April 27th, 2018

Bad news: why journalists get the environment wrong

by Mike Brown

 

Listening to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme earlier this year, I heard an interviewer premise a question by saying that coffee cups weren’t really disposable because they couldn’t be recycled. Read that again – it makes no sense however you look at it. While it betrays a pretty weak grasp of what “disposable” means, in itself it’s a fairly harmless blunder – but it led to me to reflect on how often media outlets, even those you might regard as ‘quality media’, get things wrong on environment issues, and the impact that this has.

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April 20th, 2018

Spending review: what waste management costs councils

by Peter Jones

 

Last month the National Audit Office (NAO) published an assessment of the financial sustainability of English local authorities. Some of the findings were pretty stark, with the NAO reporting that “spending on services has fallen by 19.2% in real terms” since 2010/11, with expenditure on areas other than social care falling by 32.6%. The NAO further stated that:

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April 13th, 2018

China crisis: what import restrictions mean for Europe

by Ad Lansink

 

Over recent years, the Chinese government became increasingly aware that solid waste being imported into China for recycling also contained large amounts of dirty and hazardous wastes. To ensure the health of its citizens and protect China against serious environmental pollution, in 2013 it launched ‘Operation Green Fence’, which stepped up container inspections with the aim of stopping shipments of illegal and low quality waste. This was followed in 2017 with operation ‘National Sword’, which specifically targeted imports of WEEE and industrial waste.

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March 29th, 2018

Networking opportunity: cutting carbon emissions with heat networks

by Molly Hickman

 

Through the Climate Change Act, the UK is committed to reducing its carbon emissions by at least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. Central to meeting this important goal is the decarbonisation of heat: according to government data, in 2009 heating-related emissions accounted for 38% of the UK’s carbon footprint.

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March 23rd, 2018

Green wedding: can your big day have a small environmental impact?

by Alice Morris

 

After spending eight years following each other around the country for different jobs, Kevin, my all-time favourite person, finally proposed to me. I said ‘yes’, and we moved back home to Saddleworth, near Manchester.

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March 16th, 2018

Cairo practice: the changing role of the informal sector in waste

by Bernadette Simpson

 

Egypt is the country with the 7th most mismanaged plastic waste, according to a report published in Science magazine. The report was based on data collected in 2010 and one must wonder whether the findings would have been different if the capital’s informal waste collectors, the ‘zabbaleen’, had been allowed to continue their work unhindered.

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March 9th, 2018

Setting the record straight: is streaming greener than vinyl?

by Duncan Oswald and Steve Watson

 

In 2017, UK sales of new vinyl records were up by 26.8% on 2016, with 4.1 million LPs purchased. While the vinyl resurgence has been welcomed by music loving discophiles wary of the digitalisation of culture (like Steve), it is a source of worry for resource efficiency-minded environmentalists (like Duncan).

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