Environment and sustainability – March 2024

09 April 2024

European rules and regulations
On 4 March 2024, the Council and the EP reached a provisional agreement on the PPWR. In a recent study (5.53 MB), JRC evaluates the environmental impacts of a selection of single-use and multiple use packaging, including packaging used in the HORECA. The selection was chosen specifically to focus on certain reuse targets set in the PPWR proposal.
The EP has adopted its position on the Green Claims Directive on validating environmental marketing claims and published a briefing. This directive complements Directive (EU) 2024/825 banning greenwashing, that was published 6 March 2024.
The EP has approved stricter rules for waste shipments, including a ban on exports of plastic waste to non-OECD countries.

Rules and regulations in the different countries
PRO Europe has published its Overview 2024 of the EPR participation costs in the different countries. Belgium: In response (in Dutch) to parliamentary questions, the Flemish environment minister has indicated that a DRS on plastic beverage containers will not be in place before the end of 2025. Germany: A UBA (in German) report (in German, 1.23 MB) shows that the proportion of DRS reusable beverage packaging declined to 42.6% in 2021. The target is 70%. Italy: Conai has published design for recycling guidelines for steel packaging. Lithuania: Draft regulations on SUPs and on EPR have been sent to the EC. NL all info is in Dutch unless stated otherwise: On 19 March, the motions tabled during the Two-minute Debate Circular Economy were voted on. One of the motions adopted would require Verpact to report annually on the use of uncollected deposits. VNG reports that a new PMD (Plastic, Metal and Drink cartons) yes/no list has been published. The state secretary has answered questions on the low prices of new plastic and the poor financial situation of plastics recyclers. The NVRD reports that the kick-off meeting for the EPR improvement programme took place at the end of January. The Circular Materials Plan (successor of LAP3) now has its own website. A new national NL platform (in English) for Close the Glass Loop (in English, 73 kB) has been launched. New Zealand: The government reports that as of 1 February 2024, what consumers can put into their recycling bins is the same nationwide. US: In March 2024, the Senate held a hearing on EPR policies. California: CalRecycle has released draft regulations for SB 54 to cut SUP waste. Maine: Rep. Jordan reports that the Packaging Waste and Cost Reduction Act, establishing EPR, has advanced through its first hearing.

Research and reports
NVC has published a report (2.78 MB) entitled ‘The Future of Packaging Recycling in the Netherlands’.
With global municipal waste set to rise by two thirds and its costs to almost double within a generation, only a drastic reduction in waste generation will secure a liveable and affordable future, according to a new report (6.6 MB) by UNEP.
According to a study (2.92 MB) by ZWE, mixed waste sorting is more cost-effective than carbon capture.
FEICA has published FAQ (240 kB) on adhesives in packaging recycling.
A recent nova report (executive summary, 3.7 MB) maps advanced plastic waste recycling technologies.
NTU scientists have developed an artificial ‘worm gut’ to break down plastics.
PPC (104 kB) has published a Eunomia report on the environmental and social impacts of PLA, that you can download after filling in your details.
EUROSAC has published a new CO2 footprint analysis (301 kB) of paper sacks.

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