Research has found 38 million pieces of plastic on Henderson Island. Particularly disturbing because Henderson is 3,100 miles away from the nearest human habitation © Jennifer Lavers/University of Tasmania/PA Images
Research has found 38 million pieces of plastic on Henderson Island. Particularly disturbing because Henderson is 3,100 miles away from the nearest human habitation © Jennifer Lavers/University of Tasmania/PA Images

King Arthur, David Beckham and a complaint-inducing Filet-o-Fish – the supply chain week in numbers

18 May 2017

This week's round-up from the world of supply chain and procurement.

72 years old

The age of banking scion Peter Hambro who is stepping aside as chairman of Petropavlovsk after pressure from three institutional shareholders who believe the mining group needs more independent oversight. Russian conglomerate Renova has proposed that Bruce Buck, chairman of Chelsea Football Club, should join Petropavlovsk’s board. Hambro is unhappy about standing down saying: “These people should be thanking me, not slapping me with a wet fish.”

 

£19,000

The amount FIFA, football’s governing body, paid service providers SCJ for cleaning the apartment of general secretary Fatma Samoura. She has now returned the money after FIFA said it had paid the invoices by mistake. SCJ are in partnership with a management group run by Charles Botta. His wife Christine Botta was personal secretary to Sepp Blatter whose 17-year-reign as FIFA president ended with his resignation in 2015. He has since been banned from football for six years after a scandal about corrupt payments.

 

239

The number of pieces of plastic debris typically found on a square metre of beach on Henderson Island in the South Pacific. Part of the Pitcairn Islands British Overseas Territory, the uninhabited island was designated as a World Heritage Site by the UN in 1988, because it was so undisturbed by man and was a haven for such species as sea turtles. Research by the University of Tasmania found 38 million pieces of plastic on Henderson, which has the highest density of anthropogenic waste in the world. Researcher Jennifer Lavers said: “No country gets a free pass on this – we found bottles from Germany, containers from Canada, a fishing crate from New Zealand.” The scale of the pollution is particularly disturbing because Henderson is 3,100 miles away from the nearest industrial facility or human habitation.

 

£35,000,000

The global box office revenue generated by Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword on its opening weekend. This was something of a disappointment for Warner Bros Studios which spent £240m making this epic failure. The film attracted scathing reviews – Variety dubbed it a “loud, obnoxious parade of flashy set pieces” while The Independent wondered “Did they really have kung fu in Arthurian England?” Not even a cameo from David Beckham could attract cinemagoers.

 

5,200,000 bushels

The amount of US corn used to make ethanol in the crop year 2015/16. This represents a major shift in the use of corn – in 1980/81, less than 1% of America’s corn was used to make fuel. Food security groups worry that redirecting crops will take away land that could be used to feed the world’s growing population but, after a series of good harvests, supply of corn – and other crops, such as soybeans – far exceeds demand from traditional buyers, forcing farmers to look for new markets. Adidas’s Reebok brand has recently launched sneakers made of corn.

 

100

The number of complaints the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority received about a McDonald’s ad that showed a bereaved son cheering himself up by ordering a Filet-o-Fish, his late father’s favourite meal. Created by agency Leo Burnett, the ad was swiftly withdrawn after the fast food chain was criticised by Shelley Gilbert, president of bereavement charity Grief Encounter for “trying to insinuate that a brand can cure all ills with one meal”.

 

£300,000,000

The amount British supermarkets lost delivering online groceries last year, according to Dan Murphy, a partner at global retail consultants Kurt Salmon. He believes stores need to raise their delivery charges substantially if they are to make a profit on this service, adding: “You’re selling tenners for a fiver but you’re convinced that, if you can sell enough at some point, you’ll become profitable.”

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