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  • Trade in Used Cars in the Americas: Good for the Environment?

    Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

    A recent working paper by two US economists looks at the environmental consequences of international trade in durable goods through data regarding trade in used cars between the United States and Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  [A tip of the hat to Rob over at Globalisation and the Environment for alerting […]

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    Brazil Adopts New Battery Rules

    Friday, September 12th, 2008

    Brazil’s National Environment Council (CONAMA) just replaced the country’s groundbreaking 1999 rules on the environmental management of batteries and piles (pilhas) with even tougher ones.
    Manufacturers should take note, since legislators and regulators in other Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) nations will.  The original rules served as a reference point for many LAC policymakers, particularly since […]

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    Promoting Renewable Energy in Costa Rica

    Thursday, July 10th, 2008

    A bill has been introduced in Costa Rica’s national assembly by Deputy José Merino del Río that aims at promoting a faster switch to renewable energy sources by exempting from taxes the following items:

    Solar water heaters for all uses whose efficiency has been certified by an accredited laboratory;
    Storage tanks for thermosyphon solar water heating systems;
    Photovoltaic […]

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    Postscript on the Battery Recycling Controversy in Paraná

    Sunday, September 30th, 2007

    Remember the local opposition to a car battery “recycling” (mining) operation in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná last March that eventually led to state environment officials in May to suspend the company’s environmental license and initiating a full review of all state  environmental, health and safety policies regarding enterprises handling lead and its compounds?
    Well, […]

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    Imposing EPR for End-of-Life Medicines and Batteries

    Thursday, May 31st, 2007

    Back in April, Colombian Environment Minister Juan Lozano promised proposals for mandatory extended producer responsibility (EPR) regimes for expired medicines and end-of-life (EOL) lead-acid batteries. Earlier this month he made good on that promise: the Environment Ministry (Ministerio de Ambiente, Vivienda y Desarrollo Territorial –MAVDT) has published for public comment two draft decrees, one […]

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    An Interesting Twist to the Battery Recycling Story

    Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

    A few days ago I posted about a controversy in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná involving community opposition to the environmental licensing of a battery recycling facility just outside town. I concluded by saying:
    Looking on the bright side, the mere fact that you can view a news report such as this one says […]

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    Battery Recycling? Not in my Backyard!

    Saturday, March 24th, 2007

    As the video below from RPC (Rede Paranaense de Comunicação) TV demonstrates, there’s an interesting flap underway in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná. Seems that a number of neighbors in a rural community discovered that a business was set to open nearby that would take in used car batteries for recycling — mainly […]

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    Toxics in Electronics Redux: Greenpeace Responds

    Monday, October 30th, 2006

    As I noted here previously on the Temas Blog, a few weeks back Treehugger invited me to guest blog about my reservations concerning Greenpeace’s handling of its report on the testing of laptops for certain substances. My entry drew quite a few comments, including a long, detailed reply reputedly penned by the scientist who […]

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