Nature

What’s the real price of getting rid of plastic packaging?

SARANGKOT, KASKI DISTRICT, NEPAL - 2016/10/02: Empty Coca Cola bottles in crates are piling up. (Photo by Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Economics of Change Crunching the numbers of how much switching might cost us How much would it cost to switch to plastic alternatives? Richard Gray crunches the numbers. By Richard Gray BBC Walking along a short section of stony beach, Claire Waluda stoops briefly to pick up something from between the rocks. It is a brightly coloured plastic bottle top – just one of hundreds of bits of plastic that she finds washed ashore on the remote, windswept island ... Read More »

Whale sharks gather at a few specific locations around the world – now we know why

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The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, but much of its lifecycle remains shrouded in mystery. Authors: The Conversation These gentle giants gather in just a handful of places around the globe – something which has long baffled scientists – but our new research has started to explain why. Better understanding of whale shark movements could help prevent further population loss in a species that has already experienced a 63% population decline over the past 75 years. ... Read More »

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Men don’t get the grief!’ Hunter who posted photos of herself with rare black giraffe she killed has no regrets for her ‘passion’ – and says much of the anger at her is because she’s a woman

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The woman at the center of an international storm for hunting down a rare black giraffe remained defiant on Tuesday, saying she has no regrets about the killing or for posing for pictures with the dead giant. By MARTIN GOULD IN ODESSA, TEXAS FOR DAILYMAIL.COM ‘It is something I believe in,’ Tess Thompson Talley told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview outside the ball-bearing factory in Odessa, Texas, where she works. ‘This is more than a hobby for me, it’s a passion.’ And ... Read More »

What happens when you give up plastic, and is it a lifestyle option for the lucky few?

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Reducing plastics when shopping for food, toiletries and travel products should be easy – so why is it so difficult? Stephanie Convery The Guardian A few months ago, my partner and I went snorkelling off the coast of Indonesia. We dove off tiny deserted islands and swam in the deep with giant manta rays, but what I remember most vividly about that trip was not the stunning coral or dazzling array of colourful, curious fish; it was the sheer amount ... Read More »

Australia prepares to block Japanese bid to kill whales for profit

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Australia and other anti-whaling nations are set for a showdown with Japan amid reports it will formally seek to lift a ban on commercial whaling so it can slaughter the animals for profit. Nicole Hasham Brisbane Times Japanese officials have reportedly confirmed the country will propose the resumption of commercial whaling at an International Whaling Commission meeting in Brazil in September, on the condition only whales with healthy population numbers are killed. Japan’s current so-called “research” program kills whales in ... Read More »

Plastic-eating bacteria discovered by student could help solve global pollution crisis

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Exclusive: Microbes found near plastic refinery degrade material, turning it into food Tom Embury-Dennis Independent A student may have found a solution to one of the world’s most urgent environmental crises – breeding bacteria capable of “eating” plastic and potentially breaking it down into harmless by-products. The microbes degrade polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – one of the world’s most common plastics, used in clothing, drinks bottles and food packaging. It takes centuries to break down, in the meantime doing untold damage to its… Plastic-eating bacteria… Read More »

Our natural world is disappearing before our eyes. We have to save it

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The creatures we feared our grandchildren wouldn’t see have vanished: it’s happened faster than even pessimists predicted George Monbiot The Guardian It felt as disorienting as forgetting my pin number. I stared at the caterpillar, unable to attach a name to it. I don’t think my mental powers are fading: I still possess an eerie capacity to recall facts and figures and memorise long screeds of text. This is a specific loss. As a child and young adult, I delighted ... Read More »

China’s scrap plastic ban saddles neighbors with piles of problems

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Thailand and Vietnam struggle with redirected waste but is there a silver lining? NIKKI SUN and APORNRATH PHOONPHONGPHIPHAT, Nikkei staff writers Nikkei Asian Review HONG KONG/BANGKOK — The world is awash with scrap plastic, six months after No. 1 importer China closed its doors to the recyclable materials on environmental grounds. The ripple effects are hitting the shores of Southeast Asia’s emerging countries, which have seen a surge in plastic shipments — not all of them legal. “Thai people are ... Read More »

Palm oil ‘disastrous’ for wildlife but here to stay, experts warn

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The deforestation it causes is decimating species such as orangutans and tigers – but the alternatives could be worse, finds authoritative report Damian Carrington The Guardian It is consumed daily by billions of people but palm oil is “disastrous” for wildlife such as orangutans and tigers, according to an authoritative new report. However, the analysis warns that alternatives are likely to drive biodiversity losses elsewhere, rather than halt them. The analysis, from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), found… Palm oil ... Read More »

An island nation in the Mediterranean Sea is running dry

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Countries in the eastern Mediterranean are increasingly vulnerable to drought as the changing climate brings higher temperatures and less precipitation. NBC2 MARONI, Cyprus — The salty water of the Mediterranean in plain view from Charis Christoforou’s olive farm is no help to the cracked, white earth suffering from a third year of drought. A shortage of rain combined with clouds of dust carried over from the water-starved Middle East has slashed Christoforou’s olive production to a quarter of what it ... Read More »

China Just Handed the World a 111-Million-Ton Trash Problem

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The world’s biggest waste importer is no longer buying. So where’s all that trash going to go? Eric Roston Bloomberg Few people consider used plastic to be a valuable global commodity. Yet China has imported 106 million tons of old bags, bottles, wrappers and containers worth $57.6 billion since 1992, the first year it disclosed data. So when the country announced last year that it finally had enough of everybody else’s junk, governments the world over knew they had a problem. They just didn’t know exactly ... Read More »

Harvard scientists: Trump environmental policies could result in 80,000 more deaths per decade

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A new essay from two Harvard University scientists concluded that the Trump administration’s environmental policies could result in an additional 80,000 deaths per decade. Avery Anapol The Hill The research, from public health economist David Cutler and biostatistician Francesca Dominici, pointed specifically to the health impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) policies on air pollutants and… “This sobering statistic captures only a small fraction of the cumulative public health damages associated with the full range of rollbacks and systemic actions proposed ... Read More »

How Native American food is tied to important sacred stories

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The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling, on June 11, that asked Washington state to remove culverts that block the migration of salmon. Rosalyn R. LaPier The Conversation The ruling has significant implications for Northwest Coast tribes, whose main source of food and livelihood is salmon. The legal decision stems from the 1855 Stevens treaties when Northwest Coast tribes retained the “right to take fish” from their traditional homelands. Fighting to protect salmon habitat, however, is more than ... Read More »

Mediterranean could become a sea of plastic, WWF warns

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The Mediterranean could become a “sea of plastic,” the WWF warned on June 8 in a report calling for measures to clean up one of the world’s worst affected bodies of water. MARSEILLE Hurriyet The WWF said the Mediterranean had record levels of “micro-plastics,” the tiny pieces of plastic less than five millimeters in size which can be found increasingly in the food chain posing a threat to human health. “The concentration of micro-plastics is nearly four times higher” in the Mediterranean compared with ... Read More »

Brumby law ‘turns Australia into global laughing stock’

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Environment groups condemn legislation protecting feral horses in national park Lisa Cox The Guardian Australia has become a “global laughing stock” after the New South Walesparliament passed legislation to protect the heritage of feral horses in the Kosciuszko national park, environment groups say. The Berejiklian government, with support from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party and the Christian Democrats, passed the Kosciuszko wild horse heritage bill 2018 through the NSW Legislative Council late on Wednesday. On Thursday, Dave Watson, a… Brumby ... Read More »

The art of healing: five medicinal plants used by Aboriginal Australians

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People have lived in Australia for at least 65,000 years. In all those generations the land provided original Australians with everything they needed for a healthy life. Beth Gott The Conversation At least half the food eaten by the first Australians came from plants, and it was the task of women to collect them. Fruits, seeds and greens were seasonal, but roots could usually be dug up all year round, because the earth acted as a natural storage cupboard. The ... Read More »