jueves, 10 de mayo de 2018

Medellín recycling machines to multiply after initial success

A pilot scheme in Medellín to encourage residents to recycle cans, glass and plastic bottles by giving them transport credit gathered thousands of containers within four months of its start in September 2017, and was set to expand from one machine, organizers stated in March 2018. Ciclo, the firm founded by local engineering students, stated that its container in the Universidad metro station gathered almost 5,000 bottles and cans just on April 24, designated a car-free day in Medellín. From September to the end of 2017, over 4,500 commuters used the machine to recycle 440,000 bottles and cans, earning enough credit for over 11,000 metro trips in that time. That amounted to taking 200 cars off the road and not emitting 22 tonnes of CO2, El Espectador reported on March 22. With the scheme's success, the metro authority stated in early April that the city would have five machines in the city by the end of 2018.

Chile mulling general ban on plastic bags

Chile's government presented its proposals to parliament on 8 May for a nationwide ban on "the use of plastic bags in shops," media reported. President Sebastián Piñera wrote on Twitter that "we do not want more bags polluting our cities, countryside, beaches and seas." The initiative is meant to substitute the earlier 2017 ban on plastic bag distribution in 102 seaside districts. The Government states that Chile currently produced 3.4 billion plastic bags a year and that residents of Santiago alone used 62.2 million bags a year, CNN reported. Some eight million tonnes of plastic are stated as ending up in the world's oceans every year, according to NGOs like Plastic Oceans, with increasing reports of wildlife choking on them. In late April, the Environment Minister Marcela Cubillos specified that the measure would include "so-called biodegradable" bags, and go into force within a year of approval and publication in the official gazette, or two years for smaller businesses. Meanwhile, she added, businesses could hand customers a maximum of two plastic bags for every purchase, the national daily El Mercurio reported on 27 April.