Brits want money to do Good as Ocean Cleanup a success

Written by Lori Campbell on 7th Oct 2019

The majority of Brits want their investments to be aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) finds a new study, as an ocean-cleaning contraption removes waste from Great Pacific garbage patch for first time. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola has unveiled its first bottle made with marine plastic, National Theatre announces that it’s cutting ties with Shell, and a British Heart Foundation study reveals first-time buyers can’t afford to furnish their homes when they move in. Lori Campbell rounds up the top sustainable stories of the week.


Two thirds of Brits want their investments aligned with SDGs

More than two-thirds of UK investors want their portfolios to solely support projects driving progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new study has found.

The ‘Investing in a Better World’ survey, published by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), asked more than 60,000 UK-based adults with some form of savings or investments for their views on ethical, social and governance (ESG) issues.

More than two thirds said they want their investments to deliver positive returns for the environment (70 per cent) and for society (75 per cent), as well as for their wallets.

In order to ensure this, just over half of the respondents said they are looking into investing through dedicated sustainable finance offerings “immediately” or “in the near future”. Moreover, around half are planning to switch their pension fund if they find it is invested in a way which contradicts their personal ethics.

To find out how to switch your pension for Good, download our free Good Guide to Pensions.


Ocean cleaning contraption removes waste from Great Pacific garbage patch for first time

An ocean-cleaning contraption has successfully removed large quantities of plastic from an enormous island of rubbish in the Pacific Ocean for the first time.

The creator of the system, 25-year-old Dutch inventor and engineer, Boyan Slat, says the device successfully captured large pieces of flotsam, including ghost nets, office chairs, plastic helmets and tyres from the Great Pacific garbage patch. He said it had also caught large quantities of microplastics.

The technology, based on a large line of cork floats suspending a huge skirt hanging below it, requires no power and depends on the movement of the sea to push it through the rubbish.

Mr Slat first announced his plans to attempt to use passive technology to pick up litter from the ocean in 2012.


Coca-Cola unveils its first bottle made with marine plastic

Coca-Cola has unveiled its first bottle made with plastic retrieved from the sea.

The company says the move is to demonstrate that “one day, even ocean debris could be used in recycled packaging for food or drinks”. The drinks giant has created 300 sample bottles featuring 25 per cent recycled plastic retrieved from the Mediterranean Sea and beaches in Spain and Portugal.

It was “the first-ever plastic bottle made using marine plastic that has been successfully recycled for use in food and drink packaging” claimed Coca-Cola – which made the pack in partnership with ‘clean tech’ business Ioniqa Technologies, chemicals company Indorama Ventures, and Mares Circulares (Circular Seas), an initiative to clear marine litter.

The company’s GB arm announced last month it would move from plastic shrink wrap for its multipack cans to 100 per cent recyclable cardboard, changing 30 million packs.


National Theatre to end Shell funding

The National Theatre is to end funding from oil giant Shell after declaring a climate emergency.

Shell was one of 19 companies holding a corporate gold membership, meaning it contributed between £15,000-£30,000 per year to the London theatre.

“The scale of the change required means we are already scrutinising every part of the way we operate,” the venue said. The move comes days after the Royal Shakespeare Company ended its partnership with BP.

Shell’s current contribution to the National Theatre is on a smaller scale than the BP deal, which subsidised £5 tickets for young people to visit the RSC. Arts organisations have come under increasing pressure from campaigners to cut ties with energy companies.

“Shell have been valued and longstanding supporters of the National Theatre, most recently as corporate members – this membership will come to an end in June 2020,” the venue said. The theatre also set out steps to become carbon neutral and to stage shows that “galvanise positive change”.


First-time buyers can’t afford to furnish their homes, reveals study  

More than half of first-time buyers and renters (58 per cent) can’t afford to furnish their homes when they move in, according to a new British Heart Foundation (BHF) survey.

Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) say that the interior look of their homes has a negative impact on their wellbeing. However, nearly six in ten overlook the opportunity to buy second-hand in order to save money (59 per cent)

The survey of over 2000 first time buyers and renters in the UK found that at least one in four (24 per cent) wait weeks or months before getting key furniture items they need to live comfortably.

The survey is part of the BHF’s Reuse Revolution campaign, which is encouraging the nation to shop, upcycle and donate second hand furniture.


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