This just in from Climate Counts, the nonprofit group that scores consumer products companies on their green track records: consumer companies are getting greener, but they are still a pretty carbon-intensive lot. On Wednesday, the group was to release its second annual ranking of 56 consumer companies on how they measure greenhouse gas emissions, their plans to reduce them and how fully they disclose those activities. Its intention is to persuade consumers to use the scores in deciding which brands to buy.

Bioethanol and biodiesel are coming under increased criticism for diverting food resources and driving up food prices across the world. Second-generation biofuels are gaining credibility as a solution. Praj Industries has achieved a major breakthrough technology for the production of bioethanol from lignocellulosic feedstock, creating an alternate agri-waste feedstock for ethanol production. The company has already filed a patent for this technology, Pramod Chaudhari, chairman, Praj said.

A typical product on a supermarket shelf will have had about one hundred times its own volume of waste created before it reaches the consumer, according to Forum for the Future, an environmental charity. Meeting the demand for food, water, timber and fuel has caused a terrifying spike in the amount of waste produced around the world. The UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has estimated that over half of the country's household waste comes from retail and almost 30 per cent of landfill can be traced back to the five leading supermarket chains.

The Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) will generate power from organic waste with the help of the West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency.

Victorian petrol prices have already peaked before the Easter long weekend and will continue to drop over the next few days, the RACV says.

One of the country's largest landfill sites, being readied at Gyaspur-Pirana on the outskirts of the city, will soon see a captive power plant in the coming months.

Residents of Howrah may finally heave a sigh of relief as it will not be long before the garbage dump at Belgacchia in Howrah is turned into a green power plant. The Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) has already prepared the letter of intent (LOI). It will be sent to the state government for approval and then sent to Solid Waste Electricity Company (Selco) International Limited, the company which has bagged the project, for its perusal. An official of the building and planning department of the civic body, said: "The letter has been drafted, it just needs the state government's approval before being sent to Selco. Once LOI reaches Selco, it will then have to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for which we have given them 10 days time. Selco will then have to get clearance from the environment department as well as the Pollution Control Board.' He added that once all these formalities are completed, the memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed. At the time of signing of MoU, Selco will be paying Rs 10 lakh to the HMC as guarantee. Selco, the Hyderabad-based company, will then get 18 months time to complete the power plant project. However, it may be granted an extended time of six months if it is unable to complete the project within 18 months, owing to any unavoidable circumstances. The official further added that a power purchase agreement (PPA) will be signed between Selco, HMC and West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA) only when the green plant starts producing electricity. Though the official refused to divulge details of the tariffs the civic body has set to impose on Selco, he said that HMC will be enjoying major benefits. The decision to turn the huge heap of garbage at Belgacchia into a green plant was taken in June last year by WBREDA, HMC and DM. However, it took some months before Selco was chosen for the project, defeating two foreign investors, one each from China and the USA. Mr Imitiaz Ahmed, MMiC (garbage and conservancy), said: "We had invited global tenders and so even foreign companies had shown interest in the project. However, Selco was selected as it had the right expertise and suited the interests of the civic body.' The HMC will supply about 600 metric tons of garbage every day which will generate 6 MW power. The project is the first of its kind in West Bengal.

Plastic garbage is playing havoc with mother earth. From villages to cities plastics are being used in such a way that the whole country seems to be a heap of plastic garbage. A Nagpur based company has taken initiative to use plastic garbage in producing petro products. Dr Jhadgaonkar related to this company, gave information to municipal corporation and MP Pollution Control Board officials about the scheme of converting plastic garbage into petro products. Earlier, this scheme went to bite dust due to the negligence of officials. Now, the work of implementing this scheme has started.

A section of the government is impressed by a waste-to-fuel conversion project under taken by a teacher-entrepreneur duo in Maharashtra. The technology developed by a chemistry teacher and now commercialised by a company

three activists were detained in Bandung, Indonesia, for campaigning against a waste-to-energy plant. They were arrested the same day the conference of parties to the un's climate change