Environment and sustainability – August 2022

09 September 2022

Rules and regulations and other developments in the Netherlands
ILT (in Dutch) has announced that it will impose penalties if a deposit on cans is not levied as of 1 January 2023. The Green Deal for coffee pods and tea bags in with food waste has been published (in Dutch) in the OJ. A motion (in Dutch, 21 kB) to reduce unnecessary shipping materials has passed. According to a report (in Dutch, 1.08 MB) by ILT (in Dutch), the Waste Fund Foundation has achieved the plastic recycling goal for 2019, but the substantiation of the data falls short. In a letter (in Dutch) to the Dutch House on various issues concerning a circular economy (CE), the State Secretary states that deposits on plastic bottles have not led to a shift to drinking cartons. She also sent (in Dutch) CE advisory routes for various sectors including plastics (in Dutch, 1.17 MB) and she sent an update (in Dutch) regarding the Circular Materials Plan (CMP1), the successor of LAP3. CMP1 will contain detailed chain plans, including one for paper and board. KIDV has published a Recycle Check for metal packaging. Leiden University research has found that enormous quantities of NL plastic waste end up in Asian seas, whereas administratively it is registered as being recycled. CBS (in Dutch) reports that less household waste was collected in 2021. In an article (1.03 MB) published in Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, Maastricht University researchers present a material flow model of beverage carton packaging waste.

Rules and regulations outside of the Netherlands
: The revised PPWD has been postponed from July to mid-November 2022. During a Cepi event (video recording, starting 10:00), an EC representative EC stated that a delegated act for packaging is not anticipated in the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR). The EC has published a bioeconomy strategy progress report (4.15 MB). RecyClass has published a guide (2.25 MB) on designing recyclable plastic packaging. In a study (1.73 MB) published in Detritus, TU Wien researchers review case studies on packaging waste management. Australia: The Queensland government has published a five-year roadmap (51 kB) for banning SUPs. Belgium: The government (in Dutch) has published the second Federal Action Plan for Marine Litter (in Dutch, 1.85 MB). Germany: Draft legislation establishing a national SUP fund has been sent to the EC. India: The government reports on the SUP regulations (1.4 MB, bilingual) that entered into force on 1 July 2022. An amendment (1.39 MB, bilingual) to the plastic waste management rules was also published. Ireland: The government has announced that the Circular Economy Act (629 kB) has been signed into law. Singapore: The government has launched a National Action Strategy on Marine Litter (6.77 MB). UK: Draft legislation on EPR obligations in Northern Ireland has been sent to the EC. US: Californian governor Newsom has signed a Bill into law to establish EPR for plastic packaging.

Research and reports
A UM Malta study (1.22 MB) published in Resources, Conservation & Recycling Advances used LCAs to compare reusable with recyclable packaging for cosmetics. UAntwerp (in Dutch) researchers have succeeded in creating aromatic building blocks from plastic waste. This could allow 17 million tonnes of waste to be used as a raw material worldwide each year. Ames Lab scientists have developed a catalyst for breaking down plastics. In a report (1.21 MB) commissioned by Oceana, Eunomia predicts that if the five leading beverage brands meet their recycled content targets, there will only be a 7% reduction of PET bottle marine pollution. Research (13.26 MB) by the University of Canterbury published in The Cryosphere shows microplastics in Antarctic snow. Utrecht University researchers found tons of nanoplastic floating in the Wadden Sea. A University of Cambridge study of EU lakes has found that some naturally-occurring lake bacteria use plastic as food. Enriching waters with these bacteria could be a natural way to remove plastic pollution from the environment.

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