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As the summer season comes to an end, we recap on some of our latest projects that have played an essential role in reducing harmful pollutants and improving recycling behaviours across the capital.
Recycling Coffee Cups with Costa
One of Bywaters’ core objectives has been cracking down on disposable coffee cups, which predominantly ended up in landfill sites.
This is due to their polyethylene lining, where cups containing these fused materials can’t be recycled by normal means at standard recycling plants and therefore are treated as general waste items.
Taking this challenge head-on, we have recently teamed up with Costa through their coffee cup recycling scheme to help increase the recycling rate up and down the country, while assisting with Costa’s pledge to recycle 500,000,000 coffee cups a year by 2020.
How it Works
To spearhead this mission, Bywaters started offering a dedicated coffee cup recycling service to customers, specifically for picking up their assortment of paper cups within three to five working days – providing they have a minimum of 10 bags full.
These cups are then treated and baled at our state-of-the-art materials recovery facility (MRF) in East London, before ending up at ‘Bywaters Approved’ mills, where they are made into high grade paper products – such as notebooks.
Efficient Collections with New Euro 6 Fleet
Another key initiative this summer has been a £7.5M investment for Bywaters’ new fleet of Euro 6 vehicles, designed to bring down carbon emissions and place the company well ahead of upcoming legislation, particularly London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which comes into force from April 2019.
The new Mercedes Econic models contain a range of features such as side sensors, audio warnings, robust cycle skirting, signage, and all-round 4 way camera systems – improving safety for both our drivers and other road users.
Our Largest Ever Beach Clean
In addition to the fleet upgrade, Bywaters has been busy organising its next round of beach cleans. This June marked our largest beach clean on record, as 40 delegates comprising of Bywaters customers, staff, and partners made their way to Brighton Beach, East Sussex, to remove plastic bottles and food waste.
Volunteers split into two groups and were tasked with collecting as much litter as possible within a two-hour time limit. By the end, a total of 20 bags were collected – equating to 100kg of litter consisting mainly of plastics, food waste, bottle caps, and metals.
Cleaning Gabriel’s Wharf Beach with the London Fire Brigade
Another successful Beach Clean followed less than two weeks afterwards on the 19th June, when Bywaters and the London Fire Brigade worked together to remove rubbish from the River Thames at Gabriel’s Wharf.
Similarly, to the Brighton event, the clean-up lasted approximately two hours, where firefighters, office workers, and Bywaters staff went around with litter pickers to rid the beach of as much waste as possible.
Among the items collected were several knives, a 17th century pipe, and even some antlers. In addition to this, our litter-pickers recovered a huge amount of of single-use plastic – including plastic drinking straws, baby wipes, and plastic drinks bottles.
Members of the Brigade’s community safety team were also on hand, with the event coinciding with Drowning Prevention Week.
Fire Brigade Warn of Hazardous Items Lurking in the Thames
Speaking at the beach clean, Chris O’Connor, The Brigade’s Head of Community Safety, said:
“Our advice is for people to take care when near water. As well as the dangers of cold water shock and unpredictable currents, it is impossible to see hidden dangers lurking beneath the surface. Items dumped into the water can prove lethal if people enter the water as they can snag clothing and make it more difficult to escape or be rescued.”
Bywaters Continues to Raise Environmental Awareness
These recent initiatives, along with our investments over the summer, and the successful ‘Plasticus’ campaign, have shown a positive step forward.
We’re always trying to increase sustainability and educate our customers and the general public about the importance of recycling in order to protect the environment for the years to come.