Environment and sustainability - June 2019

27 June 2019

Update on mandatory oxo-biodegradable plastic packaging in Saudi Arabia
The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is working on mandatory requirements that articles made from plastic must be oxo-biodegradable and bear the SASO logo. The regulations are being implemented step by step in 3 phases. Now SASO has once again postponed the coming into effect date of phase 2 and 3 to 1 April 2020 (was 1 September 2019), after it had already been moved several times since December 2017. NVC has made an overview of the situation so far.

Regulations around the rest of the world
Global: During the G20 meeting of Energy and Environment Ministers in June, the G20 Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter (83 kB) was established. During this meeting Dutch State Secretary Van Veldhoven advocated that she wants EU and other western countries to stop exporting plastic waste. The Clean Planet coalition, a global network of organisations, is calling for worldwide deposit return systems. EU: The EC welcomes the adoption of the single-use plastics directive on 21 May by the Council. On 5 June the directive was published in the OJ. Despite some promising efforts to address the problem of plastic waste, specific prevention targets are still not widespread, according to a recent report (1.68 MB) by EEA. Canada: The government has announced a ban on harmful single-use plastics as early as 2021. Germany: The Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (in German) has launched a Public Consultation on minimum recyclability standards that will help determine the recycling fees that producers pay. A new publication (in German, 9.12 MB) by the Environment Agency UBA provides an update on plastics in the environment. Malaysia: In May the Environment and Climate Minister announced that 60 containers of plastic waste would be sent back to their countries of origin. New Zealand: Packaging New Zealand will be participating in the development of a Roadmap for the New Plastics Economy. NL: The Packaging Waste Fund (StAV) must recycle more glass. To this end, the Environment and Transport Inspectorate (in Dutch) is imposing a penalty payment for non-compliance on the StAV. Among other things, the StAV must install 800 extra glass bins by 31 December 2021. The final minutes (in Dutch, 208 kB) of the Dutch House debate held on 11 April have been published. The KIDV has announced the launch of an innovation platform for packaging and recycling.

Research and developments
University of Seville research, published in PLOS ONE (1.47 MB), looks at aspects of design engineering and sustainability for the production of interconnected smart food packaging.
Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe have joined the consortium founded by Carbios and L’Oréal (281 kB) to support enzymatic technology for the recycling of plastics. Surfers Against Sewage has revealed new Eunomia research (1.89 MB) showing that products from just a handful of companies account for more than half of packaging pollution found on UK beaches. AVR’s (in Dutch) separation plant now also removes plastic packaging and beverage containers from the residual waste of all Rotterdam (NL) households.

NVC Chair Packaging Design and Management - Two master assignments
On 6 June, Reint Bramer held a speech entitled ‘Consumer waste management in the circular transition’ and on 20 June Nikki Groote Schaarsberg held a speech entitled ‘The development of a sustainability evaluation tool for producers and importers of packaging.’ Both speeches were part of their master assignment at University of Twente. Chairman of the assessment committee was professor Roland ten Klooster who holds the NVC Chair Packaging Design and Management.

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