August 3rd, 2018

Trenchcoat warfare: Burberry’s bad press on stock incineration

by Peter Jones

 

The Times sparked something of a furore when it reported earlier in the month that Burberry deliberately incinerates millions of pounds worth of unwanted stock each year. The story found its way onto the agendas of many other newspapers and broadcasters. Outrage abounded on Twitter, as it so often does, with people petitioning for the practice to be outlawed – even though it is already of questionable legality.

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July 20th, 2018

How long should things last?

by Marcus Valentine and Steve Watson

 

This article began with an Xpelair extractor fan, made in England in 1972, and 46 years later removed from Marcus’s kitchen. Already installed when he moved in a decade ago, it had presumably provided continual service since soon after it was manufactured before he took interest in how something so thoroughly covered in grease could still be soldiering on.

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July 13th, 2018

A mug’s game? Choosing how to manage waste coffee grounds

by Peter Jones

 

What is the best environmental option for dealing with spent coffee grounds (SCGs)? Defra’s statutory guidance on the waste hierarchy is quite clear that anaerobic digestion (AD) is the preferred option for food waste, it is perhaps a question that should not need to be asked.

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July 6th, 2018

Is it time to switch to biodegradable plastics?

by Mark Hilton and Peter Jones

 

It seems as though the impact plastics have on the environment has gone from a niche concern to mainstream matter quicker than you can say “Blue Planet”. Suddenly, consumers and businesses alike are taking action. But while concern has ramped up, knowledge still lags behind and there is a risk of ineffective or counterproductive changes being adopted.

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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 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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April 27th, 2018

Bad news: why journalists get the environment wrong

by Mike Brown

 

Listening to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme earlier this year, I heard an interviewer premise a question by saying that coffee cups weren’t really disposable because they couldn’t be recycled. Read that again – it makes no sense however you look at it. While it betrays a pretty weak grasp of what “disposable” means, in itself it’s a fairly harmless blunder – but it led to me to reflect on how often media outlets, even those you might regard as ‘quality media’, get things wrong on environment issues, and the impact that this has.

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