Environmental News Made Simple
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Good morning curious.friends.

We have a 'rubbish' article for you this week... it's pretty good actually. 

 We learn what rewilding means for the UK and witness the green wave surge across Europe.We discover an interesting use for dandelions and find out the carbon footprint of our favourite tunes.

Reading time is 3:37 minutes.
Enjoy, team curious

p.s. How is it nearly June already? 

Your rubbish? Your problem! Malaysia to return tonnes of imported waste to the West 

by Abigail Aldridge 

What's Going On Here?

On Tuesday, Malaysia announced it is to send back over 3,000 metric tonnes of contaminated plastic waste to countries including the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

What Does This Mean?
After China banned the import of plastic waste in 2017, other countries began to take the brunt of our waste problem. Since then, rubbish has accumulated across the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Tonnes of the waste found in Malaysia is contaminated, rotting, or had been falsely labeled and smuggled into the country. (Recycling sent from Australia included plastic bottles full of maggots!) This has prompted Yeo Bee Yin, Malaysia’s Environment Minister, to announce this fight against imported waste.

Malaysia isn’t the first country to make this move - last week the Philippines threatened to dump rubbish in Canadian waters if Canada refused to take their exported waste back.

Why Should We Care?

This announcement highlights the huge issue we have with waste - we’re generating far too much of it, whilst we don’t have the means to recycle or dispose of it. If Malaysia sends our waste back - where will it go? What will we do with it? Perhaps it’s finally time for the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ way we’ve looked at our waste to change.

Lauren Singer, founder of Trash is for Tossers, inspired thousands with her mason jar full of all the non recyclable / compostable rubbish she generated in 4 years. Maybe we need a big glass jar in Parliament Square so everyone can see the waste we produce?  😉

Craig Bennett, CEO of Friends of the Earth, is calling on Michael Gove to create more recycling facilities here in the UK - and to start tackling the plastic waste problem

Be Curious!

You can calculate your plastic footprint using this handy tool from Greenpeace UK. If your waste mountain is a big ‘un, the bad news is that you can’t just dump it in your neighbours garden! Instead, why not try reducing the amount of waste you make? We love this list of 100 tips from Zero Waste Home.

Climate Change

Where the wild things are: how rewilding could help tackle the climate crisis

by Maya Comely

What's Going On Here?

Last week Rewilding Britain published a plan calling for a quarter of the UK to be ‘rewilded’ to help tackle the climate crisis. 

How? By redirecting billions of pounds from farm subsidies towards restoring and protecting natural processes and wilderness areas - thus bringing both health benefits to us and the planet. 

What Does This Mean?

Each year the UK government hands over £3bn to agricultural organisations, supporting farmers and ensuring us folk have a stable supply of affordable food. 🚜 ⛏ 🍴

Sadly, just 13% goes to supporting environmental schemes - so there’s potential for some of these subsidies to fund restoring the UK’s long lost wilderness.  

The plan proposes £1.9bn being redirected to creating 2m hectares of new woodland, species-rich meadows, and fully protecting the UK’s 2m hectares of peat bogs and heaths. 

Why Should We Care?

We wrote about the importance of biodiversity a few weeks back when we covered Natural Climate Solutions.

The proposed rewilding plan would reduce government investment into intensive farming practices and the production of meat and dairy whilst also boosting biodiversity and helping to decarbonise the UK. That’s the kind of news we like to hear!

The plan comes at a good time as a recent study estimated that millions of people in the UK ‘lack access to a park or green space’. Shockingly, it was calculated that the average amount of green space per person is less than half of a six-yard-box on a football pitch!  Not such great news.

Be Curious!

From a weekend wander through an overgrown cemetery to letting your lawn run wild to boost 🐝 bee counts 🐝 - start appreciating the au natural near you.  “Green exercise” is also becoming a thing, with scientists having calculated that more than eight million people each week took at least 30 minutes of outside exercise in a natural environment.

So for all you city dwellers out there - don’t overlook the power of urban green spaces! 

P.s. check out this cute video on rewilding

Other news we found curious...

Green wave surges across European elections - edie
Continental launches bike tyre made from sustainable dandelion rubber - Cycling Weekly 
Norway refuses to drill for billions of barrels of oil in Arctic, leaving ‘whole industry surprised and disappointed’ - Independent 
Public EV charge points outnumber petrol stations in the UK - edie 
Your favorite playlist has a carbon footprint - Inhabitat
Geoengineer the Planet? More Scientists Now Say It Must Be an Option - Yale Environment 360
Are disposable razors killing the environment? - HuffPost
Abigail Aldridge
Maya Comely

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