PSI sustainability news round-up

Our fortnightly primer on the latest environment and sustainability news. If you would like to receive this newsletter via email, sign up to our mailing list here.

CIRCULAR ECONOMY
Plastic tax: coffee cups and food packaging could face levy
Guardian, 13 March 2018
Phillip Hammond accused of delaying action after he announces consultation.

War on plastic may do more harm than good, warns think tank
BBC News, 14 March 2018
Green Alliance said plastics played a valuable role and couldn’t be simply abolished, arguing for a ‘War on Plastic Litter’ instead.

Businesses ‘overstating recycling’ following China export ban
Telegraph, 9 March 2018
Concerns are mounting that an increasing proportion of waste set aside for recycling is being thrown into the sea because it can no longer be shipped abroad.

Recycling rates in England up just 2% since 2010 despite big drop in weekly bin collections
Telegraph, 8 March 2018
A reduction of one third in the frequency of bin collections has not prompted a major increase in recycling levels.

CLIMATE CHANGE
Time, 6 March 2018
Even oil companies are now saying climate change will hurt their business
For the first time oil and gas companies are openly grappling with a less-than-certain future where climate change and related advances in other energy sources make them less dominant.

SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT
BBC News, 28 February 2018
Figures show decline in bus usage in Scotland
Official statistics from Transport Scotland show the bus being the only mode of transport to have experienced a drop in usage since 2011-12.

MPs warn of ‘poisonous air’ emergency costing £20bn a year
BBC News, 15 March 2018
The Environment, Health, Transport and Environmental Audit committees want a new Clean Air Act, a clean air fund financed by the motor industry and a faster phase-out of petrol and diesel cars.

ENERGY
Wind turbines are wearing too fast at the world’s largest offshore farm
The Times (paywall), 15 March 2018
Hundreds of offshore wind turbines in UK waters need emergency repairs after they started eroding within a few years of being installed.

Shell says fossil fuels are here to stay as renewable electricity not powerful enough for industry
Independent, 9 March 2018
‘Many processes used in iron, steel, cement and plastics factories can’t be electrified at all,’ says senior oil company figure.