August 12th, 2014

Is the circular economy achievable or desirable?

by Roy Hathaway

 

Defra Resources Minister Dan Rogerson drew a lot of criticism when he said, at the CIWM/ESA conference in June, that a completely circular economy was neither achievable nor desirable.

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May 27th, 2014

Withdrawal symptoms: why Defra still has a role in waste

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by Dominic Hogg

 

How is England performing on waste management, and what are the prospects for the future? Last year, Defra announced its intention to step back in areas of waste management where businesses are better placed to act and there is no clear market failure. Now the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee has launched an inquiry examining approaches to the recycling and treatment of municipal waste in England, and the impact of the reduction of Defra’s activities.

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April 4th, 2014

Food, gloriously certified food

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by Sarah Ettlinger

 

According to new figures recently published in the Ethical Consumer’s annual Ethical Consumer Markets Report, sales of ‘ethical’ food and drink increased by 51% from £6.7 billion in 2007 to £10.2 billion in 2012 (in 2012 real food prices), despite the economic downturn. The report defines ethical consumerism as “personal allocation of funds, including consumption and investment, where choice has been informed by a particular issue – be it human rights, social justice, the environment or animal welfare.” The vast majority of this increase came in the last year, where purchases increased by a whopping 33%.

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March 26th, 2014

Defra’s ex WRATE-ed guide

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by Ann Ballinger

 

Incineration might be worse than landfill. Although not an unfamiliar conclusion for us at Eunomia – we suggested as much in a report written for Friends of the Earth eight years ago – it’s rather more surprising to hear Defra echoing it in a recent publication. Hitherto the department seems to have regarded the environmental benefits as incontrovertible.

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March 18th, 2014

Sorting the Mail

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by Peter Jones

 

Today the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has published a brief report on the last of the complaints I raised about the Daily Mail’s negative coverage of recycling issues, and I thought I should give Isonomia readers an update.

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March 14th, 2014

Is bad data blocking waste infrastructure investment?

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by Adam Baddeley and Chris Cullen

 

We’ve been reading SITA’s recent report on waste arisings and infrastructure, which found that by 2025 the UK would have 5.7m tonnes more waste than treatment capacity. It’s a conclusion that we have issues with: we’re authors of Eunomia’s Residual Waste Infrastructure Review, which has consistently shown that the capacity of the incinerators, MBT plants and other residual treatment plant that we expect to be built in coming years risks exceeding the tonnage of waste which will need to be managed in future. But whilst it’s worth pausing to point out where we think SITA has erred, the report raises a more interesting issue: what is really holding up the infrastructure investment that SITA and others think is so urgently needed?

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March 7th, 2014

The Enron of carbon accounting?

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By Matthew Brander

 

The 2001 Enron scandal occurred because the energy company’s financial accounts did not reflect its actual debts and losses.  Eventually its shareholders found out, the bubble burst, and Enron became the biggest bankruptcy in corporate history, taking its auditing firm, Arthur Andersen, down too.

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