Environment and sustainability – April 2022

02 May 2022

Global developments
NTCP is participating in the Perfect Sorting Consortium to assess how AI technology can help improve packaging waste sorting. The Consumer Goods Forum has published a study (3.97 MB) demonstrating that chemical recycling of hard-to-recycle plastic waste could reduce the climate impact of plastic. In a recent report (summary, 1.57 MB) the Ellen MacArthur Foundation identifies 21 actions for flexible packaging to reach the 2025 plastic packaging targets. Florida Atlantic University scientists have found plastics deep in the ocean. A new camera technology developed by Aarhus University can distinguish 12 different types of plastic.

EU rules, regulations and reports
The EC has launched the proposal for a Regulation on Ecodesign for Sustainable Products, including Digital Product Passports. The proposal is open for feedback until 13 June 2022. The EC has also launched a proposal to strengthen consumer protection against false environmental claims and announced the development of end-of-waste criteria for plastic. A Eunomia report (5.38 MB) for Zero Waste Europe shows that most material recovered from PET bottles does not make its way back into new PET bottles. Plastics Europe reports the publication of a report (6.82 MB) entitled “ReShaping Plastics: Pathways to a Circular, Climate Neutral Plastics System in Europe”. Eurostat has released a new visualisation tool showing statistics relevant for the Green Deal.

Rules and regulations in the EU member states
France: Legislation on the minimum of reused packaging to be placed on the market annually has been published (in French) in the OJ. Germany: The government (in German) has adopted the amendment to the Biowaste Ordinance (in German) to reduce the plastic content in biowaste to less than 0.5%. Ireland: The cabinet has passed a circular economy bill. Italy: Draft legislation on the labelling of packaging has been sent to the EC. NL: A draft Collective Decree amending existing EPRs has been sent to the EC. A letter (in Dutch) about it was sent to the House, together with a letter (in Dutch) on EPR. Commissioned by NVRD (in Dutch), Utrecht University conducted research (in Dutch, 1.12 MB) into the role of municipalities and waste collectors in EPR. The state secretary has sent (in Dutch) the House the Plastic Pact 2020 results (in Dutch, 6.17 MB), a report (in Dutch, 1.7 MB) on a mandatory proportion of recycled or biobased content in plastic and a report (1.16 MB) on monitoring chemical recycling. The Transition Team Plastics has sent (in Dutch, 367 kB) the report (in Dutch, 3 MB) Circular Plastic Chain in 2050 to the State Secretary. On 19 April 2022, a round table discussion (in Dutch) took place in the House on the DRS for beverage cans. The State Secretary reports (in Dutch) that the monitoring of drinks packaging in litter (in Dutch, 447 kB) shows a visible effect of the DRS. KIDV (in Dutch) has published Q&A (in Dutch) on the recyclability of paper and board. Spain: FPF reports that the parliament has passed a law on waste (in Spanish) focused on the reduction of waste and particularly of SUPs. It also postpones the introduction of the plastic tax until 1 January 2023.

Rules and regulations in the UK and the US
UK: The government has published the outcome (522 kB) of a consultation on an EPR for packaging from 2024. BPF has released an online tool to identify what qualifies for the plastics packaging tax. The Scottish government has announced the reintroduction of charges on single-use drinks cups. US: Keller and Heckman reports that Bill S2145/A155 introduced in New Jersey would forbid the use of a chasing arrows symbol if the products are not widely recycled. NWRA has released a study (2.02 MB) on expected outcomes of EPR programs.

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