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Global

China Reverses Its Recycling Policy

Plastic items we carefully separate from the rest of the trash and put in a distinct container may have a dubious fate, according to environmental watchdog Quartz. U.S. recycling companies have largely stayed away from accepting plastic, and most of it has been shipped to China, where it can be processed more cheaply. But China has announced a new Green ... Read More »

Euro Space

Forty Percent of Hamburg Will Be Green Space   Hamburg, Germany, named Europe’s 2011 Green Capital by the European Union, is implementing an ambitious plan to create and link 27 square miles of new and existing green space, comprising 40 percent of its land area. The result will put nature within easy reach of every resident, provide connectivity for walking ... Read More »

Corporate Climate

Companies Slowly Embrace Sustainability The 2015 State of Green Business report (Tinyurl.com/2015GreenBusinessReport), which assesses the environmental performances of companies worldwide, along with the trends to watch, is produced by GreenBiz, in partnership with Trucost. Collectively, companies have been nibbling at the edges of challenges such as climate change, food security, ecosystems preservation and resource efficiency. One measure of corporate engagement ... Read More »

Enflamed Water

Home Flame Retardants Found in River Scientists with the Washington Toxics Coalition tested household dust and laundry wastewater from 20 homes in the state’s cities of Longview and Vancouver and took samples of incoming and outgoing flow from two wastewater treatment plants that discharge into the Columbia River, the Northwest’s biggest waterway. They detected flame retardants in all the tests. ... Read More »

Dirty Dollars

Stores Filled with Toxic Products HealthyStuff, a project of the Michigan-based Ecology Center, in collaboration with the Campaign for Healthier Solutions (CHS), has released a report, A Day Late and a Dollar Short: Discount Retailers are Falling Behind on Safer Chemicals, about toxic chemicals found in dollar store products. It includes test results for 164 dollar store products such as ... Read More »

Potent Promises

Climate Change Pledges Predict Progress President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have both made ambitious pledges to combat climate change. Jinping pledged that China’s CO2 emissions would peak around 2030; the first time that Beijing has set such a target. Obama promised that by 2025, the U.S. will have reduced its emissions by 23 to 26 percent from 2005 ... Read More »

Forward Leap

Batteries that Last 1,000 Years A group of Swedish researchers has discovered an unconventional way to give new life to rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which power everything from iPhones to electric cars, using pine resin and alfalfa seeds. The researchers plan to take up to two years to improve the chemistry of the product, and claim that the recycled batteries could ... Read More »

European Eco-Cooperation

Linking Oceans and Human Health   EurOcean 2014, convened by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the European Marine Board, the European Commission and three Italian partner institutions—the National Research Council, National Inter-university Consortium for Ocean Science and the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics—has issued the first of 18 priorities cited in a declaration ... Read More »

GMO Pushback

Hawaii Lobbies for Anti-GMO Laws The Aloha State enjoys a year-round growing season, with multiple harvests annually. Last year, the Hawaiian island of Kauai passed genetically modified organism (GMO) farming restrictions, but they were overturned in court. Now, Maui County, which includes the Hawaiian islands of Maui, Lanai and Molokai, has approved a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically modified ... Read More »

Greenwashing Conundrum

Biodegradable Plastic Bags Are a Hoax In 2010, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed recommendations for environmental marketing claims. The agency has sent warning letters to 15 marketers informing them that their claims may be deceptive, and requested more scientific evidence that plastic bags labeled as biodegradable, or “oxodegradable”, implying the bag will break down in time when exposed ... Read More »