PSI sustainability news round-up

Our fortnightly primer on the latest environment and sustainability news. If you would like to receive this newsletter via email, sign up to our mailing list here.

EU mulls new measures for ‘single circular economy’, taxes on plastics
ICIS, 22 February 2018
EU vice president Jyrki Katainen said that China’s recent plastic waste import ban is ‘a great opportunity for Europe’ and proposed several ideas for future legislation, including labelling plastic consumables with durability timelines, ensuring plastics used for packaging are of similar standards and the possibility of fiscal measures such as taxes.

‘Still in the doldrums’: UK recycling rate creeps above 45 per cent
BusinessGreen, 23 February 2018
Slight year-on-year uptick in household recycling welcomed by industry, but green groups highlight ‘packaging waste mountain’ revealed by latest Defra figures.

Don’t jump to conclusions about climate change and civil conflict
Nature, 13 February 2018
Many studies that link global warming to civil unrest are biased and exacerbate stigma about the developing world.

Former WH adviser: Trump will want to rejoin Paris climate pact by 2020
The Hill, 20 February 2018
The White House has been considering a plan to rejoin the Paris climate agreement by 2020, say a former top White House adviser on international energy and environment issues.

Climate change ‘will push European cities towards breaking point’
Guardian, 21 February 2018
Study highlights urgent need to adapt urban areas to cope with floods, droughts and heatwaves.

Carbon emissions up as diesel sales dive
BBC News, 27 February 2018
SMMT says emissions from new cars rose 0.8% last year, to 121 grams per kilometre, the first rise since the industry body began reporting levels in 2000.

German cities can ban diesel cars - court ruling
Sky News, 27 February 2018
The country’s Federal Administrative Court upheld a lower court’s decision that local authorities can act when air pollution massively exceeds allowable levels.

Brussels to make public transport free on high air pollution days
Guardian, 26 February 2018
The new rules will also see car speed limits cut and wood-burning stoves banned in a drive to improve air quality in the city.

How Trump is letting polluters off the hook, in one chart
Vox, 22 February 2018
Civil penalties collected by the EPA fell by more than half in Trump’s first year in office.

Sustainability index reveals North-South divide among local authorities, 21 February 2018
A new report has exposed a divergence in the sustainability performance of local authorities across the country, with London boroughs generally outperforming Northern regions in areas such as waste and energy consumption.

Supermarkets’ role in crop waste on UK farms
FCRN, 28 February 2018
A report from food waste charity Feedback finds that farmers believe supermarkets rejecting crops on cosmetic grounds is biggest cause of food waste.