Serbia's Environmental Disaster Stalls EU Membership

Serbia is one country currently seeking to become a part of the European Union, but it faces a great challenge in preparing for stricter EU standards on the condition of the environment prior to its acceptance as a member state. According to an article on ABC News, the state of the environment in Serbia has been in dire straits since the 1990s, when war turned attention away from ecosystems in the country. As a result, reporter Darko Vorjinovic writes that the state of affairs in Serbia today is far from the expectations of EU regulations.

World Environment Day 2013: Embrace Change

Summer is a season that is closely tied to the environment – a truth that isn’t hard to see for yourself, especially if you live in a warmer climate. The first signs of warmth bring hordes to beaches and parks on a quest for a share of sunshine, and the sounds and smells of barbecues rise from backyards from suburbs to cities. Summer has held a special place in the hearts of many as a time to reconnect with the “Great Outdoors”, a place that the cold of Winter manages to keep out of mind for months each year.

Man Held in Rwanda Over Smuggled Polythene Bags

In an article that appeared on the Sunday Times this week, a man was detained by the police in Rwanda after being caught smuggling a shipment of polythene bags into the country, which are considered an environmental hazard by the Rwandan government. According to correspondent Laurent Kamana, the man was found in possession of 200 packets of the plastic bags, amounting to approximately 40,000 pieces in total. The suspect, identified as Maurice Bizumuremyi, brought the bags in from Burundi, and was taking them to a client in Kimironko, Kigali City. Kamana reports:

China Admits Pollution-Linked 'Cancer Villages'

The Environment Ministry of China has admitted to the presence of places they refer to as "cancer villages" in a new, official report which examines the effects of rapid industrialism on the environment. According to news source France 24's recent story, the Chinese response comes as a result of increasing discontent over smog, industrial waste, and environmental toxins. The article states that the term "cancer village" is both unprecedented and somewhat ambiguous.

Hawaii Lawmakers Consider Plastic Bag Tax

Despite the Hawaii-wide ban on plastic bags set to take effect in 2015, lawmakers are working on a temporary solution that they feel will save taxpayers and the environment from paying the price of plastic pollution. According to Mileka Lincoln of Hawaii News Now, lawmakers would like to introduce an intermediary bag tax in order to prevent the environment from suffering any further pollution. Lincoln writes:

House Bill 357 would require businesses to charge a dime for each single-use bag provided to customers at check-out.

100 Grannies Urge Plastic Bag Ban

This weekend, a group of elderly Iowan women who call themselves "100 Grannies" celebrated National Grandparents Day by making a strong request: to ban plastic bags in their community. As reported by the Daily Iowan, the 100 Grannies fear for the safety of the future generations, and encourage others to consider the huge impact plastic bags have on the environment. Writes Katie Kuntz of the Daily Iowan:

UCSB Scores Statewide Best Practice Awards for Sustainability

Today, the University of California in Santa Barbara [in the United States] has announced that it has recieved three Best Practice awards in a competition sponsored by the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, called the Energy Effiency and Suatainability Awards. UCSB has recently become a Plastic-Free Campus, an initiative driven by the Plastic Pollution Coalition, and this is one effort among many that the University has used to improve their campus's level of suatainability. Local Santa Barbara news site, Noozhawk, writes:

South Korea's Waste Reduction Campaign Report

By the Korea Zero Waste Movement Network

S. Korea’s major superstores declared a “No Disposable Plastic Bags” policy, resulting in zero disposable plastic bags from these stores as well as a 55 percent increase in the number of customers using reusable tote bags, which equals a CO2 reduction of 6,865 tons and a cost savings of 10 million US dollars.

 No Disposable Plastic Bags Declared

BPA Settlement: A Sign Of Things To Come?

 By Gwyneth K. Shaw, the New Haven Independent 

A court settlement with an environmental group will force the US Food and Drug Administration to finally make a judgement on the controversial chemical bisphenol A by next spring. ...Read More.

What's next for anti-BPA campaign?

By Steve Law, Sustainable Life

In late-October, Multnomah County enacted Oregon's first restrictions against products containing bisphenol A, a widely used chemical compound often called BPA. The ban on BPA-laced baby bottles, sippy cups, and reusable water bottles will ...Read More.

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