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.

Read more on Sanitary check: a year’s progress on menstrual products…


January 5th, 2018

The uncalculated benefits of pollution control

by Phil Sheppard

 

Did you know that, while the effects of chemical pollution on human health are poorly defined, its contribution to the global burden of disease is almost certainly underestimated?

Read more on The uncalculated benefits of pollution control…


July 14th, 2017

No-fly zone: is low carbon travel worth the effort?

by Sarah Ettlinger

 

I last set foot on an aeroplane in 2015, for a Copenhagen-London round trip. The time before that was the same journey in 2008. Yet during this time I have split my time between Denmark and the UK for reasons of work, study and family, and thus still chosen to travel a lot. These days, my ‘commute’ is to the UK from my base in Copenhagen once each quarter.

Read more on No-fly zone: is low carbon travel worth the effort?…


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…


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…


September 2nd, 2016

Beyond the grave: environmentalism and death

by Steve Watson

 

While we may never know for sure if there is life after death, we can be sure that there will be environmental impacts. If it weren’t bad enough that we spend our lives consuming natural resources and steadily accruing huge carbon footprints, thanatophobic environmentalists may add fears of ongoing emissions and land use to the other horrors of the grave.

Read more on Beyond the grave: environmentalism and death…


August 26th, 2016

Myth takes: the great Pacific garbage patch

by Chris Sherrington and Simon Hann

 

People are increasingly aware of the growing problem of plastic in our oceans. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told, “You know, there’s a great big island of plastic in the middle of the Pacific”. More often than not, they quickly follow up by mentioning that thankfully there’s a project under way to solve the problem by cleaning up the plastic. While it’s good that more people understand that marine plastics are a cause for concern, it’s unfortunate if the only two things they “know” about it are not entirely true.

Read more on Myth takes: the great Pacific garbage patch…