January 29th, 2016

Advisory note: packaging industry opposition to producer responsibility

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by Chris Sherrington

 

Earlier this week I skimmed through an old Guardian article about ‘corporate welfare’ – which reported analysis suggesting that taxpayers hand businesses £93bn a year (more than £3,500 per household) in the form of subsidies, direct grants and tax breaks. While I didn’t delve too deeply, the thrust of the argument put me in mind of another example of UK taxpayers shouldering a burden that should not be theirs – producer responsibility for packaging.

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October 23rd, 2015

Should we welcome the return of nappy recycling?

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by Hilary Vick

 

The news that nappy recycling specialist Knowaste is looking to open a new facility will receive rather a lukewarm welcome – at least from those of us engaged in trying to minimise the environmental impact of nappies by promoting reusables. Their plan, submitted on 14th September, is for a new absorbent hygiene product (AHP) recycling plant in West London, which would take in disposable nappies, adult incontinence and feminine hygiene products, using autoclave and shredding technology to recover plastics and fibres for recycling.

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October 16th, 2015

Cash on collection: selling separated recyclables

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by Peter Jones and Joe Papineschi

 

Local authority budgets are slimmer than ever, making it imperative for councils that separately collect materials to achieve the best possible value from them. However, while councils are experienced purchasers of goods and services, selling isn’t something they have much call to do.

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June 19th, 2015

Is the LGA right about EfW overcapacity?

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by Adam Baddeley and Peter Jones

 

Eunomia has been publicly warning for four years now that the UK’s “dash for trash” will leave us – like Sweden, the Netherlands and some of our other Northern European neighbours – with more residual waste infrastructure than we really need.

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May 29th, 2015

Pickles’ parting shot

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by Joe Papineschi and Gwen Frost

 

I suspect that the departure of Eric Pickles from the role of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will not be widely mourned amongst council officials. His replacement, Greg Clark, had a previous stint as minister of state in the department between 2010 and 2012, and subsequently held the cities brief. While it may be too early to pronounce with confidence that a major change of approach is in the air, Clark is a strong advocate of decentralisation of power, and might reinvigorate the localism agenda that fell by the wayside as Pickles increasingly sought to bend councils to his will.

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April 2nd, 2015

Pick of the bunch: communities and litter

Photo by  St Peter's Community News (CC BY-SA 2.0)

by Sophie Crosswell

 

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that litter’s a bad thing, right? Yet the most recent Local Environmental Quality Survey of England (LEQSE) report found ‘unacceptable’ levels of litter at 11% of sites inspected – and ‘acceptable’ doesn’t necessarily mean none. So if we all agree that litter is bad, how come we drop so much of it, and what are we going to do about it?

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February 27th, 2015

Solving a sticky litter problem

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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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