Environment and sustainability – March 2021
Regulations in Europe
The EC has published SUP marking requirements for beverage cups and other SUPs, including corrigenda. The pictograms (use ‘Available Translations’ for the different languages) must be printed in the official language or languages of the Member State(s) where the SUP is placed on the market. According to a report (1.22 MB) published by PRE, increased quality collection and sorting of PP and HDPE is a must to reach the EU recycling targets. The EC and UNEP have launched the Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (GACERE).
Hong Kong: The government has released a waste blueprint 2035 (21.63 MB) and opened a consultation on the management of waste plastic bottles. Latvia: The National Solid Waste Management Plan 2021-2028 (in Latvian) has been published. NL: Draft legislation transposing the SUP directive and draft legislation on EPR has been sent to the EC. According to a white paper (6.23 MB), presented to the state secretary by Utrecht University, the EPR needs to be adjusted. The state secretary has sent a letter (in Dutch) to the Dutch House with a roadmap (in Dutch, 927 kB) for chemical recycling of plastics up to 2030. PlasticsEurope (in Dutch) has prepared a position paper (in Dutch, 1.16 MB) about chemical recycling in NL. The government has published a Waste Prevention Program (in Dutch, 509 kB). Partners for Innovation reports the publication of the Action Plan “Increasing the use of recycled plastics“ (summary, 278 kB). ACM has finalised guidelines (669 kB) for sustainability claims in order to prevent deception. Portugal: Draft legislation on marking reusable packaging and packaging managed under the DRS has been sent to the EC. UK: The Welsh government has published a Circular Economy strategy (1.76 MB) and a draft plan to reduce litter.
Waste management and the circular economy
In a recent paper (7.24 MB), the Ellen MacArthur Foundation presents five universal circular economy policy goals. EEA has published a report (4.22 MB) on plastics, the circular economy and the EU environment. According to an EEA briefing that you can download after filling in your e-mail address, increased use of digital technologies can help improve EU waste management. FPA (249 kB) has released the report (4.41 MB) ‘Flexible Packaging Path to a Circular Economy.’ KIDV has published an information map (97 kB) with the title “Towards circular flexible plastic packaging in 2025.”
Stockholm University researchers have found a dramatic increase in microplastics in Mediterranean seagrass beds since the 1970s. University of Barcelona researchers have found that Posidonia oceanica seagrass can catch and remove plastics from the sea. Research (in Dutch, 8.79 MB) by the North Sea Foundation (in Dutch) shows that the amount of waste on the NL beaches has decreased significantly. University of Nottingham researchers have discovered that litter in UK local rivers provides a habitat for diverse animal communities.
A Closed Loop Partners report that you can download after filling in your details, examines reusable cup systems. Research (in Dutch, 1.91 MB) by KIDV (in Dutch) shows that fibers from used paper drinking cups can be used as raw material to make new products such as cardboard. ACS researchers have found a way to convert plastics used in bottles into fuels and chemical feedstock. A new chemical process developed at UC Berkeley, converts PE into adhesives. University of Konstanz researchers have developed a method for chemically recycling PE-like plastics without extremely high temperatures.