England has put a 5p charge on plastic bags last year and it’s already having a huge impact on the environment. The use of disposable bags has decreased 85% since the same time last year! Last year 7 billion bags had been handed out compared to just 500 million so far this year. The Marine Conservation Society’s annual beach cleanup noted that the number of plastic bags found on the shore was done by a third – and that’s after just one year.
The charge has also triggered donations of more than £29m from retailers towards good causes including charities and community groups, according to Defra. England was the last part of the UK to adopt the 5p levy, after successful schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Retailers with 250 or more full-time equivalent employees have to charge a minimum of 5p for the bags they provide for shopping in stores and for deliveries, but smaller shops and paper bags are not included. There are also exemptions for some goods, such as raw meat and fish, prescription medicines, seeds and flowers and live fish.
Britain has started construction on the world’s largest wind power generating installation. This will be a massive increase in renewable energy hitting the power grid in the UK – and a benefit for all thanks to less pollution.
Check out the video on the project:
The 100 turbines, each measuring more than 300ft, will power more than 200,000 homes. It will increase the amount of energy generated from offshore wind in the UK by a third to 1,314MW, compared to 1,100MW in the whole of the rest of the world.
Mr Huhne said the UK is leading the world in an exciting new technology that will cut carbon emissions and boost green jobs.
From April 6, all homeowners in Britain will be free to install microgeneration equipment like solar panels without getting planning permission for them, as the government tries to cut climate warming gases emitted from coal and gas fired power plants in order to supply electricity.
“We want to make it easier to help people reduce their carbon footprint. Technology like solar panels can make a real difference, but homeowners can be put off by the time and expense of getting planning permission,” planning minister Caroline Flint said.
No More Landmines came up with a creative way to bring awareness to the danger of landmines around the world. The idea was to not touch the ground in London by using parkour, a way to move around using one’s body in the most efficient way possible. The fundraiser is one of the more creative ones that I’v eseen recently, and remember that £1 = 1 square meter of land.
The Economist looks into the truth about recycling and they have discovered some neat things. Of course, there are some complications with recycling, and it’s important to remind ourselves that nothing is perfect, but it’s good that we aim for perfection. Recycling is a really really good thing to do.
Based on this study, WRAP calculated that Britain’s recycling efforts reduce its carbon-dioxide emissions by 10m-15m tonnes per year. That is equivalent to a 10% reduction in Britain’s annual carbon-dioxide emissions from transport, or roughly equivalent to taking 3.5m cars off the roads. Similarly, America’s Environmental Protection Agency estimates that recycling reduced the country’s carbon emissions by 49m tonnes in 2005.
Recycling has many other benefits, too. It conserves natural resources. It also reduces the amount of waste that is buried or burnt, hardly ideal ways to get rid of the stuff. (Landfills take up valuable space and emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas; and although incinerators are not as polluting as they once were, they still produce noxious emissions, so people dislike having them around.) But perhaps the most valuable benefit of recycling is the saving in energy and the reduction in greenhouse gases and pollution that result when scrap materials are substituted for virgin feedstock. “If you can use recycled materials, you don’t have to mine ores, cut trees and drill for oil as much,” says Jeffrey Morris of Sound Resource Management, a consulting firm based in Olympia, Washington.