This post was first published by Business Green.
The UK steel industry has suffered from decades of decline, with production dropping by nearly two thirds since 1970; 2015 was a particularly difficult year, and one from which the industry has yet to recover. A glut of steel on the international market – nearly half of it coming from China – sent prices plummeting and resulted in nearly 7,000 job losses to the already beleaguered UK steel industry.
UK recycling has a problem. Over the years, we have become reliant on the Chinese market to take our low quality recycling. But China doesn’t want our waste anymore. In fact, it says it no longer wants any “foreign garbage”, as shipments of low quality material from countries like the UK have “polluted China’s environment seriously.” Read more
As the UK government lobbies to host crucial UN climate talks in 2020, it can rightly claim to have demonstrated leadership on this pressing global issue. We were the first country in the world to set legally binding budgets for carbon. We have shown it’s possible to grow our economy while reducing emissions to meet the first three legally binding carbon budgets. And we are preparing to go further: climate change minister Claire Perry recently indicated that she wants the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), which sets the budgets, to investigate a target for net zero emissions by 2050.
Since Theresa May announced, in January, that the government would show global leadership in tackling plastic waste, announcements on the topic have come thick and fast. Read more
Last week’s anniversary of the triggering of Article 50 was marked, as you’d expect, by many column inches and much airtime, including a BBC Radio 4 programme that caught our attention here at Green Alliance. Read more
It’s been almost six months since Michael Gove made an unofficial announcement that England would soon benefit from some sort of deposit scheme, a system where a small fee is applied to drinks containers at the point of sale, which can later be reclaimed. Shortly after that unofficial announcement, the government launched a comprehensive call for evidence, which concluded in November last year. Read more
Hatred is quite a strong emotion to feel for inanimate evidence notes intended to show that a company has paid towards recycling its packaging, but bear with me and I’ll explain what’s got me so wound up.
In our world of instant gratification, plastic has proved incredibly useful, allowing food and drink to be conveniently packaged and transported for consumption on the go, immediately satisfying our most basic of human needs. Unfortunately, if it is not handled correctly after its brief use, plastic can cause serious environmental problems, as hauntingly documented by Blue Planet II. People are rightly concerned about the pollution accumulating in our seas, and they want an immediate solution.
This article was originally published in Business Green.
If I were the type to shout at my radio, I would have spewed righteous vitriol at the Today programme last Thursday morning. Ahead of the launch of the government’s long awaited 25 Year Plan for the Environment, Environment Secretary Michael Gove was interviewed by Nick Robinson about his ‘big vision’ for dealing with the large environmental challenges that lie ahead. Introducing the segment, Robinson asserted: “The question any politician has to face in this field is this: on the one hand, people say they want less plastic and they cheer on David Attenborough, but do they want to pay 25p more for their cup of coffee?”
After years of waiting, we finally have it: this morning, Theresa May launched her government’s 25 year plan for the environment. By far the most talked about aspect of the long awaited and wide ranging strategy is the prime minister’s promise to “demonstrate global leadership” by addressing needlessly produced plastic. This will be achieved, she vowed, through action “at every stage of the production and consumption of plastic”. Bold words indeed.