Why do “chemicals” need simplifying?

Scientists’ Viewpoint proposes ‘chemical simplification’ to deal with increasing chemical pollution; names reduction of number of chemicals used in products and grouping approaches as cornerstones for simplification and innovation in science and engineering as prerequisite

Study characterizes chemicals present within recycled products

Scientific study characterizes chemicals contained in 210 consumer products made of recycled or virgin material regarding identity, functional use, structural class, and origin and prioritizes chemicals; 65% of chemicals with greater concentrations in recycled materials, along with a higher number of flame retardants, biocides, dyes, and fragrances in recycled materials

Studies examine bio-based active packaging and drivers to mitigate pollution

Literature review explores opportunities of bio-based active materials in food packaging applications and the circular economy; demonstrates high research interest in the topic over last 20 years; finds agro-industrial waste as promising, renewable, and environmentally friendly resource for bio-based materials; study finds circular economy to be the focus of perspective articles to mitigate plastic pollution but mismatch with psychosocial research

New tool for scoring food packaging: UP Scorecard

Understanding Packaging (UP) Scorecard evaluates and compares impacts of foodware and food packaging; beta version of the tool published, new features and expanded product coverage planned; developed by a multistakeholder collaboration including the Food Packaging Forum

Packaging stakeholders endorse EPR statement

Over 100 businesses from the packaging value chain endorse extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes for packaging; includes food brands and packaging companies such as PepsiCo, Nestlé, Mars Inc., and TetraPak, as well as NGOs, recyclers, and government organizations; endorsers commit to aligning their organization to EPR principles and support engagement with governments, peers, collaborators, and stakeholders

ISOE: Guidance on reducing and improving food packaging materials

Scientists at the German Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE) give practical recommendations for food supply companies, associations as well as decision-makers related to reducing single-use and supporting multiple-use packaging, recycling, and innovation on a technological and organizational level

Study assesses migration from recycled HDPE milk bottles

Paper in Resources, Conservation, and Recycling investigates chemical migration from recycled high-density polyethylene (rHDPE); when recycled milk bottles mixed with non-milk-bottle rHDPE, resulting plastic contaminated with chemicals of concern; rHDPE from well-sorted, decontaminated milk bottles may be clean enough for food contact; octocrylene and octinoxate still migrate at concerning levels, reduction may require further decontamination or changes in manufacturing or legislation

Plastics Pact launched in Oceania

Sixty stakeholders in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands form ANZPAC, join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact initiative; 11th plastic pact overall, second regional pact and first in Oceania; 2025 goals include: 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable, 25% increase in plastic packaging collected and recycled by each country in the region

Reports investigate packaging and plastics in Africa

Two recent reports published by the African Circular Economy Alliance related to food packaging; “Five Big Bets to Africa’s path to Circularity” looks at opportunities to support African economy and environment, reviews current plastics and packaging infrastructure; “Building the African Circular Economy: Focus on Plastics” is a detailed research report of the plastics economy across Africa

Index identifies largest single-use plastic producers

Minderoo Foundation publishes “Plastic Waste Makers Index”; identifies 20 firms that produce polymers responsible for 55% of world’s plastic waste; calculates and illustrates global plastic flows from production through to end of life; provides recommendations for polymer producers, investors and banks, policymakers, and other companies along supply chain to enable shift towards circular economy