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The NHS in England has purchased more than half a billion disposable cups over the last five years, new figures show.

Catherine Gee: Little lifestyle tweaks lead to global results

There’s no doubt that sometimes the workings of international agreements seem rather remote from our everyday lives. Often, it’s easy to convey the big picture, leaving the practical implementation far behind. However, that should not always be the case and Keep Scotland Beautiful has been focused on delivering the global ambitions set out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 17 Global Goals were adopted in 2015 to protect the health of our planet, reduce poverty and address gender equality. Goal 12 is about sustainable consumption and production – “doing more and better with less”. UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon was absolutely right when he said: “A sustainable world is one where people can escape poverty and enjoy decent work without harming the earth’s essential ecosystems and resources….”

Dr Kate Orton-Johnson, Senior Lecturer in Digital Sociology at The University of Edinburgh for Royal Bank of Scotland

Kate Orton-Johnson: Innovations should improve lives, not make them harder

Our mobile devices have created new ways for us to connect with each other. We use them to control our environments and our social experiences. We rely on them to entertain and occupy us as we go about our daily lives. We fill spare moments catching up on the news and email and we use them to document where we go, who we meet and what we do. Their ubiquitous presence has altered how we conduct our lives.

28/08/15 . KILMARNOCK. Rugby Park. Portrait of Kilmarnock FC player Kris Boyd for SoS interview with Moira Gordon.

Samaritans are there to listen – James Jopling

It’s good to talk. We’ve all heard variations of this ­mantra. At Samaritans, where talking and listening is what we do, we ­naturally agree with this message. But just because we know it’s good to talk, doesn’t mean it’s always easy.

Fixed-odds betting terminals have been under increasing criticism for encouraging high-stakes betting. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Kirsten Fleming: Betting industry must choose other options

They are a favourite amongst bookmakers and their customers, but new rules which have come into force this month see a maximum stake of £2 for fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) which is a significant reduction from the previous maximum bet of £100. The changes arose after mounting pressure was placed on the government to enact measures that will protect those at risk of gambling harm, but the move could spell trouble for the industry and its profitability.

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