26 Dec 2017 Story Environment under review

Our top 10 stories of 2017

The dangers of sunscreen, a pioneering approach to waste management, and the need for bold new action to tackle climate change: these were just some of the topics that most engaged our readers in 2017. Scroll through the list below, then check back next month to see the top environmental stories on our radar for the year ahead.  

10. Defusing Ethiopia's toxic time bomb

Ethiopia DDT

It’s the beginning of the end for Ethiopia’s stores of DDT, as the East African country moves to eliminate once and for all the largest officially reported global stockpile of the toxic chemical. Read the story.


9. Caution: the sunscreen protecting you might be damaging that gorgeous coral reef

Coral reef
Photo via

Scientists have bad news for holiday-makers: the sunscreen protecting your skin as you swim or snorkel in the balmy tropical water might be killing the very coral reef and marine life that you came to enjoy. Read the story.


8. Erik Solheim: My vision for a pollution-free planet

Clean water
Photo via

Solheim writes: "It’s now clear that sustainable development is the only form of development that makes sense, including in financial and economic terms. The drive towards a pollution-free planet provides an opportunity to innovate and become more competitive." Read the story.


7. Two years after Paris, the One Planet Summit aims to galvanize new action on climate change

Planet Earth
Photo via

On 12 December, the anniversary of the adoption of the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change, world leaders met again in the French capital with the goal of fast forwarding action on climate change. Read the story.


6. New report urges global action on mining pollution

Mine tailing
Photo via

Although the number of dam failures has declined over many years, the number of serious failures has increased, despite advances in the engineering knowledge that can prevent them. Read the story.


5. Our way of life is piling pressure on ecosystems

Photo via

Carbon dioxide emissions from modern society are making the oceans more acidic, and the situation is being exacerbated by climate change, pollution, coastal development, overfishing and agricultural fertilizers, a major new study suggests. Read the story.


4. A price on their heads: how bottle deposits help beat plastic pollution

Plastic bottles
Photo via

As the cost of plastic waste dawns on us, the quest for a solution is intensifying. Deposits might allow us to keep using some plastic bottles, but stop us from tossing them mindlessly in the bin. Read the story


3. Ethiopia's waste-to-energy plant is a first in Africa

Power lines
Photo via

A new waste-to-energy plant due to begin operations in January is set to revolutionize Addis Ababa's approach to dealing with the city's waste. Read the story


2. 'Connect with nature' on World Environment Day 2017

Photo via

‘Connecting People to Nature’, the theme for World Environment Day 2017, implored people to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we all share. Read the story.


1. Solid approach to waste: how 5 cities are beating pollution

Recycling bins
Photo via

While many cities have yet to come to grips with their mountains of rubbish, here are five that are leading the way in solid waste management. Read the story.