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.

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August 25th, 2017

What next for the electricity grid?

by Katharine Blacklaws

 

What does the UK need if it is to meet its Carbon Budget commitment to reducing carbon emissions? Perhaps the first thing you might think of is reducing the amount of energy we use, by improving the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses. Or you might think of the need for more generation capacity for renewable energy, perhaps wind farms or solar panels. But a critical and often under-appreciated constraint is the vital infrastructure that underpins the whole system: our electricity network.

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April 7th, 2017

Period of adjustment: the case for reusable feminine hygiene products

by Katharine Blacklaws and Harriet Parke

 

Periods. As a society we struggle to talk about them, think about them and sometimes even to acknowledge they exist. Despite the fact that they are part of the human experience for half the population, cultural taboos nonetheless persist into the 21st century.

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October 21st, 2016

Solar slow down

by Katharine Blacklaws

 

The need to decarbonise the UK’s electricity supply as part of efforts to mitigate the effects of potentially catastrophic climate change is now little disputed. The UK has several targets to cut its domestic emissions to achieve an 80% reduction based on 1990 levels by 2050.  This includes an interim target to source 30% of the UK’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020, as part of a wider 15% target for all forms of energy.

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