Legislation

New York Poised to Charge 10 Cent Bag Fee

This week, New York city council received a proposal from two of its members which would impose a 10 cent fee on plastic bags distributed throughout the city. While the council was hesitant to suggest an outright ban, Mark Huffman of Consumer Affairs writes that the council hopes that the measure would encourage people to be more ecologically sensitive when they shop in the city. The fee would exclude bags given for take-out foods, medications, and alcoholic beverages.

French Parliament Threatens Legal Action if European Commission Ignores Endocrine Disruptors

Frustrated by inaction on the part of the European Commission, the French Parliament's committee on European Affairs has published a report which indicates that endocrine disruptors are a pressing health issue. EurActiv writes that the report took a firm stance on the European Commission's inaction, stating:

Will Israel be Next in Line to Ban Plastic Bags?

Early last week, the Environment Protection Ministry of Israel announced that it has drafted a bill aimed at eliminating plastic bags from its culture and landscape, the Jerusalem Post reports. According to an article written by Sharon Udasin, the bill was written to reduce the distribution of plastic bags in retail stores.

California's Compromise: Bag Ban By 2015?

California lawmakers unveiled a compromise bill last Friday that, if passed, would ban single use bags and impose a tax on bags distributed at the checkout as early as 2015. The bill has been a long time coming, the result of pressure from state representatives and environmental groups alike. According to Charlotte Alter of Time Magazine, the changes brought about by the bill would be enormous. She writes:

Bisphenol A Debate Drags on as Endocrine Disruptors are Identified

Bisphenol A has been making headlines with fair regularity lately as a bitter debate over its regulation as a chemical is waged. The number of studies and research projects that have found reasons for concern over the near ubiquitous nature of bisphenol A are growing, but voices from the chemical industry remain adamant that the chemical is safe. According to Lynne Peeples of the Huffington Post, the danger of this ongoing battle could affect more than just bisphenol A and those in contact with it.

Scientists Who Opposed EU Chemical Policy Have Industry Ties

Recent reports indicate that a group of scientists who have been vocal in their opposition of the European Union's provisional chemical policy may not be impartial researchers due to industry ties.

Primary School Kids Talk Bag Fees With UK Prime Minister

A group of children from a primary school in Teddington, Greater London recently went on a trip to 10 Downing Street to share an environmental message with the UK's Prime Minister, David Cameron, according to an article published in the Richmond and Twickenham Times. The school group traveled with MP Zac Goldsmith and a four meter wide albatross constructed from plastic bottles, and arrived at Downing Street hoping to share an environmental poem. Cameron emerged to meet with the group. Writes reporter Clare Buchanan:

England to Announce 5p Bag Fee

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced that the UK government has plans for introducing a 5 pence fee for plastic bags at supermarkets and large chain stores, with details to be revealed at the Liberal Democrat conference this weekend. The bag fee, according to the BBC, would begin after the 2015 election, and the proceeds of the fee would go to charity, not to the government.

 

Pennsylvania Considers Statewide Bag Fee

In a move which could lead to the first state-wide tax on plastic bags, Pennsylvania's senator Daylin Leach has proposed a $0.02 fee on bags distributed by retail establishments. The bill is SB 1080, and was introduced on August 6th, 2013. According to Kelly Phillips of Forbes, the 2 cent fee would be divided, with one penny going to the retailer to improve their own recycling program, and one penny going to the state.

San Jose Passes Polystyrene Ban

After a debate which has spanned a number of years, San Jose has approved a ban on polystyrene today which will vastly restrict the presence of the plastic foam in the environment. According to an article in the Mercury News by John Woolfolk, the San Jose city council voted 9-2 in favor of passing a bill which would ban polystyrene food containers. The bill would take effect next year beginning with large, chain restaurants, and extending to smaller businesses the following year. According to Woolfolk:

 

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