The world is going through a lot. Instead of focusing on bad news, we’ve rounded up the most encouraging environmental stories that made headlines this month

The climate crisis is sounding more alarm bells than ever before, with the effects of human-induced global warming becoming glaringly evident all around the world. We must take immediate action to reverse the damage we have done, and luckily there are many who are making moves in the right direction.

So let's celebrate these environmental wins that happened in August and stay motivated to protect the planet!

1. India announces a ban on single-use plastics

India plastic pollutionPhoto by John Cameron on UnsplashThe government of India has announced a ban on the manufacture, sale and use of identified single-use plastic items including plates, cups, straws and polystyrene. The ban will come into effect on July 1, 2022. As the world's second-most populous country, this is a big step towards responsible consumption.

2. Facebook aims to become ‘water positive' by 2030

water and handsPhoto by Nathan Dumlao on UnsplashFacebook has set a goal to restore more water than it consumes by 2030. The social media giant aims to achieve this through methods such as developing new technologies for cooling and humidifying data centres, working on water restoration projects, sourcing water responsibly and driving water efficiency across its facilities and operations around the globe.

3. Volvo explores world’s first fossil-free steel

VolvoPhoto by Neil Mark Thomas on UnsplashSteel production is typically a high offender for carbon emissions, but Swedish steelmaker SSAD says it has produced the world’s “first fossil-free steel” and it has started delivering the product to Volvo Cars, its first automotive client. Known as the Hybrit project, the production process is to use “100 percent fossil-free hydrogen”. 

4. Tesco supermarkets adding soft plastic recycling points

tescoPhoto by Shashank Verma on UnsplashMany supermarkets do not offer collection points for recycling soft plastics like plastic bags, cling wrap and other packaging solutions, which instead end up as plastic waste. However, Tesco, the third-largest retailer in the world with over 3,400 stores in the UK, has announced that all of its large stores will have new collection points for soft plastics. The effort aims to recycle 1,000 tonnes of plastic a year.

5. Researchers are using oysters to clean the seas

oystersPhoto by Ben Stern on UnsplashResearch Institute Stella Mare from Corsica University is introducing oysters to depollute the waters off of Bastia City in Corsica, with a project that is funded by the European Union. The oysters, which naturally filter water to absorb nutrients and grow their shells, have also been shown to also extract harmful pollutants such as phosphorus, pesticides and nitrogen from the sea. The researchers are optimistic about the potential of using the species to help restore critical aquatic habitats.

We hope these pieces of good news will encourage you to think positively and motivate you to play your part as we work towards a more sustainable future!