May 4th, 2018

From rags to riches? Second hand clothing restrictions in East Africa

by Harriet Parke   On a recent trip to Kenya, my interest was caught by the ‘mitumba’ (Swahili for ‘second-hand clothing’) stalls. You find them clustered in the vivid, bustling and dust-filled markets at the centre of each town, and even dotted along residential streets. There was a strange dissonance between the unfamiliar surroundings and […]


March 10th, 2017

Art of gold: Japanese ceramics and the circular economy

by Steve Watson   It’s a fundamental circular economy principle that we need to rethink how products are made so that they last longer and can be repaired or more easily recycled when their time is up. While the challenges this poses are significant enough, they are at least more tangible – in terms of […]


April 15th, 2016

Is there a clear vision for environmentally responsible eyewear?

by Amy Slack   A time comes in a lot of people’s lives when things start to become a bit blurry. Realising it’s not simply the side effect of a heavy night out, you take the dreaded trip to the opticians and discover that you no longer have perfect eye-sight and would benefit from corrective […]


December 18th, 2015

Major third: a circular economy needs a new transition

by Ad Lansink   The proposals of the EU circular economy package (CEP) reveal that the waste hierarchy will retain a central place in the transition to a circular economy. The European Commission (EC) writes: “Waste management plays a central role in the circular economy: it determines how the EU waste hierarchy is put into […]


November 6th, 2015

Hitting the bottle: the Middle East’s water packaging problem

by Rehan Ahmed   Plastic water bottles are a common feature of urban life in the Middle East, being readily and cheaply available to all sections of society. In some instances, they are even provided free in public locations such as mosques, and this easy availability has seen their use – and subsequent misuse – […]


September 11th, 2015

Lost in transit: reducing packaging waste in the food supply chain

by Joanne Moss   When you think of food packaging, what springs to mind? Cardboard boxes, polystyrene and plastic trays, polythene wrap still predominate, both in consumer packaging and in the material the public rarely sees – the transit packaging that makes sure products arrive at the retailer intact. Much of this material can be […]


November 28th, 2014

Ask Ad: zero waste and the hierarchy

by Ad Lansink and Steve Watson   Earlier in the month, we brought you the first part of an interview with the creator of the waste hierarchy, Ad Lansink. The interview is based on questions provided by readers of be Waste Wise, our collaborators on this article. The first part of the interview explored issues […]