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14 October 2020:

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

Ontario Authority Launches Consultation on Blue Box "Wind-Up Plan"

Late last month, the Ontario Resource Productivity & Recovery Authority (RPRA) opened a public consultation on its plan to "wind up" the existing curbside packaging and printed paper collection program (the "blue box" program) as the province transitions to full producer responsibility. The blue box program is currently being administered by Stewardship Ontario.

According to the RPRA, the blue box program will transition to the new regulatory framework starting on January 1, 2023 and completing on December 31, 2025.

The deadline to submit comments on the RPRA plan is November 10.

For more information, go to
https://rpra.ca/2020/09/authority-launches-public-consultations-on-stewardship-ontarios-proposed-blue-box-program-wind-up-plan/.


United Kingdom's Defra Opens Public Consultation on 2020 WEEE Compliance Fee

The United Kingdom's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) opened a public consultation last week on whether a Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) compliance fee should be set for 2020. EEE producers and importers that fail to meet their annual collection targets can comply with UK WEEE Regulations by paying the compliance fee instead.

The consultation also contains "two proposals from external organisations for a compliance fee methodology and administrator for 2020," should a fee be approved. The consultation closes on November 9.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, overall WEEE targets for the 2nd quarter of 2020 were missed, according to the UK Environment Agency. Overall WEEE targets for the 3rd quarter also may be missed.

Get more information at
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/waste-electrical-and-electronic-equipment-weee-compliance-fee-2020.

Irish EPA Survey on Food Waste Finds Bread and Produce the Most Wasted

Late last month, the Irish EPA published the findings from its 2020 National Food Waste Attitude Survey, an online survey sample of 1,000 adults on attitudes towards food waste and food management behaviors at home.

Among the "key insights" from the survey:

  • Food waste is the second most concerning 'food issue' after price.
  • Empty nesters throw away the least amount of food overall with 22% saying they throw away no food at all.
  • Some younger age groups (16-24 and 25-34) say they would like to reduce food waste but they do not know how.
  • During Ireland's Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, there appears to be a reported decrease in food wasted at home.
  • Bread leads the list of the most common types of food thrown out by households, followed by vegetables, fruit and salad.

Download the complete list key insights on food waste in Ireland at
http://www.epa.ie/media/National_Food_Waste_Attitudes_Survey.pdf.


German Environmental Agency Concerned about Decline in Reusable Beverage Bottle Use

Last month, Germany's Federal Environment Agency (Umwelt Bundesamt or UBA) said it was concerned about the continuing decline in the use of reusable (refillable) glass beverage bottles, particularly for beer. While highlighting the environmental benefits of refillable glass bottles, the UBA said the proportion of beverages filled in reusable bottles was only 41.2% in 2018, down 1% from a year earlier. Germany's new Packaging Act sets a reusable bottles share at 70% of the market, said UBA.

The reusable beer bottle market in Germany also is moving further away from a "universal" bottle that all beer producers could use. According to UBA, in the beer sector, only 15% of reusable bottles were "individualized" by producers in 2012 but by 2017 that share increased to 42%.

UBA said it is examining measures such as "binding sales quotas, reusable target quotas for companies with a revenue-neutral bonus/penalty system, a packaging tax or levy and other legal or economic measures to determine whether they are suitable and effective enough to increase the reusable share."

For more information, go to
https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/themen/mehrweganteil-bei-getraenken-sinkt-weiter.

(Note: a 84-page report analyzing reusable beverage bottles in Germany in 2018 is available at the link provided above.)


Chilean Environmental Minister Launches Campaign Encouraging Businesses to Donate Unwanted Computers for Reuse

Yesterday, Chilean Minister of Environment Carolina Schmidt launched a campaign to encourage businesses to donate unwanted and unused computers to refurbishers that provide the refurbished computers to schools that need them. In leading by example, the environmental minister donated 111 computers no longer in use at her ministry.

"The circular economy is the way to generate value in a truly sustainable development, and that is why it is so important to promote and support initiatives like this one that allow the reuse of products so that they do not end up as waste, polluting our environment," said Minister Schmidt.

According to the Ministry of Environment announcement, Chile generates 168,000 tons of waste annualy, and the annual per capita disposal level of e-waste nearly 10 kilograms.

The Chilean Ministry of Environment announcement is posted at
https://mma.gob.cl/ministerio-del-medio-ambiente-inicia-campana-para-que-empresas-donen-computadores-en-desuso-y-disminuya-la-chatarra-electronica/.


Government of British Columbia Makes Available $25.7 Million to Boost Organic Waste Recycling

Last month, the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy said it will provide $25.7 million over the next three years to divert more organic waste from landfills.

The new CleanBC Organic Infrastructure and Collection Program will fund organic waste processing infrastructure projects and residential curbside collection programs. Funding for up to 18 organics infrastructure projects and curbside collection programs for 86,000 residential units is anticipated. Municipalities, indigenous governing bodies and regional districts are elgible to apply in the cost-sharing program.

"Some communities, especially smaller ones, can be challenged by the lack of curbside programs that make it much easier to deliver organics to processing facilitie," said Environmental Minister George Heyman. "As a result of the measures announced today, and more to come, residents will benefit from cleaner, healthier, lower carbon communities."

Get more information at
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020ENV0056-001802.


French Government Agency Offering 10 Million Euros in Circular Economy Projects Funding

The French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) announced on September 24 that it has 10 million euros for "social impact contracts," innovative environmental projects that advance the circular economy.

Two examples of the types of project proposals being sought are ones to "prevent the production of waste upstream and/or to facilitate the downstream management of recycling, waste management or reuse processes, in order to both reduce risks and pressures on the environment such as expenditures borne by public authorities" and raise awareness and initiate uses of compostable packaging, bioplastics and other eco-friendly materials as well as increase recovery and reuse practices.

The ADEME announcement is posted at
https://presse.ademe.fr/2020/09/appel-a-manifestation-dinterets-pour-des-contrats-a-impact-environnementaux.html.

Dutch Waste Managment Association Petitions Government for "Cleaner" Organic Waste Stream

Concerned about compost contaminants, the Dutch Waste Management Association (Vereniging Afvalbedrijven) and seven other waste processing, recycling and environmental organizations have petitioned the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) to adopt measures to improve the quality of the organic waste stream, according to an announcement yesterday by Vereniging Afvalbedrijven.

The group said that in 2000 the organic waste stream contained less than 1% contamination by weight, but now it contains roughly 5% contamination. In the petition, the groups asked for municipalities to ensure there is no more than a maximum contamination level of 2%in organic waste, and that any label information on biodegradable plastic packaging stating that if may be disposed of with organic waste be removed.

The Vereniging Afvalbedrijven announcement is posted at
https://www.verenigingafvalbedrijven.nl/nieuws/gft-afval-moet-weer-schoner-worden.


French Food Makers Attempt to Make Polystyrene Circular in Food Packaging Applications

According to an announcement last month by CITEO, the French packaging waste compliance organization, nine agri-food companies that use polystyrene (PS) packaging formed a group called ConsortiumPS. Their goal of is to make polystyrene circular for food packaging in France.

According to CITEO, most French PS food packaging is sent to Germany or Spain for recycling, and the recycled PS is not integrated back into food packaging. ConsortiumPS hopes to demonstrate the feasibility of its goal by the end of this year.

"Two major technological avenues, mechanical and chemical, are currently being studied and tested are in progress to validate the possible return [of PS] to food," CITEO explained. In addition to the technical trials underway, Consortium25 and CITEO are seeking to get the commitment of various actors in the PS value chain for the initiative and develop eco-design criteria that integrate into the French PS recycling channel.

Get more information at
https://www.citeo.com/le-mag/creation-du-consortium-ps25-pour-le-developpement-dune-filiere-de-recyclage-du-polystyrene.



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