June 22nd, 2018

Keeping it simple: waste infrastructure for the developing world

by Tanguy Tomes

 

Since starting my career as an environmental consultant, I’ve had the chance to work on a variety of projects dealing with waste management around the globe. In Europe, where formal recycling systems are already widespread, the challenges often involve finding new ways to increase capture rates and process difficult materials. To this end, I’ve seen exciting innovations in the systems and technologies used to manage our waste that look likely to transform the industry in coming years.

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June 15th, 2018

Taking the wrap: edging towards 100% recycling

by Adrian Gibbs

 

What should a company do if it is consistently achieving an office recycling rate of over 95%? Is this the cue for back patting and laurel resting? On the contrary, for Eunomia it simply prompts the question “What can be done with the remaining 5%?”

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June 8th, 2018

Great expectations? Predicted and real results of three-weekly collections

 by Maxine von Eye and Tanguy Tomes

 

When controversial three-weekly bin collections first appeared on the scene, it posed an interesting problem for waste managers. How do you predict the effect that a reduction in collection frequency will have when there’s no pool of past experience into which you can dip?

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June 1st, 2018

Food for thought: should we stop using palm oil?

by Debbie Fletcher

 

Recently, haunted by images of deforestation and homeless orangutans, I decided to cut palm oil out of my diet. After spending a long time during my weekly shop carefully checking lists of ingredients, I can report that going palm oil free is incredibly difficult. Not only is the stuff present in a shockingly high number of products, in many cases unclear labelling makes it hard to work out whether products contain it or not.

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May 25th, 2018

Sanitary check: a year’s progress on menstrual products

Tampon Applicator Beach Litter

by Katharine Blacklaws and Natalie Fee

 

The ‘Blue Planet Effect’ following David Attenborough’s celebrated documentary series has led to a wide-ranging and popular ‘War on Plastic’. It has been endorsed by both the Prime Minister and the Queen; while organisations across the land, ranging from the BBC and Parliament to small businesses, have taken action to reduce or eliminate single use plastics. But while our cultural acceptance of the ubiquity of throwaway plastic is undergoing a serious challenge, attitudes to the 4.3 billion disposable sanitary products (sanpro) that are used in the UK every year seem slower to change, despite the large amount of plastic they contain. Hardly anyone would flush plastic bags down the loo, but we don’t apply the same standard to sanpro.

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May 18th, 2018

Infrastructure: can less be more?

by Leidy Klotz

 

If her book sales are any indication, you or someone you know have probably used Marie Kondo’s “KonMari™” method for tidying up your home. Sure, Kondo’s approach, found in her wildly successful The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has some space-saving sock-folding tips, but the real tidying benefits come only if you follow her instructions to subtract everything you don’t love from your home.

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May 4th, 2018

From rags to riches? Second hand clothing restrictions in East Africa

by Harriet Parke

 

On a recent trip to Kenya, my interest was caught by the ‘mitumba’ (Swahili for ‘second-hand clothing’) stalls. You find them clustered in the vivid, bustling and dust-filled markets at the centre of each town, and even dotted along residential streets. There was a strange dissonance between the unfamiliar surroundings and the rows of  branded t-shirts and shoes, just like you might find in any clothing store in Bristol, festooning the stalls.

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