Cleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 16th March 2023 Issue no. 1056
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A European Environment Agency report published yesterday has revealed that between 75% and 96% of the assessed area of Europe's regional seas have a contamination problem. 'Contaminants in Europe's seas' is the first attempt to map contamination in a consistent manner and check trends in hazardous substances. It shows that all four regional seas have a large-scale contamination problem, ranging from 96% of the assessed area in the Baltic and 91% in the Black Sea, to 87% in the Mediterranean and 75% in the North-East Atlantic. The coverage of the assessed area is mostly good but it varies considerably between the four seas and remains limited in the offshore waters of the Mediterranean.
Overall, contamination is declining in all four seas, though the insecticide DDT appears to be, at best, stabilising in the Mediterranean. The concentrations of some well-known contaminants, such as cadmium and mercury, appear to be declining but in many areas not enough to meet agreed thresholds.
Research by ocean conservation charity 'Surfers Against Sewage' has revealed how products from just 10 companies account for more than half of packaging pollution found on UK beaches - with Coca Cola (15.5%) and PepsiCo, which owns Walkers, (10.3%) named the worst offenders, followed by Cadbury's owner Mondelez International at 6.8% and Nestle at 5.5%. McDonald's also graced the top 10 and Costa scored highly too. I wonder how those figures change worldwide. The news follows the UK's largest ever nationwide survey of packaging pollution on Britain's beaches and rivers, conducted last month by more than 45,000 volunteers during SAS's recent Big Spring Beach Clean series, when 49,413 items were collected.
SAS says these companies must invest more in packaging redesign, alternative ways of product delivery and ramping up packaging re-use. I couldn't agree more! The research has been submitted to the Government as evidence in the consultation on plastic packaging and Extended Producer Responsibility in a bid to make producers take more responsibility for the costs of dealing with their discarded packaging, rather than leaving it to the taxpayer. Find out more and have your say at www.sas.org.uk
Finally, a friend sent me a link to a video of two window cleaners stranded in a wildly swinging basket at the top of an 850-foot, 50-storey Oklahoma skyscraper. Who said cleaning was easy? I'm wondering whether the men will be able to summon the courage to tackle the next skyscraper they're tasked with cleaning, or whether they'll be asking to transfer to a desk job!
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16th May 2019