April 15th, 2016

Is there a clear vision for environmentally responsible eyewear?

Der Brillenmacher

by Amy Slack

 

A time comes in a lot of people’s lives when things start to become a bit blurry. Realising it’s not simply the side effect of a heavy night out, you take the dreaded trip to the opticians and discover that you no longer have perfect eye-sight and would benefit from corrective eyewear. Since that moment in my early 20s, my eyesight has very slowly been getting worse, my prescription changing slightly about every two years. I recently had my annual eye test and, predictably, was told that my prescription had once again changed: I now have astigmatism – great!

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April 8th, 2016

The sweet hereafter: implications of the UK’s sugar tax

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by Dominic Hogg and Luke Dale-Harris

 

The proposal for a Soft Drinks Industry Levy to start in 2018 was an eye-catching announcement in the midst of an otherwise disappointing Budget last month – the sugar-free icing on a particularly grim cake. But it didn’t take long before the fizzy drinks industry was up and fighting the ‘sugar tax’, threatening legal action against the government for damaging their corner of the market.

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April 1st, 2016

Myth-takes – “It all just ends up in landfill”

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by Luke Dale-Harris

 

If pub conversations and online comments are anything to go by, everybody seems to know someone whose friend works in waste. And inevitably, with unimpeachable authority, that friend of a friend has let slip the unspeakable ‘truth’: recycling is a waste of time – it all ends up in a landfill anyway.

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March 11th, 2016

Rejected out of hand? Media stories on contamination and rats

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by Peter Jones

 

Media coverage of recycling hasn’t got off to a great start in 2016. After a short hiatus following my tussle with Richard Littlejohn last year, my complaints activity has unfortunately had to kick into overdrive. For the time being I’ll focus on four stories with which I’ve been able to make some headway so far this year – three papers’ coverage of recycling contamination, and one daft story about rats.

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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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