September 16th, 2016

Released without charge: inside England’s carrier bag data


by Steve Watson


Back in July, six months after England adopted a five pence charge on single use plastic bags (SUPBs), the government released the first data showing how the measure has affected consumption. The headline figure reported in the media was a reduction of 83%, which looks like a fantastic result – especially considering that Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland reported smaller reductions of 76%, 80% and 71% in the first years of their respective bans.

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September 9th, 2016

Can we sort out the contamination confusion?


by Peter Jones and Andy Grant


The latest flurry of disparagement around the 2014/15 stats on local authority recycling rejects provides an unfortunate reminder that this is a confusing topic. Indeed, it seems it is easy to misunderstand even if, like the Daily Mail and Daily Express, you’ve had it explained to you at length.

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June 22nd, 2016

Unknown environment? Brexit certainties and uncertainties

Picture of Referendum Poll Card

by Dominic Hogg


Much has been written in recent weeks – tomes, in fact – regarding the EU membership referendum decision that faces UK citizens. Each day, we are drip-fed new opinion, and new faces come to the fore in the media, swearing their allegiance to one or other side. Just occasionally, a little piece of actual evidence surfaces – although few of these appear to be lodging in voters’ minds.

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April 22nd, 2016

Putting the ‘Right Waste’ in the ‘Right Place’


by Sam Corp


It is unfortunate and disappointing that, according to statistics collected by Suez, 56% of SME waste producers are not currently complying with their waste Duty of Care. Causes of non compliance range from not giving consideration to the waste hierarchy or separate collection requirements under the Waste Regulations, to storing waste materials incorrectly, to mixing hazardous and or hygiene wastes in with general waste.

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March 11th, 2016

Rejected out of hand? Media stories on contamination and rats


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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December 30th, 2015

The international Tidyman of mystery


by Peter Jones


Everyone knows the Tidyman – he’s one of the most printed images in history, having appeared on all kinds of packaging all around the world for over half a century.

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November 20th, 2015

Separate biowaste collections: a TEEP learning curve?


by Peter Jones


Details are starting to emerge of the forthcoming European Commission Circular Economy package proposal, now expected early in the New Year. If the leaks are accurate, and the package is translated into a directive in something like its current form, there will be a great deal of thinking to do – first for officials at Defra, and then for anyone involved in collecting waste that contains biowaste.

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