Good News Headlines 7/17/2023

Birth Control Pills

The Food and Drug Administration approved the United States’ first over-the-counter birth control pill on July 13, 2023. (Photo: UC Irvine/flickr/cc)

In ‘Transformative Victory’ For Reproductive Justice, FDA Approves Over-The-Counter Birth Control

by Julia Conley, Common Dreams

“Groundbreaking,” “monumental,” and “transformative” were just a few of the words rights advocates used on Thursday to describe the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s long-awaited approval of over-the-counter use of Opill, a birth control pill that was approved for prescription use five decades ago. The approval could revolutionize access to contraception for young people, low-income people, and others in a country where nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended, said Free the Pill, a coalition of more than 200 reproductive justice groups and advocates who have been campaigning for over-the-counter (OTC) access to birth control for nearly two decades.

Britain Names The First Two ‘Celtic Rainforests’ To Be Restored To Primeval Glory

by Andy Corbley, Good News Network

Two so-called “Celtic rainforests” in the UK are to be restored with a mixture of native planting and natural reforestation. The hope is they will provide rich habitats for dozens of species, improve groundwater quality and flood prevention, and allow residents and tourists to experience an exceptionally rare forest biome called temperate rainforest. The most famous and largest temperate rainforests on Earth are found in the US states of Oregon and Washington, along Brazil’s Atlantic coast, and on New Zealand. Britain, especially Wales, would have featured a certain amount of these Celtic rainforests in areas that experience high moisture content.

How Twitter ‘Trollhunters’ Are Fighting Climate Misinformation, And How You Can Help Them

by Harry Markham, Scoop.Me

Before the dawn of the internet era, trolls were mainly Scandinavian fairy tale characters. Unfortunately, they have since swapped caves for keyboards and have a real impact on both our online and real-world lives. While internet trolling may be seen as just a bit of fun, discourse often turns nasty, and almost no topic or post is safe. Look in the comment section under almost any widely-shared post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, whether the post is about an election, sports result, LGBTQ+ rights, or climate change, and you’ll be sure to find trolls lurking. They bully, spread misinformation, confuse, shout down experts, and generally try to get an angry reaction.

Scientists Create Biodegradable Plastics Made From Spirulina

by Cristen Hemingway Jaynes, EcoWatch

Plastics are everywhere. They’re used to make food packaging, bags, water bottles and for many other common applications. As they break down, their tiny particles — known as microplastics — end up in the ocean, on the highest mountaintops, in our lungs and in our blood. The problem with plastics is they stay in the environment for years, posing hazards for humans, animals and the environment. But what if there were a different kind of plastic that would biodegrade in your backyard compost bin about as quickly as a banana peel? 

One Of The Biggest Battery Recycling Plants In The US Is Up And Running

by Julian Spector, Canary Media, Grist

Getting rid of old batteries can be a hassle. But for recycling startup Ascend Elements, other people’s garbage is basically a gold mine, if not better. The Massachusetts-based company opened a recycling plant in Covington, Georgia in late March that it says is the largest electric-vehicle battery recycling facility in North America. It can process 30,000 metric tons of input each year, breaking down old batteries and prepping the most valuable materials inside to be processed and turned into new batteries. That capacity equates to breaking down the battery packs from 70,000 electric vehicles annually, said Ascend CEO Mike O’Kronley.