Swamped with plastic waste - Malaysia struggles as global scrap piles up

A. Ananthalakshmi, Emily Chow Reuters 25 Oct 18;

PULAU INDAH, Malaysia (Reuters) - Hundreds of sacks filled with plastic waste from the United States, Britain, South Korea and Spain spill onto the streets of an industrial zone in Pulau Indah, an island town just an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur and home to Malaysia’s biggest port.

The stench of burning plastic and fumes from nearly a dozen recycling factories wafts through the neighbourhood, even as more container-loads of plastic waste are unloaded.

Pulau Indah - ironically, the name means “beautiful island” in Malay - is one of many towns in Malaysia where illegal plastic recycling factories have popped up in recent months as the Southeast Asian nation became the top choice for plastic waste exporters from around the world.

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SP Group to double electric vehicle charging points to 1,000 by 2020

Channel NewsAsia 25 Oct 18;

SINGAPORE: SP Group announced on Thursday (Oct 25) that it will build 1,000 electric vehicle charging points by 2020, double the initial target it made in June.

In addition, one-quarter of the 1,000 charging points will be extra high-powered, to support upcoming electric vehicle models with bigger battery capacities and longer driving ranges. These chargers will have power ratings of as high as 350kW, said SP in a news release.

The company previously said that it will build 50kW DC chargers which can fully charge a car in 30 minutes.

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Malaysia: Moving marine parks dept to ministry that maximises fisheries is wrong, say conservationists

mei mei chu and rashvinjeet s. bedi The Star 25 Oct 18;

PETALING JAYA: It's not right to move a government department in charge of conservation to a ministry in charge of extracting resources, say conservationists.

They say that moving the Department of Marine Parks Malaysia (DMPM) to the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry (MOA) will harm rather than protect the marine environment.

A source from the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry (KATS) confirmed that the move from that ministry to MOA had been proposed to the Cabinet.

But how can MOA, which oversees the Department of Fisheries, be in charge of marine park conservation as well, asked the source.

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Malaysia: Chopping forests to plant durians like killing goose that lays golden eggs

mei mei chu The Star 25 Oct 18;

PETALING JAYA: Durian farmers are "shooting themselves in the foot" if they continue to clear the forest for durian plantations, conservation groups said.

A total of 36 conservationists co-signed a statement on Thursday (Oct 25) said destroying wildlife habitats will reduce the number of durian fruit pollinators, which will directly influence the quantity and quality of durian fruit yields.

They are raising concerns over durians as the new monoculture crop driving further deforestation and biodiversity loss in Malaysia.

Rimba president Dr Sheema Abdul Aziz said the durian tree cannot self-pollinate, and is thus dependent on wild animal pollinators to cross-pollinate with other plants of the same species.

These bats are essential to the sustainability of the durian industry.

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EU parliament approves ban on single-use plastics

Clément ZAMPA AFP Yahoo News 25 Oct 18;

Strasbourg (France) (AFP) - The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly Wednesday for an EU-wide ban on single-use plastics such as straws, cutlery, cotton buds and balloon sticks.

The European Commission, the 28-nation EU's executive arm, proposed banning such items that it said account for 70 percent of the waste in the oceans and beaches.

"Today we are one step closer to eliminating the most problematic single-use plastic products in Europe," the EU's environment commissioner Karmenu Vella said.

The European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, voted for the ban on single-use plastic by 571 votes for, 53 against and 34 abstentions.

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Climate change: Five cheap ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere

Matt McGrath BBC 25 Oct 18;

As well as rapidly reducing the carbon dioxide that we humans are pumping into the atmosphere in huge amounts, recent scientific assessments of climate change have all suggested that cutting emissions alone will not be enough to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 or 2 degrees C.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others have all stated that extracting CO2 from the air will be needed if we are to bend the rising temperature curve before the end of this century.

These ideas are controversial with some seeing them as a distraction from the pressing business of limiting emissions of CO2.

But a new assessment from the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine says that some of these "negative emissions technologies" are ready to be deployed, on a large scale, right now.

The authors point to the fact that the US Congress has recently passed the 45Q tax rule, which gives a $50 tax credit for every tonne of CO2 that's captured and stored. So their study highlights some technologies that are available at between $20 and $100 per tonne.

1- Coastal blue carbon

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