My finding of the week: 60% of 1p and 2p coins are only used once before being put in savings jars. 8% are thrown away. Source: HM Treasury.
2.9m motor vehicles were licensed in Scotland in 2016 – the highest number ever recorded. The number of bus passengers in Scotland has fallen by 10% in the last five years. Source: Transport Scotland. Women’s exercise leggings and mashed potato will now be used instead of pork pies and lager sold in nightclubs to help calculate the cost of living in the UK. Source: Office for National Statistics. Finland is the happiest place in the world to live, followed by Norway and Denmark. The UK came 19th – one place above the United Arab Emirates – and last was Burundi in East Africa. Source: World Happiness Report. We spend around seven-and-a-half-years of our lives feeling tired – usually due to late nights or a poor diet. Source: Healthspan. Young women under 30 years old don't tend to regret casual sex if they take the initiative and the sex was good. Source: Norwegian University of Science and Technology/ University of Texas. People in a relationship tend to put weight on, despite eating, drinking, and smoking less than singles. Source: Central Queensland University. One in five people over 60 years old have been targeted more than 10 times by scammers in the past year. The average amount lost was £401. Source: Santander. 70,000 stop and searches for drugs were carried out by police in London in 2017-18. 20,000 were carried out for 'weapons, points and blades.' Source: Metropolitan Police Service. We should be freezing our loaves of bread – 69% of 18-34-year-olds throw away unused bread each week. Only 26% know that they can make toast from bread straight out of the freezer. Source: Love Food Hate Waste. 45% of young women aged 14-21 in Scotland have used toilet roll to manage their period because they couldn’t afford sanitary products. Source: Plan International UK. 7,000 children (aged 0-17) have been killed by guns in the US since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. Source: Avaaz.
People who have a financial focus and plan save up to £550 a year more than those who don’t. Source: NS&I. 500m 1p and 2p coins are produced each year to replace those falling out of circulation. Source: Royal Mint. Millennials would have to save for 125 years to afford their 'dream retirement.' Source: Barclays. Fashion retailer French Connection reduced their pre-tax losses from £5.3m to £2.3m last year. Source: French Connection. Drinks firm Fever Tree experienced a 65% increase in profits last year, up to £56.4m. Sales increased by 66% to £170.2m. Source: Fever Tree. 1m bottles of water are bought every minute – some 20,000 every second. Source: Euromonitor.
The number of children with dyslexia and autism in Scotland has increased from 118,000 in 2012 to 183,000 in 2017. The number of specialist teachers, however, fell from 3,248 in 2012 to 2,733 in 2017. Source: Scottish Children’s Services Coalition. 70% of Additional Support for Learning (ASL) pupils in Scotland feel that they lack support. 94% of parents of ASL pupils feel that schools are not getting enough resources. Source: ENABLE Scotland. Local authorities in England and Wales have issued 400,000 penalties to parents over the past three years for their child's truancy, or for taking their children on holiday during term-time. Total fines issued in this period amounted to £24m. Source: BBC.
Microscopic plastic beads, fibres and fragments are lying in riverbeds all over the UK – from rural streams to urban waterways. Source: University of Manchester. Nearly all bottled water contains tiny particles of plastic. Source: State University of New York. Feeding stations for birds in gardens could spread disease because they encourage birds to gather together when eating. Source: Zoological Society of London. The optimal preference of temperature for tiger sharks is 22˚C – they find this temperature neither too hot nor too cold. Source: Queen’s University Belfast/University of Roehampton. The Archaeopteryx – thought to be the first ever species of bird – was capable of flying and flew like a pheasant. Source: European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.
Only 6% of patients suffering from chronic pain saw a specialist within the 18-week waiting time at NHS Ayrshire & Arran. Source: NHS Scotland. Muscle loss in old age is due to a loss of nerves in the body. Source: Manchester Metropolitan University. Chinese takeaway meals from supermarkets and restaurants should carry health warnings because they are often very high in salt. Source: Action on Salt. Nerve agents disrupt messaging from the nerves to the muscles. They will act within seconds or minutes if inhaled, and slightly more slowly if exposed to the skin. Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention. When tuberculosis was widespread in Europe during the 1940s, it was common to see 'spitting prohibited' signs on buses. Source: BBC. Diseases that are spread through saliva include hepatitis, viral meningitus, Epstein-Barr virus, colds and flus. Source: NHS. When asked to draw a scientist, more children in the US are drawing a woman than they did in previous decades. Source: Northwestern University.
78% of adults and 76% of children (aged 6-17) in the UK say they enjoy reading 'a lot' or 'quite a lot.' Robert Louis Stevenson's classic, 'Treasure Island,' is no longer a popular read. Although 49% of adults have read the book – including 80% of over-65s – only 19% of children have. On the other hand, 83% of children have read books by Roald Dahl. Source: YouGov.
China is planning to bring into operation a social credit system by 2020. The system effectively gives each person a government-imposed 'citizen score' based on their online behaviour, which can then be used by employers, banks, or even prospective partners. Source: BBC. When spring cleaning, keep an eye out for 20p coins with no date on them, and 2p coins from 1983 with the words 'New Pence' on them – they can be sold for hundreds of pounds. Source: Space Station. Around 10,000 visitors turned up to the annual Marmalade Festival in Cumbria this year. The event featured 2,700 varieties of marmalade from 30 countries. Source: BBC.