January 14th, 2019

Garden waste: what does Defra want councils to do?

by Peter Jones   There are many good things in the waste strategy published by Defra last month. It’s packed full of ideas, and signals a potentially transformative change in the way that England manages resources – although with many of the important details left to be resolved through consultation. Unfortunately for a strategy, one […]


January 4th, 2019

Doing themselves Stroud: maximising the benefits of fortnightly collections

by Sarah Kemp The headlines on the recycling rate data released in December understandably focused on the continuing flatlining of England’s collection performance. On one measure, ‘waste from households’, the recycling rate for 2017/18 fell by 0.3 percentage points to 44.8 per cent, leaving the EU’s 2020 target of 50% looking increasingly distant. That disappointing […]


September 11th, 2018

Law in disorder: the Environment Agency and the waste hierarchy

by Peter Jones   Plenty of legislation is poorly written. Some is badly thought out, or pursues objectionable goals. But I’m only aware of one instance of legislation that is untrue. Laws rarely make statements of fact of the kind that can be true or false. For the most part, legislation: directs or forbids actions; […]


August 10th, 2018

Cash and carry: the missed opportunities of England’s plastic bag charge

by Iona Horton   There’s no doubt that England’s 5p plastic carrier bag charge has had an impact. We’ve all either been or seen the person who, on forgetting to bring a bag to the shops, refuses to pay for one and proceeds to cram their groceries into every available pocket. After some near escapes […]


August 3rd, 2018

Trenchcoat warfare: Burberry’s bad press on stock incineration

by Peter Jones   The Times sparked something of a furore when it reported earlier in the month that Burberry deliberately incinerates millions of pounds worth of unwanted stock each year. The story found its way onto the agendas of many other newspapers and broadcasters. Outrage abounded on Twitter, as it so often does, with […]


February 23rd, 2018

Avoidable confusion: the unwelcome return of TEEP

by Bethany Ledingham   The government’s long-awaited 25 year environment plan (25YEP) received a pretty lukewarm response when it was published in January: good as far as it went, but short on ambition, detail and money. Michael Gove may have outdone his predecessors by actually getting the 25YEP published, but it doesn’t seem that he […]


February 2nd, 2018

Street smart: how can councils better tackle litter?

by Neil Greenhalgh   Walk down any street in Britain and you are likely to find litter: from crisp packets and drinks cans to fag-ends and chewing gum. I am still astonished by the audacity of people who clearly think unwanted confectionery and fast food packaging belong in a gutter or on a pavement. Allowing […]