February 27th, 2015

Solving a sticky litter problem


by Emma How


My husband vividly recalls being made to write out ‘the mastication of glutinous substances is obnoxious’ 100 times on the blackboard when caught chewing in class. Although symbolising the anti-social mindlessness of adolescence for many a schoolmaster, the problems associated with chewing gum are, regrettably, not confined to the Just William classrooms of yesteryear.

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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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December 11th, 2013

To the victor the (reduction in) spoils…

Plum Gleaning

by Emma Gowing


It may come as a surprise to some, but the life of an environmental consultant is not always a glamorous one. In fact, you’re more likely to find me at the business end of a bin lorry than enjoying the razzle-dazzle at the Ritz. But last Wednesday was a bit of an exception… The occasion was the ceremony to announce the winner of Nesta’s £50,000 Waste Reduction Challenge Prize. Amongst the guests at Plough Place, Holborn was civil society Minister Nick Hurd who was tasked with handing over the award.

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December 20th, 2012

Jingle bins: the best Christmas recycling campaigns

Santa Recycle

By Emma Gowing and Peter Jones


Christmas wouldn’t be complete these days without an array of seasonal articles and blogs from environmental correspondents highlighting the enormous escalation in waste that our annual tendency to excess brings with it. There’s of course the 100 square kilometres of wrapping paper that will be thrown away, and the 50 million bin bags of food waste.

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May 4th, 2012

Big Society? Don’t bank on it

by Emma Gowing


I saw Sir Ronald Cohen on Channel 4 news a couple of weeks ago talking about the launch of Big Society Capital (BSC), of which he is the chairman. There was something about the interview that didn’t ring quite true. Not that Cohen said anything especially controversial or problematic – it was the concept of the fund that just seemed like a mistake to me.

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