Blog Posts: October 2018

October 22nd, 2018

Providing Universal Access to Water for all in the European Union Could Help Reducing Plastic Waste

By David Sánchez

This Tuesday, the plenary of the European Parliament will vote on a legislation regulating water for human consumption. The European Commission is framing this directive as an answer to the European Citizens’ Initiative for the Human Right to Water.

Already more than forty civil society organisations from all over the world sent a letter to Members of the European Parliament encouraging them to support the Human Right to Water in this vote. Now, organisations fighting waste and plastic pollution reminded MEPs of the importance to be coherent with efforts done under the circular economy package and take clear commitments to reduce the consumption of bottled water in the European Union.

You can check out the joint letter with Friends of the Earth Europe, Zero Waste Europe, Surfrider Foundation Europe, Seas at Risk, Rethink Plastics, Break Free from Plastic, Environmental Investigation Agency and Food & Water Europe.

See the letter

October 18th, 2018

This Was the Gasdown-Frackdown 2018, the First Global Day of Action Against Gas and Fracking

People across the planet united to send a joint message to governments, corporations and fellow citizens: NO to gas, NO to fracking – YES to a truly clean future! Thousands of people got involved in over seventy actions that took place in more than fifty cities around the world.

The following are just some of the many actions which happened during the Gasdown-Frackdown days of action across six continents. If you are more into pictures (or video), check out this wonderful, colorful photo album to get an impression of the creativity and energy activists put into this action day.

Latin America: Rock concerts, human letters and workshops against fracking

San Rafael, Argentina: Agrupación: Lucha, Tierra y Agua organized an anti-fracking rock concert to mobilize against fracking

In Monterrey, Mexico, an entire day was dedicated to workshops about the impacts of fracking on water and the environment. In Argentina, two major actions took place: People in Mendoza wrote a message against fracking with their own bodies, highlighting a powerful fight for clean water. In San Rafael, Argentina, a rock concert was organized to feed the anti-fracking movement with rhythms and sounds. Meanwhile in Lima, Peru people discussed issues around fracking. And there are still actions in Latin America to come, for example in Bolivia and Colombia – stay tuned!

Read the full article…

October 11th, 2018

We’re Taking Action for the #GasDownFrackDown 2018

We urge World Sailing Association to exclude Ineos sailing team

by Andy Gheorghiu

After pledging to “beat plastic pollution” earlier this year, World Sailing’s President comes under fire for allowing UK petrochemical giant INEOS to sponsor the UK sailing team. INEOS’s sponsorship can be seen as nothing but blatant greenwashing, which directly undermines the ethics of World Sailing.

In its Code of Ethics, World Sailing makes a promise “to protect the environment on the occasion of any events…and to uphold generally accepted standards for environmental protection.” World Sailing further claims to support the objectives of increasing and developing awareness of sustainability issues amongst all sailing stakeholders.

In June this year, World Sailing joined the Clean Seas Campaign, partnering with the International Olympic Committee and UN Environment to ‘beat plastic pollution’.

The ongoing presence of INEOS Team UK in World Sailing’s headline event single-handedly shatters these endeavours, bringing World Sailing, into disrepute.
Read the full article…

Fracking4Plastics – a Link that Drives Plastic and Climate Pollution

by Andy Gheorghiu

I guess that when people think of plastic pollution most of the time they think of single use plastic items (such as plastic bags, cotton buds, plastic straws, and food & beverage packaging).

I also guess that – when people think about getting active against plastic pollution – some people would like to introduce bans on single-use plastic bags and cotton buds as well as bottle deposit-return and recycling schemes – basically trying to help reduce the use of polluting plastic in their daily lives.

However, the core of the problem lies in the business of virgin plastic production where the key corporations totally rely on, or even represent major oil and gas companies. Unfortunately, these guys are not keen to reduce plastic production at all because that’s what makes both theirs and their shareholders deep pockets happy.

Shale gas and fracking is creating a plastics renaissance in the U.S.

Read the full article…

October 2nd, 2018

A 20,000-cow Dairy Farm in Europe? No way!

by David Sánchez

Noviercas is a small village of 158 inhabitants in Northeast Spain. It is located in the province of Soria, inside a region known as the “Spanish Siberia” because of the low population density, less than 8 people per square kilometer.

This village became famous when the co-op Valle del Odieta announced last year their intentions to build a 20,000-cow factory farm in the village. It would be the biggest dairy farm in Europe and the project immediately became controversial for all the potential impacts it could bring to the area and to the farming sector.

Farmers are leading the opposition, as they estimate this factory farm would destroy 700 direct jobs, one third of the dairy farms in the region. It would produce around 368,000 tons of manure per year, the equivalent of the waste produced by a city of 4.4 million people. And the farm would consume between 4 and 6.35 million liters of water per day, more than the total consumption of the city of Soria (40,000 inhabitants). Impacts on the environment and local communities can be huge.

This farm has nothing to do with the European model of livestock farming. We have witnessed fierce resistance to previous dairy mega factory farms with 8,000 thousand cows in the UK or even actions of civil disobedience against a 1,000-cow farm in France.

We cannot allow this model, imported from the US, to come to Europe. Impacts of these huge factory farms are well documented and are reason enough to ask for a ban. Stopping this farm would be a really symbolic step against the invasion of factory farms in Europe to defend a sustainable and social model of farming.

You can read more about it here in English, Spanish and French.

We will campaign with our allies to stop this project. Stay tuned!

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