July 20th, 2018

How long should things last?

by Marcus Valentine and Steve Watson   This article began with an Xpelair extractor fan, made in England in 1972, and 46 years later removed from Marcus’s kitchen. Already installed when he moved in a decade ago, it had presumably provided continual service since soon after it was manufactured before he took interest in how […]


June 30th, 2017

Is recycling confusing?

by Peter Jones and Joe Papineschi   There’s one thing everyone seems to agree on regarding recycling: it’s confusing. It’s a familiar complaint from countless press articles and broadcast pieces; when surveyed, people say they find recycling confusing; and Defra has taken up the theme. Part of the rationale for WRAP’s consistency programme is to […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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. Fashion designer Tom Cridland […]


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. Although well-versed in procurement law, some […]