The weekly #goodnewssiren round-up #59

July 23, 2021

From introducing the most extensive recycling schemes in Europe to an eco-friendly hair salon, here’s what’s making us smile in the world of sustainability this week… 


Co-op launches Europe’s ‘most extensive’ recycling scheme  


As the UK councils remain unlikely to collect a wide range of soft-based plastics – from crisp packets and bread bags to single-use carrier bags – leading British supermarket, the Co-op has launched the most extensive recycling scheme in Europe.  


By November, it is expected that 2,300 Co-op stores will introduce a recycling unit for soft plastics. As a result, the retailer estimates that 300 tonnes of plastic bags and food wrapping could be collected yearly once the scheme bins are fully in place. 


With many demanding universal changes on plastic recycling accessibility, the Co-op’s latest initiative aims to not only prevent unnecessary waste but to also reduce plastic pollution. By offering a simple and convenient solution to an everyday issue, the supermarket expects to help communities make small changes that together can make a big difference for the environment. 



Local hair salon becomes eco-conscious 


Looking back to when lockdown lifted in March, hairdressers were one of the most highly demanded industries to re-open. Unfortunately for the environment, after a long break from hair foils and plastic bottles, it was about to get a lot worse. 


However, a Crawford hair salon is paving the way for a new form of hairdressing, joining The Green Salon Collective and allowing hairdressers to massively reduce their waste levels by recycling everything from metals, paper towels, plastic, PPE, used colour and even your own hair! With the hair collected, the initiative produces a “hair boom” to prevent oil spread in waterways, such as in Northern Ireland where hair booms successfully tackled a colossal spillage of red diesel. 


As well as engaging in increased recycling practices and useable energy to reduce their carbon footprint, the salon has introduced refill stations for the town, allowing visitors to reuse their own bottles, receiving 10 per cent off any purchases when they do – talk about a win-win! 


The UN set out a Paris-style plan to halt biodiversity loss 


In a latest draft set out by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, it is confirmed that it is finally time to halt biodiversity loss. 


With goals including the elimination of plastic pollution, the reduction of pesticide uses by two-thirds, halving the rate of invasive species introduction and removing £360 billion worth of harmful environmental government subsidies a year, the UN aims to negotiate these plans with national governments in attempt to secure their contribution and set in motion these incredible goals.  


Whilst this is something that will take time, 2030 has been marked as the year that the UN is set to increase a vast number of these sustainability goals – with further targets set for 2050. 


Giant pandas were classed as no longer endangered in the wild 


This week, China conservation authorities were highly relieved to announce that the giant panda has been reclassified from endangered to vulnerable.  


The change comes amid increasing efforts in recent years to improve biodiversity where habitats have been expanded and bamboo forestsa food source for the bears, have been replanted.  


With conservation effects continuing to increase in recent years, giant pandas aren’t the only ones reported to have visibly increased, with signs of the number of Siberian tigers, Amur leopards, Asian elephants and crested ibis slowly on the rise – proving that small changes can make a great difference to the planet!