Is Canterbury becoming more environmentally friendly?

The city of Canterbury is making progress in becoming more environmentally conscious, I have noticed an increase in high street stores taking the right initiative to help save the planet.

As a result of increased population and technological developments that change the way we live our lives, the sustainability of our planet has never been more in danger. From the release of harmful emissions to incredible levels of waste – it’s becoming intolerable.

Generation Z are notoriously fighting for environmental change to encourage countries to be more sustainable and tackle the global issue. Governments and local authorities are feeling the pressure of their citizens now more than ever.

I wanted to take a closer look in to my hometown city, Canterbury to see if there really is evident progress.

Lost Sheep Coffee

Founder of Lost Sheep Coffee, Stuart Wilson has taken coffee to a whole new natural step by developing what he claims to be the first Nespresso-compatible compostable capsule made from lignin – a waste product from the paper industry which has the ability to rot into nothing within a matter of weeks.

His inspiration? Becoming a father.

“When I started searching this some of the figures I read were just staggering. One said in excess of 500 million capsules every year go to landfill. It blows your mind.” He told KentOnline.

“My little girl is 20-months-old, and her generation is going to inherit this whole environmental issue. I didn’t want to be part of that problem.”

Compostable capsules from Stuart Wilson in Lost Sheep Coffee

Stuart went on to explain how Lost Sheep Coffee got many requests for machine compatible pods but was not keen on using single-use plastics or aluminium pods.

This is inspiring progress for larger corporations such as Nespresso and Tassimo to ditch their plastic and find more innovative ways to help the planet.

Stuart Wilson did not create the first ever compostable coffee pods by all means, but it is the first air-tight compostable Nespresso-compatible capsule.

Lost Sheep Coffee use specialty coffee which is graded the top 5% in the world so offering a long shelf life by ensuring the capsules are air-tight is very important to the local company.

The way to use a compostable coffee pod is incredibly simple too, so don’t be put off by that. Once you’ve used your capsule, you throw it in your food waste bin and 12 weeks later it’s gone.

The Body Shop

The beauty industry is filled with products in plastic, surrounded by tissue paper in a cardboard box. It all looks amazing until they’re thrown straight in the bin.

Landfills aren’t quite so attractive.

Last year it was reported that 20 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the cosmetics industry. Most of which isn’t even recyclable.

All this packaging ends up in landfills which has had a catastrophic affect on marine life. The UN last year even declared our current situation a planetary crisis. People have started to take note and want sustainable and biodegradable products.

 

This has provoked a change in some the the biggest leading companies in the beauty industry including Loreal and Johnson & Johnson.

The Body Shop has joined in as its announced they will purchase 250 tonnes of Community Trade recycled plastic, from Bengaluru, India. Helping both people and the planet.

They will use the plastic for three million 250ml haircare bottles by the end of 2019, which marks the start of an even wider ambition to introduce Community Trade Recycled plastic across all plastic used by The Body Shop within three years.

Lee Mann, global community trade manager for The Body Shop explained that the new scheme is in line with the principles the store has continuously championed since its inception.

This is a step in the right direction for the already vegan and cruelty free high street store.

Morrisons

Morrisons, Canterbury has launched paper bags and has increased their plastic bags by 50%. The supermarket chain said the paper bags which can be reused and recycled have been introduced due to customer demand.

James Austwick which works at Morrisons in Canterbury told The Canterbury Hub: “The paper bags are a great alternative to the plastic ones we’ve been selling. My main issue with the paper bags is their survivability… water ruins them.

Customers are generally happy about the change, people like to do their bit for the environment. You do get the odd complaint here and there, but overall customers are satisfied.

Its a good start.”

There definitely has been progress made with these kind of initiatives. According to government figures in 2018, the number of single-use carrier bags sold per year by the seven main supermarket chains – Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, M&S, the Co-op and Waitrose alongside Morrisons has dropped to just over £1bn.

When you consider before mandatory charges were introduced in 2015 for plastic bags they were at a staggering £7bn, changes like this have the ability to make all the difference.