The most important environmental news for August 2022
Wild bison return to the UK after thousands of years
The European bison also known as the “European Buffalo” is the heaviest surviving wild land animal in Europe. These amazing creatures used to roam around England’s nature reserves up until they were extinct since they were hunted by humans.
After thousands of years, the wild bison has finally returned to England. In fact, the European bison have been released in southeast England where they will roam unperturbed by humans in Great Britain for the first time in 6,000 years. This was an operation planned and carried out by the Kent Wildlife Trust. The bison has an important role in creating and destroying non-native woodland to create a more British landscape in the long run. To be more specific, the bison love gnawing on bark, which will act as a food source while they inevitably kill a fair amount of these invasive trees. Moreover, their fur makes them a kind of walking seed bank, dispersing seeds around the land and providing food and habitat for insects and plants. A great way to preserve nature and tackle climate change.
Source: The Guardian
M&S removes ‘best-before’ dates from fruit and veg
Marks & Spencer’s (M&S) is removing best before dates from a range of fresh produce to help reduce in-store and household food waste. Best before dates will be removed from the labelling of over 300 fruit and vegetable products – which is 85 per cent of M&S’ product offering. This includes commonly wasted items such as apples, potatoes, bananas and broccoli. Dates will be replaced with a new code which M&S store colleagues will use to ensure freshness and quality are maintained. The change is being rolled out across all M&S UK stores from the beginning of August. Nevertheless, with this scheme, they are concerns that food safety might be compromised if consumers are left to make individual decisions on when to eat food.
Source: The Independent
Sea Clear Project: Removing litter from oceans using robots
Our seas and oceans currently contain around 66 million tons of plastic waste and most of it lies at the bottom of the sea. Likewise, removing litter from oceans and seas is a costly and time-consuming process, as it is a process that is usually carried out by scuba divers. For this reason, most projects focus on collecting only the plastic waste on the surface of the oceans. However, an EU-funded project called SeaClear in collaboration with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed the first ever robot that detects and collects underwater litter. The robot is made of four robotic components that are interconnected to locate and collect the waste efficiently.
Source: Innovation Toronto
Hawaii receives its last shipment of coal before shuttering the last power plant
The state of Hawaii received its final coal shipment before shutting down its last coal-powered power plant on July 27, as part of its efforts to achieve 100 per cent clean energy by 2045. The coal power plant will be replaced by a series of utility-scale renewable energy projects. Common renewable energy sources including wind, solar power, and biogas can generate energy that will eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and other types of air pollution. In addition, the economy will develop, including jobs in manufacturing and installation. Like Hawaii, other states are pushing for net-zero emissions or 100 per cent carbon-free electricity by 2045, including Rhode Island, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Oregon.
Source: The Edition