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INCPEN Newsletter

A message from Paul Vanston, INCPEN CEO


Dear Colleagues,

This month’s Newsletter can be characterised by three words: transformation, upheaval, and survival.

Despite the continued seismic events surrounding COVID-19, our sectors are continuing the transformations needed on packaging and products to help combat the impacts of climate change and bio-environmental challenges. ‘Recyclability’ is prominent as a goal the packaging value chain takes ever-more seriously – this Newsletter has plenty of examples of the solid and professional work by Industry Council members and others.  

‘Recycled content’ also remains a top current theme given all the energies and inputs on drafting coherent, substantial and aligned responses to the HMRC Plastic Packaging Tax consultation, which closed on 20 August. I’d like to put on record my grateful thanks for the intensive teamwork on the tax across the membership, and with fellow representative bodies, particularly RECOUP, the British Plastics Federation, the British Retail Consortium, the Food and Drink Federation and the Packaging Federation. Our extensive alignment efforts have, I feel, ensured we maximise the ‘clout’ of our responses to HMRC. The test is whether the government listens to the views we’ve advocated towards a well-designed tax system that achieves the desired environmental objectives – especially on opening more doors to recycled content for food grade and human contact (e.g. cosmetics and toiletries) products.

Nonetheless, these environmental transformations take place at a time of great upheaval for whole sectors – and individual businesses – because of the impacts of COVID-19. For many, this means business re-organisation on the road to survive and then thrive. Business models are having to be substantial re-thought as incremental year-on-year trends are accelerated to levels that would not have been realistic just eight months ago – online purchasing of food and drink, and the shift to home delivery, and cases in point.

The remainder of 2020 will continue in those same veins. All of us are hoping the efforts of scientists will develop a COVID vaccine that enables life to be less constrained than it currently has to be. Simultaneously, we are all also involved with a ream of government policies on extended producer responsibility, deposit return systems, and consistency of recycling collections that are getting moving again. The ‘co-design approach’ between the four UK governments and businesses is proving fruitful in seeking to arrive at new systems that can work in practice, and stand the test of time. There is a major test, in my view, to ensure these new systems are not just cost-efficient but also that they are financially sustainable for the short, medium and long-term.

There is much work to be done between now and Christmas to ensure we are fully prepared for the government consultations due in early 2021.

However, to end on a positive, I am proud to work within a sector that is so solution-minded, and with people who have a passion for expressing your considerable talents in the projects and work you take forward. The collaboration taking place across many organisations is a credit to the ‘can do’ culture the packaging value chain exhibits.

I very much look forward to working with you in our teams' efforts to get things done over the coming months.

My best wishes,


INCPEN Member News

26 August 2020

Dow Polyurethanes fast tracks its digital transformation

24 August 2020

Tesco creates 16,000 new permanent roles

21 August 2020

Giving the Gift of Clean: Boots UK helps alleviate hygiene poverty

20 August 2020

Nestle, Sainsbury's and Tesco join global food waste coalition

20 August 2020

Crown ranked by Sustainalytics as number one organization with low ESG risk

20 August 2020

Dow’s expertise enables recyclable polyolefin-based fabric decorations for Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

20 August 2020

WaveGrip launches plastic can carrier containing 50% PCR

20 August 2020

Oral-B iO™, the biggest innovation in oral care history, is now available nationwide

19 August 2020

A SHOC delivers “performance energy” in Ardagh 16 oz. cans

19 August 2020

Klöckner Pentaplast commits to PET Capacity Expansion for the Sustainable Consumer and Protein Packaging Market in North America

18 August 2020

M&S Group PLC trading update and streamlining announcement

14 August 2020

Heatwave helps bring on bumper crop of sweet British watermelons

18 August 2020

Unilever trials geolocation tech in palm oil supply chain

14 August 2020

Argos report reveals ‘quality time’ is on the decline with over 38 million Brits spending less than 2 hours per day connecting with loved ones

12 August 2020

M&S accelerates food supply chain transformation with new distribution centre

12 August 2020

Finding solutions to plastic pollution

11 August 2020

Coca-Cola European Partners delivers a first in Europe through the introduction of CanCollar® technology

07 August 2020

Supporting social initiatives with Wild Hearts

04 August 2020

Producto de Aldea embraces Ardagh’s cans

04 August 2020

Our sustainable packaging progress in 2020

04 August 2020

Nestlé Professional to provide £2m of products to support businesses reopening

31 July 2020

Nestlé once again part of FTSE4Good index

29 July 2020

Book or toy choice hits the Happy Meal menu permanently

Legislation Updates

INCPEN Members (not including Trade Association Group colleagues) can see all legislation updates in full by clicking here.  If you experience issues logging in, please contact Alison Skuse.

Sweden - Tax on SUP cups and food containers proposed - 28 Aug 2020

The tax is estimated to generate revenues for the state of around SEK 3.8 billion per year initially (EUR 370 million / EUR 36 per capita). Tax revenues would gradually decrease as companies transition to reusable items and other materials.

The Government assigned Attorney General Anders Bengtsson carried out a special inquiry into a tax on single-use items.  The investigation’s remit was to identify single-use items whose consumption could be reduced by taxation and to prepare a legislative proposal for a tax. The investigation was also to cover solutions other than taxation.

The author notes that 'an important reason why single-use items are consumed to such a great extent is that they are inexpensive and the price does not reflect the environmental impact they have. A tax is an effective instrument to remedy a market failure that can be attributed to economic factors. It gives companies and consumers the opportunity to adapt to varying degrees based on their individual circumstances and is thus a more cost-effective instrument than a prohibition.

The investigation report proposes:- 
  • a tax on SUP cups and food containers, payable by those that manufacture, bring in, receive or import these goods from Sep-21;
  • a tax rate of SEK 5 (EUR 0.48) per SUP cup and SEK 7 (EUR 0.68) per SUP food container with deductions for low plastic content:
    • Plastic content <1%: Tax rate SEK 1 per cup and SEK 2 per food container.
    • Plastic content <10%: Tax rate SEK 3 per cup and SEK 4 per food container.
The report does not propose:-
  • a tax on all single-use items, mainly because there are ‘various market failures’ that cannot be addressed with a single solution and a tax on all would require a large number of exemptions, e.g. for necessary single-use items for which no decent alternatives exist.
  • a differentiated tax rate for bio-based, re­cycled or fully biodegradable materials - at this time. The authors view the option positively but note that currently the necessary definitions, standards and reliable verification methods do not exist or are incomplete.
  • taxing non-plastic single-use items for lack of sufficiently strong arguments to support it.
  • a tax packaging for sweets, ice cream and snacks despite their complex material composition and litter potential, mainly because the price elasticity for these goods is such that a price increase in the form of a tax is not expected to lead to a significant reduction in demand.

Italy - Draft of Green New Deal includes EPR related measures - 28 Aug 2020

Title XI of Italy's draft Green New Deal introduces ‘measures for the circular economy and the management of waste and post-consumer materials’, including a reduced VAT rate for products made of recycled or biodegradable plastics and measures to combat the planned obsolescence of electronic products.

Title XI of the Draft of Green New Deal released on 25-Jul-20 contains 5 chapters:

CHAPTER I - general measures
  • simplifies conditions for the re-use of products or components of products that have become waste;
  • introduces, from Jan-22, a reduced VAT rate of 10% i.a. for
    • products made entirely of biodegradable plastic [or? (wording unclear)] of plastic coming entirely from certified recycling;
    • the repair, recovery and sale of used goods, the VAT rate is set at 10%.
CHAPTER II - measures to prevent the generation of packaging waste
  • notes that the MoE has set up a fund with EUR 50 million annually for trials to separately collect PET bottles for 2020, 2021 and 2022 in view of achieving the target of the SUP Directive;
  • requires operators of beverage and food vending machines to use a deposit mechanism or incentive bonus for consumers who return packaging from the vending machine;
  • exempts a wide range of personal hygiene products (shampoo, soaps, shaving creams, gels, etc.) from cosmetic rules so that they can be sold in bulk;
  • encourages regions to decrease municipal taxes for establishments using such products in bulk or on tap;
  • requires large food distributors (retailers) from Jan-22 to
    • use paper, biodegradable and compostable plastic bags compliant, or sheets of paper with separable plastic film for loose food;
    • offer products with returnable packaging, loose and on tap, with less packaging and with reusable and / or compostable packaging;
    • refrain from certain promotional sales and to promote the sale of certain other products (energy-efficient, rechargeable, with eco-label, produced with recycled materials, …);
  • notes that a commission has been set up to define actions against planned obsolescence of everyday products that will i.a. propose
    • a warranty extension for various technological products and a label for household EEE with an index informing about the useful life, repairability and availability of spare parts;
    • the creation of digital platforms that map repair and reuse services to be made available to the public.
CHAPTER IV - provisions for combating the planned obsolescence of consumer goods
  • i.a. defines ‘consumer goods’ as any movable powered exclusively by electricity;
  • considers ‘planned obsolescence’ i.a. when recurrent failures occur during the two years after the warranty period, when repair or recharging is prevented, when an update of the operating software of the installed applications is no longer available;
  • requires a 5-10 warranty for conformity;
  • requires various ministries to formulate implementing regulations within 4 months of the entry into force of this text;
  • assumes that the lack of conformity that occurs during the warranty period of the goods already existed on the date of delivery;
  • requires manufacturer to ensure the availability of spare parts five years after the good is last put into circulation;
  • requires the regions to promote and encourage training courses on the repair;
  • requires companies producing operating systems and other essential programs for PCs, smartphones, tablets , GPS navigators and consoles for video games and peripherals to keep all their original functions unchanged even in the event of updates and in any case even after the end of the supply of online technical support.
Chapters III and V concerns medical waste and compositing.

Luxembourg - Far reaching changes to Packaging Law released for consultations - 12 Aug 2020

Luxembourg is consulting on a draft amendment to the Packaging Law which proposes to introduce a DRS for beverage packaging, ban plastics from fruit and vegetable packaging and prohibit the free distribution of all service packaging regardless of material.

The draft was submitted to TRIS for comments by stakeholders before 3-Nov-20*. The draft notably:-
  • aims to transpose Directive (EU) 2018/852,
  • mandates the introduction of a DRS by Regulation,
  • encompasses provisions to reduce service packaging and SUP items,
  • introduces new marking obligations, and 
  • contains provisions to improve the country's EPR regime on packaging.
Key provisions
Plastics to be banned from fruit and vegetable packaging: From 1-Jan-22, any retail business must display fruit and vegetables without packaging made entirely or partly of plastic’. The ban is to also applies to fruit and vegetables that are peeled or cut, but not to sales of batches of 1.5 kg or more (Art. 5.1). 

Free distribution of all service packaging to be prohibited, regardless of material: The prohibition is to be:-
  • phased in: From Jan-23 it will apply to all bags, from Jan-24 to drinking cups and food containers for immediate consumption (as defined in Annex Part A of a Law transposing the SUP Directive (draft)). From Jan-25, it will apply to all service packaging.
  • complemented by an obligation for retailers to make the price for service packaging dissuasive, and to display it separately at POS and on the invoices.
Beverage packaging is to be subject to a single national DRS with a deposit rate of between EUR 0.1 and EUR 1 depending on package. The date and terms of the DRS will be defined by Regulation (Art. 7(4)). 

Approved PROs must be contracted for all but reusable packaging: Currently the Packaging Law allows an obligated party to ‘itself fulfil this obligation or entrust an accredited body…’. The draft text provides more clarity about the compliance options (Art. 8(1)):-
  • For reusable household packaging for which a take-back system is in place (i.e. DRS), an approved PRO may be contracted;
  • For non-reusable household packaging, an approved PRO must be contracted;
  • For non-household packaging, the manager must be contracted;
PRO(s) shall finance the management of waste (Art. 8(1)) from:-
  • ‘packaging covered by a centralised collection system’ (i.e. household packaging) from the collection point [this suggests that the CEP’s full costs coverage provision is not applied];
  • ‘packaging not covered by a centralised collection system’ (i.e. packaging from commercial and industrials sources) as agreed with the municipalities concerned, whereby the EPR-obligated party (‘packaging manager’) must absorb the full costs.
Material identification must be clearly visible shown on packages on the basis of Commission Decision 97/129/EC (which does not make material identification mandatory but prescribes an system that must be used when identification is provided) (Art. 10).

An appropriate marking providing information to consumers about reusability and disposal options is to be affixed on the packaging or on the label to (Art.14(2)).

The upper limit for criminal penalties and administrative fines are increased by a factor of 7.5 and 10 respectively (Art. 19, 20).

The recycling targets of the Packaging Directive are transposed without changes in substance (Art. 6), as are the rules for calculating the targets (Art 6bis) but provisions laying down how biodegradable packaging waste may be counted as recycled are omitted (Packaging Directive’s Art. 6a 4).

The system for household waste that EPR obligated parties (‘packaging managers’) must establish (i.e. Valorlux) must be a) open to the participation of economic actors (defined as suppliers of packaging materials, manufacturers, processors, fillers and users, importers, traders and distributors, public authorities and bodies); b) apply to imported products in a non-discriminatory manner; c) designed in a way as to avoid barriers to trade or distortions of competition (Art. 7(1)).

New and changed definitions include (Art. 3)
  • changes to the definition of ‘packaging manager’ (the party obligated to assume EPR obligations). The manager is ‘established or not’ in Luxembourg, thus the obligations apply directly to foreign entities who are not required to appoint an AR.
  • a new definition for ‘packaging’, which i.a. mentions that ‘all disposable items, used for the same purposes, should be regarded as packaging’,
  • the introduction of a definition of ‘composite packaging’ (‘packaging made up of two or more layers of different materials that cannot be separated by hand and form a single unit, comprising an inner receptacle and an outer shell, and which is filled, stored, transported and emptied as such’).

Belgium - CEP transposed by amendment to Cooperation Agreement - 11 Aug 2020

The amendment notably differentiates and raises the recycling targets for packaging beyond EU requirements, requires contaminated packaging waste managed by the municipalities’ hazardous waste collection programs to be financed via Fost Plus, requires foreign online sellers to appoint an AR and increases fines.

The 2008 Cooperation Agreement between the three Regions of Belgium ensures uniform EPR requirements for the management of household packaging throughout Belgium, including identical recycling targets. As such, the agreement provides the main legal basis governing the voluntary operations of compliance organisations Fost Plus – responsible for the management of household packaging - and Val-I-Pac - responsible for industrial packaging.

On 5-Mar-20, the Governments of the three regions signed an amendment to the Cooperation Agreement, which partially transpose EU Directives 2018/851 (amending the EU WFD), 2015/720 and 2018/852 (amending the EU Packaging Directive). This Amendment was published in Jul-20 in the Walloon and the Flemish gazettes (we expect publication in the Brussels Capital Region soon).  

The preamble to the amendment reminds that packaging PRO Fost Plus fulfils a public service mission and is the only approved body for household packaging waste, while individual compliance is not possible in practice. Therefore, Fost Plus’ ‘voluntary commitment must be unequivocal, fixed in advance and provide full financial transparency to the Interregional Packaging Commission' (IVCIE) which supervises the implementation of the agreement.

Key provisions of the 2020 amendment to the Cooperation agreement

The amendment notably:-
  • requires foreign online sellers supplying directly to individuals on Belgian territory to appoint a local authorised representative (AR) who assumes their new obligation as ‘packaging manager’. Foreign entities selling to businesses in Belgium may appoint an AR. The AR must be appointed by written power of attorney before POM and the appointment must be ‘brought to the attention of the Interregional Packaging Commission’ (Art. 2).  Fost Plus may act as an AR (Art. 7).
  • sets recycling targets above and beyond those of the EU Packaging Directive:-
    • higher material specific recycling targets from 2021: 90% for all materials except for aluminium (75%), plastics (50%) and wood (80%);
    • separate targets for plastics from household (65%**) and plastics from industrial sources (55%) from 2023 increasing to 70% and 65% in 2030;
    • a 90% separate target for all beverage packaging (not only plastics) from 2022; and
    • a 95% overall target for packaging from households from 2025 (Art. 6).
  • provides that Fost Plus' methodology for calculating the recycling fees (Art. 9) must take into account:-
    • the ‘real and full’ costs attributable to each of the packaging materials reflecting i.a. existing and future separate collection as determined by municipalities;
    • the durability, reparability, re-use possibilities, recyclability of packaging as well as the presence of hazardous substances;
    • the financial contributions that Fost Plus must make to the Regions - the same for all regions on a per inhabitant and year basis – notably to finance litter abatement;
    • existing funds may not be used to finance costs arising from obligation newly imposed by this amendment.
  • requires the waste management of contaminated packaging waste to be financed by producers via Fost Plus from Jan-21. IPR (individual compliance) is not possible for this packaging as it will always be found in the hazardous waste collection programs which are operated and financed by municipalities and have ‘particularly high treatment costs’ (’Klein Gevaarlijk Afval (KGA)’ (Antwerp KGA page) in the Flemish Region, ‘Déchets Spéciaux des Ménages (DSM)’ in the Walloon and ‘Déchets Chimie des Ménages’ (DCM) in the Brussels-Capital Region).
  • says that – while each Region has its own policy on plastic bags - plastic bags should be considered household packaging waste as they are intended for households and therefore hold the Interregional Packaging Commission responsible for working out how obligated parties should report POM of plastic bags. [Note: The Preamble of the amendment notes that the EU SUP Directive’s ban of oxodegradable plastics, including plastic bags, falls within federal jurisdiction over product standards. Therefore the amendment does not introduce the definition of ‘oxodegradable plastic bags’ of Directive (EU) 2015/720].
  • ensures that the evaluation of the director and heads of service of the secretariat of the Interregional Packaging Commission will be carried out by the decision-making body of the Interregional Packaging Commission [presently they are reviewed by the Region which deployed them].
  • increases fines (Art. 12):  For example, administrative fines for failing to reach the collection target or to provide a prevention plan are increased to up to EUR 36.6 K (currently EUR 25 K, unchanged since 2008). The fines for small producers is 1/10% of that (small producer: Annual POM of a) products packaged in Belgium using less than 300 tonnes of single-use packaging or b) imported packaged goods using less than 100 tonnes of packaging).

Greece - Consultations on National Waste Management Plan 2020-30 - 10 Aug 2020

The Ministry of Environment and Energy held public consultations from 6 to 21-Aug-20 on the draft of a National Waste Management Plan.

The Ministry has been accelerating the drafting of the new Plan (consultation page) because it is clear that the objectives of the country’s previous waste plan (2015 to 2020) have been clearly missed:-
  • Currently the MSW recycling rate is close to 20%, instead of the 50% as planned;
  • The country pays fines to the EU for 52 illegal landfills, while the plan aimed to have them closed by now;
  • Almost 80% of waste is still landfilled, as opposed to 26% targeted by the 2015-20 plan.
Key objectives of the Draft Plan
  • The MSW recycling rate is to increase to 55% by 2025 and to 60% by 2030 (including biowaste);
  • The energy recovery rate is to increase to 10% in 2025 and to 25% in 2030;
  • The Landfill rate is to decrease to 10% by 2030 (5 years earlier than required by EU Directive 2018/851);
  • Uncontrolled landfill is to end by 2022 and illegal landfills will be rehabilitated.
The main measures to achieve the objectives are:-
  • with regards to collection:
    • Strengthening the collection network with a focus on 4 streams of recyclables (paper, glass, plastic, aluminium);
    • The infrastructure for the separate collection of organic waste is to be completed nationwide by 2022. 
  • with regards to recycling and recovery:
    • 43 to 46 bio-waste treatment plants are planned for the recovery of energy from biomass and the production of compost;
    • 43 waste sorting and treatment plants to provide nationwide coverage by 2030. By end 2023, 27 plants should be ready*;
    • 4 new energy recovery plants.
  • introducing EPR on ‘plastic greenhouse waste’ and plastics packaging for pesticides, as well as new product categories, such as furniture, mattresses, expired drugs, waste of photovoltaic and wind farms, toys, etc.
  • introducing a mandatory DRS for plastic bottles up to 3 liters, aluminum packaging and possibly glass and other packaging.
  • introducing 'pay-as-you-throw' waste charging and restructuring landfill fees;
Following the approval of the new Draft Plan, the Waste Management Plans of the country's 13 regions as well as those of all municipalities will be reviewed.

Note:  A Bill transposing the EU SUP Directive has yet to be released.

News from Industry

  • How leading retailers are reinventing their stores; They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, well 12 weeks of lockdown has seen people of all ages and types move online and this is unlikely to reverse back to pre-covid levels. Inditex, the parent company of Zara and one of the most successful retailers in the world is responding fast, announcing it will close up to 1,200 stores worldwide (16% of its stores) and spending $1 billion accelerating their digital transformation.
  • Chemical recycling ‘promising’ for circular economy, EU official says; While chemical recycling opens new possibilities for the circular economy, only a full lifecycle approach will be able to determine the real environmental benefits in terms of saved energy and global warming emissions, a senior EU official has said.
  • BBPA calls for Eat Out to Help Out scheme to be repeated; The benefit of the scheme to the recovery of the sector has been immeasurable in terms of securing jobs and building consumer confidence, according to the BBPA, and it has boosted many of its member’s Monday to Wednesday trade.
  • Plastics could help build a sustainable future – here’s how; ...all polymers are, technologically, 100% recyclable. Some of them have the perfect cradle-to-cradle lifecycle: they can be used again and again to produce the same goods. Some plastics can be reused just as they are by shredding an object into flakes, melting it, and reusing.
  • Designing ways to reduce plastic waste: apply for funding; Businesses can apply for a share of £800,000 to look at innovative designs for products, services or business models that make plastic use more sustainable.
  • Eunomia and ZWS to work on mattress scheme; Environmental consultancy firm Eunomia will provide technical support to Zero Waste Scotland and the National Bed Federation, to assess how an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme could work for mattresses.
  • Global packaging market forecast to grow by $280bn; The analysis by market research company ReportLinker found that the market is driven by the growth of food delivery and takeaway market, rise in need for innovative packaging and increase in demand for digitally printed packaging.  This study identified a rise in adoption of reusable packaging as one of the prime reasons driving the packaging market growth during the next few years.
  • Consumer giants sign up to Plastics Pact as it launches in the US; The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Pact network has expanded further with the launch of the US Plastics Pact at Circularity20.
  • UK’s carbon emissions fell by almost a third over the lockdown period; New data analysis reveals that the carbon emissions resulting from six key consumer spending categories in the UK fell by almost a third during the national lockdown, with year-on-year emissions remaining much lower than in 2019.
  • Council groups defend pandemic waste measures; Local authority organisations say councils did a “tremendous job” at the height of the pandemic after reports in the national media claimed material collected for recycling had been sent to landfill and energy from waste (EfW).
  • Why plastic waste is an ideal building material; What if we turned the world’s growing wastelands of disused plastics into a new kind of sustainable building?
  • Two recyclable packaging ranges launched; Brewing company Heineken UK and coffee giants Nespresso have this week launched separate recyclable packaging ranges in bids to meet sustainability goals. Dutch company Heineken said it is this summer to roll out a plastic-free cardboard topper across Foster’s, Kronenbourg 1664 and Heineken, with its entire beer and cider portfolio to follow in 2021. And, industrial aluminium company Novelis Inc announced yesterday (17 August) it had partnered with Nespresso to launch a coffee capsule made from 80% recycled aluminium.
  • Lobby groups press for ‘all-in’ DRS; As the government continues to shape policy for its proposed deposit return scheme (DRS), lobby groups have backed calls for an ‘all-in’ scheme for a wide range of materials.  A group of 20 cross-party MPs today (13 August) signed an early day motion calling on the Prime Minister to back an ‘all-in’ scheme which would include coffee cups, cartons and pouches.
  • Packaging data continues to show positive signs; Provisional monthly packaging data published by the Environment Agency continues to show that recycling and export industries are “performing well”, compliance specialists have said.  Published on 10 August and covering the month from 10 July, the data shows that most materials are reporting increases from the same period last year. This follows on from more official quarterly data which shows that all packaging materials are on track to hit targets for 2020.
  • ISWA Master Class 9 September: EPR fees and fee modulation 9 September; This Master Class is the second in a series of Master Classes jointly organized by ISWA, EXPRA and Product Stewardship Institute to explain the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), its various application for various waste streams and in various countries as well as diving into hot topics and specific details.
  • Green Alliance Webinar 3 September - Racism in the environment sector: why we must change and how we can do it; Race and the environment are intrinsically entwined, with the impacts of pollution and climate change disproportionately affecting people of colour – yet the environment sector is overwhelmingly white, as are the voices and ideas we promote through our channels.
  • Company aims to reduce E-waste, improve survey results; In 2019, global e-waste hit its highest total ever — 53.6 million metric tons of discarded electronics — and only 17.4% of that material was recycled, according to a new report.
  • BrewDog is officially the first carbon negative beer business; The Scottish multinational brewery and pub chain announced yesterday it became carbon negative, which makes it the world’s first international beer business to reach this status. Thanks to a £30 million investment plan, BrewDog launched a series of unprecedented initiatives to remove carbon from the atmosphere and so help the fight against climate change.
  • Jaguar Land Rover set to cut emissions by a quarter using recycled aluminium; Research by Jaguar Land Rover has revealed how an innovative recycling process could recycle aluminium waste from drinks cans, bottle tops and end-of-life vehicles into the premium cars of the future.
  • £20m plastic-to-hydrogen plant moves forward; The Front End Engineering Design (FEED) phase has been completed on the UK’s first waste plastic to hydrogen facility. The facility, which is planned for Protos – Peel L&P Environmental’s strategic energy and resource hub in Cheshire – will create hydrogen from waste plastic which could be used to fuel cars, buses and HGVs.
  • Climate change: New UK law to curb deforestation in supply chains; UK businesses will have to show that their products and supply lines are free from illegal deforestation, under government plans. A proposed law would require larger companies operating in the UK to show where commodities such as cocoa, soy, rubber and palm oil originated from.
  • UK plastics reprocessing capacity ‘needs to double’ by 2022 – RECOUP; UK plastics reprocessing capacity must double by 2022 to handle the additional demands created by recycled content targets. The government is pushing ahead with plans to ensure 30% recycled content in all household plastic packaging placed on the market.
  • Kent councils urge magistrates to take greater action on fly tippers; Thirteen Kent councils have today (24 August) written to the Magistrates Association urging ‘greater efforts’ to work together to tackle waste crime, in particular fly-tipping.
    The 13 Kent councils that form KRP (the Kent Waste Partnership) are working in partnership to #KeepKentClean with Councillor Nick Kenton, Chairman of the Kent Resource Partnership, saying ‘greater punishment’ needs to be placed on those who commit these crimes.
  • Which plastics tax? Policymakers face fresh pressure over plastics tax and compostable packaging; Environmental arguments are continuing to be made both for and against the inclusion of compostable plastics in the government's planned plastics tax.
  • Equivalent Standards for waste exports updated; The Environment Agency has updated its Broadly Equivalent Standards guidance which provides exporters of used cardboard and plastics, waste batteries or WEEE with information on rules governing exports to overseas sites and to ensure these are in line with UK regulations. 
  • Rethinking supply chains in a post-COVID world; Guest contributor Sujan Shah, CEO of Rocaba Packaging Limited and Carrier Bag Shop, looks at the potential effects of the pandemic on an area that was previously overlooked by most consumers: the supply chain.
  • Britain to get first commercial refinery for extracting precious metals from e-waste; Facility in Cheshire will be world’s first to use bacteria-based recycling processes.
  • Complacency is not an option and we are running out of time, says Clare Foster of Shepherd and Wedderburn; The Covid-19 pandemic has received 24/7 media coverage across the globe, and with good reason. Coronavirus has had a catastrophic impact, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, devastating our economies, and materially changing the lives of millions as we try to adapt to the profound societal changes it has inflicted. 
  • Study: At least 10 times more plastic in Atlantic than previously thought; The mass of ‘invisible’ microplastics found in the upper waters of the Atlantic Ocean is approximately 12- 21 million tonnes, according to research published in the journal Nature Communications.
  • Recycling sitcom is Covid-19 first; A Welsh-language situation comedy set in a recycling centre has become the first such series to be completed during the Covid-19 lockdown, using a specially built recycling centre set.
  • Earth Overshoot Day: COVID-19 has caused humanity’s Ecological Footprint to contract; COVID-19 has caused humanity’s Ecological Footprint to contract, pushing the date of Earth Overshoot Day back more than three weeks compared to last year.
  • Why online retailers should increase transparency about their products; What would change if e-commerce retailers shared information about a product's climate footprint?
  • UK’s ‘low-carbon future needs to be circular’ – University of Leeds researchers; The UK’s renewable energy industry needs to adopt the ideas of a circular economy, according to researchers at the University of Leeds.
    Researchers say this would reduce the environmental cost of low carbon infrastructure – such as offshore wind turbines, solar panels and batteries – which are required if the UK is to achieve its net-zero carbon targets.
  • ESA to launch battery recycling campaign in bid to reduce waste fires; The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has revealed early details of a new national communications campaign urging consumers to Recycle Batteries Responsibly, in a bid to reduce the number of serious fires caused by batteries which have been carelessly discarded. The Take Charge campaign was commissioned by the ESA on behalf of its members, who report that certain high-energy rechargeable batteries are responsible for a significant percentage of the fires that occur in recycling and waste management facilities or vehicles.
  • OPRL announces intention to align with SDGs in new report; The On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) has published a report today (20 August) setting out its intentions to align the company’s governance, policies and practice to nine of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as the company expands its operations.
  • Britain to introduce legally binding environmental targets; Britain said it would bring in legally binding targets on air quality, waste reduction, biodiversity and cleaner water as part of efforts to combat climate change, improve the environment and rebuild the economy.
  • Defra outlines plans for monitoring resources policy; The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has released two policy papers on monitoring and evaluation of the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy for England. The two documents, entitled ‘Resources and waste strategy: monitoring progress’ and ‘Resources and waste strategy: evaluation plan’, were published last Friday (11 August), and cover progress regarding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, waste production, recycling and landfilling between 2010 and 2018 in England.
  • BHP commits to selling its thermal coalmines within two years; BHP has announced it plans to sell off its thermal coalmines within two years as part of moves by the global mining giant to ready itself for a low-carbon future. The move stops short of a complete exit from coalmining because BHP will retain its stake in a venture that produces the higher coking coal used to make steel. BPH said coking, or metallurgical, coal will be in higher demand in coming years as steelmakers clean up their processes.
  • Understanding the risk of EfW overcapacity’; OPINION: Adrian Judge, director of Tolvik, reflects on what is needed for a successful energy from waste plant which includes understanding the wider picture locally and beyond. 
  • Microplastic particles now discoverable in human organs; New technique expected to enable scientists to find accumulated microplastics in humans.
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