March 24th, 2017

Throw away your chains: waste in food manufacturing

by Mark Hilton

 

Much of the UK’s efforts to address food waste have been directed towards retailers and householders. This focus is not without some justification: household food waste accounts for nearly half of the nearly 10m tonnes of post-farm gate food waste in the UK each year. However, that should not lead us to ignore the substantial amounts of waste arising from other parts of the food supply chain, where there are fewer individual actors to influence and perhaps greater scope for small, cost-effective changes that result in significant reductions in waste.

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March 17th, 2017

Current electrics: WEEE and the circular economy

by Mary Biron-Tolentino

 

The UK is one of the world’s biggest spenders on consumer electronics. According to WRAP, British households and businesses buy around 1.4 million tonnes of electrical and electronic equipment each year.  In financial terms, average spending is around £800 per household, and this continues to grow, despite economic uncertainties and slow wage growth. Looking just at consumer electronics, the market is reported to have growing by almost 10% per annum from 2010-2014, and was estimated to be around £4.4 billion in 2016.

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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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January 15th, 2016

Keeping your shirt on: extending the lifetimes of clothes

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by Sophie Crosswell

 

Have you got your new season staples? Every day millions of people are bombarded with advertising trying to sell them new clothes and pushing promotional offers. Whilst this relentless marketing ensures fast fashion remains the status quo, there is a hint of revolution within the fashion industry.

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October 16th, 2015

Cash on collection: selling separated recyclables

by Peter Jones and Joe Papineschi

 

Local authority budgets are slimmer than ever, making it imperative for councils that separately collect materials to achieve the best possible value from them. However, while councils are experienced purchasers of goods and services, selling isn’t something they have much call to do.

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September 11th, 2015

Lost in transit: reducing packaging waste in the food supply chain

by Joanne Moss

 

When you think of food packaging, what springs to mind? Cardboard boxes, polystyrene and plastic trays, polythene wrap still predominate, both in consumer packaging and in the material the public rarely sees – the transit packaging that makes sure products arrive at the retailer intact. Much of this material can be recycled, but the waste hierarchy gives prevention top priority – so what scope is there to avoid generating transit packaging waste in the first place?

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May 29th, 2015

Pickles’ parting shot

by Joe Papineschi and Gwen Frost

 

We suspect that the departure of Eric Pickles from the role of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will not be widely mourned amongst council officials. His replacement, Greg Clark, had a previous stint as minister of state in the department between 2010 and 2012, and subsequently held the cities brief. While it may be too early to pronounce with confidence that a major change of approach is in the air, Clark is a strong advocate of decentralisation of power, and might reinvigorate the localism agenda that fell by the wayside as Pickles increasingly sought to bend councils to his will.

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