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Millions Raised For Charities Through Plastic Bag Levy

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Plastic Bags Blow by Kate Tee Haar via Flikr

A new analysis conducted by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) shows a “huge positive impact” on a diverse range of national and local charities as a result of the plastic bag levy.

Nearly £10 million has been distributed via CAF to charities by retailers including Aldi, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s since the levy was introduced in October 2015.

CAF helps people and businesses give to good causes and has been working with several retailers to support them in donating the proceeds of the levy as well as providing advice and setting up grant programmes.

Official figures released recently revealed the levy had raised at least £29 million in total for good causes in its first six months.

Klara Kozlov, Head of CAF’s Corporate Clients team, which works with 3,000 companies across the UK said:

“Not only has the introduction of the plastic bag levy benefitted the environment, but it has had a huge positive impact for charities.

Millions of pounds has been raised for good causes which has helped to fund vital work which otherwise may not have been possible.

“By working with CAF, using CAF company account charitable accounts and creating new strategic partnerships, retailers have maximised the opportunity to support national as well as local organisations. We hope they will continue to work together to develop these worthwhile relationships which benefit so many good causes”.

Aldi reports that in total approximately £1.1m has been raised by the sale of carrier bags in their stores. They have donated £580,000 to the RSPB, the country’s largest nature conservation charity, as part of a three year partnership. The partnership has enabled the implementation of a UK-wide education programme with the aim of re-engaging children with nature. The remainder of the money has been placed into Aldi’s CAF Company Account for distribution to other good causes.

Martyn Foster, Head of Education, Families and Youth at the RSPB, said:

“Thanks to our partnership with Aldi we’re able to encourage young people to get out into nature in their school grounds and local green spaces to build their understanding and love of wildlife. It’s crucial we provide the next generation with as many opportunities as possible to experience and enjoy the natural world.”

Between October 2015 and April 2016 Marks & Spencer used 45.7 million single use carrier bags in their UK stores. The net proceeds were £1.9m with the money raised going to a number of charities via CAF with whom the retailer has worked for many years including Breast Cancer Now, UNICEF and WWF.

Sainsbury’s took a different approach from other retailers by removing all single use carrier bags from their stores in England, Scotland and Wales. They now charge 5p for stronger, re-useable bags which are made from 100% recyclable material. If they wear out the retailer replaces them free of charge. Despite not being subject to the levy, profit from sale of the bags is donated by individual stores to local charities via CAF with well over a thousand good causes being supported overall.

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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