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How to turn litter on a beach into endless cups of tea

October 2, 2019

In the summer, UK beaches are like magnets, attracting people from far and wide, with the lure of fish and chips, ice creams and a brave dip in the sea. But, as the crowds get bigger, so, unfortunately, does the volume of waste. Which is really bad news for marine life and the wider environment.

Beach CleanSo, at Printwaste, we wanted to do something to tackle this head on. And this is where ProCook came in. We’ve worked with cookware and kitchenware supplier, ProCook, for a while now, taking care of their waste management and helping them maximise their recycling rates. They’ve also been busy setting up their own charity, Life’s a Beach, to support the eradication of single-use plastics from UK shores. As part of this, they organise beach cleans to remove litter and protect our beaches. So, of course, we wanted to get involved!

Fast forward to August 8th this year and both companies headed to Sand Bay Beach, just north of Weston-super-Mare. To make sure the clean was as successful as possible, we provided the whole team with polythene bags beforehand, and explained how best to sort the collected waste streams. We were expecting the usual suspects – sweet wrappers, fizzy drink cans and food packaging – and we definitely found them. But, we also came across some more peculiar items, including a metal roasting tin and a message in a bottle.

Within just one hour, we collected 25kgs of litter off the beach. After separating the waste, we then sent the recyclable materials off for reprocessing. And, to avoid them ending up in landfill, we sent the non-recyclable materials to a Waste-to-Energy plant.  Waste-to-Energy is an environmentally-friendly alternative to landfill, which turns non-recyclable waste items into electricity. And, from the litter we collected, we were able to generate 15.625 kWh of electricity. That’s enough to boil 156 kettles and make 1,250 cups of tea!

The beach clean is a great example of how, by working together, we can protect our planet and conserve vital resources from the waste we generate. Who’d have thought some sweet wrappers and a metal roasting tin could be turned into electricity? But, these beach cleans wouldn’t happen without ProCook, who fund them via the sale of their Life’s a Beach range of products, available on their website, in store and on Amazon. 10% of every sale goes towards the charity, so do take a look at all of the amazing work they’re doing to remove plastics from our beaches.

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