £30,000 through returning bottles so far. Iceland had installed the machines in five locations in Wolverhampton, Mold, Fulham, Musselburgh and Deeside. During the month of November, customers returned an average of 2,583 bottles a day for a daily average return of £250 in coupons.
Iceland said children were especially excited by the machines, sometimes even teaching their parents how to use them, i News reported. Iceland plans to continue the trial of the machines for another six months to assess the environmental impact of placing them in stores nationwide.
Since Iceland first installed its machines, other UK supermarkets Morrisons, the Co-op and Tesco, the nation's largest, have followed suit, but none of the others have yet announced results, The Guardian reported.
In October, UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove said he wanted to work with industry to implement a nation-wide bottle deposit program.
"The success of Iceland's reverse vending machine trial demonstrates that deposit return schemes to boost recycling and tackle plastic pollution are both popular with consumers and eminently doable," Greenpeace UK oceans head Will McCallum told The Guardian. "Michael Gove must deliver on his promise to introduce a deposit return scheme without delay, and ensure that it covers containers of all sizes and materials."
Thirteen billion plastic bottles are sold in the UK every year, and only 43 percent of them are recycled. Seven-hundred-thousand a day end up as litter.
- Kroger, America's largest grocery chain, says farewell to plastic bags ›
- What are supermarkets doing to fight plastic? - BBC News ›
- Morrisons supermarket to trial plastic bottle return scheme - Climate ... ›
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.