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From dressing up like Spiderman during recess to advocating for a mosquito sprayer to protect children from bites, these custodians are truly top-notch.
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Decades ago, when package holidays took off and many Brits who’d been used to spending their Summer breaks at clean and litter-free resorts around our shores travelled overseas for the first time, foreign beaches in hotter climes quickly gained a reputation for being a bit smelly and people would joke about the need to avoid the sewage floating around in the seas and in some cases running down streets. Whether this was generally deserved – perhaps because of resorts being built quickly to accommodate the influx of tourists - or just the British sense of humour, I’ll never know, but when, as a discerning teenager, I took a European holiday to a popular island, there were indeed issues of concern. Over the years standards have been raised dramatically and now it’s the British Isles that have to clean up! According to Environment Agency figures, raw sewage was dumped into English rivers 824 times a day in 2022 and there were 301,091 sewage spills, polluting everything in their path as they made their way to the coastline. And with most of the country suffering from drought for long periods, the excuse by water companies that they had to discharge sewage into waterways when drains were overwhelmed, just doesn’t wash, does it? I know this was around a fifth less than in 2021, but it’s still shameful, (as is the litter that so many folk think it’s OK to leave behind them after their day on the beach!).
Although the Government’s recent ‘Plan for Water’ ( https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-plan-for-water ) says many of the right things, experience has taught me that often, it turns out to be just talk. I think this could all be about to change though with the appointment of long-term environmental campaigner Feargal Sharkey OBE - you may recall him from '80s band The Undertones, or his hit single ‘A Good Heart’ - as chairman of England and Wales’ water regulator, Ofwat. Having followed keen fisherman Feargal on Twitter for some time, I’m well aware that he’s incensed at the way water companies have ignored their responsibilities and I can’t think of a better person to take them to task. As he told River Action UK: “It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. This is the perfect opportunity to flip this dysfunctional system on its head and turn it into a regulator that actually regulates. I would be a fool not to accept.”
Perhaps we should always look to appoint a past adversary to lead up these failing bodies. They know all about what’s wrong and have long held ideas on how to put things right – and a real passion to do so, too. I’m going to watch this one with interest…
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This Week's News
Returning to London, The Cleaning Show 2023 surpassed all expectations, with more than 6,700 visitors descending on ExCeL last month, for three days of unbeatable networking and product-sourcing opportunities.
The event welcomed more than 100 of the industry's leading cleaning & hygiene suppliers to demonstrate the latest product innovations, many of which echoed the trends currently dominating the industry: sustainability, technology and recruitment.
An ambitious action plan to 'Make Aberdeen a Living Wage City', launched in November 2022 by the Aberdeen Living Wage Action Group, has seen early progress in growing the number of accredited Living Wage employers in the city.
The Action Group is a collaboration of employers and stakeholders from across the public, private and third sectors, on behalf of Community Planning Aberdeen.
Many visitors to the recent London Cleaning Show will have been desperately searching the hall for future sustainability options.
Kärcher UK tells us it is excited to launch its first ever robotic cleaning machine: KIRA B 50, a fully autonomous scrubber dryer. Designed to tackle medium and large floor areas, this new compact cleaning robot is efficient, timesaving, easy-to-operate, safe, flexible and completely autonomous when required.
A trial of Airdri's SteraSpace air and surface sanitisation systems at a health test centre run by Liverpool-based DAM Healthcare, has shown an impressive higher than 89% reduction in bacteria levels after 14 days of continuous usage.
The company, which provides a range of healthcare options including gut health, menopause and fertility testing, carried out an independent trial at one of its Covid-19 test centres, where the units were positioned in the practice waiting room. Keeping test centres clean was at the top of the agenda during the pandemic and plays an ongoing role post pandemic in ensuring both the support of staff and patient safety.
Businesses need a better understanding of the opportunities their waste can offer them if improvements in environmental performance are to be made, according to Phs Wastekit as its reveals the results of its new survey.
The leading supplier of balers and compactors, surveyed over 200 decision-makers in retail, hospitality and food manufacturing to learn more about each sector's waste management habits as they entered 2023. The survey revealed that although 81% of respondents had a CSR strategy and 75% had an active carbon reduction plan, over a quarter of those surveyed did not use a baler or compactor as part of their waste management procedures.
Albert, an Ahold Delhaize local brand and one of the Czech Republic's largest retail brands, has announced in partnership with Brain Corp and Tennant, that its fleet of autonomous mobile robots deployed across its Czech Republic hypermarkets and two distribution centres have officially cleaned over 20 million square metres (215 million square feet), completing over 92,000 cleaning routes.
During 2023, Albert will almost double the number of stores with robot deployments.
Kleen-Tex, one of the world's leading floor mat manufacturers, has bolstered its high-performance Iron Horse matting range with the launch of Iron Horse Light to provide professionals with a cost-effective yet efficient solution for commercial applications.
Berry Global is relaunching its popular Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association-accredited Green Sack range of refuse sacks, which are UK-manufactured in Heanor, Derbyshire, from recycled agricultural and post-consumer plastic waste.
The latest versions provide users in the cleaning, hospitality and facilities management sectors with a solution that is both easier to use and incorporates improved seals.
Colchester-based Greater Anglia operates the East Anglia franchise, providing commuter and intercity services from London Liverpool Street Station to England's East seaboard counties and parts of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
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