‘Attenborough effect’ slashes plastic use as UK emissions rage

Written by Lori Campbell on 15th Apr 2019

The ‘Attenborough effect’ has lead to a dramatic 53 per cent fall in the use of disposable plastic, suggests a new study, as the UK’s emissions are linked to annual Arctic sea ice loss larger than four major British cities. Investment provider Wealthsimple rewards investors who sign up to a Junior ISA in the same month as the Royal baby is born, impact investment app tickr is named one of the world’s most innovative companies, and UK start-up Ripple Energy launches a crowdfunding drive to build a wind farm model that enables investors to directly source their renewable energy. Lori Campbell rounds up the top sustainable stories of the week. 


The ‘Attenborough effect’: single-use plastic falls 53 per cent

A new study has suggested that David Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet II’ television series, aired between 2017 and 2018, has led to a staggering 53 per cent reduction in the consumption of single-use plastic.

The BBC programme, which highlights the shocking scale of ocean pollution, is thought to have encouraged consumers to be more conscious of the waste they produce.

The survey by analysts GlobalWebIndex found that more than half of the 3,833 adults polled (across the UK and US) have reduced the amount of single-use plastic they use in the last year.

While 83 per cent of people aged between 55 and 64 thought affordability was important, only 63 per cent of those aged between 16 and 24 thought it was a barrier to going green.

Chase Buckle, Trends Manager at GlobalWebIndex, said: “The younger generations grew up during the height of the sustainability crisis with high-profile, environmentalist documentaries widely available on content platforms.”


UK emissions linked to annual Arctic ice loss larger than four cities


The UK’s carbon emissions in 2018 caused the loss of 1000km2 of Arctic sea ice – the same as four major British cities combined.

The area of sea ice lost is greater in size than the total land covered by Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham, according to the new study by environmental charity WWF.

Previous research by WWF concluded that the Arctic is warming more than twice as fast as the global average of 1C over the past century. This has led to ice sheets melting, sea levels rising and habitats and biodiversity to be lost.

However, this is the first time that the UK’s carbon footprint, which has been on a 1.5 per cent year-on-year decline, has been directly linked to this phenomenon in quantifiable terms.


Wealthsimple launches Royal baby promotion  


Digital investment provider Wealthsimple is offering no fees for a year to Junior ISA (JISA) customers who sign up in the same month the Royal baby is born.

With a JISA, parents (along with friends and family) can save for their child’s future by depositing up to £4,368 tax-free per year. The account is then transferred to the child when they turn 18.

Brian Byrnes, Investment Adviser at Wealthsimple, said: “We hope that by offering this Royal baby promotion we can inspire more parents who’ve been considering investing for their children to get started and keep encouraging those who’ve already opened an account to keep going.”

Parents can start saving with a Wealthsimple JISA for as little as £1 and can do so using the firm’s socially responsible portfolio, which contains a basket of passive index trackers that exclude typical sin stocks including tobacco and chemical weapons and limit exposure to fossil fuels.


Impact investment app tickr named one of the world’s most innovative companies

Impact investment app tickr has been named as one of the world’s most innovative companies by the WEALTHTECH 100.

tickr was selected from more than 1,000 businesses that were reviewed and analysed by data research firm FinTech Global. The WEALTHTECH 100 is an annual list of 100 of the world’s most innovative WealthTech companies selected by a panel of industry experts and analysts.

The Liverpool-based app, which launched in December 2108, allows users to invest in businesses that address issues such as climate change and gender equality, or into disruptive technology companies that are fundamentally driving positive change in people’s lives.

tickr is this month launching a crowdfunding campaign through Seedrs, to further develop the app and user base, including building a visual newsfeed giving users an interactive overview of the companies in their portfolio.


Ripple Energy launches crowdfund for ‘unique’ wind farm ownership model

UK start-up Ripple Energy has launched a crowdfunding drive to build a wind farm that allows investors to directly source their renewable energy.

The unique model enables customers to become both co-owners and direct energy users of onshore wind projects across the UK. Ripple Energy aims to raise at least £750,000 in exchange for 23.21 per cent of the company through a Seedrs online crowdfunding campaign.

The funds will be used to hire more staff, as well as to complete development of the business model. The idea is to enable people to become co-owners of new onshore wind farms, from which they can then directly source cheaper, clean electricity via dedicated energy tariffs.

Funding raised through the crowdfunding campaign will also help market Ripple Energy’s first pilot wind project later in 2019 with the capacity to supply around 800 households, followed by a full-scale wind farm in early 2020 to supply more than 18,000 households.

Meanwhile, a British court has shut down UK Renewable Investments (UKRI) after it failed to pay back millions of pounds of investor funds.


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