Environment and sustainability – October 2023

31 October 2023

Rules and regulations – global and EU
IUCN and its partners have launched the science-focused End Plastic Pollution International Collaborative (EPPIC). A new report (7.78 MB) from the Nordic Co-operation shows that globally coordinated policies could cut annual mismanaged plastics by 90%. IOC has published a study (33.46 MB) on prevention, reduction and control of marine plastic pollution in the AIODIS countries. EU: The Council and the EP have reached provisional agreement on the green claims directive. More information can be found in a EP briefing (329 kB). The European Plastic Pact has announced that it will cease operating. EPBP has developed design for recyclability guidelines for food grade opaque white PET bottles.

Rules and regulations in the Netherlands all info is in Dutch unless stated otherwise
The Waste Fund has introduced Rate Differentiation Plastic 2.0. ILT has rated the improvement plan (2.33 MB) from the Waste Fund to increase the collection rate of plastic bottles as inadequate. The state secretary also responded to parliamentary questions on the subject. On 4 October, the Circular Economy debate took place. Beforehand, the MPs received a letter on various topics to be discussed, together with the Monitoring (475 kB) beverage packaging in litter over the first half of 2023. They also received information about the National Programme Circular Economy. The meeting asked about the possibilities of a national plastic tax. In a written response, the secretary of state for finance indicated that he will leave this to a future cabinet. A motion (20 kB) by the SP was recently adopted to cancel the consumer levy for SUPs as soon as possible. The state secretary also responded to questions on the subject. The state secretary has indicated that she wants to improve the EPR systems by, among other things, standardising collection methods and increasing the transparency of UPV organisations.

Rules and regulations in other countries
Belgium: Fost Plus has announced the second series of pilot projects for digital deposit. A Eunomia report (1.77 MB) commissioned by RNB (in Dutch) is critical of this system. France: Draft legislation to remove the waste status of pyrolysis oil derived from chemically recycled plastic waste has been sent to the EC. Germany: The Bundestag (in German) has approved the ordinance on the SUP levy rates for companies. Hungary: MOHU (in Hungarian) provides information on the DRS for beverage packaging starting 1 January 2024. Ireland: Draft regulations on a levy on plastic carrier bags have been sent to the EC. The results of an EPA project show that the majority of waste end up in the wrong bin. Poland: The government has published DRS legislation (in Polish). UK: Wales: The government has published guidance on the SUP regulations as of 30 October 2023. US: The proposed REDUCE Act (58 kB) reintroduces a tax on virgin plastic. At a Senate hearing, experts discussed how a national DRS might help to improve recycling. USCC (218 kB) and BPI have published guiding principles (216 kB) for policy makers on labelling compostable products.

ÉEQ reports that the English version of a documentary with the objective of raising awareness of the importance of ecodesign is available. The HolyGrail 2.0 digital watermarking initiative has announced the launch of a pilot market in France in 2024. A Profundo report (5.51 MB), commissioned by an NGO coalition including EEB, shows that single-use paper-based food packaging is often not a sustainable alternative to plastics. A recent WUR study (1.76 MB) looks at alternatives for SUP portion packages of food products. Kiel University researchers have discovered a deep-sea enzyme that breaks down PET and North Carolina State University researchers have genetically engineered bacteria to break down plastic in salt water.

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