Blue Planet effect set to save our sprouts

More than a quarter of us have vowed to waste less Christmas food this year as a way of protecting the planet, new research released today by the environmental charity Hubbub has found.

UK homes produce on average seven million tonnes of food waste each year, while food waste is responsible for 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Almost a third of us admit we throw away more food at Christmas than at any other time, but this year 29% of us are adamant that our Christmas shopping will be kinder to the environment than ever before. 

A poll of more than 3,000 UK adults found that over a third of us (38%) are planning, for the first time, to buy only food we need this Christmas. Some 31% of us are intending to use up, for the first time, all our festive leftovers. Those polled said David Attenborough’s Blue Planet TV series, unseasonal weather and the declaration of a climate emergency had influenced a change in their Christmas shopping habits this year.

Party food, sprouts and roast potatoes are the festive foods we’re most likely to throw away, with turkey and gravy close behind, the survey found. 

A staggering 11% of us admit we have bought Christmas food that has gone off and been binned before Christmas day. Meanwhile, more than one in six of us end up throwing out festive food that has been sitting on the side because we’re worried it’s been out of the fridge for too long.

Tessa Tricks, Head of Food at Hubbub, said: “It is hugely encouraging to see how Christmas food shopping habits are changing this year. Christmas needn’t be any less fun when we cut down on our festive waste. In fact, it’s the opposite – this is a challenge all our family and friends can get involved in. Food waste, particularly at Christmas time, is a massive contributor to climate change and yet with a few simple steps we can dramatically reduce how much we throw away.” 

Hubbub’s top ten tips to cut your food waste this Christmas: 

  1. Plan ahead – only buy enough food for the meals you’ll be cooking and the guests who will be there, and check expiry dates when you’re shopping 
  2. Avoid panic buying ahead of the bank holidays – the shops are only closed for three days! 
  3. If you’re having turkey, choose the size carefully – how big was last year’s and how much did you throw away? 
  4. Make room in your freezer in the run up to Christmas so you have plenty of storage space and check out Hubbub’s helpful guide to what food you can freeze – it’s more than you think!  
  5. If you’re short of fridge space at this time of year, take advantage of the cold weather and consider keeping fruit, veg and drinks fresh in a cool box outside, or even in your car boot 
  6. Don’t overdo how much food you put out at one time if you’re entertaining buffet-style, and put leftovers away in the fridge rather than leave them out overnight and ending up binning them 
  7. Check your fridge before travelling away from home and freeze or pass on any food that will be out of date by the time you get back 
  8. Try out apps, such as OLIO, to share food with those nearby, as well as family and friends 
  9. Remember that food might still be eaten after its best before date – check it looks and smells OK. Food past its best can still be enjoyed in other ways, like a healthy home-made soup to get you back on track after the excesses of Christmas  
  10. Before you reach that point where you can’t take any more leftover turkey, cook up a batch of stew or curry and freeze it for January 

12  million  Christmas jumpers set to be bought this year  and most are made of plastic

As Christmas Jumper Day approaches on Friday 13th December, millions of Britons are set to scour the shops for the perfect Christmas jumper to help make celebrations with colleagues, family and friends instagram-worthy.

Research released today [6th December 2019] by environmental charity Hubbub suggests we’re set to buy 12 million new Christmas new Christmas jumpers this year, despite there already being 65 million stashed away in our wardrobes from previous years. The Christmas jumper is one of the worst examples of fast fashion, which is now recognised for the huge environmental damage it causes. Two out of five Christmas jumpers are only worn once over the festive periodand yet one in three under 35s buy a new Christmas jumper every year.

Now Hubbub is warning of a new threat posed by Christmas jumpers due to their high plastic content. Only 29% of those surveyed realised that most Christmas jumpers contain plastic. However, research conducted by Hubbub into 108 jumpers available this year from 11 different high street and online retailers found that 95% of were made wholly or partly of plastic materials. That means the 12 million new jumpers set to be bought this year will add to the plastic pollution crisis and the health concerns that come with this. 

The most common plasic fibre used is acrylic, which was found in three quarters of the jumpers tested, with 44% made entirely from acrylicThis makes the typical Christmas jumper likely to add to the issue of plastic pollution in our oceansA study by Plymouth University4 found that acrylic was responsible for releasing nearly 730,000 microfibres per wash, five times more than polyester-cotton blend fabric, and nearly 1.5 times as many as pure polyester.

Sarah DivallProject Co-ordinator, Hubbub said: We don’t want to stop people dressing up and having a great time at Christmas, but there are so many ways to do this without buying new. Fast fashion is a major threat to the natural world and Christmas jumpers are particularly problematic as so many contain plastic. We’d urge people to swap, buy second-hand or rewear and remember a jumper is for life, not just for Christmas. 

Hubbub’s tips for a more eco-friendly Christmas jumper are:

  • Check what you already own – Two thirds of us own at least one Christmas jumper and one third own more than one. Bring last year’s jumper out for another wear, or pass it on if you’re not planning on wearing it again. 
  • Swap with family or friends – Have a Christmas jumper amnesty at work ahead of Christmas jumper day or swap with housemates to get a new look with minimal effort and no cost. 
  • Hand on outgrown jumpers – Children will most likely have outgrown last year’s Christmas jumperHold a Christmas jumper stall at your school’s Christmas fair or pass on to other parents through local Facebook groups. 
  • Go DIY  Create your own unique look by jazzing up a sweater you already own. By adding temporary decoration you can use your jumper the rest of the year round and stop it becoming one-wear fast fashion. For further ideas on ways to jazz up your jumper view Hubbub’s DIY guide.  
  • Buy secondhand – with so many Christmas jumpers worn only once or twice, a second-hand jumper can be almost brand new. Hubbub’s top three places to find great festive knits are:
    • Depop – the app has plenty of seasonal knitwear available  
    • Beyond retro – the vintage chain has over 1,500 Christmas jumpers online and more in stores.
    • Charity shops – your local high street is a jumper goldmine, whether you’re looking for a ready-made Christmas jumper or a classic sweater waiting to be customised 

Get into the Christmas spirit this December at Borough Market

Festive feasting is one of the highlights of Christmas and where better to source the finest seasonal produce than London’s iconic Borough Market.  

As in previous years, Borough Market will be extending its opening hours for Christmas to ensure every visitor has the chance to enjoy it in all its festive glory. The Market will be open every day from 4th December right up until 4pm on Christmas Eve, including Sundays.  

The historic arches will be decked with beautiful decorations, local choirs will be singing carols in the Market Hall, there will be seasonal Demo Kitchens including a special appearance from the Dean of Southwark Cathedral as well as drop in Cookbook Club sessions with Angela and Ed Smith. Not forgetting the plethora of seasonal traders including mulled wine, Christmas puddings, cakes, cheeses and much more. 

One of the most popular parts of Borough Market’s festive traditions is its annual ‘An Evening of Cheese’. This year anyone looking for inspiration for their Christmas cheeseboard can visit on Wednesday 11th December between 6-8pm, where Borough Market will be holding its annual late-night shopping opportunity. The evening offers customers a chance to consult with more than 20 of Borough Market’s renowned cheesemongers and get inspired to buy a wide range of cow, goat and sheep’s milk cheese from UK and International producers.

The popular event will see cheese stalls spread across the Market with  experts on hand to offer recommendations for those looking to create a unique festive cheeseboard, advice on drinks pairings and delicious cheese recipes.  One of Borough Market’s guest chefs will also inspire visitors with a festive cheese-based cooking demonstration in the glass fronted Market Hall’s Demo Kitchen.  

Visitors to this year’s Christmas celebrations will be able to take in the newly expanded produce zone where both new and old expert traders will be selling the best fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy and baked goods across both the Green Market area, as well as Three Crown Square. There will also be the opportunity to take a break from shopping for some food in the brand new Borough Market Kitchen, where people can sit at communal tables and sample foods from 20 of the Market’s diverse food traders. 

The Borough Market Kitchen will be open between 10am and 5pm (Mon-Thursday, Saturday) and 10am-6pm (Friday) and is located in Jubilee Place, the Market’s current wholesale area.  Once the kitchen closes for the day, Jubilee Place will revert back to wholesale operations. 

Say bones! Guide dog pups smile for the camera as they celebrate their 1st birthday

A litter of guide dog puppies came together yesterday to celebrate their first birthday at a special event held in Edinburgh.

The puppies are part of the first ever fully funded guide dog litter, thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Over the last 12 months, players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised a staggering £2,209,506 towards the training and care of these life-changing pups, as well as for other key projects at the charity.

Taking a morning break from their specialist training, seven of the litter of nine pups attended the partywhere they enjoyed a birthday cake made specially for dogs, and met People’s Postcode Lottery staff for some well-deserved cuddlesTurning one means the pups will soon enroll at their Guide Dogs training school, where they will receive their formal training before graduating as fully qualified guide dogs.

Guide Dogs puppies celebrating their first birthday at the People’s Postcode Lottery office in Edinburgh with their own cake. PPL is funding the lifetime of an entire litter of Guide Dogs puppies as it raises money for the charity through the support of players.

The puppies are currently being cared for by Guide Dogs volunteers known as puppy walkers, who not only look after them in their homes across Scotland but also take the pups out on a daily basis to get used to the sights, sounds and smells of a variety of environments.

More than two million people are estimated to be living with sight loss in the UK today. It is predicted that by 2050, this number will double to over four million.

Craig Stewart, Corporate Partnerships Development Manager at the charity Guide Dogs, said: We cannot thank the players of People’s Postcode Lottery enough for their support in funding this litter of guide dog puppies. They will go on to change the lives of nine people with sight loss in the UK, giving them the independence and confidence to live their life the way they want to.”

Hazel Johnstone from PPL said: “We were delighted to welcome the guide dog puppies to the People’s Postcode Lottery office today and celebrate their first birthday. I am proud that our players are able to support these pups through their training and can’t wait to follow their journey as it continues.”

To find out more about Guide Dogs visit: 

Borough Market celebrates 21 years with limited edition Wet Hop IPA

In what has now become a yearly tradition, Borough Market is releasing its new limited-edition sustainably packaged beer brewed with freshly picked wet hops grown in the iconic Market Hall. This ‘Wet Hop IPA’ is a refreshing sessionable but full-bodied IPA, with upfront tropical notes packed full of flavours suggestive of a well-stocked fruit sellers stall.  Beers created from fresh hops can only be made once a year, making them one of the world’s most sought-after seasonal products. The 4.3% proof beer will be available from Borough Market’s shop, speciality beer bar The Rake and the Globe Tavern located at the heart of the Market.

The Borough Wet Hop IPA, curated by expert nomadic brewer, Daniel Tapper of The Beak brewery, has been created to celebrate 21 years of fresh produce retail at Borough Market. To underline the Market’s commitment to provenance, the session IPA is brewed using a classic English hop variety known as Fuggles, historically grown by farmers in the South East. The hop vines are planted in the heart of Borough Market’s glass fronted Market Hall, and sustainably fertilised with a combination of recycled coffee grounds from traders, and rain water harvested from the market’s roof.

For the first time, this year’s brew will be sold in cans, rather than bottles, a move that reflects Borough Market’s commitment to sustainability. Aluminium can be recycled numerous times without losing its quality. Being lighter in weight and smaller in volume than glass, cans helps reduce carbon emissions and create a more sustainable footprint for everyone involved, from production and transport to wholesale and distribution, right through to recycling.

The new beer is the fifth annual brew from Borough Market’s own hops, and has been produced in collaboration with Villages, a vibrant, local, independent micro-brewery located in nearby Deptford, which specialises in juicy pale ales, the style Borough Market has opted for this year in a radical change to previous brews.

Keeping the brewing process local gives the beer a unique sense of place and meant that the hops could be delivered in their wet, fresh state within hours of harvestingcontributing to the beer’s authentic and unique flavour.  Fuggles is a traditional English hop variety, which imbue the beer with orange, marmalade, earthy and grassy flavours. This year’s brew also contains Mosaic, Ekuanot and Azacca hop varieties with strong fruity, tropical flavours, which marry very well with Fuggles, making the Borough Wet Hop IPA a very refreshing, easy-drinking beer.

A limited run of over 700 cans has been produced, and will be available from Borough Market priced at £3.90.  The Borough Wet Hop IPA will also be exclusively available on draught in the Market from The Rake and The Globe Tavern. 

Darren Henaghan, Managing Director, Borough Market said: Sustainability is at the core of Borough Market and we are constantly looking for new ways to innovate.  By using cans for the first time we are helping to minimise our own footprint. This new and unique seasonal beer grown with our own hops, fertilised with left over coffee grounds and brewed locally is a true reflection of this. Borough Market is a vibrant place to discover the unique and rediscover the familiar and we hope our customers will enjoy toasting 21 years since we established ourselves as a world class produce market.” 

Daniel Tapper, expert brewer, said: “As both a brewer and a food writer it is such an honour and exciting experience to create a beer that not only displays genuine London terroir, but also showcases Borough Market’s unique position at the heart of our country’s food and drink scene. Every day, hundreds of people walk past the hops that are growing in Borough Market and with Villages, we have created a beer that is imbued with those unique flavours. It’s wonderful to create a new taste experience for people to enjoy using sustainable ingredients grown right here in the city.” 

people enjoying Borough Market

Borough Market brings community together to celebrate 21 Years

London’s iconic Borough Market turns 21 this November and to celebrate it is inviting communities from across the capital to come together in its new communal kitchen in a bid to combat the loneliness and social isolation that many people experience.

Research has shown that a lack of social connection has an effect on mortality comparable to that of smoking and twice as bad compared to the effect of obesity.1 Markets across the country create a unique space for economic development and social interaction in a society that is becoming increasingly insular. A local market brings diverse groups of people together to support traders from their local area, creating a sense of community and belonging.

On 19th November from 11am to 12:30pm Borough Market will be holding a community lunch with its charity partners and their beneficiaries as well as local clubs and groups. Charities FareShare, School Food Matters, PlanZheroes and United Saint Saviours will be bringing young, old and everyone in between together in the Market’s brand-new Market Kitchen, to celebrate 21years since its rebirth as a retail market and food destination.

Dr Glenn Mason, Psychologist says; “We live in a fast-paced society and fewer of us are now sitting down and having regular meals with those who are nearest and dearest to us. Eating together can have benefits upon both our emotional and physical health. It can be a time where we share experiences about our day, learn from each other’s experiences, a place to externalise our worries and concerns and to build and maintain relationships through communication. Research suggests that spending this quality time with others, over a meal, can have a positive impact upon our well-being.

In considering the benefits of communal eating this new initiative at Borough Market is likely to have a positive impact upon the emotional and physical health of those taking part. We have evolved to be part of small social groups, needing social connection and interaction to combat loneliness. I believe this initiative can raise awareness around the importance of addressing social isolation and loneliness in our lives. I think we need to take the concepts from this initiative and ensure in our own lives that we are making a conscious effort to be socially connected to others, to reduce the negative impact of loneliness.

Borough Market has been operating in London for over 1000 years but the Market in its current form was born in November 1998, when pioneering traders such as Turnips, Brindisa and Neal’s Yard Dairy started to sell their produce directly to the public, cementing its position as a world class food destination. 21 years on and the Market is celebrating its coming of age with a brand new look.

The Borough Market Kitchen opens 13th November and will be open between 10am and 5pm (Mon-Thursday, Saturday) and 10am-6pm (Friday), it is located in Jubilee Place, the Market’s current wholesale area.  Once the kitchen closes for the day, Jubilee Place will revert back to wholesale operations.

Darren Henaghan, Managing Director, Borough Market, said: “Borough Market has long been a place for London locals and visitors alike to come together over a love of great food and so what better way to celebrate our 21st birthday than to invite people to come and sit together in our new Market Kitchen to eat and connect in a shared space. We are aware that loneliness is now not just a problem for older people but that young children and adults also suffer and so we will also be introducing a ‘buddy bench’ where people will be encouraged to share food and conversation with others.” 

#LoveNotLandfill presents the most beautiful pre-loved fashion in Seven Dials, London

Fashionistas take note:  14-17th November 2019, eco-fashion campaign #LoveNotLandfill will be championing pre-loved fashion at a unique Seven Dials, London pop-up store featuring collections from charity shops curated by some of fashion’s most style-savvy influencers.

Check out the Barnardo’s Collection by Emma Breschi; Cancer Research UK Collection by She Wears Fashion; The Oxfam Collection by Elizabeth Whibley; The Royal Trinity Hospice Collection by Oenone,  plus depop sellers Past Trash and Youth ID and a special menswear collection gathered from all the charities curated by sicckm8.

Each influencer has chosen 500 pieces from their partner charity, which will be sold by at the #LoveNotLandfill pop-up store with all profits going straight to the charities.  Expect designer labels you know and love at shockingly affordable prices, plus one-off gems – that is the beauty of preloved fashion.

As well as the place to discover the most on-trend sustainable fashion in London, the store will be a space to find out more about eco-fashion and the climate emergency with notice boards, talks and demos. People can bring along old and damaged clothes to donate via a #LoveNotLandfill exclusive Bambi-designed clothes bank and the Clothes Doctor will have a mend and repair station offering alterations and showing fashion lovers how to repair and upcycle their clothes.

Also expect special guest DJs and other events to be announced nearer the time.

Hannah Carter from the #LoveNotLandfill campaign said: “The sustainable fashion movement is gaining traction. More and more young people are concerned about climate change and want to get involved, whilst still looking great in beautiful clothes.  Our messaging at #LoveNotLandfill is very clear: Buy second hand, never put clothes in the bin (take them to a charity shop or put in a clothes bank) and care for your clothes so they last.”

But there are still some hurdles to get over when persuading fast fashion lovers to buy second-hand. A survey by WRAP for #LoveNotLandfill found that 1 in 3 young people in London won’t buy clothes that have been worn by someone else – but a recent report from C40 Cities shows that if we want to reduce the carbon emissions of the fashion industry and help to keep global warming at 1.5°, we can only buy 3 new items of clothing per year[1].


Charities such as Oxfam and Barnardo’s have hugely promoted buying second-hand instead of new in the past six months with campaigns such as #secondhandseptember and #SingleUseFashion which flooded Instagram with high profile influencers styling trend-leading second-hand looks. Along with Royal Trinity Hospice and Cancer Research UK, they continue to support the #LoveNotLandfill mission to get young people in London to try second-hand first.


Samantha Bain-Mollison, Head of Retail at Shaftesbury, the landlord which has provided the space for the #LoveNotLandfill pop-up: We love the work of #LoveNotLandfill and are delighted to be able to support them. We are dedicated to supporting environmental and sustainability causes throughout Seven Dials and think the #LoveNotLandfill pop-up will be an exciting activation with a great message.”


Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, added: “Tackling the climate emergency demands action across all sectors and London’s fashion industry needs to lead by example. Fast fashion has seen an increase in the consumption of low-cost clothing, leading to more waste. Recycling clothes and reclaiming fabrics like the many items in this pop-up shop will lead to a significant reduction in waste as well as reducing the environmental impact.”


The #LoveNotLandfill Pop-Up Store will be open from Thursday 14th November to Sunday 17th November at 47-49 Neal Street, Seven Dials, WC2H 9PZ. Click here for more info.


Opening times: Thursday 14 Nov 11am-9pm; Friday 15 Nov 10am-8pm; Saturday 16th Nov 11am-8pm; Sunday 17 Nov 11am-6pm.


2500+ organisations make changes to support disabled customers

Household names including Sainsbury’s, Sky, West Ham United, The Crown Estate and M&S to improve the customer experience for disabled people by supporting Purple Tuesday on 12th November.

New research published for Purple Tuesday reveals that poor customer service and a lack of staff understanding are among the key barriers preventing disabled consumers purchasing goods and services. The research has prompted calls for businesses and organisations to rethink how they target disabled consumers and their families, whose spending power – the so-called Purple Pound – is estimated to be £249 billion every year.

75% of disabled people have had to leave a store or website, unable to go through with their purchase because of their disability1. New research shows that most complaints from disabled people relate to experiences within the business/organisation premises, with disabled people more likely to spend money with organisations if they improve2:

  • staff understanding about different disabilities (56%)
  • the overall customer experience for disabled people (41%)
  • store/shop/location accessibility (41%)
  • website accessibility (16%)

More than 1 in 3 disabled people (34%) said poor customer service prevented them from making a purchase, while 33% blamed a lack of understanding from staff about their needs. Some disabled respondents said improvements should include ‘being treated the same as anyone else’ and having ‘knowledgeable staff’.

The research has led Purple Tuesday to call on organisations to focus on straightforward, low-cost solutions to improve the customer experience for disabled people – changes that go Beyond the Front Door. Of the 13.9 million disabled people in the UK, 80% have a hidden impairment, meaning improvements and enhancements are needed to improve access for disabled people, beyond having a ramp installed to help enter a site.

More than 2500 businesses, organisations and stores from a range of sectors have collectively pledged to make more than 3500 long-term changes to the customer experience as part of Purple Tuesday on 12 November.

This includes:

  • Sainsbury’s and Argos, who have announced a new trial of a weekly ‘Sunflower Hour’ in 30 stores, which involves creating a calmer environment by reducing background noise and sensory overload that launches on Purple Tuesday. The trial gives customers the option to pick up a sunflower lanyard which has been purposely designed to act as a discreet sign for store colleagues to recognise if they may need to provide a customer with additional support. Sainsbury’s was the first retailer to trial this initiative in 2018.
  • Microsoft Store, which has committed to educating not only the community but retail businesses on how to create accessible retail experiences, work environments and improving the lives of customers and employees living with disabilities. Register to attend a free accessibility workshop here.
  • The Crown Estate, which is working to assess the accessibility of its places in order to provide better information for disabled people and to identify areas for plan improvement.
  • Arsenal FC, which has a Sensory Room and Sensory Sensitive viewing room for people who are Autistic or who have Sensory Needs and their families. Arsenal have also launched their first Sensory Hour within the club shop and have introduced a bespoke workshop on Sensory needs for all match day stewards and other key public facing members of staff, as well as launching a new service for deaf or hard of hearing fans that use British Sign Language and setting up a Disability Forum.
  • M&S, which is committed to being the U.K.’s most accessible retailer and has introduced a number of improvements to its stores and website over the past few years – including becoming the first retailer to introduce Sunflower Lanyards into all stores for those with hidden disabilities. Earlier this month M&S ran a colleague campaign “Making Every Day Accessible” introducing a number of resources for colleagues including a top tips for being disability confident video, a guide on how to run sensory friendly shopping hours and a new ‘hard of hearing’ uniform.
  • Blakemore Retail, which is providing training for 4300 staff and making training available to their 700 independent SPAR Retailers
  • Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, which has shopping centres participating across Europe, including Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City as well as centres in Spain, Germany, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Mike Adams OBE, Chief Executive of Purple, said:

“Meeting the needs of disabled customers makes commercial sense for organisations of all sizes, from all sectors, but our message to organisations is: you don’t have to spend big budgets to make lasting change. That’s why we’re urging organisations to focus on improvements that go ‘beyond the front door’. Introducing staff training and improving website accessibility are low cost changes, but the difference to a company’s bottom line – as well as to a disabled consumer’s personal experience – can be significant.

“Purple Tuesday has more than doubled in size this year, with more than 2500 organisations from a variety of sectors making commitments to improve the customer experience for disabled people. These are long-term changes that will have a lasting impact for millions of customers – and improve the commercial opportunities for the organisations involved.”

The purple pound is worth £249 billion and is rising by an average of 14% per annum, yet it is estimated that less than 10% of businesses have a targeted plan to access this disability market. 3 Purple Tuesday’s research shows that more than 80% of disabled people say businesses could do more to be accessible and encourage them to spend money.

Organisations can contact Purple for advice on how they can improve their approach to disabled consumers. Example changes include:

  • Conducting an online audit of your website to improve accessibility
  • Training staff to know and understand how to communicate effectively with disabled customers
  • Getting front line staff to learn basic British Sign Langue skills to communicate with those customers from the deaf community
  • Conducting an on-site audit to ensure the physical space is suitable for every customer to get around the area easily
  • Improving wayfair signage around the facility
  • Introducing quiet hours on a regular basis to help people who struggle with music, tannoys and noise.


Participating organisations’ comments

West Ham United Vice-Chairman Baroness Karren Brady said:

“Equality is at the heart of everything we do at West Ham United and ensuring that our club is accessible to everyone is a way of thinking which is embedded throughout our club.

 “The Disabled Supporters’ Board, which I am proud to Chair alongside our fantastic supporter co-Chairs, has led the way on these important topics since moving to London Stadium. There are obvious ways in which our fans see this; through services like our 18 strong fleet of free supporter shuttle buses on matchdays which just gets bigger and better, our disability liaison officers around the stadium, new audio commentary devices with wider range of collections points, or the installation of RADAR lock system across all accessible toilets throughout the stadium.

“Purple Tuesday is a fantastic initiative going on across the nation in lots of different shops, and we’re proud to support it for the second year running.”

Tim Fallowfield, Board Sponsor for Disability Carers and Age at Sainsbury’s and Argos, comments:

“We’re proud to show our continued support to Purple Tuesday and believe all our customers should feel confident when shopping, all year round. Not all disabilities are visible so by taking steps such as introducing a weekly Sunflower Hour, we hope to provide an enhanced experience and reassurance for our customers.”

John Carter, Senior Store Manager of the flagship Microsoft Store in London, said:

“Technology is a tool for everyone and our products and services are designed for people of all abilities. We are supporting Purple Tuesday’s call to improve the customer experience for disabled people, by inviting retailers to learn how to create accessible experiences and cultivate a diverse and inclusive workplace for customers and employees.  We will also be running free customer workshops on our accessibility tools and features. From supporting students living with dyslexia to read with confidence, to helping people with limited mobility to write with their voice, we’re calling for everyone to learn how accessibility tools can empower you to achieve more in your life.”

Judith Everett, Chief Operating Officer at The Crown Estate, said:

“We recognise the need to improve the experience for disabled people whether shopping, eating out or at work and, with some of the world’s most historic and iconic destinations on our portfolio, we’re proud to support Purple Tuesday and play our part in generating meaningful long-term change.

“Over the past year we have continued to progress on our disability journey and have carried out detailed audits of our websites and some of our most popular destinations, including Regent Street and flagship retail centres around the UK. We are also working closely with our extensive network to raise awareness and provide practical tips on changes that can be made to target disabled customers.”

Zoe Mountford, Lead Sustainability Manger at Marks & Spencer said:

We’re committed to making M&S the UK’s most accessible retailer, whether customers are shopping online or in-store. Earlier this year we became the first retailer to introduce sunflower lanyards for customers with hidden disabilities into all of our stores, this came one year after we launched daywear for children with disabilities and two years after we published AccessAble Guides. We know that the very best thing we can do is give great service and we work hard to make sure all our 80,000 colleagues feel disability confident.

“Purple Tuesday is a great opportunity to remind our stores of all the great resources we have introduced over the past year such as our colleague guide on how to support customers who are hard of hearing and our top tips video on how to be confident serving customer with disabilities.”

Alun Francis, Arsenal’s Disability Access Officer, said:

“We recognise that British Sign Language is most deaf people’s first language. As part of our Arsenal for Everyone programme we are committed to making our services as accessible as possible to everyone. This new service is part of this.

Helen Honstvet, Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, said:

“It’s great to see so many big names supporting Purple Tuesday and trying to make shopping more inclusive and accessible. We recognise that many retailers have come a long way, but we still hear all too often from people with sight loss who face persistent and unnecessary difficulties when shopping.

“When somewhere like a shop or restaurant can’t or won’t accommodate someone with sight loss, that’s not only potentially illegal but it can also be a huge blow to that person’s feelings of acceptance in society and willingness to go out independently.

“At Guide Dogs we help people with sight loss to have independence – whether that’s through our life-changing guide dog partnerships or other services. If an individual is prevented from making a purchase due to their sight loss, it can understandably knock their confidence and stop them living life to the full.”

Matt Teague, Managing Director, Blakemore Retail, said:

“We are proud to support the step change that Purple Tuesday drives. We understand the importance of creating an inclusive and positive shopping experience for all of our customers, no matter their personal needs. For the second year running we’ll be training all of our store staff to ensure that they are considerate of all shoppers needs – as well as providing them with hints and tips on how to create a positive customer experience. It’s important that we all get on-board with this campaign and I really hope you will join the campaign to make a difference”

Last year more than 750 organisations participated in Purple Tuesday, making a collective 1,500 commitments to improve how they meet the needs of disabled consumers.

For more information on Purple Tuesday, please visit


A quarter of dog owners say fireworks are their dog’s biggest fear

The charity Guide Dogs has issued advice on fireworks for pet dog owners ahead of Bonfire Night, as new data reveals pet owners said their dogs were more scared of fireworks than being left alone or going to the vet.

Over 32,000 dog owners were polled about their pet’s biggest fear in Guide Dogs’ Great British Dogs Survey and a quarter (8,473) said their dog’s biggest fear was fireworks and loud noises.

Dogs are more sensitive to sound than humans. They can detect sounds that are up to four times quieter than the human ear can detect, so it’s not just fireworks directly outside that need to be considered – it could be some much further away that can affect a dog.

While every dog is different, there are a number of common signs your dog might be scared of fireworks, including destructive behaviour, cowering or hiding, shaking or pacing, being scared to leave the house, urinating unexpectedly or even vomiting or diarrhoea.

As part of the socialisation of puppies at Guide Dogs, the charity provides all volunteers who look after guide dog litters with CDs to play for the puppies from the moment they begin to hear. This has a range of noises for them to be socialised to including fireworks at low volume and other noises.

With firework season approaching it can be a stressful time for dogs and their owners, so Guide Dogs has prepared some top tips for pet dog owners to follow:

  1. Know if your dog is stressed – there can be many warning signs to indicate your dog might be scared of fireworks including shaking, hiding, whining or barking all the way through to vomiting or diarrhoea. Look out for these signs in the run up to fireworks season, as well as on Bonfire Night itself.
  2. Make the noise less of a shock – leading up to fireworks season you can get your dog used to the noise in a number of ways, including playing music and videos that simulate the sound of fireworks so your dog becomes used to the noise. It is important that these sounds are initially played quietly with the volume gradually increased over time. The volume should be turned down or the sounds stopped if your dog shows any signs of worry.
  3. Make your dog relaxed on the day – there are many things you can do in the lead up to Bonfire Night that can help relax your dog, including making sure your dog has a good walk before dark so they are tired and relaxed for the evening, feeding your dog earlier than normal so they can relieve themselves before fireworks start, by closing curtains and leaving the lights on or by creating a quiet, dark den for your dog to go if it becomes scared. It’s important to always give your dog a choice, and don’t force them to interact if they want to hide.
  4. Make sure your dog is happy after the fireworks – some dogs can remain scared even after the fireworks are over. It can be helpful not to make a big fuss of the fireworks ending and act like nothing has happenedIf you let your dog out, make sure that your garden is secure and be prepared that your dog might have an accident overnight as it may have been too scared to relieve itself, and always be prepared for more unexpected fireworks.

Guide Dogs volunteer Sophie Vann suffered her own negative experience around fireworks while walking her one-year-old guide dog puppy, Vixen, last year.

Sophie saidI was out for a walk with my partner when a firework was thrown into an underpass we were heading through. The noise scared the life out of us, especially Vixen. She wasn’t herself for a few months after.

Sophie explained that it took about three months of careful training to get Vixen used to loud noises again and that she was already thinking about this year’s fireworks back in July: “It’s all about building layers of confidence. Since the incident, I prepare for fireworks season early and start by playing a fireworks playlist on my computer in the weeks and months leading up to it. Gradually I increase the volume, but I’m careful to ensure this is done gently to avoid making Vixen feel anxiousAs for Bonfire Night itself, I’ll make sure she gets fed earlier, so that she can go out in the garden before the fireworks start. I’ll also move her bed away from the backdoor so that she can’t see the flashes. Vixen is going to be a guide dog mum in the future so I have to make sure she’s as comfortable as possible.

For more information and advice on fireworks visit: 

If your dog has a severe reaction to fireworks, you should seek advice from your vet. 

Thousands of pupils join campaign to cut single-use  plastic  in UK schools

Thousands of primary and secondary school pupils have joined a major new campaign to drastically cut the consumption of single-use plastic in UK schools

More than 7,000 pupils, across 12 schools, have signed up to Plastic Pioneers a campaign led by environmental charity Hubbub, and sponsored by retailers TK Maxx and Homesense.

The schools benefit from being part of a community stretching from Scotland to the south coast, sharing ideas on how to reduce their consumption of single-use plastic.

As part of the campaign, pupils form a Plastic Pioneers  committee and audit their school’s consumption of single-use plastic. They then advise on – and experiment with – ways to reduce single-use  plastic, coming up with their own initiatives including replacing plastic  bottles with reusable ones, banning yoghurt pots and rethinking lunchtime packaging.

Committee members wear  Plastic Pioneers  badges to encourage their classmates to think carefully about their consumption of single-use  plastic.

They have also scheduled workshops with expert guest speakers, including Dan Webb, who last week launched the Everyday  Plastic  Survey – a nationwide campaign to enable participants to discover more about their  plastic  foot print; TEDx teen speaker, Amy Meek, from Kids Against  Plastic  and Mel Fisher, who runs Christmas markets with zero waste brands.

Researchers have found that on average in the UK we each throw away over 34kg of  plastic  packaging every year – nearly the weight of 5,000 pencils. Much of this cannot be recycled and ends up in landfill, floating around in our rivers and oceans.

In December, the government urged schools to stop using single-use  plastic  items such as bags, straws, bottles and  plastic  food packaging by 2022, and to consider environmentally friendly alternatives instead.

Natalie Bayliss, Creative Partner at Hubbub, who is leading the  Plastic  Pioneers  campaign, said each school involved in the campaign has been coming up with different, innovative ways to cut down on single-use  plastic.

“Pupils up and down the country have devised some brilliant ideas – from cutting out  plastic  in canteens to experimenting with alternatives to  plastic  prizes at school events,” she said.

“Single-use  plastic is everywhere and our schools are no exception. It’s so ubiquitous, we often don’t even register it’s there. “And yet it’s having an extremely damaging impact on our wildlife and environment. This campaign helps empower young people to challenge whether single-use plastic really needs to be used and to come up with alternatives.”

A YouGov survey in April showed just under half of us – 46% – feel guilty about the amount of  plastic  we use, while more than eight in 10 of us are actively trying to reduce the amount we throw away. 

At Westhoughton High School in Bolton, 35 pupils are on the  Plastic  Pioneers  Committee. They persuaded the school to stop selling bottled water and through the campaign, have provided classmates with reusable bottles, which  Plastic  Pioneers  pupils helped design. They have also removed  plastic  packaging from their canteen. 

At Saint Gabriel’s College in Lambeth, the  Plastic  Pioneers  campaign has helped put sustainability at the top of the school’s agenda. Hazel Millar, Head of Key Stage 3 Science and  Plastic Pioneers  Coordinator, Saint Gabriel’s College, said: “The crucial thing about this campaign is that it is student-led. It has shown my students that they have a voice. Their ideas on how to reduce single-use  plastic  have been taken up by the whole of the school with huge enthusiasm.”

Just as the schools are looking at ways to cut consumption of single-use  plastic,  Plastic Pioneers  sponsors TK Maxx and Homesense have so far removed the nine biggest contributors to ocean waste  plastic  from their stores and offices. These include  plastic  drink bottles, single use carrier bags, straws,  plastic  cups and non-biodegradable wipes.

Next year, all the schools involved in the  Plastic  Pioneers  campaign will report back on the single initiative that has made the biggest difference to cutting the consumption of single-use  plastic  in their school.

For more information on  Plastic  Pioneers, contact Natalie Bayliss at

Purple Tuesday

With 20% of the UK population having a disability, the combined spending power of disabled people and their families amounts to £249bn a year. But disabled people encounter many barriers to accessing goods and services – and less than 10% of businesses have a strategy to access this disability market.

Purple Tuesday takes place in November to raise awareness and encourage organisations to improve the customer experience for disabled people. Barley has been asked to support Purple’s media and communications strategy for Purple Tuesday for the past two years, which has led thousands of organisations to improve how their service meets the needs of disabled people.

As the initiative expands internationally and across all sectors, Barley are working closely with the Purple Tuesday team to explain the solutions that many organisations are putting in place to improve customer service for disabled people. We are leveraging interest through traditional media coverage and using a range of diverse content on social media.

Register your organisations interest for Purple Tuesday 2021 which has been announced for 2 November. It’s an initiative that matters every day.

On-Street recycling launches for first time in Edinburgh

Bubble-blowing bins and an eye-catching art installation will appear in Edinburgh City Centre from today [Tuesday 22 October], as a new on-the-go recycling initiative is launched by environmental charity Hubbub and The City of Edinburgh Council. Edinburgh #InTheLoop is a five-month trial which will allow people passing through the city centre to recycle plastic bottlescans and coffee cups on the street, for the first time 

Whilst recycling at home and kerbside collections have improved over the years, the rate of recycling on-the-go is still low. In the UK around 5.5 billion plastic bottles, 2.7 billion drinks cans and 2.5 billion coffee cups get thrown away every year! Yet, recent research by ReCoup found that only 42% of local authorities provide on-the-go recycling facilities.

Two Scotland-based artists, Sam Cornwell and Cody Lukas, have created an innovative geometric installationwhich will display plastic bottles, drinks cans and coffee cups to demonstrate the value of these materials. It will use solar panels to glow up at night to captivate members of the public and further raise awareness of the issue. The artwork will be located in St Andrew Square from 21st October until early 2020.   

Our Edinburgh #InTheLoop is being supported by local partners including The City of Edinburgh Council, Changeworks, Waverley MallEssential Edinburgh BID and Scotwaste. 

The initiative – which is the UK’s biggest collaborative approach to boost recycling on-the-go – is being backed by Starbucks, Ecosurety, Asda, Bunzl, Caffè Nero, Coca-Cola GB, Costa Coffee, Danone (owners of the evian and Volvic brands), Highland Spring Group, Innocent Drinks, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Marks & Spencer, McDonald’s, Nestlé and Pret a Manger. 

Hubbub launched its inaugural on-the-go recycling scheme #LeedsByExample in 2018, which saw on-the-go recycling rates in Leeds increase from 17% to 32% in just six months. The campaign has sparked national interest from cities across the UK, with the scheme now being rolled out in Swansea and Edinburgh.   

Alex Robinson from Hubbub said: “For the first time, the people of Edinburgh will be able to recycle whilst on the move. The impact our pilot campaign had on the city of Leeds far surpassed our expectations and with the support of the local community, we hope Edinburgh will do the same. 

We’re urging people working, living or visiting Edinburgh New Town to use the new-look bins and help us ensure that as much valuable packaging is recycled as possible. We also look forward to launching coffee cup recycling facilities in the city in the near future.”  

Transport and Environment Convenor for The City of Edinburgh Council, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with Hubbub on this project, which will help us to explore ways of encouraging recycling on the go and plan for the future impact of the Deposit Return Scheme.   

“As a Council we are committed to increasing recycling rates amongst residents and visitors, and as we’ve seen from previous work with Hubbub, their innovative approach to behaviour change has made a real impact on the public.” 

Head of Projects Sam Mills from Changeworks said: “We’re excited to be working with Hubbub to deliver this campaign, combining their creativity and our 30 years’ experience in delivering local solutions for low carbon living across Scotland.  

“Disposing of packaging on the go can be really challenging. These new recycling bins will make this much easier across the city centre, and we’re excited to see just how much waste we can keep from being thrown away.” 

To maximise the amount we can recycle, we ask that the public use the bins as follows:

  • Cups from hot drinks (coffee, tea, hot chocolate) and cold drinks (ie, McDonald’s paper cups) can be recycled in the orange cup binsThese need to be empty of any liquid  
  • Lids, stirrers and straws should go in the general waste bin 
  • Compostable cups cannot be recycled and should go in the general waste bin 
  • Plastic bottles and cans should be put in the yellow bins

For more information, visit: