January 17th, 2014

Picking up the evidence: what’s the cost of litter?


by Chris Sherrington


Is all this concern about litter overblown? Does government really need to intervene to reduce levels of litter, or is it just a distraction from more urgent issues? What are the negative effects of litter and how significant are they; and given the range of apparently competing pressures, what is a policymaker to do?

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September 24th, 2013

Clegg’s debagging


by Chris Sherrington


Nick Clegg’s recent announcement of a five pence charge for single use carrier bags in England from Autumn 2015 was definitely welcome, even if a cynic might describe it as jumping before being pushed. Until recently, England seemed to be dragging its feet compared with Wales, which introduced a charge in 2011, closely followed by Northern Ireland, and with Scotland planning to introduce a charge in 2014. The indications are that the charges have been extremely effective in reducing the use of plastic carrier bags, but I’m concerned that the scheme announced by Clegg is being set up to fail.

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June 28th, 2012

Acorns, not oaks

Bin, Scan, Win!

by Peter Jones


I’ve come across two very different eye-catching green ideas in the last couple of weeks, both with the aim of switching young people on to more sustainable living. Their sources couldn’t be more different – two local authorities collaborating to inspire young people to recycle “on the go”, and iconic punk designer Vivienne Westwood promoting sustainable fashion. And while each is doing something exciting and ambitious, I fear that neither is reaching its full potential.

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February 10th, 2012

Turtle economic value

Green turtle in Kona 2008

by Chris Sherrington


A few days back I came across yet another article claiming that plastic bags really aren’t as bad as they are often made out to be – backed by the authoritative voice of last year’s Environment Agency Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of supermarket carrier bags

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January 16th, 2012

Canning the carbon

by Chris Sherrington


During the Christmas break, I left my in-laws’ house in Swansea and drove with my wife and children to Oxwich, on the Gower Peninsula. As I often do, particularly when visiting beaches, I took a bag to pick up any litter. Typically this litter tends to be plastic, but on this occasion our walk took us up through the woods, where I soon filled the bag with discarded aluminium drinks cans.

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