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Sustainability in the News – October 2018

This month has been lots of fun – one of the highlights (asides from Halloween of course!) being a trip to Method’s Slow Fashion Store where I got to peruse some gorgeous second hand clothing donated by celebs and influencers such as Millie Mackintosh and Jasmine Hemsley. Together with the launch of Stacey Dooley Investigates: Are your clothes wrecking the planet? it seems that there has been a massive shift in understanding the effects of fast fashion – finally! 

And in the news this month…

1. The first flight fuelled by recycled waste lands at Gatwick

The first commercial flight, fuelled by a combination of normal jet fuel and ethanol from recycled waste gases, landed at Gatwick this month. Although only 5% of the total fuel used to power the plane came from recycled waste, it is thought that in time this could make 50% of the flight’s fuel blend. 

With the potential to significantly lower aviation’s nasty carbon footprint, Virgin has called for the government to support the initiative with financial backing. 

Source: The Guardian

2. Oil supply hits a record 100 million barrels a day

For the first time ever the global supply of oil has hit 100 million barrels a day – sooner than anyone had expected and more than twice it was 50 years ago. Showing no signs of slowing down or stopping, it brings with it significant environmental concerns. 

With oil dependency so entrenched in our modern world, and despite billions of subsidies for renewable technologies, there is no knowing when oil demand will peak.   

Source: Bloomberg, Reuters 

3. The world’s recycling crisis comes to light

For decades, recycling has been imagined as the environmental answer to our waste. But when China closed its doors to imports of recycled material on 31st December 2017 the reality soon hit home with ‘hazardous’ and ‘dirty’ materials posing significant environmental threats.

Now many countries have had to send their recycled waste to landfill with no where else for it to go. But new factories have sprung up, many in South East Asia, where illegal practices and pollution have gained widespread criticism and concern.

It’s not certain what the future looks like for recycling but one thing is for sure – countries will have to start taking back control of their own waste management systems rather than trading it across borders. 

Source: The FT

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