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Post-Brexit farm payments to be used to help the environment

Environment Secretary Michael Gove wants to end direct payments based on the amount of land farmed

The UK Government has published a consultation on its plans for agriculture after the UK leaves the EU. The consultation entitled ‘Health and Harmony: The Future for Food, Farming and the Environment in a Green Brexit’ proposes that public money will no longer be given to farmers for the amount of land they own. Instead it will be allocated for the delivery of sustainable production, environmental enhancement, animal welfare and trialling new technologies.

Ireland 2040: €22bn to turn State into low–carbon economy

The Irish Government’s new national development plan envisages a radical overhaul of how the State tackles climate change, allocating €22 billion – one fifth of the entire budget – to a series of measures that will turn Ireland into a low–carbon economy by 2050.

Starbucks trial 5p cup charge in bid to reduce plastic waste

Starbucks have started charging 5p for disposable coffee cups in 35 London stores as part of a three-month trial. Starbucks’ announcement comes weeks after MPs called for a general 25p latte levy on disposable coffee cups.

Starbucks has introduced a 5p charge for single-use cups in its central London locations in an attempt to help tackle a plastic waste epidemic plaguing the UK. 

Customers who bring their own mug will not have to pay the extra 5p in 35 Starbucks branches for the duration of the three-month trial which began in February 2018. If it’s successful the company may roll it out to other outlets, the Seattle-based coffee giant said.

A European Strategy for Plastics

The first–ever European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy adopted on January 16, 2018 will transform the way plastic products are designed, used, produced and recycled in the EU. Better design of plastic products, higher plastic waste recycling rates, more and better quality recyclates will help boosting the market for recycled plastics. It will deliver greater added value ºfor a more competitive, resilient plastics industry.

Measuring Up - Review of UK progress on SDGs

Work has begun on UK Stakeholder for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) plan to drive action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the UK. The project looks at each of the 17 Goals and 169 targets and analyses the UK’s performance. It outlines the opportunity the Goals offer and the type of actions needed if we’re to achieve them by 2030.

Blog: Fed up with Belfast traffic? It's more than just delaying your day

The congestion in Belfast is not only problematic due to time wasted sitting in traffic and the associated impact on productivity – it is said Belfast drivers lose eight days a year sitting in traffic - sitting in traffic also causes negative health and well-being implications such as increased blood pressure and chronic stress. Even more alarming, however, is the direct health impacts of air pollution primarily caused by levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) produced from the tailpipes of diesel and petrol vehicles.

Dream deal agreed with mattress recycler and NIEA

A new deal to recycle more mattresses, carpets and furniture and save them from the nightmare of landfill has been secured by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and social enterprise recycler Usel. The agreement will see Belfast-based Usel (Ulster Supported Employment Ltd) work with NIEA to expand their recycling facilities and help protect and enhance our local environment.

Ards and North Down Council bans single use plastics

Discarded bottle caps are a big problem (Image: Natasha Ewins)

Councillors in Ards and North Down Borough Council backed a motion to “end to use of single use plastics” and for the council to promote eco-friendly alternatives across the borough.

Green Key Awards Launch in Northern Ireland

Local environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful has launched Green Key in Northern Ireland. Green Key is an internationally recognised eco-certification for the hospitality sector, thereby boosting the local tourism and hospitality industry and championing sustainable best practices. 

Belfast Met lead €9.39m Smart Renewable Hydrogen Project

GENCOMM is an exciting new project being delivered by Belfast Metropolitan College with a number of European partners to address the energy sustainability challenges of communities through the implementation of smart hydrogen-based energy solutions.

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