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

EFSA guide on applications for plastics recycling processes

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) publishes administrative guide on how to submit applications for new plastic recycling processes for products intended for food contact; describes procedures, timelines for handling applications; will be updated as necessary

EFSA working group updates in November 2020 to March 2021

Minutes from recent meetings of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) CEP panel and working groups on bisphenol A (BPA), food contact materials (FCMs), recycling plastics, and phthalates published; groups continue discussions and revisions of draft opinions; new working group on re-evaluation of phthalates and structurally similar substances in FCMs launched

Recommendations on implementation of EPR

Upstream publishes overview article discussing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging, sees recent improvements; views EPR as foundation of circular economy and calls for EPR policies to also focus on developing new reuse/refill systems, include targets for litter prevention and mitigation; advocates for binding reuse targets similar to EU’s recycling targets to create conditions for businesses to safely invest in upscaling reuse

Survey reveals Asian consumers’ concerns on packaging sustainability

Consultancy McKinsey & Company presents results from survey on consumers’ attitudes towards packaging and concerns around sustainability in ten emerging markets; finds greatest consumer concern in China, India and Indonesia; suggests as first action to decrease packaging complexity, reduce unnecessary packaging, exchange multi- with mono-layer materials

EU Court of Justice: no DEHP in recycled PVC

EU Court of Justice’s General Advocate recommends ban on bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) in recycled polyvinyl chloride (PVC); previous decision considered inadequate as it disregards endocrine disrupting properties of DEHP; NGO criticizes REACH lacking necessary tools to manage recycled materials