19 July 2017:
A quick scan of recent waste, recycling and environmental developments from around the globe...
The Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to update its waste rules and has invited the public and other stakeholders to submit suggestions for improvement prior to drafting regulatory text. According to an EPA announcement, "The rules in the Waste Decree affect many different actors, and now they have the opportunity to make proposals that can clarify or adjust the rules."
Nis Christensen, an EPA manager, said "We want to make the rules as simple and efficient as possible. There can of course be suggestions that can not be implemented, for example, because they exceed legal constraints or would be too costly. But we are looking at everything with great interest."
The EPA did not indicate when the new draft regulations may be unveiled, but the deadline to submit suggestions is September 1.
The Singapore National Environment Agency (NEA) issued an advisory last week that said all general waste disposal facilities" including recycling facilities and any other facilities that " receive, store, process or treat general waste" will need to register with NEA beginning on August 1. All such facilities must be registered no later than July 31, 2018, or have an approved exemption declaration from NEA.
NEA said that "facilities will be licensed to receive certain types of waste and they will be required to show they have the appropriate equipment to process the waste. This will ensure that the waste received is properly treated. They will also be required to have proper storage systems and comply with the approved storage limits stipulated in their licence. These measures will help mitigate dust, vector and odour nuisance, as well as any potential fire risks."
The license registration scheme is needed, according to NEA, because the number of general waste disposal facilities - currently more than 300 - has steadily increased to respond to an increased volume of waste. Facilities operating without a license may receive fines as high as $10,000, and imprisonment could also be imposed.
The Singapore NEA announcement is posted at
Last week, the United Kingdom's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published its latest review of the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 to determine whether they remain effective. (The regulations established the use of Packaging Waste Recovery Notes or PRNs to encourage packaging waste recovery.
The review focused on answering questions including: 1) What were the policy objectives of the measure? 2) To what extent have the policy objectives been achieved? 3) Were there any unintended consequences? 4) Has the evidence identified any opportunities for reducing the burden on business? 5) For EU measures, how does the UK's implementation compare with that in other EU member states in terms of costs to business?
The bottomline is the regulations were given a 'Fit for Purpose' rating by Defra, and the review recommended keeping the regulations instead of developing an alternative.
The review was forwarded to the government's Regulatory Policy Committee.
Download the Defra's latest review of The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 at
Last week, the New South Wales EPA said it will provide $331 million more in Waste Less, Recycle More grants from 2017 through 2021. Local governments, businesses and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply.
According to the announcement, $30 million will be allocated for litter reduction programs, $106 million for the waste and recycling infrastructure and business recycling, $57 million for household problem waste programs, $70 million for local government waste and resource recovery projects, and $65 million to combat illegal dumping.
"More than 1,000 projects across the state that are expected to process more than 2.2 million tons of waste and create 845 jobs have already been supported through the initiative," the announcement stated. Forty million dollars already has been allocated to 71 projects to support organic waste diversion and recycling.
The Danish Ministry for the Environment and Food said earlier this month it will allocate 3 million DKK (kroner) to "the effort against marine waste" in 2018.
"Waste does not belong in nature," said Environmental Minister Esben Lunde Larsen. "Much of it flows from foreign waters, but part of it originates from Denmark in Denmark, and we are to be responsible for that. Therefore, we are about to start a new information campaign. The idea that 'the sea erases all traces' is unfortunately not true. What you leave on the beach or throw overboard contributes to the waste problem. This is what we should all understand, and I believe that will lead to less waste ending up in the environment."
Larsen also welcomed public input on a new Danish marine waste plan to be developed once direction to Member States has been provided by the European Union.
The Danish Ministry for the Environment and Food announcement is posted at
As Brazil struggles to transition from open air dumps as required under the 2010 National Policy on Solid Waste, last week the state of Sao Paolo announced another method for reducing landfill waste - energy conversion.
At a public meeting last week with about 40 local government officials, Environment Secretary Ricardo Salles said that 12 municipalities that produce a combined 200 tons of solid waste daily will be participating in a consortium to direct much of that waste to a new energy recovery facility to be built in Sao Manuel. The state government has allocated R$ 170 million to construct the facility.
Salles said at the meeting, "With the example of the Sao Manuel consortium, we are advancing in the "Zero Waste" program of the Government of the State of Sao Paulo."
The United Kingdom's Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) published a draft updated food labeling guidance last week that is designed to reduce consumer food waste. WRAP coordinated with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Food Standards Agency to prepare the document.
The 31-page document covers issues such as "use by" and "best by" dates, the use of "best before" dates on pre-packed uncut fruit and vegetables, consumer food storage recommendations, and information on freezing and thawing foods.
According to the draft guidance, households in the UK throw away 7.3 million tons of food waste annually, and roughly 2 million tons are trashed "due to 'not being used in time, and for a third of this food, date labelling is cited as a factor."
Stakeholders have until August 3 to submit comments on the draft guidance. They may do so using an online form on the WRAP website.
Access the WRAP food labeling consultation at
A 71-page study published by Zero Waste Europe and Reloop Platform says that "existing economic instruments can bring Europe to the next stage of the Circular Economy." Beverage container deposit schemes and extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs are examples of such instruments, although the study says broad EPR expansion to new product categories is unlikely in the near term in the EU.
The study recommends extending current successful instruments to other product categories. Examples include deposit schemes for mobile phones, disposable coffee cups and clothing and a new EU-wide EPR system for carpets.
The study focuses on six product categories: packaging, batteries, waste electrical and electronic equipment, textiles, mattesses and small disposable products, and it discusses three types of financial instruments: deposit and refund systems, refundable taxes, and buy-back scheme.
Download the circular economy financial incentives study at
In 2016, Dow launched Hefty® EnergyBagsTM programs designed to collect and divert "traditionally non-recycled plastics - like chip bags and juice pouches - from landfills and converting the materials into valuable energy sources." To promote the bags, Dow announced last week that it has teamed with Keep America Beautiful to award two $50,000 grants for organizations that launch bag programs in their communities.
In addition to the grants, Dow will provide the selected applicants "with the blueprint to develop a successful Hefty EnergyBag program and will facilitate planning and implementation. Recipients will ultimately manage the programs and solicit involvement of key community stakeholders."
The deadline to apply is September 1.
The Dow announcement can be reviewed at
Late last month, industry association Waste Norway (Avfall Norge) called upon residents that plan to collect waste and debris on beaches and in other marine environments to first register with the non-profit organization Keep Norway Clean (Hold Norge Rent). The industry association and the non-profit are working together to encourage voluntary marine environment cleanups while residents are enjoying the summer weather outdoors.
Waste Norway said residents should not simply deposit collected waste at municipal recycling centers because the facilities are not funded to process the special material. Instead, they should complete registration forms available from Keep Norway Clean so that dedicated marine cleanup funding allocated by the Norwegian Parliament is used.
Waste Norway also asked residents to visit the Keep Norway Clean website to learn about the places most in need of cleanup, what to wear and bring to cleanup events, and how to complete records on the collected debris (for statistical purposes).
The Waste Norway announcement is posted at