December 21st, 2016

Alcohol problem: the environmental impacts of beer

by Alice Walton

 

Most of us enjoy a pint or two at Christmas time. Whether we’re letting our hair down at the work Christmas party or meeting up with family and friends down the local pub, and whether it’s an ale to warm the cockles on a cold winter’s night or a cool lager to rouse us from a pudding-induced nap, over the holiday season the idea of a nice pint of beer may often come to the forefront of our minds.

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September 2nd, 2016

Beyond the grave: environmentalism and death

by Steve Watson

 

While we may never know for sure if there is life after death, we can be sure that there will be environmental impacts. If it weren’t bad enough that we spend our lives consuming natural resources and steadily accruing huge carbon footprints, thanatophobic environmentalists may add fears of ongoing emissions and land use to the other horrors of the grave.

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March 26th, 2014

Defra’s ex WRATE-ed guide

SELCHP_incinerator_-_power_plant,_Rotherhithe_-_geograph.org.uk_-_333740

by Ann Ballinger

 

Incineration might be worse than landfill. Although not an unfamiliar conclusion for us at Eunomia – we suggested as much in a report written for Friends of the Earth eight years ago – it’s rather more surprising to hear Defra echoing it in a recent publication. Hitherto the department seems to have regarded the environmental benefits as incontrovertible.

Read more on Defra’s ex WRATE-ed guide…


April 19th, 2013

Eco labelling is dead, long live the eco label

by Simon Hann

 

Eco labelling: a minefield on the path to sustainability if ever there was one. It should be the bridge between the ivory tower of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and the man on the street, and a way for manufacturers and retailers to show off their green credentials; instead, it is difficult to see them as a source of anything but confusion, contradiction and misinterpretation.

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September 6th, 2012

Reshuffling the waste hierarchy

Owen Paterson

by Phillip Ward

 

It will no doubt take Owen Paterson a few days to uncover all the issues Caroline Spelman left in his in-tray.

One which has dipped under the radar is the promised revised guidance on applying the waste hierarchy.  Whilst it has been around for a long time, the hierarchy assumes greater significance now that the revised Waste Framework Directive gives its prioritisation of methods of waste treatment a statutory basis. Last year it was enshrined in England and Wales regulations that are now in force. Anyone creating or handling waste is already obliged to follow the hierarchy (Prevention, Preparing for Reuse, Recycling, Recovery or Disposal) and penalties can be imposed if they fail to do so. However, the guidance is a critical tool to enable the hierarchy to be applied in practice.

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February 10th, 2012

Turtle economic value

Green turtle in Kona 2008

by Chris Sherrington

 

A few days back I came across yet another article claiming that plastic bags really aren’t as bad as they are often made out to be – backed by the authoritative voice of last year’s Environment Agency Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of supermarket carrier bags

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August 18th, 2011

Lifecycle analysis needs solid foundations

Eunomia staff 2011

 

I’ve been struck recently by the way that many lifecycle analyses on products aren’t quite cutting the mustard.

Take, for example, the idea that each item of clothing reused means that primary production of an item has been avoided – something I’ve often seen assumed. But to claim a 1:1 relationship here is unwarranted by evidence, and intuitively it seems to be questionable economics and dodgy at the level of social psychology.

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