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Banning the bead: What is the likely impact of banning microbeads in cosmetics?

The widespread pollution of our marine environment by waste plastics has become a familiar feature of our everyday lives. Go on a walk along the beach anywhere from the UK to the most remote pacific islands, and you will certainly see plastic bottles, polystyrene and other plastic debris that has been deposited by the sea. However, much harder to see are the millions of tiny pieces of plastic, collectively termed microplastics, which are polluting marine environments worldwide.

Mixed picture for environmental scientists in last Autumn Statement

Although the days preceding Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Statement were characterised by a series of leaks and early announcements, as the Government’s first formal budget update since the EU referendum it was still much anticipated in Westminster and beyond. As well as giving an update on the effect of Brexit on the country’s economic forecasts, many were hoping the Chancellor’s statement would give an indication as to the Government’s strategy post-Brexit.

Space weather

Dr Noel Nelson, the current Chair of the IES, is an environmental scientist presently working on the role the atmosphere and the weather plays in transmitting a wide range of animal related diseases. Noel has always had an interest in space and astronomy, and in this blog explores what we know about space weather, the disruption it can cause to us on Earth, and why space weather forecasting is important.

Brexit is no mandate to unravel environmental protection

In the wake of the referendum result, many in the environmental and science communities are shocked and concerned about the future.

The UK now faces much uncertainty regarding the future of funding for some scientific research, as well as the freedom of movement for researchers and students. Meanwhile, many of the laws and initiatives on which we have relied for several decades to protect our environment have their roots in EU legislation, and there is no guarantee that such protections will be retained once obligations to implement these Directives cease.

CCS in the UK: has it gone up in smoke?

The day after George Osborne published the 2015 Autumn Statement, an announcement to the London Stock Exchange declared something unexpected: the £1bn ring-fenced capital budget for a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) competition would no longer be available. This funding was to demonstrate CCS technology commercially on a power plant in the UK. The deadline for bids was less than six weeks away when the announcement was made.

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