Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

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image: innocent pleasure and guilty desires are often intertwined.

Innocent, a drinks company that does a booming business selling fresh fruit smoothies in the UK, discovered interesting things trying to measure its carbon footprint.

The founders expected to find that transporting large volumes of bananas and other tropical fruit to Britain from places like Central America would account for most of their emissions. To their surprise, the dirtiest part of smoothie-making turned out to be the individual-size plastic bottles made from petroleum products.

Richard Reed, whose company’s logo features a stylized baby face with a halo, set about cajoling bottlers to use ever-greater quantities of recycled plastic. This spring, innocent’s head of sustainability, Jessica Sansom, came through with flying colors: A 100 percent recycled bottle that lowered emissions by 28 percent during the bottle-making process and by 8.5 percent for the overall finished product.

Reed, the co-founder of innocent, said he hoped that a recommended daily allowance for carbon, similar to what routinely appears on many food labels across the world, would one day be introduced.

Who is Innocent?

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The GreenFleet Capital Arrive ‘N’ Drive and Fuel Challenge proved that low and zero emission vehicles offer a greener, cheaper way for fleet vehicles to operate around London. The Guildhall Yard in London EC2 was host to the 2007 event, sponsored by Transport for London and GlobalLive, and featured an impressive display of cleaner transport options.

These included zero emission delivery vehicles from Modec, electric car charging posts from EDF Energy and Elektromotive, a hydrogen powered BMW and the Aixam Mega, which was featured on BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ as competing teams battled to sell coffee in Islington.

Other manufacturers on display included Vectrix, Toyota, Honda, Citroen and The Nice Car Company. Intelligent Energy displayed the ENVbike, the world first purpose built fuel cell motorcyle, while new vehicle rental company Green Motion displayed hybrid Lexus and Prius models. Green Motion will also be the first rental company to offer the VW Polo Bluemotion, which runs on Low Sulphur Diesel and is available from October.

The Capital Fuel Challenge was set off by Deputy Mayor Nicky Gavron (Chair of the London Hydrogen Partnership) with each of the participants navigating their way through London traffic to pick up objects from each of four checkpoints in the correct order. A range of competing fuel types included petrol, diesel, bio-ethanol, electric and hybrid petrol/electric. As soon as the vehicles returned, they were quickly transported to Millbrook Proving Ground, where they will be independently tested to determine the amount of CO2 that was produced by the journey. For electric vehicles, the calculation will take account of the amount of CO2 generated by their charging cycle.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists were also on hand to offer ten tips on how to drive ‘greener’. Examiner Lloyd Brown briefed all fuel challenge entrants before they set off.

And here are some of the winners ;

*Alternative Fuel Supplier of the Year: Rix Biodiesel
*Car Manufacturer of the Year: Citroen
*Industry Innovation Award: Elektromotive
*Dealership of the Year: Evans Halshaw
*Electric Vehicle of the Year: Modec
*Green Motoring Journalist of the Year: Richard Bremner, cleangreencars.co.uk
*Tfl Public Sector Fleet of the Year: London Borough of Islington
*Lifetime Achievement Award: Lord Oxburgh, D1 Oils

… well, fewer at any rate.

Westminster launches free electric vehicle charging points.

Westminster City Council has launched the UK’s only free on-street charging points for electric vehicles in a pioneering move aimed at boosting environmentally friendly travel.

The exciting pilot project, if successful, will lead to more charging points across the capital making it ever more practical and convenient to drive electric cars.

There are currently 48 free car charging points in 13 council-run Masterpark car parks across the City of Westminster. For the first time though the two new charging points (NB. pilot scheme) will be placed at on street parking bays in Wellington Street and Southampton Street in Covent Garden.

More here.


[1]. London Hydrogen Partnership
[2]. Vectrix Maxi Scooter
[3]. VW Polo Bluemotion for hire from Green Motion.

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Fifteen million trees were torn down by the Great Storm of 1987, and in our panic to restore England’s landscape in the aftermath, we succeeded only in creating more chaos. Twenty years on, nature has proved it can heal itself without the help of mankind. So what lessons can we learn from our land’s innate wisdom?

Lesson one.

The important thing to remember is that order in nature is not the same as order in the human mind, which has an exaggerated respect for tidiness.

“If you want a woodland in Britain,” says Peter Creasey, “you don’t have to plant trees. You just have to sit back and wait.” The great mistake, typical of people in crisis, is to think that something has to be done. Across the raw skin of southern England in 1987, there was a rush to salve the wounds. In many cases it was the worst kind of first aid, making the patient worse rather than better.

“Most of the planting that was done,” says Peter Creasey, “has been overwhelmed by trees just seeding themselves naturally.” It is this process of force majeure that has brought the change of policy — in effect, a willing surrender to a needless enemy. Instead of nurturing the planted beeches, says Creasey, “we decided to let natural succession take place. It happens in a natural sequence. First you get pioneer trees like birch and, to a certain extent, ash. The birch will last for about 60-odd years and then will be overtopped by the longer-lived trees like oak and beech. Eventually you get a natural broad-leaved mixed woodland, but it does take time and patience.”

Lesson two.

In nature there is no such thing as waste. Life likes nothing better than death. “Some experts reckon,” says Creasey, “that if you want an ecologically healthy woodland, then 50-60% of the timber should be dead or dying.”

This is not as morbid as it sounds. “An oak, for instance, will take 200 years to reach anything like maturity. Then it will sit for 1,200 years being mature; then it will spend another 200 or 300 years slowly dying. Its time-scale is very different to ours.”

You see the evidence wherever old hulks have been left. Woodpeckers feed on insect larvae in the dead timber; bats roost in it; stag beetles breed and joust like their mammalian namesakes; dormice — fastidiously intolerant of anything short of ecological perfection — move in with fixed, erotic intent.

Read more.

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Image: from Carbusters magazine. They provide useful background to car free development.

This new approach to modern urban living is supported in Government planning policy guidance and for the city of London, by the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy and London Plan. Camden is one such central London borough that has this approach on its agenda. See here for more.

This is a planning policy for new housing schemes where the space traditionally reserved for car parking is instead used for more housing units or greener uses such as more play spaces and cycle parking. Residents of car free housing schemes are not eligible for on-street parking permits.

Up to the summer of 2004, Camden says they have granted planning permission for 2,523 car free housing units (in 287 residential schemes), saving approximately 5,046 car trips each day once they are all built.

Car free housing is also being introduced in cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Bremen, Cambridge and Edinburgh. In London, a number of other councils are now also encouraging the development of car free housing.

An example of such a development in the city of Glasgow can be found here. The positive approach of such developments can lend them to widening their environmental remit into other areas such as energy. The Glasgow example utilizes geothermal energy from a coalmine and solar ventilation.

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The WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Directive is beginning to expand its remit to the recycling of more and more electronic goods. How many kettles for example have you been through because they keep on failing and no-one will repair them! I’m on my third kettle in 3 years with one only lasting 3 days! Now I can take these useless items to my local council recycling centre. 🙂 And you should be able to too.

According to http://www.wasteonline.org ‘local authorities must have set up collection or take back schemes which allow users to return their waste products free of charge. Producers need to have financed these collection and disposal routes.’ It may be that my borough is ahead of the game because this quote is also on the wasteonline site;

‘ it appears that Producer Responsibility part of the directive will not be introduced in time. There has even been a suggestion that it may be as late as early 2008. The DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) is still in consultation with stakeholders, and has yet to make a definite announcement about start dates.’

But it is still worth your ringing up your local authority’s main switch board number and asking if they have started to recycle electrical products.

Wateonline.org has very interesting and useful info on the reuse or recycling of electronic goods.

Failing that you can use the relevant contact below;

Light recycling

Balcan Engineering Ltd
Woodhall Spa
Lincolnshire LN10 6RW
01526 353 075
Manufacturers of lamp crushers providing an on-site lamp crushing and disposal service, and information about lamp disposal.

D C Disposable Lighting
Mr. Darren Coleman
54 Victoria Avenue
Grays, Essex,
RM16 2RP
t 01375 371 631 f 01375 371 631

Working in the South East of England, in conjunction with Mercury Recycling Limited, and specialising in lamp disposal.

Karraway Recycling
1 Folly Close
Herts WD7 8DR
020 8236 0108

Lampcare (UK) Recycling Ltd
Windlestone Manor, Windlestone
County Durham DL17 0NA
t 01388 721000 f 01388 722227

Lighting Industry Federation
Swan House
207 Balham High Road
London SW17 7BQ
020 8675 5432
For details of professional collectors and recyclers of lighting.

Mercury Recycling Ltd
Unit G
Canalside North, John Gilbert Way
Trafford Park
Manchester M17 1DP
0161 877 0977

38 Maurice Gaymers Road
Gaymers Industrial Estate
Norfolk NR17 2QZ
01953 451 111

SustainaLite Ltd
Swan House
207 Balham High Road
London SW17 7BQ
Accreditation scheme for those who manage end-of-life gas discharge light sources.

Mobile phone and printer cartridges reuse/collection

ActionAid Recycling
Unit 14, Kingsland Trading Estate, St Philips Road, St Philips, Bristol, BS2 0JZ.
0845 3 100 200
Charity Organisation involved in raising vital funding for ActionAid development work in the third world, through the collection and recycling of empty IT consumables (Inkjet and toner cartridges) and mobile phones.

Against Breast Cancer
B363 Curie Avenue
harwell International Business Centre
Oxon OX11 0RA
0870 7744288
Collects ink cartridges and mobile phones through post and collection systems

Cartridges4 Charity
Crieff PH7 4DZ
0845 121 0674
Materials collected: cartridges – except Epson inkjet, toner cartridges and mobile phones
Proceeds go to three charities: See Ability, Andy Cole Children’s foundation, and Cardiac Risk In The Young.

CRUMP (Campaign To Recycle Unwanted Mobile Phones)
Child Advocacy International
75a London Road
Newcastle Under Lyme
01782 712599

3 Glensyl Way, Hawkins Lane Industrial Estate, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire DE14 1LX
01283 516 259,
Mobile phone reuse/recycling group that facilitiates donations to nominated charities.

01708 684000 f 01708 684020
Return and recycling for charities of mobile phones through retail outlets.

K2 Supplies
Unit 14, Nonsuch Business Park, Kiln Lane, Epsom. KT17 1DY United Kingdom
01372 723 723
Remanufactures printer cartridges with proceeds supporting Macmillan Cancer Relief Charity

Oxfam Bring Bring Scheme
Freepost LON16281
London WC1N 3BR
0870 752 0999

Scope Toner Donor Campaign
c/o Envirocare
BS11 9JE

Scope Phone Recycling
Justin Thompson
ShP Solutions
Freepost Lancaster
0800 781 2600

UK Cartridge Recyclers Association (UKCRA)
19B School Road, Sale, Manchester M33 7XX,
t 01706 525050, f 01706 647440,
Trade association, members must have attained standards for toner cartridge recycling established by the association. Maintains list of companies which have reached and maintained these standards.

White goods & furniture – reuse/ disposal

Create UK
Speke Hall Road, Speke, Liverpool L24 9HA
0151 448 1748
CREATE repairs and refurbishes household appliances, such as fridges, cookers and washing machines, and sells them at reasonable prices. CREATE exists to provide quality training and work for people who are at a disadvantage in the labour market.

Furniture Reuse Network
FRN Membership Office, The Old Drill Hall, 17A Vicarage Street North, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF1 4JS
01924 375 252
Has details of organisations that take furniture, white goods and household appliances.

The SOFA Project
48-54 West Street, St Philips, Bristol BS2 0BL
0117 954 357
Furniture and electronic equipment scheme across the west.

Local authorities collect white goods such as fridges and washing machines from households. However, if you require names of businesses please search the DTI directory.

CD Recycling

Key Mood UK
Wolf Business Park, Alton Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire HR9 5NB
t 01989 566 288 f 01989 566 288
Email: http://www.keymood.co.uk/enquire.html
website: http://www.keymood.co.uk
Deal with recycling electronic goods, CDs and cassette tapes.

Poly c. Reclaimer
50 Albert Avenue, Prestwich, Manchester, Lancashire M25 0LX
t 0900-619-1817 f 0800-619-1916
Recycles high performance plastic, like CDs.

PolymerReprocessors Ltd
Reeds Lane
Moreton, Wirral
CH46 1DW
t 0151 606 0456 f 0151 606 0427
Accept postal deliveries of CDs from householders


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In my youth I grew up under the nuclear spell of the cold war. Today’s youth have climate change to think about. Both are very weighty issues because they involve the survival of large parts of the human species. Climate change is however different from that of the nuclear cold war because it is happening whereas the nuclear war obviously never happened.

It’s today’s youth that have the best chance to make the necessary societal changes finally happen because they are growing up with the issues, the understanding, the education.

Here’s another website helping them along;

youthinformation.com , the information toolkit for young people.

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