January 26th, 2017

What do Scots toss?

by Chris Sherrington


What are people most likely to litter? This is a surprisingly tricky question to answer, as the data on litter is poor. However, if we want to have effective policies to reduce littering, it’s important to understand the behaviours we need to change, and the scale of the impact they could achieve.

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March 28th, 2014

Foam of contention: dealing with polystyrene wastes


By Michelle Rose Rubio


Expanded polystyrene (also known as EPS foam, polystyrene or Styrofoam) is a popular plastic for the packaging of food items, electric and electronic goods, furniture and more due to its excellent insulating and protective properties, as well as a being a production material in its own right for such items as disposable cups, trays, cutlery and cartons.

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October 29th, 2013

Things that go bump in the bin?

melon brain

By Joe Hudson

This Halloween, scores of children will once again drag their parents out into the chilly October air to spook their obliging neighbours into handing over sugary treats. Costumes, sweets and decorations are all considered necessities for this single evening of enforced spookiness – and then typically end up in the bin. For a green-minded parent (or child), are there ways to avoid being haunted by horrible waste without making Halloween a ghastly chore?

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August 30th, 2013

Playing chicken with the climate: why environmentalists should go veggie

by Francis Vergunst


You’ve heard it from the Greens, you’ve heard it from your friends, you’ve probably even heard it from your grandma… and now you’re hearing it from the government too. What’s the big deal? Do we really need to eat less meat – or none at all? I would argue that becoming vegetarian could be the most effective action you take against climate change. Consider the following.

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July 5th, 2013

Trash talk

Dictionary discard2

by Steve Watson


The literate and waste conscious Isonomia reader will no doubt be familiar with just how very differently waste gets talked about in different quarters. At one extreme there is a growing community of ecologically minded individuals committed to seeing all waste as a ‘resource’, with the very admittance of the category of ‘waste’ seen as part of the environmental problem. At the other, the Daily Mail tends to class recycling as just another type of ‘rubbish’. The vocabulary different people use to categorise the same basic stuff has a dramatic effect on how they view it, and to understand how this has come about we need to delve deep into the linguistic landfill on which modern English is built.

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June 21st, 2013

A nation of spongers?

Treading water – the UK has yet to get serious about water footprinting

by Alex Massie


It may seem unlikely given our much-discussed damp climate, but the UK is in fact one of the biggest importers of water, per capita, in the world. Our sponge-like tendency is not just due to our thirst for French mineral water. Water is ‘embodied’ in almost every single thing that we import: food, energy, and products alike.

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March 27th, 2013

A tale of two escalators

Westminster Escalator

by Peter Jones


The Budget last week offered little to excite the environmentally minded, as George Osborne produced no new green measures from his battered red box. One of the main talking points in the waste sector has been the absence of any clarification of what will happen to Landfill Tax after it reaches £80 in 2014/15. The Green Alliance advocates further increases, but the Environmental Services Association and various local authority representatives are looking for the escalator to stop. At the same time, the planned fuel escalator increase for September 2013 was cancelled.

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