Archive | waste RSS feed for this archive

Stopping harvest loss with the Gleaning Network

The other day a great image popped up in my Instagram feed. It showed a small crowd of volunteers standing in front of five tonnes of sweetcorn that had been gathered by the Gleaning Network. This is corn that would have been ploughed back into the field, as it was surplus to requirements. This is […]

3 Comments Continue Reading →

Waste tyres as a building material

I recently wrote a pair of posts on the global waste tyre problem, and how we can reduce, reuse and recycle the billion plus tyres discarded every year. There’s one further use that I’ve been saving for a Friday, when I like to write about sustainable buildings. Because if you’ve a vast stock of heavy, […]

5 Comments Continue Reading →

Where does your rubbish go?

Where does your rubbish end up? The answer to that question is – thankfully – more complex than it used to be. The old answer was that it went to the dump outside the town. Some of it still does, but if your trash is separated, it’s going to end up all over the place. […]

3 Comments Continue Reading →

The water company that stopped selling plastic bottles

Imagine you’re a established bottled spring water brand, and you conclude that plastic bottles are an environmental issue that you can’t ignore any more. What do you do? That’s the question the Frank Water company has been asking. It was founded in 2005 as an ethical water brand, with profits going towards water and sanitation […]

1 Comment Continue Reading →

Car tyres in a circular economy

Last week I wrote about the various options for dealing with the world’s waste tyres. We can recycle them, grind them up into asphalt, or burn them for energy. But clearly, the easiest solution is stop generating a mountain of 1.5 billion waste tyres every single year. In a circular economy, the basic philosophy is […]

4 Comments Continue Reading →

How the Refill app is cutting plastic use

I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a distinct uptick in the amount of attention plastic waste is getting. We’ve known about ocean plastics and recycling for years, but it suddenly seems to be on the agenda. I overhear conversations on bottle deposits or microbeads. A growing number of businesses are getting involved, from […]

9 Comments Continue Reading →

What can the world do with 1.5 billion waste tyres?

Car tyres are a major global waste problem. Collectively we drive 1.5 billion tyres to the end of their useful lives every year. They can be retread and reused up to a point, but not endlessly. And at the end of their usefulness you have a conundrum. End of life tyres (or ELTs) are difficult […]

10 Comments Continue Reading →

Cassava plastic – good enough to eat?

When I was reading about ocean plastic recently, it was interesting to learn where it comes from. The biggest sources of plastic waste aren’t advanced consumer economies, but middle income countries where consumer goods are widely available, but waste processing systems aren’t yet in place. All sorts of waste is being generated in packaging, but […]

5 Comments Continue Reading →

Three ways to deal with plastic bottles

Last year there was a fairly high profile report on plastic waste, and it generated a lot of discussion. It showed that of the 78 million tonnes of plastic produced globally each year, only 2% gets recycled back into new plastics. 40% ends up in landfill, and just short of a third goes into the […]

11 Comments Continue Reading →

How waste can save lives and create jobs

On Tuesday I dropped in on the launch event for the Virtuous Circle report, hosted by Tearfund and the Institute for Development Studies. The report is all about how the circular economy can deliver economic growth, create quality jobs, and save lives in developing countries, while improving the environment at the same time. It’s one […]

4 Comments Continue Reading →