Sweden has enacted 'the most ambitious climate law in the world' and is praised for its environmental initiatives. David Crouch, a former FT journalist, has written a new book, Bumblebee Nation: The Hidden Story of the New Swedish Model. Here, he discusses whether Sweden's reputation is deserved
This week the UK government announced a consultation on introducing a tax on single-use plastics, as part of its pledge to reduce plastic waste. But earlier this month ministers stepped back from plans to introduce a charge for non-recyclable coffee cups - putting the government’s war on plastic and promise of a Green Brexit under scrutiny. JOSEPH DUTTON investigates
No More Styrofoam presents the WooBox - a new alternative to the use of Styrofoam in food transportation - and a Serbian project that is supported by a crowdfunding campaign that launches today (1st June 2017). LAURA BRIGGS reports
The ability to repair malfunctioning machinery from toasters and computers to bicycles and lawnmowers is essential to avoid all the waste, expense and pollution of dumping consumer goods prematurely, write Christine Cole & Alex Gnanapragasam. Many of us how no idea how to even begin doing that, but a new 'repair revolution' is sweeping the UK and other countries, with free-to-attend pop-up parties where you can learn the skills and fix your broken stuff.
Activists in Gloucestershire are battling to block the construction of a massive incinerator that they see as a blight on the landscape, costly, polluting, wasteful and undermining recycling, writes Dan Hinge. Now the fight, backed by superstar actor Jeremy Irons, just entered a new phase after a tribunal forced the County Council to reveal essential details of the contract it had signed.
Britain's trade in waste plastic to the Far East is booming. But it's not good news. The exported plastic is meant to be recycled under UK conditions and standards, but often is not, undermining bona fide UK recycling firms who face falling prices, reduced turnover, collapsing profits, and all too often, closure.
Renewable energy, without doubt, is both driving and shaping the clean global economy of the future, writes Jeremy Leggett. But don't forget its equally essential partner: closing the consumption loop to create a truly circular economy in which there is no longer any such thing as 'waste', only resources we are not yet smart enough to use.
Consumers could be doing far more to help combat global food wastage with relatively little effort according to a new study showing that every year, a third of all food produced ends up being binned. LAURA BRIGGS reports
First we heat up cold water for baths, showers and washing, write Jan Hofman & Laura Piccinini. Then we chuck all that precious heat down the plughole. So how about recycling our waste heat to warm up water on its way to the boiler or hot water tank, cutting bills and emissions? Or on a larger scale, use the sewage from entire communities as a free energy source for heat pumps?
Last week's 'War on Waste' - throwaway coffee cups were the deserving target - was an exemplar of effective single-issue campaigning by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. But the answers to our waste problems go way beyond recycling. We must begin to plan a societal transition to a post-consumer culture of caring, sharing, and knowing when we have enough.
Africa's car battery recycling industry is anything but green, write Desirée García & Javier Marín on African Environment Day. Toxic emissions from the re-smelting of lead from old batteries is poisoning workers and nearby communities. And among the buyers of the lead are EU car companies, apparently indifferent to the death, disease and contamination they are financing.
Official recycling rates in Russia stand at close to zero, writes Minna Halme. But my study of the potential to develop the sector uncovered widespread informal recycling networks, lurking in basements, stigmatised for supposed links to organised crime, barely tolerated by the authorities. And any ideas of legitimising the shadowy recycling operations are met with frosty official silence.
On current trends the world will contain 33 billion tonnes of plastic by 20150, writes Mae Wan Ho, and much of it will litter the oceans, concentrating toxins and damaging marine life throughout the food chain. The alternative is to classify the most toxic plastics as 'hazardous waste', and for all plastics to be reused and recycled in 'closed loop' systems.
If you live a green life, you'll also want a green death, writes Robert John Young. Sadly pollution, energy use and methane emissions mean there's no completely green way to dispose of your body. The good news is that a new 'fast composting' technique ticks all the boxes - but it's still under development.
Interface's sustainability model shows how large industrial companies can slash their carbon emissions and other environmental impacts without compromising profitability, reports Sophie Morlin-Yron. The key is to aim high!
How can we reduce our ever increasing throughput of raw materials? By breaking out the the 'iron cage of consumerism', writes Mariale Moreno: make things to last - whether clothes, houses, cars, or washing machines. Join a car club. Share domestic appliances with neighbors. And bring back the laundromat!