US considers new chemical recycling legislation

US states Oklahoma and Arizona pass bills to support chemical recycling facilities; at the same time, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers whether to include chemical recycling in national recycling calculations

Survey gauges consumers’ interest in recyclable packaging

Boston Consulting Group survey interviews 15,000 consumers across Europe, North America, South America; finds consumer environmental awareness and preference for recyclable packaging unaffected by pandemic, young consumers willing to pay more for sustainable packaging, miseducation exists about real recycling rates

Studies investigate circular economy barriers, consumer perceptions

Recent set of articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals review current barriers in flexible plastics to achieving circular economy, recommends regulatory policies be tailored to individual steps in supply chain; consumers easily confused by plastic waste management system, recycling processes, biodegradability claims; researchers instead propose food system shift towards decentralization, shorter supply chains

Australia releases National Plastic Plan

Australian government announces National Plastic Plan; outlines approaches to plastic recycling, replacing unnecessary plastics, reducing plastics’ impact on the environment; proposes investments in prevention, recycling, consumer education, research, and development

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

Report compares US state recycling rates

Ball Corporation commissioned report compares recycling rates across US states for rigid plastics, glass, aluminum and steel cans, and cardboard for 2018; best overall recycling rates found for Maine (72%); results based on multiple data sources including US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states, municipalities, waste processors; finds high recycling rates correlate with presence of deposit return systems, curb recycling, extended producer responsibility schemes

Greenpeace advocates reuse over plastic recycling

Greenpeace Switzerland publishes statement and report, criticizes increasing focus on plastic collection and recycling; argues this misleads consumers, hinders implementation of reuse and extended producer responsibility, recommends providing necessary infrastructure, adaptation of logistics, implementing reuse and return models

Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act reintroduced in US

Updated version of bill continues to plan for nationwide extended producer responsibility scheme, minimum recycled content limits, deposit system, single-use plastic bans; new focus on promoting refillable containers, establishing three-year stop on construction of new plastic and chemical recycling facilities

France to harmonize packaging recycling labels

Ruling aims to simplify and harmonize labels placed on packaging within the country; plans to abolish “Green Dot” label and revise “Triman” label to provide specific sorting information to consumers; label guidelines to be released in second half of 2021, potentially come into force January 1, 2022

John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight features plastics

Last Week Tonight episode focuses on plastic recycling, reports only nine percent of all plastics recycled, functioning systems only established for polyethylene terephthalate, polyethylene; discusses Basel Convention restricting plastic waste trade, criticizes misleading closed-loop recycling claims; recommends targeted bans, introducing extended producer responsibility schemes