May 19th, 2017

Improving consumer engagement with the energy market

by Molly Hickman

 

The Conservative manifesto for the 2017 general election includes an energy price cap for the single variable tariff. While the aim is to “protect energy customers from unacceptable rises” there are worries that such a policy would lead to reduced competition and pricing issues in the long run. The rationale for the proposed price cap may be questionable, but it has at least brought the topic of energy back into the news; a lack of consumer engagement is a significant and ongoing issue within the sector, affecting the bills people pay and the amount of energy they use.

Read more on Improving consumer engagement with the energy market…


May 10th, 2017

Air cover: politics and the air quality plan

by Dominic Hogg

 

The Government finally published its long awaited revised air quality plan, albeit in draft form, last Friday. Many have expressed disappointment with its lack of ambition, but less has been written about the signs of some key last minute ‘tweaks’. The apparent aim of the late changes was to minimise the risk of a potential political backlash against the plan from angry diesel drivers – but their effect could well be to delay the effective action on air quality that is so urgently needed.

Read more on Air cover: politics and the air quality plan…


May 5th, 2017

Grounds for concern: the problem of coffee capsules

by Mark Hilton and Daniel Card

 

With an estimated two billion cups consumed every day, coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks and has been the fuel for countless projects, essays – and Isonomia blogs. In the UK, the average person consumes 1.7kg of coffee per year. This is less than residents of many of our European neighbours, but still equates daily nationwide consumption of some 70 million cups, with spending in coffee shops now exceeding £3bn per year.

Read more on Grounds for concern: the problem of coffee capsules…


April 28th, 2017

Myth takes – “Separate streams need separate containers”

by Peter Jones

 

One of the recurring claims in the tabloid press coverage of waste and recycling issues is that if local authorities collect more separate streams of recycling, it means householders having to separate each waste stream into a different container. The view in the popular press is typically that, if householders have to do more source separation it will result in dissatisfaction, confusion, and more contaminated recycling. It’s a view that has little basis in reality.

Read more on Myth takes – “Separate streams need separate containers”…


April 21st, 2017

Waste to wealth in Uganda

by George Cole

 

At home in the UK, I’m used to the council regularly collecting my household waste from the street outside my door. Missing a waste collection is a little inconvenient. You have to keep the waste until the next collection day, by which time you might have more waste than you can fit in your boxes and bins.

Read more on Waste to wealth in Uganda…


April 13th, 2017

A gas-tly mess?

by Mike Brown

 

As the UK’s landfill infrastructure rapidly approaches its retirement, this seismic change in how waste is managed is spitting out a range of issues that our current system is ill-suited to manage.  I’ve previously examined issues of how aftercare is funded, and the resilience challenges that a move away from landfill will bring – but it also has implications for the future of landfill gas operations.

Read more on A gas-tly mess?…


April 7th, 2017

Period of adjustment: the case for reusable feminine hygiene products

by Katharine Blacklaws and Harriet Parke

 

Periods. As a society we struggle to talk about them, think about them and sometimes even to acknowledge they exist. Despite the fact that they are part of the human experience for half the population, cultural taboos nonetheless persist into the 21st century.

Read more on Period of adjustment: the case for reusable feminine hygiene products…