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China Just Handed the World a 111-Million-Ton Trash Problem

Few people consider used plastic to be a valuable global commodity. Yet China has imported 106 million tons of old bags, bottles, wrappers and containers worth $57.6 billion since 1992, the first year it disclosed data. So when the country announced last year that it finally had enough of everybody else's junk, governments the world over knew they had a problem. They just didn’t know exactly how large it was.  Now they know. By 2030, an estimated 111 million metric tons of used plastic will need to be buried or recycled somewhere else—or not manufactured at…

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Starbucks Pumps the Brakes in Its Home Market

Americans' long-running joke about a Starbucks on every corner may be nearing its end. The coffee behemoth is retrenching in its home market as it contends with sales growth that Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson acknowledges isn’t fast enough. The cafe chain Source: Company data, Bloomberg Note: Data is for fiscal quarters Although business abroad has been booming and the chain has been opening more and more cafes, U.S. sales growth has stalled for the company that brought espresso to the masses. With about 14,000 stores domestically, Starbucks is now pumping…

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Don’t believe the label ‘flushable’: disposable wipes clog sewers around the world

Grownups are now using the same wipes once reserved for babies, leading to millions of dollars of sewer problems. A New York City bill takes aim at the lack of transparency and mislabeling some say is to blame Disposable wipes essentially baby wipes designed for adults have become the scourge of residential and municipal sewer systems around the world. Nonwoven cloths have been getting stuck in pipes and sewer machinery, creating massive, expensive clogs in Washington DC, Toronto, London and lawsuits from cities and with the backing of Mayor Bill…

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Antarctic ice melting faster than ever, studies show

Rate of melt has accelerated threefold in last five years and could contribute 25cm to sea-level rises without urgent action Ice in the Antarctic is melting at a record-breaking rate and the subsequent sea rises could have catastrophic consequences for cities around the world, according to two new studies. A report led by scientists in the UK and US found the rate of melting from the Antarctic ice sheet has accelerated threefold in the last five years and is now vanishing faster than at any previously recorded time. A separate…

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Trump and Kim Can Learn a Thing or Two From Singapore

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are spending such a short amount of time in Singapore this week. Maybe they should stick around longer to see what makes its economy tick. Singapore is an especially wealthy nation, with a per capita income of bonuses attached that can double that sum for excellent performance. Is Peace With Kim Jong Un Even Possible? Yet it’s not just about the money. Since independence in 1965, Singaporean leaders have cultivated an ethos of public service in the bureaucracy. The…

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Whale dies from eating more than 80 plastic bags

Pilot whale was found barely alive in Thai canal and vomited up five bags during fruitless rescue attempts A whale has died in southern Thailand after swallowing more than 80 plastic bags, with rescuers failing to nurse the mammal back to health. The small male pilot whale was found barely alive in a canal near the border with Malaysia, the countrys department of marine and coastal resources said. A veterinary team tried to help stabilise its illness but finally the whale died on Friday afternoon. An autopsy revealed 80 plastic…

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How to have a zero waste kitchen: tips from Jamie Oliver, Tom Kerridge, Skye Gyngell and more

Restaurants have a daily battle against wasting food. We asked top chefs for their home hacks that will save you money and give your cooking a flavour boost According to the campaigning waste charity One Planet Plate recipe site, a global inventory of sustainability-focused restaurant dishes complete with recipes. But faced with a fridge full of turning veg, the wreckage of a Sunday roast or pans of leftover rice, there is no such thing as too much inspiration. In that spirit, we asked a range of chefs who grapple with…

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Chilean villagers claim British appetite for avocados is draining region dry

UK demand for fruit increased by 27% last year alone, prompting accusations that growers are illegally diverting rivers and leaving locals without water British supermarkets are selling thousands of tonnes of avocados produced in a Chilean region where villagers claim vast amounts of water are being diverted, resulting in a drought. Major UK supermarkets including Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose, Aldi and Lidl source avocados from Chiles largest avocado-producing province, Petorca, where water rights have been violated. In Petorca, many avocado plantations install illegal pipes and wells in order to divert water…

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Everyone Is Applauding This National Geographic Cover But The Real Shock Lies Inside The Pages

Many of us are aware that there is far too much plastic in our environment. We all feel a little guilty when throwing yet another single-use plastic wrapping straight into the trash, knowing that we are contributing to a problem that is too vast for us to truly comprehend. But what if we were faced with the horrifying consequences of our plastic addiction? These powerful and heartbreaking images vividly illustrate the damage that 9 million tonnes of plastic waste each year does to our environment and wildlife, and are the…

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Fired Google Engineer Loses Diversity Memo Challenge

Google’s firing of an engineer over his lawsuit accusing the internet giant of harassing him and others over their conservative political views. When he was dismissed in August, Damore accused Google of violating the employee right to engage in "concerted activity" to address workplace issues, a category which the labor board has found can include forms of activism ranging from lawsuits to strikes to social media posts. “Much of" Damore’s memo was probably protected under the law, the labor board’s attorney, Jayme Sophir, said in the Jan. 16 memo. But…

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Genius Company Installs Beehives In Your Living Room, And Heres How It Works

As you probably know already, the bee population is in a consistent decline and has been for some time, with modern industrial farming methods and loss of habitat being identified causes. This is bad news for all of us, as bees do the crucial job of pollinating so many of the plants that we rely on for food. In order to counter this, we have to come up with innovative solutions, as we all know how difficult it is to make huge, moneymaking corporations change their damaging practices. BEEcosystem has created…

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Harvey Weinstein Sued by New York AG Over Sexual Harassment

Embattled movie producer Harvey Weinstein was sued by New York state for creating a hostile work environment at the Weinstein Co. that allegedly featured “pervasive sexual harassment,” intimidation and discrimination. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s lawsuit comes as Weinstein, 65, is seeking to sell his troubled studio to Maria Contreras-Sweet, a former Obama administration official, in a $500 million bid backed by billionaire Ron Burkle. The suit may create a major obstacle for the deal. Schneiderman said in a statement that the company’s sale might leave victims “without adequate redress, including…

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How Bill Gates aims to clean up the planet

Its a simple idea: strip CO2 from the air and use it to produce carbon-neutral fuel. But can it work on an industrial scale? Carbon capture and storage (CCS) The Observer Sun 4 Feb 2018 04.00EST Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Carbon Engineerings direct air capture plant in Squamish, British Columbia, one of the few such facilities in the world. Photograph: pembina.org Its nothing much to look at, but the tangle of pipes, pumps, tanks, reactors, chimneys and ducts on a messy industrial estate outside the…

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Chile creates five national parks over 10m acres in historic act of conservation

President Bachelet signs unprecedented measure into law after founder of Patagonia firm donates 1m acres of private land Chile creates five national parks over 10m acres in historic act of conservation Ex-CEO of Patagonia firm donates 1m acres of private land President Bachelet signs unprecedented measure into law Jonathan Franklin in Valle Chacabuco @FranklinBlog First published on Mon 29 Jan 2018 13.37EST Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp The parks will preserve vast tracts of Patagonia, and were signed into law on Monday by Chiles president Michelle…

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Trump administration could be sued over pesticide threat to orca and salmon

Fishing industry and environmentalists mull lawsuits after EPA tried to delay report detailing chemicals harm to wildlife Trump administration could be sued over pesticide threat to orca and salmon Fishing industry and environmentalists mull lawsuits EPA tried to delay report detailing chemicals harm to wildlife Joanna Walters and agencies @Joannawalters13 First published on Sun 21 Jan 2018 08.40EST Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp A female orca breaches in Puget Sound. The unique resident population has lost eight of its 76 members in the last 18 months.…

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