Environment and sustainability – September 2020

28 September 2020

Regulations in Europe
EU: The publication of SUP guidelines, originally planned by 2 July 2020, is delayed until at least November. If you would like us to keep you up to date and send you a recent draft version, send an e-mail to Helen Crowe. Belgium: Draft legislation transposing the SUP directive was sent to the EC. Germany: ZSVR (in German) has published a new minimum standard for determining the recyclability of packaging. Hungary: A draft decree on plastic carrier bags and another draft decree transposing the SUP directive were sent to the EC. Latvia: The government has approved draft DRS regulations. Luxembourg: Draft regulations on transposing the SUP directive, on waste, on preventing packaging waste and on landfills were sent to the EC. Malta: The DRS regulations came into force on 3 July 2020. NL: The advisory report (2.52 MB) from SER about the sustainability framework for bio-based raw materials was sent (in Dutch) to the House of Representatives. Norway: A new version of draft regulations (in Norwegian, 609 kB) banning some SUPs has been published. Sweden: The government has adopted a national strategy for a circular economy (in Swedish, 3.52 MB). UK: The government has announced that the SUP carrier bag charge will be extended to all retailers and increase to 10p. The government also published a Circular Economy Package. The Welsh government has launched a consultation on banning some SUPs.

Regulations outside of Europe
Australia: The government has introduced the Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020. New Zealand: The government has announced plans to tackle SUPs and problem plastics. A month earlier the government announced plastic packaging as a priority product for a regulated product stewardship scheme. US: The U.S. Plastics Pact has been launched.
Plastic pollution
Researchers at Shandong University have found that nanoplastics can be absorbed by plants. An article (abstract) about the research is published in Nature Nanotechnology. A study (879 kB) by NOC, published in Nature Communications estimates there is at least 10 times more plastic in the Atlantic than previously thought. According to a new report (12.09 MB) by EEA, Europe’s seas face an uncertain future if urgent action is not taken. An analysis (666 kB) by The Pew Charitable Trusts, published in Science, finds that without immediate action the annual flux of plastic into the ocean could nearly triple by 2040. NUI Galway University research, published (2.38 MB) in Environment International, quantifies the volume of plastic from EU countries that contributes to ocean littering from materials exported for recycling. GEOMAR research, published (2.41 MB) in Scientific Reports, finds that plastic in the deep sea is virtually unaltered after a quarter of a century. The Global Plastics Alliance has released its 5th Progress Report (23.42 MB) on marine litter solutions.

More on recycling and sustainability
The University of Groningen study The Unintended Side Effects of Bioplastics: Carbon, Land and Water Footprints (1.29 MB) is published in One Earth. Veolia has published the report 'Examining Material Evidence - The Carbon Fingerprint' (downloadable after filling in your details). The MaReK project, led by Hochschule Pforzheim (in German), is developing a fluorescent marker-based recycling system. An article (1.94 MB) about the project is published in Resources, Conservation and Recycling. Pohang University research, published (abstract) in Applied and Environmental Microbiology has found a new species of beetle larvae that can degrade polystyrene. KIDV has published The State of Sustainable Packaging. You will receive the report by e-mail after filling in your details.

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