24 May 2017:
A quick scan of recent waste, recycling and environmental developments from around the globe...
On January 1, a new law took effect in Israel placing a 10 agorot fee (0.1 NIS) on each disposable plastic bag distributed by retailers. Today, the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection reported single-use plastic bag distribution fell by more than 80% during the first quarter of this year compared to the last quarter of 2016, before the fee went into effect.
More than 280 million bags were distributed by major retailers during the final quarter of 2016 compared to about 55 million in the first quarter of 2017.
"The significance of reducing the consumption of bags is less pollution of the air, land, and sea, and better health and good quality of life," said Yisrael Danziger, Ministry of Environmental Protection Director General. "We will continue to promote actions and laws that will improve public health."
Today, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced it published five documents to help producers comply with nanomaterials registration requirements that take effect next year. Three are updates of earlier documents, but two are new.
"How to Prepare Registration Dossiers that Cover Nanoforms - Best Practices," is one of the new documents, which ECHA said consists of "recommendations for distinguishing between different nanoforms of a substance, and how to report information on nanoforms consistently in the dossiers."
The second new document, "Nano-specific Appendix to Chapter R.6 of the Guidance on Information Requirements and Chemical Safety Assessment," provides advice on "how to justify the use of hazard data between nanoforms (and the non-nanoforms) and within groups of nanoforms of the same substance."
The ECHA announcement is posted at
A pilot program to separate residential food waste was launched in the 2nd and 12th arrondissement (districts) in Paris, which aspires to become a zero waste city by 2020. The city will provide a third brown bin for food waste (in addition to the existing yellow and white bins) to the residents of the two arrondissement.
Among the acceptable food waste are vegetable and fruit peelings, egg shells, leftovers from meals, tea bags, meats and fish, and other food items removed from packaging. Yard waste, plants and other organics such as paper cups, textiles, ash, sawdust and wood chips and cigarette butts should not be mixed with the food stream.
Residents will be provided with a food separation guidance document and two rolls of 36 compostable bags, enough bags to last 9 months for the average family, according to city officials. The bags will be either NF EN 13 432 (OK Compost) or NF T 51 800 (OK Home Compost) compliant. After the initial two rolls, residents will be expected to purchase their own supply of compostable bags.
Get more information at
Earlier this month, the Irish Environmental Protection Agency published two guides (research reports) on best practices and identifing opportunities in the reuse sector. The titles are "A Review of Waste/Resource Exchange Systems and Good Practice Guide" and "Material Reuse Good Practice."
"Europe is moving from a take-make-dispose model to one where items are kept in use for longer to reduce and prevent waste," said EPA Research Manager Alice Wemaere. "The guides we have launched today will encourage and enhance Ireland's growing, evolving culture of reuse and help to support further research that identifies ways to extend the life cycle of many everyday household and business items which have better economic and environmental outcomes. The guidance will also have a key role in supporting national Circular Economy ambitions and EU commitments."
The Irish EPA announcement and links to the documents are available at
In five separate announcements earlier this month, the Ohio EPA said it awarded $5 million total in recycling and litter prevention grants to communities and businesses in the state. The region of the state receiving the largest portion of grant money was the southwest where $1.5 million in grants were awarded.
The grants apply to a range of activities including litter management, community recycling development, market development and use of scrap tires. Market development grants are awarded mostly to businesses and solid waste management authorities. Municipalities, solid waste management authorities and non-profit organizations receive the bulk of litter management and community recycling development grants.
Get more information at
Last week, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) said it awarded $1.7 million in grants to support more than a hundred projects involving either scrap tire collection and clean up or the use of recycled scrap tire rubber in playgrounds, athletic fields and other facilities. The two largest grants - each in excess of $100,000 - reimbursed the cost of purchasing recycled (crumb) rubber for high school athletic fields.
The grants are funded by a $1 fee on new tires purchased in Nebraska. The grants total was down from 2015 when $2.01 million was awarded to support 126 tire recycling and cleanup projects.
For more information, go to
Four local governments, associations and a university received $215,000 in funding for waste avoidance projects according to an announcement today by the Ministry for Environment.
The funding is part of the Australian state's Community and Industry Engagement Program, which supports waste management research and development, waste management program implementation, research that contributes to waste diversion, and events that promote and recognize better waste management practices.
Western Australia set goals to divert 65% of municipal solid waste and 75% of construction and demolition waste from landfills by 2020.
The Government of Western Australian announcement is posted at
Last week, Dutch bioplastic maker Synvina C.V., said it received interim approval by the European PET Bottle Platform for recovery of bottles made with a biobased plastic called polyethylenefuranoate (PEF). Synvina plans to operate a PEF production facility in Antwerp, Belgium that will produce up to 50,000 metric tons of PEF annually.
Synvina, based in Amsterdam, is a joint venture of the major chemicals and plastics producer BASF and Avantium, a company focused on "catalysis research" in plant-based renewable chemicals production. Synvina did not say in its announcement how soon the new PEF plastic bottles will be introduced in the market.
The Synvina announcement is posted at
Nestle Brazil said last week that it is adding 13 collection points to its network of locations where consumers can recycle waste NESCAFE Dolce Gusto coffee system capsules - a 42% network expansion. The additional collection points all will be located in Grupo Pao de Acucar supermarkets located in the states of Sao Paolo and Parana.
In its announcement, NESCAFE noted that the Renove coffee capsules were designed to support a circular economy, and the waste capsules go through a screening and transformation process to become "a thermoplastic resin that can be used as raw material for the production of other products."
Get more information at
Today, the Irish electronic and electric equipment (EEE) recycling compliance organization WEEE Ireland announced it is partnering with PV Cycle, a photovoltaic modules recycling compliance organization serving Europe. According to WEEE Ireland, the new partnership "will strengthen the nationwide collection of PV Module Waste in Ireland."
Photovoltaic panels are combined with consumer equipment as Category 4 in Annex I of WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU.
"Of particular note, a change in categorisation and an opening of the scope of the [WEEE] Directive from August next year could mean significant changes for manufacturers and distributors," stated the WEEE Ireland announcement. "This will impact how they comply, finance and report on the environmental management of electrical appliances throughout product lifecycle including the waste phase."
The WEEE Ireland announcement is posted at