Trump Administration Clips the Wings of Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Gutting Bird Protections

Trump Administration Clips the Wings of Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Gutting Bird Protections

The Fish and Wildlife Service last week proposed another major rollback of an environmental rule and put millions of birds in danger — this one protecting migratory birds under an international treaty that has been in effect for a century. 

Why This Matters:  Prosecutions of this treaty are hardly a huge threat, but the decision to waive all prosecutions will have broad implications and impact behavior of those who should be taking care that their actions do not cause more harm to birds than the myriad of threats such as plastic pollution and climate change.

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Top Stories of 2019: The Ocean Is On the Rise

Top Stories of 2019: The Ocean Is On the Rise

In 2019, the ocean finally got its due — from a growing public determination to end ocean plastic pollution (think straw bans) and the increasing scientific recognition that the ocean has taken the brunt of climate emissions and now is rapidly changing in ways that are impacting people all around the world today (like sea-level rise and historic/chronic flooding jeopardizing places from Houston to Venice), the ocean as an environmental cause finally got the attention it deserves.  

Why This Matters:  The ocean connects everyone on the planet, and globally there is tremendous support for protecting it — we are called the “blue planet” for a reason.

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Heroes of the Week: Diane Wilson and her Legal Team

Heroes of the Week: Diane Wilson and her Legal Team

A federal judge approved a historic $50 million settlement agreement Tuesday between Taiwan-based plastics manufacturer Formosa and a scrappy environmental activist represented by indigent legal services nonprofit Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid.

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A New Playbook For Addressing Ocean Plastics

A New Playbook For Addressing Ocean Plastics

In advance of the sixth Our Ocean Conference later this week, the Ocean Conservancy released its latest report on ocean plastics recommending content standards for recycled products to increase the demand for them and that they impose fees on producers depending on the amount of packaging material they put on the market or their plastic recycling/recovery targets in order to increase single-use plastic collection.

Why This Matters:  It is significant that a group of companies that are responsible for much of the plastic that is sold — companies like Dow, Starbucks, and Coca-Cola — were part of this effort and stand behind these recommendations.  They know they have a problem.  But it will take their action — urging Congress and state and local legislatures to enact the necessary laws and ordinances — to make their recommendations a reality.

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Hero of the Week: Lilly Satidtanasarn

Hero of the Week: Lilly Satidtanasarn

Called “Thailand’s Greta Thunberg” 12-year-old Lilly Satidtanasarn has been fighting to stop the use of single-use plastics in her home country–which is one of the leading contributors to ocean plastic pollution. As the Jakarta Post reported, “In June, Lilly won her first victory: she persuaded Central, a major supermarket in Bangkok, to stop giving out […]

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PFAS Found in “Compostable” Sweetgreen and Chipotle Containers

PFAS Found in “Compostable” Sweetgreen and Chipotle Containers

by Miro Korenha and Alexandra Patel While fast-casual restaurant chains Chipotle and Sweetgreen are praised for their consciously sourced ingredients and vegetarian-friendly options, their compostable containers have come under fire for containing harmful chemicals despite otherwise being seen as a more sustainable alternative to plastic and styrofoam. A recently-released report from the New Food Economy revealed […]

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