Environment and sustainability – January 2023

02 February 2023

Rules and regulations in the Netherlands - info in Dutch unless stated otherwise
Based on an external report (1.57 MB), the government has developed a consideration framework for the scope of the SUP directive. The information has been incorporated in KIDV's SUP decision trees. The Council of State has ruled that the DRS for beverage cans can be introduced in April 2023. The Waste Management Contribution Agreement of the Waste Fund has been declared generally binding. The House has passed a motion on accelerated EU legislation for a minimum amount of recyclate in plastics. VANG reports that coffee pods and tea bags are now allowed in with food waste and that the yes/no list has been updated accordingly. A KIDV factsheet (in English) rates beverage cartons as 'reasonably recyclable'. RVO (in English) has published the Environment List 2023 (in Dutch) with investments for which you can apply for fiscal advantage (MIA/Vamil). Research (3.83 MB) by Natuur & Milieu shows that to-go packaging is hardly recycled. Thomas Hobé has won the Student Recycling Award 2022 with his research (in English, 2.09 MB) on quality assurance systems.

Rules and regulations outside the Netherlands
UNEP reports that the first meeting to develop a global legally binding agreement on plastic pollution has taken place. EU: The EC has published the proposed revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD). The feedback period ends 17 March 2023. The EC has also released the policy framework on bioplastics. The EP has adopted amendments to the proposed waste shipment regulation. Belgium: Draft legislation on limiting SUPs and increasing the use of recyclate has been sent to the EC. Fost Plus reports that the Flemish government has decided to implement a digital DRS. Fost Plus also reports that capsules for coffee and other drinks can now be put in the PMD bag. Estonia: Draft legislation updating the end-of-waste criteria for biodegradable waste has been sent to the EC. France: The Conseil d’État has rescinded the list of fruit and vegetables (in French) that can still be sold in plastic packaging and new draft legislation has been sent to the EC. Germany: DSD reports that reusable packaging is now mandatory in the catering sector. Italy: The budgetary plan (in Italian) states that the plastic tax has been suspended for 2023. CONAI has released a manual for the use of digital channels in environmental labelling. New Zealand: The government has published an interim regulatory impact statement (1.89 MB) on a DRS. Spain: The final Royal Decree on packaging waste (in Spanish) has been published and Ecoembes (in Spanish, 513 kB) confirms that use of the Green Dot symbol is now voluntary instead of mandatory. UK: The Welsh government has announced a ban on certain SUPs. US: The FTC is seeking comment on potential changes to the Green Guides for the Use of Environmental Claims.

Other developments
UAB research shows that the amount of microplastics deposited on the bottom of oceans has tripled in the past two decades. Microplastic pollution swirling in Auckland's air is equivalent to millions of plastic bottles, University of Auckland research has found. According to DUKE researchers, reducing the use of plastic should be the goal in companies' pledges, not recycling. A report (13.5 MB) by VBDO also concludes that EU FMCGs are not taking responsibility to reduce plastic. A report (332 kB) by the EC shows that the EU is not on track to achieve the 2030 targets for waste and plastics in the oceans. TNO scientists have developed a model (QMRP) to grade recycled plastics by their material quality instead of their type. Using the QRMP could make recycling more effective. QUT researchers suggest tackling plastic pollution with a combination of DNA-like encoding and international law. FEFCO has published a corrugated board Climate Neutrality Roadmap (1.23 MB).

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