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Circular economy – opportunity or necessity?

22nd April 2015 Posted by

The upcoming elections and political promises are undoubtedly the main issue for UK waste-watchers. The Resource Association’s ‘Manifesto for resources 2015‘, issued at the end of March posed some interesting and challenging suggestions for the consideration of all political parties running up to the May General Election. Having recently completed some work for the EU on systematic eco-design innovation, the

Manifestos hold little for waste-watchers

16th April 2015 Posted by

Waste-watchers scouring the main parties’ 2015 election manifestos for evidence of a “Damascene conversion” to the circular economy and resource efficiency will find lean pickings, and probably view what little there is with a degree of cynicism. The Labour party manifesto makes no mention of our sector, instead concentrating its environmental pledges on carbon reduction and energy management in the

No magic answers to raising recycling rates

9th January 2015 Posted by

The latest edition of WRAP’s recycling, re-use and repair tracking survey (December 2014) identifies recycling attitudes and behaviours that support many of the findings of two SITA UK-sponsored reports: The Ur[bin] Issue (improving urban recycling performance) and Lifting the Lid (student attitudes and behaviours towards recycling). In these reports, we highlighted clear messaging, harmonised collection systems and effective community engagement as

Breaking the circle

17th December 2014 Posted by

With all the debate going on around the EU position on the circular economy at present, emotion can sometimes cloud our view, so it can be useful to stand back and consider the underlying reasons behind the various opposing opinions. While many in our sector are more than a little disappointed by the European Commission’s view, I can at least

A promise that must be kept

17th December 2014 Posted by

Yesterday (16 December 2014), the European Commission withdrew the so-called “circular economy package”, developed by the previous Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, amid cries of “shame” from MEPs assembled in the European Parliament. The package was withdrawn for two reasons: the “principle of political discontinuity”, a notion that, judging from the reaction of many MEPs during the parliamentary debate, evidently puzzled

Resources Minister Dan Rogerson unmoved by plea from Shadow Minister and EAC

5th December 2014 Posted by

Following Defra’s proposal to levy a five pence charge on single use plastic bags (see previous blog: Bag policy should be binned), the Environmental Audit Committee’s comments on this policy were debated in the House of Commons last week. Chair Joan Walley reiterated the Committee’s conclusion that Defra’s proposals were “unnecessarily complicated” and that, in persisting with exemptions for biodegradable

MEPs push for the Circular Economy Package

18th November 2014 Posted by

The new term of the European Commission has commenced with a Commission Work Programme (CWP) proposed by President Jean-Claude Juncker and First Vice President Franz Timmermans. As many waste-watchers suspected from President Juncker’s cool reception earlier, the Circular Economy Package introduced by outgoing Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik has not received an unqualified green light in the draft CWP. The so-called

New business model requires new skills

4th November 2014 Posted by

In my last blog, I talked about the way that the ‘waste industry’ was changing. This change is particularly apparent in the new types of jobs we now have to recruit for at SITA UK. The number of these new roles has steadily increased over the last three to four years, but it is now really gathering pace. So, what

The EAC and EFRA reports give Defra and the next Government a useful route map

3rd November 2014 Posted by

The Government’s response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s Inquiry Growing a Circular Economy: Ending the Throwaway Society contains the now-familiar mixture of mild ambition and platitudes that characterised its evidence before the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s Inquiry Waste Management in England. There, the Government was taken to task for ‘stepping back’ precisely at a time when vision, a

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