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Food
Shopping at farmers markets can help minimize your waste.

6 Simple Tips to Reduce Waste So Every Day Is Earth Day

Earth Day 2018 is focused on the all-important theme of reducing plastic litter and pollution. Of course, we shouldn't just reduce our plastic footprint, we should try to reduce waste in all shapes, sizes and forms. It's said that the average American generates a staggering 4 pounds of trash every day—but you don't have to be part of that statistic.

Here are six entirely manageable tips and tricks to help you cut waste.

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Science

Scientists Accidentally Develop 'Mutant' Enzyme That Eats Plastic

Researchers in the UK and the U.S. have inadvertently engineered an enzyme that eats up plastic.

The enzyme is able to digest PET (polyethylene terephthalate)—the same material used in the ubiquitous plastic bottle that's clogging up landfills, coastlines and oceans around the world.

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Health
Monitoring wells stand as silent sentinels on the grounds of a fire training site at Wurtsmith Air Force Base. Chemicals used at the site have contaminated nearby groundwater, rivers and lakes. Brett Walton / Circle of Blue

Fear and Fury in Michigan Town Where Air Force Contaminated Water

By Brett Walton

Anthony Spaniola knew something was off with his town's water. He read accounts in the Detroit Free Press and attended community meetings hosted by state health and environment agencies. Until last summer Spaniola was concerned but didn't think the situation was out of control.

Then he saw foam on Van Etten Lake.

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Business
Freedom Island Beach in the Philippines. Greenpeace

Nestlé's Plastic Initiative Called 'Greenwashing' by Greenpeace

The environmental impact of the world's plastic consumption is profound. Plastic trash and the tiny pieces that chip off it can be found everywhere—in oceans, marine life, land and our bodies, too.

To help solve this planetary crisis, Nestlé pledged Tuesday to make all its plastic packaging 100 percent recyclable or reusable by 2025. The Swiss food giant envisions a world where "none of its packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfill or as litter," it said.

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Popular
George Thomas / Flickr

Michigan Gov. Declares Flint Water Safe, Stops Free Bottled Water, But Residents Aren’t So Sure

Declaring Flint's drinking water now safe, the Michigan government announced Friday that it would stop providing free bottled water to the city's residents, Reuters reported.

A statement from the office of Republican Governor Rick Snyder said that tests taken over the past two years had shown the water to be just as safe as or safer than the water of other Michigan cities.

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Kate Ter Haar / Flickr

Michigan Lets Nestlé Draw More Groundwater for Bottling

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has granted Nestlé Waters a permit to increase groundwater withdrawal from 250 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute from its White Pine Springs well for the purpose of bottling drinking water.

The approval comes despite near universal opposition from residents, who cite the Swiss food and beverage giant's nominal $200-a-year fee to pump water from its wells. The fee will not change with the new permit.

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Business
A Kroger in Norfolk, Virginia. Supermarkets are responsible for 40 percent of the plastic packaging we use. Wikimedia Commons

85,000 Petition Supermarket Giant to Open Plastic-Free Aisle

An online petition calling on the nation's largest supermarket chain to open a plastic-free aisle has surpassed 85,000 signatures.

The Care2 petition, launched less than a week ago, asks Kroger Co. to curb plastic packaging in its 2,800 branches.

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Politics
China has banned 24 kinds of foreign waste, including materials used in plastic bottles.

U.S. Asks China to 'Immediately Halt' Ban on Foreign Waste

Last year, China—the world's largest importer of wasteannounced it no longer wanted to take in other countries' trash so it could focus on its own pollution problems.

This unexpected policy shift, which took effect Jan. 1, has left exporters in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, Germany and other European countries scrambling for solutions for their growing mountains of trash, the New York Times reported.

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Health

ricardo / zone41.net

Study: 93% of Bottled Water Contains Microplastics

You now have another good reason to avoid bottled water. An investigation on brands from around the world determined that the water is often contaminated with tiny pieces of plastic.

The new study, conducted by journalism organization Orb Media and researchers at the State University of New York at Fredonia, has already prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to launch a review into the potential risks of plastic in drinking water.

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