plastic
A Paper Straw Factory Is Opening Up in Britain Before a Planned UK Single-Use Plastics Ban

The first paper straw factory in the “last several decades” in Britain is planning to launch in Wales as fast-food chains prepare for a planned ban on single-use plastic products throughout the UK, the Guardian reported, with some chains already preparing their own plans to phase out plastic in favour of paper. Read More >>

environment
Smart Traffic Lights That Tell Drivers to Speed Up are Being Tested

People staring at traffic lights have had an idea on how to make money from calling them "smart" -- give the things networked indicators that tell drivers how fast they need to go to hit the next set of lights when they turn green. This could speed people through cities without requiring so much braking and accelerating, reducing congestion and taking numerous small exhaust particles out of the sky. Read More >>

environment
McDonald’s Told to Stop Filling the Sea With its Balloons

Activists are currently being active in the direction of McDonald's again, as despite the food chain's best efforts to reduce plastic waste and appear to be a good guy there's another front upon which war is being raged -- free balloons for children. Read More >>

science
Your Coworker’s Outdoor Smoke Break Could Still Contaminate Your Cubicle, Study Finds

Smoking has been banned in public indoor spaces for years now — and for the better — but that doesn’t necessarily mean non-smokers are free from toxic cigarette chemicals. New research published Wednesday in Science Advances suggests that not only can the chemical residue left behind by cigarette smoking find its way into “smoke-free” buildings, but it can then attach itself to aerosol particles suspended in the air that are easily inhaled by our lungs. Read More >>

environment
Port Talbot Twinned With Marseille as Europe’s Most Polluted Towns

The World Health Organisation is doing its bit to stop people ever going to Wales, by declaring Port Talbot one of the most polluted towns in the world. It ties with Marseille, Singapore and Ecuador's Quito to claim levels of fine particle emissions that exceed guidelines. Read More >>

science
Mutated Plastic-Munching Enzyme Accidentally Created During Lab Experiment

A couple of years ago, scientists discovered an enzyme in a waste recycling centre in Japan that digests plastic. During a recent experiment to understand how this enzyme works, scientists accidentally created a mutated version that breaks down plastic even better than the one found in nature. The discovery could go a long way in reducing plastic waste, particularly from water bottles. Read More >>

environment
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Has Way More Crap Inside It Than We Thought

For years, scientists have been tracking a large accumulation of floating rubbish, mostly bits of plastic, in the north Pacific ocean called the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” or the “trash vortex.” This region, according to the latest research, has more lost and discarded plastic inside it than previous surveys suggested—like, a lot more. And it’s still growing. Read More >>

science
Report Finds Microplastic in 93 Per Cent of Bottled Water Tested, But Don’t Freak Out Yet

Testing of 259 plastic water bottles from nine countries revealed microplastic particles in water from 242 of the bottles, according to a new report. The test has prompted the World Health Organization to begin its own investigation, though there is no firm evidence that the presence of microplastics would make bottled water unsafe to drink. Read More >>

environment
MPs Tell Carmakers to Pay to Clean up the Air

A joint report by loads of government committees had a big old groupthink about air quality issues, and decided it's mostly the problem of the motor industry, and would like some future "Clean Air Act" legislation to force carmakers to help fund the nation's various air quality initiatives. Read More >>

science
First Evidence that Microplastics Travel Up the Food Chain and Into Seal Bellies

You’re familiar with the food chain: little fish eats plankton, bigger fish eats the little fish, then a seal eats the bigger fish, thus consuming the energy from all three smaller animals. But what if the little fish had also eaten an indigestible piece of plastic? New evidence demonstrates the plastic could make it all the way up the food chain into the seal. Read More >>

cars
Mercedes-Benz Owner Daimler AG May Have Rigged Emissions Tests

Daimler AG, the automaker which produces the Mercedes-Benz line of luxury vehicles, is facing growing scrutiny after US investigators reportedly found that it installed software to cheat diesel emissions tests on cars, Bloomberg and Reuters reported. Read More >>

pollution
Find Out How Polluted Your Street Is

Want to know exactly how polluted the air around your home is? This new tool on the BBC website lets you type in your postcode and will give you a pollution rating between 1 and 6 – 1 being the lowest level of pollution, and 6 being the highest. Read More >>

australia
Australia Hits Worst Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Record

Australia’s finally done it! A new NDEVR Environmental analysis shows Australia has never been emitting more greenhouse gas when unreliable estimates for land use-related emissions are excluded, the Guardian reported on Sunday. Over the past year, Australia released an estimated 138.78 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in greenhouse gases. The last quarter measured was the second highest since 2011, even though Australia has invested heavily in wind power plants in the intermediary years. Read More >>

health
It’s Official: Glasgow is Stinkier Than London

For years now we've heard that living in London is about as good for your health as huffing burning carrier bags for something to do in the evening, but it's not even the worst place in the UK for your lungs any more. That burning torch has now been handed to Glasgow. Read More >>

cars
Oxford Wants To Ban All Petrol And Diesel Vehicles By 2020

Bad news if you like burning oil to make your car move, as Oxford City Council is launching a consultation on banning petrol and diesel vehicles entirely from the city centre, as early as 2020. Read More >>