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United Kingdom: Government Publishes Public Consultation on Environmental Impact of Commercial Spaceflight

(Mar. 2, 2021) On February 10, 2021, the United Kingdom’s government published a consultation (survey) seeking the public’s opinion about the environmental objectives the U.K.’s spaceflight regulator must consider when determining whether to grant a spaceport or launch operator license, along with guidance on how the regulator must implement these objectives. The government acknowledges both […]

Ecuador: Law on Restrictions on the Use of Plastic Enters into Force

(Feb. 16, 2021) On December 21, 2020, the Organic Law for the Rationalization, Reuse and Reduction of Single Use Plastics entered into force in Ecuador through its publication in the Registro Oficial, the official gazette. The purpose of the law is to restrict the use of single-use plastic products. Under the new law, the following […]

Italy: Law on Ratification and Implementation of Nuclear Energy Treaties Promulgated

(Sept. 2, 2020) On July 23, 2020, the president of Italy promulgated a new law implementing several multinational nuclear energy treaties, fulfilling the treaties’ implementation requirements, and amending Italian legislation to update provisions on nuclear damage and liability. Law No. 97 of July 23, 2020 ratifies and orders the implementation of the “Paris Convention” (Convention […]

France: New Anti-waste Law Adopted

(Mar. 20, 2020) On February 10, 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron signed into law Loi n° 2020-105 relative à la lutte contre le gaspillage et à l’économie circulaire (Law No. 2020-105 Regarding a Circular Economy and the Fight Against Waste). This law aims to help change the French society model “from a linear economy to […]

England and Wales: Draft Regulations Introduced to Ban Single Use Plastics

(Mar. 13, 2020) As part of its 25 Year Environment Plan, the government of England and Wales introduced draft Regulations, known as the Environmental Protection (Plastic Straws, Cotton Buds and Stirrers) (England) Regulations 2020, on March 3, 2020. The draft Regulations would ban the supply of certain single-use plastics, including straws, cotton swabs (such as […]

Sweden: Parliament Votes to Adopt Tax on Plastic Bags

(Jan. 31, 2020) On January 29, 2020, the Swedish Parliament voted to approve a tax on plastic bags. Under the new rules most plastic bags will be taxed at SEK 3 (about US$0.31) apiece, while smaller and thinner plastic bags will be taxed at 30 öre (SEK 0.30, about US$0.03) apiece. Smaller plastic bags are […]

Brazil: City of São Paulo Prohibits Bars, Hotels, and Restaurants from Supplying Plastic Cups and Cutlery to Customers

(Jan. 30, 2020) On January 13, 2020, the mayor of the city of São Paulo enacted Law No. 17,261, which prohibits hotels, restaurants, bars, and bakeries, among other commercial establishments, from supplying cups, plates, cutlery, drink shakers, and disposable plastic sticks to customers. (Art. 1.) These provisions also apply to spaces for children’s parties, night […]

Japan: Fertilizer Regulation Act Amended

(Dec. 30, 2019) The Diet (Japan’s parliament) has enacted the Act to Amend the Fertilizer Regulation Act. The Act was published in the Official Gazette on December 4, 2019 (Act No. 62 of 2019 (Reiwa 1)) and will come into effect within one year, with some exceptions (Supp. Provisions art. 1). The Fertilizer Regulation Act […]

International: World Bank Inspection Panel Registers Eight Requests for Inspection Regarding Odra-Vistula Flood Management Project

(Oct. 21, 2019) In September 2019, the World Bank Inspection Panel registered eight requests for inspection, all related to the Odra-Vistula Flood Management project in Poland. The requesters, representatives of various nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Germany and Poland, allege that the World Bank project harms biodiversity and increases flood risks, among other allegations. In addition, […]

Russia: Law on Conducting Experiment Concerning Establishment of Quotas for Atmospheric Pollutants Adopted

(Sept. 23, 2019) On July 26, 2019, the president of the Russian Federation signed into law a bill aimed at setting temporary quotas for pollutant emissions. The Federal Law on Conducting an Experiment Concerning the Setting of Quotas for Emissions of Pollutants and Amending Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation on Reducing Air Pollution (Emissions Quota […]