UK reviews biobased and biodegradable plastics

UK government releases report summarizing stakeholders comments regarding bio-based, biodegradable plastics contribution to circular economy; discusses knowledge gaps; finds lower carbon footprint, potential negative impacts on land-use, waste management; determines use of biodegradables should be limited to specific applications; degradation in the open environment unclear

UNEP: Legislative guide for reduction of single-use plastics

United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) releases legislative guide discussing four approaches to reduce plastic waste generation; includes single-use plastic bans, tax and economic incentives, product standards, extended producer responsibility; advocates for multipronged, complementary regulations

Scientists see need for better coordination with policymakers

Co-author of Science publication discusses need to establish an international science-policy interface body for chemicals and waste management, would provide information how to reduce levels of harmful chemicals, improve communication between science and politics, cover more substances; asks scientific community to support proposal

ASEAN guidelines for FCM manufacture and use available online

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) general guidelines for good manufacturing practice of food contact materials (FCMs), the safety and safe use of FCMs within the food industry, and sale of FCMs within ASEAN Member States recently made available online

China issues national standard for bio-materials

Sets definitions for 58 terms including “plastic”, “biodegradable plastic”, “composite”, and “polymer”; also defines process to mark and identify biobased materials; standard to become effective on June 1, 2021

ECHA proposes seven substances for authorization

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) proposes addition of seven substances of very high concern (SVHC) to REACH authorization list; includes the siloxanes octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4), decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5) and dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane (D6), terphenyl, hydrogenated, di(2-propylheptyl) phthalate (DCHP), disodium octaborate, and benzene-1,2,4-tricarboxylic acid 1,2-anhydride (TMA)

Waste Dive resource helps track US recycling policy

New webpage publishes overview tracking current bills affecting the recycling system under consideration by the United States Congress; provides overviews of ‘bills to watch’ and related developments

EU launches open research publishing platform

European Commission announces new Open Research Europe platform; facilitates peer-reviewed publication process for Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe research projects; open-access publishing free for all EU project participants even after the end of the EU grant period

Californian District Court holds acrylamide lawsuits

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California grants preliminary injunction halting new lawsuits to enforce the Proposition 65 warning requirement for acrylamide in food and beverages; Californian Chamber of Commerce claims no scientific consensus, argues labels misleading consumers, unconstitutionally forcing speech; only applies to new acrylamide lawsuits; motion for summary judgment denied

US EPA reissues PFBS risk assessment  

US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) reissues risk assessment on perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS); sets reference doses for chronic exposure of 0.0003 mg/kg body weight/day and sub-chronic exposures of 0.001 mg/kg body weight/day