UK gets set for Net Zero as Tesco slashes the plastic

Written by Lori Campbell on 4th Nov 2019

The treasury launches the UK’s first ever Net Zero review to measure the cost of achieving zero emissions by 2050, Tesco is to remove one billion items of plastic from its UK stores, and the UK’s largest community solar farm gets £16 million in funding. Meanwhile, wealth management app Moneybox offers shares in itself for pension transfers and a new report reveals how a third of young Brits are trapped in a debt cycle that sees them using credit cards to pay bills each month. 

Treasury launches first ever Net Zero Review

The first ever Net Zero review has been launched by the treasury to measure the cost of decarbonisation. It marks the first formal government step towards the UK achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

The review, announced by Chancellor, will assess how the UK can manage the transition to a low-carbon economy. It aims to determine how the UK can maximise economic growth opportunities associated with the transition to net-zero carbon, and will include an assessment of how to reduce costs for low income households in the move towards a net-zero.

An interim report will be published in the Spring with a final report coming ahead of the UK hosting the COP26 UN Climate Change conference in Glasgow in November 2020.

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Tesco to remove one billion plastic pieces by end of 2020

Tesco is to remove one billion pieces of plastic from its UK stores by the end of 2020.

The supermarket giant will stop providing small plastic bags for loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items and offer paper ones instead. Plastic trays from ready meals, secondary lids on products such as cream, yoghurts and cereals, sporks and straws from snack pots and drinks cartons will all be removed or replaced with alternative materials.

More than 200 million pieces of plastic used for packaging on clothing and greeting cards in Tesco stores will also be removed.

Tesco’s chief executive Dave Lewis said: “Our work to Remove, Reduce, Reuse & Recycle is already transforming our packaging. Over the next twelve months, we will remove one billion pieces of plastic, further reducing the environmental impact of the products we sell.

£16m for UK’s largest community solar farm

The UK’s biggest community-owned solar farm has agreed a refinancing deal worth more than £16 million.

The Warwickshire farm, which has 60,000 solar panels, will receive £12 million from ethical bank Triodos and £4.3 million from Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC).

The Heart of England Community Energy (HECE) solar farm is co-located with 3MW of battery storage operated by Zenobe, allowing the site to generate clean energy and provide flexible power to the National Grid.

Profits from the solar farm are used to support a fuel poverty advice service run by local charity Act on Energy, as well as a community grant fund. The project was originally developed by Anseco before being bought by community interest company HECE.

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Moneybox offers shares in itself for pension transfers

Wealth management platform Moneybox is offering ‘free shares’ in itself to customers who transfer in their old pensions.

Following a successful trial with a small group of existing customers, the equity offer has now been rolled out to anyone with an up-to-date version of the Moneybox app.

Launched in 2016, Moneybox initially helped investors and savers to put accumulated spare change into an investment portfolio. This included a standard stocks and shares ISA as well as, more recently, the Lifetime ISA (LISA). In 2019 it launched its pensions offering taking on the likes of PensionBee.

A spokesman said: “For the first time, we’re offering free Moneybox shares to our community. It’s a bit like crowdfunding but instead of paying for your shares, you just need to transfer one of your old pensions to us.”

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A third of young Brits use credit cards to pay bills, reveals new report

A third of 18 to 34 year olds in the UK use their credit cards to pay bills, a new study has found.

The report by 118 118 Money showed young adults are trapped in a debt cycle that sees them use their credit cards to meet the cost of living. More than half (50.9 per cent) buy clothes with credit, with 47 per cent putting groceries on their card. A small number (four per cent) even admitted to paying their monthly mortgage or rent with a credit card.

The research looked at the credit card habits of the UK public and found that 60 per cent of Brits actively use their credit cards on a regular basis.

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