Environment left counting the costa coffee cups

SO last night I watched Hugh Fernly-What's-his-face on the BBC. I forget the exact name of the programme, ought to be called Britain's Recycling Hell or something of that ilk, Counting the Costa Coffee, How to Save a Few (Star) Bucks. Something like that. I started watching it through lack of anything else to watch.... and ended up feeling pretty outratged.

For anyone who didn't see it, the UK's coffee chains (largely Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Caffe Nero) - along with Amazon in a separate issue - got a bit of a hammering. For the coffee chains it was over one thing. Their cups. Which despite their protestations, misleading statements and ambigous policies are not, it would seem, recyclable.

I mean, they are recyclable.... if you have a very specific recycling facility available, which there isn't. And so they aren't, not really. But of course they are, technically, which it seems has allowed them to suggest to the public at large that they are recyclable because they technically are. But of course the public thinks if something is recyclable, then it is recycled, regularly by many people. Which this isn't.

Follow? In summary, they're not recyclable because only one plant in the UK can take those sort of cups, because of the 'plastic film' used to make them water-tight. And that plant hardly does any. We have a similar situation at Sirane with nylon packaging. We get asked 'is nylon recyclable?'.... well technically yes, if there's a nylon recycling faciilty in your town or city. Which is shorthand for 'no, not really'. If there's one recycling plant in Uzbekistan, and I sell a nylon bag to a man in Stockholm, it's a bit rich for me to try and claim that the bag is recyclable. 

As they showed on the programme, it is possible to make take-away cup which is recyclable. So why don't they... probably because it would cost another penny per cup, and so because they have been allowed to get away with it, they don't in order to save money. I guess in a year, whatever the difference is (1p was entirely my supposition...) it adds up.

It will be interesting to see this one pan out. He won his battle last year on wonky veg, persuading a number of supermarkets to start selling 'less than perfect' veg and some to relax their stringent guidance for growers, which has stopped so much perfectly healthy veg being thrown away or left to rot in the fields. He did so by getting the public on board. I suspect he might win this one too in the long-term.

And for anyone interested in what the section of the programme on Amazon was about, it was boxed. Ludicrously oversized boxes.


One out of two's not bad.... (is that a Meatloaf song?)

SO, what's that saying, ' a week's a long time in politics'. If a week's a long time in politics normally, the last month must have been a lifetime. To say a lot's happened would be the understatement of the century...

Brexit was followed swiftly by Camerexit which was rapidly followed by Boxit. For a while it looked like a game of last man (or woman) standing.... perhaps the major surprise in it all was the fact that it wasn't the rest of the Conservative party which delivered the crushing blow to Boris, but Michael 'beloved by teachers across the UK said without a hint of sarcasm' Gove.

The way the Brexit camp flapped when they stunned the world by winning was laughable - after all, where I come from in Yorkshire there's a saying ' if ye Brexit, ye fix it'. I say stunned the world, some predicted it... *insert the words I told you so here if you wish... and I was one of them. You could just sense the way it was going, despite what the pollsters said. And regular readers will recall it was part of a double prediction... I also boldly stated Belgium would win the Euros. Oh well, as Meatloaf nearly sang, 1/2 is not bad. And to be fair, Belgium should have won the Euros, they just blew it against the Welsh.

Anyway, here we are today, with Boris back.... and now he's foreign secretary. Interesting move. It's not like he's offended most of the world at some point. Prince Philip would have been a safer bet, even Donald Trump's got a better track record in foreign relations... no actually hang on yes, you're right, it could actually have been worse...

So what else has been going on.... Andy Murray won Wimbledon again. At a canter.... sales of strawberries no-doubt went through the roof. There's a rumour he even cracked a smile.

And here at Sirane we finally took posession of our new premises in Mexico. Guadalajara to be precise... which has got people very excited (and busy in some cases) as we look to begin manufacturing there in September. The Sirane Central America team have already got their first trade show pencilled in - Aneberries in Guadalajara - and they have big plans for the region.

The plan is to start making absorbent fruit pads to serve the local market, and build from there, and with Guadalajara positioned on the Pan-American Highway, connecting it with North and South America by road, as well as having a major international airport, there's plenty of potential to build a great business, not just with fruit but across the whole food packaging spectrum.

But anyway, exciting times.... both politically and here at Sirane. Be interesting to see how all these things pan out...


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