Single Use Plastics – the way forward

Single Use Plastics – the way forward

The use of plastic has had significant media attention recently, in particular following the various Blue Planet episodes aired on the BBC. The tone of the debate is highly emotive and even Theresa May recently voiced her opinion on the matter, stating that the House of Commons would ban the use of plastic cups and that the government will recommend that all large businesses do the same.

At AquAid we are keenly aware of the impact using plastic has in our industry, to our customers and on our environment.  We are constantly seeking solutions and alternatives to reduce waste, minimise our carbon footprint and increase the sustainable provision of our water and water products to our customers.

Potential long term options?

  1. Paper cups/cones

Paper cups may seem like an obvious alternative, but they are not.  As paper is porous, all cups contain a lining which means that they cannot easily be recycled.  Unfortunately, although few people may be aware of this, if you are paying to recycle paper cups, these lined cups actually contaminate the recycling batch they go into.

There are cones available without a plastic lining, but they will only hold water for a matter of seconds before it will start seeping through and land on the floor. Whilst these are useful from an environmental perspective, they are less useful from a hydration perspective, the reason organisations have a water dispenser in the first place.

Paper cups cost around 50% more than plastic, with cones priced slightly lower.

  1. Plastic bottles

There is a place for re-usable plastic bottles, however, we need to be aware that a plastic bottle weighs at least 30 times more than does a plastic cup. This then means that using plastic bottles is adding plastic weight and volume rather than reducing it. Even if you re-use a plastic bottle (which some people will re-use 30 times, but others much less so) it has to be borne in mind that the bottle needs to be cleaned which has its own environmental impact.

  1. Use bio-degradable/compostable material 

The idea of using bio-degradable plastic is very appealing at first as people picture it literally turning into dust.  The problem is that in order for the plastic to compost, it needs to be kept in very specific circumstances only achievable in an industrial composting environment. Not only are there very few such facilities in the UK, there are also no nationwide collection schemes in place for them.  If bio-degradable cups end up in landfill they can be more harmful to the environment than normal plastic cups, as is indicated in various reports and case studies from authorities in the field*.  Added to this, bio-degradable plastic is made from corn starch – which again brings with it a significant impact on the environment. As a final point, bio-degradable plastic is considerably more expensive than regular plastic.

The solution

Because of the focus directed at the issue of single use cups, we may be forgetting the difference between litter and recycling. Plastic on its own is not an issue – unrecycled plastic is. Bearing this in mind, we believe there is a viable solution, one which will be of benefit to not only ourselves and our customers, but also to our environment.

Recycling plastic cups

Upon consultation with a number of recycling authorities, in particular BIFFA, a leading integrated waste management company, we’ve established as follows:

  • The cups that AquAid supply are made of a single type of plastic. The benefit of this is that easy to recycle and a valuable resource that can be repurposed and resold.
  • Our plastic cups are easily recycled if placed in a dry mixed recycling (DMR) bin. These are bins which take cans, paper, cardboard and plastic. Not only will the material placed in a DMR be recycled, but DMR bins cheaper to have emptied than a normal waste bin.

We believe that we have established a practical, cost effective and viable solution to using our drinking cups and are inviting our customers to contact their local recycling companies to confirm that they offer the dry mixed recycling bins (DMR), to assist with the recycling of not only plastic cups, but also the many other recyclable items found in offices up and down the country.

Should you wish for any additional information about our recycling plan, kindly e-mail us at nationalaccounts@aquaidwatercoolers.co.uk 

* sources: articles in The Guardian; UN News

New feature online at AquAid – Place an Order / Book an Engineer

New feature online at AquAid – Place an Order / Book an Engineer

When we see the most recent statistics of how many people in the UK make use of the internet, these figures probably won’t come as any surprise. What may be surprising though are the demographics of online use.

According to a statistical bulletin from the Office of National Statistics:

  • In Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2017, 89% of adults in the UK had recently used the internet (in the last 3 months), up from 88% in 2016; while 9% had never used the internet, down from 10% in 2016.
  • Virtually all adults aged 16 to 34 years were recent internet users (99%), in contrast with 41% of adults aged 75 years and over.
  • 90% of men and 88% of women were recent internet users, up from 89% and 86% in 2016.
  • Recent internet use among women aged 75 and over had almost trebled from 2011.
  • Northern Ireland is catching up with the other UK regions in recent internet use, reaching 84% in 2017; however, it remained the region with the lowest recent use.

At AquAid, we believe it’s of paramount importance to be at the forefront in being able to offer our customers easy access to our wide range of water coolers, water related products and water services.

In view of this, we developed a website some 12 years ago, which we’ve constantly striven to keep as user friendly and informative as possible.  In keeping with this philosophy we launched a new website in January 2017, introducing a cleaner, more modern look whilst also incorporating a significantly more user-friendly operation.

Looking at the above stats and considering the marked increase in online queries we receive on a daily basis, this has definitely been of benefit to both our customers and ourselves.

Based on the successes brought about since the launch of our new website, we’ve looked at a number of customer-centric options.  The most recent addition is the new Place an Order / Book an Engineer feature.

Should you wish to contact us online, whether you have a query or enquiry, require information or would like to order a water cooler, order your bottled water or book a service, all you need to do is simply click on the Place an Order / Book an Engineer button at the AquAid website, fill in your information, press send and we’ll take it from there

Are you AquAidly hydrated? (Puns in a watery world)

Are you AquAidly hydrated? (Puns in a watery world)

With the all-encompassing advent of our world online, I have been wondering for some time now if puns just aren’t the things of beauty they once were.  Post millennium there are more social media pun dedicated pages than you could shake a stick at. I’ve also noticed (an observation, not a criticism) that quite a few are really reaching.

One can’t help but think that if puns are becoming obsolete (by the mere fact that there are just too many of them being churned out to be of any relevance) are the other witty extensions of language soon to be on a slippery slope of obsolescence?

While you ponder these thoughts, we’d like you to consider the raison d’être behind the rather pun filled headline of this blog.

As I’m sure you’ve gathered, what we’re asking (a perennial favourite) is are you adequately (AquAidly) hydrated? If not, why not? Is it because you’re unsure of what qualifies as adequate hydration? Well, there we can help.

Being as we are a water and water cooler provider of some 20 years, it’s our business to know all about proper hydration.  We’re constantly checking to ensure that we’re up-to-date about all things drinking water related.

One of the ways that we pass on this information to you, dear online reader, is by providing a quick reference guide at our website. That’s here.

Aside from that, we have over 22 AquAid branches throughout the UK, staffed by highly experienced water knowledgeable teams who are more than equipped to provide you with the right water provision solution tailor-made to suit your hydration requirements.

We can’t, of course, make you hydrate properly as that’s certainly up to you. We’re also not using the terms – lead-horse-water-drink in here, perish the thought – but we are hoping that you recognise for your own health and well-being how important it is to make sure that you are aware that in order to perform at your peak, whether at work or play, you need to be adequately (AquAidly) hydrated.

We’d love to be able to assist. Contact us today.

Welcome to AquAid Surrey

Welcome to AquAid Surrey

Our AquAid Surrey began operating in 1998 and is owned by Richard Hopkins. Based in Chessington, Richard and his team supply an extensive range of innovative and high quality water coolers and dispensers to a broad range of customers in offices, medical centres, colleges and schools in and around the Surrey area. Committed to meeting AquAid’s exacting customer service standards, they pride themselves on the superior service they provide to over 4,000 customers.

Areas Covered:  Chelsea, Chertsey, Chessington, Clapham, Croydon, Fulham, Godalming, Guildford, Hammersmith, Heathrow, Kensington, Kingston, New Malden, Putney, Sutton, Teddington, Twickenham, Wandsworth, Wimbledon, Woking.

AquAid Surrey is located at: Unit 8, Chessington Trade Park, 60 Cox Lane, Surrey, KT9 1TW

Surrey is one of the most fascinating counties of England as these snippets will attest to:

  • Originally an area attached to the Kingdom of the Middle Saxons (Middlesex), the name Surrey itself derives from ‘the southern region’.*
  • The three most popular street names in Surrey are High Street, Church Road and Station Road.*
  • Guildford is named after a ford of golden sand just south of the town – it was dredged in 1760 when the river was deepened to make it navigable for barges up as far as Godalming.*
  • The name Godalming itself, meanwhile, comes from the area belonging to ‘Godhelm’s people’. This Godhelm was, according to local legend, a fierce and bloodthirsty English pagan warrior.*
  • Such was its fame apparently, slips from the Weeping Willow planted by Alexander Pope in his garden at Twickenham were sent to the Empress Catherine of Russia.*
  • In HG Wells’ The War of the Worlds, the sixth Martian invasion cylinder landed in Wimbledon.*

Whether you’re based in Chelsea, Heathrow or Putney, AquAid Surrey are more than equipped to meet all of your water cooler and water related product requirements.  Contact one of their friendly team today.

*sources:  Surrey Life; Information Britain; Express

Welcome to AquAid South Kent

Welcome to AquAid South Kent

Located in South East England, our AquAid South Kent  branch is one of our longest standing branches and is owned and managed by the very experienced Manetta Leigh.  Based in Eythorne, Manetta and her team supply an extensive range of innovative and high-quality water cooler and dispensers to offices and schools in and around the South Kent area. Committed to meeting AquAid’s exacting customer service standards, they pride themselves on the superior service they provide to hundreds of customers.

Areas Covered

Ashford, Bexhill, Broadstairs, Canterbury, Deal, Dover, Folkestone, Hastings, Herne Bay, Hythe, Margate, New Romney, Ramsgate, Rye, Sandwich, St Leonards, Westgate, Whitstable.

AquAid South Kent are located at: Eythorne Court, Shepherswell Road, Eythorne, Nr Dover, CT15 4AD

Wherever you’re situated in the regions that AquAid South Kent service, it’s sure to be an area of great interest, historically or otherwise:

Canterbury – The Canterbury trot was the name given to the way pilgrims rode their horses to get to the city before the night-time curfew.  That was the origin of the verb ‘to canter’.

Hastings is one of the medieval Cinque Ports. It has the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe. The beach is called Stade which is a Saxon term meaning landing place.

The town is most famous for 1066 – the Castle was built by William the Conqueror.  Its ruins are at the top of the West Hill and the steepest funicular railway in Britain takes passengers from the Old Town up the hill to the Castle.

Margate – In the 1700s, bathing in the sea and drinking seawater became a fashionable cure for all sorts of diseases.  From the Georgian period onwards, visitors from London began flocking to resorts like Margate for the seawater cure and increasingly as a place to socialise. Margate has built a reputation as a place for bathing in the sea – both for health and pleasure.

Ramsgate was a main embarkation port from the UK during the Napoleonic Wars. On one occasion 40,000 troops embarked from the town.  During World War Two, Ramsgate was a major contributor towards the rescue of the troops from the Dunkirk Beaches.

The first international hover port in the world was at Pegwell Bay in Ramsgate.

Sandwich has had at least eight windmills over the centuries, the earliest reference to a mill being dated 1608. The White Mill is the only survivor. It was built in 1760 and worked by wind until 1929, then by engine until 1957. Today it has been restored and is a heritage and folk museum.

Wherever you’re based in one of the 18 locales detailed above, AquAid South Kent  caters for all your water cooler and dispenser needs. Contact one of their helpful team today.

*sources: Discoverbritainstowns  Visitthanet Ramsgate  Wikipedia