<p>People stand a top an ever growing rubbish dump sorting through waste in Brazil (c) Marcello Casal Jr./Agência Brasil</p>

Our obsolescent economy: modern capitalism and 'throwaway culture'

Steven Gorelick
| 26th September 2017
We live in a throwaway society. Innovation in the tech industries mean ever more powerful products come to market. But the death of repair shops and a culture of reliance is not simply the result of shiny new things. Corporations, and capitalism itself, requires planned obsolesce, argues STEVEN GORELICK

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Waste not want not - an old motto for an era of mass production

Ilana Taub
| 18th August 2017
A third of food produced globally is wasted - with over 2 million tonnes of fresh fruit and veg each year never reaching a shop shelf in the UK. This level of waste is staggering, especially when we consider all the energy and resources that went into producing the food in the first place. ILANA TAUB is on a mission...

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View south from the mine site to Narsaq below. Photo: Bill Williams.

Greenland Inuit oppose open-pit uranium mine on Arctic mountain-top

Bill Williams
| 17th August 2017
A collapse in the price of uranium has not yet stopped Australian mining company GME from trying to press ahead with a massive open-pit uranium mine on an Arctic mountain in southern Greenland, writes Bill Williams - just returned from the small coastal town of Narsaq where local people and Inuit campaigners are driving the growing resistance to the ruinous project.

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Tooting Restart Party: together with hosts Transition Tooting, 13 Restarters and 41 participants saved 50 kg of electronics from waste. Photo: www.heatheragyepong.com / Restart Project via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Community repair: a pop-up alternative to the throwaway society

Christine Cole
Alex Gnanapragasam
| 28th April 2017
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.

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Scale representation of the incinerator in situ, near Junction 12 of the M5, providing a highly dubious 'welcome to Gloucester', adjacent to the AONB. Image: GlosVAIN.

Up in smoke: the fight to block Gloucestershire's unwanted incinerator

Dan Hinge
| 24th April 2017
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.

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EDF's 4x900MW Nuclear power plant at Dampierre-en-Burly, commissioned in 1980, will soon turn from a money machine into a monstrous financial drain. Photo: Pymouss via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

EDF facing bankruptcy as decommissioning time for France's ageing nuclear fleet nears

Paul Dorfman
| 16th March 2017
Soon EDF will have to start the biggest, most complex and costliest nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management programme on earth, writes Paul Dorfman. But whereas Germany has set aside €38 billion to decommission 17 nuclear reactors, France has set aside only €23 billion to decommission its 58 reactors. When the real costs come in, they could easily bankrupt the company.

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Plastic waste being sorted by hand in Babakan, West Java, Indonesia. Photo: Ikhlasul Amal via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

UK exporting 67% of plastic waste amid 'illegal practices' warnings

The Ecologist
| 13th March 2017
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.

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Photo: FromSandToGlass via Flickr (CC BY).

Exposed: Coca Cola's big 'fight back' against tackling plastic waste

Maeve McClenaghan
Greenpeace Energydesk
| 2nd February 2017
A Greenpeace investigation has exposed the massive efforts of global food and drink giant Coca Cola to defeat popular proposals to require deposits on single-use plastic bottles, writes Maeve McClenaghan. In fact, deposit schemes are working fine in many countries in which the company operates - it's a simple case of corporate profit before environment, oceans and wildlife.

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The £740 million box: the 27 metre high Evaporator D module being lifted vertically into place from the horizontal, transportation position. Photo: Sallafield Sites.

Nuclear plundering of the public purse - the Sellafield and Moorside billions

Martin Forwood
| 13th December 2016
While the government is cutting vital public expenditure across the board there's one industry for which no costs are too great, writes Martin Forwood. The price of an 'evaporator' at the Sellafield nuclear complex is escalating towards £1 billion, while billions more of taxpayer finance are being lined up to finance cooling systems, power lines and transport links for the adjacent Moorside new-build nuclear power plant.

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To stop any more of these, we must attack the scientific deception that underlies the industry. Nuclear power station, Wylfa, Wales. Photo: Jeremy WILLIAMS via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Stopping Europe's nuclear industry in its tracks: here's how

Christopher Busby
| 28th November 2016
Article 6 of the Euratom Treaty provides for nuclear industry practices to be rejustified in the light of new scientific evidence of harm to health, writes Chris Busby. We now have that evidence, in particular that radiation exposure even at very low levels causes severe and heritable genetic damage to people and entire families. Now, we must use the law to protect our health from radiation!

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Aboriginal Traditional Owners protest against nuclear waste, Australia. Photo: Friends of the Earth International via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

No means no! South Australia must dump the nuclear dump

Ian Lowe
Griffith University
| 16th November 2016
A 350-member Citizens' Jury convened to decide on whether a massive nuclear waste dump would benefit South Australia just gave the plans a big 'No!', writes Ian Lowe. SA Premier Weatherill must drop his attempt to reverse that decision with a referendum, and accept the jury's well informed, democratic verdict.

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'Some day, son, all this (nuclear waste) will be yours!' Cartoon: Katauskes via Greens MPs on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Why worry about nuclear waste? What has the future ever done for us?

Andrew Blowers
| 16th November 2016
The long term problems of what to do with nuclear waste remain entirely unsolved, writes Andrew Blowers. Yet governments and the nuclear industry continue to peddle their untenable 'bury and forget' policy of deep geological disposal, which only unloads the toxic legacy of modern day nuclear power and weapons onto uncountable future generations.

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Four generations of Aboriginal Elder Yami Lester's family, united in their opposition to any nuclear waste dump on their land. Photo: author provided.

No way! South Australians reject international nuclear waste dump

Jim Green
| 9th November 2016
An officially convened 350-strong Citizens' Jury has decisively rejected South Australia's plans to import over half a million tonnes of high and intermediate level nuclear waste for long term storage, writes Jim Green. This has dealt a powerful blow against the project from which it is unlikely to ever recover, and represents a major victory for campaigners, indigenous Australians and economic sanity.

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Breath of a Woodwose. Original drawing by Bill Rogers via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Beast of Beckermet against the nuclear menace? a Lakeland story for All Hallow's Eve

Marianne Birkby
| 31st October 2016
As the nuclear juggernaut drives the destruction of the Cumbria coast at Sellafield with nuclear waste dumps, boreholes, dredged-out rivers and a massive new nuclear power station, Marianne Birkby recalls ancient legends of the Woodwose, the Green Man, and the Beast of Beckermet. Can these forces of untamed nature be called upon to combat the growing nuclear menace?

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During April 14 - 23, 2014, WIPP recovery teams made multiple trips into the WIPP underground, eventually reaching Panel 7, Room 7 - the suspected location of the radiological event. Photo: WIPP.

WIPP nuclear waste accident will cost US taxpayers $2 billion

Dr Jim Green
| 20th September 2016
The clean-up after the February 2014 explosion at the world's only deep underground repository for nuclear waste in New Mexico, USA, is massively over budget, writes Jim Green - and full operations won't resume until at least 2021. The fundamental cause of the problems: high level radioactive waste, poor regulation, rigid deadlines and corporate profit make a dangerous mix.

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The derelict B30 pond at Sellafield, used for the storage of intensely radioactive waste, in 2006. Photo: unknown / Public Domain.

Sellafield exposed: the nonsense of nuclear fuel reprocessing

Ian Fairlie
| 6th September 2016
Last night's BBC Panorama programme did a good job at lifting the lid on Britain's ongoing nuclear disaster that is Sellafield, writes Ian Fairlie. But it failed to expose the full scandal of the UK's 'reprocessing' of spent fuel into 140 tonnes of plutonium, enough to build 20,000 nuclear bombs - while leaving £100s of billions of maintenance and cleanup costs to future generations.

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Old landfill site at Cow Lane, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire. Photo: Peter O'Connor aka anemoneprojectors via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Zane: the lethal conspiracy of silence over contaminated land must end

Paul Mobbs
| 6th September 2016
The shocking death of Zane Gbangbola, killed by toxic gas from a 'forgotten' landfill under his home, exposes the UK's dangerous legacy of contaminated land, writes Paul Mobbs. Without action, these polluted sites will damage health and even kill for centuries to come. But governments, local authorities, landowners and developers are united in a shameful policy of silence and denial.

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Photo: Roderick Eime via Flickr (CC BY).

Hugh's 'War on Waste' is great - but we need to grasp the bigger picture

Sam Earle
| 3rd August 2016
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.

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There gold in them thar coffee grounds ... Photo: Dominick via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Thanks Hugh - now let's stop throwing away the coffee grounds!

Rhodri Jenkins
University of Bath
| 2nd August 2016
Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has a done a great job exposing the scandal of Britain's billions of non-recyclable coffee cups, writes Rhodri Jenkins. But what about the coffee itself? The grounds can be used for everything from compost and biodiesel to boutique chemicals and supercapacitors - yet the vast majority of the world's 9m tonnes a year of waste coffee ends up in landfill.

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Tank destroyed by depleted uranium (DU) munitions on Iraq's 'Highway of Death' in the first Gulf War, February 2003. Photo: Christiaan Briggs via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Chilcot: UK insists it has 'no long-term legal responsibility to clean up DU from Iraq'

Doug Weir
| 11th July 2016
The Chilcot report reveals that the UK has disclaimed any duty to decontaminate the toxic, radioactive ash left behind by its DU munitions, or even monitor the impacts on human health, writes Doug Weir. But Iraq and other countries are working towards a UN Resolution this October that would hold contaminating governments like the UK and the US legally accountable for DU pollution.

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Muckaty Traditional Owner Kylie Sambo is an objector to what she considers radioactive blackmail: education in return for accepting nuclear waste. 'As Australians we should be already entitled to that.'

Radioactive waste and the nuclear war on Australia's Aboriginal people

Jim Green
| 1st July 2016
Australia's nuclear industry has a shameful history of 'radioactive racism' that dates from the British bomb tests in the 1950s, writes Jim Green. The same attitudes persist today with plans to dump over half a million tonnes of high and intermediate level nuclear waste on Aboriginal land, and open new uranium mines. But now Aboriginal peoples and traditional land owners are fighting back!

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