March 17th, 2017

Current electrics: WEEE and the circular economy

by Mary Biron-Tolentino

 

The UK is one of the world’s biggest spenders on consumer electronics. According to WRAP, British households and businesses buy around 1.4 million tonnes of electrical and electronic equipment each year.  In financial terms, average spending is around £800 per household, and this continues to grow, despite economic uncertainties and slow wage growth. Looking just at consumer electronics, the market is reported to have growing by almost 10% per annum from 2010-2014, and was estimated to be around £4.4 billion in 2016.

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March 10th, 2017

Art of gold: Japanese ceramics and the circular economy

by Steve Watson

 

It’s a fundamental circular economy principle that we need to rethink how products are made so that they last longer and can be repaired or more easily recycled when their time is up. While the challenges this poses are significant enough, they are at least more tangible – in terms of design, engineering and policy – than the cultural task of, as consumers, reimaging what we want from our products.

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March 3rd, 2017

Can renewable energy survive a subsidy-free future?

by Laura Williams

 

The sun is setting on the Renewables Obligation (RO). The subsidy scheme, which has carried the renewable energy industry through its formative years, is due to close on the 31st March 2017. As discussed previously on Isonomia, much of the progress made against renewables targets – 23% of the UK’s electricity demand is currently met by renewables – has been the result of the scheme. So now, many are asking how the industry is going to successfully transition into the unknown territory of an almost subsidy-free environment.

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February 24th, 2017

Separate ways: a commercial waste case study

by Nick Stott and Peter Jones

 

It’s now a little over two years since the separate collection requirements under the amended Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 took effect. For waste collectors, this made it compulsory to ensure that, if they were collecting paper, metals, plastics or glass, they did so by way of separate collection – subject to the rather hard to interpret condition that separation is ‘necessary’ and ‘practicable’ (‘TEEP’).

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February 17th, 2017

Are renewable energy advocates hurting the climate cause?

by Paul McDivitt

 

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, the proliferation of misinformation on social media is finally getting the attention it deserves. Or so I thought.

Scrolling through my Facebook news feed recently, I stumbled upon an article shared by Climate Central, a nonprofit news organization focused on climate science. “The World’s Renewable Energy Capacity Now Beats Out Coal,” read the headline from Co.Exist. I clicked. “The tipping point marks a major milestone in the transition to cleaner power sources,” the subhead declared from atop an aerial photo of a wind farm.

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February 10th, 2017

The environment and ‘the elite’

by Dominic Hogg

 

Everything today, it seems, is being viewed through the polarising language of ‘Brexit’ – even the environment. Those of us who have been engaged in environmentalism for many years need to recognise the sudden and dangerous change that is taking place in the way the issues we care about are being talked about, and the need to counter the new and misleading narrative that is appearing in politics.

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February 3rd, 2017

Down on recycling: England’s recycling rate

by Peter Jones

 

The recent downtick in England’s household recycling rate has led to wailing and gnashing of teeth in some quarters, and something more like gloating in others. However, there has been little examination of what the numbers tell us about what underlies the change, and thus the appropriate policy responses.

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