Packaging material figures for Quarter 1 on target

Quarter one figures released this week show that material specific recycling is on target so far this year. The figures, released on the National Packaging Waste Database, show that of the just over 7 million tonnes of waste needed to meet national obligations for recovery and recycling, almost 2 tonnes had been processed according to returns made by the end of the quarter. The figures are always somewhat imprecise at this time of the year as not all producers have … Continued

Environmental crimes attract significant fines

For many years, the sentencing of environmental crimes has been a contentious issue. So much so that in July 2014 the Sentencing Council issued guidelines for courts to help apply a framework to the issuing of penalties in a bid to both improve consistency and create a suitable level of deterrence. Recent cases appear to show that consistency is now being acheived and the, for some shocking, level of fines may well bring about the deterrence effect. What are the … Continued

Circular Economy Factsheets published

The European Environmental Bureau – a pan-Europe group of organisations acting as the ‘voice’ of the public on environmental matters – has published circular economy factsheets aimed at helping policy makers and producers think about the steps needed to move us towards a circular economy. What is a Circular Economy? A circular economy makes best use of resources to help achieve sustainable development – development that encourages growth for the current generation without negatively impacting on the ability of future … Continued

Environmental Justice in Scotland – have your say

If you are interested or involved in environmental justice in Scotland, then you have until 10 June to respond to the consultation that opened in March. The consultation is following up on a 2011 manifesto promise to consider creating a specialist environmental court in Scotland and provides useful information about levels of environmental crime since 2004 as shown by prosecutions. The consultation paper sets out the international, national and regional backgrounds – with an emphasis on changes in Scotland – … Continued

Does ‘Brexit’ predict environmental disaster for the UK?

On 23rd June, a referendum to determine the will of the UK population (including Gibraltar) with regards to remaining a Member State of the European Union will be held. At the time of writing, the possibility of a so-called ‘Brexit’ (the UK leaving the EU) is very real. The NatCen Social Research ‘poll of polls’ showed a fairly even split amongst the general population across the country. Amongst environmental professionals, figures are less evenly split with the latest results of … Continued

Legal definition of waste guidance upated

Understanding the legal definition of waste has long been a contentious issue with more related litigation  than any other Community legislation regarding the environment, [1] but things may now be a little clearer. The government last week published updated guidance to help producers work out whether materials they no longer want or need are waste or not. The guidance, which replaces part two of the 2012 full guidance document, contains clear examples and explanations of the differing status’ that can … Continued

ESOS compliance still under par

The ‘ultimate deadline’ for notifying ESOS compliance passed on Friday and reports suggest that one third of eligible businesses have not registered and thus face enforcement action. The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme was introduced by Statutory Instrument 2014/1643 – The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme Regulations 2014 – and came into force in July 2014. At the time, it was estimated that around 10,000 UK businesses would need to comply with requirements to analyse their energy use and identify savings opportunities. … Continued