No, it's not another Saturday night television show, but an innovative scheme to encourage football fans to recycle their rubbish. This was just one of the advances in recycling that we discussed at today's environment committee.
Londoners have seriously bought into recycling, with the amount of rubbish recycled increasing every year. Demand for plastics recycling is also rising, with very good return rates for plastic bottles. Other packaging presents more of a challenge, because different types of plastic are used, but technology to sort them has been developed. The next stage is to progress from recycling household waste to recycling packaging from food consumed on the go.
Coke is it
Coca Cola told us about their plan for 80 recycling zones, where customers at venues can deposit their plastic drinks bottles. Five such zones are already in place at:
Chessington World of Adventures
Festival Place Shopping Centre, Basingstoke
University of Warwick
The London Borough of Bexley - who already have a good record on recycling - are bidding to be one of the 80 zones.
Earls Court & Olympia
These exhibition centres have attained British Standard 8901 for recycling on site. At present their efforts are confined to plastics from shows and exhibition stands, but they are working towards getting restaurants and other outlets on site to provide recyclable packaging.
Marks & Spencer
Representatives told us that their sandwiches are now wrapped in cardboard and they have greatly simplified their use of plastics, now only producing three types of plastic bottles and packaging. Their plastic includes recycled material and they have a contract with the new plastics plant in Dagenham to provide this.
M & S is seen as a leader in this field, with their policy of charging 5p for plastic bags. I often fall foul of this when buying food as, for me, it tends to be an impulse purchase whilst I'm out and about, and I'm not going to carry a shopping bag everywhere on the off chance that I might need it...
For LU the big challenge is free newspapers, and this is only too obvious to commuters. 70% of their waste is free sheets and they have introduced newspaper bins at six central London stations. The security threat mitigates against the wide use of bins, but we did hear about a new bomb proof bin that is now available. Unfortunately it costs £25,000 which seems a bit steep for a litter bin, even a large one...