Gove urged to follow Europe with ban on single-use plastic

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/05/26 - 9:59pm
Campaigners demand that post-Brexit Britain matches the EU’s plan to tackle waste

The EU is to ban plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, cotton buds and balloon sticks in a bid to tackle the rising tide of plastic waste, a move that has prompted urgent calls for the environment secretary, Michael Gove, to guarantee that the UK will follow Brussels’ lead after Brexit.

The restrictions on “single-use” plastic will be launched on Monday by the European commission as part of its plan to ensure that 55% of all plastic is recycled by 2030. About 80-85% of all litter in the oceans is plastic, and half of that is made up of throw-away items such as plastic straws.

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Categories: Environment

‘Going to get worse’: red fire ants detected in Queensland's Scenic Rim

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/05/26 - 3:02pm

Pests could cost the state in billions if the spread continues, Invasive Species Council warns

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One of the world’s worst invasive pests, red fire ants, have been detected outside a containment zone in Queensland’s scenic rim.

The ants, destroyers of crops and harbingers of doom for many forms of outdoor recreation, are considered a potential $45bn problem should they become widely established in Queensland.

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Categories: Environment

Florida, Alabama In A State Of Emergency As Subtropical Storm Alberto Approaches

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2018/05/26 - 2:11pm

The first named storm this season is expected to bring heavy rains and flash flooding. Florida Gov. Rick Scott — and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey later on Saturday — sounded alarm bells.

(Image credit: National Hurricane Center/NOAA)

Categories: Environment

America's tree sitters risk lives on the front line

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/05/26 - 6:26am

In the hills on the border of Virginia and West Virginia protesters – mainly women – are defying police and energy companies in non-violent environmental activism

Way out in the Appalachian hills, on the line between Virginia and West Virginia, after an hour-long backwoods hike up Peters Mountain, an orderly clutch of tents were surrounded by a plastic yellow ribbon that read, “police line do not cross”.

Past that, a woman sat on top of a 50ft pole.

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Categories: Environment

Chicken safety fear as chlorine washing fails bacteria tests

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/05/26 - 6:00am
British microbiologists find that American technique at heart of Brexit trade row does not kill listeria and salmonella

The chlorine washing of food, the controversial “cleaning” technique used by many US poultry producers who want access to the British market post-Brexit, does not remove contaminants, a new study has found.

The investigation, by a team of microbiologists from Southampton University and published in the US journal mBio, found that bacilli such as listeria and salmonella remain completely active after chlorine washing. The process merely makes it impossible to culture them in the lab, giving the false impression that the chlorine washing has been effective.

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Categories: Environment

Country diary: mystery of the walled 'rooms' deep in the wood

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/05/25 - 9:30pm

Mike’s Wood, River Kent, Cumbria: There are dozens of black gates along the valley, marking the route of the Thirlmere to Manchester aqueduct

Like little beacons among the hazel trees, stitchwort flowers lead me onwards towards the enclosure. There is always a moment, before passing through the black gate into this woodland “room”, of wondering about the motives for creating a separate space within the wood. The deeply mossed encircling wall strides over the crags and boulders of precipitous ground – a fine exemplar of the drystone-waller’s art. But why an enclosure here?

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Categories: Environment
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