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Environmental issues

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

New flat recycling schemes

28th January 2015 Posted by

The news that Edinburgh is to roll out two pilot schemes addressing recycling in flats will be welcomed by waste-watchers concerned over the UK’s stalling recycling rate. High-rise and multi-occupancy housing pose by far the greatest challenge to the design and logistics of collection systems for recyclates. With some 80 per cent of the UK’s population living in urban settings,

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

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