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The Last Straw? EU Official Hints Ban on Single-Use Plastic Across Europe
A top EU official hinted that legislation to cut plastic waste in Europe is coming soon.
Frans Timmermans, the first vice president of the European Commission, made the comment after Britain's environment minister Michael Gove, a pro-Brexiter, suggested that staying in the EU would make it harder for the UK to create environmental laws such as banning plastic drinking straws.
Gove said being in the EU meant there were "some steps we might want to take environmentally that we can't yet."
Timmermans later tweeted to Gove: "One step ahead of you. EU legislation on single-use plastics coming before the summer. Maybe you can align with us?" He included several hashtags, including #EUDoesntSuck.
"Plastic straws are a scourge," Gove told Sky News. "They're just one example of the ways in which we pollute the oceans and damage marine wildlife. I want to do everything we can to restrict the use of plastic straws and we're exploring at the moment if we can ban them."
But the Conservative politician perhaps did not think of Scotland, which is part of the UK and within the EU. After announcing plans to outlaw plastic cotton buds, the Scottish government also announced intentions to ban plastic straws by 2019.
The EU plastics strategy, he added, would involve working with working with businesses to cut plastics and "find ways to re-use and recycle more plastic and avoid micro-plastic leakage."
New EU legislation to cut plastic waste would apply to the UK until Brexit is fully implemented, Reuters noted.
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The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.
The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus
The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.
'This is a Sick Statement': Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Under Pressure for Anti-Environmental Policies, Blames NGOs for Record Amazon Fires
'Work Together' or 'Destroy it': Goldman Prize Winner Francia Márquez on World's Second Deadliest Country For Environmental Activists
In April 2018, Afro-Colombian activist Francia Márquez won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, thanks to her work to retake her community's ancestral territories from illegal gold mining. However, her international recognition comes at a very risky price.
By Stuart Braun
A year after activist Greta Thunberg first stood in the rain outside the Swedish parliament with her now iconic "Skolstrejk för klimatet" — school strike for the climate — placard, the movement she spawned has set the tone for environmental protest action around the world.
Toy maker Hasbro wants to play in the eco-packaging game. The board game giant will ditch its plastic packaging by 2022. The move means that games like Monopoly, Scrabble and Operation will no longer have shrink wrap, window sheets, plastic bags or elastic bands, as the Associated Press reported.