This Week’s Headlines from the World of Conservation
Scotland introduces deposit scheme to boost recycling rates
Nicola Sturgeon has announced that Scotland will reintroduce a deposit return initiative for drink vessels in order to curb litter and encourage recycling. This was commonplace until the 1980s, when the introduction of plastic bottles put an end to the system. According to the plan outlined by the government, in conjunction with Zero Waste Scotland, consumers will pay a small surcharge on bottles and cans, which will be given back when they return them to a shop. “By attaching a value to things we think of as waste, a deposit return scheme follows on from the hugely successful carrier bag charge, and will help reduce litter as well as increasing recycling,” explains Iain Gullard, ZWS’s Chief Executive.
Increased demand for chocolate drives rainforest disaster in West Africa
The world’s booming chocolate industry is implicit in the devastating destruction of rainforest areas across the Ivory Coast, The Guardian has revealed. ‘Dirty’ beans, grown illegally in protected areas, are being sold to the likes of Mars and Nestle and mixed with ‘clean’ beans sourced from reputable suppliers. However, resolving the issue is fraught with difficulty, and relies on intervention from both the government and corporations to resettle farmers who have been operating in protected areas for decades.
Around 70% of cocoa is produced in an area that stretches from Sierra Leone to Cameroon.
Asia’s glaciers to shrink by a third, scientists say
Asia’s mountain glaciers - the largest source of frozen water outside the poles - are set to lose a third of their mass by the end of this century, research suggests. This prediction is a ‘best case scenario’, based on if we manage to limit global warming to 1.5C; the temperature of the earth’s surface has already risen by 1C, and if carry on as we are, scientists predict it will rise by around 3C by the turn of the next century. The glaciers feed into rivers that millions of people in Asia and China depend on, including the Ganges. Global warming would also cause higher rates of flooding in the area.
Schools in London’s most polluted areas to be audited for air quality
As part of his plan to cut air pollution, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has officially launched the first 50 air quality audits at primary schools in the worst-affected areas. Recommendations will include improving walking enterprises and relocating entrances.
"It is shameful that children across London are breathing in toxic air simply by going to and from school and I am determined to do everything in my power to safeguard their health,” he explains.
Campaigner of the week: Sarah Roberts
Sarah is a naturalist and conservationist who, as well as working with a variety of animal species, has traversed the globe to educate people about environmental issues and what they can do to help look after earth. She is also an Ambassador and Founding Citizen of the Trash Isles, a campaign set up by LADbible together with the Plastic Oceans Foundation.
Read more about Sarahs work on her website, This Is Creature.