The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) conducted an assessment on the health and environmental risks posed by intentionally added microplastics. In response to the assessment, the Agency determined that a restriction on the substances was warranted. The proposal for the restriction covers a wide range of uses in consumer and professional products. If implemented, the Agency determined the restriction could reduce emissions of microplastics by approximately 400,000 tons over 20 years.
The Ministry of Ecology and Environment, in conjunction with a number of other agencies, issued the Notice on the Waste Lead Battery Pollution Prevention Action Plan. The Plan involves the management system for the collection, storage, transfer, and disposal of waste lead batteries. The Plan seeks to support the establishment of formal collection and treatment systems for lead battery manufacturers and regenerative lead enterprises. In response to the rapid development of China's lead storage battery and recycled lead industry, the Plan will continue to place pressure on and “severely crack down” on illegal collection activities.
Additional information: http://www.mee.gov.cn/xxgk2018/xxgk/xxgk05/201901/t20190124_690792.html.
In light of Ontario's recent changes made to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) by Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, Ontario employers are now required to do the following:
Employers may provide the poster as a printed copy, electronically as an attachment in an email, or by directing employees via an electronic link to the poster. However, this is only if the employer ensures that the employee can reasonably access and print.
Employers should note that Ontario’s recent proposed Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018, would remove the requirement to provide this ESA poster to employees. However, Ontario employers must stay in compliance with the current regulatory requirements until any changes become effective as law.
Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration Revises and Amends the Toxic Chemical Substance Control Act
The Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration revised and amended the Toxic Chemical Substance Control Act. The name of the Act has been changed to the Toxic and Chemical Substances of Concern Control Act. Changes to the law relate to the prevention of toxic chemical substances and the concern that chemical substances pollute the environment or endanger human health. The amendments also seek to “grasp” the various domestic chemical substances by screening and evaluating toxic chemical substances and chemical substances.
Additional information: https://oaout.epa.gov.tw/law/LawContent.aspx?id=FL015852.
Ministry Officials of Egypt Discuss the General Framework of New Solid Waste System Implementation Plan
Egypt's Minister of the Environment and Local Development presented and discussed the general framework of the new solid waste system implementation plan. The purpose of the meeting was to prepare for the presentation of the plan to the Prime Minister. The general framework of the plan included the following:
The new system seeks to improve the efficiency of collection, transport, and closure of random landfills, improve treatment and recycling, improve safe disposal at landfills, and encourage private sector investment.
Additional information: http://www.eeaa.gov.eg/ar-eg/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B1%D9%83%D8%B2%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B9%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%89/%D9%85%D8%B1%D9%83%D8%B2%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1.aspx?articleID=5572.
Notice Issued on the Measures for the Investigation of False Environmental Monitoring Data in Shanghai
In order to ensure the authenticity and accuracy of environmental monitoring data, and to investigate and punish falsified environmental monitoring data and fraudulent behavior, the Shanghai Ecological Environmental Bureau has formulated the Measures for Investigation and Treatment of Environmental Monitoring Data. The effective date was January 2, 2019.
Additional information: http://www.sepb.gov.cn/fa/cms/xxgk//AC45/AC4508000/AC4508007/2019/01/101179.htm.
Amendments have been made to the Labor Code’s articles on sexual harassment with respect to employer responsibility to prevent, stop, and punish acts of sexual harassment. Further, in any company employing at least 250 employees, a reference person must be appointed to guide, inform, and accompany employees in the fight against sexual harassment. In accordance with Article 105 IV of Law No. 2018-771 of September 5, 2018, these provisions came into force no later than January 1, 2019.
Additional information: https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichCode.do;jsessionid=5E0638EDA50BC8666384428A41571DE7.tplgfr41s_1?idSectionTA=LEGISCTA000006177846&cidTexte=LEGITEXT000006072050&dateTexte=20190228.