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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

24.03.2014
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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

A service from the European Commission..

A change in diet and reduction in food waste can help achieve sustainable land use
The land use associated with food imports to Germany outweighs that of exported food, leaving the country with a 'land debt', new research suggests. However, reducing the amount of animal products in the diet and minimising food waste could enable the country to achieve a positive land balance, the researchers conclude.
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Lugworms harmed by marine microplastic pollution
Microplastic pollution impairs the heath of the marine worms that help maintain sediments for other creatures, new research suggests. This study shows that the energy reserves of lugworms living in sediment contaminated with microplastic particles were reduced by up to 50%.
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New consumer app scores protein products for sustainability
A smartphone app has been designed to help shoppers choose more environmentally-friendly protein-rich products, namely meat, vegetarian alternatives, eggs and dairy products. The methods and data used to measure these products' lifecycle environmental impacts are presented in a recent study.
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Measuring the impacts of the Nitrates Directive on nitrogen emissions
The EU's Nitrates Directive has led to significant decreases in nitrogen pollution in Europe, a new study suggests. Modelled scenarios with and without implementation of the Directive showed that it had resulted in a 16% reduction of nitrate leaching by 2008. These improvements could be further increased as implementation becomes stricter, the researchers conclude.
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Health ratings for urban environments provided by new software
New software has been developed to rate the health risks of different activities in the urban environment, for example, cycling or driving in different areas of a city. 'CENSE' is based on a variety of different pollutants and environmental health hazards encountered in urban environments and may provide a useful tool for urban planning and improving residents' quality of life, its developers say.
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Invasive alien species' impacts on ecosystem services: new tool to assess risks
Researchers have developed a new risk assessment scheme for invasive alien species that not only predicts their direct effects on biodiversity, but also their impacts on ecosystem services. Furthermore, the scheme allows sources of uncertainty in a species' impact to be identified, and can be applied to a range of different species.
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