Environment and sustainability – June 2021

28 June 2021

Rules and regulations in the EU
The EC has published the Guidelines (1.28 MB) for the SUP directive and Q&A on the Guidelines. The Dutch government has released an unofficial document (644 kB) that can help you interpret “placing SUPs on the market.” BfR has released a short report (59 kB) on alternatives for plastic straws. The action for annulment against marking specifications for SUP cups has been published in the OJ. The EC has published a communication, a factsheet (1.3 MB) and Q&A on a new approach for a sustainable blue economy for the marine environment. Reduce plastics pollution is among the action points. The EC has also adopted the EU Action Plan Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water, and Soil. Austria: Draft legislation amending the packaging ordinance has been sent to the EC. France: Draft legislation defining the minimum of recycled plastic in beverage bottles has been sent to the EC. Germany: The Bundestag reports (in German) that a majority of committee experts has welcomed the draft law (in German, 1.94 MB) to implement SUP directive and the waste directive, including extending the DRS. Italy: CONAI (in Italian) has confirmed that the mandatory material identification labelling has been postponed (in Italian 4.2 MB, Article 39 on page 182) until January 2022. NL: As of 1 July 2021, there is a €0.15 deposit (in Dutch) on small plastic bottles, which can be recognised by the new deposit logo (in Dutch). On 11 May, a voting took place for a number of motions (in Dutch) and on 27 May, a general consultation (minutes in Dutch, 240 kB) on the circular economy took place. One of the subjects discussed was the Plastic Pact monitoring report 2019 (in Dutch, 4.5 MB). A recent study (in Dutch with an English summary, 5.7 MB) by WUR shows that only 27% of the plastic packaging is well recyclable. On 10 June, the State Secretary sent a letter (in Dutch) to the Dutch House on the policy for bioplastics. Sweden: The EPA has published a roadmap (in Swedish, 1.43 MB) for sustainable plastic use.

Rules and regulations in the rest of the world
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has published a statement (1.13 MB) in which more than 100 leading businesses call for EPR for packaging. Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands region have launched the ANZPAC Plastics Pact. Africa: The African Circular Economy Alliance has published two reports: Increasing Circularity in Africa’s Plastics Sector (1.09 MB) and Five Big Bets to Africa’s path to Circularity (419 kB). Chile: FPF reports that the government (in Spanish) has passed comprehensive SUP and recycled plastics regulations. Russia: The government has announced the development of a circular economy. Unnecessary packaging must be reduced and for products that absolutely require packaging, it must be recyclable. UK: As of 21 May 2021, the plastic bag charge has increased to 10p. The government has opened a consultation on new plans to boost recycling. The CMA is seeking views on draft guidance for businesses about ‘green’ claims. The results (471 kB) of a consultation on bioplastics have been published. Valpak has published a report on the impact of EPR that you can receive after filling in your details. US: How2Recycle has announced updated criteria for assessing whether packaging is recyclable.

Studies and guidelines
A GVM study (in German, 4.11 MB) commissioned by DAVR and 2 other parties, shows that beverage cans only account for 0.03% of the overall littered waste. Reloop has published a report (1.92 MB) on DRS and drinks packaging waste. The 3R Initiative has published Guidelines for Corporate Plastic Stewardship (1.63 MB). In an article (abstract) published in Water Research, Washington State University researchers show the mechanisms that allow nanoplastics to move through the environment. GSA reports on an article (300 kB) published in Geology about plastic pollution in the deep sea.

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