miércoles, 9 de abril de 2014

Argentines "use eight billion" plastic bags a year

Argentines use "at least" eight billion plastic bags a year, around 200 per person, roughly half of that to hold household rubbish, the northern daily La Voz del Interior reported on 9 April, citing a study by the National Institute of Industrial Technology, INTI. The daily reported that residents of Córdoba, where La Voz is published, used 266 million plastic bags a year of which 40 million - or 300 tonnes of plastic - were thought to end up as floating trash for "being badly disposed of." La Voz depicted the relative impact of pollution from a year's consumption of bags in Córdoba as equivalent to three days of driving by all its cars, although its opinion was that the environmental impact of plastic pollution in Córdoba was "limited" compared to car pollution or the unspecified amount of food wasted there. Córdoba and its suburbs have a population of a little over 1.3 million. The municipal council of Rosario in the province of Santa Fe was separately to discuss whether to ban or charge for plastic bags. The Socialist council president Miguel Zamarini was urging a ban following the example of other cities, the website Infonews reported on 6 April. Zamarini cited Córdoba as one city where supermarkets were no longer handing out plastic bags. "We welcome the debate, but we do not believe in partial solutions and palliative measures. Pollution of supermarket plastic bags is proven and we do not want a less harmful bag, but to eliminate pollution outright," La Capital cited him as saying.

Puerto Rico town bans plastic bags

The resort of Rincón in Puerto Rico was reported on 7 April to be the island's first district to ban the distribution of plastic bags by shops, responding to the visible pollution of local waters, the Associated Press reported. The municipal website put Rincón's population at just over 14,700, with a much larger "floating" population of tourists. The ban was to enter into force in February 2015, after which shops would have to sell recycled paper bags and face fines of between USD 100 and 500 for giving out plastic bags. The mayor of Rincón, Carlos López Bonilla, was cited as urging other districts to follow suit, though the island has yet to approve a territorial ban or restrictions on plastic bags, AP reported. Mr López said the move was part of the "hard work" being done to preserve the district's "14 miles of" beaches and the local Tres Palmas reserve. "Plastic bags last hundreds of years...and represent a potential source of dangerous chemicals when they deteriorate. They...do not degrade but break into little pieces that penetrate our soil or are washed into our rivers, lakes and oceans," El Nuevo Día cited Mr López as saying.

Colombian guerrillas kill six state agents, FARC "doctor" detained

Suspected guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) killed three policemen on 8 April, in a road ambush in the department of CaquetáEl Colombiano reported, citing the Colprensa agency. The head of the Caquetá police José Elías Baquero was cited as attributing the attack, perpetrated on the road between Cartagena del Chairá and El Paujil to Front 15 of the FARC. The assailants took with them an unnamed prisoner, possibly a drug dealer, travelling with the police convoy. The same daily reported on 9 April that the policemen may have been executed after being disarmed, and was not shot in fighting. It cited them as among six soldiers and policemen most recently killed in guerrilla actions. A policeman was shot dead as he watched a football match late on 7 April in Buenos Aires in Cauca, in another attack attributed to the FARC, while two soldiers were killed that day in fighting against National Liberal Army guerrillas in the district of Saravena. Media separately reported on 7 April, the arrest in Caquetá of a deputy-head and "physician" of the FARC's Front 49. State investigators and Army units caught the suspect, a guerrilla dubbed Mompi and said to work habitually as a hospital director in the district of Solano, on the frontier with the department of Putumayo; two others were held with him and arms confiscated, Radio Santa Fe reported on 7 April.