The European plastics industry has responded positively to the release of the EU’s first Europe-wide plastics strategy, expressing support for improved extended producer responsibility (EPR) and the headline goal of ensuring that all plastic packaging is recyclable by 2030.
In the wake of the government’s commitment to eliminate ‘avoidable’ plastic waste by 2042, supermarket Iceland has promised to make its own-brand products plastic free within five years, and other retailers are offering pledges of their own.
Chinese restrictions on imports of 24 grades of solid waste were adopted on Monday and are set to cause significant discomfort in the UK recycling sector, with the Recycling Association saying that stockpiled plastics are already building up in members’ yards.
The UK needs a nationwide deposit return scheme for plastic bottles and overhaul producer responsibility rules if it is to turn back the tide on plastic waste entering the environment, according to Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee.
The packaging industry is celebrating after EU negotiations ruled that packaging would retain its Internal Market legal base, making it harder for national governments to introduce unilateral bans for environmental reasons.
The Government Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Mark Walport, has warned about the sheer bulk of waste being produced in the UK before emphasising the opportunities for generating value from this waste and creating a more prosperous society.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove has reportedly laid out plans to make recycling easier for families by requiring greater consistency in recycling collections across the UK, as well as reducing the total amount of plastic used in the UK, as part of a four-point plan.
Agreement on legislation designed to make Europe more resource efficient has been welcomed by industry groups, but with the caveat that reduced ambition in EU plans risks slowing down the transition to a circular economy.
A report from RECOUP has found that only 42 per cent of local authorities provide ‘On the Go’ collection units for both litter and recycling, citing significant costs and lack of budget for the lack of facilities.
International affairs think tank Chatham House is seeking to build an evidence base for circular economy opportunities in developing countries, and whether they could help such nations ‘leapfrog’ to more sustainable development pathways.
Recycling company Axion Polymers has re-formulated its recycled ABS polymer product to provide improved physical properties and a superior surface finish suitable for diverse applications from corner supports in window frames to furniture component parts.
Member states have come under fire for allegedly dragging their heels over prior commitments to the EU’s Circular Economy Package ahead of the year’s final round of negotiations between the EU institutions.
China is eyeing further restrictions on waste imports in the coming years beyond those set to come into force from the start of 2018, according to a new paper released by an advisory body including China’s Vice Premier and Environmental Protection Minister.