Plastic pollution beach art Portugal 1
Message in a Bottle, a sand etching by French artist Jehan-Benjamin Tarain (J.Ben), created on a beach near the Portuguese city of Porto on 17 April. Copyright J.Ben / EEB.

Good news? META’s 12 favourite stories of 2018

It’s been a big year of environmental news and our first full calendar year online.

To celebrate the year coming to an end, here’s META’s month-by-month guide to 12 of our favourite stories from 2018.


Bulldozers moved in to help make way for the expansion of a giant coal mine. It wasn’t good news, but if a picture paints a thousand words, this was the story of a dirty industry’s destructive nature…

German ‘cathedral’ bulldozed to make way for expanding coal mine


What’s a sponge city? You’ll have to click this one to find out!

Sponge cities – how urban wetlands reduce flood risk


Pressure had been growing on national governments for failing to meet EU requirements for safe air. By March the European Commission had lost patience.

‘Toxic Bloc’ countries will face court for failure to clean up air


Plastic pollution was a hot topic throughout the year. In April we made a splash with giant artworks on beaches across Europe. Which was your favourite?

Huge artworks slam plastic pollution for Earth Day


This story, first broken on meta, went on to make front page news in Poland when it emerged the reason for the giant jump in emissions was huge under-reporting of toxic pollution over many years…

Jump in toxic mercury emissions from German and Polish coal


Environmental advocates in Brussels know they are fighting well-resourced corporate lobbyists, but the extent of the investment here even surprised us…

REVEALED: Industry spending millions to avoid cancer warning labels


As people across Europe started to set off for their summer holidays we learnt that physical interventions in Europe’s rivers had become a bigger threat than pollutants.

Dams and dykes beat pollution to top list of threats to rivers and lakes


New EU rules put an end to wasteful light bulbs. Here, EEB’s Mauro Anastasio explains the good news.

Lower energy bills as EU retires wasteful light bulbs


The self-declared winner of “headline of the year” was claimed for this piece about international bat night.

Dark Night Returns for Bat Fans


A shocking story broken on META about the prevalence of dangerous chemicals in Europe.

A third of chemicals break European safety laws


Green groups celebrated a major victory after oil exploration was finally halted of the Portuguese coast.

Oil exploration in Portugal halted by NGOs


Christmas came early in the battle against the plastic dragon as the EU signed-off new rules on single-use products.

Europe welcomes new laws to slash single-use plastic items

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading META in 2018 as much as we’ve enjoyed writing it. Don’t forget to sign-up to receive our weekly newsletter so you’ll never miss a story again!