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Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016 – Key findings

Europe’s regions are facing rising sea levels and more extreme weather, such as more frequent and more intense heatwaves, flooding, droughts and storms due to climate change, according to a European Environment Agency report published today. The report assesses the latest trends and projections on climate change and its impacts across Europe and finds that better and more flexible adaptation strategies, policies and measures will be crucial to lessen these impacts. Europe and northern hemisphere...

reducing the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags – new EU law in place

As result of the negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council, the Commission proposal has been significantly improved by laying down an obligation on Members States to achieve a sustained reduction in the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags. Importantly, for the first time in forty years of European waste legislation, we will have binding measures at EU level to reduce waste generation. Targets or pricing In particular, the text now requires Member States...

Microplastic pollution’s effects explored for two key marine species: mussels and lugworms

Mussels exposed to high levels of microplastic pollution display signs of stress, new research has shown. However, levels of exposure were higher than found in the wild and no effect on the energy reserves of either mussels or lugworms was observed in the lab tests. The researchers caution that longer experiments may be needed to reveal microplastics’ full effects. Worldwide, plastics production has risen to staggeringly high levels: from 1.7 million tonnes a year in...

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