Friday, June 14, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

UK: Tesco's war on food waste

Dr Richard Swannell, director of Wrap, welcomed Tesco's pledge.

"We will work with them to [tackle food waste] through the Courtauld Commitment and Love Food Hate Waste. Food waste is a global issue, both in what is wasted and securing resource for future demand," he said.

"Supermarkets and big brands are uniquely placed to help reduce food waste across the whole food cycle from manufacturing and sales through to assisting consumers to make the most of the food they've bought."

From The Telegraph

Monday, May 20, 2013

France: The straw bale urinal that makes compost from 'liquid gold'

French design studio Faltazi has developed a plug-in funnel to upcycle urine and bring an eco message to summer festivals. "Are you used to going for a number one in the back of your garden?" asks French design studio Faltazi. "Do not waste this valuable golden fluid by sprinkling on inappropriate surfaces!"

Their solution to the problem of peeing al fresco is l'Uritonnoir, a hybrid of a urinal ("urinoir" in French) and a funnel ("entonnoir") that plugs into a straw bale to make your very own urine upcycling factory.

As the bale is filled with your "liquid gold", the nitrogen in the urine reacts with the carbon in the straw to begin the process of decomposition - forming a rich mound of composted humus within 6-12 months.

L'Uritonnoir was originally dreamt up with summer festivals in mind, where straw bales are often in frequent supply, but portaloos are not. The device comes as a flat polypropylene sheet, which is folded into shape and slotted together, then threaded on a looping band around the bale, its funnel wedged deep into the centre of the straw to channel the fluid to the composting core. A deluxe version is also available in stainless steel - presumably for the VIP bale urinal area.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Europe - EU slammed over waste prevention commitment

The European Commission has been criticised for failing to implement higher targets and new policy measures to encourage the reuse of materials and reduction of wasteful consumption.

In a report released by Friends of the Earth, the NGO claims the Commission is contradicting its recycling targets by pursuing a trade liberalisation approach, seeking greater access to developing countries' resource markets. In addition, FOE said the Commission's 2011 Roadmap to a Resource-Efficient Europe lacks robust and reliable solutions focused on reducing consumption, and that the cultivation of biomass was counterintuitive. Entitled Less is more: Resource efficiency through waste collection, recycling and reuse, the report states that the roadmap focuses on 'natural capital', arguing that ecosystem services give natural resources an economic value that will protect them from depletion and pollution.

However, FOE is concerned that this economic approach is no substitute for real regulations shaping and guiding the use and disposal of resources, and resource-friendly manufacturing processes. In contrast to the resource-efficient European approach, FOE argue that the EU's promotion of 'bio-economies' risks more land grabs, forest degradation and emissions from deforestation, as crops and timber are increasingly imported to meet growing feed, fuel and fibre demands. The report specifically looks at the environmental impacts of the extraction, use and disposal of three commodities widely used in Europe: lithium, aluminium and cotton. The extraction of lithium in Chile, for example, is contributing to water shortages and pollution, leaving local communities struggling to grow food, as well as damaging the local flora and fauna. FOE predicts that the demand for lithium is destined to soar with the development of electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries. It therefore says that major investment in collection and recycling infrastructure and technologies, combined with effective regulation are crucial to cut down on mining. FOE resource use campaigner Ariadna Rodrigo argued that in order to move to a zero waste Europe, higher recycling targets need to be accompanied by targets for waste prevention.

"There is an urgent need to fundamentally change EU policies and end our current wastefulness. Reducing waste is an easy way to increase Europe's resource efficiency. It not only contributes to cutting carbon emissions, it also creates jobs in Europe and reduces dependency on imported raw materials," she said.


Thursday, January 31, 2013