Dyslexia school raises over £1,100 in a day for Guide Dogs

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Dyslexia school raises over £1,100 in a day for Guide Dogs

Carol Trigg and her husband Terry receive the cheque from Maple Hayes pupils Hannah McCormack and Cleeve Poxonock.jpg

Pupils at Maple Hayes Dyslexia School in Lichfield met Flora the guide dog when they handed over a £1,100 cheque to the charity which trained and supports her.

During an assembly the school learned about the benefits a guide dog can bring from Flora’s owner Carol Trigg. Carol, from Burntwood in Staffordshire lost her sight less than a decade ago.

“This is a phenomenal amount for a small school to raise and we are very grateful,” she said. “Guide Dogs the charity meets the full cost of a dog, its training and also all of its food and veterinary fees throughout its working life, so donations like this are really important to keep dogs with their owners and to train new ones.

“Flora has been life changing for me. When you lose your sight it’s so easy just to stay at home, but having a guide dog has enabled me to regain the freedom that I’d always had. What I didn’t realise before Flora is that I’d need to allow so much extra time for any journey. People won’t speak to a white stick, but everyone wants to speak to a guide dog.”

Pupils Hannah McCormack, aged 12 from Coventry, and Cleeve Poxon, aged 11 from Cannock, presented the cheque to Carol Trigg and her husband Terry. Hannah told the couple how local businesses and parents had supported the fundraising with a raffle at the school’s open day in June.

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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Inta launches industrial magnetic filter system: The X-Mag

Inta, the UK’s leading supplier to the plumbing and heating sectors, has launched an industrial-strength magnetic filter system.

The X-Mag is the all-in-one filter system designed for plant room installations where space is limited and for locations where it is critical that heating systems are kept as clean and efficient as possible.

Introduced at the Ecobuild show in March to huge interest from the plumbing and heating sectors, it is now available to purchase for the first time.

The magnetic filter is designed and manufactured by Inta and features its hallmark quality standards, with multiple inlet configurations and a large filter to capture more dirt.

At just 514mm high and 240mm wide, it is ideal for small spaces, yet its powerful system boasts a maximum inlet temperature of 110°C and 10 bar maximum operating pressure to remove iron, air and dirt from heating system water, keeping it free of debris that can cause clogging and breakdowns.

There are two options: the X-Mag, which is available from 1/2 inch to 2", and the X-Mag Pro, available from 6" to 8" flanged.  

Both are easy to install because no other components in the system need to be disturbed, which reduces the obvious risk of leaks. It also makes it servicing a doddle.

The system features manual and automatic air venting, self-closing venting, a large debris draining valve, a removable filtration basket with a 100 micron mesh to remove fine particles, and magnetic filtration to remove ferrous materials.

Inta has also created a separate accessory pack, which comprises inlet isolation lever ball valves and a stainless steel dosing unit.

Stuart Gizzi, Director at Inta, said: “We are extremely proud to launch this new commercial grade filter for retrofit and new installations. Judging by the feedback we had in the spring when we unveiled it, the X-Mag is a product that has been eagerly-awaited by installers and the trade.

“The beauty of it lies in its simplicity: just isolate the connections to the heating system, add anti-corrosion chemical products into the X-Mag, clean the removable magnets and then put it all back together and simply turn the system back on.

“When it's installed, all the water is filtered in the system because the water pump does not have to be bypassed. It’s a clever piece of kit and like all our products, is designed to improve efficiency.”

For more information about the X-Mag visit www.intatec.co.uk.

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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Heatwave on Brummie beach - lap up the sun at the Park Plage

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Heatwave on Brummie beach - lap up the sun at the Park Plage

With summer in full swing and a scorching weekend ahead, Birmingham residents will be delighted to learn they don’t have to travel too far to feel the sand between their toes…

Brummies can scrap long hot car journeys to the nearest beach at Weston-super-Mare and swap Skeggy for the city, with a visit to the new ‘Park Plage’ at Park Regis on Broad Street.

The four-star hotel has unveiled its very own beach area on the bar terrace, complete with sand, complimentary flip-flops and deck chairs for guests to make the most of the sunshine.

“Of all the major cities in the UK, Birmingham is situated the furthest away from the coast - so we decided it was time to bring the beach to the city,” said Mark Payne, General Manager at Park Regis.

“When the sun is shining and temperatures are rising there’s just something special about stepping on to a sandy beach with a cocktail to hand.”

Park Regis Birmingham also offers a refreshing Happy Hour menu available daily from 4pm to 7pm - including classic tipples such as strawberry daiquiris, cosmopolitans and Pimms and lemonade for just £5 each - plus an extensive bar menu.

“Our ‘Park Plage’ is the perfect sun-trap to kick-back and relax in and make the most of the heatwave this weekend,” added Mark.

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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‘Education is vital for fleet operators’- West Midlands Metro Mayor

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‘Education is vital for fleet operators’- West Midlands Metro Mayor

“Manufacturers must remind truck and fleet operators exactly what green technology they have available to them,” according to West Midlands Metro Mayor Andy Street.

On a visit to Guest Truck and Van in West Bromwich, where the environment was at the top of the agenda in a conversation about transport sustainability, innovation and alternative fuels, the Mayor said fleet operators should demonstrate how their actions can positively influence the environment.

Robert Spittle, Managing Director of Guest, which is one of the largest IVECO dealer groups in the UK, told the Mayor about some of the difficulties facing commercial vehicle manufacturers as environmental concerns become an increasingly important part of every-day logistics.

Showing the Mayor its range of electric vans and some of the least polluting big trucks on the road, he said: “There is no getting away from the fact that trucks and vans will play a huge part in the big picture of getting products to places for the foreseeable future and probably beyond. The UK’s truck fleet needs to be continually updated, which is the case when it comes to larger operators, but not always so with smaller ones.

“Most commercial vehicle manufacturers are making significant investments in technologies that will decrease the environmental impact of their trucks and vans, and the fuel they use.

“A greener option is already available, however a world of logistics that is totally zero or ultra-low emissions is unfortunately still quite a way off. Nevertheless, there are solutions available now to forward-looking businesses that are able to work and plan in advance.

“We hear about creative plans to transfer freight from road to rail or even the canal network, but there’s no avoiding the reality that even with a huge investment in infrastructure, products will still have to be transported from their point of origin to a hub, and then again the final mile to their destination. The world will need trucks for a very long time to come.

“Battery technology has come on in leaps and bounds, making an all-electric van a practical alternative to diesel power, and the predictable and repetitive nature of many deliveries means that companies can complete a day’s work with a single charge and the up to 150 km range that gives them.”

Robert added that city clean air zones - already high on the political agenda - could have an additional impact for the freight sector. However, following the example in London, which has had one for some time, he hoped that the industry is prepared.

Cities such as Nottingham are currently undergoing trials, while other cities including Birmingham - which announced its proposal for a clean air zone in the city centre this week - will have to implement the strategies and boundaries very quickly to comply with legislation, said Robert.

As Mayor of the West Midlands region with responsibility for transport, Andy Street has already committed to ruling out any universal congestion charge on drivers in the West Midlands, and has said he will explore a scheme to incentivise more lorries and heavy vehicles to use the M6 Toll at peak times.

In his election manifesto he said that the region must: “Implement the Clean Air Zone as required by Government, which will charge older, more heavily polluting trucks and heavy vehicles to enter parts of Birmingham city centre.”

He also pledged to: “Lobby Government to ensure that businesses and individuals who own these trucks and polluting vehicles have the right level of financial support to help them invest and switch to cleaner vehicles, for example a scrappage scheme similar to London.”

Speaking at Guest Truck and Van, Andy Street, who looked at some of IVECO’s greenest vehicles, said: “It’s clear that green technology for commercial vehicles is advancing and I know a lot of work is being done in the West Midlands.

“At this stage in the development of technology and deployment of regulations, I think education is vital, to remind truck and fleet operators exactly what green technology they have available to them, and how they can positively influence the environment with their actions right now.”

Guest’s Robert Spittle said: “It was good to speak to the Mayor about the challenges the industry faces. As the former head of John Lewis, he understood the operation of commercial vehicle fleets and how important an issue it is. I welcomed the opportunity to update the man who has the biggest responsibility for developing the region and who has influence at the very highest levels.”

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

 

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Switching to superior Armstrong Bell phone system  saves Birmingham prep school money

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Switching to superior Armstrong Bell phone system saves Birmingham prep school money

A Birmingham prep school has swapped its outdated telephone system for a state-of-the-art, cloud-based one from Worcestershire firm Armstrong Bell - and is now saving hundreds of pounds a year as a result.

The Blue Coat School in the Edgbaston area of the city is the second-largest prep school in England, with 600 pupils aged 2-11 and 200 staff. It prides itself on offering a nurturing environment for its young students and providing a cutting-edge approach to learning.

However, its phone system was in desperate need of an update. Not only did it rely on a basic infrastructure, the handsets were no longer available on the market and therefore finding spare parts for repairs was proving difficult.

Frankie Paterson, IT manager at The Blue Coat School, explained: "We looked at upgrading our phone system a number of years ago but other projects had to take precedence. The infrastructure was incredibly basic. The 27 miles of fibre needed to be replaced and with that, new wifi had to be installed.

"We had transitioned to working in the cloud and I realised we would benefit massively from having our phone system on the cloud, too.”

The Blue Coat School asked three suppliers to submit tenders and Armstrong Bell’s proposal stood out, not just for the sophisticated system it had recommended, but also because of the support package and cost-saving potential.

Armstrong Bell recommended ‘Venture’, the latest generation of hosted Cloud-based systems. As a premium hosted IP telephony service, it has a wide range of features and benefits, including call park, pick-up and group calls, caller ID and anonymous caller blocking, automatic call back, do not disturb, programmable quick dial numbers, call groups, call and voicemail notification, forwarding by email and SMS, music on hold, and desktop CTI integration.

“When exploring our options we found that Armstrong Bell offered the best product for the best price,” said Frankie, who has worked at The Blue Coat School for seven years.

The all-inclusive costing meant that the Venture telephone system would come with a flat licence, so that everything - from voicemail, voice recording, phone data reports, and call forwarding - was included in the price.

The school ordered 77 handsets.

“The solution from Armstrong Bell meant that from just one subscription per handset we were able to incorporate all of the features,” said Frankie. “By comparison, other companies were looking to sell the additional features as 'add-ons', or in layers.”

The ultra-reliable Venture system means that as long as the school has internet access, the telephones will work.

The school will also benefit from significantly lower telephone bills. The old system cost the school an average of £400 a month just for calls. It also had to spend around £1,500 a year for support and maintenance, while further costings for a technician had to be factored in to deal with any system failures.

It now expects its bills to be slashed by around £800 per year because the Armstrong Bell Venture system has 3,000 minutes per handset included with the subscription cost of £8.90 a month per handset. In addition, there are no costly maintenance fees or hidden costs.

“To be honest, it wasn't about finding the cheapest price, though; we just needed to find the best value solution for the school,” added Frankie.

Armstrong Bell’s expert team migrated to the Venture system during the Easter holiday and it took just three days to complete. Key school staff received full training on how to use it and have been so pleased with the system’s performance, they added another six handsets.

“So far we've found the system brilliant; it’s just so flexible. Because everything works on the cloud, we're able to unplug handsets and move things around if we need to without worrying about setting it up - it just works,” said Frankie.

Will Copley, Managing Director of Armstrong Bell, said: "We've been working with The Blue Coat School for a number of months so by the time the school was ready to make a decision on the products and service they wanted, Frankie had full confidence in our business.

"It's always gratifying to work with a school and help save them money that they simply don't need to be spending."

For information about Armstrong Bell visit www.armstrongbell.co.uk.

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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Park Regis Birmingham to support two charities until 2020

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Park Regis Birmingham to support two charities until 2020

Park Regis Charity partnership (L-R Mark Payne (Park Regis), Kate Davis (Huntington's Disease Association), Rachel Ollerenshaw (Molly Olly's), Kathryn Rouse (Park Regis).jpg

Park Regis, the deluxe Birmingham city centre hotel, has announced the two charities that it has nominated to support for the next two years.

Instead of selecting a single charity, the hotel has chosen Molly Olly’s Wishes and the Huntington’s Disease Association, after staff submitted suggestions close to their hearts.

Molly Olly’s Wishes is a Warwick-based charity, founded by Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw after the death of their eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer in 2011. It supports children with terminal or life-threatening illnesses and their families, granting individual wishes and donating therapeutic toys and books.

The Huntington’s Disease Association is the only charity in England and Wales that supports people with the disease, which affects the body’s nervous system and is a progressive brain disorder that causes uncontrolled movements, loss of cognition and emotional problems.

“We felt it was important to give our staff an opportunity to have their say on which charities we choose to support,” said Mark Payne, General Manager at Park Regis Birmingham. “We usually have a single nominated charity but we made the unanimous decision to support two causes this year because they both do incredible work, supporting individuals and their families.

“We’re looking forward to raising funds for Molly Olly’s Wishes and the Huntington’s Disease Association over the next two years and raising awareness about both of these fantastic charities.”

“We are extremely grateful to everyone at Park Regis Birmingham for choosing us as one of their charities for the next two years,” said Rachel Ollerenshaw, Trustee of Molly Olly’s Wishes. “As a small charity, having this kind of support can make a very real difference to the children we support and it will also help raise awareness so that we can reach more families in need.

“The team at Park Regis took the time to listen to our story and understand our work and the significance that their contribution can make in those dark days for children with life-threatening illnesses. We can’t thank them enough.”

Kate Davis, Head of Fundraising at the Huntington's Disease Association, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Park Regis as one of their two nominated charities. We are a small charity that makes a big difference and working with Park Regis will enable us to reach more people living with HD and bring the disease out of the shadows, raising much needed awareness of this misunderstood disease.”

Since opening in March 2016, Park Regis Birmingham has raised in excess of £100,000 for local charities.

For more information about Park Regis Birmingham, visit:

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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Snackamolé™ launches 100g sharing pots for the chilled dips aisle

Snackamolé™Dip & Chip, the first on-the-go avocado snack of its kind, is now available in a single 100g dip serving.

Following the success of the award-winning food-to-go snack - which comprises a 100g pot of dip and a pack of low-fat chickpea pop chips - UK-based flavour pioneers Born Tasty have launched a range of great-to-share single pots to sit in the chilled dips aisle.

With a competitive recommended retail price of just £1.85 per 100g pot, Snackamolé™ dips are suitable for vegans, as well as gluten-free and dairy-free diets. There are two varieties to choose from:

  • ‘Chunky Avocado’ - containing 99% pure Hass avocado with a twist of lime, delivering a classic, fresh taste.

  • ‘Guacamole’ - made using an authentic Mexican recipe, bursting with flavour from the avocados, onion, garlic and bell pepper ingredients.

 Made using only premium, ethically-sourced Hass avocados, Snackamolé™ dips are the ideal accompaniment to Mexican meals, and are also a great choice for quick, healthy snacking - providing one of your five a day.

Richard Lakeman, Sales and Marketing Manager at Born Tasty, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response we’ve received to Snackamolé™ Dip & Chip since we launched the products, and we are incredibly excited to introduce the 100g dip-only serving in response to requests from trade and consumers.”

Snackamolé™ dips are produced in Mexico using the high-pressure processing (HPP) hyperbaric pressure processing  method* - a cold pasteurisation technique that subjects the nutrient-rich fruit to water-transmitted pressure, equivalent to subjecting it to an ocean depth of 37 miles.

This cutting-edge method eliminates microorganisms and the enzymes that cause the avocado flesh to brown, which means it retains the unique flavour of the fruit and its nutrients. It also extends the life of the product, with the dips having an unopened shelf life of 35 days.

Snackamolé™ Dip & Chip has already picked up two industry awards; scooping the title of ‘Most Innovative Food To Go Product’ at Food Matters Live 2017 and receiving a ‘Silver’ Lunch Innovation Challenge Award last year. It was also shortlisted for ‘Best Snack’ at the World Food Innovation Awards 2018.

For more details, visit

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

 

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3D PRINTED WALLS, DRONES AND A BIOMETRIC ROOF MADE FROM RECYCLED PLASTIC  – HOW THE FUTURE OF THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY COULD LOOK BY 2025

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3D PRINTED WALLS, DRONES AND A BIOMETRIC ROOF MADE FROM RECYCLED PLASTIC – HOW THE FUTURE OF THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY COULD LOOK BY 2025

  • Renowned futurologist Dr. Ian Pearson has given an insight into how the future of the UK construction industry could look

  • Drones that carry materials up building sites; 3D printed walls; and a biometric roof made from recycled plastic bottles from the ocean will all be mainstream by 2025

  • Future-gazer Dr. Pearson was commissioned by Colmore Tang Construction, which has partnered with Virgin StartUp to deliver a £10m innovation fund ‘ConstrucTech’ which is open to entrepreneurial companies

A report looking at the role that technology will play in the construction industry in the future, has revealed that 3D printed walls, drones and a roof made from recycled plastic bottles from the ocean will all be possible by 2025, thanks to advancements in technology.

The report, written by renowned future gazer, Dr. Ian Pearson BSc DSc(hc) and commissioned by Colmore Tang Construction and Virgin StartUp, also revealed that floating buildings or apartments will be possible by 2050 thanks to carbon foam, which is lighter than air.

By 2025, drones will be able to carry large materials up construction sites and even more remarkably, plastic bottles recovered from the world’s oceans will be recycled to create biometric buildings, or even a roof shaped in the form of a wave.

Over the next decade, artificial intelligence (AI) will be commonplace, linking to sensors and cameras around construction sites, ensuring that buildings are being developed according to the architect’s plans. Humans will work alongside AIs and will not only see these robots as clever tools, but also colleagues and even friends as they start to develop unique relationships.

Looking more than 50 years into the future, by 2075 Dr. Pearson suggests that self-assembling buildings under AI control will allow a new form of structure – kinetic architecture – where a structure is literally thrown into the sky and assembled while gravity forms the materials into beautiful designs.   

However, it is 3D printing that will steal most of the construction headlines in the immediate future, according to the future-gazer. Cheap homes, built quickly using 3D printing, will essentially put an end to the housing crisis.

The report was launched by Colmore Tang Construction, which has partnered with Virgin StartUp to deliver a £10m innovation fund that is open to entrepreneurial companies in a construction industry-first technology accelerator programme called ‘ConstrucTech’.

The fund will be provided to those companies that can successfully show how their innovation and technology could improve the sector’s productivity, sustainability and skills issues.  

Futurologist, Dr Ian Pearson BSc DSc(hc), said: “By 2025 we will already see huge changes in the construction industry thanks to technology with drones, AI and 3D printing all becoming commonplace.

“By 2050, we could see floating buildings or apartments that could save the housing crisis using carbon foam that’s lighter than air – the possibilities for this really are endless.”

Andy Robinson, Group CEO of Colmore Tang, said: “This forward-thinking report has shown that technology is set to have a hugely positive impact on the construction industry. However, we need to discover those exciting and innovative start-ups, whose products and services could deliver the technologies and innovations that will be the key to future success.

“We are hopeful that our partnership with Virgin StartUp to create the ConstrucTech programme and £10m innovation fund will be the start of a new dawn within the industry, where the future innovations predicted become a reality.”

Virgin StartUp is a leading business support organisation which has run a number of successful accelerators and supported 11,000 entrepreneurs across the UK. Construction in the UK has been slow to embrace innovation and adopt new technology and Colmore Tang has identified a number of key areas within its business, and the industry as a whole, which it believes could benefit from the contribution of enterprising start-ups.

Colmore Tang and Virgin StartUp are calling for businesses to apply to the ConstrucTech programme to address the following problems:

  • People: improving analysis of performance, sharing best practice across building projects, measurement of quality and also implementation of health and safety.

  • Data: using data to pre-empt potential delays, more efficient material ordering, more effective use of labour along with use of performance data to improve cost, timescales and estimates of new projects for future clients.

  • Smart Materials: design and implementation of materials to improve sustainability; improve safety and finding materials which are digitally connected.

 

Colmore Tang is providing start-ups with the opportunity to use the programme as a test bed and development platform to bring products and ideas to the construction sector. It’s hoped the £10m innovation behind ConstrucTech will be the spark to improve lacklustre productivity levels and also begin addressing the need to re-skill over half a million construction workers to suit the industry’s future.

Interested start-ups can apply to be part of ConstrucTech here: http://virginstartup.org/constructech

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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 Follow Harry and Meghan’s lead with a bowl food  wedding reception at Park Regis Birmingham

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Follow Harry and Meghan’s lead with a bowl food wedding reception at Park Regis Birmingham

Bowl food promises to be the next hot trend for couples’ wedding receptions, thanks to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who are said to be opting for more casual dining than a formal sit-down meal when they marry on Saturday (May 19).

Now Park Regis Birmingham, the city’s luxurious four-star hotel, which already offers bowl food as an option, says it is gearing up for an influx of requests from couples looking to follow in royal footsteps.

Mark Payne, general manager at Park Regis, said: “Bowl food has been an option for wedding receptions here since we opened and we’ve seen the trend grow over the past few months as couples say they want to be able to mingle with their guests and enjoy a less formal occasion.

“They are simple dishes but are no less delicious and visually pleasing than our more traditional menus and have been a real talking point among guests. Now Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have revealed they will be enjoying bowl food after their wedding ceremony at St George’s Chapel, we are anticipating that this will be a huge trend.”

Park Regis Birmingham offers a wide range of bowl food options for wedding receptions, with dishes ranging from tuna Nicoise salad, seared duck breast and duchess potatoes to beetroot meringue, pan-fried cod with a summer salad and vanilla and passion fruit pannacotta - to name but a few.

To celebrate the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, 1565 Restaurant in the Park Regis is offering a special Royal Afternoon Tea from Friday 18th May to Thursday 21st May, with delicious sandwiches, pastries and fizz fit for a queen.

For more details about wedding packages at Park Regis Birmingham, which offers both civil ceremonies for up to 150 guests and wedding receptions for up to 250 guests, visit www.parkregisbirmingham.co.uk

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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The world’s first edible water ‘bottle’ comes to Selfridges Birmingham

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The world’s first edible water ‘bottle’ comes to Selfridges Birmingham

The world’s first edible water “bottle” is coming to Selfridges Birmingham to support the department store’s Project Ocean campaign.

Ooho is made entirely from seaweed and plants, with water and juices perfectly encapsulated inside, making the uniquely packaged material the most sustainable disposable alternative to any other container on the market.

It will be available exclusively in the Bullring store on June 8 for one week to mark World Oceans Day, where shoppers can try the radical product, which uses five times less CO2 and nine times energy compared to PET bottles.

Sam Watts, general manager of Selfridges Birmingham, said: “Selfridges is committed to raising awareness of plastic pollution and the damaging effects on the oceans and since 2011, our Project Ocean campaign has seen us tackle the issues of endangered fish,  raising awareness of marine pollution and we were the first store to remove single-use water bottles across the business.

“We are very excited to welcome Ooho to Selfridges, in time for World Oceans Day. It’s an incredibly innovative product that promises to make real inroads into the problem of single-use plastic and we know that our customers will love it.”

The edible seaweed membrane is filled with filtered water or juice, but it can also be disposed of as natural food waste, where it will degrade.

It will stock the following Ooho options:

Selfridges selection blackcurrant Ooho (£1.50)

Selfridges selection elderflower & cucumber Ooho (£1.50)

Selfridges selection strawberry & rose Ooho (£1.50)

Plain Ooho small (25ml, £1)

Plain Ooho large (125ml, £1.50)

Hotshot juice Ooho (£2)

Charcoal & lime juice Ooho (£2)

http://www.oohowater.comwww.selfridges.com

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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