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First Takes: E.U.'s Fish-Dumping Problem, Floods Fuel Gulf 'Dead Zone', and More...

• Wasted Fish: Fishing crews from European Union countries have discarded £2.7 billion ($4.4 billion) worth of cod, most of it dead or dying, since 1963, the Guardian reports. The New Economics Foundation think tank looked just at cod when analyzing the common practice of throwing caught fish back into the waters when fishers are over their quota, the fish aren't part of a boat's quota or they have little value. The E.U. fisheries commissioner has proposed changes to the fishing quota system in order to make it more sustainable.

A Debt Ceiling Deal is Reached, but May Have Big Green Impacts: The House of Representatives yesterday approved a compromise deal to allow the U.S. government to continue borrowing money. But, according to ENS, the deal "has prompted fear among some environmentalists that spending cuts would harm public health and that in the end, big, profitable oil companies would keep their existing government subsidies.... Friends of the Earth said, "The deal calls for deep cuts that will hurt poor and middle class Americans and undermine our government's ability to enforce crucial environmental laws. The deal does nothing to make oil, coal and other polluting corporations pay their fair share, and it leaves the billions in giveaways they receive untouched."

• Trashy Money: Recycling and composting are becoming a better bargain in the U.K., as a report on facility fees found that many recycling and anaerobic digestion plants have lowered fees since 2010, while landfill taxes have gone up. The Waste & Resources Action Programme report surveyed local government authorities, Edie reports, with some saying they're even earning revenue from selling recyclables and compostables.

• Zoning in on the Gulf's Dead Zone: Scientists' fears that recent flooding in the Midwest would cause a surge of agricultural chemicals and waste into the Gulf of Mexico were found to be correct when a map of the "dead zone," an area in the gulf with no oxygen, was found to be above average, the New York Times reports. However, the researchers said the zone was not a big as expected, possibly due to Tropical Storm Don briefly adding oxygen to the zone as the area was studied.

• Making the Non-recyclable Recyclable: Aside from being sent to TerraCycle, there is no recycling option for packaging made with plastic and aluminum laminates like chip bags. U.K. recycler Enval is trying to change that with a technology for recycling those types of pouches and tubes, and has gained the support of Kraft Foods and Nestle in the construction of its first commercial-scale plant in the U.K., reported GreenerPackage.

Fish image CC-licensed by Joost J. Bakker IJmuiden/Flickr


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