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Luxembourg - CEP and SUP Directive transposed with additions in six legal texts - 24 June 2022
On 10-Jun-22, a bundle of six legal texts transposed the Circular Economy Package (CEP) and the SUP Directive and introduced a number noteworthy provisions, including measures to reduce the consumption of single-use service packaging regardless of their material and a mandatory national DRS.
The bundle follows drafts released in late 2020 and comprises 1) an amendment to the Waste Law, 2) an amendment to Packaging Law, 3) a new SUP Law, 4) a new WEEE Law, 5) an amendment to the Batteries Law and 6) an amendment to the Landfill Regulation.
Below a summary of key provisions of these texts.
Amended Waste Law: Strengthening the EPR regimes, introducing waste prevention measures, improving separate collection
EPR: The amendment to the Waste Law transposes the WFD’s general requirements on EPR and provides a common EPR framework. It notably strengthens the EPR regime by holding the distributor responsible for EPR compliance “unless the [product producer] has already fulfilled this obligation”. In line with this provision, a new definition considers as “product producer” “the first actor [in LU] that receives (réceptionner), on a professional basis, products imported into [Luxembourg] ...”.
Waste prevention measures:
Separate collection: All recoverable waste must be collected in 12 waste fractions (paper and cardboard; glass; metals; plastic materials; bio-waste; wood; textiles; ‘packaging’ as defined in the packaging law; problematic household waste; EEE; batteries; tires). From Jan-23, any retailers with at least 400 sqm must have a take-back point for the separate collection of packaging waste from products. From Jan-24, supermarkets with at least 1,500 sqm must have the necessary infrastructure inside the building for the separate collection of at least municipal household waste paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, portable batteries and accumulators, metal packaging, composite packaging and very small WEEE.
- Single-use items such as trays and other food containers, plates, cutlery are banned at “parties and events open to the public”: From 1-Jan-23 the ban applies to items made of plastic only, from 1-Jan-25 to items made of any material.
- Obligation to use reusable items: From Jan-23 dine-in restaurants must serve meals and drinks consumed on site in reusable dishes and cutlery, and from Jan-25
- home delivery and take-out services must use and recover reusable containers, trays, plates and cutlery.
- Fight against food waste: Supermarkets with a sales area of at least 400 sqm must operate a food waste prevention plan; restaurant patrons have the right to have leftovers packaged for take-away.
Amended Packaging Law: Mandatory material identification, DRS, fees for cups and food containers, PRO contract
The amendment to the Packaging Law introduce a number of far reaching changes, notably:
SUP Law bans plastics from fruit and vegetables sold in batches up to 1.5 kg
- Material identification must be clearly visible on all packages on the basis of Commission Decision 97/129/EC (which does not make material identification mandatory but prescribes a system that must be used when identification is provided).
- Approved PROs must be contracted for all (but reusable) packaging: Before the amendment, the Packaging Law allowed an obligated party to ‘itself fulfil [the take-back] obligation or entrust an accredited body…’. The amendment eliminates the individual compliance option for all (but re-usable) packaging.
- 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 the package. The date and terms of the DRS will be defined by Regulation.
- Drinking cups and food containers must be distributed for a (visible) fee, regardless of material: From Jan-25, single-use drinking cups and food containers for immediate consumption may not be distributed free-of-charge at the POS, regardless of material. Retailers must display the costs of the service packaging separately at POS and discount the displayed costs if service packaging is not used.
The Law transposes the SUP Directive (EU) 2019/904) notably with the following additions:
New WEEE Law replaces the WEEE regulation
- The consumption of SUP cups and food containers for immediate consumption (products listed in Annex I Part A) must be reduced by at least 20% by 2026 compared to 2022, and by 10% p.a. in subsequent years compared to the preceding year (Art. 4). Note that the Packaging Law prohibits the free distribution of these items, regardless of the material they are made of, from 1-Jan-25.
- Restrictions on placing on the market: In addition to the SUP bans of the SUPD’s Art.5, the Law bans plastics from fruit and vegetable packaging from 1-Jul-23: Any retail business must display fruit and vegetables* without packaging made entirely or partly of plastic’. The ban is also applies to fruit and vegetables that are peeled or cut, but not to sales of batches of 1.5 kg or more.
The provisions of the new WEEE Law differ from those of its predecessor notably by elevating the WEEE provisions to the level of a law (previously regulations), eliminating individual compliance as a compliance option for household EEE (but retaining it for non-household (B2B) EEE) and increasing the sanctions under the penal provisions.
Amended Batteries Law introduces 70% collection target for 2023
The amendment to the Batteries Law notably sets an overall collection target of 70% for 2023. However, the collection target is not differentiated by portable and other batteries and as such can be interpreted as applying jointly to all batteries. Moreover, the sanctions under the penal provisions are increased.
- Where are the barriers and opportunities for scaling reuse systems?; The environmental charity Hubbub has released ‘Reuse Systems Unpacked’, a report that draws on interviews with key industry players and a poll of consumers to understand attitudes toward reusable packaging and pathways to scaling reuse solutions.
- Price the main motivator for use of reusable packaging schemes, Hubbub finds; Environmental charity Hubbub has today (28 June) launched ‘Reuse Systems Unpacked’ – a report highlighting the challenges and opportunities for reusable food and drink packaging systems. Findings pointed to price as the main motivator in consumer use of reusable packaging schemes, and hygiene and convenience as barriers.
- Current UK programmes “will not deliver Net Zero” – Climate Change Committee; While some policies may be more successful than expected, not all policies will deliver, says the independent Climate Change Committee (CCC) in its latest progress report.
- Enva officially opens new £1.5 million ash recycling plant in Scotland; MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Mhairi Black, officially opened the ash recycling plant. Enva says the ash, which would previously have been destined for disposal in hazardous landfill sites, is washed to remove contaminants and then combined with other materials to create a sustainable, concrete product.
- Mondi develops pouches for Japanese hair brand Goldwell; The lightweight packs for Kao’s Goldwell range of hair lightening products are said to reduce the overall amount of plastic in individual packs by 80%.
- James Cropper transforms used jeans into paper for packaging; As part of the papermaker’s Rydal range of recycled papers, Rydal Apparel is comprised of 20% post-consumer denim fibre and 80% recycled fibre from sources such as used coffee cups.
- UK-wide net zero target takes a step forward with CO2 recycling project; Carbon dioxide and water could be recycled into renewable future fuels under a new system being developed by engineers at Northumbria University. Funding for this project has been awarded by Northern Accelerator, a partnership between all five of the North East’s universities that supports the creation of innovative businesses based on research by regional academics.
- Iceland develops near-total carton packs for own-brand ice cream range; The supermarket is launching carton board Seda packaging for its ‘Made in Italy’ ice-cream range, which will see a 92% plastic reduction compared to the previous packaging and deliver an 84.5 tonnes annual plastic reduction.
- TIPA & G. Mondini work on home compostable wet food container; The partnership will see G. Mondini offer paper-based, fully compostable Paperseal packaging solutions optimized for wet, chilled, frozen and fresh food products.
- Plan approved to reduce waste and create circular economy in Greater Manchester; A new plan which sets out how Greater Manchester businesses and residents can reduce waste and create a more circular economy is to be rolled out. Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) approved its Sustainable Consumption Plan (SCP) on 24 June 2022. The SCP supports the region’s five-year Environment Plan which was launched at the GM Green Summit in 2019.
- Reusable packaging systems: hygiene, price & convenience are main barriers, report finds; Environmental charity Hubbub is today (28 June) launching ‘Reuse Systems Unpacked’, a report uncovering the challenges and opportunities for reusable food and drink packaging systems. The report, launched at The Royal Society of Arts in the presence of key players in the sector, provides recommendations on how reusable packaging systems can work and what needs to happen for such systems to be used by consumers and become mainstream.
- Ben & Jerry’s sign up to Pack4Good initiative on paper packaging; The initiative is international environmental non-profit Canopy. The initiative is dedicated to shifting the global paper packaging supply chain to protect the world’s most high-carbon, high-biodiversity forests.
- Work begins on new Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy; Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister, Edwin Poots MLA, has published the Closure report for the current Northern Ireland Waste Management Strategy. The draft Environment Strategy for Northern Ireland includes a commitment to publish a new Waste Management Strategy by 2023.
- £2m fund launched to reduce environmental burden of textiles in Scotland; Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Government have launched a new £2m fund to help reduce the environmental burden of textiles. Zero Waste Scotland’s latest Carbon Metric report shows textiles, which make up just 4% of waste by weight, account for 32% of the carbon impact of Scotland’s household waste.
- Spar launches own label range of food for summer; New for 2022 are Spar Chorizo style sausages, Jumbo Hot dogs, Quiches plus range extensions on Dips. Other products are designed for barbecues, picnics and alfresco eating.
- Study places UK 4th in Europe’s “green innovation race”; B-corp Bower Collective has released a 6-factor tool which maps current ‘Green Innovation’ across Europe. The UK scored in the top 10 for half of all six factors in the study and scored 4th in the study overall.
- Carlsberg pilots bio-based bottles in its largest ever trial; In its largest pilot to date, Carlsberg Group has revealed the trial of its new Fibre Bottle with a plant-based PEF (polyethylene furanoate) polymer lining.
The pilot, which Carlsberg says is “vital” to its ambition of making the beer bottle a commercial reality, will see 8,000 Fibre Bottles being sampled in eight Western European markets: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, United Kingdom, Poland, Germany and France.
- Consumer goods CEOs highlight five “urgent actions” needed to help reach 2030 SDG deadline; The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) and the EY organisation have published a new report bringing together opinions from 13 consumer industry leaders that outlines what it calls “the urgent priorities” the sector must act upon to help meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 deadline.
- Plastic recyclers in Europe struggling to get enough plastic waste; Low available volumes of sorted plastic waste are negatively impacting the operations of plastic recyclers across Europe creating an obstacle to achieving the EU targets, Plastic Recyclers Europe (PRE) says.
- Planning permission granted for recycled glass container manufacturing facility in Wales; A resolution has been unanimously agreed to grant planning permission to CiNER Glass UK to build a new £390m glass container manufacturing facility which uses recycled glass at the Rassau Industrial Estate, north of Ebbw Vale.
- Circular.co launches digital platform for recycled plastics; Circular.co says the platform will help essential industries evolve to a more sustainable future by offering efficient online trading, accessible data, and transparent economics.
- Scotland to limit and gradually reduce incineration capacity; The Scottish government has said that it will no longer grant permission for energy from waste facilities that use incineration, following an independent review. The review, which was authored by waste sector expert and former CIWM CEO Dr Colin Church, reviewed the role of incineration in the waste hierarchy, with a focus on aligning national capacity with Scotland’s waste reduction targets.
- Veolia proposes the sale of Suez’s UK waste business; Veolia has proposed the sale of Suez’s UK waste business following the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) finding the merger of Veolia and Suez could lead to a ‘loss of competition’ in the supply of several waste and water management services in the UK.
- 93% of UK consumers want more refill options when they shop; New research released for World Refill Day says 93% of shoppers would like to see more refill and reuse options available, but 34% make it clear that being able to use them would depend on their cost.
- #RTF22 | Policy changes needed to help reduce consumption, says WRAP; At Resourcing the Future (RTF22), the chair of WRAP, Julie Hill, said policy changes are needed to “unlock the barriers” preventing the industry from encouraging reduced consumption and increased recycling. Speaking at the Resourcing the Future (RTF) conference – a partnership conference between CIWM, WRAP, the ESA and INCPEN – Hill (pictured above) spoke about the issue of over-consumption and the importance of tackling it now. When proposing a solution she said that action has to start with government policy, noting waste and consumption barely featured on the COP26 agenda last year.
- Defra seeks views on food waste reporting for larger businesses; The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is consulting on improved food waste reporting by large food businesses in England as part of the Government’s Food Strategy.
- Circular economy predicted to create over 250,000 new London jobs over next decade; New research and modelling commissioned by ReLondon shows the potential for a more circular economy to create over a quarter of a million new jobs for people in London by 2030.
- “Superworms” capable of munching through plastic waste; Researchers at the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, have discovered a species of worm with an appetite for polystyrene. The common Zophobas morio ‘superworm’ can eat through polystyrene, thanks to a bacterial enzyme in their gut.
- Plastic to hydrogen facility in West Dunbartonshire gets green light; Plans for a £20m facility in West Dunbartonshire to turn waste plastic into hydrogen, with an aim of supporting the UK’s energy transition to net zero, have been approved. West Dunbartonshire Council has given the green light to the plant, the second of its kind in the UK.
- Leading brands set to launch a major new platform to tackle food waste; A major new platform to help reduce food waste is currently being trialled and set to be launched by some of the UK’s leading brands. Founding partners Co-op and Microsoft, supported by technology consultancy BJSS and Team ITG, have created Caboodle, a not-for-profit digital platform that enables supermarkets, cafés and restaurants to connect with community groups and volunteers to redistribute surplus food.
- The Absolut Company invests in fibre-based bottle cap R&D; Working with Blue Ocean Closures (BOC), a start-up based in Sweden, the caps will be made from bio-based materials, combining a body made of sustainably sourced FSC fibre material with a thin top-seal barrier layer, making it recyclable as paper and ocean biodegradable.
- Liquid filling firm Project 7 wins motorcycle engine oil pouch deal; Worcestershire-based filling firm Project 7 has marked its first anniversary with a contract to sustainably package a leading motorcycle engine oil. Project 7 has won the contract to fill and motorcycle maintenance products in the Silkolene range to support parent company FUCH’s commitment to a circular economy for plastics.
- Frugalpac sells ‘world’s first’ paper bottle machine; The machine makes the Frugal Bottle which is aimed at the wine, spirits and olive oil markets.
- NextWave Plastics expands cross-industry consortium on reducing plastic waste; NextWave Plastics is a consortium of multinational technology and consumer brands to collaborate and promote transparency to help decrease the volume of plastic litter by developing a global network of ocean-bound plastic supply chains.
- Heinz collaborates to launch pots made from recycled soft plastic; Heinz has launched packs made from 39% recycled soft plastic, which was collected at in-store collection points at Tesco.
- 'Is packaging circularity a false sustainability prophet?'; The idea of a circular economy is certainly promising, but how can we turn it into a reality? Robert Lilienfeld, founder and executive director of sustainable packaging think tank SPRING, looks into scientific theory and historical parallels in a bid to answer this question.
- More than a third of UK adults plan to increase household repairs, rather than buy new; Millions of households are turning to repairs and renovations, rather than replacements, a new study by insurance business Aviva suggests.
- Iceland launches £1 paper-cotton woven reusable bags; The new bags are a combination of paper and cotton designed to match the performance of existing woven bags.
- BrandMe revamps pack identity for snack brand nākd; The agency worked with the nākd. team to craft the brand strategy, positioning and packaging design. According to BrandMe, the “challenge was to balance communicating nākd.’s pure, unprocessed products with its exciting tastes, whilst enhancing recognition of the iconic identity”.
- Leading brands set to launch a major new platform to tackle food waste; Founding partners Co-op and Microsoft, supported by technology consultancy BJSS and Team ITG, have created Caboodle, a not-for-profit digital platform that enables supermarkets, cafés and restaurants to connect with community groups and volunteers to redistribute surplus food.
- Biffa receives £1.36bn takeover bid; The proposal is pitched at 445p a share. Biffa said it would be “minded to recommend” the proposal to shareholders if Energy Capital were to make a firm offer at that price. Biffa was acquired by Severn Trent in 1991, which floated the business in 2006. In 2008 it was taken private again by a group of private equity investors.
- CEFLEX launches EPR ‘Criteria for Circularity’ in flexible packaging; Extended User Responsibility (EPR) schemes play a substantial role in the collection, sorting and recycling of post-consumer products. The Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging (CEFLEX) project, a collaboration of over 180 European companies, associations and organisations, believes these schemes are well positioned to be a key enabler and coordinator of the circular economy.
- Neste partnership establishes digital solutions to trace renewable and recycled material flows; Neste has announced a partnership with Circularise to bring the Dutch startup’s traceability software into circular polymers and chemical supply chains.
- Global plastic waste on track to almost triple by 2060, says OECD; The amount of global plastic waste produced is set to almost triple by 2060, a new OECD report says, with around half being disposed of in landfills and under a fifth recycled. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has produced the Global Plastics Outlook: Policy Scenarios to 2060, which sets out a range of projections on plastics to 2060. The report covers plastics use, waste, and the environmental impacts linked to plastics with a focus on leakage to the environment.
- Eco-labelling company Foodsteps raises over $4 million to expand its sustainability platform; Foodsteps, a start-up that says it allows companies to calculate, label, and reduce their environmental footprint from farm to fork, has raised $4.1 million in seed funding to recruit new talent and expand its sustainability platform.
- Surrey councils ask residents to own their environmental impact as part of new campaign; The Surrey Environment Partnership (SEP) has launched a new campaign aiming to link resident behaviour around recycling and waste to its impact on the planet.
- Tetra Pak tests an industry-first fibre-based barrier to replace the aluminium layer; Tetra Pak tests a fibre-based barrier as a substitute for the aluminium layer as part of the company’s journey towards a fully renewable aseptic package. Tetra Pak developed the barrier as part of its ambition to reduce the carbon footprint while making the post-consumer cartons more attractive for recyclers.
- Ellen MacArthur aims to bring nature-positive food to supermarkets using £1.25 million award; The £1.25 million was received from the People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund award 2022. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation says they will partner with the Sustainable Food Trust to launch the food challenge project to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss with the circular economy.
- Half of UK councils not confident of meeting self-imposed net zero targets, survey finds; Senior figures in local government doubt its authorities are on track to meet net zero targets, a new survey by E.ON and the Local Government Chronicle has shown.