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Sweden - Far-reaching requirements for plastic packaging proposed - 8 July 2021
A bundle of draft texts proposes to impose requirements beyond those stipulated in the EU Single-use Plastics Directive (SUPD) to packaging not covered under the SUPD, notably a requirement for all plastic packaging (containing over 50% by weight of plastic) to contain recycled content from 2030.
The draft bundle, notified to TRIS on 29-Jun-21 for stakeholder comments by 30-Sep-21, consists of two amendments (2021/392 and 2021/393) to the Packaging Ordinance and a draft SUP Ordinance on Single-Use Products (2021/401 and 402).
From 2025: Only packaging allowed that is recyclable or meets certain conditions
Draft Amendment 2021/392 to the Packaging Ordinance notably proposes to:-
The Draft also enables the EPA to issue regulations on exemptions from the design requirements from Jan-22 (§79a).
- require that the volume and weight of packaging is limited to the minimum required to maintain a good level of safety and hygiene;
- only allow POM of reusable or recyclable packaging from Jan-25, whereby a package is deemed to be recyclable if
- at least 75% of the material used in a package (by weight) can be recycled into a sellable material or product, or
- the package can be
- partly used in a sellable product (not material), or
- energy recovered and possess a certain calorific value, or
- composted and meets certain biodegradability criteria and is
- needed to extend the product’s shelf life,
- necessary to meet the requirements of another law,
- made of at least 50% (by weight) of low a quality recycled plastic that cannot be recycled,
- made of wood (§38a, §39).
From 2030: Recycled content requirements to apply to all ‘plastic packaging’
- require packaging PROs to have the technical capacity and ability to recover at least 75% of waste packaging, otherwise they must transfer it to another collection system (§61).
Draft Amendment 2021/393 to the Packaging Ordinance proposes to:-
* the SUPD’s Art. 6 requires a) all PET beverage bottles to contain 25% recycled plastic from 2025 and b) all plastic beverage bottles to contain 30% recyclate from 2030.
- define ‘plastic packaging’ as packaging containing more than 50% of plastic by weight (§9b) [it does not specify if the percentage refers to each packaging component or the entire packaging, which may have an impact on calculating recycling fees];
- require all single-use plastic packaging - not only beverage bottles as prescribed by the SUPD* - to contain at least 30% recycled plastic by weight, to be calculated as an average of the packaging POM by a producer during a calendar year. Exemptions will be provided for food contact and medical packaging (§40a);
- require producers to report the amount of recycled content used annually to the EPA, whereby the text further elaborates that the number of plastic bottles and recycled content in them must be reported but does not mention other plastic packaging;
Transposition of the SUPD’s ‘consumption reduction’ requirement
The draft Ordinance on Single-Use Products (2021/401 and 402) proposes to transpose notably Art. 4 of the SUPD by:-
These requirements do not apply to single-use paper containers and businesses supplying less than 75 (originally 150) single-use cups and containers per day (§19).
- prohibiting POM of single-use cups containing over 15% plastic from Jan-24 to facilitate the transition towards paper substitutes;
- requiring vendors to offer drinks and food in reusable cups and containers (§ 14 & 15) and to inform consumers on environmental impacts of single-use products (§17);
- Waste crime costs England almost a billion pounds a year; A new report published today (22 July) by the Environmental Services Association (ESA) suggests the cost of waste-related crime in England has grown exponentially, with costs rising from £604 million in 2015 to more than £924 million in 2018/19.
- Designing for a Circular Economy – In Action; Simona Taborelli is group packaging sustainability lead at global confectionary giant Ferrero. In this interview with Sarah LaBrecque and CEFLEX, which was originally published on CEFLEX’s website, she shares valuable insights on circular-focused design within the flexible packaging industry.
- Pandemic shopping habits mixed, says DS Smith research; A survey of 2,000 UK adults by OnePoll, on behalf of DS Smith, found that 49% prefer in-store shopping over online or click and collect, while the same number said that click and collect was the “worst of both worlds”. In addition, 43% found online shopping less stressful, 29% said that online shopping was their preferred shopping method and over a third of people are not willing to wait longer than five minutes in a store queue.
- Defra defends UK’s single-use plastic approach; The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has defended the UK’s record on plastic pollution and says it is considering whether to ban certain single-use plastic products. On 20 July, a coalition of 21 environmental organisations including Greenpeace, City to Sea, Keep Britain Tidy and Friends of the Earth wrote an open letter to environment minister Rebecca Pow, accusing the UK of falling behind the rest of Europe in meeting the minimum standards set across the EU to tackle plastic pollution.
- Startup spotlight: Solving fashion’s packaging problem; The idea for ShipNaked, a new campaign to reduce the packaging used in e-commerce, came to Sheila Morovati, president and founder of Habits of Waste, when a vacuum arrived at her door in its own box without separate shipping packaging, styrofoam casing or plastic air pillows.
- bio-bean launches raw material upcycled from spent coffee grounds; bio-bean has launched a new sustainable raw material product called ‘Inficaf’ which is made from upcycled spent coffee grounds. From bioplastics to automotive friction, and from cosmetics to textiles and more, Inficaf offers versatility across a wide variety of industries to ‘displace virgin or synthetic materials whilst also reducing waste’, it says.
- Compostable packs ‘may allow longer shelf-life’ of vegetables than plastic, studies find; The compostable packaging specialist said scientists at the Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), The Volcani Institute (Israel), found compostable packaging enables shelf-life of bell peppers up to 21 days and cucumbers up to 15 days, even better than conventional plastic. Researchers used cucumbers and bell peppers to test the differences between compostable packaging and conventional plastic packaging. Both types of packaging allowed keeping bell peppers for four weeks, and cucumbers for two weeks in refrigerated home storage. In addition, properly designed micro-perforated compostable packages extended the non-refrigerated shelf life of cucumbers up to 15 days, compared to not more than 10 days in conventional plastic packs.
- Campaign launches to tackle recycling contamination in north London; An army helmet, dolls, reading glasses and fairy wings are just some of the bizarre items that north Londoners have tried to recycle in recent weeks. These items and many more feature in a new exhibition which launches today to highlight the consequences of putting the wrong item in the recycling.
- British Glass publishes industry-wide net zero strategy; The strategy follows on from the industries decarbonisation roadmap in 2015 in conjunction with BEIS that was based on achieving a reduction of 80% CO2 by 2050. Following the governments agreement to the Paris Agreement, British Glass has worked with members and industry partners to devise a strategy to achieve net zero.
- Courtauld Commitment 2030 to sets 50% greenhouse gas target for 2030; Changes to WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment voluntary agreement set out to take ‘a bold step forward’ in reducing the impact food has on the natural world. The Commitment is already helping the UK food and drink sector to deliver against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3 to halve food waste. It will now also set out to achieve and monitor progress towards net zero ambitions and convening action on water stewardship in at-risk food sourcing locations. This includes the first industry-wide collaborative action towards a 50% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with food and drink consumed in the UK by 2030 – a ‘critical milestone’ towards longer term net zero objectives, WRAP says.
- RECOUP win Innovate UK funding for plastics recycling communications research; Charity, and leading plastics recycling organisation, RECOUP, have secured a grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to co-fund an industry led communications and behaviour change research project in Kent.
RECOUP have brought together key industry partners, Kent Resource Partnership, Veolia, Viridor, Ocado, Ecosurety, British Plastics Federation, Plastics Europe and PPS Recovery Systems to deliver this groundbreaking piece of research aimed at understanding better the connection between communications and plastics recycling.
- Co-op compostable bag push with focus on new food waste law; The Co-op is urging shoppers who forget their reusable bags to make use of its EN 13432 certified compostable carrier bags, which have a secondary use as food waste caddy liners. The government is bringing in a requirement, under the consistency of household waste collection consultation, to have separate food waste collection across England by 2023. Currently Wales and Northern Ireland have universal food waste collection, while Scotland has collections everywhere bar remote communities.
- Ecosurety works with The Mayor’s office on recycling push for London flats; Ecosurety is working with ReLondon on a new project in four London housing estates to boost recycling in purpose-built flats. The producer responsibility compliance company is working with ReLondon (a partnership with the Mayor of London and London boroughs to improve waste and resource management), Lambeth Council and home-builders Peabody to increase the capture and quality of dry recycling in four Lambeth estates, with results and learnings set to be shared more widely across the UK.
- Kent and ACE UK clash over carton recycling; Kent county council is to stop accepting Tetra Pak and carton packaging for recycling, as the material is becoming “increasingly difficult to recycle”. However, the move has been slammed by the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE), which argued that the UK has “both the infrastructure and capacity” to recycle the material.
- ‘Holistic resource systems’ could save 2.76 billion tonnes of CO2 per year; A new study by TOMRA suggests that ‘holistic resource systems’ could save 2.76 billion tonnes of CO2 per year.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2016 have been concretised by the European Commission: The new EU climate law increases the emission reduction target from 40% to at least 55% by 2030 to meet the expectations of the November World Climate Summit in Glasgow.
- Iceland trials reduced plastic and ‘plastic-free’ potato and fish packs; Iceland’s latest plastic reduction measure sees the introduction of paper potato packaging and fish in packs predominantly made of cartonboard. The frozen food retailer is now selling its British White Potatoes in paper bags and its packs of four Atlantic Cod Fillets and eight other fish lines in boxes made largely of cartonboard, containing 90% less plastic than the previous packaging.
- Committee launches inquiry into UK Government’s plastic waste measures; The House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) Committee has launched a new inquiry into plastic waste, scrutinising how the UK Government intends to tackle its plastics problem, and whether its targets go far enough.
Despite high-profile campaigns to encourage recycling and reduce plastic use, just 32% of all plastic is currently recycled. Concerns have also been raised regarding the volume of plastic packaging waste- equivalent to three and a half Olympic swimming pools’ worth of plastics every day- that is exported to other countries, where some has been found to end up being dumped or burnt rather than recycled.
- Euro 2020 final clean-up will cost ‘millions’ says waste collection expert; Research by BusinessWaste.co.uk has shown that the clean-up bill for Euro Final celebrations in England will end up costing millions of pounds. According to the waste collection expert, Sunday night alone, the evening of the tournament’s final, added over 1,000,000 extra empty beer bottles to waste collections.
- Karen Betts appointed FDF chief executive; Karen Betts – currently chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association – is to be the new chief executive of the Food & Drink Federation, the FDF has announced. Betts has led the SWA since 2017. A lawyer by background, she previously had a two-decade career in the Foreign Office and Diplomatic Service, latterly as HM Ambassador to Morocco. She will succeed Ian Wright, who steps down at the end of 2021 after seven years in the role.
- Co-op launches Europe’s ‘most extensive’ recycling scheme for plastic bags, crisp packets and food wrappings; The Co-op has announced the launch of what it calls ‘Europe’s most extensive in-store recycling scheme’ for plastic bags and product wrapping.
The rollout of the scheme is aims to see the convenience retailer become first UK supermarket to have fully recyclable food packaging by the end of this month (July) and, help tackle the confusing postcode lottery of kerbside collections. Recycling units for ‘soft’ plastics will launch in 1,500 Co-op stores this month (July) and 2,300 stores by November.
- LARAC calls for ‘freedom’ over collection systems; The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) has voiced concerns about the “potentially prescriptive nature” of the government proposals for collection systems. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) wants local authorities to collect recyclable waste streams separately from each other and residual waste, claiming this results in “higher quality” and higher prices on secondary materials markets.
- Pow pushes kerbside route for cartons, not DRS; Recycling minister Rebecca Pow has reiterated that drinks cartons are unlikely to be included within the remit of Defra’s proposed deposit return scheme (DRS). Her comments came in response to a written Parliamentary questions from Conservative MP for High Wycombe, Steve Baker. He asked George Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his department has made of the implications for its policies of studies and trials undertaken in other countries which examine the feasibility of including carton packages in Deposit Return Schemes.
- BEIS minister visits Encirc as its decarbonising strategy boosts jobs; Encirc has announced its firm commitment to decarbonising by the middle of this decade, using hydrogen in its furnaces to create billions of ultra-low-carbon glass bottles. The glass giant said the availability of hydrogen will enable the further expansion of its Elton facility, leading to the creation of at least 200 jobs, while futureproofing existing roles.