Zero Waste London Mail

By Amandine Alexandre

Zero Waste London News - Issue #1



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Zero Waste London Mail

October 18 · Issue #1 · View online

Join the zero waste revolution.

My name is Amandine. I’m a journalist and a Londoner.
I’m obsessed with plastic pollution and waste - which both contribute to climate breakdown. Yippee!
Finding waste reduction information that we act upon as Londoners can be very time consuming.
So I’ve decided to write a newsletter dedicated to waste reduction in the capital - plastic waste, food waste, textile etc.
This publication is ad-free and totally independent. You, my subscribers, are my only sponsors. : )
For now, I’m just asking you for your moral support. The newsletter will be available on subscription when I feel brave enough to ask you for money.
The aim of the newsletter is to help you to reduce your waste at home, at work and in your neighbourhood.
I will also share some news regarding initiatives happening outside of London - in the rest of the UK or abroad - because there are very ambitious waste reduction projects across the globe that don’t receive the media attention they deserve, I think.
The aim is to produce a weekly newsletter every week. Please bear with me while I am trying to make this work!
Thank you for subscribing to Zero Waste London News. 🙂

The News⚡️
TRAID has a Depop shop.
After starting an eBay charity shop dedicated to designer brands last year, the London fashion reuse charity has expanded its online presence at the start of 2019 by setting up a virtual shop on Depop, the peer-to-peer second-hand clothes platform very popular among under 26 years old.
Right now, with consumption of fast fashion rising and all the associated costs of producing and disposing of these clothes, it’s never been more important to convert more people to sourcing more of their clothes second-hand. In the UK, people buy around 38 million new items every week while sending 11 million to landfill. That’s completely unsustainable. 
Leigh McAlea, Head of Communications
According to research done by TRAID, 23% of Londoners’ clothes are unworn.
Putting all these dresses, trousers, shoes etc. to use would have a massive impact in reducing the carbon and water footprint of the fashion industry - the second worst polluter on the planet after the oil industry.
TRAID launched its 23% campaign in September 2018. Six months later, thousands of Londoners had passed on more than 221 tonnes of clothes.
That represents a 30% ⬆️ compared to the amount of clothes previously collected by TRAID.
If you have clothes to donate, you can contact TRAID for a free home collection here wherever you live in London.
☛ TRAID has 11 across London. You can find the full list here with information regarding the type of items sold in each shop.
The majority of the stock for sale in our charity shops is sorted centrally and then chosen by shop managers and our expert sorters for a specific shop. So the clothes are highly curated depending on the area, customer and community. 
Leigh McAlea, Head of Communications
The Interview 📣
Sophie André, CEO and founder of Elysia
Sophie is a very impressive young entrepreneur who launched her sustainable catering business in 2016. She had no experience in catering and she had just arrived in London. Wow!
You buy food surplus from food producers. What is surplus food?
We source fruit and vegetables with imperfections but also cheese wheels that have been tasted during the maturing process. Cheesemongers remove a sample to make sure the batch is ready to be sold, the wheel may end up with a hole and some cracks. We also buy brown crab meat. It is much more abundant than white meat and rarely consumed.
How many tonnes of food are you able to recover? 
A minimum of 75% of the ingredients we source is from surplus. Over the last two years we saved over 8 tonnes of food.
What happens to the rest of the surplus? Do companies sell it at a discounted price? 
It is usually very difficult for the producers so sell the surplus as the produce have aesthetic imperfections. It’s also the case that stockage and/or harvesting cost more than the income they generate. Food producers would always try to find solutions to reduce waste. For instance, some cheesemongers grate imperfect cheddar cheese. Saying that, not all cheese can be grated. Some farmers can count on charities but they need surplus to be collected everyday. So there is still a portion of food that is wasted.
How is your business doing?
The business is going very well. We cater for events from 40 to 400 guests in London and now in the countryside as well. The events are sometimes organised by social businesses or charities who deal with people who are already aware of food waste issues. We also have corporate and private clients. The clients and their guests are happy to learn about the story of the ingredients and contribute to reducing food waste. There is a real demand for sustainable eating.
What kind of containers are you using to serve food?
We serve canapés, i.e. cocktail food, on wooden boards. The portions are easy to prepare and it is very unlikely that they are not consumed.
For lunches, we display the food in medium-size bamboo sharing bowls. It helps the guests take the portion they want. If necessary, we can refill the bowls. It helps to control the portions per guest and reduce waste. Waste is normally very common where you organise a buffet. 
We do not use single use plastic. We provide compostable plates and cutlery and bins for compostable items. We then take back the bins to our warehouse for our recycling company to collect them to produce compost.
How do you deliver food? 
We deliver on our cargo bike for cocktails up to 100 guests. For bigger events, we have a partnership with an electric taxi company.
The Inspiration 👏
Cantine sans plastique is an association created in 2018 by French parents. They are campaigning against the use of plastic in the preparation of food (ex. use of plastic trays) as well in the distribution of food in school canteens.
Why? Because food shouldn’t be contaminated with plastic, especially food served to young children and babies who are particularly vulnerable to hormone disruptors such as bisphenol A.
Following the mobilisation of Cantine sans plastique, in 2018, French MPs voted a bill banning the use of plastic in school canteens from 2025.
Meanwhile parents are keeping the pressure up on their kids’ school locally and fighting to get rid of plastic well before 2025. In Nantes, after a six-month battle waged by parents, the town council agreed last May to phase out plastic plates and glasses by 2020. However, parents won’t stop their campaign until plastic is also removed from food preparation as well.
The Events 🙌
Saturday 19th October : International Repair Day in Brixton
To celebrate the third edition of International Repair Day, The Restart Project is running a special Restart Party at its Brixton home.
The theme of the day is Repair for Future!
At this event, we’ll be repairing with participants all their broken electrical and electronic devices – as usual. But there will be much more. London repair businesses have been invited to showcase their work in live repair demonstrations.
For more details on the programme click here.
Check out the Restart Project website for more details on this charity founded in London in 2013.
What time? 11am-3pm
Where? 6 Canterbury Crescent, London, SW9 7QD (closest tube: Brixton)
Saturday 19th October : Kingsbury clothes switch (#FREE)
This event is organised by the West London Waste Authority, which is responsible for disposing of waste collected by the London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames.
Each person must bring at least one good quality item of clothing, shoes or accessories to take part – maximum 10.
As you arrive, you will be asked to exchange your items for Swishing tokens (1 item = 1 token).
All items must be in a good condition – something that has shrunk, is stained or needs repairing (e.g. missing buttons, broken zips, loose sequins or beading, rips, tears, fabric pulls or holes, bobbly bits, disintegrating seams or hems, lint or fluff) will not be accepted.
Nightwear, swimwear and underwear including socks will not be accepted.
What time? 1pm-3.30 pm
Where? Kingsbury Baptist Church, Slough Lane, Kingsbury, NW9 8QG
The Petition ✍
Do you remember the two sisters who appeared on BBC War on Plastic last June ?
Less than a year ago, Ella and Caitlin McEwan launched a petition asking McDonald’s and Burger King to stop giving plastic toys to children. Their petition gathered more than half a million signatures.
Their message has been taken on board! From today, all plastic toys offered in children’s meals at UK branches of Burger King will be removed. The restaurant estimates this will save approximately 320 tonnes of plastic waste a year.
From next month, McDonald’s customers can swap the plastic toys given in children’s Happy Meals for a fruit bag, and from next year, for a book.
As Greta Thunberg says, no one is too small to make a difference. I highly recommend this small book that compiles Greta’s speeches.
Do you have a waste reducing business or charity?
Have you recently opened a zero waste shop in London?
Please let me know! I'd love to hear from you.
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