Weekly Environmental news update January 2020
Weekly E.C.O. roundup
Your weekly roundup of the top eco stories from the last 7 days
In the week that Royals, Harry and Megan, decide to ‘step back’ from their royal duties and become financially independent we give you the latest news on the environment.
Thailand introduces plastic ban in major stores
The first piece of news is apt as 1/2 of our E.C.O. team is currently living in Thailand to study marine conservation. Thailand is one of the world’s worst plastic polluters and has implemented a 20-year action plan to reduce its plastic use. At the moment the ban is across major stores with the aim to remove from stores by 2021. The two-decade long plan ban also includes removal of micro-beads in cosmetics and a ban on plastic straws and cups.
The UK was fuelled on more renewable energy in 2019 than fossil fuels
The National Grid released figures to show that solar and nuclear energy, wind farms, hydro plants were used alongside clean power imported by sub-sea cables to over take the use of fossil fuels to power the UK the first time in 2019. Renewable energy delivered 48.5% of Britain’s electricity in 2019, compared with the 43% generated by fossil fuels. The remaining 8.5% was generated by biomass, which is renewable but produces carbon emissions when the wood pellets used to make the power are burned.
Single-use plastic bans for consumers could be more harmful to the planet
A cross-party Parliamentary group warns that the swap to other packaging materials has not been properly assessed. Glass is heavier and therefore will cause more pollution in transit, paper bags have higher carbon emissions than plastic to produce (and can also be more difficult to re-use than plastic). The change has been prompted by concerns about the impact of plastic waste in our oceans.
Food ‘made from air’ could compete with soya within the next decade
Finnish scientists have managed to produce a protein from soil bacteria, it is fed on hydrogen split from water. To create this they use solar and wind energy therefore producing a protein “from thin air”. The food can be grown with near-zero greenhouse gas emissions and it could compete with soya on price within the decade.
66 people die in Indonesia due to flooding
Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta was hit by massive floods which led to mudslides and power blackouts. Sadly, at least 66 people are confirmed dead and thousands of evacuees are living in damp, cramped emergency shelters. 35,500 people were unable to return to their homes according to Government data on Monday, with the receding floodwaters still two feet high in places.
Grace has quit the 9-5 lifestyle in London to study marine conservation in Thailand. She will subsequently work as a scuba diving instructor with emphasis on teaching students about marine conservation and anthropogenic impacts to our oceans. Her favourite eco product is Oliva Olive Oil Soap.