Category News

Heineken ditches plastic rings and shrink wrap in eco makeover

Heineken said the change would lead to 517 tonnes of plastic being removed from the packaging of its brands by the end of 2021

Heineken is ditching single-use plastic rings and shrink wrap from millions of multipack cans and replacing them with eco-friendly cardboard. The Dutch company has invested £22m in new technology and production facilities at its UK sites that will enable it to start rolling out the changes across its popular brands , which include Heineken and Foster’s, from April 2020.

The can “toppers” are made from recyclable cardboard and are strong enough to carry the weight of a multipack. Their adoption by Heineken in the UK will lead to 517 tonnes of plastic being removed from the packaging of its brands by the end of 2021.

The changes will be rolled out first across Heineken, Foster’s and Kronenbourg 1664, then all its other brands in multipack cans, such as Strongbow, Bulmer’s, Red Stripe...

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Saving whales also saves humans about $3 million per whale

A great whale is worth US$2 million (NZ$3.1 million). The size of that number so terrified Ralph Chami, the economist who appraised the whales, that he sought refuge in a church for the first time in 30 years. Inside St. Matthew’s Cathedral here, a few blocks from Chami’s office at the International Monetary Fund, the economist said he had “a conversation with the Maker. I said: ‘If you aim to humiliate me, there are other ways of doing it.’ “

Chami had, after all, veered outside his lane to make a first-of-its-kind claim. He studies macroeconomic policies in developing countries, not ecology...

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Sperm whale washed up on beach had plastic sheeting in stomach

Baby Sperm Whale swimming in open water

A baby sperm whale found washed-up on a beach in Wales had plastic sheeting and other marine rubbish in its stomach, experts have said. The 22-foot long male calf washed up near Abersoch, Gwynedd, on Tuesday and is the first sperm whale to wash up on the Welsh coast in over 100 years. A post-mortem examination found that the animal was malnourished and below a healthy weight.

Experts from the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) who conducted the post-mortem were perplexed as to how it had found its way to such shallow waters given the species generally lives in deeper southern waters which are hotter and where they feed on giant squid.

Rob Deaville, of the ZSL, said: “A large piece of blue plastic sheeting was found in the stomach and ...

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Brazil navy scrambles to save Abrolhos coral reefs from oil spill

With mystery oil slicks still moving down Brazil’s coast, the Brazilian Navy sent more ships on Thursday to try to prevent the pollution of unique coral reefs of the Abrolhos Archipelago marine park, a haven of South Atlantic Ocean biodiversity. Marine biologists warn that the thick sludge of crude oil that has washed up along 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles) of northeastern beaches for the last two months would have a devastating impact on the five small islands of Abrolhos.

The Navy, which deployed two frigates to join a task force of ten ships, said oil came ashore on Thursday at Belmonte in Bahia state, just 235 kilometers north of the archipelago.

“It would be a bigger environmental disaster that what we have seen so far on the beaches,” said Yara Novelli, professor at the University...

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Scientists call for a more ambitious approach to management of MPA’s

Lyme bay projects

Researchers from the University of Plymouth have contributed to a new book addressing some of the most pressing challenges in marine conservation. Senior Research Fellow Dr. Emma Sheehan and Research Assistant Tom Mullier are among those to share their expertise in “Marine Protected Areas: Science, Policy and Management,” published by Elsevier.

Working alongside Dr. Jean-Luc Solandt from the Marine Conservation Society, and Dr. Sophie Elliott, from the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, they contributed a chapter recommending an approach to Marine Protected Areas (MPA) management which isn’t only limited to protecting vulnerable areas of seabed within the UK’s vast network of MPAs.

Their paper outlines the legal tools the UK already has to protect the seabed from damaging activi...

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Whales and dolphins found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch for the first time

Scientific research doesn’t usually mean being strapped in a harness by the open paratroop doors of a Vietnam-war-era Hercules plane. But that’s the situation I found myself in several years ago, the result of which has just been published in the journal Marine Biodiversity.

As part of the Ocean Cleanup’s Aerial Expedition, I was coordinating a visual survey team assessing the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world: the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

When the aircraft’s doors opened in front of me over the Pacific Ocean for the first time, my heart jumped into my throat. Not because I was looking 400m straight down to the wild sea below as it passed at 260km per hour, but because of what I saw.

This was one of the most remote regions of the Pacific Ocean, and the amount o...

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Algae could ‘protect coral reefs from climate change’

A school of fish swims in the Coral Sea

Scientists have discovered a type of algae that could play a key role in protecting coral reefs against climate change. Coral reefs all over the world are being badly damaged as warming oceans gradually suck the life out of them.

But researchers have identified two species of algae which are able to adapt and survive the hotter seawater temperatures caused by global warming and could be used to boost the coral reefs’ defences.

“This is an important step forward in understanding how coral can handle global warming…It is encouraging to see that corals have mechanisms in place to adjust to high seawater temperatures,” said Cecilia D’Angelo, of the University of Southampton.

Changing their chemical make-up

The algae species – known as Cladocopium and Durusinium trenchi – are able to ch...

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Exxon has misled Americans on climate change for decades.

Exon demonstration

Yesterday, the state of New York faced off with ExxonMobil for oral arguments in the trial alleging that the company misled investors by providing false assurances that the company was adequately costing climate-related risks. But win or lose, that doesn’t mean an end to deliberate misinformation campaigns. Here’s what we should all know about how to resist those efforts by Exxon and other big corporate actors.

Scientists have known for decades that the burning of fossil fuels is causing climate change. There is so much evidence that at least 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming. It’s as settled as the link between smoking and cancer.

The fossil fuel industry has known about the role of its products in global warming for 60 years...

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Protecting Egypt’s colourful coral reefs with Green Fins

Coal Reef with Scuba diver

Interview with Chloe Harvey, Director of The Reef-World Foundation, about how the charity’s implementation of the Green Fins initiative in Egypt—in partnership with the UN Environment Programme—is helping protect coral reefs in the Red Sea.

The Reef-World Foundationthe international coordinator of the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Green Fins initiativehas just announced the launch of Green Fins Egypt, the programme’s eleventh country worldwide, in partnership with the Chamber of Diving and Watersports. We spoke with Chloe Harvey about the launch of Green Fins Egypt and what this means for the protection of coral reefs in the region.

There is strong and growing demand for Green Fins around the world—why was Egypt chosen as the initiative’s latest destination?

Egypt...

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Australia and European Union push for east Antarctic marine sanctuary

Antarctica protected zone

Australia will push for a million square kilometres of the Antarctic ocean to be protected as a marine sanctuary at an international forum in Hobart this week. Bids to preserve a large area of pristine ocean off east Antarctica have struck opposition in the past, including at last year’s meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, where China and Russia played a part in blocking the proposal.

Australia is co-sponsoring the proposal for an East Antarctic Marine Protected Area, along with the European Union, and will resubmit it at this year’s CCAMLR meeting. The organisation’s membership includes 25 nations and the EU.

The plan requires the support of all members for it to proceed.

The environment minister, Sussan Ley, said the decision to pur...

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