Zero Waste London Mail

By Amandine Alexandre

Better than new 😃



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Zero Waste London Mail

January 22 · Issue #20 · View online

Join the zero waste revolution.

Hello friends,
Do you know reboxed? It’s a company founded in London last year by Matt and Phil, two friends who previously did marketing for consumer electronics. Their mission is to rehome 100 million mobile devices by 2030 .
Reboxed‘s slogan is 'better than new’.
I love this slogan.
It’s short, sharp and meaningful.
The fact that buying second-hand is better is obvious to me, to you and to a growing number of people. However, we tend to forget that few things are obvious to everyone and we still need to convince a lot more people that buying ‘preloved’, ‘refurbished’ items is both necessary and desirable.
‘Better than new’ highlights the value of refurbished items. Second-hand is not 2nd best and, if we want to be more responsible inhabitants of this planet, ‘preloved’ has to become the new normal, the expected thing to do if you are ‘in’.
In other news, in this newsletter :
  • 🌈 the Welsh Harp reservoir clean-up marathon in Brent,
  • 👧🏼 the petition against UK plastic waste exports launched by a 9 year old girl ,
  • 💻 laptop repair crowdfunding ,
  • 🚲 and a directory for bike deliveries.
I hope that you will find some useful and energising information in this newsletter. If so, please share it with your family and friends and/or on social media. The more readers, the bigger the waste reduction impact!

The News 🔔
One of the photos shared by Ben Watt earlier this week
One of the photos shared by Ben Watt earlier this week
The Welsh Harp or Brent reservoir in North West London is s Site of Special Scientific Interest  (SSSI) with the open water and associated habitats supporting a unusually large selection of wetland birds and plants for an inner city reservoir. However, as you can see on the photo above shared by musician & DJ Ben Watt, it’s also littered with all kind of waste.
‘Debris and rubbish has always jutted incongruously out of the shallow water at Welsh Harp. I used to laugh this off as 'gritty and urban’ but with the water level temporarily lowered by 1m this month for dam repairs what’s been revealed is the catastrophic extent of the problem’, Ben wrote in a Facebook post.
Ben’s photos went viral and resulted in the Canal and River Trust (one of the local stakeholders) to commit to clearing what they can before the end of next month including large items with specialist help.
Hopefully, it should lead to a significant improvement in habitat quality and the landscape at this birding site.
If you want to help cleaning the Welsh Harp, you can do so quite easily. Please contact Friends of the Welsh Harp via Twitter (@welsharpies) and they’ll tell you where you can find the cleaning instruments near the site.
150 bags of crap were cleared last week
150 bags of crap were cleared last week
The Campaign 🙅
Screenshot of the petition page taken this morning.
Screenshot of the petition page taken this morning.
A petition launched last week by Lizzie, a 9 year old girl, has gathered close to 85k signatures in a week.
‘The U.K. currently is the second largest exporter of plastic waste to poorer countries. Since we have exited the EU, we no longer are bound by their rules. They have banned export of plastic waste from 1 January 2021 however the U.K. hasn’t. This isn’t okay - please join me in doing something about it’, Lizzie writes.
Lizzie has a meeting set up with her local MP, Simon Jupp, Conservative MP for East Devon, next week. Also, Chris Packham, the naturalist and TV presenter, has joined the fight to ban UK’s plastic waste export. He has accused the government of ‘irresponsible and embarrassing practices’.
Please sign the petition and share it on social media.
We need to take care of our own plastic s**t in order to reduce drastically the amount of plastic waste used in the UK.
The Update ♻️
Last week, the Restart Project launched a campaign to provide laptops to students and people in need. It has currently 8 London organisations listed on its website and it has reported this week that these laptop reuse projects have been inundated with laptop donations.
Damian Griffiths a Restart partner organisation Catbytes CIC, in Lewisham, says :
“The response has been great but there are currently still thousands of children in Lewisham doing their homework on smartphones. We desperately need donated laptops so we can wipe them, refurbish them, and distribute them to the schools that are requesting them from us.”
Some of these projects have asked for help and Restart volunteers have stepped in to speed up the repair process.
To cover the transport and spare parts costs, the Restart Project has launched a crowdfunding campaign. Their aim is to repair 240 laptops. If you have a fiver spare, please consider donating here.
The Restart Project is a great organisation championing the right to repair.
The Initiative ✅
It has 190 entries so far.
It has 190 entries so far.
Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the best. Helena, while on maternity leave, created a directory of companies and tradespeople that deliver by bikes.
In London, you can find a window cleaner, a bike repairer, a flower delivery service, a beer delivery service etc.
Have a look at Brought by bikes. Your heart will swell with hope. ☺️
If you know someone who delivers by bike but doesn’t feature in the directory, let Helena know about it.
In The Press and elsewhere 📰
‘New Zealand improved recycling rates by awarding shiny gold stars, showing that social approval can be a more powerful motivator than money’, David Byrne writes.
‘Harry Potter, Michael Bublé and PlayStation 4 have helped fuel a boom in online sales of secondhand books, CDs and consumer technology during the pandemic’, Sarah Butler writes.
Have you enjoyed the newsletter? Learned something useful? Please consider buying me a Ko-fi.
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