November 16th, 2018

Regression test: must environmental taxes hit the poorest?

by Peter Jones   Political enthusiasm for environmental taxes seems to be at a low ebb in the UK. In the run up to Budget 2018, there was indications that things might change, but talk of a new tax on plastics turned into a consultation, while taxes on incineration and single-use cups were mooted and […]


October 22nd, 2018

Target practice: should recycling targets be weight or carbon-based?

by Peter Jones   As the prospect of higher weight-based recycling targets emanating from Europe has moved from a distant possibility to an imminent reality, interest in alternatives to such targets seems to have grown. Environment minister Therese Coffey has repeatedly said that she favours “resource-efficiency” focused targets over weight-based targets. More recently the ESA […]


September 11th, 2018

Law in disorder: the Environment Agency and the waste hierarchy

by Peter Jones   Plenty of legislation is poorly written. Some is badly thought out, or pursues objectionable goals. But I’m only aware of one instance of legislation that is untrue. Laws rarely make statements of fact of the kind that can be true or false. For the most part, legislation: directs or forbids actions; […]


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 […]


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. However, there are enterprising businesses […]


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 […]


June 29th, 2018

On report: the GWPF and plastic recycling

by Peter Jones   I’ve just read one of the worst reports I’ve ever seen. I’m writing this article to spare you the trouble of doing the same. It purports to show that much of the problem of marine plastics is attributable to an irrational attachment to the goal of recycling. In fact, it does […]