Environment and sustainability – June 2020

29 June 2020

Developments in regulations
: The EC has published a report (3.81 MB) on the relevance of biodegradable and compostable plastics in a circular economy. It concludes that material choices should prioritise recyclability over compostability. The EC has published a roadmap to review the essential requirements on packaging and packaging waste. The feedback period closes on 6 August 2020. In May 2018, the EC proposed a national contribution calculated on the basis of non-recycled plastic packaging waste. In May 2020, the EC confirmed that it remains valid. China: The government has adopted a revision to the law on solid waste requiring local governments to set up household waste management systems. BIR published the text in Chinese. Denmark: SGS reports that an Order (in Danish) with new requirements for charges on carrier bags as of 1 July 2020 has been published. Finland: A draft bill has been sent to the EC bringing foreign sellers more clearly within the scope of EPR. Hungary: The government has sent another draft decree to the EC transposing the SUP directive into national regulations. Ireland: Repak has launched a new Packaging Design Guide (5.52 MB). Italy: The Rilancio Decree (in Italian) postpones the Plastic Tax to January 2021. Draft regulations have been sent to the EC establishing criteria under which paper and cardboard waste ceases to be classified as waste. Latvia: A draft law has been sent to the EC on amendments to the Packaging Law, including the application of a DRS. NL: The State Secretary has sent answers (in Dutch, 993 kB) to the input of the Written Consultation on the Circular Economy of 17 April 2020 to the House of Representatives. In September 2019 the KCPK published a report in Dutch on the recycling of paper and board in NL. The report is used for the KIDV Recycle Check. Recently an English version of the report (1.012 kB) was published. WUR has published a report (3.38 MB) on flexible laminates in a circular economy. Spain: Ernst & Young reports that the government has published a proposal for a plastic tax.

Designing packaging
FPF reports the publication of an article (1.57 MB) in Environmental Science and Technology reviewing 71 LCA studies on food packaging and food service ware. CEFLEX has published EU ‘Designing for a Circular Economy’ guidelines for flexible packaging. You can receive the guidelines after filling in your details. Plastics Recyclers Europe has updated their recycling input characterisation guidelines and created additional ones.

A new study, led by Plymouth Marine Laboratory, suggests an underestimation of microplastics in the ocean. An article (2.97 MB) about the study is published in Environmental Pollution. Researchers at the University of Tasmania have identified microplastic contamination in Antarctic sea ice. An article about the study is published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin (abstract). Two new studies by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) into how plastic debris is reaching sub-Antarctic islands are published in Environment International. The first article (4.97 MB) studies marine debris washed up on the beaches The second article (327 kB) studies the variation in plastic ingestion by albatrosses.
Researchers at the Tokyo University of Science have come up with a new method to track plastic emissions from inland areas to sea. An article (4.25 MB) about the research is published in Water. In an article (1.84 MB) published in Science, University of Manchester researchers show how deep-sea currents act as conveyor belts, transporting tiny plastic fragments and fibres across the seafloor. Researchers at VTT have developed a new method to capture microplastics before they enter the waterways.
FPF has published a dossier (570 kB) on microplastics and a background article on microplastics in the context of food packaging.

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