May 2nd, 2014

Preventing waste: a reuser’s guide

Device_pile

by Ad Lansink

 

At a Dutch conference on the relationship between Cradle to Cradle design and the waste hierarchy, a young executive once asked me why product reuse finds so little resonance in society. I responded with another question: how many of those present had replaced their mobile phones in the past year? The majority raised their hands.

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April 11th, 2014

Does the nanny state have a role in changing nappies?

Nappy photo

by Thomas Vergunst

 

Some time ago I wrote an article on the merits of reusable nappies; to my surprise the piece proved to be rather popular on Isonomia and generated a whole string of comments on the site. It also stimulated some animated conversations – one friend challenged me as to:

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February 28th, 2014

Reaching for the top rung: achieving waste prevention

Ad-and-ladder_Crop

by Ad Lansink

 

Prevention is by far the most challenging rung to reach on Lansink’s Ladder. The prevailing growth-focused political and social mind-set isn’t easily compatible with waste prevention’s goals of decreasing consumption by cutting waste. Awareness of the looming threat of shortages of raw materials has increased in the forty years since the publication of the Club of Rome’s seminal report ‘Limits to Growth’. But so has consumer spending, and despite cyclical movements and international differences there has been almost continuous economic growth.

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December 19th, 2013

Let’s talk turkey

WhiteTurkeyBirdFace

by Peter Jones

 

For most Isonomia readers, Christmas will be a time of plenty – even of excess. Too much food, perhaps too much to drink – and maybe a little too much of certain relatives who outstay their welcome. It’s a time that brings people together – but it also puts in stark relief the divisions within society.

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December 11th, 2013

To the victor the (reduction in) spoils…

Plum Gleaning

by Emma Gowing

 

It may come as a surprise to some, but the life of an environmental consultant is not always a glamorous one. In fact, you’re more likely to find me at the business end of a bin lorry than enjoying the razzle-dazzle at the Ritz. But last Wednesday was a bit of an exception… The occasion was the ceremony to announce the winner of Nesta’s £50,000 Waste Reduction Challenge Prize. Amongst the guests at Plough Place, Holborn was civil society Minister Nick Hurd who was tasked with handing over the award.

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November 19th, 2013

Print preview: what does 3D printing mean for waste?

StarTrekCrew

by Sam Taylor

 

As a keen observer of the latest high tech trends and fads, the rapid deployment of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing as it is more commonly known, is one of the most exciting developments since the appearance of the smart phone. This is technology with some serious potential to change how and where goods are manufactured, transforming supply chains. The New Scientist has gone so far as to herald the technology as ushering in a second industrial revolution. But is anyone thinking about how what this new development means for the waste sector?

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November 15th, 2013

Waste prevention: an article of faith?

Toolbox

by Chris Sherrington

 

A friend of mine was walking in the countryside with his children when they came across an interesting array of characters. Dotted around a hillside, facing out to sea, with their hands held chest high and palms facing out, they seemed to be conducting some sort of prayer ritual. When they’d finished, they were happy to chat about what they’d been doing.

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