January 29th, 2016

Advisory note: packaging industry opposition to producer responsibility


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


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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January 15th, 2016

Keeping your shirt on: extending the lifetimes of clothes


by Sophie Crosswell


Have you got your new season staples? Every day millions of people are bombarded with advertising trying to sell them new clothes and pushing promotional offers. Whilst this relentless marketing ensures fast fashion remains the status quo, there is a hint of revolution within the fashion industry.

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January 8th, 2016

Much wrong with Littlejohn


by Peter Jones


The latest Daily Mail journalist to take a pop at the issue of how waste is managed in the UK was the unlikely figure of Richard Littlejohn – the vituperative columnist described by John Crace as “the stupid person’s Jeremy Clarkson”. His article is a blunderbuss assault on local authorities, whose bin collections he says have become “a perversion of public service where dustmen are the masters and we are the servants“. So zealous were his comments that the piece immediately spawned a rather brilliant Daily Mash parody.

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December 30th, 2015

The international Tidyman of mystery


by Peter Jones


Everyone knows the Tidyman – he’s one of the most printed images in history, having appeared on all kinds of packaging all around the world for over half a century.

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December 23rd, 2015

Noel-ectricity wasted: energy saving at Christmas


by Rob Reid and Laura Williams


As Christmas comes around, you don’t have to be an eco-Grinch to sometimes stop and wonder at the way we go about our celebrations. For those of us involved in the energy sector, it’s almost inescapable. For example, everyone loves to see a sparkling Christmas tree decked with twinkling lights, while decorations in the town centre can really help put you in the festive spirit – but in many streets, the wattage of lights adorning the houses seems to be on a scale suited to ensuring the safe landing of a jumbo jet, never mind Santa’s sleigh.

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December 18th, 2015

Major third: a circular economy needs a new transition


by Ad Lansink


The proposals of the EU circular economy package (CEP) reveal that the waste hierarchy will retain a central place in the transition to a circular economy. The European Commission (EC) writes:

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