What happened in the world of sustainability in July?

July has been a Summer of extreme weather. It was recorded as the hottest month ever and bought shocking floods and record-breaking wildfires with it. It’s easy to focus on the bad, so instead, we thought we’d bring a little positivity and record the good news that happened in the world of sustainability last month.

EU reveals ambitious climate change plan

The European Union announced a further ambitious plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. From 1990 to 2019 the EU cut carbon emissions by 24% and another 31% is needed in the following nine years.

To meet this goal, the plan will target the tough task of combating home heating and transport. It will include taxing jet fuel and banning the sale of petrol and diesel-powered cars within the next 20 years.

It seems like a positive step in the right direction but environmentalists such as Greta Thunberg have been quick to criticise, suggesting that the EU “tears up” the proposal, demanding tougher action. The plan will now face months of negotiations and although some people are worried that it will increase household heating bills, it is hoped that the benefits for the planet will outweigh this concern.

Image of world connected to energy supply

Heritage Fund donates £40 million to Green Recovery Challenge

The National Lottery Heritage Fund donated the second round of £40 million to support the Green Recovery Challenge. The funding will go towards green projects spread over 600 sites and create 3,000 green jobs and safeguard an existing 2,000.

The winning green projects are as follows:

  • Bringing the Buzz Back to the City – this project aims to protect pollinators by creating nectar-rich public spaces. It will plant 2,500 trees, 25,000 bulbs and cultivate 18 hectares of grassland.
  • Trees for Cities – this project plans to increase tree cover in deprived urban areas. It involves planting 55,000 trees over 83 coastal locations. It will also provide training opportunities for young people aged between 16 and 24.
  • Avalon Marshes Wetland Wonderland – this project will enhance wetland habitats, water quality and hydrological connectivity in our nature reserves to encourage wildlife to the area. It will also work to restore a 10.6-acre site originally used for peat extraction.
  • More from Trees – this programme aims to enhance biodiversity by creating green corridors, a specialist tree nursery for a variety of species including native plants in Liverpool city centre, and deploy natural flood management in Cheshire. It will go further by retraining military veterans to provide nature-based activities to enhance the health and well-being of the local community.
  • Chester Zoo Nature Recovery Corridor – this project will rebuild wetlands, traditional orchards, hedgerows, grasslands and wildflower meadows in community wildlife sites. It will also target 12,000 people from deprived areas and offer opportunities for youth trainees and community volunteer schemes.

The Co-op launches extensive plastic collection scheme

The Co-op announced Europe’s most extensive in-store recycling scheme for plastic bags, crisp packets and food wrappings in 2300 stores. It will become the first UK supermarket to have fully recyclable food packaging. The scheme involves establishing an accessible disposal route for materials that are unlikely to be collected by local councils such as crisp packets, biscuit wrappers, crisp packets, lids from yoghurt pots and more!

In-store recycling units will also accept food packaging from other supermarkets. The Co-op believe that 300 tonnes of plastic bags and food wrappings could be collected every year once the initiative is fully in place.

By offering an easy and convenient solution to everyday plastic, the scheme will prevent unnecessary waste and reduce plastic pollution.

The Wildlife Trusts unveil 12 new nature recovery projects

Players of the People’s Post Code Lottery have been supporting The Wildlife Trust for over ten years, and they’ve raised over £15 million so far. Funding has restored peatlands, saltmarsh, kelp forests, chalk grassland, wetlands and woods to help store carbon.

In July, £2 million has been raised to fund new, exciting and eco-friendly projects. Woodlands will be restored throughout Derbyshire, new seagrass habitats will be planted in the Solent, habitat features to protect temperature-sensitive chalk grassland butterflies in Bedfordshire will be created, and support will be given to a pioneering project to restore a kelp forest off the Sussex coast.

UK’s first net zero-emissions power plant

Teesside has been announced as the location for the first net zero-emissions power plant which hopes to be up and running by 2025. It aims to eliminate carbon dioxide and other pollutants by capturing and storing it under the North Sea. If approved, it could produce around 300 megawatts of electricity per hour!

Be a part of the positive change

July has been a month of schemes, projects and challenges! We’re thrilled that funding is being invested in green strategies across the UK as it’s so important for businesses to ensure they’re working sustainably and reliably.

But it’s not just down to the big businesses to do their part. Individual choices make a huge positive difference too! Join our Home Club today and making eco-friendly choices will be easy. Choose from hundreds of our wonderful eco products and you’ll reduce your energy, water and waste, reduce your carbon footprint and save money.

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