In the news: Heatwaves, landfills full of recycling and working homeless people

Date: 24/07/2018 Written by: Rosie 3 minutes to read.
News Review

Regular heatwaves are predicted to 'kill thousands', recycled packaging 'may end up in landfill', a new phone app is causing cyberbullying and 73% of homeless people are actually working. Below, we have given you a brief overview of some of the news stories which have caught our eye over the past fortnight to save you the time of looking yourself!

Regular heatwaves ‘will kill thousands’

MPs have stated this week that the current heatwave hitting the UK could “become the new normal for UK summers by 2040”. According to the Environmental Audit Committee warns of “7,000 heat-related deaths every year in the UK by 2015”.

The heat poses a problem due to higher temperatures put some individuals at an increased risk of dying from cardiac, kidney and respiratory diseases. The government has stated that it’s committed to cutting carbon emissions, “although it is not on track to meet its targets”.

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Recycled packaging 'may end up in landfill', warns watchdog

This week the National Audit Office (NAO) have stated that “over half of the packaging reported as recycled is actually being sent abroad to be processed”. As a result, this does mean that the UK government has little control, analysis and monitoring capabilities over what recyclables are being fully recycled, buried in landfill or burned.

The UK has increased is packaged recycling rates from 31% in 1998 to 64% in 2017 which does beat the EU target of 55% by a fair margin. However, the amount of exported waste out of the UK has “Increased six-fold, whilst the quantity recycled in the UK has remained the same”.

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Homeless but working families rise by 73%, says Shelter

Recent analysis suggests that 33,000 families “living in temporary digs” were working in 2017. This is a rise of 73% from 2013. Shelter – the housing charity – have stated that this Is due to a “mix of expensive private rents, a housing benefit freeze and a chronic lack of social housing”.

 Chief executive Polly Neate has condemned this situation as “disgraceful” as most cases involve families work all day and night to return to a “cramped hostel or B&B where their whole family is forced to share a room”.

Before this analysis took place, the government has stated that it was investing £1.2bn to support homeless people.

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What is Tellonym? Schools issue warning over app 'fuelling cyberbullying' among teenagers

“The most honest place on the internet” – Tellonym – has received some negative press this week. Two schools in Manchester have issued warnings to parents after the smartphone app, which allows users to “see what your friends think of you, answer anonymous questions and ask others the things you have never dared before!”

Internet Matters – founded by a mixture of the big names in broadband providers, has previously stated that “bullying is not confined to the school playground any more” due to the ease of access of digital technology to young people.

Cyberbullying can lead a child to “feel helpless or worry their parents will take their phones or ban them from using tech”. Internet Matters goes on to say that “it’s vital that parents learn how to pick up the signs”.

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Antidepressant prescriptions for children on the rise

Over the past three years there has been a 15% rise in England, a 10% rise in Scotland and a 6% rise in Northern Ireland concerning the number of antidepressants prescribed to children.

In total, 950,000 prescriptions were issued between April 2015 and March 2018. The “steepest increase was seen in the youngest patients”, with those aged 12 and under. This group rose on average by 24%, from 14,500 to “almost 18,000”.

Antidepressants “should be prescribed to children only under close supervision” however, experts have “linked” the rise of prescriptions to waits for specialist mental health services.

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