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Photo credit: CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 13 (CNA) Taiwan plans to ban single-use plastic drinking straws in fast food chains beginning 2019, in a war on plastic waste, Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) said Tuesday.

According to the timetable, the EPA plans by 2020 to expand a restriction on providing customers with free plastic shopping bags to all retail stores that issue uniform invoices, while imposing a blanket restriction against offering plastic bags at all stores and studying the feasibility of raising the prices of plastic bags by 2025. A blanket ban on plastic shopping bags is set to be introduced in 2030, Lee said

Read the full article on Taiwan’s planned bans until 2030 here.

By Wu Hsin-yun and Evelyn Kao for Focus Taiwan News Channel.

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Supporters of an ivory ban protest outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China January 31, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

“We now need to see all other countries close loopholes that still allow the illegal trade of ivory to continue.”

Lawmakers in Hong Kong voted to ban all ivory sales in the territory on Wednesday, a move environmentalists hailed as a definitive measure to help curb elephant poaching.

The policies represent a massive step forward in the fight against elephant poaching across Africa and in parts of Asia, where the animals are slaughtered for their tusks. Environmentalists estimate more than 33,000 elephants are killed every year to help feed the demand for ivory, which is seen as a status symbol in some Asian countries.

Countries including Thailand and Vietnam are now the largest remaining markets for the ivory trade, and officials are calling on more sweeping bans to be instituted around the globe.

Read the full article here.

By Nick Visser for the HuffPost.

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People enjoying elephant ride in Chitwan National Park, on Saturday. Photo: THT

Amid increased activism by global animal rights activists against elephant ride, jungle safari operators based in Chitwan and Nawalparasi have demanded that the government come up with a regulations with minimum conditions to be fulfilled for using elephants for tourism and wildlife conservation.

Stating that elephant is a crucial part of Nepal’s wildlife tourism and conservation, they said banning their use completely would have an adverse impact on tourism, which is one of the major contributors to the national economy. At the same time, it would also hamper conservation efforts, and put at risk the livelihood of elephants in captivity.

According to elephant safari operators, tourism also provides livelihood to elephants in captivity. They say these elephants are not only earning money for the tourism business, they are ahelso earning for themselves.

Read the full article about the jungle safari operators’ demand for regulations here.

By Himalayan News Service for The Himalayan Times.

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Image source: glasgowlive.co.uk

The move comes after a nationwide campaign by environmentalists to cut plastic water bottle use by tens of millions each year.

A popular west end restaurant has become one of the first businesses in Scotland to tap into the free water revolution.

Innis & Gunn Beer Kitchen on Ashton Lane has signed up to a nationwide Water UK Refill App which allows passersby to fill their reusable water bottles in bars, shops and cafes at no cost.

Read the full article here.

By Magdalene Dalziel for Glasgowlive.co.uk

Read more about who else has been joining the new drinking water network here.

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Microscopic marine organisms like these are encountering a growing volume of microplastic pollution. Fibers from synthetic clothes are a major source of microplastic pollution. Dr. Richard Kirby, Supplied 11 September 2017

Sarah Dudas doesn’t mind shucking an oyster or a clam in the name of science.

But sit down with her and a plate of oysters on the half-shell or a bucket of steamed Manila clams, and she’ll probably point out a bivalve’s gonads or remark on its fertility.

And lately, the shellfish biologist is making other unappetizing comments to her dinner party guests—about plastics in those shellfish.

But tracking the origins of tiny plastic particles in a big ocean is new territory. So Dudas turned to Peter Ross, who has studied the effects of ocean pollution on sea life for 30 years.

“We’ve long known that plastic and debris can be a problem for ocean life,” said Ross, director of the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Pollution Research Program.

Read the full article on the research done by Dudas and Ross here.

by  for Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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Reap swift financial benefits by developing your country with mass tourism or opt for long term, low impact eco-tourism. Which would you choose?

Done right, sustainable tourism offers livelihoods for communities, meaningful travel experiences for tourists and protection for indigenous species and ways of life.

Read the full article and watch the video to find out what Botswana Tourism did here.

By World Travel & Tourism Council for Medium.

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Company wants to collect, recycle the equivalent of 100% of the packaging it puts out by 2030 Coca-Cola wants to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% of the packaging it puts out into the world by 2030. Coca-Cola wants to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% of the packaging it puts out into the world by 2030. PHOTO: ANTHONY DEVLIN/ZUMA PRESS

Company wants to collect, recycle the equivalent of 100% of the packaging it puts out by 2030

Coca-Cola Co., long criticized by environmental advocates for producing billions of plastic bottles that end up in landfills and oceans, said it wants to collect and recycle the equivalent of all the packaging it puts out into the world by 2030.

The goal is part of a sustainability initiative announced by the soda company called “World Without Waste.” Coca-Cola said Friday that its efforts will include investing in more efficient packaging, local recycling programs and consumer education. It declined to say how much it will spend as part of the effort.

Read the full article on Coca-Cola’s commitment here.

By Cara Lombardo for The Wall Street Journal.

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Masaru Takayama, Chair, AEN

Masaru Takayama, Chair and Founder of the Asian Ecotourism Network, speaks to Gaia Discovery’s Mallika Naguran of his plans for 2018 and in shaping a stronger association that promotes responsible tourism in Asia. 

The Asian Ecotourism Network was formed in June 2015 out of exceptional circumstances. At that time, the original board members of The International Ecotourism Society or TIES had resigned from it and formed the Global Ecotourism Network (GEN) instead. Four GEN board members residing in Asia including Masaru Takayama went on to form the regional Asian Ecotourism Network, or AEN.

Read more.

By Mallika Naguran, Publisher and Managing Editor, Gaia Discovery and Gaia Guide

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Of 21 Winter Olympic Cities, Many May Soon Be Too Warm to Host the Games

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Cross-country skiers at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Distill the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, to their essence and you get 15 sports that involve gliding on snow or ice. Because of climate change, though, by 2050 many prior Winter Games locations may be too warm to ever host the Games again.

By midcentury, nine former Winter Olympics sites
may not be reliably cold enough for the Games.

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WTTC announces Finalists for 2018 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

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The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is pleased to announce the 15 Finalists for its 2018 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The 2018 Finalists cut across five continents in the following categories: Community, Destination, Environment, Innovation and People.

The WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, now in its 14th year, showcases business practices of the highest standards that balance the needs of ‘people, planet and profits’ within our sector. All 15 Finalists illustrate great commitment to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behaviour towards a more sustainable tourism sector.

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