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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 […]

Tuvalu: Ban on Single-Use Plastics Commences

(Aug. 19, 2019) On July 29, 2019, it was reported that the Tuvalu government will ban certain single-use plastic items from August 1, 2019, and will also introduce an importation levy on specific items to help pay for their recycling or shipment out of the country once they are dumped as waste. According to the […]

Italy: Law to Establish Compliance with European Union Obligations Enacted

(June 17, 2019) On May 25, 2019, new legislation establishing measures for Italy to comply with obligations arising from its European Union (EU) membership was enacted in Italy. (Law No. 37 of May 3, 2019, Provisions for Compliance with the Obligations Deriving from Italy’s Membership in the European Union – European Law 2018) (Law No. […]

New Zealand: Mandatory Phase Out of Single-Use Plastic Bags to Commence Mid-2019

(Dec. 3, 2018) On November 24, 2018, Associate Minister for the Environment, Eugenie Sage, announced that the New Zealand government had decided that a mandatory phaseout of single-use plastic shopping bags will come into effect in the middle of 2019. (Press Release, Eugenie Sage, Mandatory Phase Out of Single-Use Plastic Bags Confirmed (Nov. 24, 2018).) […]

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 […]

Italy: Comprehensive Legislation on the “Green Economy”

(Feb. 24, 2016) On December 28, 2015, Italy passed historic and wide-ranging legislation for the promotion of the “green economy.” Law No. 221 entered into effect on February 2, 2016.  (Law No. 221 of December 28, 2015, Provisions on the Environment to Promote the Green Economy and to Restrict the Excessive Use of Natural Resources […]

Japan: Flood Prevention and Sewerage Service Acts Amended

(June 11, 2015) Flood damage cost 410 billion yen (about US$ 3.3 billion) in Japan in 2013. (Press Release, On the 2013 Total Cost of Flood Damage (Mar. 27, 2015), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) (in Japanese).) Under the current Flood Prevention Act (Act No. 193 of 1949, amended by Act No. […]