Environment and sustainability - October 2019

01 November 2019

The annual WUR NL monitoring report (3.92 MB) shows that the amount of plastics in stomachs of fulmars is somewhat decreasing. Alfred Wegener Institute research, published in Science Advances (1.3 MB), found microplastics in snow. An IMAS (143 kB) study, published in Environmental Science & Technology (abstract), shows a range of non-lethal impacts on the health of seabirds that had ingested plastic. University of Exeter research, published in Scientific Reports (1.16 MB), found that green turtles prefer plastic that looks like their food. Food packaging remains number 2 in the Ocean Conservancy top 10 items (16.39 MB) found during the annual beach cleanup in 2018. World Cleanup Day 2019 was on 21 September. Following an analysis (3.85 MB) on microplastics in drinking-water, the WHO is calling for further assessment of the potential impacts on human health. ScienceDaily reports that University of Surrey research has also found that microplastics are harming our drinking water.

More on plastics
Zero Waste Europe has published an EU study on chemical recycling that you can download after filling in your details. The British Plastics Federation has launched design tool PackScore to improve the recyclability of packaging. The EC has announced that 100+ partners have signed the Circular Plastics Alliance declaration to use 10 million tons of recycled plastic by 2025. EuPC has announced that 20 projects have joined forces in the Plastics Circularity Multiplier group. During K 2019 the findings (summary, 981 kB) were published of a study on global flows of plastics, including post-consumer waste.

Regulations in the Netherlands
WUR research, published in Waste Management (abstract) shows that NL households collected much more plastic packaging waste in 2017 compared to 2014. A PRN report (in Dutch, 3.75 MB) for the period 2017-2018 shows that the pollution in paper waste has again increased. The State Secretary has sent (in Dutch) an advisory report (in Dutch, 635 kB) to the House of Representatives giving recommendations for waste legislation. She has also informed them in a letter (in Dutch) that the decision moment on the introduction of a deposit for small bottles will be brought forward to spring 2020 at the latest. The ChristenUnie (in Dutch) has tabled a motion (in Dutch) to start the same process for cans, including a deposit system by 2022.

Regulations in the rest of the world
: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has launched a paper (1.98 MB) on how the circular economy tackles climate change. EU: A report (5.7 MB) by EEA finds EU's circular economy still in its infancy. The KIDV (in Dutch) has published a study (in Dutch, 736 kB) showing that regulations rarely create barriers to the use of bio-based and recycled plastics in packaging. Germany: The ZSVR (in German) has published a minimum standard (in German) for the recyclability of packaging. Ireland: The government is considering a ban on certain single use plastics, as well as introducing fees on non-recyclable plastics. New Zealand: The government has announced that work has begun on developing a DRS. Turkey: The government confirmed early 2019 that it will introduce a DRS by 2021. A report by Eunomia, that you can download after filling in your details, details how it would work. UK: The government has introduced an Environment Bill to ensure the goals are met post-Brexit. A consultation on standards for bioplastics was also launched. The Scottish Government has announced regulations for a charge on single-use drinks cups. Zero Waste Scotland conducted a study (2.09 MB) on disposable cup charges. US: NSF International will be developing a Recycled Material Standard. FFP reports that California has passed a range of new recycling-regulations, including a bill requiring DRS containers to achieve 50% recycled content by 2030.


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