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 design, engineering and policy – than the cultural task of, as consumers, reimaging what we want from our products.

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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 eyewear. Since that moment in my early 20s, my eyesight has very slowly been getting worse, my prescription changing slightly about every two years. I recently had my annual eye test and, predictably, was told that my prescription had once again changed: I now have astigmatism – great!

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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:

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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 – increase greatly over time. People have come to regard plastic water bottles as a free resource, taking bottles, sipping from them, and leaving them in public places or throwing them away in rubbish bins with their contents only partly consumed.

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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 recycled, but the waste hierarchy gives prevention top priority – so what scope is there to avoid generating transit packaging waste in the first place?

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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.

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September 12th, 2014

Real nappies: absorbing the lessons of incentive schemes

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by Hilary Vick

 

For the past 11 years I have been trying to get more London parents to try reusable nappies. This may be one of the biggest behavioural change challenges there is. Disposables nappies are cheap, convenient and easy to dispose of. You can throw a nappy in a park bin, pop it in the nappy bin at the swimming pool, leave a day’s worth at your baby’s nursery. Reusables are more difficult, right? You have to carry stinky ones home with you and then you have to wash and dry them. So how do you persuade people to use the more difficult, unfamiliar option?

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