London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan launched the Draft London Environment Strategy in August. It has bold aims to tackle the problem of London’s air, which the report says is so dirty that it breaches legal limits – more than 9,000 Londoners currently die prematurely every year as a direct consequence, according to the strategy document.
The strategy aims to:
- Turn London into a zero-carbon city by 2050
- Make London a zero-waste city. Only half of the 7m tonnes of waste produced a year by London’s homes and businesses is currently recycled, and landfill capacity set to run out by 2026. By 2026, no biodegradable or recyclable waste to be sent to landfill, and by 2030, 60% of London’s municipal waste to be recycled
- Ensure London has the best air quality of any major world city by 2050
- Increase tree canopy cover by 10% by 2050 and ensure that more than half of London’s area is green
But what about waste cooking oil?
As a business operating in London, we applaud the London Mayor’s plans for the capital. But we were struck by the absence of any reference to waste cooking oil. We believe that this is a missed opportunity.
As experts in the waste cooking oil collection industry, we understand that what to do with your used cooking oil is a real problem for households and businesses alike.
London was recently agog at the monster fatberg found in sewers of east London – yet not one of the food outlets in the nearby street had a working grease trap to catch fats, oils and grease from entering the sewage system, according to a survey by Thames Water. The water company spends around £1 million a month clearing blockages from its 68,000 mile sewer network.
The Environment Agency calls for businesses to dispose of waste cooking oil responsibly – which means a two-fold approach of using a licensed cooking oil collector, like Proper Oils, while also having a well-managed grease trap in place.
However, there is no such requirement for households who are simply told to avoid pouring grease down the sink and to dispose of it in the bin. This will unfortunately end up contributing to landfill unless the Mayor can address this problem.
We have contributed to the Draft London Environment Strategy saying that we would like to see a plan to encourage households and businesses to recycle waste cooking oil efficiently and make more use of this valuable resource.
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