Sale of single use plastic items now banned in Mexico City
The ban on disposable plastic was passed in government in 2019 and came into effect for plastic bags last year. This week, after policymakers gave businesses time to find alternatives that would be in line with the new legislation, a much longer list of plastic items has also joined the ban, including forks, knives, straws, single-use containers, cotton buds, balloons and coffee capsules.
People living in Mexico city, the largest city and capital of Mexico, were using about 68,000 tonnes of plastic bags every year, according to plastic industry association ANIPAC and the city generates the most waste globally after the New York region at about 12 million tonnes every year, according to a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Mexico City joins at least 20 of the 32 states that are part of Mexico, which have already agreed to limit single-use plastics, but because of the size of Mexico City, with a population estimated at 21,782,378, it would be the most impactful ban in the region yet.
Nature reclaims where humans have abandoned
A beautiful photo essay published in the Guardian this week showcases the areas around the world that have been abandoned by humans, and taken over by nature. From the land around the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine, to a 40-mile strip between Glasgow and Edinburgh, which has always been mined; these are the places forgotten by, or hazardous to humans, which are now seeing the natural return of animals, plants and other wildlife.
The concept of Rewilding has been making waves in recent times, but as the article notes, it is often associated with huge acreages that are far away and inaccessible to visitors, managed by humans to deliberately withdraw from farmland and allow plants and animals to restore the landscape to its original state. However, by its very nature, Rewilding doesn’t need to be influenced or constructed by humans. In abandoned spaces all over the world, ecology is thriving by itself.
In the words of Dr. Ian Malcolm – life finds a way.
Read more in the Guardian, here.
New study shows climate disaster could be avoided, if net zero emissions are reached
More than 100 countries around the world, including the UK, Japan and New Zealand, have already pledged to get to net zero emissions by 2050. Achieving ‘net zero’ means achieving an overall balance between emissions produced and emissions taken out of the atmosphere by, for example, planting rainforests or grasslands.
Until now, it had been thought that even with these efforts, future global heating would still be locked in for generations to come. However, more recent research into the implications of achieving net zero emissions is providing hope that heating could be more swiftly diminished.
Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University explains that if the world could achieve the net zero target by 2050, it would prevent the earth’s surface temperatures from continuing to warm, and warming would therefore stabilise within a couple of decades.
“What this really means is that our actions have a direct and immediate impact on surface warming. It grants us agency, which is part of why it is so important to communicate this current best scientific understanding.” – Michael Mann, Pennsylvania State University
Read more in the Guardian, here.