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Weekly Environmental news update January 2020

Weekly E.C.O. roundup
Your weekly roundup of the top eco stories from the last 7 days

With Christmas over and it being the first week of a New Year this year has largely had a good start!

Palau is the first country to ban sun cream that is toxic to reefs and sea life
On the island of Palau sun cream that includes ingredients harmful to sea life has been banned from being worn or sold.

The nation markets itself as a paradise for divers as it is home to a lagoon with Unesco world heritage status. Palau’s President Tommy Remengesau has been very open on the issue and frequently talks about respecting the environment.

The ban prohibits sun cream containing any of 10 chemicals including those which absorb UV light. The chemicals are said to be extremely toxic to juvenile stages of many wildlife species.

Veganuary’s hitting cafe chains and restaurants
This month dozens of cafes chains and restaurants are launching new and exciting vegan options to coincide with veganuary. While some of them sound like wonderful roomers they’re all lauching for real this week!

Here are just a few of the ones we’ve seen:

  • Starbucks – cake and overnight oats
  • Subway – Meatball marinara sub
  • Marks & Spencer – Tofish and chips among 100 new lines of meals, snacks and drinks
  • Papa John’s – Sausage and pepperoni pizza (to add to their already great range)
  • Aldi – New plant based range including pizza, ice cream and snacks
  • Greggs – Steak bake
  • KFC – Vegan burger
  • Honest burger – Bacon cheeseburger
  • Nandos – Vegan perinaise

Australia’s bushfires rage on

With homes being destroyed and towns being evacuated these are the worst fires that Australia has seen since the 1980’s. Prof Chris Dickman, an expert on Australian biodiversity at the University of Sydney, has estimated that almost half a billion animals have been affected by the bush fires.

This year, Australia has twice set a new temperature record and since the fires began more than four million hectares of land have burned in New South Wales. For now all we can do it hope and pray for the people and wildlife because the fires don’t seem to be waning.

7 Caribbean countries have banned single use plastics
On Wednesday the seven Caribbean countries saw a ban on the use and import of single-use plastic and polystyrene. The seven countries include: the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago

Each of those countries are coastal making them key to ocean pollution and potentially part of the solution. Currently it isn’t entirely clear what forms of single use plastic will be included as part of the ban. It’s believed that more details about the bans will be made public in the coming weeks.

The Golden Globes goes vegan

This year sees the 77th year of the Golden Globes which is going to be completely vegan. It’s the first major awards ceremony to go plant based in order to promote environmental sustainability. The change was a last minute and plans are being made to ensure the event is greener overall by reusing the red carpet and removal of plastic throughout the event.

Ethical veganism is ruled as a philosophical belief by UK law

A tribunal has ruled ethical veganism is a philosophical belief and is now protected in law. The court has ruled that ethical vegans will now be entitled to similar legal protections in British workplaces as those who hold religious beliefs. With over 1/2 a million vegans in England this ruling could be beneficial for many.

Lauren works for a charity, has been vegetarian for 11 years, but 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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