A selection of recent news stories around the environment


Call for ban on glitter sales

In the light of the increased awareness of plastic waste, there are calls for a ban on the use of glitter.  Standard glitter is comprised of etched aluminium bonded to plastic, and is the kind of plastic that finds it way into the oceans, and makes up a portion of the microplastics which are being found inside marine life across the world.

Major supermarkets are starting to reduce the amount of glitter that they sell, and that is used on greetings cards and other merchandise, in response to public pressure.

Alternative forms of glitter are being sold now, which is biodegradable, and retailers such as Hobbycraft are stocking alternatives. Lush, the cosmetics retailer, is using a form of the mineral mica to add sparkle to its products.

Find out more in the Guardian.


Bee populations declining

The number of bees and other pollinating insects is declining dramatically, according to new research. Around a third of bee and hoverfly species have experienced population crashes since the 1980s, and wild pollinating insects have vanished from a quarter of their former habitats. Some crucial species have increased their range, but the overall picture is worrying, according to report authors the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. This pattern of biodiversity loss could have dramatic impacts on farming in the UK, and leave our countryside vulnerable.

See more in the Independent, and read the full report in the Nature Communications journal.


Supermarkets reducing single-use plastic bags

While supermarkets have been quite good at encouraging us to bring re-usable bags to carry our shopping home, they are not so good at reducing single-use plastics from their shelves – think multi-packs of tins which are cheaper than buying those same tins by themselves, and the plastic bags that you’re supposed to put the fresh fruit and veg in.¬† Experts believe that UK supermarkets are producing¬†810,000 tonnes of single-use plastic every year, in addition to 1.1 billion single use bags, 958 million ‘bags for life’ and 1.2 billion fruit and veg bags.

The Independent has published a very interesting list detailing how all the major supermarkets are attempting to reduce the amount of single-use plastic they use, so you can compare, and campaign.