Environment and sustainability – October 2022

01 November 2022

Regulations and other developments in the Netherlands
The Waste Fund has published the fees for 2023 and has announced (in Dutch) that the ILT (in Dutch) penalty for failing to meet the deadline for deposits on cans will be challenged at the Council of State. The state secretary has answered questions (in Dutch, 207 kB) on the collection of small plastic bottles. A CE Delft report (in Dutch, 1.53 MB) commissioned by the Ministry of I&W (in Dutch) maps the effects of a tax on polymers and a tax on plastic products. A TU Delft thesis (1.72 MB) studies the environmental impact of plastic packaging for fresh produce. A report (in Dutch, 2.02 MB) by PRN (in Dutch) over the period 2021-2022 shows that the pollution in paper waste has again increased.

Regulations and other developments outside the Netherlands
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation reports that 85 organisations have announced plans to form a Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty. G20 has launched a circular economy information hub. EU: The EC is taking legal steps against 11 Member States for not fully transposing the SUP directive. A ZWE report (4.1 MB) analyses the national transpositions of the SUP directive. Cepi has updated its EU test method (440 kB) for paper recyclability. Austria: Draft legislation on waste incineration has been sent to the EC. Brazil: The government has launched a consultation (in Portuguese) on a plastic packaging EPR scheme, including recycled content targets. Czech Republic: The government (in Czech) has published an overview (in Czech, 1.54 MB) of the law banning certain SUPs as of 1 October 2022. Denmark: DRS draft legislation for beverage packaging has been sent to the EC. Italy: Draft legislation on waste and draft legislation on the waste traceability system has been sent to the EC. New Zealand: As of 1 October 2022 certain SUPs are banned under the waste minimisation regulations. The government has published guidance for businesses. Singapore: The government has launched a consultation on a DRS proposal for beverage containers. Spain: An EY article discusses FAQs regarding the plastic packaging tax to be introduced as of 1 January 2023. Turkey: A report (15.44 MB) by Human Rights Watch studies the health impacts of plastic recycling in Turkey. UK: The government has updated its EPR guidelines. Scotland: The government has published new guidance for the DRS that starts 16 August 2023. Wales: Draft SUP regulations have been laid before the Senedd.

Research and reports
A report (4.38 MB) by CCNY finds that chemical plastics recycling yields climate benefits. On the other hand, a study (917 kB) published by Zero Waste Europe finds that greenhouse gas emissions from mechanical recycling are 9 times lower than those from chemical recycling. A report (18.58 MB) by SystemIQ shows that the chemical industry can become an enabler of a sustainable economy; but without urgent change, the industry aligns with 4 degrees of global warming by 2050. A report by GAIA finds that reforming how the world deals with waste is critical to keeping warming below 1.5°C. In an article (1.72 MB) published in Recycling, Tohoku University researchers describe a new terahertz wave sorting technology to improve plastic packaging recycling in Japan. BOKU researchers have found a new way to recycle aluminium and PE from beverage cartons based on enzymatic hydrolysis and bioleaching. An article (9.54 MB) about the research is published in Resources, Conservation and Recycling.
CIB researchers have discovered that the saliva of a wax worm species contains enzymes that are able to degrade PE. Virginia Tech researchers have found a new method for recycling polystyrene creating DPM (diphenylmethane). WUR research shows that Arctic foxes in Iceland have been ingesting small amounts of plastic since the 1990’s.

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