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Vanuatu’s foreign minister says a national audit currently underway will help determine the next stages of the country’s plastics ban.

Ralph Regenvanu said the audit would also examine ways of reducing plastic use, recycling and alternative materials.

He said the ultimate goal is to eliminate all single-use plastics going into the ocean.

“There’s going to be a number of options. There are some items we can obviously ban outright like we did with the three items we just banned. But then of course there’s options for container return, return and deposit schemes.

“That’s seems to be something that is very successful in other jurisdictions. Having a levy which is charged and then people get given a refund for the return of a particular item.”

Read the full article here.

By Radio New Zealand

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Officials say Vietnam’s best bet may be to plant more mangrove trees (Credit: Harald Franzen/©GIZ)

Rising sea levels threaten key coastal areas like the Mekong Delta, which produces the majority of Vietnam’s rice. The only thing standing between the country and the ocean is a tree.

Mangroves are the climate superheroes of the arboreal world. They grow in swamps along the coasts: thin trunks and tangled, spidery roots submerged in dark, briny water. The roots filter saltwater and can expand eroded coastlines. They also create natural storm barriers and protect agricultural land from saltwater infiltration.

Read the full article here.

By Erin Craig for BBC Travel.

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Credit: Shutterstock

 

There’s a big lie about plastic — that you can throw it away. But that’s not true; there is no “away.”

Plastic bottles, plastic bags, snack wrappers, foam takeout containers, foam coffee cups, packing materials: these common, everyday items make up 85% of our waste stream. These items aren’t biodegradable and our ability to recycle them is limited.

 

This societal reliance on throw-away plastic is strangling our environment — particularly our waterways.

More than eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans each year, where it kills animals and fouls waterways and beaches. This isn’t the work of careless litterbugs at the beach. Over 80% of ocean plastic comes from land-based sources. Even if you live inland and take care to properly dispose of your trash, there is a good chance some of your plastic waste has found its way to the sea.

 

Consider the American Great Lakes, where 80% of the litter along the shorelines is plastic. That trash doesn’t stay put — it flows through the canals and river systems through the St. Lawrence Seaway and into the Atlantic Ocean. A takeout container that blows off a Chicago landfill can wind up off the coast of Africa.

From there, the damage gets far worse. Once in the ocean, plastic eventually breaks into micro-particles that cause toxins to enter the food chain.

A single discarded piece of plastic breaks down into millions — and these bits are mistaken for food and ingested by even the smallest organisms on the oceanic food chain. Contaminated zooplankton feed on phytoplankton, which are fed on by small fish, who are fed on by squid — and so it goes on up to our dinner plates.

 

Read the full article here.

 

By Julie Anderson from Los Angeles Time

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Courtesy of Ecova

Corporations with a global view are taking seriously their role as leaders in climate action.

With COP21 and COP22 serving as launch pads in the fight against climate change, corporations with a global view are taking seriously their role as leaders in climate action. Despite uncertainty here in the United States, businesses are forging ahead with plans to achieve deep emission reductions and to implement strategies to mitigate climate change risks — not only to protect the environment, but to strengthen business resiliency and the global economy.

Read more on how major international events have led to action. By Jana Schmidt

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