September 28th, 2018

The circular economy: inspiration or buzz phrase?

by Caroline Campbell

 

Is the circular economy something new, or is it just the latest buzz phrase? And how much does this matter when we start trying to apply its resource management principles in practice?

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December 18th, 2017

Are some countries cheating on their recycling rate?

Global Recycling Map

by Rob Gillies and Peter Jones

 

Eunomia recently published the second issue of ‘Recycling – Who Really Leads the World?’, a study that tries to compare on an equal footing the countries that claim the highest recycling rates in the world. It explains why comparing reported recycling rates at face-value is potentially misleading; and by producing more comparable figures, shines a light on those countries that are setting a positive example for others to follow.

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May 5th, 2017

Grounds for concern: the problem of coffee capsules

by Mark Hilton and Daniel Card

 

With an estimated two billion cups consumed every day, coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks and has been the fuel for countless projects, essays – and Isonomia blogs. In the UK, the average person consumes 1.7kg of coffee per year. This is less than residents of many of our European neighbours, but still equates daily nationwide consumption of some 70 million cups, with spending in coffee shops now exceeding £3bn per year.

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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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June 10th, 2016

Resource plumbing: plugging the leaks in the circular economy

by Ad Lansink

 

Zero waste, Cradle to Cradle design and the Circular Economy are all great concepts, presenting attractive targets to work towards. However, their ultimate feasibility is another matter. As we use and recycle products, won’t there always be some loss of material?

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February 19th, 2016

Does waste have a future?

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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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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