November 12th, 2013

What’s wrong with WRATE

wrate map

by Ann Ballinger

 

Developed by contractors on behalf of the Environment Agency (EA), WRATE uses the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to evaluate the environmental impacts of waste management systems. Whether it’s recycling steel cans or treating residual waste through MBT, WRATE is the officially sanctioned system that will tell you the benefits.

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June 14th, 2013

Continental drift – how much might UK waste exports grow?

Towering inferno - Germany

By Chris Cullen

 

Eunomia’s recently published 4th issue of its ‘Residual Waste Infrastructure Review’ continues to highlight the high (and growing) level of residual waste treatment capacity that is sitting with planning consent. If constructed, this will greatly exceed the amount of residual waste the UK produces and will hamper efforts to increase recycling and reuse.

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April 19th, 2013

Eco labelling is dead, long live the eco label

by Simon Hann

 

Eco labelling: a minefield on the path to sustainability if ever there was one. It should be the bridge between the ivory tower of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and the man on the street, and a way for manufacturers and retailers to show off their green credentials; instead, it is difficult to see them as a source of anything but confusion, contradiction and misinterpretation.

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March 11th, 2013

Science and the environment: bridging the credibility gap

Eric Hobsbawm

by Ann Ballinger

 

At the core of my work for Eunomia is a belief in evidence-based decision making. Sometimes the evidence is stronger than others, and there is an element of art in selecting the assumptions that go into even the most rigorous lifecycle analysis or a cost benefit analysis. Taking a dispassionate approach to the evidence remains my aim – but there is no doubt that this has become increasingly difficult in the environmental sector as a whole, leading in extreme cases to some questioning the role of science in society.

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January 18th, 2012

Proving prevention

Alison Holmes Senior Consultant

by Alison Holmes

 

One of the most positive-sounding features of the Government Review of Waste Policy in England 2011 was the introduction of the Waste Prevention Loan Fund (WPLF), to “enable organisations to introduce business models and processes which make more efficient use of material resources.”

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January 3rd, 2012

There’s no accounting for consumption

Eunomia staff 2011

by Ann Ballinger

 

The excellent attendance at November’s conference hosted by Friends of the Earth entitled “Councils, Communities and Climate Change” confirmed the continued interest of local authorities in issues relating to climate change. At the event, Friends of the Earth once again made the case for local authority carbon budgets, arguing that councils are well placed to lead on action at the local level to reduce climate change impacts.

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August 18th, 2011

Lifecycle analysis needs solid foundations

Eunomia staff 2011

 

I’ve been struck recently by the way that many lifecycle analyses on products aren’t quite cutting the mustard.

Take, for example, the idea that each item of clothing reused means that primary production of an item has been avoided – something I’ve often seen assumed. But to claim a 1:1 relationship here is unwarranted by evidence, and intuitively it seems to be questionable economics and dodgy at the level of social psychology.

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