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France - Comprehensive 3R Strategy proposed in view of phasing out SUP packaging by 2040 - 17 Feb 2022
The draft of a comprehensive “3R Strategy for Plastic Packaging” was released for public consultation until 25-Feb-22. It notably identifies key challenges to overcome and investments needed to meet France’s 2025 targets, and explores opportunities and constraints towards meeting France’s 2040 objective to phase out single-use plastic (SUP) packaging. Moreover, it assesses the potential for SUP packaging reduction, re-use and use of recycled content in 42 sectors as a starting point for professional organisations to develop sectoral roadmaps.
In Feb-20, the AGEC Law France had set itself the objective "to achieve the end of the marketing of single-use plastic packaging by 2040". As a starting point, the Apr-21 “3R Decree” was issued, which sets targets for 2025: SUP packaging must be reduced by 20% compared to 2018 and at least half the reduction must be obtained through re-use. All packaging must be recyclable. All unnecessary SUP packaging is to be eliminated.
The 356-pages (incl. annexes) 3R Strategy for Plastic Packaging, developed with the various stakeholders,
The 3R Strategy comprises 3 main parts:
- lays out concrete measures for reaching the 2025 targets of the 3R Decree, and
- explores opportunities and constraints towards meeting the 2040 objective to phase out single-use plastic packaging.
As a starting point for these sectoral roadmaps, Annex 6 provides a preliminary quantitative assessment of the potential for reduction, re-use and use of recycled plastics for packaging applications in 42 sectors.
- Part 1 - Context And Objective – summarises key issues associated with SUP packaging, regulatory tools and existing initiatives.
- Part 2 - Strategic Vision – provides an inventory of SUP packaging and investigates alternatives and their implementation, including investments needed to meet the 2025 objectives.
- Part 3 - Action Plans – lays out priority actions along 10 thematic axes under which actions until 2025, pilot projects and stakeholders are identified and described – with Sectoral Roadmaps playing the key role in working towards achieving the targets.
Key challenges to overcome and investments needed to meet the 2025 targets
The 3R Strategy states that 4.8 million tonnes of plastic are used annually in France, of which 2.4 million tons (46%, 35 kg per capita) is packaging. Half of these are “household” packaging (of which 20% are consumed outside of the home), the other half “industrial and commercial” packaging. The recycling rate for all plastic packaging was around 27% in 2018.
The Strategy says the following challenges need to be overcome:
The Strategy also includes a preliminary estimate of investments needed to reach the 2025 objectives:
- To reach the EU mandated 50% recycling target for plastic packaging in 2025, a) the development of separate collection (in particular dense housing, public space and businesses) needs to be accelerated, b) the sorting infrastructure modernized and adapted, c) recycling capacities need to be ensured in France by providing transparency about the collected materials available to secure investments and by clarifying the potential of chemical recycling, and d) the incorporation of recycled material needs to be encouraged by continuing work on standardisation, quality control and traceability of recycled plastics, in particular to enable recycled materials for food contact applications.
- To ensure all plastic packaging is recyclable by 2025, 15% of SUP packaging will have to be substituted: Recycling channels currently operate for around 70% of household plastic packaging. For another 15%, channels are being developed (PS/PSE, flexible PP, multilayer PET). The remaining 15% will not be recyclable by 2025 and thus will have to be substituted by recyclable alternatives.
The implementation of the action plan relies heavily on the initiative and support of sectoral organisations
- To meet the 50% recycling target in 2025, collection, sorting and recycling capacity need to be increased by 0.5 million tons. This is estimated to require investments of EUR 0.9 - 1.6 billion.
- To reduce plastic packaging by 10% through re-use (as mandated in the 3R Decree), return systems for reusable packaging need to be established. These are estimated to require investments of EUR 1 - 2.3 billion, mainly for reverse vending machines and washing installations for a system of reusable beverage bottles.
- Modifying filling lines to accommodate substitutes for the 16% of non-recyclable SUP packaging: To handle the packaging replacing the 16% non-recyclable plastic packaging, as well as the new reusable packaging and another 5% of plastic packaging estimated to be substitutable by other materials, around 20% of all packaging and filling lines will need to be modified. The 3R Strategy estimates the minimum investments at EUR 600 million. This amount alone is required in the context of replacing plastic milk bottles with for example beverage cartons. The switch from PS to PET yoghurt pots would require investments in line modifications of EUR 250 to 400 million.
The implementation of the 3R Strategy’s action plan - broken down into 10 thematic axes** - relies on various levers: The most important are sectoral roadmaps to be developed by professional organisations, who “have a major role to play in continuing the diagnosis of their packaging (needs, functionalities, value chain, tools, industrial elements, etc.); unite players around common issues (common reuse pilots, choice of preferred resins, R&D on substitute materials); and launch structured collective actions to scale up for the benefit of the environment and economic rationale.”
Another important lever are the ‘cahiers des charges’ (specifications) of the PROs for household packaging and catering. The Government will use their upcoming revisions to introduce support and incentive instruments that the PROs must provide tp packers/fillers to encourage change. For industrial and commercial packaging - which will be subject to EPR from 2025 only - the strategy calls for voluntary commitments.
Potential for reduction, re-use and use of recycled plastics laid out for 42 sectors, as starting point for sectoral roadmaps
The 3R Strategy is accompanied by Annex 6, a preliminary but systematic assessment of the potential for reduction, reuse, recycling, and incorporation of recycled material in 42 packaged goods sectors. While these assessments were developed in cooperation with ‘as many industry federations and stakeholders as possible’, they are meant only as a first working document that each sector is to adapt and develop into its sectoral roadmap.
As an example, the assessment of the EEE sector i.a. notes that
The assessment of the hygiene/beauty sector i.a. notes that
- 20,420 tonnes of plastic household packaging are placed on the market. Only 19% of blister packaging is currently recycled.
- the sector’s plastic packaging reduction potential is estimated at 25-30%, while over 25% recycled content could be used. The reuse potential, on the other hand, is estimated to be small (<5%).
The sums by weight of the estimated potentials of the 42 sectors achieve the objectives of the 3R Decree for 2025 (notably the 20% SUP reduction, of which at least from re-use). The data suggests that meeting the
- 77,740 tonnes of plastic household packaging are placed on the market. The current collection rate of bottles containing personal care products is 61% and their recycling rate 48%. The collection rate of tubes is 18%, their recycling rates 14%.
- the sector’s plastic packaging reduction potential and its potential for re-use applications are both estimated at 15-20%. The potential recycled content is estimated at 10-25%.
- the sector was the first sector to commit to a collective action plan –“Le Plastics Act” – which already sets packaging targets for 2025: reduction 15%, re-use 20%, recycled content 10-25%, Recyclability 100%.
- recycling disruptors, in particular dispenser pumps, need to be eliminated – as recommended by COTREP, the technical Committee for the Recycling of Plastic Packaging.
- reduction (non-reuse) objectives will largely be driven by consumer durables (incl. EEE and DIY) and some groceries,
- re-use objectives will be led by rigid industrial and commercial packaging, and to a lesser degree beverages,
- the use of recycled content will be driven by industrial and commercial packaging, and to a lesser degree consumer durables and beverage packaging.
Axis 1: Limit unnecessary and excessive packaging
Axis 2: Supporting the rise of reuse
Axis 3: Develop alternative solutions
Axis 4: Ensure the recyclability of packaging placed on the market
Axis 5: Accelerate the increase in collection
Axis 6: Sorting - modernising, innovating and adapting
Axis 7: Ensure recycling capacities in France and encourage the incorporation of recycled materials
Axis 8: Other transversal actions
Axis 9: Sectoral roadmaps
Axis 10: Organize the transition - Governance, monitoring and evaluation of the strategy
** "Le Plastics Act"
Reduce plastic packaging volumes by 15%
Reduce the amount of plastic by generalizing eco-design
Reduce by substituting materials by launching R&D programs
Reuse 20% of packaging
Generalize 100% recyclable refills
Allow all companies to develop a bulk offer
Develop deposit pilot experiments
Reincorporate 10% to 25% recycled plastic
Securing access for all companies to recycled plastic suitable for cosmetic use
Recycle 100% of packaging
Raise awareness of sorting in the bathroom to improve collection
Improve the effective recyclability of cosmetic packaging
International - Alternative proposals for a Global Pollution Treaty - 11 Feb 2022
Momentum continues to build for a global plastic pollution treaty as 3 Draft Resolutions are tabled to be discussed at the Feb-22 meeting of the UN Environment Assembly.
On 28-Feb-22, the Fifth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) will convene in Nairobi, where nations will debate resolutions that set the scope and mandate of a future global treaty to address plastic pollution. A resolution must be adopted as a framework before any specific negotiations can begin.
The idea for a global treaty gained traction in Sep-21 when a Draft Resolution put forward by Peru and Rwanda - which calls for the establishment of an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) with a mandate to negotiate a legally binding global agreement – was supported by the EU and 7 other nations*. This original resolution proposes an open mandate whereby negotiators would work on a variety of issues pertaining to plastic pollution via a full life cycle approach, covering ‘upstream’ (production), ‘midstream’ (product design), and ‘downstream’ (waste management). Critically, the Draft would cover plastic pollution in any environment.
In Dec-21, Japan submitted an alternative Draft Resolution on an “International Legal Instrument on Marine Plastic Pollution”, with support from Antigua and Barbuda, Cambodia, Palau and Sri Lanka. While both resolutions call for quick negotiations ahead of UNEA-6, and fundamentally agree on the need for a legal binding instrument, there are some key differences: The Japanese draft - which focuses only on marine plastic pollution – mentions the ‘lifecycle’ of plastics but only emphasizes downstream interventions. It also proposes a closed mandate, which would not allow the INC to consider other relevant aspects at a later date. Details around the institutional framework, including any financing mechanisms, are not included.
On 28-Jan-22, India posted another Draft Resolution titled “Framework for addressing plastic product pollution including single-use plastic product pollution”. As the title suggests the draft focuses on SUPs and most notably does not mention any legally binding obligations, preferring a voluntary framework instead. The Indian draft does not have official support from any other nations.
The world’s two largest plastic producing countries – the USA and China respectively – have not formally backed any proposal, but have both publicly backed a global agreement. On 18-Nov-21, the USA announced it will join talks on a new global treaty to curb plastic pollution. The Secretary of State said “it's crucial that the agreement call on countries to develop and enforce strong national action plans to address this problem at its source”. On 3-Feb-22, China stated it would “engage actively and constructively in the negotiation of the different tabled resolutions”, while calling for ambitious goals and equally ambitious implementation.
*co-sponsored by Costa Rica, Ecuador, the EU, Guinea, Norway, Philippines, Senegal and Switzerland.
EU - Consultation for a policy framework for biobased, biodegradable, and compostable plastics - 9 Feb 2022
The 8 week consultation seeks views on various policy approaches to deal with increasing use – and consumer uncertainty – of ‘bioplastics’ as part of the EU’s Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan.
On 18-Jan-22 the European Commission (EC) opened an eight-week consultation (until 15-Mar-22) on a policy framework for three groups of plastics:
At present, the EC says these plastics make up 1% of the European plastics market, but forecasts growth of between 5 to 8% up to 2025. The upcoming policy framework – a key deliverable of the Mar-20 Circular Economy Action Plan and the Dec-19 European Green Deal – aims to address the emerging sustainability challenges related to their use, and clear up consumer confusion with a view to increasing investment certainty and environmental protection. The Commission plans to adopt this initiative by means of a non-legislative communication on 30-Jul-22 as part of its second Circular Economy package.
- Biobased: “fully or partially made from biological resources, rather than fossil raw materials. They are not necessarily compostable or biodegradable”.
- Biodegradable: “biodegrade in certain conditions only (e.g. biodegradable in soil or in the marine environment)”.
- Compostable: “a subset of biodegradable plastics that only biodegrade in perfectly controlled conditions e.g. industrial composting facilities”.
There are three key aspects of the policy which are up for consultation
The consultation seeks views on various policy measures including labelling (based on biobased content thresholds), minimum sustainability requirements, limiting the use of biodegradable plastics that are difficult to collect, limiting the use of compostable plastics that are difficult to separate from food waste, banning use of bioplastics that aren’t properly labelled, and launching awareness-raising campaigns. The full set of consultation questions is available here.
- The sustainability of feedstocks used to create bio-based plastics: No sustainability criteria currently apply to them, and while the use of biological feedstocks is seen as better than fossil based alternatives, other environmental impacts – such as the effects of land-use change on biodiversity – need to be considered;
- Material degradation and compostability: Biodegradation must be verified by standards, but no standards exist for most processes (other than industrial composting)
- “Widespread confusion”: Consumers do not have access to clear and trustworthy information regarding these plastics and their safe disposal. A uniform labelling system may be required as cross-contamination of plastic waste streams can reduce plastic circularity.
- £30 million boost for plastic packaging reuse and recycling innovations; UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) Challenge has today announced £30 million in funding for 18 groundbreaking collaborative projects that support the achievement of the UK Plastics Pact and have the potential to alter the UK’s relationship with, and management of, plastic packaging.
- Veolia trials single line recycling to boost the circular economy in Wales; As recycling saves between 30 and 80% of the energy used to extract and process virgin resources this approach will also cut the carbon emissions and make a valuable contribution to the net-zero carbon target. By targeting single line separation for all non-domestic producers of waste, the company will be able to optimise operational efficiency ahead of imminent legislation.
- Coors Light to eliminate plastic rings with $85m investment; It is set to become the largest beer brand in North America to move away from plastic rings. To support the move to more sustainable packaging, Molson Coors Beverage Company will invest $85m (£63m), enabling Coors Light to begin the transition to fully recyclable and sustainably sourced cardboard-wrap carriers later this year.
- Report: Mechanical plastics recycling grows despite feedstock slowdown; European mechanical plastics recycling exceeded 8 million tonnes in 2021 despite feedstock insecurities caused by Covid-19 slowdown, AMI report shows. European plastics recyclate production was 8.2 million tonnes in 2021 and is forecast to grow at a rate of 5.6%/year to 2030, according to the report.
- Alupro appoints new Exec Director; Alupro, the aluminium packaging recycling organisation, has announced the appointment of Tom Giddings as executive director.
- Plastic packaging increases fresh food waste, study finds; Research by sustainability charity Wrap debunks idea single-use plastic on fruit and veg helps prevent waste
- Sell fresh uncut produce loose to reduce food and plastic waste, says WRAP report; WRAP calls for removal of more ‘unnecessary and problematic’ single use plastic items under The UK Plastics Pact, including wrapping on multi-packs of tinned food and sauce sachets in restaurants.
- Reverse Logistics Group wins IT contract for Scottish DRS; Circularity Scotland, Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) administrator, has selected Reverse Logistics Group (RLG) to deliver IT systems to manage the upcoming DRS.
- Kraft Heinz agrees to set virgin plastic reduction target; The Kraft Heinz Co., the third-largest food and beverage company in North America, has agreed to set a goal to reduce total virgin plastic use.
- ‘Bad bed habits’ contribute to 2.9m UK mattresses thrown out each year; New research suggests we could reduce the 7 million mattresses we throw away in the UK each year if we cut out our ‘bad bed habits’ and take better care of our mattresses. A quarter (25%) of UK residents regularly allow a pet to sleep in their bed according to the research commissioned by North London Waste Authority (NLWA). The survey of over 2,000 adults also revealed 13% regularly smoke in their bed, 1 in 5 regularly eat in their bed (8% every day), and over a quarter regularly consume drinks other than water in their beds. One in 10 even brush their teeth in bed!
- Survey finds concern over e-commerce packaging; New research shows 87% of UK consumers consider the recyclability of the packaging of fashion bought online or by mail order is important when making their purchasing decision.
- Heriot-Watt project could increase recycled content in plastic bottles; Scientists from Heriot-Watt University have been funded by Innovate UK to develop additives and processing methods that will drastically increase the recycled content of plastic bottles.
- Innocent Drinks TV advert banned in UK over ‘greenwashing’ Coca-Cola subsidiary, Innocent Drinks, has had its ‘Little Drinks, Big Dreams’ advert banned after the Advertising Standards Authority ruled it breeched the advertising code. The ruling comes after a campaign by Plastics Rebellion, an affiliation group of Extinction Rebellion, against the advert made by Mother Advertising Ltd in May 2021. Plastics Rebellion labelled the advert ‘greenwashing’ and took issue with the fact the advertising campaign to sell drinks in plastic bottles that claimed to ‘fix up the planet’, it said in a statement.
- 9% of global plastic waste is recycled while 22% is ‘mismanaged’ – OECD; The world is producing twice as much plastic waste as two decades ago, with only 9% successfully recycled, according to a new OECD report. Ahead of UN talks on international action to reduce plastic waste, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) first Global Plastics Outlook suggests that as rising populations and incomes drive a ‘relentless increase’ in the amount of plastic being used and thrown away, policies to curb its leakage into the environment are ‘falling short’.
- FPA pushes for pan liners exemption from Plastic Packaging Tax; The Foodservice Packaging Association conducted a survey asking whether pan liners should be considered as packaging and, therefore, within PPT scope.
- New Pilgrims Choice pack boasts 49% carbon reduction; Ornua Foods UK is making a further step in sustainability with the transfer of its Pilgrims Choice grated cheese into more environmentally friendly and fully recyclable packaging.
- Global survey suggests three in four want single-use plastics ‘banned’; An average of three-quarters of people across 28 countries have said that single-use plastic should be ‘banned as soon as possible’, the ‘Attitudes towards single-use plastic’ survey by Ipsos in conjunction with Plastic Free July suggests.
- Smurfit Kappa ESG performance recognised by Sustainalytics; Following analysis of more than 4,000 European-based companies, Smurfit Kappa was named a Regional Top Rated company and is ranked in the top 5 of the Paper Packaging category globally.
- Project to ‘transform’ municipal waste-derived CO2 into aviation fuels in Portugal; One of the first synthetic eFuel production units in Europe could be implemented at LIPOR’s Energy Recovery Plant, nearby Porto, Portugal. An interdisciplinary consortium, formed by LIPOR (Intermunicipal Waste Management of Greater Porto), P2X Europe and Veolia is launching feasibility studies for a fully integrated industrial-scale Power-to-Liquid (PtL) facility at the Maia Energy Recovery Plant (Waste-to-Energy, WtE).
- New Vision Packaging warns of carton sector ‘chaos’; Stephen Shortland, managing director, said falling domestic production is affecting the sector’s supply chain performance. New Vision Packaging produces cartons, sleeves and boxes for the food, beverage, cosmetics, and confectionery markets. It has recently confirmed that it continues to maintain nine-week lead times on standard materials despite current market conditions.
- Over 100,000 used nappies repurposed for road resurfacing in Wales; An innovation from Pura NappiCycle, with support from the Welsh Government, means that discarded nappies are being repurposed for a road resurfacing trial in Wales. From late February this year (2022), parents and other drivers using a stretch of road on the A487 between Cardigan to Aberystwyth in Wales may be unaware that they’re driving over 1.4 miles of roadway containing recovered fibres from over 100,000 used nappies.
- McLaren Packaging invests £150k in carbon offsetting project; Port Glasgow based McLaren Packaging, a specialist supplier to the Scotch Whisky industry, has invested £150,000 in a carbon offsetting project in Argyllshire.
- Pollution causing more deaths than COVID – UN report; The report called for ‘immediate and ambitious action’ to ban some toxic chemicals, according to reports by Reuters news agency. The report stated that pollution from pesticides, plastics and electronic waste is causing ‘widespread human rights violations’ and at least 9 million premature deaths a year, and that the issue is ‘largely being overlooked’, Reuters said.
- Morrisons launches toilet and kitchen rolls in paper packaging; Both items are amongst the most common house-hold essentials bought by shoppers, and the paper packaging is FSC-certified, while the toilet paper and kitchen sheets themselves are also made using 100% recycled paper.
- Smart Water used to tackle waste crime in Wales; A site in Barry has been used to test the use of Smart Water in Natural Resources Wales’ fight against illegal waste crime. The site in question has an exemption permit for the treatment and storage of waste tyres but has exceeded the quantity permitted by the exemption, estimated to be in excess of 2000 waste tyres.
- BASF develops label adhesives to help ease paper recycling; BASF has announced it has developed new adhesives for labels that no longer interfere with paper and paperboard recycling.
- Virgin and Agilyx partner to produce ‘lower carbon fuel’ from plastic waste; Virgin Group and chemical conversion technology company Agilyx have announced a strategic partnership to research and develop lower-carbon fuel facilities with an aim of helping to address plastic pollution and the global transition to net-zero. Virgin Group and Agilyx aim to reuse plastic waste to produce synthetic crude oil that will then be refined into a ‘lower carbon fuel’.
- Cassava Bags Australia creates ‘truly biodegradable’ film for bags & liners; The non-toxic products are said to be 100% plastic-free, won’t break down into microplastics and in theory should not leave behind any plastic footprint. Cassava is a hardy drought tolerant root vegetable native to South America which is now grown in many countries across the world.
- Aberdeen City Council adds UK’s first hydrogen fuel cell waste truck to fleet; The UK’s first hydrogen-fuelled waste collection vehicle was revealed in Aberdeen, in a move aimed at accelerating the city’s ‘thriving hydrogen economy’. While typical waste trucks are powered by diesel and petrol, the new waste truck will use hydrogen from existing refuelling infrastructure in Aberdeen.
- Southgate launches PET tape made from 85% recycled plastic; With the Plastic Packaging Tax due to take effect from April, which will apply to plastic packaging produced in or imported into the UK which does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic, Southgate said the new PET Tape provides an alternative to businesses who may not want to make the switch from plastic entirely.
- Phones left unused in drawers across the UK could be worth £3.4 billion; New research commissioned by giffgaff suggests unused and recyclable mobile phones across the UK could be worth an estimated £3.4 billion. The research suggests that almost half (45%) of the UK – nearly 30 million people – keep old and working mobile phones, despite using a brand new model day-to-day.
- UK government reviewing the potential of recycling PPE waste; Medical face masks could be recycled into items such as curtains or bedsheets, the government has said as it reviews the potential of reusable Type IIR medical grade masks in acute settings. According to reports by BBC news, Health minister Edward Argar said the Department of Health and Social Care was also considering how to recycle materials in Covid test kits.
- New Coveris films aim to meet plastic tax requirements; The films are said to be the thinnest recycled stretch films currently available and contain a minimum 30% recycled content. The UK Plastics Packaging Tax comes into force in April and requires all plastic packaging to contain a minimum of 30% recycled content, which will otherwise be subject to taxation of £200 per tonne.
- Over 40 brands have signed up to initiative to tackle ‘date label confusion’; Last year, an initiative was launched to tackle ‘date label confusion’. Now, one year on, Too Good To Go is celebrating having over 40 food and drink brands signed up to the initiative. The ‘Look, Smell, Taste, Don’t Waste’ campaign was launched last year in an attempt to educate consumers to use their senses instead of purely following Best Before labels.
- Colpac launches single portion platters as buffet alternative; Colpac has extended its platters range to offer hygienic alternatives to the shared buffet experience.
- New ‘supercritical water’ approach to recycling plastic packaging waste; The University of Birmingham has licensed the rights to a ‘supercritical water’ technology to Stopford, to develop a novel process for recycling mixed plastic packaging that it says delivers ‘a greater proportion of high value recycled plastic with less emissions’. The University says it also has fewer processing steps than current recycling methods, and no solvent residues.
- Robinson creates 100% PCR packs for chocolate maker Holdsworth; The value-added custom packaging specialist produced a range of 160g chocolate boxes: Dark Heaven, Milk Heaven and Assorted Heaven. The packaging was carefully crafted using 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) material and is fully recyclable. The clear viewing window is produced from recycled UK water bottles adding to the sustainable appeal.
- Eco Flexibles highlights commercial momentum of sustainable packaging; UK headquartered sustainable flexible packaging business, Eco Flexibles, has shared perspective on the growing importance of ‘green’ statements in FMCG retail strategy.
- Amcor launches high-barrier recyclable paper confectionery packaging; LifeSpan Performance Paper is the first product to launch on its global AmFiber platform, announced last week. It is a high-barrier, grease resistant FSC-certified paper-based solution, with more than 80% paper fiber content and PVDC-free and is recyclable across most European countries.
- £8.1bn to support green infrastructure in Wales; Welsh finance minister Rebecca Evans has said tackling the climate and nature emergency is the “overarching ambition” of Wales’ new Infrastructure Investment Strategy which is set to be underpinned by investment of more than £8.1bn over the next three years.
- Roberts Mart supplies compostable packs to major Icelandic coffee brand; As the drive towards more sustainable solutions for the food and drink sector gathers pace, the specialist printed flexible packaging company said it is responding with greener alternatives to mixed plastics.
- Braskem invests in Nexus Circular to accelerate advanced plastics recycling; Braskem’s investment supports the goal of a circular economy where hard-to-recycle plastic waste is captured as a valuable feedstock for new materials.
- Turkish dumpsites contaminated with toxic chemicals from UK waste, says Greenpeace; Greenpeace UK is calling on the government to enact the Environment Bill and use the powers within it to ban all plastic waste exports, not just to non-OECD members. A report released by Greenpeace Mediterranean today (9 February), Game of Waste, suggests five sites in southern Turkey are ‘extensively contaminated’ with hazardous chemical pollutants, following what Greenpeace calls the ‘illegal dumping and open burning’ of imported plastic waste.
- Green apprenticeships and jobs for north London; North London Waste Authority (NLWA) is creating hundreds of green jobs for north London residents as part of a £1.2 billion project to transform Edmonton EcoPark in Enfield into a new sustainable waste hub and divert waste from landfill.
- Lidl and Waitrose top Which? ‘green supermarket’ ranking; New research that analyses data from the UK’s supermarkets on greenhouse gas emissions, plastic usage and food waste, ranks Lidl and Waitrose as the UK’s ‘greenest’. Which? collected supermarket data from published reports and gathering information from the companies directly. It then analysed them all together to compare the sustainability of the UK’s eleven biggest supermarket chains. According to Which? Lidl scored highly for its low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and targets, while Waitrose did ‘consistently well’ across all the categories: GHG emissions, plastic use, and food waste.Lidl and Waitrose came in the joint top position with a score of 74%.
- Indonesian plastic recycling project launched to address infrastructure gap; UK-based distributor of recycled bottle materials Bantam Materials is working with Far East investment firm Circulate Capital after receiving investment for a plastic recycling project in Indonesia. Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia is a plastic waste collection and recycling company developing and testing a supply chain model for the management of plastic waste in the Far East. Through a partnership between recycled PET flakes manufacturer PT Polindo Utama, Bantam Materials, and Circulate Capital, Prevented Ocean Plastic Southeast Asia is planning to expand recycling infrastructure to underserved communities across Indonesia to prevent plastic leakage and support local livelihoods.
- Cadbury changes chocolate bar packaging in bid to help dieters; Cadbury has launched twist-and-seal wrappers to encourage chocolate fans not to wolf down a whole bar in one sitting. The innovative packaging for favourites including Dairy Milk, Wispa, Double Decker and Boost in the brand’s Duo range is seen as a move to help Brits ration treats and cut down on calories.
- Value chain synergy and aligned messaging ‘essential’ to increase plastic recycling; Plastics recycling and resources charity, RECOUP, conducted a Pledge2Recyle Citizen Plastics Recycling Behaviours Insights Study.
The survey has been hosted on the Pledge2Recyle website receiving over 6,500 responses from across the UK including devolved nations, resulting in one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of its kind, it says. The results indicate that 95% of citizens claim they recycle plastic drinks bottles every time. This drops to 83% with shampoo and conditioner bottles and 80% for cleaning products and sauce bottles. Claimed recycling rates drop considerably once the packs become more complicated for example when the packs are more difficult to clean or less likely to be collected kerbside.
- HP puts focus on packaging with acquisition of paper bottle firm Choose; Digital print giant HP has ventured directly into the packaging market with the acquisition of Scottish paper bottle manufacturer Choose Packaging, for an undisclosed fee.
- Sector not ready for Plastics Tax warns FPA; Following a survey amongst its members, the FPA (Foodservice Packaging Association) is warning that the sector is not ready for the Plastics Tax, due come into effect on 1 April. The survey, conducted week commencing 17 January on the administration of the Plastics Packaging Tax (PPT), shows that almost 80% of FPA member companies who sell plastic packaging and products are not yet prepared to administer the tax. This is despite three quarters of respondents having attended an HMRC PPT webinar and/or read the tax guidance notes. Indeed 85% of those attending a HMRC webinar found it to be unhelpful, with too many questions unanswered, with a similar percentage finding the guidance notes unhelpful.
- Consumer knowledge ‘essential’ to fuel the circular economy; A recent survey by risk management experts, DNV, suggests consumer knowledge of circular economy is growing and their attitude towards it is generally positive. However, trust in companies requires ‘strengthening’ while more ‘innovation and legislation’ is needed to drive increased engagement and action, it says.
- Whole Earth supports rainforest conservation with special edition jar; Whole Earth, the UK peanut butter brand owned by Ecotone UK, has unveiled a new Golden Rainforest edition as the brand aims to more than double its contribution last year to the Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS).
- Tonnes of COVID-19 healthcare waste exposes ‘dire need’ to improve waste management systems – WHO; Tens of thousands of tonnes of extra medical waste from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has put tremendous strain on health care waste management systems around the world, threatening human and environmental health and exposing a dire need to improve waste management practices, according to a new WHO report. The WHO ‘Global analysis of health care waste in the context of COVID-19: status, impacts and recommendations’ bases its estimates on the approximately 87,000 tonnes of personal protective equipment (PPE) that was procured between March 2020- November 2021 and shipped to support countries’ urgent COVID-19 response needs through a joint UN emergency initiative. Most of this equipment is expected to have ended up as waste.
- Exeter City FC can recycling scheme wins national award; Exeter City Council and Exeter City Football Club (ECFC) have won an Every Can Counts national recycling award for an innovative scheme. Cans 4 City encourages Exeter football fans to recycle used drink cans while also raising money for charity. Since 2020, the initiative has collected nearly seven tonnes of aluminium packaging to raise more than £6,000 for projects and initiatives run both by the club and its partner charity, Exeter City Community Trust (ECCT).
- Tetra Pak repeats call for cartons to be included in DRS; Tetra Pak has welcomed a discussion in the House of Commons on the possible inclusion of juice and milk cartons in the UK’s planned deposit return recycling scheme. Alex Henriksen, managing director, North Europe, Tetra Pak said the carton giant has been calling for the inclusion of beverage cartons in the UK DRS from its launch. “The limited model proposed by the Government risks confusing consumers who are used to recycling a wider range of materials via other routes, and therefore risks undermining the UK’s ambitions to create a truly circular economy and tackle climate change.”
- 10kg of plastic PPE waste to be recycled every hour in ‘world-first’ collaboration; Plastic PPE waste is to be given another life in a recycling collaboration between Heriot-Watt University and Britain’s largest PPE manufacturer, Globus Group. The increasing quantities of plastic PPE, including respirators and masks, that have been discarded during the pandemic has been widely reported as the world strives to reach Net Zero goals. Since the start of the pandemic, an estimated 8.4m tonnes of plastic waste has been generated from 193 countries, according to a study published in the journal PNAS, the majority of which ends up in landfill or, in some areas, in the ocean, the study suggests. A new Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project is set to ‘revolutionise’ how used plastic PPE is treated to turn the waste into a secondary raw material called pyrolysis oil, which can then be refined into new commercial products like new PPE products or fuels. The project, which aims to create a ‘robust circular economy’ approach for plastics, will run for two years.