Soil is one of the planet's invaluable resources but continues to be degraded in Europe. Together, the mineral particles, water, air, organic matter, and living organisms that constitute soil perform key functions which underpin our society.
Forest fires in Spain, France, Italy and Greece burned more than 50 000 hectares in the last four days. The economic and environmental damage caused by such fires extends well beyond the affected areas. Damage to biodiversity and livelihoods may take decades to reverse.
The EEA report 'Diverting waste from landfill' finds that the EU Landfill Directive has been a positive force in altering management of biodegradable municipal waste in the EU. The study explains how setting medium- and long-term targets for reducing landfilling has helped countries to define waste strategies and target investments.
Around 10 million pairs of usable spectacles are discarded each year in Europe and North America. These can be used to help people in the developing world to afford glasses. Most opticians now act as collection points for old glasses, so drop yours off and give them a new lease on life.
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