As someone who’s spent more than a decade commenting on the UK’s approach to resources and waste, I’ve often felt at least a bit of frustration and occasionally even substantial dismay with it. Read more
Tag Archives: waste
This article was originally published on Business Green.
It’s been more than six months since the prime minister triggered Article 50, what’s commonly referred to as “the starting gun” for our departure from the EU. If you imagine Brexit as a race, then, that means that we’re over a quarter of the way through the process that will, in theory, conclude on 30 March 2019 at the latest. At that time, EU treaties – all 750+ of them – and the various laws and regulations that have accumulated over the past 40 odd years – including more than 1,100 pieces of environmental law – will cease to apply here.
This post is by Green Alliance associate Julie Hill.
We held the final meeting of our Designing Out Waste business consortium last week. In the words of one of the companies, with this work we ‘led the debate from designing out waste to the concept of the circular economy’. Now we want to take the circular economy concept, where resources are properly valued and retained usefully in the economy for as long as possible, from an idea to reality.
As our presentation (From Designing Out Waste to the Circular Economy) at the meeting showed, there is already some leadership towards this goal, from UK’s devolved governments, the EU and businesses, but progress is still partial and fragmented. Read more
This is a guest post by Julie Hill, author of The Secret Life of Stuff, and an associate of Green Alliance.
If, like me, you’ve emerged from the whole Christmas gift-giving experience feeling bruised and wondering what it’s all about, I have a message of hope. One that can be developed throughout the coming year, with the intention of making next Christmas a little psychologically easier on us all. Read more
This is a guest post by Sarah Griffith, senior researcher at Brook Lyndhurst
To use our resources more sustainably, do we ‘just need to wake up’? This is the suggestion from Generation Awake, an EU campaign fronted by three singing shopping bags, which was launched last month with the aim of making “resource efficiency a habit.” It is one of numerous initiatives and events around ‘resource efficiency’ that tie in with the European Week for Waste Reduction (19th – 27th November): WWF held a conference on the topic in October ; the European Commission has adopted a Roadmap to a resource efficient Europe; and my colleagues are speaking at the Resource Recovery Forum’s “Influencing Resourceful Behaviours” conference on 23rd November.
It was Generation Awake, however, that gave me most pause for thought. At the campaign launch, European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik is reported as saying:
“With our economy in difficulty and our resources dwindling, it’s time to start rethinking some of our habits. Using resources more carefully not only helps protect the environment, but saves money and reduces business costs. It’s about using less to do more. Everyone can do their bit. We just need to wake up!” Read more
I am peering through the blinds of my flat like a suspicious neighbour with something to hide. I have got something, it’s a full-to-burst black bin bag. Outside in the wheelie bin this sack of guilt is anonymous rubbish, here in my hand it is proof of my failure. Thankfully my peering reveals nothing, no friendly neighbours or inquisitive friends popping by with the dreaded question, “how’s it going Matt, with the rubbish challenge thing?” I make a dash for it.
Of course this guilt is self imposed. Lots of Britain’s residents, my peers included, happily bin their household waste without a worry. Some will not even bother to recycle. For me though I couldn’t escape a nagging feeling that I have developed bad habits at the expense of the environment. With this as my motivation I set about inventing a series of eco challenges to help change the way I live. Currently I am trying to cut out all my non-recyclable household waste and to start things off last year I tackled my dependency on fossil fuel powered transport. Read more
Do people really wash at 30C? What makes someone decide whether to recycle or not? Last year we hired ethnographic video researchers everyday lives to make a series of short films about how people use energy and water in their homes, and how they manage their waste. (Scroll to the end of this post to watch the first film!) Read more