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The Bulletin news briefs

27 July 2022:

A quick scan of recent waste, recycling and related environmental developments from around the globe...

Chilean Environmental Minister Announces Intent to Push for a National Composting Bill

Chilean Environmental Minister Maisa Rojas plans to encourage lawmakers to prepare a bill to divert household food and garden waste from landfills to composting and digestation facilities, according to an Environmental Ministry announcement released last week. The announcement pointed out that 58% of waste generated by households is organic, but less than 1% is recycled.

The bill would have to be introduced in the Chilean Congress by one or more of its members, but the Environmental Minister could help themdraft the text of the measure. The initiative has the support of the Global Methane Hub, a Santiago, Chile-based organization that collaborates with governmental and non-governmental entities to reduce methane emissions.

The proposed bill would move Chile "towards a differentiated management of organic waste, promoting its use by becoming a nutrient for the earth and preventing it from reaching a landfill or landfill, with the socio-environmental problems that it entails. It also will seek to empower municipalities in organic waste management," the announcement stated.

The Chilean Ministry of Environment announcement is posted at

Canadian Government Publishes Guidance on Selecting Alternatives to Banned Single-Use Plastic Items

Earlier this month, the Government of Canada published a 13-page guidance on alternatives to single-use plastics. In late June, the government gazetted regulations to prohibit the manufacture, import, sale and eventually export of six categories of single-use plastic items: checkout bags, foodservice ware, cutlery, beverage container ring carriers, straws and stirring sticks. The guidance "reflects best practices for choosing alternatives," the document's introduction explains.

The guidance reviews the new regulations, discusses how to apply the waste hierachy in deciding on possible alternatives, and includes examples of alternatives already being used by companies in Canada. For example, McDonald's replaced plastic cutlery, straws and stirring sticks with ones made from wood and Costco stores "do not provide bags of any sort, encouraging customers to reuse their boxes or bring their own bags."

Download the Canadian Government guide to single-use plastics alternatives at

New South Wales EPA Partners with Community Groups to Reduce Single-Use Plastics Consumption

The New South Wales (NSW) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced earlier this month that it has begun partnering with 17 organizations to help communities across the Australian state reduce single-use plastics consumption. The initiative is called, "Stop It and Swap It," and participating organizations are receiving a combined $900,00 in financial support from the EPA.

Participating organizations include Meals on Wheels NSW, Girl Guides NSW, Oz Green, South Cross University, and the Universities of New England, New Castle and Wollongoog.

In a related matter, a ban on single-use plastic carrier bags went into effect in the Australian state on June 1. The agency noted that single-use plastic items (such as carrier bags) and packaging make up 60% of all litter in NSW. The bag ban will prevent almost 2.7 billion items of plastic litter from entering the environment over the next 20 years, according to the agency.

Get more information at

Latest Government Data Shows Per Capita Single-Use Plastic Bag Use in England Hit an All-Time Low

For the reporting year 2020-2021, per capita disposable plastic carrier bag consumption in England fell to 9 bags for all reporting retailers and just 3 bags for "main retailers." In 2016-2017, the numbers were 38 bags and 24 bags, respectively. The data is from a July 29 report released by the United Kingdom's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). (Retailers voluntarily provide their sales data to Defra.)

To encourage consumers to use alternatives, the UK Government requires English retailers to charge 10 pence for each disposable plastic carrier bag they provide to customers. (Initially, the charge was 5 pence, but it was increased in May 2021.) In 2020-2021, 496 million single-use plastic bags were sold to customers, according to Defra, a slight increase from the 489 bags sold in 2019-2020, but still only a fraction of the 2.12 billion bags sold in 2017-2016 when the bag charge was introduced.

However, Defra cautioned that "the 2020 to 2021 figures cannot be compared with other years due to the unique circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic."

For more information, go to

Philippine DENR to Install 268 Trash Traps to Prevent Marine Litter

To prevent land-based waste from becoming marine litter, the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said last week that it will install 268 "trash traps" along the country's four most polluted rivers. The DENR will collaborate with local government units (LGUs) to implement to project.

"The LGUs will be monitoring the trash traps installed in their jurisdiction," the DENR explained. "Also, they will handle the collection, hauling and proper disposal of wastes from the trash traps, and the maintenance and operation of the equipment."

DENR said the initiative supports the National Plan of Action for the Prevention, Reduction, and Management of Marine Litter, which set a goal to attain zero waste to Philippine waters by 2040.

Download the complete Philippine DENR announcement at

Scottish Government Allocates £3.4 Million More to Support Local Recycling Programs

Today the Scottish Government said it has allocated £3.4 Million from its Recycling Improvement Fund to assist three more local recycling programs. To date, the fund has distributed more than £23 million to local governments and another 47 million is anticipated to be allocated.

"Recycling has a huge role to play in Scotland's response to the climate crisis, said Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater. "Our £70 million Recycling Improvement Fund is delivering one of the biggest investments in recycling and reuse in Scotland in a generation."

For more information, go to

Catalonian Separated Waste Collections Increased 3.1% in 2021

Last week, the Waste Agency of Catalonia, a semi-autonomous region in Spain, reported that collection of source separated household waste increased to 46.6% in 2021, up 3.1% from a year earlier. Approximately 1,878,000 tons of separated waste was collected in 2021, while 4 million tons of household waste was generated.

Source separated organics, glass, paper and cardboard and packaging all increased from their 2020 levels. Organics collection increased the most at 4.6%. Packaging and cardboard increased the least at 1% and 0.5%, respectively.

The agency also noted that less household waste - only 33.6% - was disposed in landfills in 2021.

Get more information at

New York City Is Expanding Its Containerized Trash Collection Pilot

In space-challeged New York City, most of the trash for pickup by the New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is placed in large black plastic bags and left curbside or on sidewalks. The bags piled on sidewalks are a challenge to pedestrian traffic and an eye sore to many residents and visitors.

Last year, DSNY launched a pilot program called Clean Curbs that replaces the plastic trash bags with sealed containers. The first installation of the pilot program began last year in crowded Times Square. Yesterday, DSNY said it is beginning a second installation in the city's Brooklyn Heights neighborhood.

"Borough by borough, neighborhood by neighborhood, this pilot program is expanding so that we can continue to learn how sealed waste containers perform in a variety of settings," said NYC Sanitation Commissioner Jessica S. Tisch. "New Yorkers want cleaner sidewalks and cleaner curbs, and this pilot brings us a significant step toward that goal. We will be looking at data here and throughout the five boroughs to see what works to enable us to take our streetscape back from mountains of black bags."

The DSNY announcement is posted at

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