Aura - Ochrona Środowiska (AURA Environmental Protection) 2021/09

  • Extended producer responsibility in the management of packaging and packaging waste
    Poland, as a member state of the European Union, is obliged to achieve very high levels of recycling in relation to packaging waste produced in our country. One of the tools to achieve this extremely ambitious goal is the Extended Producer Responsibility (ROP) mechanism, which is to ensure proper financing of the Polish system of collection, transport and recycling of packaging waste.
  • Analysis of the activity of beavers in the Zawoja catchment, in the village of Krzywa (Beskid Niski)
    Bobry, despite unfavorable living conditions in mountain areas, constitute an important element of the landscape of the Low Beskids, influencing the increase in biodiversity and changes in water retention. The main purpose of this article is to analyze two feeding grounds in the Zawoja catchment, in the Wisłoka basin in the Low Beskids, and to determine the directions of changes in the natural environment caused by the activity of beavers. Beavers in the analyzed sections of the streams changed their morphology, mainly due to dug holes and underground corridors that modified the shoreline. The presence of beavers influenced the restoration of the river valley and an increase in the aesthetic and recreational values of the Wisłoka valley
  • Protection of biodiversity in Poland in the light of statistical data
    Biodiversity - as already emphasized in the previous AURA issue - means the diversity of living organisms occurring on Earth in all environments. It is generally divided into genetic diversity (within species, i.e. intraspecific), between species, and the diversity of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. as well as in their ecological teams. Biodiversity and the maintenance of natural values is of fundamental importance for many areas of economic activity and, of course, for ecological reasons. On the other hand, the loss of biodiversity in ecosystems poses a threat to the population and economy, or even to the proper functioning of the Earth as a planet full of life as we understand it today.
  • The Baltic is dying because of the "black gold of agriculture"
    Poland is largely responsible for the progressive eutrophication and degradation of the Baltic Sea, where nearly half of the nutrients flowing into the waters (nitrogen and phosphorus) come from. Polish agriculture plays a significant role in this. EU law tries to limit the growing amount of nitrates that end up in the waters as a result of the increasing intensification of livestock farming. After more than 25 years of attempts to introduce EU standards and the conviction of the European Court of Justice, Poland is still unable to properly reconcile the interests of farmers and the ecological safety of the Baltic Sea. Everyone is losing. Perhaps these are the last years of bathing in the Baltic Sea.
  • Climate catastrophe
    The July floods in Germany and Belgium resulted in a growing public belief in the need to protect the climate. Often this need is understood as a postulate to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at home. However, this ignores the fact that climate deterioration is due to total emissions in the world and not to emissions from a region. In other words, the region may even completely eliminate its emissions, but - if the global emissions are still excessive - it will not feel any positive effects of its operation. Climate protection advocates are not entirely powerless, however. They have the instruments provided for by the Paris Agreement, which allows overcoming the ineffectiveness of the Climate Convention.
  • "The smarter the stupid"
    "I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my horse." These are the words of Charles V - King of the Spaniards. I think the ruler, slightly ironic, knew what he was saying. Because words must not only have power, but also the addressee. More than one king would be amazed - including our last, enlightened Stanisław August Poniatowski - if he read the latest UNESCO report. It clearly shows that as many as several dozen percent of Poles do not understand simple messages, elementary concepts and information. Against this background, helplessness, confusion and a decline in social awareness, including environmental awareness, become quite understandable. The percentage of people concerned with the state of the natural environment has decreased by almost half within a few years. "The wiser, the stupid," Witold Gombrowicz once wrote. These words are confirmed today.
  • Biodiversity Conservation or the Ecocide
    For three decades, as an international community, we have been taking formal action to halt the loss of biodiversity. Unfortunately, the effects of these activities are at least mediocre. None of the 20 Goals of the Aichi Biodiversity Strategic Plan , adopted in 2010, have been fully achieved, and only 6 have been partially achieved. In June 2021, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) called on all countries in the world to do a great restoration of nature. Fulfilling this commitment is essential to ensuring food security for a growing population and slowing species extinctions. Failure to implement this plan may mean complete destruction of the natural environment on our planet, i.e. committing an ecocide (ecological suicide).
  • Technological curiosities from around the world
    Aviation fuel from ethanol and exhaust fumes Scientists from the University of Oregon have patented the process of converting alcohol from renewable or industrial exhaust into fuel for jet or diesel engines. The solution is a one-step chemical conversion that streamlines the current multi-step process. The new catalyst converts ethanol directly into a universal chemical called n-butene. To this end, a new microchannel reactor design was created , providing a scalable and modular processing system. Currently, n-butene is produced from fossil raw materials using an energy-intensive process of cracking, i.e. breaking up large molecules. The new technology reduces carbon dioxide emissions by using renewable or recycled carbon raw materials. By using sustainably sourced n-butene as a starting point, the chemical can be refined for a wide range of commercial applications, including diesel and jet fuels and industrial lubricants.

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