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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

The worst ocean polluting countries to join the effort to eliminate waste

The ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are set to adopt a joint declaration to combat marine plastic waste.

According to statistics from the UN Environment Programme and Ocean Conservancy, an American campaign group for the protection of the oceans, plastic pollution is a major problem across Southeast Asia, so much so that four members of ASEAN (Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand) are among the five nations that throw the most plastic waste – collectively, sixty percent of the total amount – into the ocean.

"This declaration will be a new milestone, but it will be just words on paper if there is no change in policies,” said Tara Buakamsri, the director of Greenpeace Thailand. He added that ASEAN countries must ban single-use plastics urgently for the declaration to be truly effective.

Although the agreement doesn’t feature any specific numbers, by signing the declaration ASEAN member states will commit to reducing the use of single-use plastics and to the recycling of plastic products and packaging.

According to the UN, 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the world’s oceans each year Photo: Shutterstock
Further information: Reuters

Using sunlight to clean water

Researchers at the University of Szeged are working on a nanotechnological water treatment device. Their innovation may provide clean water for millions worldwide in the future.

Leonardo DiCaprio helps create new environmental alliance

Leonardo DiCaprio, the Hollywood star famous for his environmental activism, has joined billionaire investors and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth to found a new non-profit world organisation for environmental protection.

World’s largest floating solar park to be built in Singapore

Solar farms installed in agricultural areas and solar panels fitted to the roofs of buildings are no longer a rarity these days. Their efficiency, however, is not optimal, and occupying crop land isn’t a very practical solution, either. In China and Singapore, attempts are being made to maximize the production of renewable energy by using waterborne, floating photovoltaic power generation systems.

The UN Secretary General urges immediate action to avoid a climate catastrophe

Speaking in Abu Dhabi, UN Secretary General António Guterres emphasised that the process of climate change is happening faster than predicted.

DiCaprio sends the message again: we are still on track to destroy our world

Only a few years after the brutally honest documentary Before the Flood, a new film has been made, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, about the shocking consequences of global warming. Ice on Fire seeks to find out whether we can still reverse the impact of climate change.

Costa Rica sets an example

The Central American country has been a paragon of environment-friendly governance for decades. It has set the ambitious goal of phasing out fossil fuels altogether by 2050.

Global temperature may rise by as much as 3 degrees

Due to the insufficient commitments of governments so far, global temperature may increase by twice the tolerable amount, 3 degrees Celsius, by the end of the century relative to the preindustrial period, warned UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa.

Extensive cooperation to stop marine pollution

At their meeting in Japan, the environment ministers of G20 countries agreed on a global framework for the introduction and application of measures to tackle the issue of marine plastic waste pollution.

German cities declare climate emergency

During environmental and climate emergencies, local decision-makers must place an even greater emphasis on the principle of ecological sustainability in their decisions.

Plastic Pirates remove one tonne of plastic daily from Lake Tisza in Hungary

Competitors in the 1st Tisza Lake Plastic Cup collected almost three tonnes of waste over the three-day event. As the organisers and the participants emphasised, that is only the tip of the iceberg, as the floods of recent weeks have spread much more waste around the flood plain of the river.

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