8 January 2020:
A quick scan of recent waste, recycling and related environmental developments from around the globe...
When the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) meets on January 21 one of the items to be considered is approval to begin formal rulemaking for State of California Act of 2018 (SB 1335). CalRecycle conducted two informal workshops for the proposed rules last year.
The new law prohibits foodservice facilities located in a state-owned facility, operating on or acting as a concessionaire on state-owned property, or under contract to provide food service to a state agency from dispensing prepared food using food service packaging unless it is reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
CalRecycle said it must "adopt regulations by January 1, 2021 that clarify terms, specify criteria, and outline a process for determining the types of food service packaging that are reusable, recyclable, or compostable" and that it will "publish a list of approved food service packaging types on its website by March 2021."
The CalRecycle meeting agenda is posted at
Two brothers were convicted of £1.48 million in e-waste fraud activities, according to an announcement on Monday by the United Kingdom's Environment Agency. Both men pleaded guilty. One of the brothers was sentenced to five years and four months in custody while the other received a 16 month custodial sentence that was suspended for 2 years.
"Between January 2011 and December 2012, Jamil Rehman, who was the sole director at Electronic Waste Specialists Ltd (EWS), submitted fictitious claims for the recycling of approximately 10,600 tonnes of electronic waste with the company receiving payment to the value of £1.48 million from a producer compliance scheme, Weeelight Ltd," the Environment Agency announcement stated.
"Waste crime is a serious issue diverting as much as £1 billion per annum from legitimate business and the treasury," the Environment Agency announcement continued. "Since April 2011 the Environment Agency has invested £65.2 million in tackling it."
Get more information at
Consumption of single-use plastics dropped 30% in Peru in 2019, according to an announcement on December 27 by the Ministry of Environment.
The Ministry said the decrease was due largely to fewer disposable plastic bags being used after the enactment of Law No. 30884 in 2018. The law phases out the use of disposable plastic bags and other disposable plastics over three years.
The Peru Ministry of Environment announcement is posted at
On December 18, two US industry associations - the American Chemistry Council and the Association of Plastics Recyclers - released their 2018 US National Postconsumer Plastic Bottle Recycling Report. According to the 19-page report, "The postconsumer plastic bottle recycling industry experienced a third difficult year in 2018 with less growth in pounds collected than in pounds of bottles on store shelves."
Among the statistics in the report, the total plastic (PET and HDPE) bottle recycling collection rate was 28.9%, a 0.4% decrease compared to 2017.
The total pounds of plastic bottles collected increased by 52 million pounds in 2018 compared to 2017, with an increase for PET, a decrease for HDPE, and no change for PP. The annualized change in pounds of plastic bottles collected for recycling was a 1.8% increase.
US plastic bottle exports were down in 2018, and only 7.7% of material collected in the US was processed outside of the country. Consequently, US processing of post-consumer PET (including domestic and imported streams) increased by 238 million pounds, reaching "an all-time high."
Download the 2018 US National Postconsumer Plastic Bottle Recycling Report at
Today, EcoDDS, the French recycling compliance scheme for unused paint and household and garden chemicals, said it collected more than 147 tons of waste materials in 2019. Since 2014, EcoDDS has collected nearly 650 tons of the materials.
The recycling compliance scheme was established in 2012.
For more information, do go
Today, the Welsh Government published a 90-page report discussing the composition of litter in the country. The study sought to determine the leading components of litter by analyzing what was collected by four representative local authorities in April and May of last year. The leading components of litter were identified by weight and by count (number of items collected).
By weight, "putrescibles" (organic material including food waste and dog excrement) led all other components at 41.1%. Following putrescibles was paper and cardboard at 17.8%, glass at 10.2%, metal at 4%, plastic food packaging at 4%, plastic film at 3.7%, and lastic drink containers at 3.4%. The remainder consisted of collection sacks, textiles, and other material.
By count, paper and cardboard led all other categories at 38.8%. Following paper and cardboard were plastic film at 17.9%, plastic food packaing at 10%, metal at 6.5%, plastic drink containers at 4.5%, non-packaging plastic at 3.6%, and glass at 2.1%. The remainder consisted of other combustible and non-combustible materials.
Download the Welsh Government litter composition study at
The non-profit organization that administers the United Kingdom's On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) system announced last month that the system was being simplified from three labels to two to "take account of UK recycling infrastructure's ability to sort, process and find markets for packaging materials, as well as the availability of council collection services." The two-label system takes effect this month.
Previously, the three labels identified packaging as widely recycled, check local recycling, and not currently recycled. The new "binary system" simply uses recycle and don't recycle.
"Our research shows that while 84 percent of citizens check on-pack labels for recyclability, it's a split-second glance for a Yes/No decision," said Jane Bevis, OPRL Chair. "Our new "Recycle" and "Don't Recycle" labels will ensure more packaging gets into the recycling stream and will improve quality at the same time."
The OPRL scheme announcement is posted at
Last month, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a call for abstracts on how to assess the human health risks of microplastics and nanoplastics in food. Selected information will be presented at an EFSA scientific colloquium in Portugal in June.
According to the December 20 announcement, "EFSA identified the need to generate more data on their occurrence levels in food and on their potential effects on human health following exposure. Recently, international reports on microplastics and nanoplastics have been published, yet many of the food safety aspects remain unaddressed."
EFSA wants to learn what data gaps need filling to allow risk assessments for health, what is driving public concerns about the two types of materials, and what help is there to understand people's risk perceptions. The deadline to submit abstracts is January 31.
For more information, go to
Last week, the Waste Agency of Catalan said it awarded nearly 350,000 euros in grants to ten municipalities to remediate unauthorized dumpsites containing demolition and construction waste. Forty-two such sites in the semi-autonomous region of Spain have been identified.
Most of the dumpsites are on undeveloped land. The grants will cover municipal costs not only to close the sites and remove of the waste but also to "re-vegatate" the land to its natural state.
The Waste Agency of Catalan announcement is posted at
Last month, the Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging Initiative (CEFLEX) opened a public consultation for its proposed guidelines for designing flexible plastic for the circular economy. The proposed guidelines consultation follows "the participation of 80 stakeholders, and over 100 experts providing input."
"The guidelines have been conceived to build an understanding of end of life processes, give practical support and advice on circular economy design principles and make design choices for recyclability clear," the CEFLEX announcement explained. All non-CEFLEX stakeholders are invited to give their feedback and help ensure those goals are met.
The public consultation closes on January 17.