Archive | Dispatches from Europe

Dispatches from Europe: Are we ready for reusable packaging?

20 June 2017 – Single-use packaging is easy to spot. A short walk along a beach, anywhere in the world, will reveal the consequences of our throwaway culture as each tide brings in a fresh layer of debris, most of it single-use plastics. In some countries, the growing pressure to do something about single-use packaging has […]

Dispatches from Europe: The uncertain future of waste-to-energy

21 February 2017 – Anyone engaged in waste-reduction policy has surely witnessed the intense debate that has been raging for decades around the notion of burning municipal solid waste to create power. Active lobby groups around the world regularly campaign for additional incineration capacity, citing the importance of reducing waste to landfill and finding ways […]

Dispatches from Europe: Why Deposit Return is EPR

6 December 2016 – More than two decades ago, Thomas Lindhqvist, a Swedish professor of Environmental Economics, coined the term extended producer responsibility, or EPR. At the time, Lindhqvist defined EPR as an environmental strategy that makes producers responsible for the entire life cycle of their products, especially takeback, recycling and final disposal. There are some […]

Dispatches from Europe: Getting tough on food waste

19 September 2016 – Food waste has become an increasingly hot topic in recent months and for good reason. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), about one-third of all food produced in the world for human consumption – approximately 1.3 billion metric tons – ends up as waste each year. In […]

Dispatches from Europe: Is Brexit bad news for an evolving industry?

27 July 2016 – Last month’s decision by U.K. voters to withdraw from the European Union has generated a lot of questions over the potential impact on jobs, the economy and trade within the U.K. But for those in the U.K. waste management sector, the greatest concern is the potential impact of Brexit on both national and […]

Dispatches from Europe: Why Container Deposit Systems are Gaining Ground

29 June 2016 – Since being introduced to the market, single-use beverage containers have caused much debate – both in the beverage industry and among politicians and the public. A simple question sits at the center of the arguing: What’s the most efficient way to collect beverage containers for high-quality recycling? Though there are many who continue to […]

Dispatches from Europe: A Rush of Regulations on Plastic Bags

2 June 2016 – An iconic symbol of our linear, throwaway economy, single-use plastic bags are a major source of environmental pollution, especially in marine environments where animals are often injured or killed after becoming entangled or ingesting plastic bags mistaken for food. According to the European Commission, an estimated 100 billion plastic carrier bags […]

Dispatches from Europe: Why revamping recycling measurement is no simple task

10 May 2016 – This second column in Resource Recycling’s monthly Dispatches from Europe series takes a closer look at the EU’s calculation methodology for recycling and reuse targets. EU member states can currently calculate their recycling rates using four different methods, each at different stages of the recycling process. This makes it impossible to […]

Dispatches from Europe: Circular Economy Explained

15 March 2016 – In the first of a series of columns digging into the details of sustainability and materials recovery abroad, Clarissa explains how the European Commission is legislating the circular economy and what it means for the recycling industry. Read the article in Resource Recycling magazine here.