The weekly #goodnewssiren round-up #51

May 14, 2021

From reducing single-use plastic to returning old furniture, here’s what’s making us smile in the world of sustainability this week…


Plastic bag charge to double to 10p in all shops in England 


The single-use carrier bag charge, which has seen a 95 per cent cut in plastic bag sales in major supermarkets since 2015, will be increased from 5p to 10p. This has been extended to all businesses in England from 21 May to help drive down sales further and encourage shoppers to reduce their plastic consumption.  


As a result of the initial carrier bag charge, the average person in England now buys just four single-use plastic bags a year from main supermarkets in comparison to 140 in 2014. By extending the charge to all retailers, the government hopes the use of single-use carrier bags will fall by 70 – 80 per cent in small and medium-sized businesses. 


Caffè Nero saves 50,000 meals from going to waste with app, Too Good To Go 


Premium coffee house, Caffè Nero, and the world’s largest surplus food app, Too Good To Go have announced that they have saved over 50,000 meals from going to waste, resulting in 125 tonnes of CO2 being saved. After initially launching the partnership in 24 stores in October 2019, Caffè Nero expanded to cover all stores this February, resulting in a 900 per cent year-on-year growth in meals saved since last year. 


By using the Too Good to Go app, Caffè Nero has prevented unsold food from going to waste by simply allowing consumers to purchase unsold produce that is due to go out of date that day. Consumers simply use the app to search for their nearest Caffè Nero and purchase a “Magic Bag” containing surplus food worth at least £10 if purchased at full price for £3.09 that they can collect at an allocated slot, preventing in-store wastage.  


New walking routes proposed for London 


In a city packed with one of the widest selections of mode of transport, campaigners are now calling on London to embrace the oldest form of transport available with walking routes. Led by walking charity, Ramblers, proposals for six walking routes across the capital aims to link up green spaces and provide millions of people with a greater incentive to walk.


Tracing the paths of some of London’s forgotten waterways, the charity wants the London mayor to back plans, as well as provide maps to guide walkers around these historic subterranean routes.  


Ikea launches buy-back scheme for old furniture 


Ikea has launched its long-awaited furniture buy-back and re-sale scheme, in an attempt to reduce the number of products going to landfill. In part of the retail’s giant sustainability drive to become more climate positive by 2030, the launch was originally scheduled to take place in November after a series of successful trials but was postponed due to the second national lockdown. 


Now available across all Ikea stores in England, customers can earn up to £250 per returned item in vouchers to spend in store. The vouchers have no expiry date, encouraging customers to only purchase new items when needed. Ikea will then resell the items within their Circular Hubs in an effort to prevent them going to landfill by trialling a “pre-loved labels” service with Gumtree to sell second-hand products.