Fantastic Sustainability News – 30.1.23

Shining a Light on Great Sustainability Work

Every week, Play It Green delivers the most fantastic sustainability news we can find to shine a light on the good being done.

Mainstream media is focusing on the negative and makes people think it is all doom and gloom and this is not true.

Positives are happening everywhere and if we all play our part, through education, positive actions and conscious thought, we can all create change.

With that being said, here are three sustainability news stories to give us all a positive feeling for the future.


Fantastic Sustainability News from Shopify

Shopify report that both consumers and businesses now recognise the appeal of offering sustainable practices in their operations.

The recent survey conducted by global commerce company Shopify finds that shoppers’ tastes are becoming more refined in the face of climate change.

Despite rising living costs, sustainable shopping is becoming increasingly popular, according to the report.


Shopify surveyed over 24,000 consumers as well as 9,000 small and medium-sized businesses to reach this conclusion.

The key findings are as follows: 62% of consumers will not compromise on their green ethos.

This is despite rising costs and economic uncertainty.

Furthermore, 82% of businesses agree that sustainability and improved company performance are related factors.

Stacy Kauk, Shopify’s Head of Sustainability says:

“This report shows climate consciousness is driving purchasing decisions, even in challenging economic times.

For both business and the climate, it’s in everyone’s interest to implement practices like carbon-neutral shipping and support for emerging sustainability solutions.”


Fantastic Sustainability News - Gen Z are driving sustainable shopping
Gen Z are driving sustainable shopping

This shift is driven by younger generations: 59% of Gen Z shoppers and 61% of millennials are more environmentally conscious in their purchasing habits.

Moreover, 31% of those polled intended to be more environmentally conscious in the coming year.

This is a great indicator of the sustainable change coming, both in terms of consumer habits and incoming legislation.

It’s also fantastic sustainability news for everyone looking for positives today!


Fantastic Sustainability News about a New Plastic Recycling Pilot

Maldon District Council is the third local authority to join the FPF FlexCollect project, which aims to collect ‘flexible’ plastics.

This includes plastic bags, confectionery wrappers, foil-lined packaging, plastic film, and other items.

Approximately 6,500 households will receive the new service as part of normal fortnightly recycling collections.

Flexible plastic poses a significant challenge because it will account for 22% of all UK consumer plastic packaging in 2020.


Fantastic Sustainability News About a New Recycling Pilot
Flexible plastic recycling pilot rolls out for 6500 homes

Unfortunately, only 8% is recycled from kerbside collections.

The FPF FlexCollect project, which began in May 2022, is the UK’s most extensive pilot for household collection and recycling of flexible plastic.

The £3 million FlexCollect initiative, is co-managed by a collaboration that includes the project’s co-funders, Ecosurety, Recoup, SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, and WRAP.

Gareth Morton, Discovery Manager at Ecosurety says:

“We are really pleased to usher in the new year with Maldon District Council’s participation in the FPF FlexCollect project.

It is really exciting and encouraging to have local authorities coming on board and see the project momentum building. 

Ultimately, this project will benefit communities right across England.”


The project is seeing a significant rise in interest and counts a number of household names such as Mars, Abel and Cole and Ocado involved.

If successful, the initiative will hopefully be rolled out across the UK and will answer one of the significant issues around recycling.

Amazing sustainability news for the future of plastic recycling and for the future of our planet!


Amazing Sustainability News for the Steelmaking Industry

The iron and steel industry contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 9% of global emissions.

This is due to the inherent carbon-intensive nature of steel production in blast furnaces, which is currently the most widely used method.

But in more amazing sustainability news, scientists at the University of Birmingham have developed a new innovative process for existing furnaces.


Incredibly, the new process it would appear can reduce steelmaking’s CO2 emissions by nearly 90%.

The new innovation was developed by Dr Harriet Kildahl and Professor Yulong Ding.

They aim to convert most of the waste CO2 emissions into carbon monoxide.

This gas can then be reused in the steel-making process, vastly reducing the environmental waste output!

The researchers believe that if this method was implemented in the UK’s remaining two blast furnaces, it could save £1.28 billion in five years.

Not only that, but it would reduce the country’s overall emissions by 2.9%.

Professor Ding says:

“The system we are proposing can be retrofitted to existing plants, which reduces the risk of stranded assets, and both the reduction in CO2, and the cost savings, are seen immediately.”


Fantastic Sustainability News for the Steelmaking Industry could lower it's emissions by 90%
Innovation means the steelmaking Industry could lower its emissions by 90%

This is brilliant sustainability news and best of all it’s an innovation that can be retrofitted meaning costs are reduced.

Furthermore, lower costs usually mean better uptake.

That’s a wrap for this week.

Three fantastic sustainability news stories to give us all more hope for the future.

Changing behaviours, innovation and new local government actions that all point to a more sustainable way of doing things.


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