January 14th, 2019

Garden waste: what does Defra want councils to do?

by Peter Jones   There are many good things in the waste strategy published by Defra last month. It’s packed full of ideas, and signals a potentially transformative change in the way that England manages resources – although with many of the important details left to be resolved through consultation. Unfortunately for a strategy, one […]

January 4th, 2019

Doing themselves Stroud: maximising the benefits of fortnightly collections

by Sarah Kemp The headlines on the recycling rate data released in December understandably focused on the continuing flatlining of England’s collection performance. On one measure, ‘waste from households’, the recycling rate for 2017/18 fell by 0.3 percentage points to 44.8 per cent, leaving the EU’s 2020 target of 50% looking increasingly distant. That disappointing […]

December 18th, 2018

Needle points: are real Christmas trees greener than artificial ones?

Christmas Tree Poem

by Steve Watson   This Christmas, many festive households will choose between a real Christmas tree and an artificial one. While homemaking considerations may determine the choice for most, the question of whether to go real or fake has an extra dimension for the environmentally minded householder: is one option really better for the environment […]

December 7th, 2018

The circle line: planning and the circular economy

by Hannah Gillie   Earlier this month, Glasgow declared its ambition to be the first Circular City in Scotland. It joins an ever-increasing list of cities worldwide, though chiefly in Europe and China, which are adopting circular economy agendas and strategies as a route to resource efficiency. As an alternative to the traditional ‘take-make-dispose’ process […]

November 23rd, 2018

Sustainability needs a new story

by Alex Massie   Growing concern about the state of our world has already prompted many businesses to consider how sustainable they are. As a result, there are now whole sustainability departments in many firms, responsible for delivering the company’s sustainability agenda. They deliver carbon savings, supply chain improvements, recycling successes. The eco-credentials of many […]

November 16th, 2018

Regression test: must environmental taxes hit the poorest?

by Peter Jones   Political enthusiasm for environmental taxes seems to be at a low ebb in the UK. In the run up to Budget 2018, there was indications that things might change, but talk of a new tax on plastics turned into a consultation, while taxes on incineration and single-use cups were mooted and […]

October 29th, 2018

Budget breakdown: what would a green chancellor have done?

by Dominic Hogg   Economists know that if markets fail to reflect the damages caused by pollution, or to reflect the benefits provided ‘for free’ by nature, then decisions regarding consumption and investment will be misguided. Think of this in terms of having a finite number of chips to allocate across different activities to make […]