TAG: Legislation

Bottling It Up

recycling bottles

Currently, Finland generates the lowest packaged waste of all European countries. This could in part be due to the nation’s bottle law, which requires the use and return of refillable bottles. Beginning implementation in the mid 1970s, the law requires that all take-out drink and alcoholic beverages produced in Finland be packaged in returnable bottles. Consumers of these beverages pay a small deposit fee upon purchase, which is refunded once the bottles are returned. The packaging ordinance has resulted in Finland’s soft drink and beer manufacturers conforming to design parameters to ensure all bottles can be reused, and refillable plastic… read more

Where Does Dinner Really Come From?

Food Supply: Do We Want a Spotlight or Secrecy?

Where food comes from is a topic of interest to everyone. Recent reports and backlash have some U.S. legislators considering increased laws on covert inspections that highlight unethical treatment or unsanitary conditions at farms and agricultural operations. This has been a topic of recurring interest ranging from the agricultural industries to homes across the globe. Broadcasts like those on the ABC investigative news show Nightline have helped to bring to light deplorable situations revealed by animal rights groups like Mercy for Animals. Organized groups such as these often show undercover videos of some farm factories with unimaginable footage in order… read more

Environmental Records

President Obama's Environmental Record

While it is still too close to assume anything, including a President Obama victory in the November elections, it can be assumed the environmental policies established under the Obama administration will be continued and built upon in a second term. Unfortunately, progress on environmental policy has been difficult given the continual feud between the administration and the House of Representatives, but President Obama has utilized his authority to exercise executive powers to instigate the most sweeping attack on air pollution in U.S. history. He has imposed the first carbon-dioxide limits on new power plants, steered billions of federal dollars to… read more

Last Minute House Bill

Last Minute House Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a sweeping anti-environmental bill as their last act before leaving Washington D.C. until after the November elections. The bill is called the Stop the War on Coal Act (SWCA), H.R. 3409, and applies to more areas than just the coal industry. It is a package act of four previously passed House GOP bills, plus another one aimed at blocking pollution standards. The bill is full of industry deregulations, and begins the far-right position of dismantling the EPA: eliminating clean car standards, nullify mercury and air toxic standards, weaken the Clean Water Act and block… read more

Congress Still an Obstacle

Congress Still An Obstacle

Amidst all the attention surrounding the upcoming presidential election, it seems as though Congress has been exempt from criticism surrounding the environment. This could be in part due to the extremely low public approval ratings of Congress which contribute to apathy, and the recognition of certain powerful members of Congress being unwilling to do anything about the environment. For whatever reasons, Congress has been flying under the radar as of late, which is frequently a bad thing. As expected, members of Congress took this opportunity to get controversial measures passed, especially through the House of Representatives. Led by U.S. Representative… read more

Prompt Action Required


Environmental policy, like many other areas of legislation, is not exempt from the slow-moving nature of the American government. As a result, it is difficult to convey the need for prompt action, especially in the case of progressive environmental legislation. However, America is in a situation which demands immediate action. Former Governor Mitt Romney presented his energy plan last week in Hobbs, New Mexico, and called for a boost in oil exploration along the East coast. In addition, he would reverse the suspension of oil drilling off of the coast of Virginia, which was handed down by President Obama following… read more

Mining Responsibly

Mining in South Africa

South Africa is the biggest mining country in the world, a report compiled by Citigroup estimates that the country has over USD 2.5 trillion in precious metals reserves. To the corporate world this means potential to realize big profits, however to the many communities located in close proximity with mineral reserves this may spell the potential for catastrophic environmental disasters. The South African legislature recognized the need to address potential problems associated with mining, thus it passed the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 (MPRDA). This piece of legislation requires all persons who have applied for a… read more