Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Bjinse on Mon May 14th, 2018 at 08:10:28 PM EST
Estonia Will Roll Out Free Public Transit Nationwide
On July 1, the entire country of Estonia will create the largest 24/7 free public transit zone in the world, one that will stretch across its entire territory. That will make it feasibly possible (if complicated) to travel by bus from one end of this 1.3 million-strong Baltic nation to the other without paying a cent.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri May 18th, 2018 at 05:06:28 PM EST
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Chicken safety fear as chlorine washing fails bacteria tests - Observer
The chlorine washing of food, the controversial "cleaning" technique used by many US poultry producers who want access to the British market post-Brexit, does not remove contaminants, a new study has found.

The investigation, by a team of microbiologists from Southampton University and published in the US journal mBio, found that bacilli such as listeria and salmonella remain completely active after chlorine washing. The process merely makes it impossible to culture them in the lab, giving the false impression that the chlorine washing has been effective.

Apart from a few voluntary codes, the American poultry industry is unregulated compared with that in the EU, allowing for flocks to be kept in far greater densities and leading to a much higher incidence of infection. While chicken farmers in the EU manage contamination through higher welfare standards, smaller flock densities and inoculation, chlorine washing is routinely used in the US right at the end of the process, after slaughter, to clean carcasses. This latest study indicates it simply doesn't work.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat May 26th, 2018 at 04:37:49 PM EST
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EU prepares to say adieu to single-use plastics - Euractiv
The European Commission is gearing up to reveal how it plans to tackle single-use plastics as part of the much vaunted Plastics Strategy. But an initial draft of the legislation has already received mix reviews.

Commission HQ is slated to present the single-use plastics proposal before the end of the month but a first draft of what is considered one of the jewels in the Plastics Strategy crown has already made its way out of the Berlaymont corridors.

The proposal names and shames a number of specific items that would be targeted by the legislation, including cotton-bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws and beverage stirrers, as well as plastic sticks used for balloons.

Why the Commission's new plastic ban threatens to fall flat - Euractiv

But how can the plastic problem be solved in a democracy? Not through banning plastic cutlery and straws, scientists agree.

"No single approach can solve the problem alone," says Mehlhart. Similarly, Wilts explains, "I would like the Commission to regulate or ban fewer individual products."

Instead, according to Wilts, there is a need for a comprehensive strategy that sees the plastic problem as a whole and offers solutions at all levels.

For example, recycled plastic should be subsidised, while oil subsidies, needed to produce new plastic, should  be cut. Instead of disposable packaging, reusable packaging should be promoted and backed up with deposit systems, especially when it comes to beverage bottles.

In addition, the industry should get concrete goals for how much packaging it has to save. How these are achieved, the companies could then decide for themselves. In the UK, that has already happened, says Wilts - and it's very successful.

[The latter article coming from "EURACTIV Germany's media partner WirtschaftsWoche"]
by Bernard (bernard) on Sun May 27th, 2018 at 04:10:49 PM EST
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11 killed in police fire on protesters against Vedanta subsidiary in India
"At least kill one person!"

The protesters have two demands: the closure of the copper smelter plant of Sterlite in the region and a halt to the expansion plans of the plant to other regions in Thoothukudi.

Since the plant began operations in 1997, it has been accused of multiple environmental and human rights violations, causing massive health and livelihood problems to the residents of Thoothukodi. Sterlite Copper is the Indian copper-producing unit of Vedanta Ltd., a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources, a mining and metals conglomerate founded by Anil Agarwal, whose current wealth is estimated to be $3.3 billion while the company's wealth stands at $12.9 billion.

Protests against Sterlite Copper began from the time operations were initiated. The complaints raised against it have led to several shut-downs but all for short periods. The support the company has received from the State has allowed it [to] continue its operations.

OpEd | The road to greener and smarter cities is paved with copper
As a durable and sustainable metal with a long service life, copper plays a crucial role in the wiring, plumbing, heating and cooling, lighting and roofing of buildings. In fact, a recent report by the International Copper Association showed that there are more than 100 copper applications contributing to green and healthy building construction and improving the overall environmental performance of buildings.

It is also a key component in many low-carbon technologies, such as electric vehicles, solar thermal, photovoltaics, HVAC using natural refrigerants and smart grids. As such, copper is key to improving energy efficiency, indoor air quality, water quality, and life-cycle costs.

Desertec. Best idea since jesus on a stick with wheels.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun May 27th, 2018 at 05:23:09 PM EST
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