Environment and sustainability – April 2021

04 May 2021

European developments
In a press release PACCOR has announced that a number of plastic packaging manufacturers have brought an action for annulment before the EU General Court against the new marking specifications for SUP beverage cups. Please note that the marking obligations must still be applied from 3 July 2021. ACE has announced (72 kB) that the beverage carton industry has set out a 10 year sustainability roadmap (29.07 MB). Reaching a 90% collection rate and at least a 70% recycling rate by 2030 is one of the 10 commitments. UNESDA has announced the Circular Packaging Vision 2030 (529 kB) aiming to achieve full circularity of beverage packaging by 2030. European Aluminium and Metal Packaging Europe have launched a joint Roadmap towards achieving 100% aluminium beverage can recycling by 2030.

Rules and regulations in the EU member states
Belgium: Draft legislation transposing the SUP directive has been sent to the EC. Fost Plus reports that as of 1 April 2021, the expanded New Blue Bag PMD collection that citizens are familiar with, also came into effect for companies. France: SGS reports that the ban of the Green Dot in France has been suspended. The Council of State has suspended the date of enforcement in an order (in French, 138 kB). More information can also be found on the Citeo website (in French). Draft legislation on selling fruit and vegetables without plastic packaging has been sent to the EC. Ireland: The government has launched a second consultation on the DRS proposal. NL: The Packaging Waste Fund (in Dutch) reports that in 2020 the total amount of household packaging waste collected for recycling increased further. A CE Delft study (in Dutch, 1.75 MB) commissioned by NVRD (in Dutch) examines the climate impact of incineration and recycling of waste flows generated by households. KIDV (in Dutch) has published a factsheet (in Dutch, 599 kB) on environmental claims. KIDV (in Dutch) reports the launch of the platform CIRCUP: circular collection and recycling of paper cups and other paper laminate packaging. Portugal: Draft legislation transposing the SUP directive has been sent to the EC.

Rules and regulations outside of Europe
Australia: The government has published a National Plastics Plan 2021 (4.59 MB). India: The government has published a proposed ban (1.82 MB) on certain SUPs. UK: The government has opened a second consultation on EPR and on the DRS proposal. US: Congressman Alan Lowenthal has reintroduced the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act (259 kB). Waste Dive has published a webpage tracking recycling-related bills within the Congress. Ball Cooperation has published a report (3.11 MB) that compares recycling rates state-by-state.

UNEP has published a report (3.33 MB) addressing SUP pollution, by using LCAs. In an article (4.94 MB) published in Resources, Conservation and Recycling, University of Bonn scientists investigate the factors affecting the sustainability of biobased plastics. EUROSAC has published a new carbon footprint analysis (296 kB) on paper sacks. JRC research (4.55 MB) published in Nature Food shows that food systems are responsible for 1/3 of the global anthropogenic GHG emissions. Research (4.44 MB) by WUR published in Environmental Science & Technology calculates that humans consume less than a grain of salt of microplastics per week. The polynSPIRE project on plastics recycling has published an update. Research (2.09 MB) by WUR published in Environmental Research Letters, shows that floods multiply plastic waste in rivers. Research (1.73 MB) by Rutgers, published in Chemosphere, shows stormwater could be important source of plastic pollution. IASS researchers have studied (6.33 MB) the role of regional ocean governance in the fight against plastic pollution.

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