Roundup – World Environment News (30th October, 2017)

 Shocking photos emerge of a sea of plastic

Underwater photographer, Caroline Powers made a jaw dropping discovery in the Caribbean sea, near the island of Roatan, some way off the northern coast of the Honduras.

Powers photographed large tracts of sea completely covered with plastic – plastic bottles, bags and polystyrene plates.

You can read more here.


Puerto Rico is slipping into an environmental crisis

Five weeks after the terrifying Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, the island is in the midst of a growing environmental catastrophe. 1 in four Puerto Ricans lack access to reliable clean waste. There are some people whose water access hadn’t been restored were reportedly dragging bottles and barrels through holes in chain link fences to siphon water from wells that may be infused with toxic waste from a nearby Superfund site.

There have also been reports of water contaminated by raw sewage. There are atleast 74 suspected cases and 2 deaths from leptospirosis, a deadly animal-borne disease that also lives in water.

Congress is weighing on a $36.5 billion relief package for Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. The EPA however is facing an uncertain future with looming staff and budget cuts.

The whole story here.


Nestlé, Hershey and Mars breaking promises over palm oil use

The three giants of the confectionary world have been sourcing palm oil grown on land that should lawfully be habitat to orangutans, rhinos and clouded leopards, despite commitment to clean up their supply chain processes.

The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) says consumers have been deceived by promises by brands to clean up their supply processes to stop using “conflict palm oil” from deforested Indonesian jungles. Read mere here.


China takes a tough stand against pollution, shuts downs tens of thousands of factories

China has taken an unprecedented step in pollution crackdown in the recent months, as the country shuts down tens of thousands of factories. It is estimated that 40% of China’s factories have been shut down at some point in order to be inspected. Over 80,000 factories have been hit with fines and criminal offences as a result of their emissions.

Full story here.


WWF raps Greece for abuse of the EU environment law

Greece ranks second among its peers at the European union for non compliance with EU court decisions. Greece also had the second-worst record when it comes to pending cases due to violations of the bloc’s environmental legislation. Greece has so far paid more than £37.3 million in fines for failing to comply with the European Court of Justice over illegal landfills. It is also doing a horrible job in collecting fines imposed for breaches of environmental regulations. Only 1.7 percent of fines were collected out of the £183 million imposed for illegal construction in 2015.

Read more here.


Pollution one of the leading causes of death in the world

According to recent research, polluted air, water and soil caused 9 million premature deaths across the globe in 2015, primarily in low and middle-income countries like Bangladesh, Somalia and Chad. Air pollution alone prematurely killed close to 6.5 million people. This is 3 times more than AIDS, malaria and TB put together.

Sources: The Lancet, NPR. Infographic: Forbes, Statista

Full article here


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