August 10th, 2018

Cash and carry: the missed opportunities of England’s plastic bag charge

by Iona Horton

 

There’s no doubt that England’s 5p plastic carrier bag charge has had an impact. We’ve all either been or seen the person who, on forgetting to bring a bag to the shops, refuses to pay for one and proceeds to cram their groceries into every available pocket. After some near escapes involving eggs, I never go anywhere without my trusty reusable.

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August 3rd, 2018

Trenchcoat warfare: Burberry’s bad press on stock incineration

by Peter Jones

 

The Times sparked something of a furore when it reported earlier in the month that Burberry deliberately incinerates millions of pounds worth of unwanted stock each year. The story found its way onto the agendas of many other newspapers and broadcasters. Outrage abounded on Twitter, as it so often does, with people petitioning for the practice to be outlawed – even though it is already of questionable legality.

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July 31st, 2018

Saving private wire: will going off grid rescue UK renewables?

by Katharine Blacklaws and Nick Churchward

 

What can be done to boost new deployment of subsidy free wind and solar in the UK?

Eunomia’s recent report ‘How Data Can Inform the Deployment of Renewable Electricity Generating Capacity’ shows that since 2015 there has been a major downturn in the number of projects of these two leading forms of renewable electricity generation entering planning. Just 29 large scale renewable energy projects became operational in the first half of 2018, which is less than 15% of the figure for the same period in 2017, while the generating capacity entering service fell by two thirds to 1GW.

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July 20th, 2018

How long should things last?

by Marcus Valentine and Steve Watson

 

This article began with an Xpelair extractor fan, made in England in 1972, and 46 years later removed from Marcus’s kitchen. Already installed when he moved in a decade ago, it had presumably provided continual service since soon after it was manufactured before he took interest in how something so thoroughly covered in grease could still be soldiering on.

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July 13th, 2018

A mug’s game? Choosing how to manage waste coffee grounds

by Peter Jones

 

What is the best environmental option for dealing with spent coffee grounds (SCGs)? Defra’s statutory guidance on the waste hierarchy is quite clear that anaerobic digestion (AD) is the preferred option for food waste, it is perhaps a question that should not need to be asked.

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July 6th, 2018

Is it time to switch to biodegradable plastics?

by Mark Hilton and Peter Jones

 

It seems as though the impact plastics have on the environment has gone from a niche concern to mainstream matter quicker than you can say “Blue Planet”. Suddenly, consumers and businesses alike are taking action. But while concern has ramped up, knowledge still lags behind and there is a risk of ineffective or counterproductive changes being adopted.

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June 29th, 2018

On report: the GWPF and plastic recycling

by Peter Jones

 

I’ve just read one of the worst reports I’ve ever seen. I’m writing this article to spare you the trouble of doing the same. It purports to show that much of the problem of marine plastics is attributable to an irrational attachment to the goal of recycling. In fact, it does no such thing.

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