20 June 2018:
A quick scan of recent waste, recycling and related environmental developments from around the globe...
In 2015, the Brazilian packaging industry, the Ministry of Environment, municipal government representatives and other stakeholders signed the first phase of an extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme, a requirement of Brazil's National Policy on Solid Waste (Law No. 12.305 of August 2, 2010.). On June 6, representatives from the packaging industry met again with the Ministry of Environment to begin negotiations on a second phase of the scheme that would expand coverage to many other municipalities.
"In this second phase we are seeking strategies to add municipalities and deepen the communication campaign aimed at better informing consumers on how to separate waste, especially packaging in general," said Sabrina Andrad, Director of the Ministry of Environment's Department of Environmental Quality and Waste Management.
The Brazilian Ministry of Environment announcement is posted at
On June 5, a bill was introduced in the Sao Paolo (Brazil) Municipal Camara that would ban the distribution of plastic straws by hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other retail businesses, according to a report from ABIPLAST, the Brazilian Plastic Industry Association.
The author of the bill wants plastic straws instead to be made of stainless steel, glass, paper or edible materials instead, noting that 95% of beach litter is plastic.
Businesses that violate the law first would receive a warning letter. A second offense would generate a R$ 1,000 fine. Additional offenses would generate increasing larger fines that would eventually lead to the business being forced to close.
Earlier this month, the Australian New Zealand Recycling Platform (ANZRP), which is responsible for managing the Australian National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, stated in its 2016-2017 Annual Report that it met all regulatory targets for the fiscal year, having collected more than 26,000 tons of e-waste with 24,790 tons of materials from the collected devices being recycled. (The remainder was disposed in landfills.)
The most recovered material was metal at 11,041.44 tons, followed by plastic at 6,487.43 tons, leaded glass at 2,826.52, non-leaded glass at 2,747.02 tons, circuit boards at 1,228.09 tons, and other materials at 841.73 tons.
ANZRP also said it achieved a 100% "reasonable access" goal for providing e-waste drop-offs through a network of 186 collection services.
Download the ANZRP 2016-2017 Annual Report at
Yesterday, the Waste Agency of Catalonia (L'Agencia de Residus de Catalunya or ARC) issued a call for subsidy requests for activities that "promote the selective collection of the organic fraction of municipal waste from a perspective of circular economy." Seventy percent of the subsidies will be awarded to local governments to support organic waste action plans, composting and related activites. The remaining 25% will be allocated to private companies and public universities.
In 2017, ARC awarded another €2 million to 115 local governments and three companies to support the same types of activities.
ARC said there are 781 municipalities in Catalonia, a semi-autonymous region of Spain, that provide organic waste collection services and 136 of them collect organic waste "door-to-door."
The ARC announcement is posted at
Dutch road construction company KWS said on June 7, that the city of Zwolle in northeastern Netherlands has been selected as the trial location for its "PlasticRoad" project. The road, designed to carry bicycles - not motor vehicles - comes in prefabricated 30-meter lengths that include hollow spaces below the road surface for "cables and pipes and water drainage."
The concept for the PlasticRoad was launched by KWS in 2015. After nearly three years of development and testing, the road system is ready for a trial although the location of the road in Zwolle been not yet been finalized said KWS.
The KWS announcement is posted at
Since 2005, Germany's Oko-Institut, a research and education institution focused on protecting the environment, has provided the EcoTopTen, a consumer information platform covering the most environmentally-friendly products in 23 categories including appliances, electronics, lighting, food products and textiles. With government funding support expiring, the Oko-Institut said on Monday that it has begun a "crowdfunding campaign at Startnext to help bridge the time to more sustainable financing."
The Oko-Institut's crowding funding goals are €10,000 by the end of June and €30,000 by the end of September.
"With your support the independence and quality of www.ecotopten.de shall be preserved and consumers shall continue to have free access to the EcoTopTen product lists," explains the Oko-Institut's Startnext page.
Another Startnext environmental crowdfunding project would support new technology for filtering plastic and plastic particles from the Pacific Ocean.
The URL for the Oko-Institu's Startnext page
Adelphe, the French packaging recycling compliance organization, unveiled its Facilitateur d'Eco-conception En Ligne (FEEL) earlier this month. The organization claims the online application can help packaging designers test the eco-friendliness of designs in less than 15 minutes.
The online application uses a set of questions that "guides you through the complete review of the life cycle of your packaging." Adelphe says that by using the application, packaging producers can position their companies as eco-responsible businesses while reducing production costs.
Access the FEEL online application at
Single-serve coffee provider Nespresso Canada has teamed with Canada Post, the national mail service, to offer convenient mail-back for recycling of waste aluminum coffee capsules, according to a release from Newswire Canada. Nespresso consumers place their spent coffee capsules in special, prepaid recyclable bags provided by Nespresso at the time of product purchase. Then consumers simply drop the bags in the mail. Nespresso calls it the "Red Bag solution."
"The Red Bag solution aims to increase the collection capacity of used aluminum Nespresso capsules by making it as easy as possible for our customers to participate," says Jean-Luc Valleix, Nespresso Canada President. "We have always set ourselves apart, as evidenced by our decision to develop capsules with aluminum, a material that not only preserves the freshness of coffee grounds but is also infinitely recyclable."
Last week, the US Hospital Plastics Recycling Council (HPRC) sounded guardedly optimistric about the future of US plastics recycling even as China's National Sword policy has severely restricted on waste plastics imports to that country.
"The China ban just may be the disruption that the U.S. recycling industry needs for radical improvement," said HPRC Executive Director Peylina Chu. "Although painful in the short term, I truly believe that this disruption provides opportunities for new and better business and will be better for everyone and the environment in the long term."
The HPRC made three recommendations to hospitals regarding waste plastics, including "Don't stop collecting plastics for recycling. Even if your materials have to be landfilled temporarily, keep collecting to show recyclers how much material is coming from your facility, to keep your collection programs and infrastructure in place, and to promote the future of healthcare plastics recycling."
The HPRC also recommended continuing to network with other hospitals about their plastic recycling successes and to continue asking waste haulers if there is are opportunities to recycle the healthcare plastics in their facilities.
The full HPRC statement may be reviewed at
The US Plastics Industry Assocation said earlier this month that "strengthened recovery systems around the globe" are key to preventing and mitigating marine debris.
Specifically, the association called for expanding collection opportunities, developing new end markets that increase demand for recycled plastics, educating manufacturers and the public about preventing litter, and promoting clean-ups, among other activities. The assocation also highlighted Operation Clean Sweep and Zero Net Waste as programs that can help ensure "plastics are managed properly at manufacturing sites."
For more information, go to