March 3rd, 2014

Kittens, carrots and nurdles

4 minute read

by the Administrator


Many moons ago, long before the age of blog, one Old English name for the month of February was ‘Sholmonath’. It means ‘mud month’, which feels rather appropriate in the wake of this winter’s downpours. While getting your wellies muddy may have been unavoidable, there’s no reason to stand for murkiness when it comes to environmental debate. So, if February has passed you by without affording the opportunity to don your waders and gaze peacefully into Isonomia’s limpid pool of thought, what have you missed?

The title of Mr February goes to Roy Hathaway, who proved most attractive to viewers this month thanks to his analysis of possible explanations for the plateau in England’s recycling rates. Furthermore, Roy’s display of his honed waste management insight caused a veritable frenzy in the Isonomia readership, inspiring a flurry of the kind of thoughtful commentary we love to see on Isonomia.

While much of the nation had begun to dry out by mid-February, we had a thoroughly moist month at Isonomia, with no less than three water-based articles worthy of mention. Peter Jones provided commentary on the political scapegoating of the Environment Agency and accompanying hoo-ha around river dredging following recent flooding of the Somerset Levels, while George Cole sailed the UK’s overflowing waterways down to sea to consider the global problem of marine debris. The latter represented the first test of George’s blogging sea legs — and was also no doubt the first many had heard tell of the perils of “nurdles” — so we’re glad to welcome George aboard the good ship Isonomia.

There was, however, a ghost vessel afloat on February’s sea of information. Captained by Amir Dakkak, last October’s article on Egypt’s water crisis has continued to plunder the waves and captivate Isonomia readers: it had more readers than ever last month, coming in at number four in the February hit parade, and Amir’s piece is now in the Isonomia all-time top five.

Returning to land, Deborah Sacks asked what for a waste planner must have been something of an existential question: ‘is waste planning a waste of time?’ The answer — thankfully for Deborah and importantly for the rest of us — was a ‘no’. James Fulford and Clare Pitts-Tucker explored recycling incentives of both the carrot and the stick varieties, and found that, whilst it may be politically problematic, when it comes to waste management the stick appears more effective.

Inspired by personal issues involving kittens, Steve Watson got his hands dirty with a myriad of pet waste issues, from dog fouling to pet food packaging designs. Lastly, on the cusp of the month, we were pleased to publish a second translation from Ad Lansink’s book ‘De Kracht van de Kringloop’. This month, the father of the waste hierarchy turned his thoughts to its top tier, providing a history of waste prevention in the Netherlands and recommendations for effective waste prevention measures.

Thanks to all those who commented on our articles; it’s something we and our authors really appreciate. Offering a platform for a variety of opinions and generating debate is what we’re all about, so if anything you’ve read here has tickled your pickle or irked your gherkin, please do let us know through our comments section or even with an article of your own. We try to provide an informed but accessible viewpoint on a wide range of environment issues, so whether it’s collection trucks or life cycles that are on your mind, please do get in touch.

It’s easy to shift from visitor to commentator to author, and we’re always glad to hear from you. Whether you’re from Tallinn or Balham, Newport Rhode Island or Newport Gwent, with your help we will create a space where thoughts on topics from across the environment sector can be expressed and explored, enabling communication and cross fertilisation of ideas.

With the promise of spring upon the clearing air, what can Isonomia readers hope for from March? Old hands and joint authors of Eunomia’s Residual Waste Infrastructure Review Chris Cullen and Adam Baddeley will be asking if bad data is holding back infrastructure investment; meanwhile, new authors Matthew Brander and Sarah Ettlinger will, respectively,  take a look at the problems of the misreporting of carbon emissions and food certification.

Isonomia is more than just a blog these days –we’re hooked up to all sorts of other outlets. You can now follow us by subscribing to our Paper.Li site, where you can see Isonomia’s articles, and other interesting material, gathered together in a newspaper format. We also post our articles via our Facebook page, and tweet about each new piece. Of course at the top right of each page you can still subscribe to have each article e-mailed to you. It couldn’t be easier to follow all we have to offer.


The Admin


The Typing Pool


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