One by one, developing countries are refusing to import trash. Here are the ways the world is trying to deal with its waste.
A deposit scheme for bottles won’t make a scrap of difference. This stuff is in our food, our clothes – and in us.
Opting to handle your bills online keeps a lot of paper out of the bin, but the devices you use to go online eventually die anyway. If this “e-waste” ends up in a landfill, the energy and materials that went into manufacturing and delivering those devices are lost. And besides being unsustainable, disposal can expose people to hazardous metals and compounds.
Meet the fatberg, a monstrosity made of discarded cooking oil and wipes, but also condoms, sanitary napkins, diapers, and other items that form a clot in a sewer system. A record-breaking specimen—250 meters (820 ft) long and and 130 tonnes (143 tons)—was discovered in a Victorian-era tunnel in Whitechapel last week.
The Environmental Audit Committee says the tiny balls of plastic used in shower gels and facial scrubs can even be found in Arctic sea-ice and on the ocean floor.
The MPs say synthetic fibres from worn car tyres and fleece jackets may also be harming wildlife.
Boyan Slat was just 16 when he realized he wanted to rid the oceans of plastic. It all happened after he dove into the problem in the most literal way while snorkeling in Greece and finding more drifting plastic than fish swimming.
Once back in his native Netherlands, Slat delved into the topic as people told him that cleaning up the ocean was impossible. Still, Slat, a young inventor who by then already held the world recordfor most high-pressure rockets simultaneously launched, persisted until he found what he was looking for.
Volkswagen AG lost almost a quarter of its market value after it admitted to cheating on U.S. air pollution tests for years, risking billions in potential fines and a backlash from consumers in the world’s second-biggest car market.
The shares plunged as much as 23 percent to 125.40 euros in Frankfurt, extending the stock’s slump for the year to 31 percent. The drop wiped out about 15.4 billion euros ($17.4 billion) in value.