Environment and sustainability – August 2020

08 September 2020

Developments in the EU
The EC has announced the adoption of a €1.82 trillion long-term budget (621 kB), including a €0.80/kg levy on non-recycled plastic packaging waste to be paid by member states as of 2021. The EC has adopted a report on the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The EC is calling for feedback on a roadmap for legislation that will require companies to substantiate environmental claims. During the EU Environment Council on 23 June 2020, the NL state secretary requested the EC to propose mandatory requirements for the content of recycled plastic. A letter (in Dutch) with a report on the meeting was sent to the NL government.

Developments in the Netherlands
On 25 June 2020, an internet consultation (in Dutch) was opened on draft regulations (in Dutch, 362 kB) transposing the SUP directive. The consultation period ended on 9 August 2020. Along with manufacturers, the government is launching a new campaign to combat packaging waste. By 2025, 74% of all packaging materials must be recycled and/or re-used. On 2 July 2020, the state secretary sent a letter (in Dutch) about it to the House of Representatives. It also states that the ILT has started an inspection project on compliance with the essential requirements. The first phase focuses on the packaging of fabric softeners.
VANG (in Dutch) has published a new yes/no list for green waste (in Dutch). Packaging of any material can be found under the heading 'no'. Initiated by the Royal Dutch Coffee & Tea Association (in Dutch), the sector is therefore starting a process this year to jointly switch to compostable coffee pads and tea bags.

Developments in other countries
Australia: The government has announced that Western Australia's DRS will start on 1 October 2020. Denmark: A draft decree on voluntary take-back schemes has been sent to the EC. France: The government has sent a draft decree on the prohibition of certain SUPs and a draft decree on the Tri-label (consumer sorting rules) to the EC. Germany: The Federal Cabinet has approved legislation (in German, 154 kB) transposing the SUP directive. Hungary: Another draft decree transposing the SUP directive was sent to the EC. UK: The DRS for Scotland Regulations has been passed by Parliament. The DRS will start July 2022.

Food, plastic and liquid laundry detergent
In a report (4.12 MB), the Canadian National Zero Waste Council (518 kB) examines the relationships between food waste, packaging and GHG emissions. The Austrian project Stop Waste - Save Food has published a guide (5.35 MB) on food packaging sustainability.
Chalmers University has started a project on the recycling of plastic packaging. RePlastic, a project led by DTU, will focus on new technological ways of reproducing high quality plastics from non-recyclable plastic waste. Plastics Recycling Update reports on an AIMPLAS paper (249 kB) about ENZPLAST2, a project exploring uses for enzymes in plastics production, recycling and biodegradation. University of Bath research, published (3.99 MB) in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, shows a more efficient way of recycling bioplastics. ACS reports that researchers have linked the ability of superworms to degrade polystyrene to a bacteria that lives in the larvae’s gut. An article (abstract) is published in Environmental Science & Technology. Lund University has published a master thesis (2.15 MB) entitled ‘Recyclability by Design for Multilayer Plastic Flexible Packaging.’ RecyClass has published a Recyclability Protocol for PP containers (527 kB). A new report (18 MB) released by WWF highlights challenges and solutions in corporate plastic management.
In an article (1.75 MB) published in Sustainability, Ryerson University researchers present an LCA of 3 different packaging systems for liquid laundry detergent.

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