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Household actions lead to changes in collective behavior and are an essential part of social movements. Pixabay / Pexels

By Greg McDermid, Joule A Bergerson, Sheri Madigan

Hidden among all of the troubling environmental headlines from 2019 — and let's face it, there were plenty — was one encouraging sign: the world is waking up to the reality of climate change.

So now what?

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A worker sorts out plastic bottles for recycling in Dong Xiao Kou village. China also announced Sunday that it would work to promote the use of recycled plastics. FRED DUFOUR / AFP via Getty Images

China, the world's No. 1 producer of plastic pollution, announced major plans Sunday to cut back on the sale and production of single-use plastics.

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Plastic waste that started as packaging clogs tropical landfills. apomares / iStock / Getty Images

By Clyde Eiríkur Hull and Eric Williams

Countries around the world throw away millions of tons of plastic trash every year. Finding ways to manage plastic waste is daunting even for wealthy nations, but for smaller and less-developed countries it can be overwhelming.

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Nestlé is accelerating its efforts to bring functional, safe and environmentally friendly packaging solutions to the market and to address the global challenge of plastic packaging waste. Nestlé / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Nestlé, the world's largest food company, said it will invest up to $2 billion to address the plastic waste crisis that it is largely responsible for.

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Colgates new toothpaste is certified by The Vegan Society. Colgate-Palmolive Company

Colgate has launched a new line of toothpaste in a fully recyclable tube, a first for toothpaste, as The Guardian reported.

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An employee carries a banner informing customers about the ban on free single-use plastic bags at a shopping mall in downtown Bangkok on Jan. 2, 2020. MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP via Getty Images

Thailand rang in 2020 with an effort to tackle the plastic crisis filling the country's waste sites and choking its waterways. The country's ban on plastic bags at major retailers began as soon as the clock struck midnight in Bangkok. A complete ban of bags that includes smaller shops will go into effect in 2021, as Reuters reported.

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A pile of garbage covered the five hundred meter Jambe river flow in Tambun, Bekasi, West Java on Sept. 5. Dasril Roszandi / NurPhoto / Getty Images

The Garbage Café in India is tackling the country's plastic crisis while also giving a hearty meal to the poor and the homeless.

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Pexels

By Jennifer Weeks

From climate change to omnipresent plastic waste, 2019 delivered a lot of discouraging environmental news. Several special reports this year from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change documented how global warming is altering the planet's lands, forests, oceans and frozen regions.

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Paul Bradbury / Caiaimage / Getty Images

By José Antonio Rosa

Every day, you make important choices — about whether to feast on fries or take a brisk walk, whether to spend or save your paycheck, whether to buy the sustainable option or the disposable plastic one.

Life is made up of countless decisions. The idea of nudging people in the right direction, instead of relying on their internal motivation, has gained traction over the last decade.

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Formosa Plastics has plans to bulldoze over a sacred slave burial ground in St. James Parish, Louisiana, pictured above for a new manufacturing complex that will cover the size of 80 football fields. Louisiana Bucket Brigade

A major plastics manufacturing complex planned for construction in a highly-polluted region of Louisiana may disrupt a historic slave burial site, The Intercept reports.

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A Giant Eagle store in New Castle, Pennsylvania on May 13, 2017. Murat Tanyel / Flickr

Pittsburgh-based grocery store chain Giant Eagle announced Tuesday that it will eliminate single-use plastics by 2025.

It is the first retailer of its size in the U.S. to make such a commitment, Greenpeace USA senior communications specialist Perry Wheeler told EcoWatch in an email.

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