Study on reducing odors in recycled LDPE

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV publish study investigating sources of odors present in recycled low density polyethylene (LDPE); demonstrate reduction of odors through separated collection from household waste, washing at 60 degrees Celsius

Bacterium found to degrade polyurethane

Researchers from Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research identify Pseudomonas bacterium able to break down polyurethane monomer and oligomer; bacterium uses plastic as energy source to fuel process; researchers caution that industrial application still a decade away, focus should remain on preventing plastic pollution

Review of tools and methods for polymer risk assessment

European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) publishes report examining applicability of standard tools, test methods, and models for polymer risk assessment; describes identified technical limitations, gives recommendations for improving test guidelines

Mass balance principles for plastic recycling

American Chemistry Council (ACC) proposes principles for applying mass balance approach in plastics recycling; includes traceability across supply chain and third-party auditing to verify product claims

Dutch Plastic Pact publishes baseline data

Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) releases first progress report towards 2025 goals; provides data from 27 signatories on recycling potential and use of recycled plastics to serve as baseline; data still lacking on reuse, sorting, and quantity of hazardous substances in plastics

EASAC report on plastic packaging and circular economy

European Academies’ Science Advisory Council provides seven recommendations to EU policymakers for transitioning to circular economy; include banning plastic waste exports, extending producer responsibility, ‘end misleading about bio-based alternatives’, limiting additives and resins

European Plastics Pact launched

Public-private partnership sets targets for signatories by 2025; includes designing all packaging to be re-useable or at least recyclable, reducing virgin plastics by 20%, increasing recycling by 25%, having 30% recycled content

Green Alliance finds plastic-only strategies ‘not working’

Report cautions current regulatory approaches focused on plastics, instead encourages improving careful management of all materials; calls for urgent review of food contact materials, implementation of fiscal measures to reduce use across material types

UK moves ahead with plastic packaging tax

Government announces tax on plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content beginning April 2022; £200 per metric ton set to be charged, exemptions will exist for small quantities

Quantifying the clean-up costs of ocean plastics

Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates $150 billion investment needed to address ocean plastic pollution, says solutions are in redesigning products upstream; Pew Charitable Trust to release report detailing cost estimates, launches initiative to find effective strategies