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Good morning curious.friends,

This week Donald Trump met with the British Royal Family, and apparently, Prince Charles gave him a 90-minute lecture on climate change. In other words, Prince Charles banged his head against a brick wall for 90-minutes. But, let's be positive and hope Trump took something in, literally anything...

Yesterday was World Environment Day, and this Saturday 8th June is World Oceans Day. Plenty of opportunities for you to show some love for our planet. Why not get down to the coast and join in with a beach cleanup

Reading time is 3:47 minutes.
Enjoy, team curious
Zero Waste

Will Waitrose's plastic-free trial 'weigh up' for their shoppers?

by Char Cross

What's Going On Here?

Waitrose is the first major retailer in the UK to introduce a plastic-free shopping experience, where customers can use their own containers to shop on a refill basis.

What Does This Mean?
As one of the top 10 UK supermarkets contributing to 810,000 tonnes of ‘throwaway packaging’ every year (according to Greenpeace ocean plastics campaigner Ariana Densham), Waitrose is making a bold move to help reduce that number.

Customers can fill their boots/containers from a choice of 48 different refillable products. Including grains, frozen fruit, coffee, cleaning liquids and even alcohol. 

Initially, this is only being offered in one store, in Oxford, in an 11-week trial to see if ‘customers will ditch convenient plastic packaging’. Considering that it takes 66 days on average to form a new habit, is this enough time to judge the nation on whether they adapt to a ‘new way’ of shopping?

Why Should We Care?

This isn’t a new way of shopping - just ask your grandparents.

Around 100 independent Zero Waste shops have opened across the UK in recent years. These ‘refill shops’ are founded by passionate individuals who are often sacrificing careers, salaries and leisure time while beavering away to bring Zero Waste shopping back to our high streets. 

“It is a good indication to all the independent zero waste shops, that we clearly have been noticed!” Jeanette and Tom, Clean Kilo, Birmingham.

However, the big boys like Waitrose have economies of scale, presence and certainly a bigger voice to bring awareness to our shopping habits on a national scale. 

Nevertheless, “Just because it can be bought plastic-free, doesn’t mean it was sourced that way” Harriet, Harriet’s of Hove, Sussex. It’s the independents driving the refill revolution who are working towards providing a plastic-free supply chain.

It’s great they have decided to jump on this very important bandwagon, I just hope they manage it properly” Tammy, Harmless, London.

Wherever you shop, you’d better get those containers at the ready to accompany the reusable shopping bags we’ve all mastered so well ;)

Be Curious!

1. This is only one Waitrose in the whole of the UK, but there are plenty of other plastic-free shops! Find your ‘local’ using Zero Waste Near Me.

2. Hold Waitrose to account. How are they sourcing their 'plastic-free' produce? Here is what they have to say on plastic packaging.  

3. Frankly, I could go on and on and write so much more than this. So that’s exactly what I will do! Look out for my opinion piece on this in the next few weeks and hear more from the independent Zero Waste shop owners I chat to. If you’d like to have your say and be included in this, please give me a shout on Insta at @charlottes_cupboard.


UK expands 'Blue Belt' to protect marine areas

by Will Roderick

What's Going On Here?

The UK Government announced the creation of 41 new marine conservation zones around the UK’s coastline, covering an area eight times the size of London and expanding the UK’s marine ‘Blue Belt’ to an area twice the size of England.

What Does This Mean?

This is the largest expansion of the UK’s marine 'Blue Belt' to date. The expansion comes after extensive deliberation by the fishing industry, marine conservation experts and 48,000 contributions by members of the public (well done you!).
The new protected areas span the UK from the coast of Northumberland to the Scilly Isles. The rare stalked jellyfish, short-snouted seahorse, and basking sharks are also among those species that will benefit.
The environment secretary, Michael Gove, said: “The UK is already leading the rest of the world by protecting 30% of our ocean – but we know there is more to do.''
Despite the impressive statistics, the marine ‘Blue Belt’ conservation zones have been criticised as being “paper parks” because they don’t prevent all types of fishing.

Why Should We Care?

In the Year of Green Action, this announcement is part of the UK’s wider commitment to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s target to protect 10% of the world’s coastal and marine areas by 2020.
After two centuries of industrial fishing, UK seas have been depleted of much of its marine life. It is now 25 times harder to catch fish than it was in the mid 19th century!

Yet this is about more than fishing. In light of the UN biodiversity report – a healthy marine ecosystem is a more resilient ecosystem to the impacts of climate change.

Be Curious!

Saturday 8th June is World Oceans Day! If you want to get involved in helping to clean up the coast around you then why not find an event near you! 

Alternatively, here are a few tips on how to reduce your impact on the ocean! 

Latest from the blog...

21 of Greta Thunbergs best quotes about the climate emergency -

Other news we found curious...

Trump says 'climate change goes both ways' - BBC
World's largest carbon capture plant to be built in Texas - Futures Centre
Students in the Philippines must plant 10 trees to graduate - TreeHugger
Bristol City Council turns to blockchain to incentivise behaviour change - edie
UK goes a fortnight without burning coal for first time since industrial revolution - Independent
‘High likelihood of human civilisation coming to end’ by 2050, report finds - Independent
Doconomy launches credit card with a carbon-emission spending limit - Doconomy
Char Cross
Will Roderick

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