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Greener Eynsford Blog

Green news and views relevant to our community

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  • What bin does this go in? - Understanding plastics

    Author: Holly Ivaldi | Date: 20th July 2021

    Are you confused by recycling? Do you think - can I recycle this? do I have to wash it first? what is the point?

    A new project has been launched in Kent to help us to understand all about recycling- particularly plastic products. This article is mostly information provided by Pledge2recycle:

    KENT RECYCLES – DO YOU?

    Are you confused about what plastics you can recycle?

    Pledge2Recycle Plastics are working with all Kent Councils to help reduce that confusion.

    The charity, which works to educate and advise citizens has set up a dedicated website for Kent [www.pledge2recycle.co.uk/kent] which includes competitions for communities and general recycling guidance.

    Did you know you can recycle ALL bottles whether from the bathroom and kitchen as well as plastic packaging in the form of a pot, tub or tray?

    All bottles should be empty when placed for recycling with the tops back on. Pots, tubs and trays should have the absorbent layer and film lid removed as these need to go into general waste.

    Please DO NOT PUT toothpaste tubes, pill packs, nappies, textiles, coffee pods, batteries and food into recycling. Textiles should go to specific banks either at community/retail/or Household Waste Centres. You can take carrier bags, bread bags and empty frozen veg packets, to your local supermarket front of store collection please check at www.recyclenow.com/local-recycling. Sainsbury’s superstores now take ALL flexible packaging in front of store collections – guidance and a list of participating stores can be found at www.about.sainsburys.co.uk/sustainability/plan-for-better/our-stories/2021/flexible-plastics.

    It is important that ALL PLASTIC PLACED FOR RECYCLING is CLEAN, DRY AND LOOSE and NOT in any carrier or black bags.

    plastic_recyling_in_kent

    PLEDGE2RECYCLE PLASTICS – CUTTING THE CONFUSION - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    ·Why do I need to put the tops back on the bottles before recycling?

    • The tops go with the bottles to the reprocessor where they are cut up into flakes and the bottle and tops (which are different plastics) are separated before they are turned into pellets. The pellets made from the bottle themselves are then sent to either make new bottles. The pellets made from the tops are sent to go into garden furniture or items for construction such as piping or traffic cones

      ·How clean does my recycling need to be?
    • At the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) all the mixed dry recycling is sorted by type (paper, cardboard, steel cans, aluminium cans, and plastics). This process involves a lot of complex machinery which gets covered in the residue and dirt that householders place in their recycling bins. This residue can cause machinery to breakdown. Many UK MRF’s also have a section where material is hand sorted, so not a pleasant job if the material is covered in food remains. Remember also that the cleaner the recycling is the greater the quality and higher value the material will be to the recycler. It also keeps your bin clean if you empty, rinse and dry before recycling.

      ·Can I recycle my bleach bottles?
    • Yes, make sure they are empty and put the top back on.

      ·What do I do with the film lid on food, fruit, and vegetable punnets?
    • Remove the film lid and the absorbent layer and put these into general waste as these are not recyclable at the moment. Make sure the tray or punnet is empty, clean, and dry and recycle.

      ·Where can I recycle my carrier bags, and bread bags?
    • Many UK Supermarkets are now taking carrier bags and bread bags etc. in their front of store collections. Please look for the OPRL label on your soft plastics and wrappings and check out our links on www.pledge2recycle.co.uk/kent for further information.

      Should I stop using plastic packaging?
    • Plastic packaging provides many benefits to products and compared to alternative materials it uses less energy to produce, reduces transport costs and CO2 emissions because it is lightweight, and significantly reduces the amount of fresh food waste by protecting it in a hygienic environment and extending its shelf life.

    Did you know?

    • bananas in a flexible bag extend their shelflife by3days
    • Plastic bags reduce waste of potatoes by two thirds
    • Cucumbers extend their life when wrapped in film by 14 days
    • Advanced plastic packaging extends the life of steak upto10 days

      Why do some brands still use plastic for food products – surely, we can use other materials such as glass?

    Because it is lightweight, plastic packaging can save energy in the transport of packed goods. Less fuel is used, there are lower emissions and there are cost savings for distributors, retailers and consumers. For example, a yoghurt pot made from glass weighs about 85 grams, while one made from plastic weighs 5.5grams. In a lorry filled with a product packed in glass jars, 36% of the load would be accounted for the packaging. If packed in plastic pots, the packaging would amount to just 3%. To transport the same amount of yoghurt, three trucks are needed for glass jars but only two for plastic pots.

    ·What can plastic packaging be recycled into?

    Plastic packaging can be recycled into a wide variety of products including clothing, t-shirts; toys, chairs and tables; headphones; kitchen utensils; paint pots; car parts; cuddly toys; filling for duvets and sleeping bags; pens and pencils; building materials such as fencing, flooring, piping, etc; garden furniture; buckets and - of course - more plastic packaging! Drinks bottles can be made back into drinks bottles, milk bottles can also be made back into more milk bottles.

    ·Why don’t all Councils collect the same types of plastic?

    Local authorities use different facilities and waste management providers to collect recycling materials from households and recycling points. Some of these can only accept specific plastic types and therefore residents are given different messages about what they can and cannot recycle in different areas. Local authorities also have contracts with waste management providers and changing or terminating these can be a long and costly process. However, the plastic industry would like to see all councils collecting the same types of plastic and will continue to promote this as best practice and the UK government is discussing the possibilities of consistent collections across the UK.

    If you live in Kent and one of the 13 Kent Councils you are, able to recycle the same plastics packaging wherever you live in Kent.

    ·Why does the Council keep asking us to recycle when I think I recycle everything I can?

    Although most of us do recycle what we can when we can unfortunately the data tells us that nationally we only recycle 59% of all the bottles we could recycle and 34% of the pots, tubs and trays. This may be because we are not sure if they are recyclable, or because they are dirty and we don’t want to rinse/empty them, or because we take them out of the home for eating and drinking on the go and dispose of then in general waste wherever we happen to be, office, school, travelling etc. If we, can it is always best to take our empties home to recycle and make sure that we are not forgetting to recycle stuff from the kitchen or the bathroom, or forgetting about the ketchup and mayonnaise bottles. It all adds up.   

    The team at Pledge2Recycle Plastics are happy to take your queries you will find them @pledge2recycle or e-mail Amanda.bakewell@recoup.org.

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  • Eynsford Tree of the Year

    Eynsford Tree of the Year

    Author: Holly Ivaldi | Date: 1st April 2021

    Eynsford Tree of the Year – A Celebration of our Village Trees 

    Nominate Your Favourite Tree! 

    You may be aware of the Woodland Trust’s annual Tree of the Year contest (https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/tree-of-the-year/) which aims to showcase the UK’s favourite trees to help promote their value and need for protection. 

    We thought it would be fun to do a similar contest for our village trees, after all we are the place where Arbor Day first started in the UK in 1897! 

    So, do you have favourite tree in the village? Perhaps a tree which you think is a perfect example of that species. Alternatively, is there a tree in the village that makes you smile or brings back happy memories? Or maybe a tree which you think embodies Eynsford village?

    If so, then why not nominate it for Eynsford Tree of the Year. To nominate your tree please email info@eynsfordparishcouncil.org.uk or drop in a note to the parish office, and tell us; 

    -which tree you wish to nominate (the tree must be within Eynsford parish) 
    -a few lines about why you are nominating this tree. -the location of the tree, and the species (if you know it)
    -and ideally please include a photo 

    Nominations need to reach us by June 2021. The winner will be chosen by our Tree Wardens and a representative from our Green Team. The winning tree will be unveiled, rather more Arbor than Oscar-style, the following month. There are no prizes if your chosen tree is picked - it’s just for fun. But, the winning tree and it’s story, will be featured on our website, social media and in our next newsletter.

    The Arbor Day Movement was established in America in 1872 where one day each year is set aside as a festival to plant trees.  A similar event was established in England in 1897 in the Kent village of Eynsford.

    by Jane Laird for Eynsford's Green Team

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  • Make Your Own Wildlife-Friendly Hanging Basket

    Make Your Own Wildlife-Friendly Hanging Basket

    Author: Holly Ivaldi | Date: 9th March 2021

    We are pleased to announce a joint initiative between Eynsford Green Team, Eynsford Gardeners' Club and Eynsford in Bloom. 

    Brighten up your garden, make it more attractive to wildlife, and help to make Eynsford more beautiful for the Eynsford in Bloom competition!

    Are you currently choosing bedding plants for your garden hanging baskets and containers? Why not have a go at creating a wildlife-friendly hanging basket.

    We have put together some ideas to help you make your hanging baskets more attractive to bees and other pollinators. This includes;

    ·ideas on lining your planter so that it is more wildlife-friendly and incorporates recycled materials,

    ·some suggestions for more wildlife-friendly, colourful and scented bedding plants, and,

    ·ideas to help with manual watering.

    Creating this hanging basket makes good use of readily available plant material from gardens, it provides suitable habitats and food for wildlife, the basket looks attractive with the green foliage and it is great fun (it really is!).

    Many of these ideas would also be relevant for your pots and other planters.

    The Village would look even more beautiful if we could make a display in our front gardens of wildlife-friendly planters. (Although the insects would also like a wildlife-friendly hanging basket in your back garden!). Not only would this be great for wildlife, and create an attractive feature in your garden, but it would also help with our 2021 entry to Eynsford in Bloom.

    If you need help sourcing any of the equipment, materials or plants please let us know as we might be able to help!

    Please see the attached document for more information. Hanging Basket Tutorial 

    We would love to see your planted containers and baskets. Post your photos on the Eynsford Parish Council facebook page or email info@eynsfordparishcouncil.org.uk

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