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I’m ashamed that in this day and age, so many adults in the UK rely on our growing numbers of food banks to feed their families. But that’s not all we’re doing wrong… Did you know that in some counties, food waste makes up almost half of the average household general waste bin?
I was delighted to learn from the West Sussex Waste Partnership that it’s working with food partnerships across the county to encourage residents to share their surplus food, to help those in food poverty whilst reducing wastage. Can we have more of this please?
Since the beginning of the pandemic there have been significant changes to food behaviours in the UK which have been unfortunate for many. Sustain UK estimates that 8.4 million people are living in food poverty, with BAME (black, Asian & minority ethnic), disabled and older people worst affected. Pre-lockdown, in 2019-20, a record high of nearly two million people in the UK used a food bank, according to the Trussell Trust. The numbers are estimated to have increased hugely due to the pandemic, so redistributing food would help those struggling with their household budgets while cutting waste – along with the cost of waste collection, which will benefit us all.
One excellent scheme that spans more than 50 countries, is OLIO, which connects communities with each other and local food businesses, so surplus food can be shared and not discarded. All users need do is simply snap a photo of their spare items and add it to the app. Those living nearby can request anything that takes their fancy. The food, which is always offered for free, is shared when it’s nearing its sell-by date, or if it’s spare home-grown fruit or vegetables, or when residents are going away and will not use it. Created to try and prevent food waste and help reduce greenhouse gases (food waste is one of the world's largest emitters) the app has enabled over 1.6 million items to be shared. Community fridges are another great idea… Located in a public space, spare food is dropped off at these fridges by small businesses, to be rescued and shared amongst those who need it. Then of course there are the Food Banks, which are widely used...
The situation we’re in is far from ideal, but the more we can do to prevent waste by sharing our surplus food, the quicker we’ll all be back on our feet. Now all we need to do is get the message out and expand the schemes that have proved to work.
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This Week's News
The safety of children and vulnerable adults is under threat from a wave of unsafe, mis-sold and under-regulated alcohol-based hand sanitisers, without any Government acknowledgment of the alternatives, according to a leading UK manufacturer.
Chester-based Byotrol, which makes Invirtu alcohol-free hand sanitiser, is calling for an urgent review into controls on the market, to prevent unscrupulous suppliers from distributing ineffective, misleading and potentially dangerous products to the public. The call comes as 10 cross-party MPs have written to Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, asking for an urgent review of the guidelines for hand sanitisers.
Michael Wilson, vice president of marketing for Afflink, a membership-based sales & marketing organisation for the professional cleaning, packaging, office supply, and foodservice industries, says that: "The past year has also been 'a once-in-a-lifetime' moment for manufacturers, distributors, and service providers to learn and better understand how their companies operate and what changes can be made so they operate more effectively."
Richard Little, managing director, Jenton International, asks why UV air disinfection is not being used in the fight against Covid-19 - especially when there is a convincing argument, backed by sound evidence - for using it to improve air in a range of buildings and work environments including doctors’ waiting rooms, schools, offices and food processing plants, as well as HVAC applications…
Leading independent cleaning chemical manufacturer Greyland has announced that Spray & Wipe Ultra, its multipurpose antiviral surface cleaner launched last year, has now been tested against the SARS-CoV-2 virus using the NEN 14675 Standard Method.
The testing has certified and proven that Spray & Wipe Ultra is effective against the Novel Coronavirus, the cause of Covid-19. It kills 99.9% of the virus in less than 30 seconds.
The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that Covid deaths are higher among low-paid and manual workers in England and Wales, underlining the need for stronger Covid Secure workplace rules to protect workers and for enforcement when rules are broken in the workplace.
Sadly, almost 8,000 workers have died where it is believed that the cause was directly due to Covid. Workers whose jobs involve regular exposure to Covid-19 or working near others, continue to have higher Covid-19 death rates.
The site now features badges, enabling users to track their progress, as well as an update to the COSHH module to make it even more user friendly.
Even though offices, restaurants and public buildings have inevitably seen a decrease in footfall over the past six months, demand for carpet and upholstery cleaning has continued unabated with deep cleaning in huge demand.
Cleaning companies have used this time effectively to implement rigorous cleaning regimes for clients in both commercial and domestic sectors: with more of us working from home, residential carpets have taken a battering and require a refresh, if not restoring.
It's been 12 months since the outbreak of Covid-19 and cleaning companies all over the world are still operating at maximum capacity, ensuring that key workers have safe and hygienic offices, factories, schools and medical facilities in which to operate.
Lightowler, the Hull-based cleaning, painting and facilities management firm, has been operating for over 160 years but a pandemic presented a unique new set of challenges the team had never experienced.
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