After more than 150 years, Germany's last black coal mine will close in the Ruhr region, posing a gigantic geological and environmental challenge to the former industrial heartland.
Billions of euros worth of critically endangered eels are trafficked each year from Europe, ending up in China and Japan in what is "the largest wildlife crime on Earth," campaigners say.
Air pollution is slowly easing in EU countries but still causes nearly half a million early deaths each year, the European Environment Agency (EEA) says in its annual report.
For decades, plastic straws have been essential props for cocktail makers, smoothie lovers and fast food addicts. But that may be starting to change.