The Ecologist

 

toxic waste: 1/20 of 20

A polar bear keeps close to her young along the Beaufort Sea coast in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Susanne Miller / USFWS via Flickr (CC BY).

Polar bears at risk from pollution as well as warmth

Tim Radford

24th April 2015

As if melting ice in Polar bears' Arctic habitat was not enough, Norwegian scientists have found that organic pollutants such as pesticide residues are disrupting their thyroid and endocrine systems, adding a further threat to the species' survival. more...
A seal caught up in plastic pollution near Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Photo: Nels Israelson via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Five to 12 million tonnes of plastic are going into the ocean each year

Britta Denise Hardesty & Chris Wilcox

4th April 2015

An unimaginably large volume of plastic debris is reaching the world's oceans every year, write Britta Denise Hardesty & Chris Wilcox - and it's set for a ten-fold increase over the next decade, adding to the already terrible toll on marine life from turtles to seals, sea birds and fish. The solution must be to give waste plastic value - if we can find a way. more...
Plastic waste on the 'Mayan Riviera', Quintana Roo, Mexico. Photo: John Schneider via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Fighting the plastic plague in our oceans

Dr Mae-Wan Ho

13th February 2015

On current trends the world will contain 33 billion tonnes of plastic by 20150, writes Mae Wan Ho, and much of it will litter the oceans, concentrating toxins and damaging marine life throughout the food chain. The alternative is to classify the most toxic plastics as 'hazardous waste', and for all plastics to be reused and recycled in 'closed loop' systems. more...
A child brushes his teeth in lead-contaminated water in Klity Creek, Thailand. Photo: Human Rights Watch.

Thai communities poisoned by illegal lead mine waste

The Ecologist

22nd January 2015

For 16 years the Thai government has ignored the plight of a community where toxic lead mine waste is causing severe chronic poisoning - defying both a 2013 court order, and its international obligations. It's just one of many toxic sites across Thailand that need to be cleaned up - but the government's main concern is to encourage further industrialisation. more...
Contaminated land in West Yorkshire, England - the site of a former chemicals factory. Photo: Engineering at Cambridge via Flickr.

Death by landfill - cutting 'green tape' costs lives

Paul Mobbs

22nd December 2014

As Cameron 'cuts the green crap' Paul Mobbs remembers how the decisions of a Conservative government 20 years ago to go easy on the owners of contaminated land and old waste dumps have led to present day blight, ill-health and death. Now brow-beaten regulators and politicians in hock to party funders are doing it all over again. more...
The garbage that builds up incessantly on the Praia de Achados beach presents formidable obstacle to loggerhead turtles seeking nesting sites. Photo: Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd.

Over 268,000 tonnes of ocean plastic - neglect it at our peril

Magnus Johnson & Melanie Coull

11th December 2014

The oceans are awash with plastic, write Magnus Johnson & Melanie Coull, with dire effects on marine wildlife mistaking it for food. But it's not just big animals like basking sharks, turtles and albatrosses that suffer. The very worst damage may be caused by particles too small for the eye to see, and the toxic chemicals that cling to them. more...
Downtown East Liverpool. Photo: Caitlin Johnson.

Appalachia: a small city's fight against toxic waste incineration

Caitlin Johnson

5th December 2014

East Liverpool, a small city by the Ohio river, is a cancer-ridden dumping ground for the detritus of the global economy, writes Caitlin Johnson. With its filthy power station, coal ash lake, 1,300 fracking wells, silica sand mountains and a huge toxic waste incinerator, the city's people need your help in their fight for environmental justice. more...
William Gibbs and his wife live near the massive coal ash dump in Uniontown, AL. Photo: Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice.

Alabama - a community fights toxic waste, discrimination

Oliver Tickell

20th August 2014

When the US's biggest ever coal ash spill buried 300 acres of waterfront property in a white, middle class suburb, the waste was treated as a toxic hazard. But by the time it reached Uniontown, a black community in Alabama, that was all forgotten. Now they are fighting back. more...
Aglogbloshie - burning off plastic to get to valuable metals. Photo: qamp.net via Flickr.

E-waste in Ghana: where death is the price of living another day

Nele Goutier

7th August 2014

Attempts to recycle E-waste and donations of old electronic devices are harming poor people's health and devastating the environment, writes Nele Goutier. Agbogbloshie, once an idyllic landscape of wetlands and small farms, is now the most toxic place in the world ... more...
Pollution

Burned: Merthyr's fight for clean air and green jobs

The Ecologist

27th June, 2011

What would you do if an American company planned to site a huge incinerator - bigger than the Millennium Stadium - above your town? How would you feel if you knew that no existing technology could prevent that incinerator pumping out toxic chemicals? more...
Investigations

Monsanto agrees clean-up of toxic Brofiscin quarry in Wales

Tom Levitt

19th February, 2011

Environment Agency finds Monsanto, BP and Veolia liable for clean up after thousands of tonnes of cancer-causing chemicals - including PCBs, dioxins and Agent Orange derivatives - dumped in Welsh quarry more...
Investigations

Monsanto agrees clean-up of toxic Brofiscin quarry in Wales

Tom Levitt

19th February, 2011

Environment Agency finds Monsanto, BP and Veolia liable for clean up after thousands of tonnes of cancer-causing chemicals - including PCBs, dioxins and Agent Orange derivatives - dumped in Welsh quarry more...

toxic waste: 1/20 of 20

Deforestation

Ecocide: making environmental destruction a criminal offence

David Hawkins

28th July, 2010

Lawyer Polly Higgins is spearheading a campaign to have 'ecocide' recognised by the UN as an international crime against peace. But how will this work in practice? more...
Tupperware

Storing food safely in plastic containers

Catherine Zandonella

24th June, 2010

There are certain rules of thumb when it comes to storing, freezing and heating food in plastic containers. Read on to find out how to use plastics safely more...
US warship

The West helped create the Somali pirate situation

Simon Fairlie

28th December, 2009

What few have stopped to consider in the continuing 'battle' against Somali pirates is what industrialised nations have been doing to the country's fishing grounds for years more...
Ecologist Archive

Fire resistant: 'Why I went to jail to protect my daughter from toxic polluters'

Terri Swearingen

1st December, 2004

How far would you go to fight plans for a new waste incinerator? One woman went all the way... more...
In the News

Call for Tennessee fly ash clean up

Ecologist

1st March, 2009

A catastrophic spill of fly ash has renewed calls for the waste to be reclassified. more...
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Somalia used as toxic dumping ground

Chris Milton

1st March, 2009

Pirates ruled Somalia’s waves last year, but a greater crime is still being perpetrated by the multinational companies using the mainland as a toxic dumping ground. Chris Milton reports more...
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Chemically Bonded

Zoe Cormier

1st December, 2006

For the Canadian Aanishnaabek tribe, who live on a reserve surrounded by chemical plants, there seems no escape. Do they leave, and abandon their past, or stay, and perhaps lose their future? Zoe Cormier investigates more...
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Say It Without Flowers

Venetia Hargreaves-Allen

1st October, 2003

Say: ‘I am happy to pay for environmental degradation, chronic illness and labour rights abuses in countries that grow flowers for Western consumers but cannot feed their own people.’ more...

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