The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
European Union Can't Blow Opportunity to Set Strong Marine Litter Targets
Marking 'International Bag-Free Day,' more than 30 non-governmental organizations (NGO) are making a final call to EU Environment ministers ahead of the July 15 deadline for setting marine litter targets, as required under EU law. In an open letter sent to all 27 ministers, the NGOs are calling for ambitious and significant reduction targets for 2020.
Under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), member states have to disclose their initial assessments of their own waters, define what they consider to be ‘Good Environmental Status’ and set targets for several marine environmental challenges, including marine litter, for 2020.
Monica Verbeek, executive director of Seas At Risk said:
“The MSFD presents a golden opportunity for member states to tackle the problem of marine litter and plastic pollution in our seas. We want to see member states committing to targets that will have a real and noticeable effect on litter levels on our beaches and in our seas, not only for the sake of marine life, but also to reduce the economic burden marine litter brings to coastal communities and maritime industries. Significant reductions are possible but strong political will is needed now.”
The 32 NGOs—whose interests range from turtle conservation to waste reduction policy—fear that member states could end up wasting the opportunity by setting weak targets that if achieved will have little effect on the state of the marine environment.
The letter—and an associated advice document for the Environment ministers that was published earlier this year—details the feasibility of setting a 50 percent reduction target in marine litter by 2020.
The letter is being sent out individually to all European Environment Ministers on July 3 to mark ‘International Bag-Free Day.' This year, groups from all over the world are organizing activities to raise awareness on the impact of single-use plastic bags on the environment.
- The letter can be read in full by clicking here.
- For more information on International Bag-Free Day, click here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jeremy Hance
VIETNAM, July 2019 – I'm chasing a ghost, I think not for the first time, as night falls and I gather up my gear in a hotel in a village in southern Vietnam. I pack my camera, a bottle of water, and a poncho; outside the window I can see a light rain.
By George Citroner
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the World Health Organization currently recommend either 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (walking, gardening, doing household chores) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise (running, cycling, swimming) every week.
But there's little research looking at the benefits, if any, of exercising less than the 75 minute minimum.
It seems the reality of the climate crisis is too much for the Federal Reserve to ignore anymore.
For 21 years, Doug Distaso served his country in the United States Air Force.
He commanded joint aviation, maintenance, and support personnel globally and served as a primary legislative affairs lead for two U.S. Special Operations Command leaders.
But after an Air Force plane accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain, Distaso was placed on more than a dozen prescription medications by doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.