Month: June 2019

In Germany, activists battle food waste with dumpster diving

Read the full story from France 24.

Carrying a penalty reaching up to hundreds of euros (dollars), dumpster diving is considered theft in Germany.

Objects disposed of in a bin on private grounds remain the property of the person who threw them away until they are collected by the dump truck.

Nevertheless, hundreds of activists across Germany still choose to carry on in the hope that they can force the industry to take action to end food waste.

America’s grungy ‘recycled’ plastic is creating wastelands in Asia

Read the full story from the Center for Public Integrity.

Follow the stench and you will find them: flaming heaps of dirty plastic, gushing black smoke, bringing death to a place otherwise teeming with life.

These are the coastal lowlands along Malaysia’s side of the Strait of Malacca. This is a mostly lush place, studded with fat palms and forest canopies dripping with vines. But over the past year and a half, black pillars of smoke have appeared above the treetops.

Ithaca College-Cornell University study finds pharmaceutical pollutants in Cayuga Lake

Read the full story in the Ithaca Journal.

While many people have acetaminophen, pseudoephedrine and diphenhydramine in their medicine cabinets, trace amounts of these and other commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals also have been found in Cayuga Lake.

EU issues ‘green’ investment guide to help combat climate change

Read the full story from Reuters.

The European Commission sought to boost the flow of private money to tackle climate change on Tuesday by publishing guidelines on what qualifies as environmentally friendly investment, in a move welcomed by the financial industry.

Hazard Standards for Lead in Paint, Dust and Soil (TSCA Section 403)

On June 21, 2019, EPA announced new standards for lead in dust on floors and window sills to protect children from the harmful effects of lead exposure. The standards become effective 180 days after publication in the Federal Register.

The Golden Age of Environmental Regulatory Policy

Read the full post at The Environmental Citizen.

As I find myself becoming an old environmentalist I think more and more of the 1990’s as a golden age in which regulatory programs were innovating. Of course it was not really a golden age – the House was earnestly trying to dismantle environmental protection. But at this time the EPA and relevant state agencies were transforming themselves creatively, responding to widespread discomfort with overreliance on “command and control”, which involves authorities telling people what to do and hunting down violators. This is of course necessary – for some – but agencies were showing then that they knew not everyone is a willful violator, and that there are reservoirs of good will that can be tapped to generate willing compliance. They were starting to provide help to those who don’t have the time to develop an understanding of very complex rules. They were realizing they could sometimes get companies to adopt cleaner practices by helping them.

This new biodegradable plastic is made from cactus

Read the full story in Fast Company.

While some Earth-friendly plastic is now made from corn, cacti don’t need the resources and can be grown on land we don’t need for food production.

At Molson Coors, supply risk management starts with real-time data

Read the full story at Food Dive.

Climate change presents risks to malting grade barley, prompting beer manufacturers to protect the crucial crop.

How pollinators can help farmers and renewable energy score

Read the full story from Michigan State University.

A new state policy will allow installation of solar arrays on preserved farmland if pollinator protection practices developed in a scorecard by Michigan State University entomologists are followed.

Most Minnesota farmers achieve buffer compliance, even as resentment lingers

Read the full story in the Grand Forks Herald.

After years of fierce debate, political struggle and rewriting, Minnesota’s buffer law was finally implemented in November 2017 after being signed into law in 2015 by then Gov. Mark Dayton.

Buffers, sometimes referred to as riparian filter strips, are vegetated parcels of land next to rivers, lakes, streams or wetlands. They reduce erosion and help prevent water pollution by filtering out phosphorus, nitrogen and sediment before runoff reaches waterways, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

But many landowners and farmers bristled against the law’s mandate to set portions of their privately owned land aside to install 50-foot buffer zones on land along public waterways and 16-foot buffer zones on land along public ditches.

Unhappy as landowners might have been regarding the law, they are complying with it.

 

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