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Ford Research and Innovation Center have been melting a mixture of McDonald's coffee chaff and polymer to create car parts. Watch as Debbie Mielewski, Senior Technical Leader of Sustainable Materials for Ford, takes Ian Olson, Senior Director of Sustainability for McDonald's, on a trip to understanding the steps to using McDonald's coffee chaff.

To mark Valeport's 50th anniversary as a UK manufacturer of hydrometric and oceanographic instruments, the Devon based company is supporting a campaign to protect the vital 'underwater rainforest' of seagrass which is under threat off Tor Bay, at England's south west coast.

The #SaveOurSeagrass research project aims to secure its future for the next two years as well as providing instruments and expertise to the programme.

Valeport has partnered with a UK coastal zoo and aquarium to help protect seagrass, a remarkable plant that flowers underwater and forms dense meadows in shallow coastal areas. These meadows capture carbon at a greater rate than tropical forests, making them important in combating climate change. And like coral reefs and rainforests, these underwater gardens are full of life, but are under threat – with global estimates suggesting the planet loses an area of seagrass the same size as two football pitches every hour.

Dame Helen Mirren has helped renew efforts to keep plant disease Xylella fastidiosa out of the UK in 2020 – the UN's International Year of Plant Health - narrating a new animation (watch it at end of article) that warns of the devastation it causes, including the death of millions of olive trees in Europe.

Launched by BRIGIT, a consortium of 12 universities and research institutes led by the John Innes Centre and including the RHS and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, the four-minute animation is intended to educate the public about the insect-borne disease, the symptoms to look out for, and the risks of bringing plants back from abroad. Helen Mirren has witnessed first-hand the impact of the disease on businesses and communities in Puglia, Italy and has previously urged gardeners to purchase plants sourced or grown in the UK.

plant disease warns dame helen mirrenXylella is a bacterium that infects more than 500 species of plant causing leaf scorch, wilt, die-back and plant death. There is no known cure for the disease. Xylella is not present in the UK but the public is being asked to look out for symptoms and to report them to the TreeAlert service (treealert.forestresearch.gov.uk) when the cause cannot be explained by other factors, such as frost damage, drought or other common pests and diseases.

If Xylella were found in the UK, all host plants within a 100m range would be destroyed and there would be a ban on the movement of a wider range of plants within a 5km range.

Advice to help prevent the introduction of Xylella includes:
• Source new plants carefully, where possible purchase plants grown in the UK
• Propagate your own plants from seeds or cuttings
• Check plants for signs of disease before purchase and monitor the health of new plants
• Never bring plants back with you from abroad

Dame Helen Mirren said: "Xylella is a dreadful plant disease that has devastated businesses, communities and entire landscapes. Understanding what you can do to help keep it out of the UK is an important first step in protecting our precious plants for the future."

Gerard Clover, Impact and Engagement Manager, BRIGIT said: "Government and industry have long warned of the threat to our landscape and economy from Xylella but we shouldn't be complacent. The disease continues to spread within Europe causing more than a billion euros worth of damage and gardeners must be vigilant and report changes in the health of plants in their gardens."

For more information about Xylella and BRIGIT visit: www.jic.ac.uk/brigit/

legacy of pennine minesThree projects to tackle the water pollution in North East England's major rivers caused by historical metal mining in the North Pennines are due to be substantially completed by the spring.

The works – at Garrigill culvert, Carrshield tailings dam and Nenthead car park – are part of the Water and Abandoned Metal Mines (WAMM) programme.They include stabilising river banks, reconnecting culverts and reshaping spoil heaps, to prevent several tonnes of lead, zinc and cadmium from entering the River Tyne each year.

Metal mines played a major part in Britain's history, but abandoned mines now pollute our rivers and harm aquatic wildlife, such as fish and river flies. In the Northumbria River Basin District they affect around 340km of watercourse, including the River Tyne, River Tees and River Wear, and their tributaries.

WAMM is a partnership between the Coal Authority and the Environment Agency, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.

Non-profit organisation City to Sea is launching 'Be a Good A**hole,' a campaign taking a stand against the use of wet wipes and their damaging impact on the planet.

wet wipes flush campaignThe charity have partnered with world-famous actor and voice of Gollum, Andy Serkis, to voice over a short film featuring an animated talking a**hole that calls on people to dispose of wet wipes responsibly.

The campaign is raising awareness about wet wipes polluting our waterways and oceans, and pushing our sewage system to breaking point. While 'fatbergs' get the headlines, in reality they're made up of just 0.5% fat, and a whopping 93% baby wipes, and in 2018, the UK used over 10.8bn wet wipes. This inspired City to Sea to take action and call on people to Be a Good A**hole.

See the video  here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcaAeDrOwI8&feature=youtu.be


ribena sustainable biodiversityThird-generation blackcurrant grower, and former president of the RHS, Giles Coode-Adams explains how he and 34 other growers are embracing the Ribena Biodiversity Action Plan, which involves taking a minimum of six important steps that ensure they’re farming blackcurrants in the most sustainable way possible.


Watch the video from this link https://www.lrsuntory.com/blog/our-community/watch-sustainable-farming-in-practice/

david attenborough websmall"The question is a moral one, what right do you have to destroy the world?" asks World Land Trust's patron, Sir David Attenborough, as he discusses this in a captivating new video, shown below:


Knostrop STF - Overview 1Yorkshire Water have been treating sewage from Leeds at their Knostrop treatment works for 100 years, but are changing from sewage sludge incineration, using masses of carbon-unfriendly fuel oil, to a £72 million anaerobic digester which will be able to recycle 94% of Leeds' sewage sludge and generate 55% of the power needed to run the site on a daily basis!

Leeds Central MP, Hilary Benn and Leeds North MP, Alex Sobel were at the official opening alongside members of Leeds Council. Hilary Benn said: “The opening of the new anaerobic digestion plant at Knostrop treatment works is a really important investment in our future. By recycling 94% of the sewage sludge in Leeds to create enough electricity to power over half of the treatment works’ energy needs, this scheme is helping to create a lower carbon future in the Lower Aire Valley.”

Yorkshire Water Director of Waste Water Delivery, Ben Roche explains the new facility in the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HnlcnNtYsw

chalk stream salad washingDisharges from a salad washing factory whose products end up nationwide in supermarkets may present a serious threat to aquatic invertebrate life on a highly protected English chalkstream.

The issue was featured recently on the BBC's Countryfile programme after the Environment Agency’s investigation was prompted by the results of Salmon and Trout Conservation (S&TC’s) invertebrate sampling at a site immediately downstream of the factory's outflows. 

The threat from these activities was highlighted by Joe Crowley on the BBC’s Countryfile Chalkstream Special, its is 14 minutes into the programme
, and can be viewed until mid July on BBC's iPlayer by clicking the link below.


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