Day: 3 January 2003
UK Business Briefs: waste, groundwater, pipes and monitoring
In this week’s UK Business Briefs, recycling makes the New Year’s Honours List; a new 25-year contract for waste management in East London; a contract to build a research vessel; plastic piping for the Moray coast; and funding for groundwater research.
2002: A year of Asian waste streams and new uses for old materials
Japan led 2002 with new technology and strategies for recycling, while the US practice of shipping electronic waste to China was challenged by campaign groups. New uses for soybean oil, old tyres, nappies and flyash were developed by scientists, while eco-design was hailed as the solution to growing mountains of old mobile phones and TVs.
Air pollution in 2002: looking back over climate change, particulates and co.
There was something in the air in 2002, and in some countries it was largely pollution. In the US, half the country's population breathed in polluted air, whilst brown haze over Asia was in danger of causing dramatic climactic changes. Good news included China's success at cutting methane emissions, and the fact that carbon dioxide could be stored underground for millions of years.
Water in review in 2002: making a splash with fines, nitrates, beaches and drinking water
The quality of water at our beaches and coming out of our taps appears to still be increasing, following the publication of a number of studies in 2002. Nitrates are facing tighter controls, and one of the largest ever fines for pollution in the UK was levied on a water utility.
Waste in 2002: Not a good year for fridges
2002 was a bad year for fridge disposal, with the dire predictions of fridge mountains coming true, although it appeared that the country could be getting to grips with recycling used computer equipment. The Landfill Tax and the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme also came in for much criticism.
A year of social responsibility: Baltic salmon return, but eco-labelled goods remain elusive
2002 was the battleground for disputes over the impending EU chemical policy – will it be too harsh or not stringent enough? A summer debate oscillated on corporate social responsibility, with MEPs arguing for mandatory reporting but the Commission favouring voluntary practices. Baltic Sea ecology flourished from clean-up programmes, but eco-labelled goods continued to elude consumers in search of greener products.
2002: A year of striving to clean up Europe’s waters and avert future disasters
2002 began with a conspiracy to poison Rome’s waters, while programmes to protect the Baltic Sea and prevent Venice flooding received mixed success. A new irrigation system to halve water usage was proposed by plant scientists, while Nordic countries used popcorn to simulate an oil spill clean-up operation. Sadly the exercise preceded a real-life disaster with a crude oil tanker sinking off the coast of Spain in rough weather, prompting the EU to bring forward a ban on single hull tankers carrying heavy oil through European waters.
2002 in review: waste management market boosted by EU waste directives
Last year saw waste industry sales booming from EU waste directives, with composting, recycling and biological treatment services doing particularly well. Recycling rates for plastic and steel soared, with countries claiming to have saved money and reduced carbon dioxide emissions through the recycling of packaging. But industry continued to clash with legislators over whether paper should be burnt or recycled, and one report warned of increased birth defects around landfill sites.
Letter from the Editor: 12 months in review
This week, we look back over the last 12 months of environmental activities and political hot air. 2002 was a fabulous year for innovations, with slugs and the moon generating electricity, a method of irrigation that uses only half the usual amount of water, and soundwaves cooling fridges. However, international attempts to save the world wavered in Johannesburg and Bali, but the Kyoto Protocol made steady progress, with 33 countries ratifying throughout the year.
Energy review for 2002: wind energy thrives, but Kyoto could push prices up
The past year saw wind power continuing to grow across Europe, with wind farms planned off the coasts of Ireland and Sweden, and Germany predicted to become a world leader in wind energy. The EU launched an ‘intelligent energy’ programme to boost the renewables market and increase energy efficiency, while a spate of reports argued the real costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Europe.
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