November 6th, 2015

Hitting the bottle: the Middle East’s water packaging problem


by Rehan Ahmed


Plastic water bottles are a common feature of urban life in the Middle East, being readily and cheaply available to all sections of society. In some instances, they are even provided free in public locations such as mosques, and this easy availability has seen their use – and subsequent misuse – increase greatly over time. People have come to regard plastic water bottles as a free resource, taking bottles, sipping from them, and leaving them in public places or throwing them away in rubbish bins with their contents only partly consumed.

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October 9th, 2015

Posting the bans: can we ban EPS packaging?

Train Burger

by Ayesha Bapasola


One is the city that never sleeps; the other is famed for its dreaming spires – but both have had a nightmare of a time trying to proactively tackle waste and litter.

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July 22nd, 2015

Broken windows and litter: tidying up INCPEN’s arguments


by Chris Sherrington


The Industry Council on Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN) is putting a lot of effort into communicating the idea that a deposit refund system (DRS) on beverage containers would be ineffective in addressing litter. This line has formed a major part of INCPEN’s response to my recent article highlighting how they cherry-picked litter data for a press release, which has been widely discussed on Twitter. INCPEN’s argument, encapsulated in a tweet, is that:

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June 26th, 2015

Picking the right cherries: packaging waste and litter


by Chris Sherrington


Some time ago I came across an INCPEN press release entitled ‘Cherry-picking litter won’t work: It has to be all or nothing’. It reports findings of research conducted by Keep Scotland Beautiful and commissioned by INCPEN (The Industry Council for Research on Packaging and the Environment), whose members “include raw material suppliers, packaging manufacturers, and manufacturers and retailers of packaged products”.

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April 2nd, 2015

Pick of the bunch: communities and litter

Photo by  St Peter's Community News (CC BY-SA 2.0)

by Sophie Crosswell


If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that litter’s a bad thing, right? Yet the most recent Local Environmental Quality Survey of England (LEQSE) report found ‘unacceptable’ levels of litter at 11% of sites inspected – and ‘acceptable’ doesn’t necessarily mean none. So if we all agree that litter is bad, how come we drop so much of it, and what are we going to do about it?

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February 27th, 2015

Solving a sticky litter problem


by Emma How


My husband vividly recalls being made to write out ‘the mastication of glutinous substances is obnoxious’ 100 times on the blackboard when caught chewing in class. Although symbolising the anti-social mindlessness of adolescence for many a schoolmaster, the problems associated with chewing gum are, regrettably, not confined to the Just William classrooms of yesteryear.

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January 23rd, 2015

Clean streets, dirty conscience?


by Ian Doyle


Ask residents what’s important to them in their local environment and clean streets will always be one of the first things they mention. Litter, in all its unpleasant forms, has the power to dramatically affect perceptions of environmental quality and reduce residents’ pride of place, and there is evidence that it has detrimental effects in terms of property values, mental health, and crime. Therefore, it’s not surprising that clean streets are given high value.

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