May 30th, 2014

The bud, the bad, and the ugly

Cotton_swabs_(or_cotton_buds)_-in_round_container

by Thomas Appleby

 

I recently joined a group of students from the University of West England – where I lecture in Law – and the Marine Conservation Society in a beach clean at Sand Bay in North Somerset. During the clean, I was appalled by the huge number of blue plastic cotton bud stalks littering the beach, as were the students taking part. These stalks, which are used to hold the buds, are apparently washed down through the sewers: the public, not realising these plastic stalks do not decompose, flush them down the toilet and sewage treatment does not filter them out. The stalks then pollute the beach and interfere with the public’s enjoyment.

Read more on The bud, the bad, and the ugly…


May 16th, 2014

Litter-picking: why bother?

ERwithLitter_SML

by Erica Rose

 

One day last May, a bag of litter caused me to have a life-changing revelation. I was on the verge of the A170 in North Yorkshire at the time, 100 metres or so into my first solo litter-pick, the wheelbarrow was almost full and I was just about to turn for home when I spotted the bag in a ditch. It was full of the aftermath of someone’s lunch – cans, sweet wrappers and sandwich-boxes – and as I dragged it out I was angry enough to rant aloud at whoever had dumped it there. The bit that was revelatory (and printable) was when I heard myself saying “What did you think was going to happen to this, Mr Bag-Dumping Moron? Who did you think was going to pick it up? Do you believe in the Crap Fairy or something?!” I stopped. I looked at myself with the bag in my hands. Ah.

Read more on Litter-picking: why bother?…


May 9th, 2014

The giant of Africa’s giant waste problem

640px-Charette_poubelle_in_Ouagadougou

by Wale Bakare

 

Solid waste management is the most pressing environmental challenge faced by urban and rural areas of Nigeria, a country with a population exceeding 170 million and one of the largest producers of solid waste in Africa. Despite a host of policies and regulations, solid waste management in the country is assuming alarming proportions with each passing day.

Read more on The giant of Africa’s giant waste problem…


January 17th, 2014

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

640px-Walkers_Crisps

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?

Read more on Picking up the evidence: what’s the cost of litter?…


September 24th, 2013

Clegg’s debagging

Green_sea_turtle_portrait

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.

Read more on Clegg’s debagging…


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.

Read more on Acorns, not oaks…


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

Read more on Turtle economic value…