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Posted by: Ian Piper


New car sales fell for the first time in six years last year, with demand for diesel cars plunging by almost a fifth. The figure was down 5.7% from 2016, with diesel sales falling 17.1% because of higher taxes and pollution fears. In total an estimated 2.5 million cars were registered according to industry body the society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and CO2 emissions from new cars increased for the first time in 20 years, up 0.8% on 2016. The drop in diesel sales however was the prime cause of the rise in C02 emissions and that the lowest low-emission diesels were ‘vital’ in meeting climate change targets. Car sales are expected to continue the drop to an overall 7% fall. The sales fall has been blamed on declining business and consumer confidence but put into context, last years performance followed two years of record sales. This was still the third best year in a decade and the sixth best ever, said Mr Hawes (SMMT chief executive). Hawes also went on to say how the confusion about the future of diesel had fuelled the backlash. They fell by almost a third in December after November’s budget which introduced a levy on new diesel cars that failed to meet the latest emission standards. (Source – BBC)

Donald Trump says newly released book is ‘full of lies’. The hotly anticipated book is rumoured to contain damaging allegations including claims that Trump himself and his team were shocked and horrified by his election win; and that his wife Melania was in tears of sadness on the election night. Trump’s lawyers had tried the block the publication, “Of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” written by Michael Wolff, but they failed and it has now gone on sale early. The book which is reportedly based on more than 200 interviews has already been criticised, however if it is true it paints a damning portrait of a paranoid president said BBC North America editor Jon Sopel. Mr Trump said that author Mr Wolff had not been given access to the White House nor spoken to him for the book saying that it was ‘full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist.’ All confirmed by him on Twitter of course. The more that Trump fights against the undesirable news the more attention he calls to it. With his lawyers trying to ‘cease and desist’ letter he is giving Michael Wolff and his book the kind of massive publicity money alone can’t buy. (Source-BBC)

2.5bn disposable cups are thrown away each year in the UK alone. Less than 0.25% of disposable cups are recycled according to environmental audit committee report. MPs are calling for a 25p charge on takeaway coffee in a move that could see disposable cups banned in five years time. 2.5bn coffee cups equates to being able to stretch these around the Earth five and a half times. The UK produces 30,000 tonnes of coffee cup waste each year according to reports which cannot be recycled by normal systems because they are made from cardboard bonded with polyethylene liner – difficult to remove and as a consequence these aren’t accepted by paper mills. Just one in 400 cups is recycled. The 25p levy will be used to reduce the number of cups thrown away and invest in reprocessing facilities with the aim to get all coffee cups recyclable by 2023. (Source – The Guardian)

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