Recycling

Vaping vs. Smoking vs. Planet: Should we ban all nicotine use?

Silver vape lying discarded on the floor of a forest

Disposable vapes look set to be banned in the UK, due to concerns backed by the Local Government Association about teenage addiction, fire risk, and plastic pollution. Whilst factors such as the health risks and addictiveness of vaping are bad enough, the environmental impacts must also be considered. The scale of the waste they produce is staggering, with eight disposable vapes being…

Making the Energy Transition Cleaner: Critical Minerals and Circularity Challenges

We live in an age of mass consumption, fuelled by increasing production. We now have an ever-growing ‘anthroposphere’ – a term that encompasses everything that humans have created from raw materials, and how they subsequently interact with the planet.  Such demand obviously puts significant strain on natural resources, but nowhere is this issue more profound than with the critical minerals which underpin…

Wishcycling: when rubbish ends up at the recycling centre

What’s going on here?  If only all our waste problems were solved by dropping things in the recycling bin and saying, “that’ll do” and then walking away thinking we’ve done something good today. This (very) common behaviour is known as wishcycling. It refers to the act of putting incorrect items into the recycling waste stream in the hope that they will end…

England set to introduce a ban on single-use plastics

What’s going on here?  The UK government has set out plans to ban the sale of certain single-use plastics. This includes items such as plastic cutlery, plates, and polystyrene trays. The ban is set to come into effect by October 2023. What does this mean? The environmental impact of plastic pollution is well understood. Plastic pollution is so pervasive that it has…

The Paris Agreement of plastic: coming in 2024

A woman is in a kayak filled with waste plastic bottles, and the surrounding water has lots of plstic waste and vegetation

What’s going on here? A plastic treaty is being drawn up to be implemented in 2024, which would regulate the production, design, use and disposal of plastic on a global scale. The treaty has been described as the most significant multilateral environmental deal since The Paris Agreement. What does this mean?  At the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) last week in Nairobi, Kenya,…

Smartphone upgrade culture is costing the earth

Pile of discarded mobile phones.

Having a smartphone in the 21st century is a necessity and keeps us connected with friends, family and work. Smartphones aren’t inherently bad, but our culturally ingrained attitude towards switching up our handsets is problematic. We’ve probably all experienced the joy of unboxing a brand new phone. That satisfying moment of peeling off the protective screen cover and unveiling our new device…

Recycling. It’s in our own hands

What’s Going On Here? It’s in our own hands. That’s the theme of Recycling Week 2019, the annual celebration of recycling organised by WRAP, which is taking place this week between 23-29 September. What Does This Mean? After big Dave hit us with Blue Planet 2, 2018 was the year Britain opened its eyes to plastic pollution. After Greta inspired the world, 2019…

Can we fix it? ‘Right to Repair’ our gadgets is gaining momentum

What’s Going On Here? ‘Right to Repair’ has been gaining traction in recent months, as big businesses and presidential candidates get on board. At its core, the movement is fighting for a reduction in electronic waste— known as E-waste—by giving more options to the consumer to repair their goods. What Does This Mean? Think about the various gadgets you own. How many items could…