environmental pollution

the uk’s cows produce 36m tonnes in waste every year

The planet’s prodigious poo problem

Recent research has estimated that by 2030, the planet will be generating at least 5bn tonnes of poo each year, with the vast majority being deposited by livestock. With 80% of farms in the Netherlands already producing more cow dung than they can legally use as fertiliser, and China resorting to drastic measures to try to reduce the amount of manure being discharged into rivers, scientists say this is a major environment and health challenge.

uk environment secretary michael gove says brexit is a chance to 'set a new direction for environmental protection and governance'

UK bill would weaken environmental law after Brexit, legal experts tell MPs

The UK’s existing Committee on Climate Change is an independent advisory body, so it cannot penalise the government for falling short of targets such as emissions reductions. The European Commission does that. The environment watchdog should therefore have the power to enforce climate obligations, as long as it first consults with the Committee on Climate Change, experts agreed.

a girl stands near green snow in pervouralsk, russia

What Russia’s green snow reveals about the rise of pollution

A spate of incidents in Russia has grabbed internet attention. Residents of Siberian towns watched with dismay as the snow around them turned green and black, with toxic emissions forcing some to wear masks. These seem to be connected to local factories, with a chrome plant in particular behind the green snow, and, as protests gather pace, the Putin government has come under pressure.

dove lake, in tasmania’s popular cradle mountain tourist spot

Tasmania’s lakes among most contaminated in the world

Historic mining has polluted lakes with lead, copper and arsenic, including in World Heritage Area — Metal contamination levels in some of Tasmania’s lakes are among the highest in the world, a new study has found, while those within the state’s Wilderness World Heritage Area have also been badly polluted by mining. The Australian National …

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a marine biologist holds up a sample of seawater containing microplastics

EU proposes ban on 90% of microplastic pollutants

European Chemicals Agency draft law aims to cut 400,000 tonnes of plastic pollution — A wide-ranging ban on microplastics covering about 90% of pollutants has been proposed by the EU in an attempt to cut 400,000 tonnes of plastic pollution in 20 years. Every year, Europe releases a bulk amount of microplastics six times bigger …

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the amount of plastic pollution is expected to treble in the next decade

‘Stop treating seas as a sewer,’ MPs urge in bid for protection treaty

Paris agreement for the sea recommended as rates of plastic pollution to skyrocket — A new global agreement to protect the seas should be a priority for the government to stop our seas becoming a “sewer”, according to a cross-party group of MPs. Plastic pollution is set to treble in the next decade, the environmental …

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taxes and charges paid by transport users cover less than half the true cost

Pollutionwatch: transport’s true cost to the environment

Our polluting behaviours are subsidised by taxes and a lowering of quality of life — The “polluter pays” principle feels like natural justice. We would all agree factory owners should be responsible for the pollution they cause. But this idea is less supported when we are the polluters and have to pay more. A European …

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the red-bellied piranha

‘Sad surprise’: Amazon fish contaminated by plastic particles

Scientists in Brazil find first evidence of plastic pollution in Amazon basin freshwater fish — Scientists have found the first evidence of plastic contamination in freshwater fish in the Amazon, highlighting the extent to which bags, bottles and other waste dumped in rivers is affecting the world’s wildlife. Tests on the stomach contents of fish …

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