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Ray Cobbett: Managing plastic waste starts with reducing it

Published in the Portsmouth News on 18th April 2018


The BBC series Blue Planet inspired a surge of interest in reducing the use and disposal of plastic straws and coffee cups.

It is a small but symbolic step towards cleaning up our planet.

Most people will have heard of the three Rs, namely, reduce, reuse and recycle.

Some enthusiasts have added two more and these are – repair and refuse.

Back in 1950 the then world population of about two billion produced 1.5 million tons of plastic.

Now, with seven billion on the planet, the figure is around 320 tons.

Around our coastline, up to 5,000 pieces of marine plastic have been found per mile of beach.

Continue reading Ray Cobbett: Managing plastic waste starts with reducing it

Election candidates for Havant asked to make plastic waste pledge by campaign group

Published in the Portsmouth News on the 17th April 2018
Story by Tamara Siddiqui


ELECTION candidates across one borough have been asked to make a plastic waste pledge.

The 52 candidates standing for election in Havant have been invited to make a pledge to reduce plastic waste in the town.

The letter includes seven pledges starting with the council replacing some plastic products with non-plastic alternatives.

Havant Friends of the Earth chairman, Ray Cobbett, said: ‘We’re asking candidates who get elected as councillors to step-up and stand with us, and everybody who wants to roll back the tide of plastic and other waste engulfing our open spaces and killing wildlife.’

In a letter to them Havant Friends of the Earth group coordinator, Sue Holt, said: ‘As a coastal community Havant residents are all too aware of the damage plastic waste causes to our local beauty spots.’

It asks for local residents to be better advised on how to recycle plastic waste and urges the council to work with other agencies in keeping streams and rivers clean.

Recycling hope for plastic-hungry enzyme

Credit – David Jones

Published on the BBC News website on the 16th April 2018
By Mary Halton
Science reporter, BBC News


Scientists have improved a naturally occurring enzyme which can digest some of our most commonly polluting plastics.

PET, the strong plastic commonly used in bottles, takes hundreds of years to break down in the environment.

The modified enzyme, known as PETase, can start breaking down the same material in just a few days.

This could revolutionise the recycling process, allowing plastics to be re-used more effectively.

Continue reading Recycling hope for plastic-hungry enzyme