Environment and sustainability - November 2019

03 December 2019

Regulations in the Netherlands
New EPR regulations (in Dutch) are under preparation. The draft (in Dutch, 571 kB) states that the costs of industrial packaging waste are for the producer and not the discarder, as is currently the case. In a letter (in Dutch) to the government, the State Secretary states that that the import ceiling for the incineration of foreign waste is no longer in force and that AEB (a key industrial incinerator in Amsterdam) is back in operation. The Dutch House has published the minutes (in Dutch, 213 kB) of the circular economy debate held on 15 October. The monitoring report (in Dutch, 911 kB) of the Packaging Waste Fund shows a recycling rate of 79% in 2018. CBS (in Dutch) reports that in 2018 municipalities collected 494 kg of household waste per inhabitant. You can read more in a Volkskrant article (in Dutch). CBS also published a report (in Dutch, 1.09 MB) on the circular economy in 2016. A report (in Dutch, 361 kB) by the CPB shows that more environmental gains can be made from recycling, e.g. by extending the DRS. The KIDV (in Dutch) has completed the Plastic Packaging Waste as Raw Material programme (in Dutch) with a report (in Dutch, 1.78 MB) in which lessons from the 15 pilot projects (in Dutch) are set out. A KCPK report (in Dutch, 1.06 MB) describes paper recycling and identifies points of attention. It will be used for the KIDV's "Recycle check for paper and cardboard packaging". A Recycling Netwerk (in Dutch) study showing that some packaging is heavier than necessary has caused some commotion.

Regulations in other countries
Germany: Regulations banning plastic bags have been sent to the EC. The ZSVR minimum standard for measuring the recyclability of packaging is now available in English (scroll down). Ireland: Regulations (611 kB) prohibiting “harmful plastic” packaging and microbeads have been introduced in parliament. The government has also announced new environmental levies, including a levy on disposable cups. Italy: The 2020 budget (in Italian, 1.58 MB) includes a plastic levy of €1 per kilo. The EU plastic associations oppose the tax. Latvia: LETA has announced the introduction of a DRS in 2022. Malta: DRS regulations have been sent to the EC. Norway: Draft regulations (in Norwegian, 136 kB) banning certain single-use plastics have been published. Suriname: The government (in Dutch) reports a ban on styrofoam from 1 November 2019. US: FPF reports the introduction of draft bills on EPR and marine pollution. The Recycling Partnership has published a Circular Economy Roadmap (1.69 MB).

Recycling results in Europe
ACE has announced that the recycling rate for beverage cartons rose 1% to 49% in 2018. The recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans rose 2.3% to 74.5% in 2017, Metal Packaging Europe announced. Recent data (1.16 MB) published by FEVE show that the recycling rate for glass packaging grew to 76% in 2017.

EEA briefings assess the role of plastic waste export in the circular economy (441 kB) and resource losses from waste management (2.34 MB). According to research (445 kB) by KPMG, large-scale use of recycled plastic is severely hampered by the limited investment power of the recycling sector. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has published the first annual New Plastics Economy Global Commitment progress report (10.6 MB). A new report (2.34 MB) by UNEP shows that limited policies and weak enforcement are aggravating the problem of plastic pollution in South-East Asia. A new report (2.59 MB) by Ocean Conservancy shows that recycled content standards and EPR schemes can bridge the plastic collection financing gap. Did you know that the plastic bag was designed to help the planet? Watch this BBC news item to find out more. A Vlerick Business School TEDx talk gives more background details.

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