11 November 2020:
A quick scan of recent waste, recycling and related environmental developments from around the globe...
This week, the New South Wales (Australia) Environmental Protection Agency announced the Australian state's container return scheme, which is called Return and Earn, has taken back 4.5 million containers for recycling.
"In the first six months of this year, three out of every four eligible bottles and cans supplied in the State were returned through the scheme for recycling," said Environment Minister Matt Kean. "These drink containers are now destined for as a sustainable alternative, instead of littering our streets and contributing to landfill."
Since its launch in 2017, Earn and Return has recycled about 420,000 tons of beverage containers.
The New South Wales EPA announcement is posted at
The last, the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment said the European beverage carton recycling rate increased to 51% overall in 2019, a 1% increase from the 2018 rate.
Beverage carton recycling rates in some EU Member States were significantly higher than the 2019 average including France at 59%, Belgium at 60%, and Germany at 75%.
More information is available at
According to the Danish EPA, a half liter of water is required to wash refillable bottles for each liter of beer contained. However, a project being funded by the Danish EPA seeks to cut that water consumption in half.
The project, which is called Bottle Wash Water Recycling by Membrane Filtration, seeks to reduce the amount of water needed to remove glue and fiber from bottle labels. If successful, the technology could increase the use of refillable beer bottles in Denmark. The project will launched soon and be completed by mid-2022, the Danish EPA said. It is part of the agency's MUDP (Miljoteknologisk Udviklings og Demonstrationsprogram or Environmental Technology Development and Demonstration Program.
Last week, CITEO, the French packaging compliance organization issued a call for expressions of interest to develop a sector for the preparation and recycling of post-consumer polystyrene foam household packaging in France. The call for expressions of interest follows the creation of the PS25 Consortium in September 2020.
CITEO is interested in processing post-consumer polystyrene foam to produce a recyclate that's 95% to 99% pure and for use in processes "with strong prospects for short-term industrialization, favorable to the environment and to cost control. The process should be likely to have economic benefits in France, in terms of creating and maintaining jobs and modernizing industrial sites."
Most post-consumer polystyrene foam collected in France is exported to Germany and Spain for processing, according to CITEO.
The CITEO announcement is posted at
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, personal protective equipment (PPE) litter is a growing problem in municipalities. Last week, NVRD (the Royal Dutch Solid Waste Association ) and Nederland Schoon unveiled a new pictogram to reduce littering of personal protective equipment (PPE) and encourage its proper disposal. Proper disposal means putting used PPE in trash bins, not recycling bins.
According to NVRD, the pictogram will be displayed at PPE points of sale, public transport locations and on signage near public waste bins. Pictogram artwork files are available for download at the Nederland Schoon website.
Last weekend, the Peruvian Ministry of Environment launched the "En casa yo reciclo" (I recycle at home) campaign to encourage Peruvian households to separate their waste into recyclable plastic, glass, paper/cardboard and organic streams.
The Ministry seeks to improve the country's recycling rate through voluntary actions that can lead to behavorial changes. The campaign also supports the government's intention to transition to a circular economy.
"For us, separation at the source is important' and we must all be aware of this," said Minister Kirla Echegaray, "Small actions can generate big changes."
According to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, the Ontario Government announced it would invest $5 million "to help food rescue organizations, First Nation communities and Indigenous organizations purchase refrigerated trucks, freezers, storage space and kitchen equipment so they can safely collect, preserve and distribute unused, high-quality surplus food from places like grocery stores and restaurants to those in need during COVID-19 and beyond, ensuring fresh food does not go to waste." The Ministry made the announcement late last month.
"We know COVID-19 has greatly affected restaurants and the food industry as we've returned to a modified Stage 2 which prohibits indoor dining in some parts of the province," said Environment Minster Jeff Yurek. "These closures have contributed to a surplus of valuable food that can support individuals and families who are feeling the impact of the pandemic. Providing this investment in refrigerated infrastructure will help food rescue organizations support Ontarians in need today and well into the future."
According to the Ministry, Ontario generated about 3.6 million tons of food and organic waste in 2018, and approximately 60% of it was disposed.
The complete Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks announcement is available for review at
The Government of Victoria said late last month that it is providing another $1.7 million to increase e-waste recycling and divert another 13,250 tons of end-of-life products from landfills in the state. The funding is going to 11 organizations in the form of grants.
To date, the Government of Victoria has spent $16.5 million to expand the state's e-waste recycling infrastructure and conduct public education efforts to encourage residential recycling. A ban on landfill disposal of e-waste went into effect last year.
In addition to the new e-waste recycling funds allocation, the Government of Victoria said it is providing $560,000 in grants to businesses to reduce ackaging waste in their operations.
Late last month, FINAT, the European self-adhesive labelling industry association, announced the launch of CELAB-Europe, which the association said will "work to identify and collectively scale recycling and re-use solutions for the self-adhesive label liner and matrix materials." The goal of CELAB-Europe is to "develop a sustainable and circular business model for over 75% of the used liner and matrix materials in Europe by 2025."
CELAB-Europe activities will be organized into these four "work streams": data mining, recycling solutions, logistics, and legal framework.
"The moment has arrived to create a globally focused platform for self-adhesive label recycling solutions," said CELAB-Europe spokesperson Paul Nathanson, who also is a Senior Principal at Bracewell LLP. "CELAB's structure includes a Global Steering Committee that serves as a "clearinghouse" for best practices and solutions developed by CELAB-Europe and other regional Branches that will be promoted globally. With increased recycling capability gradually emerging from suppliers, producers, waste management, mechanical and chemical recyclers and others, we see a tremendous opportunity to facilitate collaboration globally with partners up and down the industry's value chain."
More information is available at
On Monday, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said it is partnering with Titus MRF Services to study how to increase plastic and paper recycling. The study will take place at material recovery facilities (MRFs) in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. The ACC said the study is "the first of its kind on the East Coast."
The MRFs will "collect samples of container line residuals, otherwise destined for landfill, and send those materials to Titus for compositional analysis and determination of additional recyclable commodities that could be recovered through secondary sortation," the ACC announcement explained.
The ACC announcement is posted at