Nature News: Wonky Edibles, A Pledge Against Plastic, and a Sigh of Relief from European Bees

Thankfully, I’ve been feeling much better since last week, the sun continues to shine throughout the valleys and on the hills of West Yorkshire, and it’s been a lovely weekend enjoyed out and about in nature and with kind spirits.

Besides doing a bit of exploring this weekend, I also went to see Marvel’s new blockbuster The Avengers: Infinity War. If you did too, I’ve got a feeling you might want a hug. You know, just a small reminder that there is hopefulness and goodness in the world! Anyway, here are several recent news stories which look at ways in which we are making positive changes that help the environment and future generations. Take that, Thanos!

+++Australian Government Invests Millions in Protecting the Great Barrier Reef+++

This past weekend, Australia’s government announced that it would be contributing 500 million Australian dollars (roughly 377 million American dollars or 275 million Great British pounds) towards protecting the Great Barrier Reef. A significant portion of the money will go to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation which plans to use the massive contribution to fund greater monitoring of the reef’s condition, extensive restoration work, and pollution-fighting efforts. Some of Australia’s park agencies will also receive funding to expand their environmental management operations in relation to the Reef. (via NPR)

+++Over 40 Companies Sign on to the UK Plastics Pact+++

Some of the UK’s biggest companies have signed a pact in which they commit to cut plastic waste over the next seven years. As part of the pledge, companies agree to make 100 percent of their plastic packaging reusable or recyclable by 2025. The 42 companies which have signed on to the pact are collectively responsible for around 80% of the plastic packaging on products sold through UK supermarkets. Signatories include Coca Cola, Nestle, Proctor & Gamble, Morrisons, and Lidl – among others. (via Reuters)

+++EU Announces Complete Ban on Outdoor Use of Bee-Harming Insecticides+++

Acting on the advice of the European Food Safety Authority, the EU is set to ban the outdoor use of neonicotinoid insecticides which research indicates can kill bees and other important pollinators. Neonicotinoids are nicotine-like chemicals which when used as an insecticide integrate with a plant’s structure, penetrating flowers, pollen, nectar, and leaves. Insects that come into contact with the substance find their nervous systems come under serious attack. (via NPR)

+++Wonky is Wonderful: Misshapen Fruit and Veg Get Some Love in the UK+++

UK companies are working to reduce food waste by finding different ways of making ‘wonky’ produce more appealing to consumers. Recently, a UK produce grower and a Spanish supplier teamed up to create Waste Not, a range of juices made from irregular fruit and vegetables that might otherwise not have been sold and consumed. Tesco will soon stock the new food waste-fighting range. Meanwhile, Morrisons continues to add to its existing ‘wonky’ produce range which includes chilies and carrots sold at reduced prices. (via The Guardian

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