July 25th, 2014

Full circle: waste policy changes for a circular economy


by Dominic Hogg


The interest which the most recent incarnation of the circular economy (CE) has generated provides an opportunity to reappraise our thinking. There are two important areas of policy which I have long felt needed addressing, and I’ve challenged the concepts against the principles of the CE. The logic of the CE seems to strengthen the case for change rather than weakening it.

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July 11th, 2014

Vital statistics: breathing new life into public engagement


By Emma Gowing and Steve Watson


Did you know that if all the waste statistics published in 2013 were cut out and laid end to end they would reach to the moon and back? Ok, we made that up, but no doubt you’ve heard many similar statements relating to numbers of cans landfilled, bottles recycled, and all manner of other waste-related data.

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July 1st, 2014

Manifesto destiny: waste policy in the 2015 election


by Rob Gillies


A few weeks ago I was asked by MRW if I would provide some comments on what waste-related policies we might expect to see in the manifestos of the major political parties as we move towards the 2015 general election. This is what I wrote:

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June 20th, 2014

Ships that pass on the blight: the problem of shipping litter


by Clare Pitts-Tucker


You know that you are properly immersed in the world of resource management when you start to see a waste aspect in the most unlikely stories. As I followed the news about the recent, tragic and mysterious disappearance of flight MH370, one aspect that resonated with me was how in the course of the search following the disaster, a succession of items floating in the sea were identified as possible wreckage, but later confirmed to be simply pieces of marine litter. Whilst it was large pieces of debris that complicated the search, marine debris of all sizes causes problems for users of marine resources.

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June 13th, 2014

Football’s footprint: waste at the World Cup


by Peter Jones


It’s possible that you’ve heard that there’s a bit of a football tournament taking place in Brazil. The hosts kicked off proceedings with a 3-1 win against Croatia last night. Any major sports event that brings tens of thousands of people from around the world together to watch a highly charged event in hot temperatures means the consumption of a large amount of pre-packaged food and drink. By now the soft drink cans and fast food wrappers (no alcohol allowed inside the stadium!) will have been swept up from São Paolo’s Corinthians stadium: but how much will be recycled?

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June 6th, 2014

WEEEfore art thou waste?

Fireworks and Phones

by Thomas Vergunst


A couple of New Year’s Eves ago I was in London, welcoming in 2013 with the city’s famous fireworks display. No doubt about it, the fireworks were impressive – what’s not impressive about burning £2 million on an event that only lasts a few minutes? – but I was more taken aback by the fact that almost every person present was watching the event through their phones: a mediated reality to try to capture the moment for eternity.

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May 27th, 2014

Withdrawal symptoms: why Defra still has a role in waste

Incin-Recyc Graph_SML

by Dominic Hogg


How is England performing on waste management, and what are the prospects for the future? Last year, Defra announced its intention to step back in areas of waste management where businesses are better placed to act and there is no clear market failure. Now the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee has launched an inquiry examining approaches to the recycling and treatment of municipal waste in England, and the impact of the reduction of Defra’s activities.

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