9th Dec, 2016
There have been huge changes in environmental attitudes in recent decades, and we’re seeing great results already.
With the news that the ozone layer is beginning to heal, there’s no doubt that we’ve taken some massive steps towards becoming more environmentally friendly in the past few years. This is thanks to not only our steadily changing attitudes, but the new technologies that are advancing too. (We were going to just write an article on the advances in skip technology over the last few years, but it would have been quite short.) Of course, there’s always more to be done – but let’s take a moment to examine some of the things we’ve already achieved.
As we just mentioned, a major discovery of this year is that the ozone layer is actually beginning to heal. Back in June, scientists announced that over the last sixteen years, the breach has shrunk by more than 1.5 million square miles. That’s about half the size of the main American landmass! The scientific community is crediting this to a continuing decline in harmful chemical compounds found in aerosols and household appliances. These compounds were banned by the internationally binding Montreal Protocol, which was signed by nations across the planet back in 1987. Happily, its effects have been demonstrably successful.
Looking closer to home, in the UK we’re already seeing our skips being sent to the first Recycling and Energy Recovery facilities, introduced to help minimise the waste we send to landfill. Though their principle is simple, the technology they use is incredibly sophisticated. First, waste is removed from black bin bags and shredded. Then, using various automated systems and processes, any recyclable material is systematically separated and stored for reuse. The remaining waste is incinerated in a way that powers a central turbine, generating 11MW of electricity to the national grid: enough to power 11,000 homes. The turbine is also capable of generating heat instead, which would then be used to get us all through these chilly winter months. The ash left over from the original incineration is already being widely used in the construction industry as a quarrying material, and the entire facility monitors itself to make sure it doesn’t exceed UK or EU regulations in its air emissions. It’s very likely we’ll be seeing a lot more of these types of facilities in future, as we continue moving towards an ever-greener future.
The EV (electric vehicle) industry is another that’s seen a massive boost over the last few years. Due to sustained government and private investment, especially over the last ten years, they’ve enjoyed a significant increase in sales, both in the UK and worldwide. As recently as 2013, the campaigns put into place were still gaining momentum, with 3500 electric cars on Britain’s streets. Fast-forward to today, and that number has swelled to 90,000. They’re estimated to produce 25% less greenhouse gases compared to a fuel-efficient diesel car, and with petrol cars that gap is still larger, at 40%. With numbers like that, and the explosion of their sales, it’s safe to say there’s already a huge decrease in the amounts of greenhouse gases being pumped into our atmosphere.
Britain’s general public (that includes you) are also becoming a lot better at recycling as a nation. Gone are the days of just chucking all your rubbish as one into the nearest skip. Recent figures indicate our rate of recycling is increasing steadily, comfortably meeting government and EU targets as we go. Here’s how we’re doing so far:
The EU target is for us to recycle 50% of household waste by 2020, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to have any problem meeting it
This is all fantastic news for us at Skip Hire Network. We’re hugely passionate about the environment, and we continue to improve the efficiency of our own waste disposal methods. For this, and other reasons why you should hire us, have a look at our Why Use Us page.