Uruguay and Paraguay consult on positive list of FCM additives

Governments publish positive lists of additives allowed in food contact materials (FCM); adoption would bring national regulations in line with Mercosur Resolution GMC 39/19

Japan revises existing substances list

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) publishes draft lists of existing substances for use in synthetic food contact resins; set to be consolidated into final positive list announced in April 2020; revisions open for public comment

EU to apply tax on non-recycled plastic packaging waste

European Council agrees coronavirus pandemic relief package including €0.80 tax per kilogram non-recycled plastic packaging waste starting January 1, 2021; exact law still needs to be developed and then approved by European Parliament and Council of the EU

Pew Charitable Trust report evaluates plastic pollution scenarios

Analysis calculates current commitments will only reduce plastic pollution flows into oceans by 7%; implementing all feasible solutions now could cut pollution by up to 78%; authors call for urgent and coordinated action by all stakeholders, redirecting all current and future investments away from virgin plastic infrastructure

UNEP and EU updates on marine plastic pollution

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) completes survey of South-East Asian consumers and businesses, finds ‘significant disconnect’ between expectations and actions taken to address plastic waste; European Commission (EC) and European Environment Agency (EEA) publish status reports on marine protection efforts in the EU, show mixed results with increase in plastics contamination

Report on EU’s flexible films market

Industry association Plastic Recyclers Europe (PRE) publishes market data related to annual production, use, and recycling of flexible plastics in the EU; food packaging sector primarily uses polyolefin films, presence of multi-material films complicates recycling; more infrastructure for collection, separation, recycling needed

Report grades companies on responses to plastic pollution

Shareholder advocacy group As You Sow evaluates 50 largest US consumer-facing companies on their responses to address plastic pollution crisis; finds most companies too slow in adopting actions to prioritize packaging reduction and to promote reusability, recyclability, compostability; outlines key recommendations

Indian state of Tamil Nadu bans primary plastic packaging

Government announces ban with immediate effect on all packaging where integral parts are plastic; expands current restrictions and includes plastic wrappers and pouches; any alternative plastic packaging must be compostable and approved by state board

Calls for UK to ban oxo-degradable plastics

Industry associations and non-governmental organizations send letter to UK authorities urging ban on all oxo-degradable plastics in the country; call for UK to uphold equivalent standards to EU legislation after leaving the bloc

EFSA prioritizes substances for setting SMLs

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) panel publishes scientific opinion prioritizing 451 substances for creation of specific migration limits (SMLs) for plastic food contact materials; the 3 identified high priority substances are salicylic acid, styrene, and vinyl laurate