Best of our wild blogs: 22 May 19

Terumbu Semakau still alive
wild shores of singapore

1-2 June (Sat, Sun): Singapore Blue Plan at the Biodiversity Carnival
Singapore Blue Plan 2018

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Hospitals need to shrink their carbon footprint

PATS OLIVA Today Online 22 May 19;

Despite its mandate to protect and save lives, the healthcare sector is a major source of carbon emissions. Hospitals use vast resources, energy-intensive equipment, operate around the clock, and generate and dispose of medical plastic waste by incineration.

In 2018, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service was responsible for 5 per cent of the country’s 364 tonnes of carbon dioxide produced.

Hospitals contribute to climate change, and climate change is threatening to undo the last 50 years of gains in public health.

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Malaysia, flooded with plastic waste, to send back some scrap to source

A. Ananthalakshmi, Emily Chow Reuters 21 May 19;

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia, which has become the dumping ground for the world’s plastic waste, will send back non-recyclable plastic scrap to the developed countries that sent it there, its environment minister said on Tuesday.

Malaysia last year became the leading alternative destination for plastic scrap after China banned imports of such waste, disrupting the flow of more than 7 million tonnes of plastic scrap a year.

Dozens of recycling factories cropped up in Malaysia, many without an operating license, and residents complained of environmental damage.

Most of the plastic scrap coming into the country is contaminated and low-quality plastic from developed countries that is non-recyclable.

Now Malaysia has begun sending back the waste to its country of origin, said Yeo Bee Yin, Malaysia’s minister of energy, technology, science, climate change and environment.

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Malaysia: Sabah pushing for rhino breeding and conservation collaboration with Indonesia

Avila Geraldine, Olivia Miwil New Straits Times 22 May 19;

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will push for a collaboration with Indonesia to set up a Sumatran rhinoceros breeding and conservation programme.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew said Sabah is committed to establishing a mutual agreement to protect the endangered species.

"I am very concerned about our Sumatran rhinoceros. Sabah is now left with two of them, but our male rhinoceros Tam is now very ill.

"I had spoken to state wildlife director Augustine Tuuga and we will make a trip to Indonesia in June or July.

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Malaysia: Turtle eggs are being sold openly in Sabah, and tourists are partly to blame

It is illegal to possess turtle eggs under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997. Those convicted face a fine of RM50,000 or a jail term of up to five years, or both.
Amir Yusof Channel NewsAsia 22 May 19;

SANDAKAN, Sabah: Cars idle in endless queues along Sandakan’s busiest street, Jalan Pryer, as locals horde the dozens of rustic shophouses for bargains.

Right in the heart of the neighbourhood’s labyrinth of alleys, a group of men stood on a prominent street corner with wads of cash bulging in their pockets.

They seemed relaxed, leaning against the walls while smoking, observing passersby. The eyes of one of them lit up when he saw this reporter walking by.

“You want turtle eggs, brother? I give you a good price,” he asked in Bahasa Malaysia. “How much?” I asked.

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Plastic straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers to be banned in England

Government confirms ban on sale and use of items from April next year
Fiona Harvey The Guardian 22 May 19;

Plastic straws and drink stirrers, and cotton buds with plastic stems will be banned from sale and use in England from next April, the government has confirmed.

The move, which has been in the offing for more than a year, is hoped to vastly reduce the litter and other environmental impacts of the nearly 5bn plastic straws currently used each year in the UK, along with more than 300m plastic stirrers and close to 2bn cotton buds with plastic stems.

Huge numbers of these items, particularly cotton buds, are flushed down toilets or otherwise end up in litter – surveys have recently found waterways across the UK teeming with plastic, putting wildlife at risk.

Alternatives are available, including serving drinks without straws or stirrers, which is preferable, or using paper straws and biodegradable products in place of plastic stirrers and cotton buds. The only exceptions to the new rule will be for people with a medical need or disability, for whom plastic straws and other materials will be available upon request.

The EU is also moving to phase out plastics in various forms.

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