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

 

I 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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September 12th, 2014

Real nappies: absorbing the lessons of incentive schemes

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by Hilary Vick

 

For the past 11 years I have been trying to get more London parents to try reusable nappies. This may be one of the biggest behavioural change challenges there is. Disposables nappies are cheap, convenient and easy to dispose of. You can throw a nappy in a park bin, pop it in the nappy bin at the swimming pool, leave a day’s worth at your baby’s nursery. Reusables are more difficult, right? You have to carry stinky ones home with you and then you have to wash and dry them. So how do you persuade people to use the more difficult, unfamiliar option?

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April 11th, 2014

Does the nanny state have a role in changing nappies?

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:

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