Finland drained its peatlands. He’s helping bring them back

Read the full story at e360.

Tero Mustonen has led a successful effort to restore roughly 80 areas of ecologically critical peatlands across his native Finland. In an interview, he talks about the importance of bringing Indigenous knowledge to rewilding initiatives in far northern regions and beyond.

Europe wants more cities to use data center waste heating

Read the full story at Techradar.

The EU – and Germany in particular – has caused some consternation in the data center industry with plans to reduce the continent’s environmental impact.

The union has set renewable energy targets across numerous industries to be achieved by 2035, which includes making the heating and cooling sectors carbon neutral by reusing waste heat from data centers to keep cities warm.

Germany wants to go a step further by introducing targets for energy reuse, and whilst data center firms are happy for their byproduct to be recycled, they are worried that it will place a financial burden upon them to achieve. 

Scientists call for chemical pollution monitoring in Antarctica to support global chemical policy

Read the full story from Griffith University.

A horizon-scan of chemical pollution research needs in Antarctica has called for Antarctic Treaty consultative parties to extend their national chemical monitoring programs to their Antarctic research stations and Territories.   

Published in The Lancet Planetary Health, the ‘Personal View’ paper led by Griffith University’s Professor Susan Bengtson Nash from the Centre for Planetary Health and Food Security, highlights that chemical pollution monitoring frameworks were lacking in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region, which acts as barometers for planetary health. 

Solar panels could be installed in the spaces between railway tracks in world first

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Solar panels are being rolled out “like carpet” on railway tracks in Switzerland.

Swiss start-up Sun-Ways is installing panels near Buttes train station in the west of the country in May, pending sign-off from the Federal Office of Transport.

Chinese researchers discover plastic waste chemically bonded to rocks

Read the full story at Packaging Insights.

Chinese researchers at Tsinghua University, Beijing, have found plastic films chemically bonded to rocks, marking a discovery of a new type of plastic material in the environment. 

Deyi Hou, one of the study’s authors and soil and groundwater scientist, said the research is the first to uncover chemical bonds between plastic and rocks in the environment. 

The plastic rock complexes form when debris irreversibly absorbs into a rock after a flood. The complexes comprise LDPE or PP films stuck onto quartz-dominated mineral matrices.

The study writes that “future research should evaluate this phenomenon regarding ecosystem fluxes, fate and transport and impacts of plastic pollution,” indicating that more research is needed to draw concrete conclusions about the plastic rocks. 

The study was published in Environmental Science and Technology. The source of the plastic waste was accumulated around a creek in Hechi City, China. The plastics discovered were PP and PE films.

Power Sector Implementation of a Country Coal-to-Clean Transition: Charting a Path to a Clean, Prosperous, and Reliable Power System in Southeast Asia

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The past few years have seen significant momentum for the coal-to-clean transition with several emissions, coal phaseout, and financing commitments. Major coal-dependent countries, including South Africa, Indonesia, and Vietnam, have agreed to Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETPs) that aim to transform and decarbonize multiple sectors of their economies.

However, the hard work to design and implement this transition now begins — a monumental task that must balance supporting ambitious climate action with robust economic growth. And thus, the speed and success of such a multi-faceted transition will rest on balancing and achieving several outcomes together.

Precision feeding, methane suppression strategies proposed under UK net zero plan

Read the full story at Dairy Reporter.

The UK government unveiled a raft of proposals last week with the goal of meeting carbon budgets. Precision animal feeding and diverse livestock-linked methane emission reduction approaches form part of the plan.

Microplastics seeping into wastewater through recycling facilities, says study

Read the full story from Eco-Business.

New research has found that a ‘state-of-the-art’ plastic recycling facility in the UK could be releasing up to 75 billion microplastics per cubic meter of wastewater annually.

This Danish school is made from straw and seaweed

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Behind the thick wooden walls of a small school in northern Denmark are two wholly uncommon materials: One is often burned to run the country’s district heating systems. The other usually rots away on the beach.

But at the Feldballe School in Rønde, Denmark, Henning Larsen Architects used these two materials—straw and a seaweed called eelgrass—to form the insulation and ventilation systems of a revolutionary kind of building. Designed specifically to reduce the amount of carbon emissions that result from the building’s construction and operable lifespan, the school is showing how biomaterials can help the construction industry hit environmental targets without sacrificing aesthetics.

Plastics supply chain in Europe continues to push for greater legal certainty for recycled content

Read the full story at Packaging Europe.

Earlier this week, organisations from across the value chain called on the EU to adopt mass balance as a means of developing EU-harmonised calculating rules for recycled content in plastics applications in order to meet revised environmental targets.

In this article, Nigel Davis, Insight Editor at ICIS, discusses why tracking of recycled content is a major issue, especially with the industry pressing for the legal acknowledgement of a mass balance approach that excludes fuel use.