Environment and sustainability – February 2020

03 March 2020

Benelux: As of 9 May 2020 packaging information in GS1 data pool
As of 9 May 2020, the NL Food, Health and Beauty industry and the BE-LU FMCG industry require companies to include packaging information in the GS1 data pool so that suppliers and retailers can exchange trade item data via the Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN). The information can then be used for, among other things, the declaration to the Packaging Waste Fund, Fost Plus and Valorlux. You can find more information here (go to ‘Explanations on attributes’).

More rules and regulations
EU: Research (964 kB) by Eunomia has found that possible exemptions to the SUP Directive potentially open the legislation to loopholes which could significantly undermine its impact. Denmark: An Order has been sent to the EC laying down a minimum of DKK 4 for carrier bags provided at the point of sale. France: On 30 January 2020, the Parliament adopted (in French) the anti-waste law (in French, loi anti-gaspillage). It includes a ban on all SUPs starting in 2040. On 11 February the law was published in the Journal officiel (in French). NL: The CBS (in Dutch) reports that the revenue from the municipal waste levy is expected to increase by 8.3% to 2.0 billion euros in 2020. The increase is mainly due to a sharp increase in the waste processing costs. Research (17.27 MB) by WUR shows that compostable plastics disintegrate fast enough in the current NL biowaste disposal system. The Minister has responded in writing (in Dutch) to Parliamentary questions about an NH article (in Dutch) about WUR research that found thousands of microplastics North Holland compost. She has also answered (in Dutch) questions about an NRC article (in Dutch) 'An extra bin for plastic: separating more is not better’. PlasticsEurope NL (in Dutch) has published an infographic (in Dutch, 1.22 MB) on the lifecycle of plastics in 2018. In a new consortium of knowledge institutes, PBL (in Dutch) aims to build up knowledge to support the transition to a circular economy. The first report (in Dutch, 1.74 MB) has recently been released. UK: The government has announced the re-introduction of the Environment Bill into parliament. The Welsh government has opened a consultation on making the circular economy a reality. US: Senator Tom Udall has unveiled the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2020 (169 kB).

Plastic waste
Nanyang Technological University research, published in Advanced Science (3.92 MB), shows a method that could turn plastic waste into valuable chemicals by using sunlight. A Stanford study, published in Environmental Science & Technology (abstract), shows that mealworms are not only able to eat various forms of plastic, they can also consume potentially toxic plastic additives in polystyrene. The worms can then be used as a feed supplement. AIMPLAS has announced that it will take part in the innovation project BioICEP (Bio-Innovation of a Circular Economy for Plastic). The project will work on technologies aimed at increasing plastics degradation. RecyClass findings show that EVOH with a threshold of up to 5% of the total weight of the PE film has a minor impact on the recycled material.

FPF reports that University Medical Center Utrecht (in Dutch) research has found that immune cells that come into contact with microplastics die approximately 3 times more quickly. WUR research, published in Science Advances (612 kB), shows that the effects of microplastics and nanoplastics on biodiversity are only visible after more than a year. UGent and VITO researchers have developed a method to monitor small microplastics. A Rutgers University researcher has published a paper (396 kB) in Environmental Research outlining problems and potential solutions in microplastic studies.

NVC members receive this information with all the relevant links in the monthly NVC Members-only Update. If you have any questions, please contact us: info@nvc.nl, +31-(0)182-512411.