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France: Advocacy Group Files Criminal Complaint Against Alleged Planned Obsolescence Practices

(Nov. 1, 2017) An advocacy group in France has filed a criminal complaint against several manufacturers of computer printers, including Epson, HP, and Canon, for selling products allegedly designed with a planned obsolescence. (Isabelle de Foucaud, Obsolescence programmée: une plainte déposée contre des fabricants d’imprimantes [Planned Obsolescence: Lawsuit Filed Against Printer Manufacturers], LE FIGARO (Sept. […]

Thailand: Ban on Smoking on Beaches

(Oct. 26, 2017) It was reported on October 11, 2017, that the Thai government will ban smoking on 20 of the country’s popular tourist beaches beginning in November. (Thailand Bans Smoking on Beaches, THAI LAW FORUM (Oct. 11, 2017); Smoking Ban Planned at 20 Popular Beaches, BANGKOK POST (Oct. 10, 2017).)  The maximum punishment for […]

Sri Lanka: Decision to Ratify Amendment to Montreal Protocol

(Oct. 25, 2017) It was reported on October 11, 2017, that the Government of Sri Lanka intends to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.  (Sri Lanka to Ratify Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Hydrofluorocarbons (HGC) Phase-down, COLOMBO PAGE (Oct. 11, 2017).)  The Montreal Protocol […]

Japan: Basel Act Amended

(Sept. 12, 2017) The Act on Control of Export, Import, etc. of Specified Hazardous Wastes and Other Wastes (Basel Convention Act, Act No. 108 of 1992, E-GOV (in Japanese) is a Japanese domestic law corresponding to the Basel Convention to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes.  (Overview, Basel […]

Germany: Nonprofits May Engage in Non-Partisan Politics Without Losing Tax-Exempt Status

(Sept. 8, 2017) In a decision published on August 9, 2017, the German Federal Financial Court (Bundesfinanzhof, BFH) held that nonprofit corporations may engage in non-partisan politics without losing their tax-exempt status. (Bundesfinanzhof [BFH] [Federal Financial Court], docket no. X R 13/15 (Aug. 9, 2017), BFH website in German).) The Court stated that a nonprofit corporation […]

Japan: Chemical Substances Control Law Amended

(Sept. 6, 2017) Japan’s Chemical Substances Control Law (CSCL) aims to prevent environmental pollution caused by chemical substances that pose a risk to human health and interfere with the habitat and healthy development of flora and fauna.  (Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture etc., Act No. 117 of 1973, […]

China: National Plan on Banning “Foreign Garbage” and Reducing Solid Waste Imports

(Aug. 8, 2017) On July 27, 2017, China’s State Council released the Implementation Plan on Banning Entry of Foreign Garbage and Reforming the Administrative System of Solid Waste Importation (Plan). The Plan announces that by the end of 2017 solid waste posing a serious threat to the environment and causing widespread public concern will be […]

Seychelles: Ban on Plastics Takes Effect

As a solution to a major solid waste management problem, a ban on plastics came into effect on July 1, 2017, in the Republic of Seychelles. (Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade, Notification: Seychelles – Plastic Bags, G/TBT/N/SYC/3 (July 2, 2017), World Trade Organization (WTO) website (click on “English” hyperlink to view text of the […]

Indonesia: Fishing Regulation to Be Implemented

(July 20, 2017) Indonesia’s Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister, Susi Pudjiastuti, recently announced that the use of cantrang, a kind of seine net for fishing, will no longer be permitted in Indonesian waters after December of this year. Cantrangs are part of a class of nets considered harmful to the environment in general and to […]

UK: Grocery Store Fined over US$11 Million for Gasoline Discharge

(July 11, 2017) Tesco Stores Ltd, a large chain of grocery stores and gas stations in the United Kingdom, was fined £8 million (about US$11 million) for a large-scale pollution event in Lancashire after 23,500 liters (about 6,200 gallons) of gasoline leaked from a filling tank over a period of 29 hours at a petrol […]