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The Bulletin news briefs

15 May 2019:

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

Scottish Government Releases Some Details about Upcoming Container Deposit Return Scheme

While draft legislation establishing the upcoming Scottish deposit return scheme (container deposit scheme) still are under development, last week the Scottish Government released a few details that apparently are agreed to. Four types of containers - aluminum and steel cans and glass and PET bottles - will be covered by the scheme, and the deposit will be 20 pence.

"There is a global climate emergency and people across Scotland have been calling, rightly, for more ambition to tackle it and safeguard our planet for future generations, said Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham. "I am therefore delighted to confirm that I intend to implement a system covering PET - the most common form of plastic packaging - aluminum and steel cans, and glass, with a deposit refund set at 20p."

While no details on the redemption side of the scheme were officially announced, Jill Farrell, Chief Operating Officer of Zero Waste Scotland, the organization tasked to help design the scheme, said, "With a huge network of places to return your bottles and cans, it will be just as easy to return a drink as it is to buy one in the first place."

The draft legislation establishing the deposit return system will be published later this year, and a public comment period will be launched.

The Scottish Government announcement may be reviewed at

Recycling Council of British Columbia Seeks Input on Possible New Provincial EPR Programs

Last week, the Recycling Council of British Columbia said it plans to identify priorities for future Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs under the province's Recycling Regulation and has scheduled a multi-stakeholder discussion forum for June 26 to gather "opinions and insights on product categories that are not included within an approved EPR program in BC."

Materials and products for discussion will include, but are not limited to, mattresses, bulky furniture, flooring, construction and demolition waste, propane canisters, fire extinguishers, medical sharps, household hazardous wastes, and single-use items.

Once RCBC completes its consultation, it will report the findings to the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy for possible regulatory follow up.

Get more information at

Albuquerque City Council Approves Restrictions on Single-Use Plastic Carryout Bags

Last month, the city council of Albuquerque, New Mexico's largest municipality and one having a population of more than 500,000 residents, approved an ordinance placing restrictions on the retail distributon of single-use plastic bags.

Only single-use plastic bags that meet recyclability and biodegradability standards set by the city's solid waste director may be distributed. Businesses must display signs at points of sale that state the bags being distributed are recyclable or biodegradable, and they are encouraged to encourage their customers to use reusable carryout bags.

Initial violations of the ordinance will result in a warning letter. A second violation in a 36-month period will produce a $100 civil penalty, and a third and each subsequent offense will produce a $250 civil penalties. Each day that a violation continues is considered a separate offense.

The ordinance takes effect on January 1, 2020.

Download the Albuquerque single-use plastic bag ordinance at

Danish Container Deposit Scheme Reports Record 1.4 Billion Redemptions in 2018

Last week, Dansk Retursystems, the organization that manages the Danish container deposit scheme, announced that beverage container recycling increased 11% in 2018. For 2018, DKK (Danish Krone) 1.4 billion in redemptions were paid (one krone per container), a record for the organization. Dansk Retursystems estimated that Danish beverage container recycling in 2018 reduced CO2 emissions by 143,950 tons.

Dansk Retursystems also reported that on average 3.8 million bottles and cans are redeemed daily in Denmark. The scheme operates 3,119 reverse vending machines nationally, and 15,672 stores, restaurants, kiosks and cafes participate by returning their empty containers, too

"We are experiencing interest in our knowledge of container recycling and the Danish deposit system in general," said Dansk Retursystems CEO Lars Krejberg Petersen. And if we can use the Danish experience to increase the amount of recycled packaging in the world, then the 1.4 billion empty bottles and cans we collect and send for recycling each year in Denmark can turn into much, much more."

For more information, go to

Dutch Waste Battery Collection Level Up More Than 7% in 2018

Stibat, the Dutch battery recycling organization, announced last week that 4.31 million kilograms of waste batteries were collected in 2018, a more than 7% increase from 2017.

According to Stibat, the Netherlands achieved a 47.4% battery recycling rate (based on the number of batteries introduced in the Dutch market), which surpassed the European Union target of 45%. Stibat attributed the strong collection numbers in part to a successful radio promotional campaign that reached 6.08 million residents.

Get more information at

CalRecycle Awards $11 Million to Five Companies to Enhance the State's Recycling Infrastructure

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) said last week that it is awarding a total of $11 million to five California companies to increase the state's recycling infrastructure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

One company received a $2,962,564 - the largest award - to "acquire new equipment to process and pelletize an additional 2,000 tons per year of polypropylene (#5 plastic) and polyethylene (#4 plastic) for use in the manufacturing of bins, pallets, angle board, and other commercial products." Another company received a $2,940,000 award to "purchase and install new equipment to produce HDPE (#2 plastic) flake using 3,480 tons per year of recycled containers and agricultural film."

The funding comes from CalRecycle's Recycled Fiber, Plastic, and Glass Grant Program.

For more information, go to

UK Government Awards £4 Million to Divert Commercial Surplus Food Waste

Last week, the United Kingdom's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced that it has awarded £4 million in funding to four redistribution organizations to direct more edible food waste (food surplass) to dinner plates. The £4 million was the first of £15 million allocated to reduce overall UK food waste.

The initial £4 million is focused on diverting surplus food from retailers and food manufacturers. Defra estimates the two sectors generated about 205,000 tons of surplus food in 2017. Currently, approximately 43,000 tons of surplus food is redistributed from retailers and food manufacturers every year, but an estimated 100,000 additional tons of surplus food is not, according to Defra.

The Defra announcement is posted at

New South Wales EPA Announces $2.6 Million Available in Organic Waste Diversion Grants

New South Wales (NSW) businesses and local governments are invited to apply for grants to "introduce or grow food and garden waste collection services," according to an announcement earlier this month by the NSW Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The NSW EPA is interested in proposals that expand household collection services, try food waste collections in unit blocks and provide new food waste collection services for businesses looking to improve their waste practice and transform their organic waste into a new resource, like compost.

"These grants fund the infrastructure needed to expand services, such as wheelie bins, kitchen caddies and for business collections, vehicles," said Tina Bidese, NSW Environmental Trust Grants Director. "It also supports education to make sure people use the new service correctly."

The deadline to apply for a grant is June 27.

The NSW EPA announcement is posted at$26-million-to-divert-organics-waste-from-landfill.

ACT Government Lists Seven Most Common Consumer Recycling Mistakes

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government said earlier this month that "people in the ACT are 'overconfident' in their recycling knowledge," and it listed seven common mistakes consumers make when recycling.

The mistakes are:

  • trying to recycle everything in the yellow bin including phones, batteries and metal items
  • thinking the triangle on the bottom of plastic packaging means it is recyclable
  • leaving recycling inside plastic bags
  • putting shredded paper in the recycling bin
  • trying to recycle any hard plastic items like toys and furniture
  • putting soft plastic in the recycling bin
  • putting very small items in the recycling bin or putting items inside other items

Get more information at

TOMRA Reaches 40 Billion Annual Beverage Container Redemptions Milestone

Last month, TOMRA. a leading global provider of reverse vending machines, said it reached a milestone last year: it collected a record 40 billion beverage containers worldwide in one year. Reaching that total required the use of 82,000 reverse vending machines.

Looking forward, TOMRA expects annual container collection totals may increase further as countries around the world are seekingto reduce plastic waste including used beverage containers.

"With a million plastic bottles sold every minute we are making it our mission to stop them reaching our oceans, streets and landfills," said Harald Henriksen, Head of TOMRA Collection Solutions."The growing number of countries that are establishing container deposit schemes as well passing legislation to use more recycled material, proves that the world is waking up to the plastic pollution problem. With 8 million tons of plastic waste is ending up in our oceans every year, this legislation cannot come any sooner."

Henriksen also noted that while 40 billion beverage container redemptions is a large number, it represents only 2.5% of beverage packaging sold globally.

For more information, go to

Previous issues of the Bulletin can be reviewed here.

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