September 5th, 2014

Rethinking recycling as reuse

Collection of plastic SML

by Ad Lansink

 

Eurostat recently published 2012 figures on the treatment of municipal waste across the EU28. Although there is variability in the quality of the underlying data and in the approach to compiling and reporting the figures, the headline numbers still make for interesting reading. The published data shows that the share of municipal waste recycled or composted has risen significantly – from 18% in 1995 to 42% in 2012. Breaking that figure down, however, one can see that only 27% was recycled and 15% composted, while 34% was landfilled and 24% incinerated.

Read more on Rethinking recycling as reuse…


August 22nd, 2014

A mattress of opinion: how do you make the best of bulky waste?

Photo by Angie from Sawara, via Wikimedia Commons.

by Alex Murray

 

When you’re buying a new bed or mattress, it’s easy to forget about the hidden expense and hassle of parting company with your old one. So how do the reuse and recycling options for an old bed or mattress shape up? Is there something you can do that is easy, economical and environmentally friendly?

Read more on A mattress of opinion: how do you make the best of bulky waste?…


June 13th, 2014

Football’s footprint: waste at the World Cup

Brazil_and_Croatia_match_at_the_FIFA_World_Cup_2014-06-12_(16)

by Peter Jones

 

It’s possible that you’ve heard that there’s a bit of a football tournament taking place in Brazil. The hosts kicked off proceedings with a 3-1 win against Croatia last night. Any major sports event that brings tens of thousands of people from around the world together to watch a highly charged event in hot temperatures means the consumption of a large amount of pre-packaged food and drink. By now the soft drink cans and fast food wrappers (no alcohol allowed inside the stadium!) will have been swept up from São Paolo’s Corinthians stadium: but how much will be recycled?

Read more on Football’s footprint: waste at the World Cup…


May 27th, 2014

Withdrawal symptoms: why Defra still has a role in waste

Incin-Recyc Graph_SML

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.

Read more on Withdrawal symptoms: why Defra still has a role in waste…


April 11th, 2014

Does the nanny state have a role in changing nappies?

Nappy photo

by Thomas Vergunst

 

Some time ago I wrote an article on the merits of reusable nappies; to my surprise the piece proved to be rather popular on Isonomia and generated a whole string of comments on the site. It also stimulated some animated conversations – one friend challenged me as to:

Read more on Does the nanny state have a role in changing nappies?…


March 28th, 2014

Foam of contention: dealing with polystyrene wastes

640px-A_squirrel_and_his_styrofoam_cups

By Michelle Rose Rubio

 

Expanded polystyrene (also known as EPS foam, polystyrene or Styrofoam) is a popular plastic for the packaging of food items, electric and electronic goods, furniture and more due to its excellent insulating and protective properties, as well as a being a production material in its own right for such items as disposable cups, trays, cutlery and cartons.

Read more on Foam of contention: dealing with polystyrene wastes…


March 21st, 2014

Is the PRN past its sell-by date?

USMC-09040309-M-6796M-039_crop

by Phil Conran

 

When the Packaging Waste Regulations started in 1997, the Packaging Recovery Notes and Packaging Export Recovery Note (PRN) were conceived as pull tools to meet demand when there was a risk of recycling targets not being met. Reacting to supply/demand situations, the PRN enabled money to be targeted where it was needed at producer’s expense. The Government’s view was – and still is – that the EU targets should be met in the cheapest way possible and that the PRN should not favour UK recycling or export nor should it favour household waste or C&I.

Read more on Is the PRN past its sell-by date?…