July 7th, 2017

Wheels of fortune: the story of the wheeled bin

by Steve Watson

 

For a relative newcomer to our streets and homes, the wheeled bin has come to occupy an important place in both British civic and cultural life. They have  helped change how waste is managed, and – whether as the subject of the Daily Mail‘s ire or being ridden down a dale by the cast of Last of the Summer Wine – media appearances have been frequent.

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June 30th, 2017

Is recycling confusing?

by Peter Jones and Joe Papineschi

 

There’s one thing everyone seems to agree on regarding recycling: it’s confusing. It’s a familiar complaint from countless press articles and broadcast pieces; when surveyed, people say they find recycling confusing; and Defra has taken up the theme. Part of the rationale for WRAP’s consistency programme is to ‘help address confusion’ by encouraging greater uniformity in councils’ recycling services.

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June 2nd, 2017

Myth takes: it’s greener to incinerate paper than recycle it

by Peter Jones

 

When people want to argue that this whole recycling lark has gone a bit too far, they often regurgitate a peculiar factoid: that, on a careful analysis of the pros and cons, incinerating waste paper and card to generate energy has greater environmental benefits than recycling it.

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May 10th, 2017

Air cover: politics and the air quality plan

by Dominic Hogg

 

The Government finally published its long awaited revised air quality plan, albeit in draft form, last Friday. Many have expressed disappointment with its lack of ambition, but less has been written about the signs of some key last minute ‘tweaks’. The apparent aim of the late changes was to minimise the risk of a potential political backlash against the plan from angry diesel drivers – but their effect could well be to delay the effective action on air quality that is so urgently needed.

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February 3rd, 2017

Down on recycling: England’s recycling rate

by Peter Jones

 

The recent downtick in England’s household recycling rate has led to wailing and gnashing of teeth in some quarters, and something more like gloating in others. However, there has been little examination of what the numbers tell us about what underlies the change, and thus the appropriate policy responses.

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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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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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