Calls for a UN global treaty on plastic pollution

Ellen MacArthur Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, and Boston Consulting Group advocate United Nations (UN) members to establish global treaty; publish report detailing business case, launch call for industry partners to join effort

NGOs call for REACH polymer registrations to address microplastics

European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and ChemSec submit comments to CARACAL subgroup on polymer registrations under REACH; recommend modifying proposed criteria for polymers requiring registration, suggest recognizing micro- and nanoplastic generation as inherent hazardous property of plastic polymers; call for mandatory pre-registration with submission of defined minimal dataset for all polymers

Concerns over EU’s ability to meet set recycling targets

European Court of Auditors reviews EU response to growing plastic waste and regulation enacted to address it; warns EU member states not to underestimate challenge of achieving 50% recycling rate by 2025; new reporting rules, restrictions on plastic waste exports set to lower current recycling rates

Canada developing plan for zero plastic waste

Government plans to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030; set to ban six categories of single-use plastic items, introduce minimum recycled content requirements, extend producer responsibility, legally classify plastic items as toxic; proposed plan open for public comment until December 9, 2020

UN urges removing hazardous additives in plastics

Report by United Nations’ regional center investigates presence of toxic substances added into plastics; identifies key chemical classes and product categories of concern; calls for redesigning materials, transparent ingredient labelling, increased producer responsibility

New enzyme system for faster PET degradation

Researchers announce creation of enzyme technology allowing to degrade polyethylene terephthalate plastics at room temperature in a laboratory setting; industrial scale up foreseen as possible within several years

New Jersey bans all carryout bags, polystyrene foam packaging

Legislature for US state of New Jersey passes bill banning both plastic and paper single-use bags, polystyrene foam food containers; plastic straw use to be limited; bill will be signed by governor and enter into force 18 months later

EEB report critically reviews brands’ plastics commitments

New report by European Environmental Bureau (EEB) investigates commitments on plastic packaging made by largest food and consumer goods companies; criticizes consistently failed promises, sees voluntary initiatives as tactics to distract from and avoid responsibility

Documents suggest plastic recycling never intended to work

EcoWatch article presents evidence that manufacturers knew since 1970s that plastic recycling is not viable economically; recent survey finds only 1/3 of UK food product packaging locally recyclable; manufacturer singles out PET as way forward towards circular economy

China outlines restrictions on single-use plastics

Ministry of Commerce announces increased oversight on use of disposable plastic items by businesses; sets ban on range of single-use plastic items including plastic shopping bags, tableware, hospitality products