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France - Draft decree on consumer information about environmental characteristics under consultation - 12 October 2021
The draft - under consultation to 5-Jan-22 – specifies how producers of various products and packaging must inform consumers about 10 ‘environmental qualities and characteristics ‘, as well as modulated recycling fees. In addition, to combat greenwashing it prohibits the use of the words “biodegradable”, “environmentally friendly”, or similar terms.
The draft decree was submitted to TRIS for stakeholder comments by 5-Jan-22. The draft aims to
The information obligation would apply to producers or importers whose turnover with the affected products is above EUR 50 million p.a.. Unless otherwise required by an Order, the information is to be made available to consumers in a dematerialized format, accessible at the time of the purchase at least on a dedicated web page and including an application programming interface.
- provide better information to consumers by proposing to require producers to provide information about
- 10 environmental qualities and characteristics [left column of table below] of their products or packaging [middle column in table], as stipulated by Art. 13* of the Feb-20 AGEC Law.
- the premiums and penalties paid for environmental performance (‘modulated recycling fees’)
- combat green-washing by proposing to prohibit the terms “biodegradable”, “environmentally friendly” or similar terms.
Spain - Long anticipated draft suggests to comprehensively regulate all packaging - 07 October 2021
One and a half years after a pre-consultation, the draft of a new Royal Decree on Packaging was released for public comment ending 23-Oct-21. The extensive (40K words) draft is likely to contain the most circular economy measures for packaging in a single text worldwide. Its provisions go beyond those explicitly required by the CEP, for example by introducing minimum recycled content targets for all plastic packaging and linking those on plastic to substantial eco-modulation incentives, introducing various informational requirements to ensure better consumer information and tackle free-riding, newly subjecting commercial and industrial packaging to EPR and applying reuse quotas to it (reuse quotas are also applied to beverage packaging).
The draft Royal Decree on Packaging and Packaging Waste (‘the Draft’) was released on 28-Sep-21 for public comment ending 23-Oct-21. With 40,000 words, the proposed text is almost 6 times as long as the 1997 Packaging Decree (7K words) which it would replace. The Draft follows a pre-consultation in Mar-20, and is aligned with the yet-to-be adopted draft Law on Waste and Contaminated Soils.
The Draft Packaging Decree aims to transpose the CEP amended (2018/852) EU Packaging Directive, to increase the volume of waste packaging recycled and to tackle free-riding, an ongoing problem in Spain which affects all waste streams subject to EPR.
The Draft’s Impact Assessment does neither foresee additional public or consumer spending, nor significant negative impacts for industry. New labelling and information requirements are expected to be the most onerous and to affect around 15,000 companies. Exemptions for small producers are not foreseen.
Below we summarize key measures proposed by the Draft grouped under the following topics:
Producer definition and registration - new register for all producers, online marketplaces considered producers
- Producer definition and registration: New register for packaging producers and online marketplaces considered producers
- Informational requirements: Display of registration number, recycling fees; marking;
- Eco-design: Minimum post-consumer recycled content (PCR) targets - not only for beverage containers
- Modulated recycling fees: Substantial subsidies for recycled plastics if PCR targets exceeded; penalties for disruptive packaging
- Targets for separate collection: Distinguished for household, industrial and commercial packaging
- Packaging waste prevention measures: Waste reduction objectives, mandatory re-use quota for beverages and industrial/commercial packaging
- DRS: To be mandatory for SUP bottles if collection target missed in 2023/27; newly mandatory for reusable packaging
- Packaging waste financing and management: Clear obligations for all parties; Commercial and industrial packaging newly subject to EPR
- Requirements on PROs: Few changes
Obligated ‘packers’ (fillers) include:
Retailers and distributors including distance sellers may not market packaged products from un-registered producers (Art. 30).
- Distance sellers: They cannot register directly and must appoint an authorised representatives (ARs) based in Spain. If an AR is not appointed, the EU based intra-community importer or acquirer is obligated (Art. 17).
- Online marketplaces: The product owner (seller) as well as the ecommerce platform will be considered as ‘packer’ of primary and secondary packaging of packaged goods traded within Spain. For packaged goods from sellers established outside of Spain, ‘the e-commerce platform will act the packer’ (Art 3. e).
- A distributor owning a brand (distribution brand) is considered ‘packer’ of branded goods when the packer cannot be identified (Art 3. e).
- Stores that supply service packaging to end users are considered ‘packer’.
A packaging producer register will be added to the Product Producers Registry (the register currently only holds data from producers of plastic carrier bags and tires). Packers/fillers of all packaging types will have to register within 3 months from the enforcement date of the Decree and present a certificate of individual or collective compliance (Art. 15).
Informational requirements - display of registration number and recycling fees; marking; eco-design documentation
The producer registration numbers must be shown on ‘invoices and any other documentation that accompanies the commercial transactions’ of packaged products: For household packaging, the registration number must be shown from POM ‘up to the point of sale to consumers’ [but not the retail invoice, though this is ambiguous]; for industrial packaging, from the POM stage to the sale to the end-user (Art. 15.3).
Producers complying through a PRO must show recycling fees separately on invoices. The fee is to be shown ‘product by product’, unless the recycling fee does not exceed 1% of the final product price, in which case the total amount may be shown (Art. 23.5). [The obligation applies only to the producer at the POM stage, not other entities in the distribution chain]
Household packaging must be marked to indicate
In addition, any packaging may be marked with the
- the waste fraction with which it should be disposed of. This should be indicated for each separable component. [a specific sorting label is not mentioned];
- the symbol of the associated DRS and/or PRO, ‘where appropriate’ [obligation ambiguous];
- its reusable or compostable characteristics (Art. 13.4).
* Intra-community manufacturers and importers (or acquirers) of packaging or packaged products must keep documentation and information available for evaluation and verification of compliance with the essential and other eco-design requirements (minimum recycled content rates, recyclability, reusability, etc.) (Art. 12.3).
- percentage of packaging material ‘available for quality recycling’ (Art. 13.2) if this is certified by an accredited 3rd party*.
- percentage of recycled material contained (Art. 13.2) if this is certified by an accredited 3rd party*.
- material identification markings of Commission Decision 97/129/EC.
Marking containers with brands or logos that may mislead consumers about recyclability will incur penalties.
Eco-design: Minimum post-consumer recycled content (PCR) targets - not only for beverage bottles
Recycled content requirements are proposed to apply to
Modulated recycling fees: Substantial subsidies for recycled plastics if PCR targets exceeded; penalties for disruptive packaging
- beverage bottles – in line with the SUPD’s Art. 6 – from 2025: 25%, calculated as the average of all PET beverage bottles POM;
- all plastic packaging from 2030: 30%, calculated as the average of all plastic packaging POM (extending beyond the SUPD);
- selected plastic packaging from 2030:
- 35% for plastic jars, carafes and similar containers of up to 5L, including their caps and lids;
- 15% for cans, jars, tubs, trays, baskets and other similar plastic items;
- 25% for plastic films used in primary packaging applications, including bagging, liners, peel caps, or wrappers;
- 50% for plastic films used in secondary packaging, such as shrink wrap, liners, sacks, bubble wrap and envelopes;
- 60% for wholesale pallets, boxes and storage containers and other similar plastic items (Art. 11).
PROs will be required to modulate recycling fees through high-amplitude bonuses or penalties, depending on whether design criteria (defined in Annex VIII) are met.
Targets for separate collection: Distinguished for household, industrial and commercial packaging
- Bonuses (discounts):
- Discounts of EUR 50 (PET) to EUR 550 (PS) per tonne of PCR* must be awarded to plastic packaging that exceeds minimum PCR requirements by at least 10%;
* EUR/ton discount of recycled plastic used: PET - EUR 50 / ton; LDPE - EUR 400; HDPE (rigid) and PP - EUR 450; HDPE (flexible) - EUR 200; PS and EPS - EUR 550
- A minimum discount of 10% is to be granted to packaging (and components) labelled with the percentage of material ‘available for quality recycling’;
- Penalties are set as a percentage of the base recycling fee, for example:
- +50% for paper and cardboard printed with inks containing added mineral oils;
- +100% for opaque PET (mineral load> 4%) in bottles, jars and rigid plastic.
The Draft stipulates recycling targets (in Art. 10) that are aligned with those of the Packaging Directive. They must be met only on the national level. In addition, the draft Decree proposes separate collection targets for all packaging: These are to be met by PROs on a state and region level in 2035, 2030 and 2035 and are set as follows:
[Packaging waste prevention measures: Reduction objectives, re-use quota for beverage, industrial and commercial packaging
- Overall separate collection targets apply to
- household packaging: 65% in 2025, 75% in 2030 and 85% in 2035 (Art. 29.2)
- at nominally 10% higher rates for commercial packaging (Art. 36.2) and for industrial packaging (Art. 42.2)
- Material specific separate collection targets are set for household packaging only. The rates are a nominal 5% higher than the recycling targets. Beverage cartons have their own target, set at the same rate as the targets for glass (70%, 80%, 90%).
Measures to promote waste prevention Include the following:
DRS: To be mandatory for SUP bottles if collection target missed in 2023/27; newly mandatory for reusable packaging
- The waste packaging generated is to be reduced by 13% by weight in 2025 and 15% in 2030 compared to 2010;
- Retailers may not present fresh fruits and vegetables in batches under 1.5 kg in plastic (applicable from 30 days after entry into force of the Decree), and those with a sales area over 300 m2 will be obligated to inform customers of the environmental impact of certain packaging, the availability of different packaging types, etc.
- All packaging is to be 100% recyclable by 2030;
- Reuse quotas (as a % of units supplied) will have to be met by
- the hotel and catering (HORECA) sector at the following levels
- waters: 50% in 2025 and 60% in 2030;
- beer: 80% in 2025 and 90% in 2030;
- soft drinks and juices: 70% in 2025 and 80% in 2030;
- others: 50% in 2025 and 60% in 2030;
- household beverage producers at a rate of 10% in 2025 and 20% in 2030
- packers/fillers of commercial and industrial packaging at a rate of 40% in 2025, 50% in 2030 and 60% in 2035.
The draft transposes the separate collection targets for plastic beverage containers stipulated by the SUPD: 2025: 77%; 2029: 90%. Should producers fail to achieve a rate of at least 70% in 2023 or 85% in 2027, a mandatory deposit-refund scheme (DRS) for single-use plastic beverage containers (up to 3L) will be launched within two years. The deposit amount is set at minimum of EUR 0.1 per unit.
The draft Decree requires reusable packaging to be managed through a DRS (Art. 46) [Note: Currently a DRS is in place for water, soft drinks and beer in the HORECA sector].
Packaging waste financing and management: Clear obligations for all parties; commercial and industrial packaging newly subject to EPR
Packers/fillers of all types of packaging are newly required to finance
Household waste packaging may either be fully managed by producers through their PROs or jointly with municipalities. If municipalities intervene or opt to manage household waste packaging themselves, agreements must be concluded between the two parties (Annex X lays out the contractual conditions, Annex XI the financing criteria). Such agreements may be made with the autonomous communities to cover all municipalities within the community [Note: Provision is made for contractual dispute resolution under Law 60/2003].
- the total costs of separately collecting and managing packaging waste;
- 50% of the costs of managing waste packaging arising in the mixed MSW stream [Note: This waste is currently managed and financed almost entirely by municipalities];
- the costs of prevention and awareness measures/campaigns.
Commercial and industrial packaging are newly* subjected to EPR obligations. Commercial packaging waste arises in the service sector (commercial, wholesale/retail, HOREACA, offices and markets); industrial packaging waste in industry, farms, livestock, forestry or aquaculture. Obligations vary between the two. Worthy of note:
* Currently, only packaged phytosanitary products are subject to EPR, while end-users are obligated for other industrial/commercial packaging.
- For industrial packaging, alternative financing agreements are permitted between PROs and end-users (waste management responsibility may be delegated to the latter).
- Commercial packaging that arises as waste in MSW must be financed by producers as household packaging. If municipalities manage such packaging, agreements with producers must be in concluded.
Requirements on PROs: Fine tuning
The authorisation of PROs is increased from 5 years to 8 years. The authorisation procedure remains largely unchanged but application requirements are more extensive (Annex VI) [Note: Applications are submitted to the competent body of the autonomous community where its registered office is located and authorisations valid for the entire national territory].
Transparency controls are proposed to combat conflicts of interest and encourage non-discriminatory conditions and annual report data is to be audited by independent accredited entities [Note: The CEP’s minimum requirements on PROs are transposed in the draft Law on Waste and Contaminated Soils].
Separate collection targets (% of waste generated)
- The Royal Mint to recover precious metals from electronic waste; The Royal Mint has signed an agreement with Canadian clean tech start up Excir to introduce a ‘world first’ technology to the UK, which will enable it to safely retrieve and recycle gold and other precious metals from electronic waste.
- US environmental study claims risk from phthalates in food packaging; A new study by a US peer-reviewed journal claims phthalates (PFAS) chemicals found in plastic food packaging and other consumer goods are causing tens of thousands of deaths annually in the USA. Phthalates, also known as plasticizers, are a group of chemicals that make plastic more durable.
- Research by giffgaff suggest 72% of UK adults have ‘no idea’ what e-waste is; YouGov research commissioned by mobile telephone network, giffgaff, suggests that 72% of the UK have no idea what e-waste is and 68% think the government should be doing more to raise awareness of it nationally.
- Bulldog skincare launches recycling scheme for tubes and blades; Men’s skincare brand Bulldog has recently launched a recycling scheme enabling consumers to send their used razor blades and white tubes back to be recycled into new tubes or recycled to energy.
- UK’s ‘path to net zero’ set out in new emissions strategy; The Net Zero Strategy sets out how the UK government intends to deliver on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The Net Zero Strategy sets out an economy-wide plan for how the UK government intends to support British businesses and consumers in making the transition to ‘clean energy and green technology’ – lowering the Britain’s reliance on fossil fuels by investing in sustainable clean energy in the UK, reducing the risk of high and volatile prices in the future, and strengthening the UK’s energy security.
- Duo celebrates milestone for e-commerce mailing bag; Manchester-headquartered packaging manufacturer and consultancy Duo is marking a production milestone for its Optipac mailing bag solution. Developed by a team at Duo’s Manchester headquarters, the Optipac was produced to provide e-commerce retailers with a parcel bag to create fulfilment efficiencies and convenience for businesses and their customers.
- UK Global Investment Summit: Viridor to invest £1 billion in carbon capture; Resources and waste management company, Viridor, and majority owned by KKR, have announced plans to help the UK accelerate its decarbonisation agenda through an international partnership for next-generation carbon capture, utilisation and storage technology (CCUS).
- Clothing and textile businesses show progress on the road to net zero; WRAP today (19 Oct) publishes the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan final report as the culmination of eight years of collaborative action by sector leaders. In parallel, the Textiles 2030 progress report sets out the practical actions already underway in the successor agreement for the sector to halve GHG emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. The Sustainable Clothing Action Plan 2020 Commitment (SCAP) united fashion brands, retailers, charity retailers, textile recycling companies, academia, governments and other stakeholders to reduce the impact of clothing in the UK.
- Robinson CEO named finalist at Great British Businesswoman of the Year awards; Helene Roberts, chief executive of plastic packaging firm Robinson, has been named as a finalist in two categories of the Great British Businesswoman of the Year awards.
- Biffa continues to raise awareness of Modern Slavery ahead of Anti-Slavery Day; Biffa is continuing to fight modern-day slavery by highlighting a known human trafficking route from Africa to the UK. In the latest, and final cycle ride in a series of challenges by Ride For Freedom, it hopes to highlight how widespread modern-day slavery is and stamp out the crime. Currently worldwide, it is estimated there are more than 40 million modern slaves.
- Kellogg’s expands recycling points for Pringles across UK; Kellogg’s has expanded its partnership with TerraCycle to create 500 new collection points for its Pringles tubes.
- First-ever winners of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize announced; The Earthshot Prize this week revealed the first-ever five Prize Winners of the most prestigious environment awards in history at a glittering ceremony held at London’s Alexandra Palace. Each of these five Winners will receive £1 million prize money and a global network of professional and technical support to scale their ‘remarkable environmental solutions to repair our planet and accelerate their impact’. The five Winners include cutting-edge technologists, innovators, an entire country, and a pioneering city.
- Loop featured in BBC Earthshot Prize documentary; TerraCycle and Loop founder/CEO Tom Szaky spoke about the global reuse platform during an episode of The Earthshot Prize: Repairing Our Planet.
- International E-Waste Day: 57.4m tonnes expected in 2021 will outweigh China’s Great Wall; On International E-Waste Day 2021, experts and producer responsibility organisations are calling on households, businesses and governments to ‘get behind’ efforts to get more dead or unused plug-in or battery-operated products to facilities where they can be either repaired or recycled to recover a king’s fortune in valuable materials and reduce the need for new resources. This year’s collective worldwide waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) will total an estimated 57.4 million tonnes – greater than the weight of the Great Wall of China, Earth’s heaviest artificial object.
- Survey: Confusion about sustainable packaging revealed; A new series of interviews with British shoppers reveal a clear lack of understanding when it comes to environmentally friendly packaging.
- Suez given green light to fill and restore 400,000m3 of landfill in Dorset; In a unanimous vote, the Strategic Planning Committee for Dorset Council has recommended that SUEZ recycling and recovery UK is granted planning permission for an additional ten years in which to fill Beacon Hill landfill and complete an extensive restoration project.
- McLaren Packaging signs up to United Nations Race to Zero campaign; Port Glasgow-based McLaren Packaging, a specialist supplier to the Scotch whisky industry, has signed up to the United Nations Race to Zero campaign.
- EU’s residual waste policy needs ‘radical improvement’ – Zero Waste Europe; New research published this week (12 October) by Zero Waste Europe suggests that a ‘radical improvement’ of the EU residual waste policy is needed to make it fit for a circular, carbon-free economy.
- France announces fruit and veg plastic packaging ban; In a bid to reduce plastic waste, France is banning plastic packaging for nearly all fruit and vegetables from January 2022, the environment ministry announced this week.
- ‘Adapt or die’, says Environment Agency; The climate emergency can only be successfully tackled through greater focus on adapting to the inevitable climate impacts that we are already seeing, the Environment Agency has warned today (13 October) as it urged world leaders to step up to that challenge at COP26.
- Taghleef shrink film designed for today’s sorting and recycling systems; Taghleef Industries has announced the launch of SHAPE360 shrink films range, featuring a new and updated SHAPE360 TDS, the leading-edge solution for TD shrink sleeve labels.
- Low carbon construction products achieve Scotland’s first end-of-waste status; Recycling and waste management solutions business Levenseat has become the first Scottish company to secure ‘end-of-waste’ status for its new stream of low carbon aggregates products. The Lanarkshire-based company achieved the accreditation from Scotland’s environmental regulator SEPA for its newly developed products, which provide a sustainable and lower cost alternative to virgin aggregates used in construction projects.
- Iceland continues to reduce plastic footprint with series of plastic pack cuts; The nine products will see either plastic-free of heavily reduced packaging replace the current packaging, resulting in a reduction of plastic of 36.6 tonnes.
- Biffa partners with charity to help combat homelessness in Scotland; UK waste management company Biffa is launching a partnership with Simon Community Scotland (SCS) to tackle homelessness in the country. SCS is a Scottish charity that provides help and support to homeless people via their street teams, drop in support and advice centres, and 24-hour helpline. SCS work across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Central Scotland.
- Digital kerbside DRS pilot proves popular with Welsh residents; A pilot digital kerbside Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in Wales has proved successful, with over 70% of participants returning all items.
- Almost one-third of Europe’s largest listed companies have pledged to reach net-zero – study; Corporate commitments to net-zero accelerated over the last two years, with almost one-third (30%) of Europe’s largest listed companies now having pledged to reach net-zero by 2050, according to a new study by Accenture.
- Chanel unveils fragrance bottle caps made with bio-based Sulapac material; The Les Eaux De Chanel collection is topped with a bio-based cap, which Chanel has developed in partnership with Sulapac.
- Plans for UK’s first £165m ‘plastic park’ submitted; Peel NRE has submitted a planning application for the ‘Plastic Park’ to be developed at Protos, the company’s strategic energy and resource hub near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. It will cluster together processing and treatment technologies with an aim of getting ‘the most value’ from plastic waste.
- Ranpak invests in German packaging innovator for grass-based packs; Paper-based packaging firm Ranpak has announced an investment in Creapaper in Germany.
- Clothes made from recycled plastic bottles ‘adding to fashion’s waste crisis’; Polyester clothes made from recycled plastic bottles are ‘adding to fashion’s waste crisis’ and ‘flooding the natural environment with plastics’, according to campaigners.
- 100% recyclable paperboard lid for takeaway cups introduced; A long-term collaboration between Finnish start-up company, The Paper Lid Company and Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, has led to the development of a 100% recyclable paperboard lid for use with takeaway cups.
- High engagement for Wales’ first digital kerbside DRS pilot; Results from Wales’ first digital kerbside deposit return scheme (DRS) pilot, which ran in Conwy, North Wales over the summer, suggest consumers are ‘highly engaged’, with 97% of registered households returning at least one bottle over four weeks.
- Weetabix reveals progress on recyclable packaging target; The cereal manufacturer said that 99% of its packaging will be widely recyclable by the summer of next year and claimed that it is “leading the pack of its industry peers”. Key changes for Weetabix this year include transitioning the Protein line of its Weetabix On the Go breakfast drinks to the widely recyclable PET bottles it introduced last year. The company said it has invested in extensive trials to ensure the clear PET bottle is able to keep the nutritional properties of the drink from deteriorating in sunlight. It’s said that the new bottle will be 51% recycled content (rPET), reducing its carbon footprint by 7%.
- UK carbon capture plans could be underpinned by waste sector, new research suggests; New research from Eunomia Research & Consulting suggests that using carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technology on Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities could be some of the cheapest use of CCUS of any industrial sector, underpinning the UK’s Net Zero strategy, thanks in large part to the location of many facilities close to potential CCUS clusters and port hubs.
- Pact Retail Accessories joins the UK Plastics Pact to help retailers eliminate plastic waste; Pact Retail Accessories has now become a member of the UK Plastics Pact, with a shared vision to ‘eliminate plastic waste’. The UK Plastics Pact, led by WRAP, is the first of a global network of commitments, enabled by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative.
- New food labelling legislation comes into effect; ‘Natasha’s Law’, new legislation requiring food retailers to display full ingredient and allergen labelling, comes into effect today (1 October).
- Project using drones and data to tackle litter in Bournemouth reveals “game-changing” results; What is being called the ‘most scientifically’ and ‘robust’ litter survey ever undertaken in the UK has revealed ‘groundbreaking results’ set to impact how litter is tackled in the future, according to the behaviour change charity, Hubbub.