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Environmental News

Japanese shipping company says Mauritius government has requested compensation

By: Reuters     14th August 2020 The Japanese shipping company that owns the bulk carrier that struck a coral reef off of Mauritius and leaked some 1 000 t of oil said the government of Mauritius had requested compensation. Nagashiki Shipping also said in a statement that the cause of the incident was still not known and would... 

Rising demand for lithium-ion-powered forklifts anticipated

By: Cameron Mackay     14th August 2020 “The demand for lithium-ion-powered forklifts is increasing locally, owing to companies wanting to reap the benefits of energy efficiency and cost effectiveness, as well as in preparation for changing legislation regarding emissions,” says forklift distributor for Masslift Africa national sales... 

Rising demand for lithium-ion-powered forklifts anticipated
CLEAN HANDLING The highest demand for lithium-ion-powered forklifts has been from fast-moving consumer goods applications that require clean environments for food

The use of recycled plastic used to store electrical energy demonstrated in the US

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th August 2020 Researchers in the US have successfully used recycled plastic to create rapidly-charging energy storage devices. The research team is composed of engineering professors and students at the University of California Riverside (UCR), and they have been working on using sustainable resources –... 

The use of recycled plastic used to store electrical energy demonstrated in the US
Photo by University of California Riverside
Left to right: Professors Cengiz and Mihri Ozkan.

PPE waste poses contamination risk to others, Averda warns

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th August 2020 Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the world was already battling plastic pollution and the reckless dumping of waste. The United Nations declared plastic pollution a global crisis two years ago and the waste burden is likely to grow amid the rapid rise in the use of Covid-19-related personal... 

Why so much world trade passes Mauritius’s pristine beaches

By: Bloomberg     12th August 2020 The bulk carrier Wakashio was 11 days into a month-long voyage to Brazil when it hit a reef off Mauritius causing it to spill fuel into the island’s crystal clear waters, endangering baby turtles and unique plants in a nearby nature reserve. Given the vastness of the Indian ocean, why was the... 

Sea life around Mauritius dying as Japanese tanker oil spill spreads

By: Reuters     12th August 2020 Mauritian volunteers fished dead eels from oily waters on Tuesday as they tried to clean up damage to the Indian Ocean island's most pristine beaches after a Japanese bulk carrier leaked an estimated 1 000 t of oil. The ship, MV Wakashio, owned by Nagashiki Shipping and operated by Mitsui OSK... 

Sea life around Mauritius dying as Japanese tanker oil spill spreads
Photo by Reuters
The MV Wakashio which struck a coral reef on Mauritius' southeast coast is leaking oil

Coca-Cola changes Sprite packaging to increase recycling

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th August 2020 The Coca-Cola Company in South Africa has stopped the production of Sprite’s iconic green packaging to produce fresh, new clear polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottle packaging. The transition to clear packaging means that more Sprite bottles can be collected, recycled and reused to make... 

SANEDI says cool roofs could combat higher GHG emissions in South Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     7th August 2020 Much progress still needs to be made on the road to a more sustainable world, with South Africa facing hotter and drier summers, and continued high levels of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions when compared with the rest of Africa, says South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI).... 

SANEDI says cool roofs could combat higher GHG emissions in South Africa
Aerial view of a 'cool roof'.

Stricter compliance regulations for chemical disinfectants

By: Theresa Bhowan     7th August 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a dramatic increase in the demand for disinfectants to help mitigate the spread of the virus, which, in turn, has prompted the need for strict compliance in industrial and domestic cleaning companies and chemical cleaning suppliers. 

Stricter compliance regulations for chemical disinfectants
EMMA CORDER Consultations determine which chemicals would best suit a company’s requirements and assists in providing a methodology that would best suit the application of these products

‘Soil conditioner’ production keeps manufacturer bustling

By: Tracy Hancock     7th August 2020 The processing facility of manufacturer and minerals producer Pratley has been significantly busy producing Pratley Vulture Creek Clino during the national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, as the product is mainly supplied to the agriculture sector and, therefore, classified as essential,... 

‘Soil conditioner’ production keeps manufacturer bustling
PRODUCTIVE PROPERTIES More farmers are experiencing improved crop yields when using Vulture Creek Clino, owing to its cation-exchange and slow-release fertiliser properties

African Climate Justice Group calls on govts, institutions to respond to pandemic

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th August 2020 The African Climate Justice Group has released a statement calling on African governments and institutions to respond urgently to the climate, health and Covid-19 crises facing the continent. The statement has, to date, been endorsed by more than 300 African and international organisations and... 

Creecy extends public comment on compulsory proposed manufacturer recycling regulations

By: Donna Slater     5th August 2020 Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy, on August 5, granted a 30-day extension for public comment on proposed regulations regarding extended producer responsibility with regard to the management of waste post the consumer stage of a product’s lifecycle. Members of the... 

Climate change must be considered when granting water use licences, says Water Tribunal

By: Simone Liedtke     5th August 2020 A landmark decision by the Water Tribunal confirms that water licensing authorities must consider the impacts of climate change when deciding whether or not to grant water use licences for new coal-fired power stations. In a decision handed down on July 21, the tribunal upheld an appeal to set... 

Penguin guano seen from space leads to discovery of new colonies

By: Bloomberg     5th August 2020 Satellite-mapping technology that detects stains on the ice from penguin droppings has revealed there are nearly 20% more Emperor colonies than previously identified in fast-warming Antarctica. Eleven new colonies of the species were found, taking the census to 61 across the polar continent,... 

Air Envirotech launched to assist mining industry in creating ‘cleaner air’

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd August 2020 Air pollution, dust control and pneumatic product handling specialists Air Envirotech has started operating, providing a comprehensive range of air environmental and pneumatic conveying services, systems and technologies. The company mainly focuses on the mining, metallurgical processing and... 

Sasol calls for bids for 10 MW solar plants at Mpumalanga, Free State operations

By: Terence Creamer     3rd August 2020 Chemicals and energy group Sasol has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the development of two embedded solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities of 10 MW apiece at its operations in Secunda, in Mpumalanga, and Sasolburg, in the Free State. The closing date for submissions is Friday, October 2. 

Sasol calls for bids for 10 MW solar plants at Mpumalanga, Free State operations
The Secunda complex

SKF targets full carbon-neutral manufacturing by 2030

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st July 2020 Bearing manufacturer SKF is aiming to have its factories carbon neutral by 2030, the Swedish group has announced. The company has already decreased its manufacturing carbon footprint by 36% since 2015 and is operating two carbon-neutral factories.  

Increasing infrastructure investment would boost South Africa’s potential growth, OECD survey asserts 

By: Terence Creamer     31st July 2020 Higher levels of infrastructure investment are needed to increase South Africa’s potential growth, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) latest survey of South Africa asserts. Released on July 31, the report warns that the South African economy could contract by as... 

Increasing infrastructure investment would boost South Africa’s potential growth, OECD survey asserts
OECD says tourism sector has big jobs potential, but will need support until the middle of 2021

Construction rubble is functional, says demolition expert

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     31st July 2020 While a large proportion of demolition and construction rubble is allocated to registered landfill sites, it is critical to note that this material is often used to rehabilitate the landfill sites, says demolition solutions provider Jet Demolition contracts manager Kate Bester.   She explains... 

Construction rubble is functional, says demolition expert
GETTING IT SORTED The majority of construction materials can be sorted and cleaned mechanically either before or during demolition activities

Hempcrete advantageous for construction

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     31st July 2020 Hempcrete provides several advantages when used for the construction of a building, says Cape Town-based architecture firm Wolf and Wolf Architecture founder and principal Wolf Wolf. Hempcrete is a fully biodegradable material that comprises hemp hurds – the woody core removed during processing... 

Hempcrete advantageous for construction
Photo by Wolf
SUPERIOR BENEFITS Hemp boasts several characteristics that make it superior from an ecological and economic perspective

Polyco investing in HDPE recycling infrastructure

By: Schalk Burger     30th July 2020 The Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation (Polyco) is investing in infrastructure and end-use development that is essential to growing the collection, recycling and beneficiation of polyolefin plastic waste. This follows research it conducted into the economic potential of one of its key market... 

Trade rules can help to stem growing plastic pollution, says Unctad

By: Schalk Burger     28th July 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a surge in pollution from disposable products like plastic face masks, gloves, food packaging and hand sanitiser bottles, but effective trade rules can help limit the further spread of waste, says United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad)... 

Gauteng SACP, Cosatu united in condemning corruption  

By: Sane Dhlamini     27th July 2020 The Gauteng branch of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) have called on the Gauteng provincial government to act decisively and swiftly on allegations of corruption relating to coronavirus (Covid-19) efforts. The unions said action... 

Gauteng SACP, Cosatu united in condemning corruption
Gauteng Premier David Makhura

Researchers build AI tool capable of identifying individual birds

By: Schalk Burger     27th July 2020 New research demonstrates for the first time that artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to train computers to recognise individual birds; a task humans are unable to do. Researchers from the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, based at the University of Cape Town (UCT); the French... 

DMRE goes live with Carbon Offset Administration System

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd July 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, as the administrator of the Carbon Offset Administrator, has activated the Carbon Offset Administration System (COAS) to be live as of July 23. COAS will facilitate the receipt and approval of project applications, as well as the issuance of the... 

Green Connection welcomes extended period to comment on Total scoping report

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd July 2020 Environmental consultancy SLR Consulting, on behalf of Total Exploration & Production South Africa, has granted respondents 30 additional days to comment on the company’s draft scoping report for further oil exploration and drilling in blocks 11B and 12B, along the Southern Cape coast. The... 

CW report highlights impact of corruption in health sector

By: Sane Dhlamini     22nd July 2020 Not for profit organisation Corruption Watch (CW) on Wednesday released its ‘X-Ray: The critical state of the health sector in SA’ report which aims to uncover the impact of corruption in the healthcare sector. The report demonstrates how people who are reliant on public health facilities in... 

CW report highlights impact of corruption in health sector

Scrutiny of new carbon tax regulations can save firms millions

17th July 2020 Almost all of the pieces of the jigsaw are now in place to enable some companies to make big savings on their Carbon Tax bills, Cova Advisory says. However, detailed scrutiny and careful analysis is needed to apply for allowances, some of which were only laid out in detail last month. 

Scrutiny of new carbon tax regulations can save firms millions
Duane Newman

Fight against plastic waste being won on South Coast

17th July 2020 The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Marine Waste Network South Coast took place earlier this year at the Amanzimtoti Lagoon, in which Plastics SA played a key role. 

PVC manufacturer emphasises proper use of plastic

By: Theresa Bhowan     17th July 2020 While the world is moving towards using less single use plastic, Durban-based polyvinyl chloride (PVC) compound manufacturer Innovative PVC Compounds (IPC) CEO Mubeen Siddiqi says the world cannot function without certain types of plastic, and people rather need to be more responsible in using... 

PVC manufacturer emphasises proper use of plastic
CURIOUS COMPOUNDS The medical-grade compounds that the company produces are supplied to vendors in the healthcare industry and have been in constant supply

Global mayors put social, climate wellbeing at the forefront of crises recovery

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th July 2020 Mayors representing the Global Mayors Covid-19 Recovery Task Force held a press conference on July 15 to release a detailed agenda that outlines specific measures and principles that are necessary for a sustainable and equitable recovery that addresses the immediate pandemic, as well as ensures... 

WEF stresses need for nature-based solutions and business involvement  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th July 2020 A new report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the 'Future of Nature and Business' report, has found that nature-positive solutions can create $10.1-trillion in economic opportunity and counter growing biodiversity losses, while creating 393-million jobs by 2030. The Covid-19 pandemic... 

WEF stresses need for nature-based solutions and business involvement
Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado Quesada and World Economic Forum Nature Action Agenda head Akanksha Khatri detail the importance of pursuing nature-based solutions, and the recent WEF report that supports this.

Coca-Cola Beverages rolls out returnable PET bottle to more provinces

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th July 2020 Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) is expanding the roll-out of its returnable 2 ℓ polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles across northern Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. This follows the successful roll out of these bottles in the Eastern Cape as a pilot project in February.  

Coca-Cola Beverages rolls out returnable PET bottle to more provinces
Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa's returnable PET bottle

New piezometer boosts existing safety standards 

By: Halima Frost     10th July 2020 The installation of South Africa’s first Slimline vibrating wire piezometer, which is distributed by geotechnical service provider GeoGroup, is set to take place when the current Covid-19 lockdown regulations allow. The company says the piezometer will be instrumental in ensuring accurate... 

New piezometer boosts existing safety standards
GeoGroup director Grant Rijsmus discusses the company’s Slimline Vibrating Wire Piezometer. Camerawork: Kutlwano Matala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 10.06.2020

Hulamin becomes first aluminium semi-fabricator to achieve emissions milestone 

By: Donna Slater     9th July 2020 Aluminium products manufacturer Hulamin reports that it has become the first global aluminium semi-fabricator to have a greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).   The SBTi mobilises companies to set science-based targets and boost their... 

Shift from high- to low-carbon must be systematic and just – Mantashe  

By: Terence Creamer     9th July 2020 South Africa’s Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe, used the platform created by the International Energy Agency (IEA) Clean Energy Transitions Summit on July 9 to stress that South Africa’s shift from a high-carbon to a low-carbon path needed to be both systematic and just.... 

Shift from high- to low-carbon must be systematic and just – Mantashe
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission seen as key to navigating South Africa’s ‘just transition’ 

By: Terence Creamer     7th July 2020 A member of South Africa’s National Planning Commission has called for the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission to be established, arguing that such a multi-stakeholder institutional platform is required to implement the just transition vision outlined in the country’s National... 

Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission seen as key to navigating South Africa’s ‘just transition’
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