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One reason I shop as much as I can in local markets – and particularly farmers markets, is because so little of what’s on display is wrapped in plastics. OK so the soft fruit may not make it home in perfect condition in a paper bag but in my mind it’s worth it and somehow it feels healthier and tastes fresher too – similar to how it did when I was a child and plastics hadn’t entered the food chain. We’ve known for decades the damage this type of plastic wreaks on the planet along with our health throughout its lifecycle… Plastics particles are now found in the air, in drinking water and in our blood – yet instead of its use diminishing, it’s grown. Why have we allowed this to happen? Because it is of course, down to us, as consumers, don’t you think? Some of our supermarkets, for example, offer a choice, whereby we can pick up a conveniently-sized plastic bag of, say, carrots or bananas or select our own from a huge box. But why give us the option? And why, I have to ask, is the packaged option generally cheaper, which means we’re actively encouraged through convenience and our pockets to help pollute the planet while damaging our bodies? And why wrap a swede, or a dense lettuce such as Iceberg, in plastic film for goodness sake? How can we have got to the stage where the world produces almost 400m tonnes of plastic, (with an estimated 12-14m tonnes allowed to escape into our seas) EVERY YEAR?
Although I don’t yet have all the details, I’m delighted that real headway appears to have been made at last week’s Global Plastics Treaty meeting Paris, in thrashing out the basics of a legally binding treaty aimed at reducing the amount of plastics entering our lives and making what does, more ‘palatable’. Encouragingly, it involved country representatives from more than 150 nations, along with others boasting a real and in-depth knowledge of the issues we face in making the necessary changes and why these changes must be made. Thankfully, it wasn’t just about recycling, but focused on the whole lifecycle of plastics and our need to phase the stuff out. And while that’s happening, to regulate the hazardous chemicals currently baked into it, while carefully and thoroughly managing microplastic pollution in an attempt to reduce the damage.
With the next round of talks scheduled to take place in Kenya later this year, the final agreement planned for late 2024 and the new treaty expected to be in force as early as 2025, things are moving surprisingly quickly. In the meantime though, we can all play our part by boycotting plastic where we can, and recycling responsibly that which we can’t avoid.
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This Week's News
According to a report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, alcohol ingredients in vehicle windshield washer fluid are a surprising source of real-world volatile organic compound emissions from cars, accounting for a larger fraction of emissions than previous estimates have suggested.
It says that notably, the levels of these non-fuel-derived gases will likely remain unchanged, even as more drivers transition from gas-powered to electric vehicles.
Improving the air quality and freshness throughout all premises is essential and a pleasant fragrance can be powerfully emotive, setting the mood, and creating a memorable experience. But what is the environmental impact of the products we use?
We talked to Mark Wintle, sales & marketing manager at fragrance and air-freshening specialist P-Wave:
Chemicals specialist Evonik has been honoured with the American Chemistry Council's 2023 Sustainability Leadership Award in the Product Safety, Innovation & Transparency category. The award recognises ACC member companies for products, processes, or initiatives that promote the safe use of chemicals, transparency, informed sustainability decision-making, and innovation to reduce risk.
Evonik received the award for Rheance One, a special type of glycolipid biosurfactant derived from renewable raw materials. Mild to the skin, it is 100% biodegradable, environmentally friendly, and it utilises traceable supply chains.
Advanté, the UK-based manufacturer of the Oasis 'instant start' self-contained welfare units, has launched an innovative new Vision Solar toilet block, as part of its commitment to helping sites to achieve net zero.
This latest addition to the renowned Oasis range of welfare units, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, is an instant start toilet block with 2 + 1 cubicles that features innovative solar hybrid technology. Vision Solar is completely self-contained and provides male and female facilities for up to 60 people on site.
CA Back is Comac's backpack professional vacuum cleaner. Light, handy and powerful, it can clean any type of surface, even the most difficult areas. Convenience and freedom of movement are just some of the benefits provided.
The compact design and the comfortable adjustable straps make this vacuum cleaner suitable for everyone, to make it the perfect ally for everyday cleaning operations. The anatomic harness and the comfortable padded back support help to equally distribute the weight of the vacuum cleaner over the entire column, increasing comfort for the operator.
That's why Kärcher Professional UK has announced its new Buy Back initiative, whereby commercial customers can trade-in their old cleaning machines for a discount against the new equipment, saving money on the purchase and safe in the knowledge that Kärcher will responsibly recycle the outdated model. The scheme is set to run through 31st July 2023.
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Our weekly updated Hospital Hygiene features current developments and product solutions cleaning and hygiene industry manufacturers are coming up with. Read More.
Recent UK News
All members of the CHSA adhere to the requirements of the relevant Accreditation and have signed the Association's rigorous Code of Practice. It means CHSA members:
Current chief operating officer, Neil Spencer-Cook, who has worked at the Institute for several years, has been appointed to the position of group managing director and will take up the role of leading BICSc from 3rd July 2023.
The scheme will kickstart the UK's low carbon hydrogen economy by funding a first-round allocation of 250MW of electrolytic hydrogen projects across England, Scotland and Wales.
Events & Exhibitions
National Floor Safety Institute
Interclean China 2023
Clean Eurasia Expo 2023
ISSA Show North America
The Cleaning Show