ISOE: Guidance on reducing and improving food packaging materials

Scientists at the German Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE) give practical recommendations for food supply companies, associations as well as decision-makers related to reducing single-use and supporting multiple-use packaging, recycling, and innovation on a technological and organizational level

Study assesses migration from recycled HDPE milk bottles

Paper in Resources, Conservation, and Recycling investigates chemical migration from recycled high-density polyethylene (rHDPE); when recycled milk bottles mixed with non-milk-bottle rHDPE, resulting plastic contaminated with chemicals of concern; rHDPE from well-sorted, decontaminated milk bottles may be clean enough for food contact; octocrylene and octinoxate still migrate at concerning levels, reduction may require further decontamination or changes in manufacturing or legislation

Washington State passes comprehensive plastics legislation

Governor for US state of Washington signs Senate Bill 5022; bans expanded polystyrene foam takeaway containers by June 2024; beginning January 1, 2022 all single-use service ware only given to customers upon request; adds minimum recycled content requirement to many plastic containers and trash bags; no longer requires triangular arrow recycle symbol on hard plastic products

Forbes examines difficulties of beverage carton recycling

Article discusses the challenges of recycling TetraPak food and drink containers due to the composite of paper, plastic, and aluminum; few recycling facilities can handle the containers; only 16% of beverage cartons recycled in the US; calls for legislators to incentivize use of more recyclable containers

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