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Weekly E.C.O. news roundup

This week has seen the Conservative Party win the general election and a volcano unexpectedly erupt in New Zealand and kill fifteen people. In environmental news this week:

UK power plant vows to go carbon negative by 2030
The Drax power plant in North Yorkshire is planning a carbon capture system allowing it to capture millions of tonnes of waste carbon.The plant used to run on coal but it has converted four of its six units to burn wood.

The current pilot project is capturing a tonne of carbon a day. They hope that by installing the system at two units by the end of 2030 they will be able to remove eight million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.

Bushfires rage and blanket Sydney in smoke
As the fires still rage in Australia, Sydney has been covered in a blanket of smoke causing chaos in the city. The fires have resulted in dangerous air quality with residents reporting breathing troubles and hospital admissions rising by over 25% due to people with breathing problems.

At the peak of the fires the air quality in Sydney city centre has been 11x worse than hazardous levels.Locals have been advised to stay inside during this time which people are describing as ‘apocalyptic’. Since the beginning of the fires in September six people have died, more than 700 homes have been destroyed and an estimated 2,000 koalas have died.

The World Bank urged to reconsider investment in one of Brazil’s beef companies
Two UN appointed experts have said that The World Bank should reconsider its investment in Minerva due to its links to deforestation. In the Amazon areas of rainforest are being burned down to make space for grazing cattle – the result of which is deforestation of the size of one football pitch every minute.

Minerva cannot accurately trace where beef has come from when it arrives from indirect suppliers and the percentage that comes from these channels are unclear.

Most Christmas jumpers bought this year will only be worn once and up to 95% will contain plastic
It is estimated that 12 million jumpers will be bought this year although as a nation we already own a whopping 65 million! Hubbub, an environmental charity, have analysed 108 Christmas jumpers available to buy this year from 11 retailers, and discovered that 95% were made with either wholly or partly of plastic materials.

What’s the solution? You can: swap with a friend or family member (the easiest option), buy secondhand because chances are its only been worn a handful of times before, or you could just re-wear last year’s jumper.

McDonalds to launch their first vegan meal
For being one of the biggest fast food giants in the UK it’s fair to say McDonalds are behind the times on their vegan options which are currently: chips and fruit bags. The veggie dipper meal will launch on 2 January and include vegan nuggets with chips and a soft drink.

The dippers are made from rice, red peppers, tomato pesto, split peas, and are fried in breadcrumbs. The company have claimed that in the last 12 months they have seen an 80% uplift in sales of vegetarian food making this a clear priority for them and as a result it will be a clear money maker!

Lauren works for a charity, has been vegetarian for 11 years (newly vegan this year) and volunteers for an animal charity in her spare time. Her favourite eco product is the Face Halo.


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