Environment and sustainability – November 2022
Regulations and other developments – Global, ASEAN, EU and USA
During COP27, a side event took place on plastic pollution and illegal traffic in plastic waste. The governments of a number of countries have launched (237 kB) the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution. According to the 2022 Global Commitment progress report (2.83 MB) by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and UNEP, the commitment to use only reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging by 2025 will likely not be met. ASEAN: ASEAN and UNOPS have signed an agreement to support member states in combating marine plastic pollution. EU: Data published by Eurostat show that the amount of plastic packaging that wasn’t recycled increased by 3.4 kg per inhabitant between 2010 and 2020. BFFP and CIEL have released a report (4.48 MB) highlighting the need to decrease plastic production to reduce the EU dependency on Russian oil and gas. A new study (2.27 MB) by Zero Waste Europe finds that waste incineration is too inconsequential to reduce the dependence on Russian gas. ACE has published design for recycling guidelines (1.63 MB) for beverage cartons. US: A report (36.22 MB) by Greenpeace USA finds that households generated an estimated 51 million tons of plastic waste in 2021, only 2.4 million tons of which was recycled.
Regulations and other developments in the different countries
Belgium: The Flemish Parliament (in Dutch) held two hearings on a proposal (in Dutch) to reduce SUPs and to rapidly introduce a DRS. Research (in Dutch, 611 kB) by OVAM (in Dutch) on litter shows that the waste plan target has not yet been met. China: The government is calling for further efforts to prevent over-packaging of goods. Germany: EY reports that the government has approved draft legislation on a levy for SUPs. Ireland: The government has launched a consultation on a levy for single-use disposable cups for hot drinks. NL: On 2 November, the Commission Debate Circular Economy (in Dutch) took place in the Dutch House (draft minutes). The meeting was continued on 8 November (draft minutes). On the same day, the application for a General Binding Declaration by the Packaging Waste Fund Foundation (StAV) of their levy for the industry was published. Stakeholders have six weeks to submit comments. The monitoring report 2021 (in Dutch, 160 kB) by StAV shows an overall recycling rate of 80%. The State Secretary reports (in Dutch) that the latest monitoring of beverage packaging in litter (in Dutch, 470 kB) shows a visible effect of the DRS. Minister Schreinemacher has answered questions (in Dutch, 282 kB) on large-scale dumping of plastic waste in countries like Vietnam & Indonesia. For more circular waste management, (more) incentives need to be built in at the front end, according to CE Delft research (in Dutch, 1.44 MB) commissioned by the municipalities (in Dutch). A report (in Dutch, 7.22 MB) by ABN AMRO (in Dutch) maps the greenhouse gas emissions from over 30 sectors. Philippines: PwC reports that the EPR Act of 2022 on plastic packaging (highlights, 1.2 MB) has become law. UK: The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) has published revised Design for Recyclability Guidelines (2.25 MB). Vietnam: A study (17.93 MB) by the World Bank shows that the majority of plastics polluting the waterways are SUPs. A related roadmap (14.7 MB) proposes a gradual effort to combat this pollution.
Research and reports
Research (520 kB) by TNO shows that, in addition to packaging, car tyres and agricultural plastic are the biggest sources of microplastics in NL. MIB researchers have engineered an enzyme that can degrade PET and Penn State scientists have improved the pyrolysis process for turning plastic waste into fuel.
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