Environment and sustainability – January 2020
Regulations in the EU
EU: The EC has presented the EU Green Deal. The EC also announced the publication of a roadmap for its new Circular Economy Action Plan. The feedback period ended 20 January 2020. In an interview in Die Welt (in German) Commissioner Sinkevičius says that the EC is considering a general ban on plastic packaging. Keller and Heckman has published a summary article with the EC’s initiatives on implementing the SUP. FEVE has launched the Close the Glass Loop programme to boost glass collection to 90% by 2030. France: FPF reports that the National Assembly has voted (in French) to approve a ban on all SUPs starting in 2040. Ireland: The government has opened a consultation on a new Waste Action Plan. Italy: Ernst & Young reports that in the final budget 2020 (in Italian, 6.15 MB) the plastic levy is decreased from 1€/kg to 0.45 €/kg. NL: The Packaging Waste Fund fees for 2020 can be found here. VNG reports (in Dutch) that the municipalities support the new agreement (in Dutch, 1.35 MB) on packaging waste. KIDV (in Dutch) has published the Recyclecheck for flexible plastic packaging (in Dutch) and an update of the Recycle Check for rigid plastic packaging, according to a news item (in Dutch). RVO has published the Environment List 2020 (in Dutch) with investments for which you can apply for fiscal advantage (MIA/Vamil). NRK (in Dutch) has signed the Green Deal (70 kB) ‘Reliable evidence for applications of plastic recyclate.’ Norway: The National Waste Plan 2020-2025 (in Norwegian, 1.42 MB) has been published. Spain: A draft Order laying down criteria determining when recovered paper and cardboard ceases to be waste has been sent to the EC. Sweden: A draft Act on tax on waste that is incinerated and a draft Act on tax on plastic carrier bags have been sent to the EC. UK: OPRL (231 kB) is launching a simplified labelling system: “Recycle” or “Don’t Recycle”.
Regulations in the rest of the world
Australia: A recently introduced Bill would mandate product stewardship for packaging and plastics. The National Waste Policy Action Plan 2019 (5.73 MB) has been published. China: The BBC reports on plans to restrict the use of SUP, including plastic bags. The government has published a Q&A (in Chinese). India: CGTN reports that the ban on SUP has been held off, instead the government will curb their use. Singapore: The government has announced the inclusion of online sales packaging in the mandatory reporting. US: The American Beverage Association has announced the Every Bottle Back initiative.
Plastics and the circular economy
PlasticsEurope has published a report (12.61 MB) on the EU circular economy for plastics. The Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Break Free From Plastic movement have published the English edition of the Plastic Atlas. It covers many aspects of plastic production, consumption and disposal. FPF reports the publication of an Agoria and Essenscia study (11.79 MB) on how far the Belgian plastics industry has come. A new report (4.13 MB) by Greenpeace reveals that 7 of the top 10 UK supermarkets have increased the plastic packaging they use. The New Zealand government has published a report (26.75 MB) on plastics. GA Circular has published a report (9.2 MB) on PET bottles in Southeast Asia.
Chalmers University research, published in Sustainable Materials and Technologies (6.92 MB), shows a process for breaking down any plastic waste to a molecular level. The gases can be transformed back into new plastics. Northwestern University research, published in ACS Central Science (2.86 MB), shows a new catalytic method for upcycling ‘low-value’ plastics into high-quality liquid products. Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have discovered new ways to convert SUP waste into products such as storage tanks. A Florida Atlantic University study, published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials (3.41 MB), reveals how each year 98% of plastics at sea disappears of the radar.
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