The Nilgiris district in India announced a far-ranging ban on plastic products, effective January 2018. The ban encompasses the usual suspects – Styrofoam, polypropylene (i.e. non-woven) bags, and single-use plates and cups, many of which have been banned since 2001 – but it goes the extra mile and also includes plastic gloves, silver foil covers, plastic and foil gift wrap, laminated brown paper, laminated bakery boxes, cling wrap, and plastic water bottles below one liter in volume among the banned items. Plastic waste accumulation has become a huge problem in this hilly and popular tourist destination, and a successful effort to reduce waste here could be exemplary for other regions (like Ladakh) which are struggling with the same problem. Read more about this policy in the Deccan Chronicle and Times of India.
In July 2018, Todd Township in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania adopted a Community Bill of Rights ordinance banning industrial agriculture. Under this law, all animals must be owned by local citizens and the majority of farm revenue must stay within the township. Residents, together with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), created the bill to protect the town’s water supply, environment, rural landscape, and family farming culture from corporate farms. See the CELDF press release for more information.
Vauban is a neighborhood in Freiburg, Germany, that is often cited as one of the best examples of sustainable urban living in the world. Built in the late 1990s on the site of an abandoned French military base, Vauban was envisioned from the beginning as a “sustainable model district,” and built using a mixture of sustainable technology and common sense to serve the needs of both people and the planet. To learn more, visit The World’s Most Successful Model for Sustainable Urban Development?. Photo by Tom Brehm (CC-BY-NC 2.0)
In November 2018, Baltimore, Maryland, became the first major US city to ban privatization of its municipal water and sewer systems. Citizens overwhelmingly voted to keep the systems under the control of the local government in perpetuity, to ensure that they remain accountable, transparent, open to input from residents, and free from the influence of corporate profit margins. Learn more in this article from Food and Water Watch.