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Oxford to become the first British city to ban non-recyclable food containers

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

With an eye on saving the environment, Oxford is set to become the first British city to ban non-recyclable food containers.

Oxford, famous for the world renowned Oxford University, will now take the initiative to safeguard the environment.

“Oxford will ban non-recyclable polystyrene foam food containers, beating New York City across the Atlantic, in enforcing the policy,” an English daily reported.

In order to reduce the amount of waste in the city, all street vendors in Oxford will be asked to use recyclable or biodegradable food containers, The Independent reported.

The norm will have to be followed by burger vans, kebab vans, and food sellers in the city when they apply for new licenses.

As the vendors decide to use non-recyclable stock, streets would become cleaner. The idea of banning non-recyclable containers became popular around 70 cities when the United States started a similar campaign to save the environment.

The reactions from Oxford, however, are yet to match the scale of the popularity of ban in New York, where around 28,500 tonnes of polystyrene was collected in 2014.

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Zika Threat: WHO rejects the call to postpone or move Olympics from Rio

The letter to WHO is signed by 150 international scientists, doctors and medical ethicists from such institutions as Oxford University and Harvard and Yale universities in the United States

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FILE - A municipal worker prepares insecticide to be sprayed at Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jan. 26, 2016. The Sambadrome will be the site of the archery competition during the Rio Olympics. Image source: Reuters
  • Zika virus also is linked to serious birth defects
  • The outbreak began in Brazil a year ago in 2015
  • Abnormal small heads are seen in newborn babies affected with the virus

Good news for people who are eagerly waiting for 2016 Olympics. The World Health Organization (WHO) has rejected a call to move or postpone this summer’s Rio Olympic Games over the Zika outbreak, reported BBC.

Zika virus also is linked to serious birth defects. WHO said that delaying the Olympics or shifting it from Rio would “not significantly alter” the spread of the virus.

Renowned scientists from all over the world wrote an open letter to WHO saying that the global health body should go through the new Zika guidance and that the new findings about the virus has made it “unethical” for the Games to go ahead.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it sees no reason to delay or move the Games because of the mosquito-borne disease.

More than 60 countries and territories are continuing with the transmission, while the  outbreak began in Brazil a year ago.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden speaks at the National Press Club in Washington on the latest research and forecasts on the Zika virus, May 26, 2016. Image source: AP
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden speaks at the National Press Club in Washington on the latest research and forecasts on the Zika virus, May 26, 2016. Image source: AP

While mild symptoms are seen in people affected with Zika, in the letter, the experts mention it causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and may also cause a rare and sometimes fatal neurological syndrome in adults.

This letter is signed by 150 international scientists, doctors and medical ethicists from such institutions as Oxford University and Harvard and Yale universities in the United States.

They cite the failure of a mosquito-eradication programme in Brazil, and the country’s “weakened” health system as reasons to postpone or move the Olympics in “the name of public health”.