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tv   Inside Out  BBC News  September 23, 2018 4:30pm-5:00pm BST

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look a as we start a new week things look a great deal,. dry and cool, nights will be particularly chilly. the sky is largely clear overhead. rain and she was tend to fade away. the wind started to ease, and temperatures dip away. towns and cities at three orli dip away. towns and cities at three or 4 degrees, close to freezing in the countryside, or a touch below. we could start tomorrow with a touch of frost. otherwise, looking like a beautiful day, blue skies and sunshine overhead. the odd showers, but not as bad as today. 1a to 16 degrees, temperatures continue to climb by day as we head into the middle of the week, more of a breeze, some rain at times. hello this is bbc news. the headlines: a man has been arrested at buckingham palace on suspicion of possession of a taser.
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labour's leadership say they would be ready to back another eu referendum — if party members want one. sky shareholders are urged to accept us media giant comcast‘s takeover offer of over 30 billion pounds for the tv broadcaster iran's president accuses american—backed gulf states of supporting groups behind a deadly terror attack on a military parade yesterday. now on bbc news.. inside out has an exclusive report on the latest idea for disposing of the plastic mountain. hello, i'm sean fletcher. ba rely barely it, dig it up, recyclers, what can we do about plastic? scientists have found a way to make
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a new green fuel. some say it should be left where it is. we have an exclusive. this is a sample, it could power your car this is a sample, it could power yourcar in the this is a sample, it could power your car in the future. confused about what you can and can't recycle ? about what you can and can't recycle? help is at hand. in peterborough you can recycle black. and the man who has picked up ten tonnes of other people's rubbish and is still going strong. the river looks absolutely fine, apart from where you get floating bottles. 80% of the litter is below the surface. you've got this conveyor belt of rubbish moving out into the wider river system and into the sea. i'm david whiteley, and this is inside out. first we have an exclusive report on
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the latest attempts to do something useful with the plastic we throw away. scientists have discovered how to turn landfill plastic into new, cleaner fuels. but if we dig it up, could a site near you unearth new problems? every week, 1100 tonnes of household waste buried in this landfill site. it's just one of 20,000 landfill sites in the uk, between them, they contain 400 million tonnes of plastic. chris cornell has been shifting waste in wiltshire for the last three years. from your experience, chris, is this the type of thing you see every time there's load of waste dumped here, what you're dealing with is mainly plastic?
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yeah, definitely these days because everything's sorted out, wood and metal have been taken out from the majority, that's basically what you get left with. is it quite shocking to see how much plastic is here, and this is, you know, a relatively small landfill site, isn't it? yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely. i mean, it has been noticeably more plastic in the last few years, so what do you do with it? where does it go, you know? how can you recycle this sort of stuff? that's a question scientist dr stuart wagland is attempting to answer. he's part of a europe—wide push to promote enhanced landfill mining. enhanced landfill mining is the concept that we can recover maximum value from landfills so we can reclaim the majority of resources in landfills, we can reclaim the land and recover materials of interest such as rare elements, raw materials, valuable metal but also plastic. stuart is leading a government—backed project. to recover landfill plastic and turn it into a new fuel.
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he and his team at cranfield university in bedfordshire have so far identified 850 landfill sites in england suitable to be mined. of these, 34 are in london and within each one up to a fifth of the contents will be plastic. but the team think there could be up to 4000 more sites across the uk that might be worth digging up. so what have you got here? this is a sample taken from a landfill site. yeah, you can smell the landfill. that's pretty stinky. this is quite a tame sample. how old is this? this is about five years old. some of this is really degrading considerably but that has barely changed at all,
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but the staff you're really after is this plastic we can't recycle. so this realistically, this wouldn't be recyclable anyway and film plastic is rarely recycled in the uk so all this plastic material is a potential resource, so we're looking at plastics to understand how they behave in landfill sites, so looking at their construction, have they changed, are they the same as plastic that went in and looking at technologies we can apply to get the best possible value. stuart and the team are using a technology called pyrolysis. it's already been used to turn non—landfill plastic into gas and oil by heating it at temperatures exceeding 600 celsius. until now it's not been possible to do this with the dirty plastic from landfill but stuart's team have found a way. can we see the oil? we can. so this sample here, this is waste that has had the metal and glass taken away, and everything else has been used
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in a pyrolytic plant. oh, you can see it there. so this oil is very similar in consistency to crude oil but we believe we can upgrade this to produce chemicals and liquid fuels and it could potentially power your car in the future. how environmentally friendly is the process of turning this into oil and gas? because the process, i believe, creates carbon dioxide? it does, but it doesn't produce carbon dioxide in the same way as if we were to burn this material. and also it saves carbon, it replaces transport fuels and raw materials we would derive from crude oil so it has that lower carbon impact. but digging up old landfill sites is controversial. at the moment researchers are not revealing the location of the 34 sites in london as this may stir up opposition, as i discover on the banks of the thames. it's a beautiful day here on the beach.
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but all is not what it seems. the thames estuary has been london's dumping ground for more than 100 years but when you first get onto the beach at tilbury, you think look at all the pebbles glinting in the sun but they are not all pebbles. here, fragments of glass, china and other hazardous materials such as asbestos from a nearby old landfill are washed up with each new tide and plastic at the old site is also on display. julian kirby is the plastics pollution campaigner for friends of the earth. this is unbelievable. plastic leaching out of the bank. that's right, it's miserable. we've woken up to being in the midst of a plastic pollution crisis. the public concern after blue planet and the rest of it and seeing this plastic washing out into the thames here is shocking. surely it makes sense to take this out, mine what's here and put
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it to some good use. there would be a lot in that landfill that would be good to get out and put to good use. precious metals in computers and laptops and watches but getting plastic out, turning it back into oil and then burning it, essentially that's what's happening and that will be very bad for climate change. julian would prefer if plastic is left in a modern secure landfill where it cannot escape. if it's a secure landfill then leave it there, it's fossil fuel being put back in the ground and while it's there it will not pollute the atmosphere and drive climate change. clearly this isn't a secure landfill. but if there are many people saying they can turn this resource from plastic in landfill into cleaner fuel, that has to be good.
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so they say this is cleaner fuel. what they mean that it's a slightly less terrible type of fossil fuel. but burning plastic, whether it's in a fancy technology like pyrolysis or whether it's in an incinerator, is incredibly polluting, and that's why we need to be massively reducing how much plastic we use altogether and not locking ourselves into a whole new economy of plastic. but take a trip upriver to the city of london and there is a different view. investors are looking to see if digging up all the waste in landfill will turn a profit and they argue the 400 million tonnes of plastic held in the uk's landfill sites is too valuable to be left buried. legal practice latham and watkins is an international law firm and partner paul davies is an environmental lawyer. what is the best way to make enhanced landfill mining viable economically? you need to bring together what i would call the three revenue streams, and that's looking at the value of the land, taking out the materials which can be recovered like rare
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minerals which can be very valuable, and then the third revenue stream, taking out other materials which can then be burned and used as fuel. friends of the earth say plastic should be kept in landfills if it can't be recycled and will do no harm there do you think we would be crazy not to do this? absolutely, i think we would. we have already seen examples of enhanced landfill mining about to happen, there a site in belgium we believe is entering the final stages of getting approval and that will set an important precedent to follow, and the idea we have landfills up and down the country containing all these materials and we leave them there, ijust find bewildering. if it becomes cheaper for companies to dig up sites rather than managing them for decades, the prospect of mining for plastic will be attractive and its predicted we could be using fuel from landfill plastic within ten years. as manliness tried to change our
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recycling habits, do many of us know what can and can't go in the bin? sophie has been to peterborough to get to grips with their waste. sophie has been to peterborough to get to grips with their wastelj keep get to grips with their waste.” keep my shelf full of things i'm not sure about, and then tend to ditch them in. so, nets, not sure. final, not sure. moisturising tabs, not sure? i'm not sure about this. bubble wrap? cannot go in recycling or the landfill bin? like many of us
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residents here are confused about recycling. last year only half of the recycling that could be recycled in the uk actually was. it seems many don't know what to do. but help is at hand. these residents are getting a recycling masterclass. the person to do it is here, in the centre of peterborough. she works for a national plastic recycling charity based in the city. we are here, ideally, to make sure that maximum amount of plastics are recycled. that means working with the brand owners to make sure that there packaging is simple to recycle. the charity have just completed
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their latest survey, the good news is we are putting more plastic out for collection. last year were 500 tonnes were collected from uk households. that's almost a 3% increase on 2016. the average household uses nearly 500 plastic bottles a year. yet, only recycles around 300 of them. meaning 200 bottles are around 300 of them. meaning 200 bottles a re not around 300 of them. meaning 200 bottles are not collected for recycling. time for and to meet our residents and see if she can help them sort their bubble wrap from food trays. so, this biscuit box, on the back, it says that the box can be recycled, that's quite obvious. but this black plastic tray it says check local recycling, but i don't know how to do that. in
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peterborough, you can recycle lack, and your bubble wrap is a no. that's for landfill? we would take that out. black, not in all areas, for landfill? we would take that out. black, not in allareas, but most coloured bottles and trays can go in. actually, they aren't too bad asa go in. actually, they aren't too bad as a street when it comes to recycling. they've still got confused by the items that are nets, bubble wrap, i never know what to do with bubble wrap and then it changes depending on where you live. each local authority has their own rules which you have to check for yourself. this isn't as simple as i was hoping it would be. sarah steele has questions about her moisturiser bottle, which seems to have left both her hands anne stumped. this is an odd one, we would normally say that if it's a pomp lead, the pomp lead you would separate away from
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the bottle, and you would recycle the bottle, and you would recycle the bottle, and you would recycle the bottle and not the lid. however, i can't cn indication on the bottle, 01’ i can't cn indication on the bottle, or the late, i would recommend we ta ke or the late, i would recommend we take this to a plastics recycling facility and we see what, and how, this can be detected. bank you, anne. we are taking sarah to a state—of—the—art recycling centre to find out what to do with the problem bottle. good morning. good morning. are you ready for our big day? the only thing is, it's a lot further away than we'd expected. do you know where we are off to? no. i thought it might be ten minutes or so away, but i've seen from your satin outfits about one hour 56! yes, a two hour drive. yes, it's in
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rochester, kent, where they lot of the plastic ends up. this is because there is only a handful of these special the plastic recovery facilities in the country. and rochester is the closest to us. finally we arrive at the recycling plant, where we are greeted by ed, the site manager. hello, i'm dead. nice to meet you, i'm sarah. -- i'm ed. as you can see, we've got a real mix of colours, polymer types, completely mixed up. ourjob is to ta ke completely mixed up. ourjob is to take each of those bales, separate it and run it through the planned to separate out all the different polymer types, so we can pass it on for recycling. we created circular economy. it's so allowed inside this
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plant, but what you can see here are 121 conveyor belts, sorting plastics into types. the plants can then generate up to 13 dig up a 350 bales plastic a day. one bail alone could contain up to 17,000 bottles. that's a lot of plastic. we, effectively, ta ke a lot of plastic. we, effectively, take any plastics that you put into your recycling. then the plant works on those plastics and separates them out into your water bottles, hdpe, which is milk bottles, your parts, tabs, trays, those kinds of things. the machines are able to detect the different types of plastics, or polymers, separate them, and squash them down into bales. here are glad rochester, what we look to do is re cycle rochester, what we look to do is recycle everything that comes in
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here. but what comes in is always re cycla ble, here. but what comes in is always recyclable, so we end up at about 80% that is actually recycled, because it is recyclable. what is the worst thing you've ever found on a co nveyor the worst thing you've ever found on a conveyor belt? we get a lot of different items, probably the most unpleasant our nappies, so what we would ask residents is to think about what you are looking to re cycle a nd about what you are looking to recycle and put the right things into the right bend. not a nice thought when you think that some sorting involves sifting by hand. let me show you what the end product is, as you were asking outside. so, here we've got some of the material, they sell this on to turn it back into water bottles. these are, effectively, from milk bottles outside. they are turned back into milk bottles and replace rigid materials. there is still one more question, can lead to tell sarah
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wish you should put her moisturiser bottle ? wish you should put her moisturiser bottle? can this be recycled? let me have a look. ideally, you'd want to be able to take the plastic topped off if it's different, but, again, i think the message needs to be if you put this material into the right bend, it comes to me, then it has the best chance of being recycled rather than putting it in your rubbish bin. so, not even ed is entirely sure. although recycling plastic can be confusing, the message is clear. if in doubt, put your plastic into the recycling bin rather than the rubbish. of course we all want to make sure we keep the countryside looking like this, pristine. but picking up other people's waste isn't everybody‘s idea of fun. that's not the case for
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nick, picking up litterfor him as a passion. i've been fishing the rivers for yea rs. i've been fishing the rivers for years. this is my local river, my enjoyment has been spoiled by the increasing amount of plastic waste in the waterways. on the surface it looks fine, apart from floating litter like bottles. often, 80% of litter like bottles. often, 80% of litter is below the surface, so you've got this, basically, conveyor belt of rubbish moving out of towns and cities into the river system. i don'tjust talk and cities into the river system. i don't just talk about the problem, i wa nt to don't just talk about the problem, i want to do something about the way stacey around me. even while fishing i'm busy collecting discarded rubbish —— about the waste around me. there's another one. some of them throughout some of them go to
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them throughout some of them go to the bottom. once it's on the bottom it will fill up and it will be forgotten, basically. all the time you've got chemicals coming out of that plastic. it's something that needs to be tackled, at source, in small rivers all over the country. i'm not alone. other people are also getting angry, and picking up other people's rubbish. everyday i come down here, it's nice and pleasant, and they leave their rubbish. everyday. three times a day i walk down here and there is not a day goes past when i don't pick rubbish up. just dispose of it! you know, packaging. they could take it with them, they brought it with them so they should take it home with them. for others enjoyment, take it home and put it in the bin. that's the problem, not setting an example. if
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they are with kids and they see them doing that, the next generation will doing that, the next generation will do that. i've been collecting waste for the last eight years, it's no exaggeration to say it's something ofa exaggeration to say it's something of a passion for me. i reckon i've cleared over ten tonnes of litter from kettering in that time. that's weight of ten cards. i find rubbish, literally, everywhere. this is a storm water outflow that carries water from the roads into the river. basically, you get plastic trapped in the gratings, and this is the kind of stuff that isn't recyclable, and it's clogging up the river system across the uk. you get a lot of litter that is hidden in books like this. it's normally windblown from waste carriers on roads, it's actually embedded within the bank and the foliage. it's pretty hard to recover it once it's wrapped around,
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this is the kind of stuff councils will never get to. what sort of damage can do? there is the risk of leaching chemicals, toxins, into the water. that can affect aquatic organisms and breeding cycles of fish and other animals. and, also, it isa fish and other animals. and, also, it is a clogging risk. animals can choke on it, and eventually it will make its way to the sea, and then becomes an international problem it doesn't matter where you live, this is worldwide. it will add to that. you can spend all day being angry about it but it's not going to clean the problem. if we all tackle this together, and get some kind of coverage of the issue, generally, it's fixable, it's a question of time, and their fat, of people putting some time into
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solving the problem. i take the rubbish i collect and dispose of it responsibly. most of it is recycled by my local council. my enthusiasm has rubbed off. i'm disappointed by the amount of mass in the rivers. it could be put into the bins properly. there's no reason for it. you've got pockets, bring a bag to take your rubbish with you. i'm always picking rubbish with you. i'm always picking rubbish up. when i heard about this, iwas, like, rubbish up. when i heard about this, i was, like, yes, rubbish up. when i heard about this, iwas, like, yes, come and do rubbish up. when i heard about this, i was, like, yes, come and do it. it's not biodegradable and doesn't go anywhere, it just stays it's not biodegradable and doesn't go anywhere, itjust stays in it's not biodegradable and doesn't go anywhere, it just stays in the rivers. we've all seen what happens to plastic in the sea. i was recently surprised that the prime minister, theresa may, heard of may litter picking and sent me a letter praising my work, she called it a fantastic achievement. at first i didn't want the publicity, and quite shy. but it will help their cause, it shows, also, its a symptom that
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people are starting to talk about it. it's a good thing. i don'tjust clea n it. it's a good thing. i don'tjust clean up rivers. this public footpath alongside berbizier 14 is covered in plastic waste. that record the busy a 14. it makes me frustrated that people won't take ownership of the problem. people don't like the litter but it happens ona don't like the litter but it happens on a daily basis. clearly, something is wrong with the system. the winger litter picks like this will change that, i think. litter picks like this will change that, ithink. —— doing litter picks like this will change that, i think. —— doing litter picks like this. people might get inspired to start their own group. i will continue to pick every week as long asi continue to pick every week as long as i can. i enjoy it, and it's good to make a difference. if i can go to a place and leave it better than i found it, that gives me a great feeling of fulfilment and i know i'm making a difference in my community.
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well, we certainly need less plastic and fewer litter bugs. if you missed any of the programme you can catch up any of the programme you can catch up on my player. that's it for this week, bye—bye. —— iplayer. hello, over the last week we've had no shortage of wet and windy weather across the uk. as we start the new week things look,. mostly dry, cool,
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and nights particularly chilly. skies are largely clear this evening overhead, most of the rain and showers tended to fade away. where we keep clear starry skies and temperatures these tempters dip away. close to freezing in the countryside, or even a touch below for some places. we could start with the odd touch of frost and missed tomorrow, but otherwise a beautiful day with blue skies and sunshine overhead. the odd she the north—west, not as not as many as today. those temperatures may be a notch higher. temperatures will continue to climb in the south, by day, anyway, further north and west, more cloud, more of a breeze, and arena times. —— and a breeze at times. this is bbc news, i'm martine croxall. the headlines at five. labour's leadership team say they would back members on another brexit vote. i'm there elected as
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the leader of this party. elected as the leader in order to bring greater democracy to this party. there will be a clear vote in conference, i don't know what's going to come out of all the meetings that are going on. a man has been arrested at buckingham palace on suspicion of possession of a taser. iam i am vicki young in liverpool where there is no agreement over whether there is no agreement over whether there should be a backing by labour over another referendum. a man has been arrested at buckingham palace on suspicion of possession of a taser. following eu leaders' rejection of theresa may's chequers plan last
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