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21 June 2017:

A quick scan of recent waste, recycling and environmental developments from around the globe...

Nebraska DEQ Launches Public Comment Website for Mandated Solid Waste Management Study

Last year, the Nebraska Legislature approved LB1101, a bill directing the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to study the status of all solid waste management programs administered by the department. Earlier this year, DEQ selected a consulting firm to conduct the study.

This month, DEQ announced that a dedicated website had been launched to allow to the public and stakeholders to submit comments. While a deadline for submissions was not identified, DEQ must present the completed study to the legislature by the end of this year.

To submit comments or get more information on the study, go to
http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/SWMS.


Connecticut DEEP Issues Warning about Children's Products Containing Three Flame Retardants

Last week, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), in coordination with the Department of Health and the Department of Consumer Protection, issued a public warning about purchasing children's products containing any of the following three flame retardants: Tris-(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCPP), Tris-(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP), and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD).

"The scientific and medical communities' understanding of the risks to health, especially for young developing children, posed by flame retardants continues to evolve and we are proud to work with our sister agencies to educate the public on the dangers of these chemicals to young children," said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino. "We want parents and others to make informed, safe choices when purchasing products for their children."

The three departments cited the state Child Protection Act as rationale for issuing the warning. Previously, similar warnings were issued concerning children's exposure to arsenic in pressure-treated wood and infant ingestion of bisphenol A (BPA) from baby bottles.

The DEEP announcement can be reviewed at
http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?Q=593954&A=4918.


Four Illegal E-Waste Importers Convicted in Hong Kong Court

Yesterday, the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department (EPD) said four importers of illegal e-waste were convicted in court and fined $94,000 (out of a maximum penalty of $200,000 and six months imprisonment). The e-waste imports, which were found to be in violation of Hong Kong's Waste Disposal Ordinance, came from the United Kingdom, Japan and the Chinese Mainland.

As reported earlier in the Bulletin, the imports were valued at $630,000 and were intercepted in port late last year. The waste included flat panel displays, batteries, and printed circuit boards.

The Hong Kong EPD announcement is posted at
http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201706/20/P2017062000361.htm.

Norwegian Environmental Minister Calls for Public-Private Agreement to Cut Food Waste by 50%

At a food conference in Stockholm last week, Norwegian Environmental Minister Vidar Helgesen said he supports the development of public-private partnerships in an effort to "launch a war on food waste." Specifically, he will push for an agreement among five government ministries and eleven industry organizations with a goal to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030.

Among steps that the food industry could take, according to Helgesen, are "small packages for singles, better packaging for better durability, preparation of pre-packaged meals, and offers like 50 percent off the price on items approaching expiry date. And it could be a lot of other things. We don't have all the answers yet. But we do have an agreement on the target."

"To help us achieve that, we will have systematic mapping of food waste, we will ensure a full overview of actions taken at any given time," continued Helgesen. "We will ensure reporting, industry by industry, and statistics compiled by the authorities."

Minister Vidar Helgesen's complete speech is available at
https://www.regjeringen.no/no/aktuelt/public-private-partnerships-for-preventing-food-waste/id2557214/.


Michigan DEQ Awards $2.9 Million in Scrap Tire Market Development Grants

Earlier this month, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) said it will award more than $2.9 million in grants to 14 communities and institutions to find new use for recycled scrap tires. The three largest grants - each worth $431,000 or more - were awarded to the Midland County Road Commission, Michigan State University, and Michigan Technological University.

The two university grants will support research on recycled tire product development. Most of the other grants support the purchase of tire aggregate-containing paving material for road construction.

Michigan's scrap tire market development grant program reimburses up to 50% of the cost to purchase scrap tires to support the development of increased markets for scrap tires or up to 50% of the cost to purchase equipment or conduct research and development to provide for a new or increased use for scrap tires.

To review the Michigan DEQ announcement, go to
http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135--418442--,00.html.


Northern Territory Announces Grants Available for Container Deposit Scheme Facilities Development

Late last month, the Northern Territory (Australia) Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced it is accepting applications for container deposit scheme infrastructure grants. Up to $30,000 is available to buy equipment or infrastructure to establish a container redemption facility, but DENR said larger grants may be awarded to organizations" where you can show exceptional benefits to the community."

Businesses, not-for-profit organizations, schools and training providers, industry bodies or associations, and local governments are eligible to apply. The deadline for submitting applications is October 27.

The Northern Territory launched its CDS in 2012.

For more information, go to
https://denr.nt.gov.au/environment-information/get-funding-for-environment-projects/container-deposit-scheme.


German Agricultural Plastic Film Recycling Surpassed 5,400 Tons in 2016

In 2016, recycling of agricultural plastic film reachded 5,412 tons, the third consecutive year of increases, according to Erntekunststoffe Recycling Deutschland (ERDE). The take back services provider said that over the three-year period, recycling of the plastic film saved 16,000 tons of CO2 emissions from the production of new film.

The 2014, the year that ERDE launched, 2,170 tons of agricultural film was recycled, so the 2016 total represents a more than doubling in collection in only three years.

The ERDE announcement can be found at
http://www.erde-recycling.de/presse-media/aktuelles/agrarfolienrecycling-weiter-auf-dem-vormarsch-erde-sammelt-im-dritten-jahr-ueber-5400-tonnen-landwirtschaftlich-genutzte-kunststofffolien.html.


French Battery Recycling Compliance Scheme Rolls Out New, Better Collection Bins

French household battery recycling compliance scheme Corepile announced on June 12 it is rolling out new bright green waste battery collection "terminals" with high visibility markings at 3,200 collection sites across the country, including all stores owned by retail giant Carrefour.

The rollout follows a survey of store collection sites that found many bins in disrepair. The rollout of the new plastic bins is expected to be completed by the end of summer.

The Corepile announcement is posted at
http://www.corepile.fr/nouvelle-borne-se-deploie-magasins/.

Australian Battery Recycling Initiative Supports Landfill Ban on All Batteries in Victoria

Last month, the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative announced it supports a proposal by the Victorian Government to implement a landfill ban on all batteries. The proposed ban could take effect in early 2018.

In its nine-page submission to the government consultation, ABRI said the proposed ban is needed to increase resource efficiency, protect community health and the environment, help prevent children from swallowing button batteries, create green jobs, and address the "impending avalanche of batteries entering the market."

ABRI said it believes the ban could boost the collection rate for all types of batteries (except lead-acid) to at least 60% in five years. The current collection rates range from 3% to 40%, depending on the chemical technology. (The lead-acid battery collection rate is already 90%.)

The ABRI submission to the Victoria State Government is available for review at
http://www.batteryrecycling.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/170516-ABRI-Landfill-Ban-Submission.pdf.


Brazilian Plastics Industry Association Signs Agreement to Help Reduce Marine Plastics Pollution

On June 5, the Brazilian Plastics Industry Association (ABIPLAST) announced it signed an agreement with Exchange 4 Change Brasil, a think tank, to participate in activities discussed at the recent global Ocean Conference and support national sustainability and circular economy efforts.

ABIPLAST also will coordinate with the University of Sao Paulo to "develop a comprehensive diagnosis of the state of marine litter around the Brazilian coast and educational programs."

The ABIPLAST announcement is posted at
http://www.abiplast.org.br/noticias/abiplast-assina-compromisso-para-a-preservacao-do-ambiente-marinho/20170607154722_D_184.


Previous issues of the Bulletin can be reviewed here.


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