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Southeast Asia’s plastic fixation plagues world’s oceans

BANGKOK: On her lunch break, Bangkok office worker Chinapa Payakha emerges from a 7-Eleven store with two plastic bags. One holds a Big Gulp soft drink. The other carries her lunch, with a banana in its own plastic wrapper. “For office life, plastic bags are necessary,” said Chinapa, 34, whose shopping habits illustrate the challenges facing anti-plastic campaigners in Thailand, where plastic bags are handed out in abundance on any visit to a shop or market. As World Environment Day on Tuesday takes place and the…

Polluted London sets its sights on cars

LONDON: Gone are the days of London's "pea souper" smogs, but like many European cities, the British capital is once again being choked by pollution -- and has road traffic firmly in its sights. In 1952, the Great Smog suffocated London for five days, bringing the city to a standstill as soot-filled clouds descended onto the streets and into people's lungs, leaving more than 12,000 dead. The crisis prompted a clampdown on the use of coal in the city --  but decades on, pollution is still causing more than 9,000…