March 4th, 2016

Every breath we take…

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by Philip Insall

 

Outdoor air pollution, most of it generated by the motors, tyres and brakes of private motor vehicles, is now calculated to be causing at least 40,000 premature deaths in the UK each year.  Can you imagine the outcry if this sort of mortality rate was associated with – say – kitchen food waste caddies? Other major causes of death, such as smoking (c.100,000 premature deaths) and obesity (perhaps 30,000) are the target of major public health campaigns. So why is government – national or local – so unwilling to act on air quality?

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February 26th, 2016

Levelling a charge: small business and levies

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by Chris Sherrington

 

One of the most remarkable features of the way in which the carrier bag charge was introduced in England was the Government’s insistence that small retailers be exempted. This was despite repeated requests from the Association of Convenience Stores, the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) and the British Retail Consortium that all retailers be included.

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February 19th, 2016

Does waste have a future?

Computer Return

By Dominic Hogg and Mark Hilton

 

When the institutional economist Thorstein Veblen coined the phrase ‘conspicuous consumption’ in the late nineteenth century, it was as a caustic term saved for the very rich. In particular, it referred to the glittering socialites born of the Industrial Revolution, who Veblen saw as wanting and wasting in equal measure.

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February 12th, 2016

Why are we still talking about landfill bans?

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by Harriet Parke

 

For anyone attempting to keep abreast of waste issues, it can seem like it’s impossible to escape calls for banning certain materials – or all materials – from landfill. As someone with both a professional and personal interest in food waste, it’s a recurring theme I’ve become acutely aware of because it’s so prevalent in that part of the waste world.

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February 5th, 2016

Return to vendor

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by Chris Sherrington

 

Last autumn I spent a very enjoyable time with my family visiting the Black Forest. Ever the environmental consultant, there were two green features of the trip that stuck in my mind.

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January 29th, 2016

Advisory note: packaging industry opposition to producer responsibility

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by Chris Sherrington

 

Earlier this week I skimmed through an old Guardian article about ‘corporate welfare’ – which reported analysis suggesting that taxpayers hand businesses £93bn a year (more than £3,500 per household) in the form of subsidies, direct grants and tax breaks. While I didn’t delve too deeply, the thrust of the argument put me in mind of another example of UK taxpayers shouldering a burden that should not be theirs – producer responsibility for packaging.

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January 22nd, 2016

Container drivers: tackling the takeaway packaging problem

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by George Cole and Jonathan Roberts

 

It would be a committed environmentalist indeed whose antipathy to packaging never wavered at the temptation of a takeaway. While the thought of a greasy container in the residual bin might not be your biggest regret after a night out, the green-minded diner cannot totally overlook the adverse effects of this eminently throw-away product.

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