Flanders: a society built on recycling
With its popular recycling parks, fashionable reuse shops and tiny landfill rates for household waste, Flanders in Belgium looks like an unqualified waste management success story. David Gilliver investigates
Checking in for a greener stay
The hotel sector was one of the first to wake up to the cost savings associated with improved environmental performance, and we are all familiar with signs in bathrooms urging us to reuse towels where possible to cut down on water and energy use.
How the Met is policing its waste arisings
The Metropolitan Police is the UK's biggest police force and a leader when it comes to delivering arresting recovery operations, as Maxine Perella finds out
Waste managers urge business to address re-use - the 'neglected child' of waste hierarchy
The business case for product re-use is being restricted by poor engagement, financial constraints and a general lack of good practice guidance, a new report from a UK resource and waste management industry body has claimed.
Furniture manufacturers urged to solve circular economy conundrum
Britain's mattress manufacturers must become advocates of the circular economy by taking the lead on producer responsibility schemes which could significantly reduce the sector's vast waste-to-landfill rates.
Wales doubles recycling rates in 10 years
Wales continues to lead the UK on waste management as new recycling figures for this year reveal that the country has doubled the amount of waste it has recycled over the past decade.
General Motors turns to resource efficiency to alleviate regulatory 'perfect storm'
EXCLUSIVE: Amidst all of the political uncertainty surrounding the UK's pending departure from the European Union, General Motors' (GM) regulatory affairs and CSR manager has said that embedding closed-loop processes is enabling the company to thrive amidst an ongoing "regulatory storm".
Could this new material resolve the UK's great coffee cup recycling debate?
With big coffee chains including Starbuck and Costa facing increased public scrutiny over the recyclability of paper coffee cups, could a unique recycled resin provide an answer to the war on waste?
Energy generation in space will 'save' the world, says Jeff Bezos
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has outlined the future for his ongoing space exploration ambitions, which could see Earth "saved" by building around-the-clock solar factories in space that would replace energy-intensive manufacturing sectors.
Edinburgh launches 'Remakery' to ignite re-use and repair revolution
An Edinburgh social enterprise has set up a unique re-use and repair superstore to encourage second-hand shopping and enable more people to learn key repair skills in the Scottish capital, as a way of driving a circular economy.
Veolia: energy and heat are the missing pieces of the circular economy jigsaw
EXCLUSIVE: Businesses are missing out on the benefits of taking a closed-loop approach to energy and heat consumption due to being too "hung-up" on waste-driven models, the head of circular economy at Veolia has claimed.
Scotland 'well-prepared' to embrace disruptive circular economy business models
EXCLUSIVE: The willingness of Scotland's universities, councils and health services to embrace new initiatives based on circular economy principles has allowed disruptive innovators to gain a foothold in the UK market and expand their business.
WRAP calls on UK SMEs to take 'circular leap of faith'
Liz Goodwin, the soon-to-depart chief executive of the Government's Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), has today (8 March) provided new evidence of how the circular economy is beginning to make a big difference for small businesses across the UK.
WRAP unveils phase two of England recycling plans
The Government's Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has kick-started phase two of its collaborative, cross-industry plan to bring greater consistency to household waste and recycling collections in England.
Car industry launches free take-back scheme
The British automotive industry has launched a new take-back collection service designed to help recycle 'orphan' cars.
Veolia continues green expansion with biomass acquisition
Environmental services firm Veolia has snapped up the business and assets of Boomeco Limited, a waste wood processor and producer of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).
From utilities to mining: How Veolia has paved the way for a circular economy
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Veolia's executive vice-president Estelle Brachlianoff discussed her biggest achievements, challenges and secrets to success in a revealing on-stage interview with edie.
London adopts re-use hubs to tackle waste issues
Five new reuse hubs have been planted across various housing estates in London that will collect, refurbish and redistribute unwanted furniture, as part of a community engagement scheme to tackle the root causes of fly-tipping.
Fashion industry closing in on carbon and water reduction targets
Water impacts in the clothing supply chain have been reduced by 12.5% per tonne of clothing since 2013, while carbon impacts have also been cut by 3.5% per tonne, WRAP has announced.
AkzoNobel to 'ReColour' communities with paint recycling project
Three million litres of waste paint will be diverted from landfill and re-used by local communities in the UK every year, thanks to a new collaborative remanufacturing project fronted by AkzoNobel.
Scotland's plastic bag charge sees usage drop by 80%
The number of plastic carrier bags handed out in Scottish shops has reduced by at least 650 million in the first year of the nation's 5p charge.
Zero Waste Scotland launches social media campaign to inspire upcycling
Zero Waste Scotland has launched an 8-week social media campaign to encourage Scots to 'upcycle' unwanted pieces of furniture.
5p plastic bag charge launches in England
England will today (5 October) follow in the footsteps of the rest of the UK by introducing a 5p plastic bag tax for large retailers.
Sustainability stats: This week in numbers
This week saw a clutter of stories from all over the sustainability spectrum with consequences both grand and small.
Britons throw away more than 300,000 tonnes of reusable furniture every year
A new report has called on local authorities and manufacturers of 'bulky waste' - waste too big for normal disposal - to put a greater emphasis on the reuse of unwanted furniture.
UNEP: 'Urgent response' needed to avert global waste crisis
The first ever worldwide waste report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says immediate action is required to shift from 'take-make-use-waste' to a circular economy.
Social circle - the full benefits of the circular economy
Reuse offers tremendous social value - because of this, it could act as a useful lever to secure public buy-in for a more transformative resource agenda, argues Craig Anderson.
Is it perfect policy timing for waste?
The United Nations, European Commission and UK Government have all recently announced key policy themes around waste and resources. The question is, will they complement each other?
Reading Festival launches re-use campaign to tackle thousands of abandoned tents
Reading Festival has announced a new campaign to help reduce the 20 tonnes of reusable camping equipment abandoned at the festival every year.
Scotland launches circular economy consultation
Scotland's environment secretary Richard Lochhead yesterday (20 August) launched a consultation aiming to create a fully fledged circular economy for the country.
Diageo whiskey factory turns waste into renewable heat
Global drinks firm Diageo will generate 2 million cubic metres of biogas a year from its whiskey factory in Scotland thanks to a new anaerobic digestion plant.
Diageo saves almost 3 billion litres of water
Diageo has improved its water efficiency by more than 10% in the past year, according to the drinks giant's latest sustainability report.
Majority of Brits believe all plastic bags should be biodegradable
The majority of Britons believe all plastic bags should be both recyclable and biodegradable, according to a new YouGov poll.
Circular thinking - a miracle cure for NHS waste management?
Britain's healthcare system has historically had a poor track-record in waste management and recycling. But things are beginning to change, with several NHS Trusts now adopting more circular business models, as Maxine Perella finds out.
Ben Ainslie Racing team sails ahead with sustainable headquarters
At the launch of the America's Cup World Series sailing championship, Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing has announced the sustainability measures in place at its recently finished team headquarters in Portsmouth.
Moving from recycling to re-use in the food logistics industry
Moving away from recycling and towards re-using is the only way forward for the food transit industry, writes PPS Equipment managing director Joanne Moss.
Why the time is NOW for sustainable business practice
James Deacon, head of corporate responsibility at technology company Ricoh UK, offers his advice for businesses looking to become more sustainable in 2015 and beyond
WEEE: Tackling the next big business challenge
The recast Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive has now been in place in the UK for 18 months. The UK Government believes that the new system has produced an estimated £18m cost reduction for producers. Here, Scott Butler from the European Recycling Platform (ERP) explains why there is much work still to do.
7 sustainability collaborations you would never have imagined
Collaboration: a buzzword for sustainability professionals and an increasing focal point for businesses across sectors.
Resource management firm invests £400,000 in reuse shop
Yorkshire shoppers will be able to visit a new reuse shop in East Riding following a £400,000 investment by FCC Environment.
E-Waste: The circular economy's achilles heel
With Recycle Week in full flow, James Rubin, chief executive of waste clearance firm Enviro Waste, highlights the huge importance of tackling e-waste in the transition to a circular economy.
VIDEO: Nissan converts Leaf batteries into commercial energy storage
Used Nissan Leaf batteries will form the basis of commercial energy storage systems, under a new deal between the Japanese carmaker and energy storage provider Green Charge Networks.
Pope calls for urgent action on climate change
"The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth," wrote the Pope in a sweeping papal letter which calls for action on phasing out fossil fuels, tackling global water scarcity and adopting a circular economy.
Banks face circular economy funding challenge, says ING
The financial industry will need to undergo a seismic shift in culture, away from the collateral value of assets and towards a cash-flow based approach to lending, if it is to support circular economy business models.
EU asks for public advice on circular economy
The European Commissions has launched a 12-week public consultation to help inform its upcoming circular economy action plan, to be presented by the end of 2015.
Businesses must 'think outside of the box' with sustainability strategies, says Carlsberg
EXCLUSIVE: Today's business models are not fit for purpose if we are to deliver the transformational change needed to create a sustainable future, and firms need to be willing to step out of their 'comfort zone' to drive positive change.
Europe's new circular economy package will be 'country-specific'
The European Commission's 'more ambitious' circular economy package will include country-specific waste-reduction targets and a specific roadmap for the implementation of closed-loop business processes.
Scottish third sector given funding to boost repair skills
Scottish third sector organisations who specialise in re-use could be given up to £1500 each to help them train their staff to repair electronics, textiles and furniture.
Defra not taking advantage of waste opportunities, says Tory MP
Defra is still not looking at waste as an opportunity and should hand over full policy control to the Department of Business, Skills and Innovation (BIS), according to Conservative MP Laura Sandys.
Aylesford Newsprint goes into administration
Aylesford Newsprint, a paper manufacturer which specialises in recycling paper for reuse as newsprint, has gone into administration.
WRAP calls for greater collaboration to increase re-use in the third sector
Businesses looking to cut down on their waste and embrace a more circular approach can now take advantage of a new tool to aid collaboration, launched today by The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
Carlsberg toasts circular economy with biodegradable beer bottles
Carlsberg has launched a new cross-sector collaborative project to develop the world's first fully biodegradable wood-fibre beer bottle as part of its Carlsberg Circular Community (CCC) initiative.
Circular economy 'could create more than 200,000 jobs' in the UK
The development of a circular economy could create more than 200,000 jobs across the UK by 2030, according to a new study by WRAP and Green Alliance.
Waste as a resource: Five industry viewpoints...
The commonly accepted waste hierarchy is not working and two centuries of the 'take-make-waste' ethos are degrading the health of global ecosystems. In light of this, Liz Gyekye asks a few industry experts to explain whether waste should instead be treated as a valuable resource.
FEAD president urges new Environment Commissioner to back circular economy package
The president of European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services, David Palmer-Jones, has written to the new European Commissioner for the environment Karmenu Vella urging him to back the European Commission's circular economy package.
Electrical giants sign green pledge
Global electrical powerhouses including Panasonic, Samsung and LG Electronics are among 50 major players in the electricals sector who have signed up to a new green commitment that focuses on reducing the environmental impact of the products they manufacture.
Growing a circular economy: Key barriers and business benefits
A new thought leadership paper has unravelled the complexities surrounding the sustainability buzzword that is the circular economy, highlighting the key challenges and potential business benefits of going circular.
Sainsbury's to stop Nectar points for bag reuse
Retail giant Sainsbury's has announced that it will stop rewarding shoppers with Nectar points for every bag they reuse from April next year, as part of wider changes to its loyalty programme.
Carrier bag charge: In numbers
On Monday (20 October), Scotland will introduce its levy on single-use carrier bags (SUCB), meaning they can no longer be given away free of charge. To help explain the facts and figures surrounding the levy, edie has compiled a list of carrier bag sustainability statistics.
Demolition firm and waste management specialist team up to recycle dismantled tower blocks in Nottingham
Reclamation specialist Total Reclaims and waste management firm Wastecycle have worked together to reuse and recycle around 30,000 tonnes of material left over from a demolition site, where five tower blocks were bulldozed, in Nottingham.
Party Conference round-up: What are the big green ideas?
While the party leaders themselves gave climate change a short shrift at their respective conferences, a closer look at the environmental 'problems and solutions posed by the 'big three' political parties reveals the true extent of their green ambitions.
Firms advised to ameliorate environmental supply chains
Businesses must think differently about their supply chains and the 'costs' attached to going green according to a report by president of the lharrington group LLC Lisa Harrington.
Wales introduces sector plan to reduce food waste
The Welsh Government has introduced the Food Manufacture, Service and Retail Sector Plan with a view to preventing waste, reducing waste production and increasing recycling across supply chains.
Virgin Media falling short of carbon reduction target
Virgin Media's total carbon emissions have risen by 2.6% since 2007, leaving the communications giant a long way from reaching its 2015 goal of a 15% reduction.
Orange Business Services steps up e-waste recycling
Global IT and communications firm Orange Business Services has partnered with recycling specialist Stone Group to recycle its end-of-life hardware and dispose of its data-bearing ICT securely, in line with EU data laws.
Rapanui hopes to set sustainable trend for fashion industry
Eco-clothing brand Rapanui has come up with a novel solution to the problem of 'throwaway fashion' by offering store credit to customers who return last season's clothes.
Oil and gas giant launches its first sustainability report
Vermilion Energy, an international oil and gas producer, has launched its first sustainability report which lays out details of the company's plans to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste and lower the amount of water and energy it uses.
Kellogg's unveils new sustainability goals on energy, water and waste
Kellogg Company has announced new goals to reduce energy, water, waste and packaging as part of a wider drive to strengthen its existing responsible sourcing commitments.
Diageo highlights water achievements as it moves towards integrated reporting
Premium drinks firm Diageo has made its first step towards integrated reporting by disclosing sustainability and responsibility performance alongside financial reporting.
Microsoft-iFixit scheme offers free training for fledgling repair and reuse firms
Microsoft has entered into a partnership with iFixit, the online repair manual site, to boost the reuse market for smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Kimberly-Clark pilots circular economy model as it charts progress on water and waste
Kimberly-Clark is exploring opportunities around the circular economy as it looks to secure a more reliable supply of fibre for recycling and use in the products it sells.
Sony to sell flame-retardant recycled plastic to external customers
Sony Corporation has announced that it plans to sell its flame-retardant recycled plastic to a wide variety of manufacturing business operators such as consumer electronics retailers, both within Japan and abroad.
The North Face pushes 100% recycled polyester clothing goal by 2016
Outdoor clothing retailer The North Face has set a goal to use 100% recycled polyester fabric by 2016 - material that will be mainly sourced from post-consumer water bottles.
Solar lanterns offer smart reuse concept for plastic bottle waste
A cheap lighting concept which creates solar lanterns from plastic bottle waste is being trialled by designers in the hope it can be scaled up for commercial production.
UK circular economy inquiry calls for stronger levers on tax and landfill
MPs are calling for new fiscal and regulatory measures to be drawn up to help stimulate the UK's circular economy. These include a lower rate of VAT for recycled products, extended warranties for consumer goods, and a landfill ban for food waste. DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT below.
Electronics repair charity powers up 'citizen-led' circular economy
Social enterprise The Restart Project will scale up its electronic repair activities by becoming a people-led platform for circular economy innovation.
Bag for life? Millions of reusable shopping bags sent to landfill
Seven out of 10 shoppers are throwing out supermarket 'bags for life' after only a few shops, a new survey has found.
Time for waste measurements to get a 'sophisticated' makeover
Is it time for waste measurements to become a little more sophisticated? Chartered environmentalist Mike Tregent thinks so. He outlines why the UK needs to shift from weight-based targets to carbon-based targets for recycling.
10 things you need to know about the circular economy
A working circular economy could be a practical solution to the planet's emerging resource problems. Here's 10 facts you should know.
Nestlé Waters keen to price cost of recycling into bottle sales
Nestlé Waters is seeking to implement a market-based recycling model for its business whereby the cost of recycling its bottled water packaging is offset against the product retail price.
Businesses urged to consider plastic footprint as concerns grow over marine ecosystems
Businesses could significantly enhance their sustainability credentials by improving the way they measure, manage and report the amount of plastic they use in their operations and across the supply chain.
Microsoft, Sony and Panasonic commit to more responsible recycling
Microsoft, Panasonic, Xerox and Sony America have teamed up to back a new programme to encourage more reuse and responsible recycling of used consumer electronics goods.
EU circular economy framework proposals lack teeth, critics say
EXCLUSIVE: Disappointment has been expressed over the European Commission's forthcoming circular economy framework, with some experts believing the proposals don't go far enough.
EU eyes higher recycling rates and landfill ban with new circular economy framework
"There is no place for waste," proclaimed Janez Potocnik as the Commissioner for Environment yesterday announced details of a revised package of measures to accelerate Europe's transition to a circular economy.
BBC and BAFTA eco-standard gets screen debut on Springwatch
BBC's Springwatch is one of the first British TV programmes to demonstrate to viewers that it has met high environmental standards by displaying an on-screen certification badge on its credits.
Monsanto targets smarter irrigation to drive 25% water use reduction by 2020
Agricultural giant Monsanto has pledged to increase irrigation water efficiency across its global seed production operations by 25% by 2020 and will report on its progress in meeting this goal.
Reuse and closed-loop recovery models set to power UK growth
Reuse and smarter 'closed-loop' reprocessing technologies offer two of the biggest growth opportunities for the UK's waste sector, new research has revealed.
Interserve digs deep for data to keep green goals in sight
When Interserve embarked on its ambitious sustainability plan last year, it discovered a pressing need for better data capture. Maxine Perella looks at the challenges this presented, and asks if the company is on is track against its early goals.
Better toilet design could lessen demand on building water supplies
Toilet redesign could unlock the key to reducing the amount of water used during the flushing process within the built environment.
Interserve increases its thirst for water reuse in Middle East
Interserve is targeting its Middle East operations in a bid to reduce water use across the business, where one of the challenges is to find viable markets for reusable water.
Scottish Parliament urged to make circular economy a top priority
A panel of leading organisations have urged the Scottish Parliament to make the circular economy a top priority.
Call for EU to follow ten steps to implement circular economy
A group of leading non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have issued a joint statement calling for the European Union (EU) to implement ten steps that will help Europe work towards a circular economy.
Bacardi builds new warehouses using construction waste
Spirits giant Bacardi has announced that it has built three new warehouses at its rum distillery site in Puerto Rico from construction waste destined for landfill.
A constructive look at tackling building emissions
With awareness being raised this week around embodied carbon in the built environment, Leigh Stringer looks at how the construction industry could potentially become a leader in low-carbon innovation.
VIDEO: WRAP chief issues stark warning to businesses over pursuing 'throwaway linear models'
EXCLUSIVE The "throwaway linear economic model" that businesses currently subscribe to will become a millstone around the necks of firms if they do not quickly adopt a circular approach, WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin has warned. Scroll down for full video
LGA urges retailers to expand take-back services to prevent waste
The Local Government Association is urging retailers to expand or introduce take-back services for unwanted goods to divert them away from landfill and encourage reuse.
Call to launch landfill bans to create 47,500 jobs in the UK
The UK could create 47,500 skilled jobs if it kept five key waste materials out of landfill, according to new research by think tank Green Alliance.
Has the waste hierarchy had its day?
Given the phenomenal rise of circular economy thinking in recent years, the waste hierarchy as it stands may no longer be a valid starting point for business. Maxine Perella reports
Northern Ireland's recycling rate creeps up
Northern Ireland's recycling and composting rate has reached a new quarterly peak at 45.1%, according to new official figures.
Davos: Circular economy could generate $1trn a year for global economy by 2025
The build-up of 'circular' supply chains that increase the rate of recycling, reuse and remanufacture could generate more than $1trn (£600bn) a year for the global economy by 2025, according to a new report.