August 10th, 2018

Cash and carry: the missed opportunities of England’s plastic bag charge

by Iona Horton

 

There’s no doubt that England’s 5p plastic carrier bag charge has had an impact. We’ve all either been or seen the person who, on forgetting to bring a bag to the shops, refuses to pay for one and proceeds to cram their groceries into every available pocket. After some near escapes involving eggs, I never go anywhere without my trusty reusable.

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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 a risk of ineffective or counterproductive changes being adopted.

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May 25th, 2018

Sanitary check: a year’s progress on menstrual products

Tampon Applicator Beach Litter

by Katharine Blacklaws and Natalie Fee

 

The ‘Blue Planet Effect’ following David Attenborough’s celebrated documentary series has led to a wide-ranging and popular ‘War on Plastic’. It has been endorsed by both the Prime Minister and the Queen; while organisations across the land, ranging from the BBC and Parliament to small businesses, have taken action to reduce or eliminate single use plastics. But while our cultural acceptance of the ubiquity of throwaway plastic is undergoing a serious challenge, attitudes to the 4.3 billion disposable sanitary products (sanpro) that are used in the UK every year seem slower to change, despite the large amount of plastic they contain. Hardly anyone would flush plastic bags down the loo, but we don’t apply the same standard to sanpro.

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March 2nd, 2018

Packet loss: litter and packaging in the Philippines

by Amy Slack

 

It’s been two months since I stepped back into Bristolian life after spending five months working with Marine Conservation Philippines (MCP), trying to find local solutions to the global issue of marine plastics. Being at the coal face of an issue that has been the focus of a significant amount of attention recently makes you acutely aware of the enormous scale of the challenge – but also of the real scope for action to address it.

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February 2nd, 2018

Street smart: how can councils better tackle litter?

by Neil Greenhalgh

 

Walk down any street in Britain and you are likely to find litter: from crisp packets and drinks cans to fag-ends and chewing gum. I am still astonished by the audacity of people who clearly think unwanted confectionery and fast food packaging belong in a gutter or on a pavement. Allowing one’s dog to foul public spaces is another enviro-crime that too many people evidently find acceptable.

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December 22nd, 2017

A glitterature review…

by Caroline Campbell

 

At this time of year, it seems that glitter is almost everywhere. It gives a festive glint to Christmas cards, wrapping paper and gift bags. Decorations, wreathes and even Christmas trees are dusted with it. And Christmas revellers may adorn themselves with glittery make-up, nail varnish, and festive accessories.

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July 28th, 2017

A beach holiday with a difference…

by Amy Slack

 

Next week I will be heading out to the Philippines. While the country has a large tourism sector, with visitors drawn by its beaches, biodiversity and cultural heritage, I’ve got something rather different in mind.

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