Introduction by the Managing Director
This year, the work started as of day one and it seems that it will continue in this way and not only by the end of the year, but for few years more to come.
This year, the work started as of day one and it seems that it will continue in this way and not only by the end of the year, but for few years more to come.
For us in Europe THE TOPIC is the new waste legislation, which seems to be close to its finalization. Copies of the legal texts (still to be voted by the Council) are already available and has been already discussed in the European Parliament.
Overall, we may proudly say that many of our demands and proposals are there. For this success we have been working for the last 6 years and we are happy that our expertise and practical knowledge has been recognized by the EU stakeholders.
Nevertheless, I would like to note that the real work is actually starting now, with the new guidelines, specifications, interpretations and related documents, to be further developed by the EC, as well as in helping our members meeting the challenges of the new legislation’s implementation.
In addition, the EU Plastic Strategy published in January, will for sure require our full attention, just to name the possible reopening of the essential Requirements under the PPWD and especially intended legislation on “single use plastics”.
I would like to conclude my short introduction noting that the representatives of the European Commission are already are speaking/thinking of CEP 2.0 just to give you an idea what lays ahead!
Enjoy your reading!
In the Workshop participated EXPRA’s Packaging and sustainability WG members from EXPRA, CONAI, Ecoembes, Fost Plus, GD Norway and via skype the colleagues from Éco Entreprises Québec - Marie-Julie Bégin and Mario Patenaude. Representatives of the paper and cardboard industry and multinational companies also took part in the Workshop.
Amanda Fuso Nerini (Chair of S&P WG) presented the Packaging recyclability toolkit R4R: www.packaging4recycling.eu. She informed the industry representatives about the overall objective of this initiative, namely to provide practical and useful information to obliged industry regarding packaging in an unbiased way.
In the following discussion the industry representatives appreciated the project and Mr James Ede, Kellogg’s, suggested that it could be interesting to add also information on voluntary guidelines.
Mr Massimo Ramunni, ATICELCA presented the Method of Paper and cardboard recyclability assessment: The Aticelca standard 501-17. He informed the participants that Comieco and Innovhub were the first to highlight a growing need to have a tool to provide objective and measurable elements to eco-design. This first driver was followed by a growing request to demonstrate cothe need to better inform the consumer was also highlighted. The technical standard reproduces at laboratory scale what happens at industrial scale when a paper mill recycles the paper. Pulping, fibre cleaning and sheet formation are performed and the following parameters are measured: Coarse rejects, Flake content, Macrostickies area, Sheet formation and adhesiveness, Optical inhomogeneities and Ash content (optional). The Results are scaled in 4 levels of recyclability: A+, A, B, C (and not recyclable)
Willem van Veen, INDUFED FETRA and Marc Bailli, INDUDEF/COBELPA presented their views on the topic. Mr Vn Veen underlined that packaging has a role to play and its functionalities always have priority over end-of-life management. In additionm he also suggested some further advice as: to look at the whole picture, minimize, Strive for mono materials, use renewable/recycled materials where possible and optimise logistics.
Mr Jan Cardon, FILPAP presented the Eco-design guidelines of FILPAP: Recommendations for an optimised use of paper and board packaging in a circular economy. The guidelines provide for a practical advice how to ensure subsequent easier recycling, such as: to use homogenous material, to aim at easy separation of different materials used, optimise weight and format, provide clear intuitive communication, etc.
Nicolas Egri (FOST PLUS, member of S&P WG) presented practical examples of packaging, nominated for the Greener Packaging Awards (organized by Fost Plus and VAL I PAC) designed in a most effective and sustainable way. He shortly informed the participants on the Fost Plus contribution and support to companies, as for example the site www.preventpack.be were industries’ representatives can find relevant information and assess the environmental impact of their packaging.
Two years after the adoption of EU Circular Economy Package in December 2015, more than half of the initiatives included in the Action Plan have been delivered by the European Commission.
To discuss upcoming deliverables, explore new areas of action, and share the first achievements of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, the Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee hosted a Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference with a participation of over 300 people on day one and around 200 people during day 2.
During the first day, the speakers from the European Commission, inter alia 4 Commissioners (Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and finally Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness) highlighted the importance to move into a Circular Economy, partly concentrating very much on plastics. Here, Timmermans confirmed that the Commission is working on a new piece of legislation, namely on the single use plastics, which should be ready in May 2018. All plastics should be made reusable or recyclable until 2030 and would otherwise be banned. The topic of litter and marine litter was highlighted by Katainen who admitted that the marine litter problem can only be solved internationally and that the European Union will have to engage more.
Moreover, several stakeholders reported about their voluntary commitments which the European Commission is demanding especially from industry to avoid further legislative measures.
The second day consisted of several “Participatory circles”, inter alia a session about “The real potential of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) organized and very well moderated by Esther Colino Caro (Ecoembes). In this session Sarah Nelen (DG ENVI, Waste Unit), Hakan Jentoft (City of Oslo) and EXPRA’s MD Joachim Quoden were invited as panelists and shared their views with the audience of nearly 100 persons.
It could be noted also during the discussion, that no one of the stakeholders is doubting the right of existence of EPR anymore. Of course, everyone knows how to do it in practice, especially how to do it better than in certain countries. Mr Jentoft for example developed the idea that all packaging which is not recyclable should be excluded from the collective systems to avoid that these packaging benefits from those packaging which is recycled. Especially the eco modulation of the EPR fees is on the focus of many people, with a lot of concerns of obliged industry that the internal market might be disturbed. Overall, it was a very lively debate where it was not possible to ask and answer all questions of the audience.
Waste Package Vote on the provisional agreement resulting from interinstitutional negotiations.
Following the provisional agreement reached on the 4 parts of the so called “waste package” on 18 December 2017 the COREPER adopted on 23
February the agreed text.
Following the provisional agreement reached on the 4 parts of the so called “waste package” on 18 December 2017 the COREPER adopted on 23
February the agreed text.
The provisional agreed text on Directive amending Directive 2008/98/EC on waste introduces a target for re-use and recycling of municipal waste in 2025 and 2035 (with the possiblity to review these latter) and the related calculation methods. Clarification on the waste definition have been also introduced.
The provisional agreed text on the Directive amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging wasteintroduces specific targets and calculation methods for re-use or recycling of packaging materials for 2025 and 2030 with some limited derogations.
The provional agreement of Directive amending Directives on end-oflife vehicles, on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators, and on waste electrical and electronic equipment has introduced clarification and measured related to secondary legislation in the context of the provisional agreeement taken for the Waste Framework Directive.
Thanks to the provisional agreement on the Directive amending Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste, gor the first time a limit in waste sent to landfill has been agreed for 2035.
Vote on draft report. The report assesses the implementation of the 7th EAP so far and the likelihood of achieving its objectives by 2020
and offers recommendations for improved implementation and suggestions for any future EAP. In her draft report, the Rapporteur calls in particular for improving the research on areas such as environmental thresholds, nanomaterials, the impacts of microplastics, the interaction between systemic risks and other health determinants, soil and land use and invasive alien species.
The European Parliament’s Environment Committee has decided to work on an own-initiative report on the Plastics Strategy.
The leading role in drafting the report will be taken by the ECR Group. It can be expected that MEP Demesmaeker will be the rapporteur for the file. The Industry Committee will also work on an accompanying opinion on the Plastics Strategy.
The own-initiative report is a non-binding piece of European legislation that allows Members to the European Parliament to express their opinion and wishes for the binding legislation stemming from the communication. This will give us an indication of what measures the EP would like to add to the list of the Plastics Strategy actions.
In coming weeks the Environment Committee will announce names of shadow-rapporteurs who will need to agree on the timeline for the delivery of the own-initiative report.
On Tuesday 21 February 2018, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee held an exchange of views with Commissioner for Growth and Investment Katainen on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan.
The Commissioner presented the Plastics Strategy to the Committee outlining its key points. He was clear that new legal initiatives are possible to support the Communication in coming months.
In course of the debate, MEP Mark Demesmaeker (ECR, BE), ENVI Rapporteur on the own-initiative report on the Plastics Strategy, inquired whether there would be any funds for research and innovation in sorting and recycling technologies earmarked after 2020. MEP was concerned whether the EU would be prepared to further develop its capacity to recycle plastics after the introduction of the China ban.
When it comes to the China ban, Commissioner Katainen hopes that the EU will be fast enough to develop capacity and needed innovation to deal with plastic waste. In addition, this topic, in the framework of the Plastics Strategy, is to be included on the agenda of the high level economic dialogue with China and, hopefully, Japan later this year.
Commissioner Katainen mentioned the Commission’s plans to develop standards for sorted and recycled plastics. MEP Jo Leinen (S&D, DE) also highlighted the importance of developing these measures.
In his intervention, the Commissioner explained that the Commission would need more time to look into how to introduce a plastic tax. This is because one could tax those buying plastic products, but it could also be possible to tax fossil fuels which are used to make plastic.
Last, but not least, Commissioner Katainen challenged the ENVI Committee to introduce an “internal plastics strategy” in the European Parliament, similarly to the new rules in the Commission. The institution has pledged to limit the use of e.g. plastic water bottles.
Speaking at the Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform meeting in Brussels, Commission’s Vice-President Timmermans said that the Plastics Strategy could be undermined if China’s decision to ban waste imports leads to more incineration.
The Commissioner called for “urgent work” to avoid people becoming “discouraged”. This is because he is afraid that consumers would stop separate collection of waste if they learn that all materials are in fact incinerated.
Speaking later at the same conference, Commissioner Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market and Industry, said that the agenda, which will help orient research funding beyond 2020, addressing plastics production and use, could also include “boosting the market” for recycled plastics. This should consequently encourage and facilitate plastic recycling in the EU. In addition, the “strategic research innovation agenda” for plastics due to be published later this year should encourage standardisation of recyclates.
On the other hand, the Commission would also consider “fiscal measures on plastics”, she said, to limit the use of plastics.
At street or district level, the “Ambassadeurs de la Propreté/Ambassadors of Cleanliness” will regularly and voluntarily collect litter. Thousand of citizens, associations and enterprises go into action across Wallonia.
The craze is unprecedented. Close on 1.400 teams have already signed up on the website of “Wallonie Plus Propre”. Put another way, more than 7,000 people, everyday citizens or members of a company or association team, have already volunteered to collect litter dropped in public spaces.
To do ‘the job’, the ambassadors receive specific equipment. The package being sent to their home will contain a fluorescent jacket and an armband stamped ‘Ambassadeur de la Propreté’ together with a pair of gloves. Add to this a grabber claw for three people, to allow them to collect small waste such as cigarette butts without having to bend down. Finally, each team will also receive a roll of 10 blue bags and one of 10 transparent bags, recognisable by the inscription ‘Ambassadeur de la Propreté’, making it possible to limit potential abuses. When the ambassadors are short on bags, they can re-order some through their account on the website.
Each municipality has a complete vision of the teams of ambassadors in action on its territory. It knows the details of the team leaders, the number of volunteers and the precise delineation of the cleaning zone chosen by these ambassadors. The municipal coordinator will contact the ambassadors to agree on how to collect the bags once they have been filled.
In general, these areas are well known to the volunteers, and they are keen to keep them clean for the long term. ‘Some Walloon municipalities are very extensive. Municipal workers concentrate on where there are the most problems. They don’t have the opportunity to visit every corner of the municipality. It’s a matter of human resources and cost,’ explains Benoit Bastien, coordinator of the Be WaPP unit. ‘Thus, the citizen-ambassadors will support the municipal workers by picking up small waste such as bits of paper, cans, cardboard, plastic and cigarette butts. As regards illegal deposits, their simple notification to the municipality is sufficient to ensure that arrangements are made for their removal. There is no doubt that this citizen’s momentum will help maintain public cleanliness and allow the link between the municipality and its constituents to be strengthened.’
Plastkretsen has signed a contract with the German sorting system supplier Sutco. The contract includes production and installation of a turnkey sorting system for plastic packaging in the Motala facility.
The system has been designed, production has started and assembly will commence at the facility in the summer. The value of the contract is just over EUR 17 M.
The facility will be test run in 2018 and have sorting capacity for all of the plastic packaging from Swedish households. The sorting facility will be designed to handle all types of plastic packaging. In just a few steps, the plastic bales will be split, sorted and separated. The investment is an important step in Plastkretsen’s efforts to increase the recycling of plastic packaging.
Plastkretsen expects about 50 people to be employed at the facility, and recruitments to various positions will take place gradually during the year.
You cna read the full PR here
In 2017, Pakomak fulfilled the national goals for the seventh consecutive year defined by the Ministry of Environment in accordance with the Law on Packaging Management and Packaging Waste.
Pakomak is the only Packaging Recovery Orgnaizations in Macedonia that meets the national goals. Last year, the company made large investments to strengthen the glass collection infrastructure.
The new version of the "Guide to the adhesion and application of the CONAI Environmental Contribution" 2018 is available.
The CONAI 2018 Guide consists of two volumes: the first illustrates the obligations and the consortium procedures; the second contains all the forms and related instructions.
The new edition has fully accepted the contents of the Technical Guide, regarding impacts of the contribution diversification for the plastic packaging on some procedures of application, declaration and exemption of the environmental Contribution, also for others materials.
From 1 January 2018, the values of the three Contribution levels for plastic packaging will come into effect, defined as follows: of the three contributory bands for plastic packaging: from 1 January, € 179.00 / t for band A, € 208.00 / t for B-band and € 228.00 / t for the band C.
Changes in the Environmental Contribution (increasing or decreasing) for four other materials: from 1 January, for paper packaging (from 4.00 to 10.00 € / t), in steel (from 13.00 at € 8.00 / t) and glass (from € 16.30 to € 13.30 / t) and from 1 June for packaging in aluminum (from 45.00 to 35.00 € / t).
In 2017, Green Dot Cyprus, aiming at raising public awareness, approached the importance and necessity of recycling within the wider context of the “Quality of Life” concept.
"Quality of Life" is a way of living that improves the individual and the society in which he/she lives. Health is an essential component of "Quality of Life" whether it be physical, mental, or emotional. More specifically, "Quality of Life" is the cultivation of a healthy body and spirit through proper nutrition, physical exercise, entertainment, good social relations, positive psychology, respect for the environment and younger generations. It involves anything that can improve the quality of our lives today without lowering the quality of our lives tomorrow.
Proper recycling therefore contributes to a clean and healthy environment, protects our health and thus makes a significant contribution to our quality of life.
The "Quality of Life" message was launched in 2017 by Green Dot Cyprus at Nicosia and Limassol Environment & Recycling Festivals through a special section with activities on healthy eating, sports and mental and emotional health. It was also promoted through a TV Commercial, the support of sports events, as well as through articles on the Organization’s website.
At GreenPak, we are offering the public, the chance to win €100 DAILY, with our Crush & Win Campaign!
The primary objective of the Crush and Win campaign is to target littering and reduce the amount of plastic irresponsibly discarded in our environment and oceans. This campaign was launched on 21st November 2017, and it follows on from the highly successful Crush campaign launched by GreenPak earlier last year, in which some of Malta's best known personalities took part in a fun video aimed at encouraging the public to crush and recycle plastic bottles.
Empty plastic bottles and containers take up valuable space in the rubbish bins. Crushing and then disposing of these containers in recycling bags or bins saves space and will make it possible for our country to recycle more and more plastic.
Anyone can take part in the campaign simply by writing their telephone number on a plastic container they find outdoors or have at home, crushing it, and disposing of the item in one of GreenPak’s blue recycling bins which can be found at various locations around Malta & Gozo. Winners are announced every week on GreenPak’s facebook page.
In the wake of China’s decision to close its borders to the import of recyclable materials, Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) is working with all of the value chain partners, particularity sorting centres and recyclers, to turn this crisis into an opportunity for Québec’s recycling industry.
Among other things, we have given several presentations and written numerous articles in key publications on the subject.
Working in concert with the local government to raise awareness among the environmental community and provide insight for a call to action, we have built a strategic approach aimed at increasing the quality of the sorted material and fostering the development of end markets:
Hold networking meeting to facilitate business development between MRFs and local recyclers and the understanding of specs
Coaching amongst MRFs to implement best practices
3 million CDN$ in investments by the Québec government
Meetings with elected officials
This challenge is a great opportunity to develop and strengthen our circular economy. As the accredited eco organization for packaging EPR, we are taking the lead to mobilize the industry and working towards the optimization of the curbside recycling system.
Check out our news release on the Chinese ban
ECOPACK Bulgaria’s educational program “Recycling School. Teachers for Clean Environment” kicked off on February 21st, in the conference room of Vratsa Municipality and in the attendance of the headmasters of all the schools in town.
The aim of the program is to assist teachers in conducting environmental education in school. ECOPACK created a special educational package that was distributed free of charge to schools. It includes lesson plans developed for students in grades 1 through 12th on topics such as the decomposition of waste in nature and the consequences for human health, flora and fauna, waste types, separate collection and recycling, the ecological footprint. The lessons include videos, presentations, eco game and competition ideas, and information boards. The methods and techniques used are interactive and build on the knowledge and specific experience of children of the respective age.
“The focus of our educational project is on teachers. So much depends on them. They are the ones who can competently pass on to our children the knowledge about the processes and benefits of recycling. But above all, they are the ones who can spark their interest and love for nature. With their personal example, with their authority, they are also a key factor in making sure children grow up into individuals with a responsible and proactive attitude to the problems of the modern world," noted Mariana Petkova, Public Relations and Communications Manager at ECOPACK Bulgaria.
The initiative “Recycling School. Teachers for Clean Environment” is of national scope and is carried out with the support of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Environment and Water. Vratsa is the first city in which all local schools are part of it. Its successful implementation in the city will be a good example for the whole country of effective environmental education for the benefit of society and nature.
The benefits of recycling to society and the environment are undeniable. Separate waste collection and the responsible attitude to nature are a duty of each and every one of us, and therefore turning them into sustainable habits should start at an early age. And in this respect, the role of the school, and especially of the teachers, is irreplaceable.
As ÇEVKO Foundation, we will continue with our Trainer Training program, which has been going on since 2009, with the support of the Ministry of National Education in 2018.
With the co-operation protocol signed between the Directorate General For Basic Education and ÇEVKO Foundation, the project will go on for 3 years and the activities will be carried out in 36 provinces.
Primarily, seminars will be held in the provinces to which one responsible teacher from every primary school will be sent; afterwards at their schools, these teachers will establish awareness of recycling, and carry out studies regarding the separate collection of packaging waste. Interior collection boxes will be placed in schools according to the number of classrooms.
Our aim is to create awareness of recycling in primary school students by providing them with educational books, informative films, and environmental education presentations prepared specially for them by our foundation.
For the first year we have targeted an estimated 82.000 students, whose knowledge on recycling will be consolidated through our musical play for children called "Recycling Will Do Us Good."
Another year under the sign of the Circular Economy Package and especially the Waste Legislative Proposals is near its end! Two years after their publication, in the early hours of 18 December, the Estonian Presidency reached a provisional agreement with representatives of the European Parliament on all four legislative proposals of the waste package.
The trialogue result is a strong political commitment, still it is provisional - as the Council made it clear in their press release: they will ‘assess’ the proposal and confirm it before the vote in both institutions. In due course the formal adoption process will unfold, with votes required both in the Parliament and Council, possibly within Q1/Q2 of 2018, after which the translation process will follow.
Of course, the right legislation in place is of crucial importance. It is yet to be seen in more details what final agreements have been reached. We could only say that If appropriately developed and implemented, this revised waste legislation could prove a unique opportunity for Europe to achieve its transition to a fully circular economy – conserving our precious natural resources, creating jobs, and generating growth for years to come.
While the CEP was THE TOPIC of the last two years, the last two months were also full of events and other developments for us. EXPRA is actively participating in different initiatives and projects, as for example the Advisory Board of LIFE+ EPS SURE project (for transforming fish boxes into new food packages) the Steering Committee of Food SCP RT and the Steering Committee of the CEFLEX Project, to name some, contributing with our expertise and knowledge and trying to find efficient solutions.
During the fall General Assembly meeting in November, EXPRA welcomed its 26th member, namely the Icelandic Recycling Fund. As you can see in our News from members’ section, apart from the recovery and recycling targets implementation, there are numerous national and local information and public awareness campaigns implemented every year by each EXPRA member. We at EXPRA see these activities as a major prerequisite for the implementation of our mission: to save resources and care for the environment, without making a profit out of it.
As we are looking forward to the new challenges, awaiting us in 2018, I would like to wish you relaxed holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Enjoy your reading!
The agreed waste legislative proposals establish binding waste reduction targets and updated rules to decrease waste generation, ensure a better control of waste management, encourage the reuse of products and improve recycling in all EU countries.
In the early hours of 18 December 2017, the Estonian presidency reached a provisional agreement with representatives of the European Parliament on all four legislative proposals of the waste package. EU ambassadors will be briefed on the outcome on 20 December, but the final analysis and endorsement on behalf of the Council is planned for the first quarter of next year.
You can read the Press release here
The latest draft College of Commissioners agenda indicates that the Plastics Strategy publication date should be 16 January 2018.
There are multiple reasons for the delay, one of which is the CEP negotiations lagging behind. The upcoming strategy makes references to the new waste legislation that is being still discussed by Member States and the European Parliament. In addition, the strategy will be published alongside other pieces of legislation such as the communication on the interface between chemicals, products and waste legislation.
From 1 January to 30 June 2018, Bulgaria will hold the six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) for the first time ever.
Coming between the Estonian and Austrian Presidencies, the country will be responsible for steering negotiations over the last new initiatives of the Juncker Commission, as the EU policy cycle gradually moves toward its end, with European elections scheduled for June 2019. For the past few months, the circular economy has been high on the environmental policy agenda, and this is unlikely to change with the advent of the Bulgarian Presidency. The Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Water has already announced their intention to encourage Member States to keep high environmental protection standards, improve air quality, and promote sustainable growth and the green economy.
The Bulgarian Presidency will seek to focus on the transition to a circular economy with resource efficiency and mitigation to achieve sustainable growth across the European Union. Active work will be done to create a supportive environment and conditions for implementing eco-innovative solutions. The main priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the field of environmental policy will be the circular economy and eco-innovation. Focus will be placed on improving the quality of the ambient air and better regulation.
In the Programme of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU (adopted on 6 December 2017) it is specifically stated that:
• The Bulgarian Presidency will continue to work on the ongoing initiatives - part of the "Circular Economy" Package, ready for their completion. With the adoption of the Waste Legislative Package, clear and long-term goals will be set. aiming to increase recycling, reduce landfilling and improve waste management.
• The Bulgarian Presidency will launch discussions on the so-called "Circular Economy Minipackage". Recognizing the importance of the initiatives included in the minipackage, the Presidency plans to hold a political debate on the EU Plastics Strategy and on the interface between chemicals, products and waste legislation at the EU Environment Council in March 2018.
• Related to this initiative are also the assessment of the implementation of the REACH Regulation and the stocktaking of chemicals regulation: Fitness check of the most relevant chemicals legislation (excluding REACH), the results of which will be addressed during the Bulgarian Presidency.
More information you can find in the Weber Shandwick Guide on the Bulgarian Presidency Priorities
The 24 stakeholders selected to form the Coordination Group of the EU’s Circular Economy Platform, under which Ms Esther Colino Caro from EXPRA’s Spanish member Ecoembes represents our systems, held their first-ever meeting in Brussels alongside Council and Commission representatives.
The meeting aim was for the stakeholders to meet each other and share their views on the Platform’s goals. In a nutshell, three work streams are to be covered by the Platform:
1. Sharing knowledge,
2. Boosting dialogue among stakeholders, and
3. Exchanging good practices.
The Platform will have a space during the Circular Economy Conference scheduled for 20 and 21st February in which some of the members will share a number of initiatives under the Platform’s remit. Ecoembes will present one: ‘Smart waste?/Big data?’, under the “sharing knowledge” work stream.
The second meeting will take place after Easter 2018.
EXPRA held its fall General Assembly on 30 November to discuss the current hot topics and to listen and discuss with external speakers issues of major importance.
The Assembly was preceded by a common dinner where also external guests from EUROPEN, WEE Forum and EucoLight were welcomed.
During the General Assembly, EXPRA MD, Joachim Quoden gave a short report on the achievements of EXPRA and major events organized in 2017 as well as the outlook for 2018. These were of course related to the recent developments rgarding the CEP and especially the Waste legislative proposals and the respecive activities planned under EXPRA 2.0 project, which were presented by WeberSchandwick consultanats and acively discussed by the members.
A new Cooperation member, the 26th one - IRF (Iceland) was approved by the General Assembly, thus further enlarging the EXPRA family in the north direction.
The General Assembly also approved unanimously the budget 2017, the budget distribution method and the membership fees which are staying on the same level as in the last three years.
Very interesting were the presentations of the external guests: Sander Defruyt, Lead Manager, New Plastics Economy, EMF and Pascal Leroy, MD of the WEEE Forum.
In his presentation, Mr. Defruyt explained the recent development of the New Plastic initiative and noted that the industry has taken the initiative with respective commitments, and that they are currently trying to involve the governments as well. He recognized the benefits of the EPR systems and underlined that more harmonization would increase those.
Mr. Leroy presented the challenges of internet sales, EPR and free riding, with an active discussion following. It was agreed to consider ways to join forces and exert some pressure on the institutions as this is a problem of vastly growing impact.
During its General Assembly meeting on 30 November, EXPRA welcomed a new Cooperation partner - The Icelandic Recycling Fund, thus extending its presence in Northern Europe.
Upon the industry’s initiative, Iceland's authorities have tasked the Icelandic Recycling Fund (IRF) with encouraging reuse and recovery, minimising waste going into final disposal and ensuring the proper disposal of hazardous substances and also the management of packaging waste. The Board of IRF is composed of representatives of all stakeholders, i.e. representatives of municipalities and those putting products and packaging on the Icelandic market.
“We look forward to working with EXPRA and its members”, said Ólafur Kjartansson,
Managing Director of IRF. “The cooperation and exchange of best practices with colleagues from Europe and across the world will allow us to further improve our performance and face the challenges ahead”.
“I believe that the need for mutual support and learning from the good examples of others will grow as the demands of legislators and other stakeholders increase”, said Joachim Quoden, Managing Director of EXPRA. “Such cooperation works both ways – we will not only support IRF but also benefit from its successful experiences with tracking free riders and monitoring online sales”.
The EPS SURE project (Project for Plastic Recycling transforming fish boxes into new food packages), coordinated by Cicloplast, will run for three years (July 2017 – July 2020) and will have a budget of €1.5 million.
Anape, Coexpan, Cicloplast, El Corte Inglés and Total Petrochemicals are the entities that make up the consortium behind this ground-breaking sustainable project in Europe that has received the LIFE grant from the European Commission.
Boxes made of expanded polystyrene (EPS), known as airpop, are commonly used to package, transport, and display fresh products such as fish, thanks to their excellent properties of thermal insulation, protection, and food safety. However, a large share of these boxes end up in landfills throughout Europe. The Consortium formed by ANAPE (National Association for Expanded Polystyrene), COEXPAN, CICLOPLAST, EL CORTE INGLES and TOTAL PETROCHEMICALS IBERICA have just started a research project slated to run for 3 years (July 2017 - July 2020), called EPS-SURE, to offer a technically, environmentally, and economically viable solution to convert this waste into a valuable resource.
A highly innovative project on the Circular Economy of Plastics
The pilot plant in the facilities of TOTAL PETROCHEMICALS IBERICA in El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona) will demonstrate that it is possible to manufacture recycled polystyrene (rPS) with suitable quality to satisfy the high demanding requirements for applications in food contact. This ambitious and innovative project that will transform fish boxes into food packages, has been supported by the European Commission as part of its LIFE Programme for Environment, and is part of the EU’s new strategy to move towards a Circular Economy.
The EPS SURE project will be developed in Spain. Also it can be expected to transfer and replicate the results in other European countries, with the support of prestigious international experts in the subject.
It is estimated that the number of EPS boxes sent to landfill in Europe could be reduced by 80% by promoting recycling.
The issue of free riding is one of growing concern in light of distance sales already representing up to 20 and 30 per cent of the market across various waste streams in certain Member States. In a bid to solve this problem, the three organizations propose online sellers and fulfilment houses to be required to take on the duties of a ‘producer’ under the Directive dealing with the product they sell or stock.
The three organizations strongly believe that the EU waste proposals represent a unique opportunity to enhance the transparency and data accuracy in waste management practice across the EU. This is why online sales should be explicitly covered under the new EU waste legislation.
You can read the full document here
The annual reporting of Afvalfonds Verpakkingen (Packaging Waste Fund) shows that in 2016 73% of all packaging placed on the market is being recycled. Again a growth and above the Dutch objective of 70%. Also the Netherlands let the EU target of 55% far behind.
EU target 2016
Dutch target 2016
Paper and cardboard
Here you can find the publication in Dutch
Environmentalist Cat ÇEVKİ Children’s Theatre continues to be performed with its renewed script in various cities of Turkey, and with the collaboration of municipalities and District National Education Directorates.
This musical play informs children on recycling through the eyes of ÇEVKİ and his friends with fun adventures. ÇEVKİ and the packaging wastes try to get Ateş, who is rather a rascal, and his own cat to be more considerate on the subject of recycling.
The play, which was put on stage in Körfez and Derince at the beginning of November, was performed for thousands of children in Döşemealtı, Manavgat, Alanya, Muratpaşa, and Konyaaltı districts of Antalya.
Green Dot Cyprus continues the promotion of the recently launched recycling kit through utilizing its dynamics and the concept of Inbound Marketing.
The main goal of the Organization is to aware more, stay connected and enhance its relationships with the people that are or have the tendency to be environmentally friendly.
Through inbound marketing people are been informed about the idea of wellbeing as a way of life through articles, videos, etc. Through these articles anyone interested can download the E-Book, which contains selected and interesting articles for a more ecofriendly and healthy way of living. Also, through these articles anyone interested can order the ‘Recycling Kit’ which contains PMD and Paper recycling bags, brochures for packaging, batteries and electrical and electronic devices recycling and small gifts that remind or inform citizens to participate in the recycling programs.
Green Dot Cyprus aims at utilizing the tools of inbound marketing in their maximum and enhancing even more its awareness raising campaigns in 2018 with online activities.
GreenPak will be giving away €100 every day as part of a new Crush and Win campaign aimed at incentivising recycling of plastic bottles and containers.
Addressing a joint press conference with Environment Minister Jose Herrera at the National Aquarium in Qawra, GreenPak CEO Mario Schembri said the primary objective of the Crush and Win campaign was to target littering and reduce the amount of plastic irresponsibly discarded in our environment and oceans.
Anyone can take part in the campaign simply by writing their telephone number on a plastic container they find outdoors or have at home, crushing it, and disposing of the item in one of GreenPak’s blue recycling bins which can be found at various locations around Malta. Every day, GreenPak will select one of these discarded bottles or containers and inform the winner that they can collect €100 in cash. The campaign will run for a year.
According to the most recent figures, almost 60,000 tons of packaging material comes onto the local market on an annual basis and 32 per cent of plastic containers are recycled. It is not known how much plastic waste ends up in the Mediterranean, but studies are currently underway.
GreenPak CEO Mario Schembri said: “We opted to hold this press conference at the National Aquarium specifically to highlight the threat of litter to our environment and to the marine life in the sea around us.
“While plastic packaging is essential for the preservation of our food and drink, it is being misused. We have invested large amounts of money in facilitating recycling for the public and participation in these initiatives has increased, but we collectively need to step up the anti-littering effort. The Crush and Win campaign is one way of doing this.
“We, of course, support any initiative that seeks to recover as much plastic bottles as possible. But we all need to understand that plastic bottles are not limited to beverages only and that the use of plastics goes far beyond just bottles. It takes a collective effort on behalf of everyone to increase recycling in a meaningful way.”
Crush and Win follows on from the highly successful Crush campaign launched by GreenPak earlier this year, in which some of Malta's best-known personalities took part in a fun video aimed at encouraging the public to crush and recycle plastic bottles.
The Orchestra of recycled instruments of Cateura comes to Spain to perform two concerts, organized with the support of Ecoembes.
First, they will perform in the city of Gijón (Asturias) on 22th of December with famous Spanish singers and a lyric choir. The second concert will be at Teatro Real of Madrid with a famous singer and other music groups on 28th of December. This musical group is formed by children at risk of social exclusion from a marginal neighborhood of the Paraguayan city of Asunción, built on top of a landfill. Thanks to their ingenuity and illusion, they have created a unique formation with instruments built from waste materials. These children show how a project of personal improvement and hope for the future can arise from the union of apparently disparate elements such as music and recycling. This is a magical project that connects education, culture, protect of the environment and hope.
This new system both simplifies sorting for the general public and represents a major step forward towards a recycling solution for all packaging put on the market.
The aim is to gradually extend the new system throughout Belgium over a two-year period between 1 January 2019 and 2021.
This development will make it possible to collect an additional 8 kg/year/inhabitant which, according to Fost Plus, should be processed in a limited number of state-of-the-art sorting centres enabling sustainable and high-value recycling. Belgium will therefore be able to achieve a recycling rate of 64%, well above the European recommendations (currently 22.5%, with 45-55% expected from 2025).
By means of this development, Fost Plus intends to promote the circular economy and ultimately aims to offer a recycling solution for all packaging put on the market.
You can read the Press Release here
The Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Macedonia and the national Coordinating Body on Corporate Social Responsibility (CBCSR) hosted the 10th traditional annual event - the National Award for Best Corporate Social Responsibility Practices of Macedonia's enterprises, realized during the last year.
Pakomak was awarded with a plaque for successfully implemented socially responsible practice in 2017 for the project Green Planet – a theatre play for education of the young children. Through the theater play children had an opportunity to learn about the benefits of recycling and the sustainable treatment of waste. During the period of 6 months, at least 10,000 children from 10 cities in Macedonia have seen the play.
Pakomak demonstrated commitment in creating positive influence in the society and environment, promoting educational methods for raising awareness of environmental issues among the children and the wide public.
This year, on the occasion of the jubilee, besides the regular awards, The Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Macedonia and the national Coordinating Body on Corporate Social Responsibility (CBCSR) announced jubilee awards as a special recognition for the companies that have won the most prizes.
Additionally, Pakomak won the jubilee recognition of a continuously successful socially responsible practice in the period 2007-2017, as a company that is among the companies with the most awards for the best CSR practices in Macedonia.
CONAI has drawn up the "Specific Plan for the Prevention and Management of packaging and packaging waste" containing the forecasts of recycling and recovery of packaging waste for the years 2017 and 2018.
In the Specific Prevention Plan are shown the main lines for the Consortium packaging strategies for 2018, the expected results of recycling and recovery packaging waste and the main tools to achieve them, with a particular focus on the current year.
In 2018, around 9 million tonnes of packaging waste are expected to be recycled, equal to 68.2 tonnes of the total packaging put on the market.
You can download the document here
Thanks to the efforts of Ekopak for promoting transparent, professional and ethical business, and upon its proposal, in November 2017 the Federal Ministry of Environment published Amendment to the framework Law on Waste Management.
There, for the first time a definition of a PRO is introduced as follows: "PRO is a legal entity which, according to the principle of extended producer responsibility, meets the targets for recycling and recovery of special categories of waste; it can be established exclusively by legal entities that perform their business activities by placing on the market products that become special categories of waste".
This is really a great achievement, considering that in 2016 the Federal Ministry of Environment published Ordinance on the abrogation of the Ordinance on the Management of packaging waste, thus abolishing the genuine EPR system and introducing nationalization of PROs, not only for packaging but for all specific waste streams. Ekopak, supported by the Bosnian industry immediately submitted a complaint to the Competition Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which after studying the case, stated that” “The Ministry has violated the provision of the Article 4 (1) of the Competition Law...” and as a result, the ordinance was withdrawn.
"The Week of recycling with ECOPACK" was held for the first time in more than 50 schools in Sofia.
The initiative was announced in the presence of the Minister of Education and Science, Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Waters, representatives of the Sofia municipality and the schools. The initiative was developed by ECOPACK Bulgaria, the leading organization licensed by MOEW for the recovery of packaging waste. During the week, the students' attention will be focused on the issues of separate collection, recycling and recovery of waste, environmental protection and sustainable development. Lessons, events and competitions will be held in or outside classes. The idea is to bring together the efforts of teachers, pupils and parents in the separate collection of packaging waste and the acquisition of knowledge about recycling.
"The program will be implemented over 3 years. The start was in November when the European Waste Reduction Week (21-29 November 2017) took place. We started with the schools in Sofia and next year the initiative will be held in other 12 municipalities, starting from Bourgas ", explained the Executive Director of ECOPACK Bulgaria Todor Burgudjiev. He thanked the partners for the initiative and expressed the hope that more kids in schools would acquire a responsible attitude towards the environment. ECOPACK Bulgaria provides the schools included in the initiative with an educational package to help the teacher - a guide for the eco hours of the class teacher for students from 1st to 7th and from 8th to 12th grade; video games, instructions, educational boards and posters. The tutorials are developed by Together in Time and present the theme in an attractive way for children The investment in the initiative is 200 000 BGN (100 000 Euro).
The Romanian central environment authorities are on the final phase to approving the National Waste Management Plan as part of the obligation according to the Waste Framework Directive and as part of EU institutions report completing this measure
The document analyzes the current situation using the data from 2010-2014, makes projections for 2015-2025 and designs plans to be undertaken for 2018-2025.
The main objectives refer to those of the Circular Economy Package, i.e. the preparation for reutilization and recycling of 65% of municipal waste by 2030 and the preparation for reutilization and recycling of 65% of total packaging placed annually on the market by 2025 and 75% by 2030 respectively.
In the packaging and packaging waste chapter, there are several provisions supporting clear roles of all the stakeholders participating in the system, efficient functioning of the EPR organizations and improving the reporting system. The document includes EPR as a financial instrument in household waste management compared to the previous national plan 2007-2013.
In order to identify essential elements and basic principles in future legislative measures to improve the Romanian system, in the last three months (during the last quarter of 2017) Eco-Rom Ambalaje organized two experience exchanges with peers from Austria (ARA) and Italy (COREPLA) respectively. The delegations’ visits to Romania consisted of presentations to obliged-industry associations and EPR schemes, dedicated meetings with central environmental authorities and site visits to local waste management operators. Both experiences were well received by stakeholders and revealed common solid principals as well as different approaches that hopefully will inspire the policy makers and obliged-industry representatives in the coming period when several legislation changes are expected to occur in the Romanian packaging waste management system.
The Hellenic Recycling Recovery Coorporation (Herrco) has received significant distinctions at this year's Waste and Recycling Awards, for the important results in organising packaging waste recycling in Greece and for the actions that were taken by the company to promote packaging recycling to the younger generation and the educational community.
Herrco was awarded for both categories that was a candidate. In particular, it received the first Award in the category: Waste Management Business – Recycling Business for the effective Packaging Waste Recycling System of the Blue Bins and Blue Bells that is implemented in collaboration with Local Authorities and the High Distinction for the educational programs which are planned and executed by Herrco and are approved by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, such as the "Recycling-Changing Behaviors" program and "Learning to Recycle Properly in Blue Bins". These programs aim to encourage pupils of primary and secondary schools to understand the value of participating in the recycling through the blue bins and also educate them about the multiple benefits of recycling.
The Waste and Recycling Awards are organized every year and aim to award best waste management practices. The prize-winning jury was attended by scientists, academics and executives working in the areas of sustainability and environmental protection.
In order to provide more relevant and timely information, as well, as based on your positive feedback, we decided to move from quarterly to bi-montly publication of our Newsletter. I have the pleasure to share with you the first September/October 2017 EXPRA Newsletter.
As usual, the autumn season if full of major developments and events: the Trialogue on the CEP is evolving, as well as another important EC project: the EU Plastic Strategy, planned to be published in the beginning of December 2017. EXPRA and its members are of course actively involved in these developments: not only as members of Expert group on financing the Circular Economy and the Coordination Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (CESP), but also in promoting unique and innovative solutions as well as excellence in EPR performance.
As said, in Europe, The Trialogue, or the Interinstitutional negotiations between the three EU institutions: the Parliament, the Council and the Commission on legislative proposals are entering their final stage. On 25 October, the EU institutions met for the fourth round of negotiations on the waste package. During the meeting they agreed on some technical provisions within the Waste Framework Directive such as: disposal operations, waste hierarchy and hazardous waste, including dilution and mixing of hazardous waste. They also made a progress to varying degrees on extended producer responsibility schemes, backfilling, food waste, waste management plans and waste oils.
Worldwide, a major event for all waste management professionals was the ISWA 2017 World Congress that took place on 25–27 September 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Proper functioning waste management is more and more on the agenda of countries around the world. Increasing health issues to the public by illegal dumpsites, even caused by legal but badly managed landfills, and especially marine litter, the plastic soup, the fact that we might have more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050 has alarmed governments in nearly every country of the world. They all look for the right action to start, they all look for solutions which are working in some countries. In this regard, the Canadian and European EPR systems are gaining a lot of interest from other parts of the world. Therefore, the ISWA Working Group on Governance and Legal Issues, which I have the pleasure to chair since 4 years, has been asked to organize 3 sessions on EPR: on the Role of Extended Producer Responsibility in the Circular Economy; The view of International Adoption of Extended Producer Responsibility and on the real life Implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility in Various Countries for Various Products.
This interest in functioning European solutions with regard to proper waste management was also the reason that EXPRA and our Spanish member Ecoembes have been invited to participate in the EC Circular Economy Mission to Colombia, organised by DG ENVI and aiming to increase the cooperation between EU and Colombia on environmental issues through a political dialogue that allows for an exchange of good practices and experiences.
At National level, there are many important and interesting developments: As you can see in our News from members section, EXPRA members are involved in many and diverse activities – from supporting eco design and prevention to raising public awareness and promoting environmentally responsible behavior of consumers.
Enjoy your reading!
On October 2, EXPRA’s MD attended the first meeting of the EU Expert Group on financing the Circular Economy. The European Commission has chosen around 30 experts from all industry, authority and stakeholder sectors; from our broader sector, SUEZ, EURIC and one recycler were chosen in addition to EXPRA.
The objective of the expert group will be to support the generation and financing of circular economy projects in the EU Member States. To this end, the expert group will provide recommendations regarding concrete measures to facilitate the circular economy project financing. The recommendations will take the form of an interim and final report. This report will be split into 4 chapters dealing with
• Section 0: Background and big picture
• Section I: Recommendations oriented to regulators
• Section II: Recommendations oriented to financial institutions
• Section III: Recommendations oriented to project promoters
Commissioner Katainen participated in the beginning of the full day meeting and highlighted the need of guidance and recommendations to the European Commission. There is a lot of European money and funding available but up to now there is no understanding in which way and for which projects these funds should and even could be spend.
The event’s goal was to support the exchange of best practice from different European countries and finding useful solutions so as to improve packaging waste management. Special emphasis was placed on the competition between PRO’s and the need to establish clear conditions and rules under which the PRO’s operate.
During the event, the recent policy developments regarding the Circular Economy Package and especially the EPR requirements proposed by the Waste Framework Directive that is currently under review were discussed, including the need for an independent authority/clearing house in case of several PROs operating for the same waste stream.
Some of the EXPRA members together with other experts presented both best practices in packaging waste management as well as relevant studies on EPR and competition. international experience was shared on which (operational) levels competition should be organized (Fost Plus), how a country is finally organizing competition amongst several PRO’s (EXPRA – Germany) and what to what results leads a comparison between the Czech Republic and the German approach (Ales Rod – CETA). Then, Slopak introduced the current Slovenian situation seconded with a presentation from the public waste management company of Ljubljana and a representative of the Law Faculty of Ljubljana presenting a study about EPR and packaging waste management in Slovenia.
The event was attended by Slovenia’ officials such as the Ministry of the environment, Slovenian Competition Protection Agency, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, Chamber of Municipal Waste Management Companies, NGO, industry representatives and EXPRA members.
During the Working Party on the Environment, held on 5 October, Member States’ representatives discussed compromises ahead of the upcoming technical meetings with the Parliament.
When it comes to separate collection, the Presidency proposed that Member States by default would be obliged to ensure separate collection. However, there would be a derogation clause allowing Member States to deviate from this obligation. To this end, the current formulation "if technically, environmentally and economically practicable" would need to be further specified. Different criteria are being discussed. For example, the lack of technical feasibility for separate collation in a Member State could be justified based on an assessment of relevant best practices.
On the measurement point, the Presidency explains that in essence both Member States and Parliament define one calculation point. This is why, the Presidency proposes Member States to continue supporting a single calculation rule. But for practical purposes, Member States would be allowed to either measure the input to a recycling operation or the output of a sorting operation under specific conditions. The reason for this is the assumption that if all losses after sorting are deducted, the outcome should be the same.
On Wednesday 25 October, the Parliament, the Commission and the Council met for the fourth round of negotiations on the waste package. During the meeting they agreed on some technical provisions within the Waste Framework Directive such as: disposal operations, waste hierarchy and hazardous waste, including dilution and mixing of hazardous waste. They also made a progress to varying degrees on extended producer responsibility schemes, backfilling, food waste, waste management plans and waste oils.. It is worth noting that the discussions on the recycling targets and the calculation methods for recycling rates are still to take place.
The next trialogue meeting is scheduled for Monday 27 November.
The conference was hosted by the European Commission on 26 September 2017 and focused attention on the upcoming Plastics Strategy, currently being developed by the European Commission.
It provided an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the issues, challenges and opportunities that will feature in the new strategy, and to articulate key messages to the European Commission for consideration as it moves towards completion of the strategy. The conference brought together nearly 270 participants from across Europe and beyond, representing a range of stakeholder interests. Over 30 senior figures from government, business, civil society and academia gave expert input through speeches and presentations.
The conference participants broadly found consensus that the Plastic Strategy should be ambitious and not shy away from ambitious goals. However it was also recognised that such ambition should be grounded in a reality that would enable all stakeholder to not only support but deliver those goals. FVP Timmermans confirmed that the Plastic Strategy will be “ambitious”, to be pitched at a level “where we think we can get a qualified majority of Member States”. It was widely noted that Europe is being ‘outperformed’ in its actions on plastic by countries without the same degree of financial and socio-political capital as Europe. An ambitious Plastic Strategy should strengthen Europe's role as a global lead. This will both help drive forward action at the global level as well as create market opportunities for European business. The Conference participants agreed on the following key messages:
■ An ambitious Plastics Strategy is widely called for, positioning Europe as a global lead;
■ Market failures are holding back the rate of change, and intervention is necessary to foster the fundamental behaviour changes necessary;
■ A mix of regulatory, economic and voluntary measures are necessary;
■ Stakeholder groups must work in collaboration across the value chain.
You can read the full report here: https://eu.eventscloud.com/file_uploads/d30d9f4bc4e86c5fd9267bc2a46524e6_ReinventingPlasticsConferenceReport011117.pdf
The World Congress is the biggest annual event organized by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). In 2017, WASTECON® co-locates with ISWA’s World Congress to offer two exciting international events in one location, September 25–27 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.
These congresses, attended this time by over 2000 people, provided opportunities to see what’s new in collection, processing, marketing and management of compost, recyclables and solid waste. Among the attendees, representatives from Eco Pack (Bulgaria), Eco Rom (Romania) and EEQ (Quebec, Canada) as well as EXPRA’s Managing Director were actively present.
One of the key topics of this year’s ISWA Congress was the fight against marine litter where the respective Task Force of ISWA presented their first findings. In line with the general message of EXPRA, ISWA is calling for massive investments in collection and treatment equipment to avoid that any waste escapes into the nature as well as in design for environment to make all products and packaging easier to collect, to sort and to recycle.
Joachim Quoden, EXPRA MD, in his function as chair of the ISWA Working Group on Governance and Legal Issues, organized 3 sessions on EPR, namely
• The Role of Extended Producer Responsibility in the Circular Economy
• View of International Adoption of Extended Producer Responsibility
• Real Life Implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility in Various Countries for Various Products
Comprising many leading experts in EPR from all around the world like Prof Reid Lifset, Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Connecticut who also wrote the governance chapter in the recent EPR report of the OECD and other insiders from Chile, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, US, Germany and Sweden.
EPR is currently implemented or minimum strongly discussed in nearly all South American countries as shown by the presentations from Chile and Brazil but also Columbia and Argentina seem to be on this track to EPR for packaging and other materials.
On the other side, EPR in the US is still concentrated on WEEE, paint, mattresses etc whereas packaging bills have been up to now not been successful; nevertheless, new discussions and initiatives have been started in California and in Connecticut. EXPRA has been contacted by both respective authorities to provide experience and best practices from Europe.
A key part of the discussion in all 3 sessions was the question how to move unrecyclable products (especially packaging) to recyclables within an EPR approach, especially via the modulation of fees.
In the practical part, especially the presentations from the neighbor country Canada, namely the new system in British-Columbia and the EXPRA member system from Quebec, EEQ, took a lot of attention amongst the audience. Allen Langdon, Managing Director of Recycle BC, explained how the EPR system is operating in BC within a dual system approach, whereas Mathieu Guillemette, EcoEnterprises Quebec, highlighted the challenges within a shared responsibility system.
The next ISWA World Congress will take place October 22 – 24, 2018 in Kuala Lumpur in Malyasia.
EXPRA’s MD was invited to speak during a panel “Views from Europe towards the Circular Economy” during the 2017 edition of the Canadian Stewardship Conference, this time in Montreal, hosted by EEQ, EXPRA’s member in Quebec, Canada.
Around 600 people from all provinces in Canada but also from the US and Europe attended this event.
The topics of the conference are very similar to those that we are discussing in Europe:
· How to bring Circular Economy to fly
· The role of EPR within Circular Economy
· EMF report on plasitcs
· Modulated fees and eco design
· The upcoming import stop from China for mixed “recyclables”
· Enforcement by the government
Especially with regard to enforcement, it seems that the Canadian provincial authorities are doing their job as they have established strict procedures and dedicated human resources.
Another topic was the start of the EPR system for packaging in British Columbia where the collection and sorting responsibilities are just being shifted from local authorities to RecycleBC, the non-profit industry owned EPR system. A similar approach is currently discussed in Ontario whereas in Quebec, local authorities even control the marketing of the materials.
Nevertheless, our EXPRA member EEQ in Quebec has recently started a new consumer campaign with the aim to make the inhabitants aware that EEQ and its members are financing the separate collection and recycling of packaging and printed paper. They have engaged as spokesperson for this campaign the most know radio and TV moderator who also attended the gala dinner during the conference.
Dr Michiel de Smet from the Ellen Macarthur Foundation presented the work on the “New Plastics Economy” not only during the panel but also in a more private reception. He was stressing that the 3 year project should develop medium and long term vision and change in the way how we use plastics (packaging) but does not have immediate proposals for action. Joachim took the chance for a lot of discussion with Dr de Smet, especially as both also attended the ISWA congress in the beginning of the week.
This Circular Economy Mission (CEM), organized by DG ENVI was the fourth one, after the missions in Chile, China, and South Africa, aiming to increase the cooperation between EU and Colombia on environmental issues through a political dialogue that allows for an exchange of good practices and experiences.
In the mission, led by DG Environment Director General Daniel Calleja, over 60 European representatives of companies, associations – business and international ones (UNIDO), etc. participated. Oscar Martin Riva, the CEO of Ecoembes and member of EXPRA’s Board of Directors and Monika Romenska, R&PA Manager of EXPRA took part in the mission.
The mission visited two cities in Colombia: Medellin and the capital - Bogota. The intense program included meetings with Colombian businesses in both cities as well as with academia and visits to a general waste facility and warehouse/baling plant for separately collected packaging waste. Matchmaking events between European and local entrepreneurs were also organized, providing them with the opportunity to engage in exchange of views promoting green solutions through business partnerships.
EC Environment Director General Daniel Calleja underlined that this is the first mission of the European Union that is organized in Colombia with companies and associations from 14 countries with the main objective to increase cooperation between the EU and Colombia on environmental issues to face the challenges together and seek "green solutions" through agreements. EC Director General Calleja also noted that the EU wants to establish a political dialogue on the environment with Colombia in order to have an exchange of good practices and EU regulatory experiences. Calleja also pointed out the importance of maximizing resources and minimizing waste, considering that the "recycle, reuse and reduce" formula can lead to a "zero waste society". The timing of the CEM was chosen respectively considering that Colombia maintains a trade agreement with the EU block since August 2013 and the opportunities for more sustainable activities provided under the ongoing peace process.
Oscar Martin, CEO of Ecoembes, presented the benefits of CE/EPR based on the over 20 years of experience of Ecoembes, and especially the unique project - The CircularLab and the numerous innovative projects being currently implemented in the Rioja region, covering the whole cycle from the production to the collection and recycling of packaging waste. In his statement, Mr. Martin underlined that all policies regarding (packaging) waste management should be based on solid research work and LCA thus guarantying the best solutions from environmental, social and economic point of view.
Currently in the Colombia the industry and the government are discussing introducing EPR, a sphere where EXPRA and its members could provide assistance. The specific situation in the country is that there is no well functioning waste management/treatment system and after the peace agreement and the successul fight against the drug cartels, a huge number of people had to find a way to earn their living and currently do so by informal waste picking. Recently there has been a court decision, stating that informal waste sector has proirity in the access to (recycable) waste. In addition, in the draft legislation regualting EPR there are so far no responsibilities (respectively targets) for local authorities. It should be noted that there are some trials to introduce ReverseVending Maschines for PET bottles, mainly by young entreupeneurs, using different incentives including via mobile phone applications. Still, during the discussions in the Univercity EAFIT, it was clear that the business understands that this is an expensive partial solution only for a very small part of PW. During the event “Circular Economy: Opportunities for all”, EXPRA presented the beliefs of the organizaton for successful EPR implementation and its major contribution to achieving genuine circular economy.
After EXPRA being appointed as member of the expert group on financing the Circular Economy, Ecoembes has been now appointed as member of the Coordination Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (CESP).
Transitioning our economy from a linear "extract-make-use-dispose" model to a more circular one, where the value of resources is kept within production and consumption loops, is one of the key challenges Europe is facing. The Circular Economy Action Plan the European Commission adopted in December 2015 is a step in the right direction to accelerate this transition and help all stakeholders seize the opportunities it offers. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted its opinion on the Circular Economy Action Plan in April 2016.
In March this year, the European Commission and the EESC co-organised a joint stakeholder conference dedicated to the circular economy. This conference presented the latest developments and next steps on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan and launched a European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (CE StakeholderEU); the second day of the conference, which took place on the premises of the EESC, featured a large participatory brainstorming exercise giving all participants the opportunity to have their say on what the platform should do and what it should look like. The conclusions of this brainstorming exercise were released in May.
The European Commission and the EESC have been working since then on the platform setup, in particular on its structure and objectives, based on the conference participants' input. The platform will aim at:
• Advancing the circular economy concept in Member States, regional and local governments, civil society and businesses;
• Strengthening the cooperation among stakeholders' networks to facilitate the exchange of expertise and good practices;
• Contribute to identify social, economic and cultural barriers to the transition towards a circular economy intended for policy makers at all level of governance.
The platform will have a coordination group in order to provide guidance, reinforce interaction between stakeholders, manage the exchange of good practices and foster the European debate on obstacles to the transition. This coordination group will have 24 members coming from 4 stakeholder groups, inter alia 6 representing the interests of industry. 1 of these 6 representatives of industry will now be Ecoembes.
During the International Congress held at the Cevahir Congress Centre on 5-6th October, the ÇEVKO Foundation focused on the “Circular Economy Package, expected to be adopted in 2018 which will put forward new legal regulations.
In his statement, Mr Mete İmer, General Secretary to ÇEVKO Foundation pointed out ÇEVKO wants to carry this new economic approach, namely teh circular economy model to the agenda of Turkey. Mr. İmer said, “With a linear economy, products that follow the pattern ‘Produce!-Use!-Throw away!’ end up in landfill or disposal facilities. As a result of human activities that lead to huge environmental problems such as constantly increasing population, limited natural resources, and global warming, we have realized that things cannot go on like this anymore. The model of “circular economy,” which replaces “linear economy” and deals with “sustainable production,” “sustainable consumption,” “upward conversion” processes as a “circle,” is a new approach for sustainability in the world”.
As part of the congress sessions were organized under the headings “EU Circular Economy Package,” “The New Plastics Economy,” “Significance of Circular Economy Combatting Climate Change”,“ Financial Mechanisms for transition to Circular Economy,” and “Circular Economy perceived by Press” prepared by the Association of the Economy Journalists.
“Green Dot Press Awards” were given to the winners with a ceremony at the congress. ÇEVKO foundation gave the awards for the 6th time to the media organizations that were environment-sensitive and whose priority was to inform the community on the environment and recycling with the most news articles.
More information available here
Hellenic Recovery Recycling Corporation (HE.R.R.Co) also continued its dynamic performance in 2016, achieving in fact the highest quantitative results since the beginning of its operation
Having as its main concern the achievement of the national targets for Packaging Waste, HE.R.R.Co, apart from continuing to develop and expand the Packaging Recycling System, also established sound foundations for the achievement of even higher results in the following years.
94% of the country’s population has up to now been covered by HERRCO’s collaboration with 297 Local Authorities in which 157,000 Blue Bins and more than 7.000 Blue Bells have been placed, while 493 special vehicles have been given to the Municipalities in order to execute daily itineraries to the 32 Recycling Sorting Centers (RSCs). In 2016, almost 550.000 tons of materials were recycled via all HERRCO’s activities, thus achieving a 13% increase in the Packaging Waste quantities processed in comparison to 2015.
Despite adverse circumstances, HERRCO’s activities continue to earn Greek society’s trust. Keeping in trust the positive course of the Packaging Recycling System, we dynamically move forward, always with the valuable support of the Local Authorities, the affiliated companies which keep increasing and mostly of the citizens who participate actively in the recycling projects.
In the following pages, you will find HERRCO’s total work for 2016, while qualitative and mostly quantitative data is presented for the various projects and the development of the Packaging Recycling System.
You can find the full report here
Green Dot Cyprus, the Collective Packaging and Packaging Waste Management System in Cyprus, as part of its efforts to continuously improve its services and to reduce the confusion among the public about which plastic packaging to recycle and which not, enriched the PMD recycling category with new materials.
Specifically, as of July 1st, 2017, the PMD recycling category includes the following packaging:
• Plastic Packages of yoghurt, butter, margarine, ice cream
• Any other plastic packaging marked PP
• Clean Plastic Bags (Supermarkets, Stores, etc.)
In addition to the packaging mentioned above, the PMD recycling category also includes plastic bottles and containers, metal containers and Tetra Pak-type containers.
In September, FTI launched a new brochure to provide producers with basic information about the producer responsibility and FTI’s offering. It is free to download from FTI’s website.
Producer responsibility is regulated by the Ordinance on Producer Responsibility for Packaging (2014:1073), which implements the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.
The Swedish Ordinance stipulates that:
• The scheme should be appropriate, with accessible collection points that make it easy for anyone who wants to drop-off their
packaging waste, without incurring a fee.
• The collection should not result in hazard or harm to health or the environment. It should be conducted in a manner that
does not prevent material recovery and contribute to the achievement of recycling targets.
• The scheme should be nationwide with collection points in each municipality, and a geographic distribution across the
municipality that is reasonable in terms of the population density, location of businesses and other circumstances.
AS OF 2020, THE RECYCLING SYSTEMS WILL ALSO REQUIRE A PERMIT FROM THE SWEDISH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY.
Download the brochure ”Packaging recycling for a more sustainable society” (PDF)
Despite the fact that the bottle bank is historically well known in the Netherlands, we do not yet reach the legal goal of 90% in (83% in 2015). That is why Afvalfonds Verpakkingen – Packaging Waste Fund - started the action plan glass in 2016.
With this plan we expect to meet the objective of 90% glass recycling in 2018. With an interim reporting we let the Dutch government know that the implementation of the action plan is on track. In cooperation with municipalities in recent years, consumers are urged with the campaign “Glas in ’t Bakkie” (Glass in the bank) to bring all their glass packaging to the bottle bank. This year we work together with over 40 municipalities where the glass collection lags behind the national average of 20 kilos per inhabitant per year. Along with these municipalities has been viewed what possibilities are suitable to increase the glass collection. For example relocation of the bottle banks or targeted communication towards citizens. All agreed actions started as pilot and are to be evaluated at the end of the year. In case of proven success the initiatives will be rolled out to other municipalities.
Also at the hospitality industry is uncollected glass. Research shows that more than 15% of bars and restaurants in city centres still regularly throw away their bottles because there is no good collection ability. Therefore pilots are being organized with their suppliers: when the deliver goods to the bars and restaurants, they take empty bottles back to their warehouse.
Campaign website: www.glasscheiden.nl
The Environmental Contribution for plastic packaging will no longer be unique but diversified based on three Guiding Criteria: sortability, recyclability and, in the case of packaging that meets these two criteria, the main target circuit once it has become waste
In this way, sortable and recyclable packaging from the “Municipal” circuit will benefit from a reduced Environmental Contribution, while sortable and recyclable packaging from the “Commerce & Industry” circuit will benefit from an even lower reduced Environmental Contribution; all other packaging will continue to pay the full Environmental Contribution.
The purpose is to encourage the use of more recyclable packaging, linking the Contribution level to the environmental impact of the end-of-life/new-life phases, starting from plastic packaging, the most complex material in terms of variety of types and selection and recycling technologies.
With this new approach, three different Contribution levels for as many different categories of plastic packaging are envisaged: sortable and recyclable plastic packaging from the Household circuit will benefit from a reduced CAC, and sortable and recyclable packaging from the Commerce & Industry circuit (hereinafter C&I) will benefit from an even lower reduced CAC, while packaging that presents greater difficulty in end-of-life management will not benefit from any reduced CAC, regardless of its target circuit.
From 1 January 2018, the values of the three Contribution levels for plastic packaging will come into effect, defined as follows:
• Level A (sortable and recyclable packaging from the commerce and industry circuit): €179.00/t
• Level B (sortable and recyclable packaging from the household circuit): €208.00/t
• Level C (packaging not sortable/recyclable with current technologies): €228.00/t
For determination of the values of the three levels, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach – subjected to a “critical review” by an accredited third entity – was adopted, which identified the environmental impacts of the end-of-life/new life phases of the packaging.
For more information: http://www.conai.org/en/businesses/environmental-contribution/contribution-diversification/
EXPRA Executive Director Joachim Quoden was one of dozens of speakers featured at the 7th Conference on Canadian Stewardship, held in Montreal at the end of September
Some 600 delegates from industry, government and stewardship programs from Canada, North America and Europe were exposed to a wide variety of perspectives on the topic of EPR and circular economy , this year’s theme for this biannual event. The event also featured keynote speaker Jean Lemire, a biologist, researcher and award-winning documentary filmmaker, who shared his insights on climate change and biodiversity.
Delegates also participated in a series of industrial visits, including state-of-the art glass treatment facilities financed by EXPRA member Éco Entreprises Québec, as part of its Glassworks Innovative Plan to ensure a second life to glass collected by Quebec’s curbside recycling system.
GreenPak Coop Society, in coordination with GSD Marketing Ltd (GSDM), is leading a campaign on sustainable use of plastic bottles and the increasing importance of recycling.
“We need to recycle more and even more. We are urging the public to crush their empty plastic bottles for recycling and stop contributing to plastic waste,” said GreenPak’s CEO Ing Mario Schembri.
During the beach campaign held at Ghadira last Sunday, GSDM and GreenPak staff members distributed free Kristal water and encouraged the people present at the beach to crush and recycle their plastic bottles in the appropriate recycling bins, after they drink the water content.
GSDM together with GreenPak members explained to consumers who were on the beach the importance of reducing plastic littering especially in the sea, and to recycle more. Three collection points were set up on the bay equipped with bottle crushers. Those who crushed their plastic bottles received a branded keychain with the ‘Crush Plastic Bottles’ message.
‘Crush Plastic Bottles’ focuses on the need to reduce plastic pollution, optimise space in recycling bags and increase collection rates of plastic bottles. Crushing plastic bottles for recycling brings awareness on the need to stop littering and increase resource use.
‘’We have been promoting responsible disposal of our packaging with consumers for many years and the vision for our business is simple: our packaging is a valuable resource and we continuously strive to ensure that most of our packaging is recovered after use and recycled. As a company, we are constantly working to increase recycling as well as champion continuous improvement for the recovery of packaging’’ said George Douglas Saliba, Public Affairs and Communications Manager of GSD Marketing Ltd.
“As Malta is already facing some serious landfill issues, we are optimistic that the ‘Crush Plastic Bottles’ campaign serves to reduce plastic littering across Malta and Gozo, and encourages the public to take positive action and reduce waste sent to landfills,” added Ing Schembri.
It looks like this summer will be again quite busy for all of us packaging and waste professionals as the Trilogue started on 30 May, after the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) agreed on a mandate to start negotiations with the European Parliament on the legislative proposals on waste.
Alongside the Trilogue, numerous events related to the CEP, organized by stakeholders have taken place.
On the same day, 30 May, EXPRA organised a workshop ‘Towards European EPR requirements in new waste legislation: a blueprint for success’ with the goal to drive a discussion around good European practice that could help set the right framework for these requirements to operate in future.
Another issue of major interest is the Plastic Strategy project of the EC, which is fast gaining speed: in January 2017 the Commission published the Roadmap for the EU Strategy on Plastics in a Circular Economy and currently targeted public consultation led by DG ENV is taking place. In September this year a Commission’s Stakeholder Conference is being planned and the by the end of the year the publication of the strategy on plastics is expected. EXPRA and its members have organized several meetings with DG Environment representatives and will remain actively involved in shaping the developments, inter alia taking part in the targeted consultation.
No need to say that EXPRA will remain actively involved in shaping the developments around legislative proposals on waste. We strongly believe that EPR is a key tool to ensure both economically and environmentally sound waste management. This is why we will continue with our efforts to convince the policymakers to safeguard and reinforce the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) principle and to ensure its streamlined implementation across the bloc, including the setting of strong and clear general requirements for EPR schemes.
Enjoy your reading!
The event’s goal was to drive a discussion around good European practice, or specific national needs (depending on the situation), that could help set the right framework for these requirements to operate in future.
During the one day event, opened by the Maltese Presidency, EXPRA’s members shared their experience in navigating some of the EPR requirements proposed by the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) that is currently under review.
The EPR requirements presented related, in particular, to stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities, good governance, data and reporting, the need for the so-called clearing house or central authority, as well as cost-efficiency.
In course of the discussions, the European Commission representative explained that the proposal was to set criteria in Article 8a that ensure good functioning of EPR, but at the same time leave a level of flexibility for implementation to Member States. As for the transparency rules under Article 8a, the Commission will try to defend them in course of negotiations. When it comes to the calculation method, it was acknowledged that both institutions are proposing changes that are different to the initial proposal.
The event was well attended by industry representatives including EUROPEN, ACE, Tetra Pak and FEFCO, Member States’ officials such as the Dutch Permanent Representation and EXPRA members.
In June 2017 EXPRA started a new initiative – publication of news and best practices from EXPRA members, aiming to inform and support all stakeholders in the packaging value chain in the process of developing more sustainable packaging, incorporating design for recycling/ eco-design.
The publication will be issued on quarterly basis, from where comes the name “drops” and will provide summarized/short information with respective links to detailed documents and/or sources, implemented with the support of the EXPRA Sustainability and Packaging Working Group. In the first issue, the experts from CONAI, Ecoembes, ÈEQ, GreenDot Norway, The Netherlands Institute for Sustainable packaging (KIDV) and Fost Plus share their best practices in supporting their members in developing more sustainable packaging.
You can read the new publication here .
On 19 May 2017, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) agreed on a negotiating mandate to start negotiations with the European Parliament on all four legislative proposals on waste, which are part of the Circular economy package submitted by the Commission on 3 December 2015.
The four legislative proposals introduce additional measures to reduce waste generation, control waste management, boost recycling and cut resource use. They aim at bringing benefits to our economy, environment and health.
These new proposals amend six waste related legislation as follows:
The Council mandate is the result of intensive work and discussions on all four proposals during three Council Presidencies (NL, SK and MT). The Maltese Presidency obtained support to initiate talks with the European Parliament with a view to a possible first reading agreement and the first trilogue meeting was scheduled on 30 May.
Negotiations are expected to focus on a number of outstanding elements, including the definitions, the setting of binding targets and their calculation rules, end-of-waste criteria, extended producer responsibility schemes and waste prevention.
You can read the full Press release of the Council of the EU here
Estonia took over the Presidency from Malta on 1 July 2017. The Estonian Presidency is willing to push forward EU policy to deliver on the Paris targets. Therefore, it committed to make substantial progress on all climate policy files – emissions trading system (ETS), the effort sharing Regulation (ESR), land-use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), and ETS aviation.
The waste package currently on the table is one of the fundamental pillars of a resource-efficient circular economy. Negotiations are ongoing and the Presidency said it is committed to find an agreement by the end of the Presidency.
Other key environment priorities of the Estonian Presidency include:
13-14 July Informal Environment Council in Tallinn
13 October Environment Council in Luxembourg
19 December Environment Council
The dedicated plastics strategy of the EC aims to help Europe improve recycling, cut marine litter, and remove potentially dangerous chemicals.
The Commission published the roadmap of the Communication on Plastics in a Circular Economy (including action on marine litter) on January 2017, which sets out to inform all stakeholders about the Commission’s work, enabling them to participate efficiently in future consultation activities. The working paper states that the roadmap is not definitive and does not prejudge the Commission’s final decision. Currently targeted public consultation with different stakeholders led by DG ENV is taking place.
With its strategy for plastics, the EU is not only wishing to set out the problems, but is also intending to put forward possible solutions along the whole plastics value chain. Central topics here are better recycling, waste prevention, eco design and measures to boost markets for secondary raw materials. The concept, which is being worked on by both the DG Environment and the DG Growth, is to be finalised by the end of the year.
• Q2/Q3 2017: Targeted public consultation led by DG ENV
• 26 September 2017: Commission’s Stakeholder Conference
• Q4 2017: Publication of the strategy on plastics
This report, launched at the World Circular Economy Forum 2017, explores the circular economy from a product perspective, applying a systemic approach and transition theory. Drivers of product design and usage are discussed in the context of emerging consumption trends and business models.
For governance to be effective, it has to address the product life-cycle and the societal context determining it. Indicators and assessment tools are proposed that can help fill the current data and knowledge gaps. Building on the concept as presented in the first EEA circular economy report (EEA, 2016a), “Circular economy in Europe: Developing the knowledge base?”, this report highlights the importance of product-related aspects,
such as eco-design, innovation incentives, business models and production-consumption trends. The focus is on the systemic drivers of product design and use, and their implications for the governance of the transition to a circular economy. You can read the report here.
Singapore, currently having a non-binding Packaging and packaging waste Agreement (SPA), announced the mandatory reporting of packaging data and packaging waste reduction plans by 2021. On 5 June 2017, the Singapore National Environment Agency (NEA) organized the 10th Anniversary Packaging Agreement Conference.
Theme of the event was « Legislation, technology and partnership : a multi-pronged approach towards sustainable packaging waste management ».
The NEA invited international guest speakers from Asia, Australia and Europe to share information on their packaging and packaging waste management plus to discuss sustainable packaging waste management and circularity.
Steve Claus, who worked at Fost Plus and currently is running his own consulting business, provided high level insights into EU’s regulations and EXPRA plus indepth info on the Belgian model for household packaging waste management. The latter included inter alia a closer look at how obliged industry reports its packaging data, being a detailed declaration for big companies and simplified declarations for SME.
With regards to this packaging data, the Singapore Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, announced at the event the mandatory reporting of packaging data and packaging waste reduction plans by 2021.
FTI is planning its own facility for plastic packaging & new information campaign with the singer Titiyo.
FTI is planning its own facility
Sweden has high ambitions for the recycling of plastic packaging. FTI’s goal is not only to achieve but to exceed these targets. Alongside our work to increase the volume of collected packaging and raise awareness of specific recyclable materials, we also need to ensure that the subsequent process functions. Meaning, there are facilities with the capacity to receive and process collected materials, and ensure that there is a market for the sale of the materials.
There is currently a major capacity shortage throughout Europe, which will intensify as collection volumes increase. Consequently, FTI has been considering various solutions since 2013. FTI has now chosen to create a business case for launching a proprietary facility with the capacity for daily intakes of some of the plastic packaging collected from Swedish households through recycling stations or curbside collection services. The goal of the facility is to be able to recycle more than 80% of collected plastic packaging as new products. If all decisions can be made as planned, the facility will commence operation in about two years from now, in 2019.
Ebbot has handed the mic to Titiyo
On April 7, FTI launched Titiyo as new ambassador for the “Old Things Become New” campaign. She has decided to recycle her 1989 hit – Talking to the Man in the Moon.Between December 16 and February 2, we placed advertisements in Facebook (FB) and YouTube (YT) about matters such as myths. The ad received considerable attention and commenting, with 1.3 million views (exceeding 3 seconds), 359 shares and 291 comments.
The production was largely implemented on a voluntary basis. Our remuneration was equivalent to 10% of the normal value. The considerably high quality entailed significantly more and longer viewings, and to date, about 30% more visits to the campaign site than during the corresponding period in autumn.
In April and May, the combined exposure of the video/image/text on Facebook, YouTube and Google Network was 8,035,608 views. Since September 23, when the latgammaltblinytt.nu (oldthingsbecomenew) campaign was launched, a total of 90,000 visitors have been generated.
Video: Talking the man in the moon (recycled version) You can watch the video here
Green Dot Cyprus created a Recycling kit to strengthen its relationship with those who are interested in recycling. The Recycling Kit is given as a gift to the winners of the various contests made on Green Dot Cyprus's Facebook page.
The Recycling kit includes PMD and Paper recycling bags, brochures for packaging, batteries and electrical and electronic devices recycling and small gifts that remind citizens to participate in the recycling programs.
Recycling Kit Recycling in Limassol Carnival
Green Dot Cyprus has actively supported the voluntary initiative of Friends of the Earth Cyprus and Let`s Do It Cyprus by collecting 250 bags of recyclable materials from the Carnival of Limassol. The collection of recyclable packaging was carried out by volunteers from both organizations, who followed the parade and collected the recyclable materials. The carnival parade in Limassol is the largest carnival parade in Cyprus that attracts a lot of people every year and thus creates a lot of waste.
EXPRA Member Ecoembes launches first Circular Economy innovation, research and testing centre in Europe: TheCircularLab. This is a pioneering project in Europe that,through joint collaborative research within the circular economy framework, seeks to study, conceive, test and apply best practices
in the field of packaging and recycling.
Based in Logroño, Spanish region of Rioja, TheCircularLab aims to become an international reference in circular economy matters. Its goal is to turn the region into a large real-scale experimentation centre, in close cooperation with companies, the public administration and citizens. It also expects to develop circular economy patterns that are transferable to other areas in Spain, Europe and worldwide. Read more
ÇEVKO started a study with the collaboration of the Turkish Republic, Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority-AFAD, and United Nations Development Program-UNDP, to raise awareness of environment and the separate collection of waste to be recycled,
among the Syrians under temporary protection and settled in a total of six accommodation centers in Urfa and Kilis.
After the signing of the contract on 21st June 2016, and with the contracts between Harran University in Urfa, and the Gazi Kültür A.Ş. – a partner of Metropolitan Municipality of Gaziantep- working teams were formed, and following the trainings field operations commenced with posters.
During the trainings firstly the staff at the accommodation centers informed the cleaning personnel of the work to be done, and later they started to give the Syrians the necessary information. The trainings are being given in the “Green Training Container”, which was provided within the scope of the project, and by the staff trained by ÇEVKO, using presentations and films prepared in Arabic. Fifty percent of the population targeted as of the end of 2016 has been reached. In 2017, together with the training of the adults within “the training of the trainer”, there will be seminars for the educators at the centers. All the necessary training material is in Arabic.
GreenPak Cooperative was presented with a Special Award during Koperattivi Malta’s 20thAnniversary event. Koperattivi Malta, a non-political organization, promotes the co-operative business model and its social responsibility dimension.
GreenPak was judged to merit this award for bringing together a large number of companies to finance vital waste recycling services to the community despite that they are engaged in business competition between them.
Other criteria mentioned for granting the award to GreenPak included its consistency in achieving positive results, for championing the merits of education in recycling and for distinguishing itself in the ability to lead other businesses to adopt sustainable practices.
Two projects that stood out were GreenPak’s ‘Nirrickla ghall-Istrina’ and ‘Irrickla u Irbah’ educational campaigns. For the past six years, GreenPak has each year promoted schools and businesses to collect plastic caps. Millions of caps are collected and the proceedings go towards a charity campaign called ‘l-Istrina’. The altruistic links between recycling and helping others is a strong feature in this campaign. The ‘Irrickla u Irbah’ campaign, now in its 7th year, promotes recycling by randomly selecting members of the public with token gifts.
GreenPak’s innovative approach has led to the wide acceptance of the Extended Producer Responsibility model at many levels and is now an integral element of Malta’s environmental policies.
CONAI presented the 2nd edition of the Sustainability Report of the Consorzio Nazionale Imballaggi, which showed with numerical evidence the central role of the Consortium in the Italian circular economy, with the generation of environmental, economic and social benefits for Italy
50 million tonnes of packaging waste, for a total of 130 million cubic meters of packaging and the failure to release 40 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. These are the quantities of waste for which CONAI and the Consortium system have ensured recycling from 1998 to 2016, ranging from just under 190,000 tonnes in 1998 to just over 4 million tonnes in 2016 and avoiding the construction of 130 medium sized landfills.
In 20 years, the recycling rate in Italy grew more than double the EU average, filling the gap of 15 percentage points that our country set off, with performance approaches to the reference model in Europe, Germany .
In 2016, thanks to the recycling of packaging waste, primary energy was saved for 19 TWh, equivalent to the consumption of 11 power plants above 1 GWh, while energy recovery allowed the production of Electricity for 140 GWh.
In addition, carbon dioxide emissions of 3.6 million tonnes have been saved thanks to the recycling start-up, with a total value of 40.6 million tonnes in 20 years.
The Sustainability Report is available here
The 2017 edition of the Fost Plus Academic Session in May was a great success. The Organization presented its impressive results in packaging waste recycling - 87.4% and recovery - 90.1%, achieved in 2016, which reinforce its position of European leader.
This event was also an opportunity for Fost Plus to provide exhaustive information and take stock of two major projects: “P +” and public cleanliness. To this end, Belgian and foreign representatives from the public, political, operational and corporate sectors were able to present their views through two separate round tables. The main conclusion from the first round table was that close collaboration between producers and recyclers is necessary if we want to recycle more packaging. The problem of litter is a behavioral problem, the changing of which takes time. To this end, two operational teams, Mooimakers in Flanders (www.mooimakers.be) and Wallonie Plus Propre in Wallonia (www.walloniepluspropre.be), mobilize all parties and carry out targeted actions to fight with littering.
Mooimakers - act as if you were at home, don’t litter.
Mooimakers (= the public-private initiative for the fight against litter in Flanders, financed and piloted by Belgian packaging industry through Fost Plus), wants to free Flanders from litter. To achieve this, we don’t ask much: just throwing your litter into the waste bin is enough. Just like you do at home actually, because you don’t litter at home, do you? This is the message we want to spread with our new campaign, which started on the 5th of June. The coming weeks we will be on the radio, on social media, on local events, expressways and so on. We try to be everywhere where it matters (so mostly the places out-of-home where littering is a big problem). To stimulate the engagement of the citizens, we also organize a competition for everyone who uses our posters (asking their neighbors or visitors to ‘act as if you were at home, don’t litter’) and they can win a window-cleaner for a whole year! Who wouldn’t like that?! Curious about our campaign: we invite you to visit the website or the Facebook-page.
And me, what can I do?
The Walloon environmental protection organisation Wallonie Plus Propre launched a regional awareness campaign in June, aimed at raising public awareness by showing the reality of daily life. An upsetting reality that should prompt people to change their behaviour in terms of public cleanliness.
The campaign includes a radio commercial, a television commercial, an Internet advert and a poster on TEC public transport buses.
Everyone is invited to visit the website to find examples of practical actions and behaviour that can be used in daily life. These examples are intended not only for the citizens in general, but also especially for schools, local administrations and businesses.
The campaign will continue during summer at festivals where Wallonie Plus Propre will fight against cigarette stubs littering. In September, the tone of the campaign will change slightly, aiming to recruit cleanliness ambassadors.
Ecopack Bulgaria took the first place in the category Recycling and Waste Management. The company has earned its distinction, apart from its professional work and leadership position in Bulgaria,
and its investment of more than BGN 2.5 million in the first glass sorting facility in color, which has the capacity to process 100 tons of glass packaging per day.
For the seventh consecutive year on World Environment Day - June 5, the Green Oscars were awarded. The prestigious award was awarded to large and small companies that have made significant changes in their environmental performance over the past year and are developing their business according to environmental standards. In the National Competition "The Greenest Companies in Bulgaria", over 50 companies from all spheres of the economy in Bulgaria competed in 16 categories. Municipalities, state-owned enterprises, non-governmental organizations, and even start-ups were also involved.
I do sincerely hope that you had some time to welcome and enjoy the coming of the spring, despite the busy period and the ongoing debates and discussions around the Circular Economy Package! The spring is the very season, with the nature waking up, which makes us more conscious about how to keep our home, our city or village and our countries green and clean!
A very appropriate time, when here in Brussels finally the voting on the WFD and the PPWD in the Plenary of the European Parliament took place and with a big majority gave a strong mandate to MEP Bonafe to negotiate her report with the Council of Member States.
The discussions among Member States are also moving faster forward and we hope that the Council would have already a good basis for the trialogue negotiations to be started probably in the middle of this year.
EXPRA like all major stakeholders in Brussels, is continuing its efforts in presenting and defending our position and proposals, especially in regards to the EPR general requirements and the measuring of recycling objectively and fairly, ensuring that recycling quality guaranteed by respective standards for the benefit of our members, obliged industry and of course in the end for all our inhabitants. Of course in this process we are relying on networking and joining forces with like minded associations in order to provide for a sound and realistic legal framework which will contribute in practice for a genuine Circular economy and best performing EPR systems.
Wishing you a happy Easter Holidays and time to enjoy family and friends!
Enjoy your reading!
On Wednesday 29 March, an EPR Club event led by EXPRA took place. Stakeholders within the EPR Club agreed to work together towards finding common ground around a new EU-wide calculation method for recycling.
The latter must optimise current recycling practices and considerably enhance waste materials’ quality. In so doing, EPR Club stakeholders recognise that the European Commission’s proposal, under the revised waste legislation, is not ideal. In particular, this concerns the suggested ‘default measurement’ which could often take place following a number of preliminary operations in the recycling plant. This calculation would neither be feasible nor reliable.
On behalf of EXPRA, Paul Christiaens, Senior Business Analyst / International Relations Manager, Afvalfonds Verpakkingen, gave a presentation on EXPRA’s position on recycling and measurement point.
In his presentation he again underlined that following EXPRA’s own assessment of the effect of changing the current recycling calculation on the circular economy, recycled waste should be measured at the gate of the recycling plant. At the same time, EXPRA is fully aligned behind the need for ensuring that waste materials that are accounted for as recycled have adequate quality attributes. This is why we are also proposing that, in parallel, specific quality standards for waste materials be introduced at EU level, building on current national best practice.
The discussion that followed reflected a preliminary alignment behind certain premises such as the quality dimension and the need to shift to market-driven recycling. Some examples also emerged on existing national and material-specific quality standards, which could, in fact, be used to back up our approach. The proposal for a certification for recyclers was furthermore acknowledged.
Towards a Circular Economy: Extended Producer Responsibility makes a difference, by Joachim Quoden, Managing Director, EXPRA
The latest EMF report “A New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action”, which was launched at the World Economic Forum in January, focused, once again, on the global impact of human activities on nature. The report raised a number of questions and suggested concrete actions for a genuine system shift guided by Circular Economy principles.
The European Union has been discussing the transition towards a Circular Economy for some years now. The debate pivots around waste legislative proposals defining efficient waste management practices, with a 2030 horizon, and other sustainable patterns of consumption and production required to close the loop.
Plastics are at the core of this transformation. This is why the European Commission is set to publish, by the end of this year, a specific EU strategy on plastics. It will focus on decoupling plastics production from virgin fossil feedstock; improving the economics, quality and uptake of plastic recycling and reuse; and reducing plastic leakage into the environment.
As mentioned by the EMF report, we also promote a collaborative approach between the public and the private sector, across the whole value chain. The fact that so many leading businesses have committed to working within the New Plastic Economy towards a genuine system shift becomes central to the initiative’s success.
This is, precisely, what the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is about - its basic feature is that actors across the packaging value chain - and, in particular, manufacturers, importers and retailers - assume a significant degree of responsibility for the environmental impact of their products throughout their life cycle. This includes products’ ‘upstream’ impact linked to the selection of materials, product design and production processes as such, as well as ‘downstream’ impact relating to the products’ use and disposal. EPR moreover provides incentives for eco-design while contributing to sustainable production and consumption policies.
The ambitions target for plastic packaging recycling (50 per cent), suggested within the EMF report, is equivalent to the one being currently discussed by the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, albeit with a different timing. We do, actually, believe that harmonisation on the EU level is needed. However, for these efforts to be workable, some policy solutions are yet to be found. Amongst these lies the issue of how best to calculate waste which is actually recycled.
Following our own assessment of the effect of recycling measurement on the circular economy, we believe that recycled waste should be measured at the gate of the recycling plant. In fact, reliable data can only be ascertained upon entrance to the recycling plant.
At the same time, we are fully aligned behind the need for ensuring that waste materials that are accounted for as recycled have adequate quality attributes. This is why we are also proposing that, in parallel, specific quality standards for waste materials be introduced at EU level, building on current national best practice.
On Tuesday 14 March, the European Parliament plenary held a debate on the reports on the legislative proposals on waste. Throughout the debate MEPs thanked the Rapporteur for good job and congratulated on the final ENVI report.
The debate was followed by a vote on the reports. The reports were referred back to the Environment Committee for interinstitutional negotiations.
Waste and packaging waste
By 2030, at least 70% by weight of so-called municipal waste (from households and businesses) should be recycled or prepared for re-use, (i.e. checked, cleaned or repaired), say MEPs. The European Commission proposed 65%.
For packaging materials, such as paper and cardboard, plastics, glass, metal and wood, MEPs propose an 80% target for 2030, with interim 2025 targets for each material.
The draft law limits the share of municipal waste to be landfilled to 10% by 2030. MEPs propose reducing this to 5%albeit with a possible five-year extension, under certain conditions, for member states which landfilled more than 65% of their municipal waste in 2013.
Food waste in the EU is estimated at some 89 million tonnes, or 180 kg per capita per year. MEPs advocate an EU food waste reduction target of 30% by 2025 and 50% by 2030, compared to 2014. They also propose a similar target for marine litter.
The four adopted reports represent Parliament’s negotiating position, ahead of negotiations with Council of ministers, which yet has to adopt its own position.
On Monday 20 March, Commission Vice-President Katainen presented to the Environment Committee the European Commission’s view on the Commission Eco-design Working Plan 2016-2019.
The Commissioner made the following points in course of the debate:
The Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Directives lay down conditions and criteria for implementing measures that set out binding requirements for specific product groups. Priorities for product groups to be investigated are established through regular Working Plans. On 30 November 2016, the Commission published its communication on the Ecodesign Working Plan, setting out the priorities under the ecodesign and energy labelling framework for 2016 to 2019. The Plan presents ongoing work and upcoming reviews of existing measures, identifies additional product groups to be further examined, and sets out how ecodesign will contribute better to circular economy objectives. In the coming years, the Commission plans to finalise ongoing regulatory work on products identified in previous working plans and to undertake the review of existing measures. The Commission will examine how aspects relevant to the circular economy, such as resource efficiency, reparability, recyclability and durability can be assessed and taken on board. The Commission also wants to start preparatory studies for already 4 identified new product groups. The Communication also addresses international cooperation, convergence of test and measurement methods, and minimum energy performance requirements.
Following the European Parliament’s plenary vote, 36 packaging value chain associations agreed on common recommendations for the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) and Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) to the EU institutions. EXPRA also co-signed the statement.
The recommended actions, in addition to ensuring full implementation and enforcement of existing EU laws, include:
The PCF members can put this document into the work of each individual advocacy efforts.
You can read the recommendations here
After producer responsibility for consumer packaging was transferred from municipalities to producer organisations on 1 January 2016, some sceptics asked if this action would cause consumers to be less keen to recycle.
This question was prompted by the policy adopted by RINKI and the producer organisations.
Juha-Heikki Tanskanen, the CEO of RINKI stated "After producer responsibility for consumer packaging was transferred from municipalities to producer organisations on 1 January 2016, some sceptics asked if this action would cause consumers to be less keen to recycle. This question was prompted by the policy adopted by RINKI and the producer organisations to focus the Rinki eco take-back points in areas where people go, i.e. near supermarkets. The number of less-frequented points in smaller population centres was reduced at the same time. Based on the experiences of the first year, we can say that people are just as keen to recycle as before, if not more so, thanks to the new Rinki eco take-back points located at supermarkets as well as the opportunity to now recycle plastic packaging. More packaging waste is also collected directly from homes and offices now that municipalities and their waste management companies expand their collection operations"
You can read the full article here
Under the patronage of the President of Malta, GreenPak collects plastic caps for recycling in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund (MCCF). The more plastic caps collected, the more the donation for Istrina!
Running for the seventh consecutive year, this year’s campaign aims to improve on the 2016 campaign, when GreenPak recycled over 14 million caps, having a total weight of almost 43 tonnes. The plastic caps were collected from 144 schools and 52 other entities including scout groups, social organizations, clubs, companies and Local Councils. The sum of €20,000 was raised for the Community Chest Fund Foundation in 2016!
You can read more about this initiative here
The Association for human & social development "Project Happiness" on Pakomak initiative, implemented first theater performance for children from primary schools, shaped as interactive project with useful and educational information about recycling and environment.
After the first performance in Prilep the theater caravan continued in Kavadarci, Skopje, Bitola, Bogdanci, Strumica, Kumanovo, Stip and the goal was to reach the kids all over the country and educate them about environment and recycling in fun way, adjusted to their age.
Children learn best by playing and this interactive project is full of interesting educational facts that are easily applicable in everyday life.
Awakening children's imagination & supporting them to apply the same practices that are used by the young actors in the play, the benefits that the community might feel from their actions are long term and therefore it`s worth all available forces to keep moving in that direction.
Competition and environmental protection in waste management: The Italian University LUISS-Guido Carli made a study, promoted by CONAI, entitled "Management of waste packaging in Italy: profiles and critical competitive questions".
The aim is to contribute to the identification of solutions to ensure a reasonable balance between the achievement of environmental goals and the increase of competition in the waste management sector.
The research analyzes key profiles and competitive organization of the packaging waste management.
The Italian model, based on the centrality of the not for profit consortium system operating in the whole territory and respecting the private operators (subsidiarity), ensures the management of packaging waste throughout the national territory and for all types of packaging waste (universality).
This model is able to avoid the creation of cherry picking problems leaving uncovered geographic areas or not to recycle or recover parts that do not generate economic returns.
You can read the document here
ÇEVKO Foundation conducted a survey in İstanbul in 11 districts (Ataşehir, Avcılar, Bağcılar, Bakırköy, Beşiktaş, Kadıköy, Kartal, Maltepe, Pendik, Şişli, Zeytinburnu) with 500 face to face, and 1,133 digital interviews involving the general Turkish public.
“The Recycling of Packaging Waste Perception Survey With the İstanbul and Turkey General Public Consumers” has ended.
The participants of the survey which was conducted by an independent research company were consumers who were over 18; of AB, C, DE socio-economic status with an age average of 35, consisting of 34% women Turkey-wide, and 48% in İstanbul. The consumers answered questions on their consideration for the nature; how they reflected this consideration on their consumption habits; whether they collected packaging waste separetely or not; and if they had enough knowledge about the separate collection of waste by the district municipality they were connected to.
Consumer results within İstanbul!
The results of the Perception Survey revealed that 23% of the consumers “bought brands that show consideration for the nature”; 15% “preferred to buy brands showing consideration for the nature despite their high prices”; and 32% “collected packaging waste separately and deposited it into the recycling bins”
When asked if their district municipality collected packaging waste separately, 47% of the consumers said “they knew that their municipality collected waste separately”; 40% had no information on the subject; and 13% claimed that their municipality did not collect packaging waste separately.
The consumers living in İstanbul were also asked whether they collected separately glass packaging waste, which requires special care due to the content. The rate of consumers who said they collected glass packaging waste together with other packaging stuff was 51%.
These rates were higher with consumers who attended the surveys made on the internet.
The analysis of the results for the whole of Turkey showed that digitally-aware people had a more responsible attitude towards nature, and that there was an increase in the rates of collecting waste separately. 62% of the consumers in this group pointed out that they “bought brands showing consideration for the nature” while the rate of the consumers who “preferred brands that show consideration for the nature despite their high prices” was 44%.
The rate of the general consumer collecting packaging waste separately within İstanbul was 32%. However, this rate went up to 70% with users who have digital awareness. In addition, the rate of digitally-aware consumers collecting glass packaging waste separately from other packaging waste was higher with a ratio of 57%. They were also asked if their district municipalities in İstanbul collected glass waste separately. The answer to this was “Yes” with a ratio of 71%, and “No” with a ratio of 29%.
In order to recycle packaging waste for the country economy, social consciousness must be increased!
Mete İmer pointed out that recycling was of utmost importance in the combat with climate change, which is a great threat for the world, and that social consciousness in all segments of the population should be increased. İmer also drew attention to the fact that in an economic and sustainable recycling system, glass packaging waste should be collected separately from other types of waste and properly dispatched for recycling.
Meter İmer went on to say the questions asked to the consumers proved that their works as a foundation to establish in Turkey a sustainable recycling system, which is an indication of being developed, were appreciated by the consumers.
İmer added that to be recognised with a rate of 70% was a driving force that motivated them, and said, “As ÇEVKO Foundation we will continue to work for a sustainable recycling system which will increase our prosperity as a nation, bring numerous benefits to the environment, nature, and our economy as long as all parties concerned carry out their responsibilities on this topic.”
ECOPACK Bulgaria and FM + Radio joined forces in the name of a cleaner, greener and more beautiful cities.
Every day, between 1 and 2 pm., the famous hosts of the radio show will be on the green phone line to take citizen’s eco ideas. Inhabitants are invited to call and share the problems related to waste management and nature protection as an element of the urban environment. They should answer the following question: What three things would you do for your city to become a cleaner, more beautiful and greener? The green ideas and comments will be collected until mid April, 2017, and the grand prize for the best idea will be a weekend break for two in Bulgarian muntain resort.
The initiative is named Be WaPP (Wallonie Plus Propre) and was set up with the aim of improving public cleanness in Wallonia by focusing on behavior change.
It is the result of a partnership agreement signed on 1 February 2016 between Wallonia and companies that place packed products on the Belgian market (via the Fost Plus, Fevia, Comeos federations) to combat negative impact of improper behaviour on public cleanness.
Public cleanness is a complex societal issue, which requires the involvement and collaboration of all, at all levels. Be WaPP's mission is to become a reference and knowledge center for public cleanliness and a catalyst for action.
To this end, it has as its ambition, by providing adequate financial and operational resources, to:
You can read more about the initiative here
The objective of the campaign, which will be present in the mainstream media, is to make tangible the importance to the environment of the recycling of the packaging waste which is deposited in the yellow container.
Why is recycling useful? This is the question that many people ask when it comes to properly separating their waste. Ecoembes, the non-profit environmental organization that promotes sustainability through the recycling of used packaging in Spain, responded to this issue with its new advertising campaign "Respira" , the first at the national level to encourage the separate collection of packaging waste in the yellow container.
The main objective is to show citizens tangibly the benefits of recycling the packaging waste which is deposited in the yellow container (plastic, cans and beverage cartons) for the environment . In order to transmit this message, Ecoembes has made several advertising spots in which it shows with real data how the separate collection of waste counteracts the air pollution, a problem with increasing importnace not only in Spain but aslo world-wide. This information can be verified on its website where the equivalences used are explained, as a result of calculating the savings of the CO2 emissions that are produced by the use of recycled material in the making of new products.
The campaign will be present in different communication channels throughout the year, including TV, Internet and radio. In addition, there are different versions of the spots. Esecially for television, two different announcements with different information and duration have been elaborated. The campaign will be aslo present on social networks through the hashtag #ReciclaYRespira.
Another year of crucial importance for EXPRA and its members is near its end. Like 2015 this year was full of challenges, but also we can be proud with positive results in promoting our believes among the major stakeholders and especially the EU Institutions: the Commission, the Parliament and the Council.
I believe that we could all agree that 2016 was under the sign of the Circular Economy Package. We all witnessed the major interest the package and especially the waste legislative proposals met in the Parliament – over 2000 amendments, submitted by the EP ENVI and ITRE Committees’ members. The discussions in the Council are also taking more time than expected and there are issues, which need to be discussed further like exemptions, the overall level of ambition of the legally binding targets across the legislative package and how to take into account efforts on re-use.
And this attention is logical, given the major importance of the Package: still it is not only about legislation or waste management but much more. The Circular Economy concerns also a major change in our every day behavior and our way of thinking as consumers. Do we need to buy new clothes every month, do we need to change/buy new appliances when there is a slight problem, are we saving resources in the office and at home? I believe that the change should start from every one of us!
And I would like to note that EXPRA members are promoting environmentally responsible behavior from many years. As you can see in our News from members section, apart from the recovery and recycling targets implementation, there are numerous information and public awareness campaigns implemented every year by each EXPRA member. We at EXPRA see these activities as a major prerequisite for the implementation of our mission: to save resources and care for the environment, without making a profit out of it.
We are looking forward to the new challenges in 2017, when we will of course remain actively involved in the discussions and continue to share our thorough knowledge of over 25 years and best practices in end-of-life management of packaging with the European Institutions and other major stakeholders.
And last but not least I would like to wish you relaxed holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Enjoy your reading!
The autumn EXPRA General Assembly took place in Brussels on 24 November.
The meeting was preceded by the traditional common dinner on 23 November where EXPRA members were joined by external guests from BusinessEurope, ACR+, EucoLight and Tetra Pak. The participants had also the chance to visit the LivingTomorrow museum, where scientists are trying to show how people will live in the future, especially by using the available technology and applications.
During the formal part of the General Assembly the budget, the budget distribution method and the membership fees for 2017 were approved.
The public part of the General Assembly meeting, where additional guests from Procter & Gamble and EuroCommerce joined, started with a presentation of Mr Julius Langendorff from DG Environment of the European Commission. He explained the main topics of discussion in the Council of Member states with relevance for EXPRA and its members, including: target levels, the calculation method, EPR, re-use and separate collection.
The other speakers at the GA meeting included Ms Andrea Nam from CEN – European Committee for Standardization, who presented the development and functioning of CEN standards and Mr Ales Rod, from the Centre for Economic and Market Analyses (CETA), Czechia, who presented the findings of a study comparing a single service PRO solution with multi service PROs solutions, concluding that within the artificial market of EPR for packaging the multiple PROs are not always the most efficient solution.
Ms Maryse Vermette, CEO of our Canadian EXPRA member EEQ presented the Innovative Glass Works Plan which will help EEQ tackle the challenges of glass recycling with major investments and a plan driven by green economy principles.
The European Parliament is on course to confirm its position on waste proposals in February, according to MEP Simona Bonafè (S&D), who spoke at the conference organised by the Italian embassy in Belgium and the Italian trade agency on 29 November.
“But I don’t expect we’ll be able to start negotiating with the Council in March,” the MEP stated. As the MEP steering the talks in the environment committee, she noted that the Council still disagrees on some crucial points, which may prevent Malta, the incoming Council presidency, from making fast progress. A contact within the upcoming Maltese Presidency inferred, however, that the Parliament could directly hold its Plenary vote in March.
Ms Bonafè moreover clarified that she expects the environment committee, which is due to vote on the position in January, to take more or less the line of her proposals published in May, including broadly accepting the proposed targets. However, the targets also depend on the methodology chosen, she added.
“We also intend to strengthen all the prevention measures,” Ms Bonafè said. “I’m not a big fan of targets – they are a way of seeing how well we’re doing promoting the circular economy,” she said, adding that the landfill target is the key one in terms of reducing waste.
During the Council meeting, the Environment Ministers held a public discussion on the progress made by the Slovak Presidency on negotiations on the legislative proposals on waste.
The Presidency highlighted that a common understanding has been reached on issues such as by-products, early warning report, reporting and delegation of powers to the Commission. However, further clarifications are needed when it comes to definitions, calculation rules, end-of-waste criteria, economic instruments, EPR schemes and prevention of waste. The Council under the Maltese Presidency will further discuss exemptions, the overall level of ambition of the legally binding targets across the legislative package and how to take into account efforts on re-use.
During the Council meeting, the Minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change of Malta, Dr Jose Herrera presented Malta’s Presidency priorities at the Council of the European Union on environment in Brussels. Dr Herrera said that Malta would like to focus on initiatives that will promote a competitive, resource-efficient and low-carbon economy within the framework of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Regarding the Circular Economy agenda he said that Malta together with its counterparts will further advance the Circular Economy agenda by making substantial progress in negotiating proposals to amend six Waste Directives. Additionally, the Maltese Presidency plans on progressing on a number of other open as well as new files, including the amendment to the scope of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, the recast of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Regulation, the Fitness Check of the Birds and Habitats Directives, and the Environmental Implementation Review.
Last, but not least, Member States, together with the Commission, expressed their desire to swiftly reach the consensus on the outstanding issues under the Maltese Presidency so that the negotiations with the European Parliament can start as soon as possible.
The Communication mentions that the Commission will improve the methodological basis for a more systematic adoption of requirements related to material efficiency in product Regulations, both new and due for review.
To this end a standardisation request to the European Standardisation Organisations on material efficiency aspects has been adopted (2015). The scope of this request covers, primarily, the following aspects:
• Extending product lifetime
• Ability to re-use components or recycle materials from products at end-of-life
• Use of re-used components and/or recycled materials in product
The ongoing work on the Product Environmental Footprint is to also contribute to this objective.
This document was released together alongside the following pieces:
• Regulation on eco-design requirements for air heating and cooling products and chillers, Annexes 1-5
• Regulation on tolerances in verification procedures for all eco-design measures, Annexes 1-25
• Regulation on tolerances in verification procedures for all eco-labelling measures, Annexes 1-15
• Guidelines on eco-design self-regulation measures for industry, Annex
• [available soon] Impact assessment on the regulation on eco-design requirements for heating and cooling products and chillers
The Academies Science Advisory Council, which gathers national academies providing independent scientific advice to European policy-makers, launched two new reports on the circular economy:
"Priorities for critical materials for a circular economy" and "Indicators for a circular economy".
These reports serve as a contribution to the on-going discussion on what the European Union should be measuring to ensure progress towards the circular economy and how to address the shortage of "critical materials" in the future.
In its report on critical materials, EASAC offers potential approaches to analysing scarcity and identifying which elements are likely to be at risk of future scarcity. It looks at how to increase the supply of critical materials and how to improve recycling rates for these materials. In the report, EASAC supports the Commission’s proposal to strengthen EPR schemes to incorporate end-of-life costs into product prices and provide incentives for producers to take better into account recyclability and reusability when designing their products.
On indicators for the circular economy, EASAC has analysed the ways to assess progress towards the circular economy and will share its insights on the indicators that are most needed in Europe. China and Japan are analysed as case studies.
Ebbot Lundberg from The Soundtrack of Our Lives has recycled one of his earlier hits. The music video Passover recycled version no 1 feat. Club Killers is shown on You Tube and on the website www.latgammaltblinytt.nu.
We’re taking recycling to a whole new level by also recycling music. Ebbot Lundberg from The Soundtrack of Our Lives has recycled one of his earlier hits. The music video Passover recycled version no 1 feat. Club Killers is shown on You Tube and on the website www.latgammaltblinytt.nu.This campaign has already received a great deal of positive attention and has exceeded several of its targets – but more packaging must be collected to reach our targets for 2020.
Right now we are working hard along with producers, municipalities and property owners with the campaign that aims to inspire, inform and motivat households to increase their recycling. The campaign, which kicked off at the end of September, is already gaining a great deal of attention, on Facebook alone we have sofar had a hitrate of 3,700 000 viewings. Therefore, the campaign will continue in 2017.
>> See our music video the Passover (You Tube)
Slovaks do not produce a lot of waste – up to 321 kg per year, but only about 6 % (25 kg) goes for recycling. The new webpage www.triedime.sk can help to consider Slovaks´ attitude towards the environment.
If visitors want to know whether they belong to the group of eco-gods, eco-sapiens, eco-lazybones or even to eco-killers, they can go through a test mapping their ecological footprint.
Children love waste sorting. On this idea ENVI - PAK created an online “colouring book” that creatively connects the basic colour alphabet with motivating small children to sort waste. It is designed for desktops, tablets and other mobile devices. Forest animals teach little children that if the waste is sorted properly, it will please them and the nature as well. The information children gain at school will be passed to their parents and grandparents.
The online colouring book can be found here: http://www.triedime.sk/malovanka.
GreenPak Coop Society won first prize in the second edition of the Sustainable Enterprise Awards. The cooperative was awarded this prize for its popular and engaging ‘Nirriċikla għall-Istrina’ campaign.
Malta’s largest waste recovery scheme was presented with the coveted honour by the Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, Dr Chris Cardona. The Ministry together with Cleaner Technology Centre from the University of Malta are the main organisers.
Now in its 6th edition, ‘Nirriċikla għall-Istrina’, aims to collect funds for the annual l-Istrina charity telethon through gathering and recycling of plastic bottle caps. During the 2015 campaign, GreenPak recycled over 11.5 million caps which would have otherwise ended up in landfills. The plastic caps were collected from 138 schools and 36 other entities such as local councils, scout groups, band clubs and other organisations.
The Sustainable Enterprise Awards were developed in 2015 by the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business in collaboration with Cleaner Technology Centre at the University of Malta to promote the business community’s responsibility towards sustainability in the social community. The Awards reward Maltese enterprises, in particular micro, small and medium-sized enterprises for their efforts to change their practices with the aim of increasing economic, social and environmental sustainability. The winning enterprises are awarded prize money together with a trophy and a certificate. The Sustainable Enterprise Award will be holding its third edition in 2017.
Pakomak, in cooperation with Children's Drama Studio, which is part of the Macedonian National Theatre, is organizing education of the Primary school children about the importance of recycling through theater play.
With the awakening of children's imagination they will learn about sorting waste and long-term benefits that the community might feel from this activity.
For the beginning two shows are being played in two full halls with more than 1.200 children from primary schools, where everyone had fun and learned many new things.
The plan is to cover children from more than 10 biggest cities from the country. The content is very interesting, and the fact that involved children are actors as peers with the audience, plays an important role in the way that it was accepted. This is a very important part of the educational process of the young audience, and this long-term project will evolve from year to year.
Also for 2016 and 2017 Italy confirms a continuous improvement:
according to the estimates contained in the CONAI plan in 2016 is expected 12.6 million tonnes packaging put on the market with a recovery of 9.9 million tons of packaging waste (78.9%), of which 8.4 million tons sent to recycling (67.2%).
Estimates in 2017 provide 12.8 million tons put on the market with 10.2 million tonnes recovered (79.7%), of which 8.7 million tonnes due to recycling (68.1%).
The Consortia system is engaged in an effort increasing the development separate waste collection in the areas of the country still lagging behind. In 2016 is expected an amount of materials to be recycled for over 3.9 million tonnes (+ 3.9% compared to 2015) with a further increase in 2017 (+ 5.1% in one year), such as effects of CONAI and Consortia initiatives to support the development of separate collection especially in areas of the Center-South.
Green Dot Cyprus organized for second consecutive year the Environment & Recycling Festival in Limassol, the second largest city in Cyprus.
Environment & Recycling Festival in Limassol
Green Dot Cyprus organized for second consecutive year the Environment & Recycling Festival in Limassol, the second largest city in Cyprus. The Festival provided an informative, educational and entertaining experience to visitors, as it included more than 20 games and sports, 20 informative kiosks of various environmental and youth NGOs and a lot of music, dance and childrens’ shows. More than 6, 000 people visited the Festival this year.
Festival at a glance: http://www.greendot.com.cy/en/view-photos
10 Informative Videos for “Rethink” Campaign
Green Dot Cyprus created 10 informative, interesting, and funny videos for “Rethink” Campaign. In these videos the Organization gives practical ideas in a funny way on the principles of Reduction, Reuse and Recycling of waste. This Campaign is an awareness raising campaign for the Reduction, Reuse and Recycling of waste in Cyprus.
Videos at a glance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vk0MzD2SjL8
ÇEVKO Foundation, having contributed billions of Turkish Lira to the Turkish economy by promoting the recycling of millions of tons of packaging waste every year in collaboration with the industry, celebrated its 25th anniversary at a special night event.
Chairman of ÇEVKO Foundation, Mr Okyar Yayalar, General Manager of ÇEVKO Foundation, Mr Yaşar Nadir Atilla, and General Secretary, Mr Mete İmer and senior executives of the ÇEVKO Foundation along with our distinguished guests attended the event, which was held at the Caddebostan Cultural Center (CMK) on 14 November 2016.
The master of ceremonies at this special event was the celebrated news anchor Gülay Özdem and the guests indulged in nostalgia as they listened to the most popular songs from the last 25 years, specially arranged and performed by the “Cinema Symphony Orchestra” and lead singer Zuhal Olcay, under the lead of conductor Hakan Şensoy to celebrate the 25th anniversary of ÇEVKO .
Working relentlessly to achieve a sustainable recycling system for two and a half decades!
Mr Okyar Yayalar, Chairman of ÇEVKO Foundation, which has been working relentlessly for two and a half decades towards the goal of combating climate change that threatens our planet and raising awareness on recycling in the community in order to obtain environmental and economic benefits, presented a plaque as a token of our appreciation to Mr Fuat Kalyoncu, Cultural Director of the Kadıköy Municipality, which collaborated with our Foundation in multiple major projects.
At the 25th Anniversary event, highlights of some of the projects undertaken by ÇEVKO Foundation in the last quarter century were presented.
• ÇEVKO Foundation is not only involved in training camps and campaigns to promote environmental awareness and a recycling system (special plays for children, training the trainers, door-to-door briefing visits, events at shopping centers and outdoor events, public service movies, use of advertising signboards and Internet, social media posts, etc.), but also publishes periodicals and organizes national and international congresses and seminars to inform the public.
• ÇEVKO Foundation was assigned the status of an “Authorized Organization” by the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanization in 2005 to assume the recovery requirements for packaging waste of packed good manufacturers and today, it represents and fulfills the recycling requirements for 49 companies in the industry.
• Our journey started 25 years ago as a collaborative recycling effort with a handful of municipalities in Istanbul and today, ÇEVKO has instilled the recycling awareness to over 23 million people in collaboration with 161 municipalities and thus, has become one of the highest-ranking NGOs in the eyes of the consumers with regard to public recognition and appreciation in the last two and a half decades.
• Since 2003, ÇEVKO Foundation has been a member of the Green Dot System and represents the international “Green Dot” brand in Turkey and of Pro-Europe, along with its affiliations with the ISWA since 2010 and EXPRA, of which it is a founding member since 2013. Our Foundation has leveraged its affiliations with these leading professional organizations to transfer good practices and experiences to our country and managed to translate its recycling efforts into unique environmental and economic benefits.
Environmental and economic benefits!
Since its recognition as an authorized organization in 2005, ÇEVKO Foundation has significantly contributed to energy savings and preservation of natural resources by recovering 4.7 million tons of packaging waste and played a role in providing the following environmental and economic benefits:
• Trees: 32.5 million trees; equivalent to 160866 acres of forest land,
• Water savings: 50.6 million m3; equivalent to the annual water consumption of 760 thousand individuals,
• Power savings: 20.4 billion kWh; equivalent to the annual power consumption of 7.4 Million households,
• Storage area: 27.7 million m3; enough to fill 11 thousand Olympic-sized swimming pools,
• Fossil fuel: 942.6 million liters; enough to fill 21 million vehicles.
New President of Fost Plus & The sustainable management of household packaging in Belgium in numbers
Baudouin Van Eeckhout is the new president of Fost Plus
Baudouin Van Eeckhout is a civil engineer in construction and a graduate in economics from UCL. He has more than twenty years of experience in retailing. He is currently Honorary Vice President of Delhaize Group where he also served as Vice President Technical & Indirect Procurement - Europe and Technical Director (Delhaize Le Lion). On the occasion of his designation, Mr Van Eeckhout stated: "I accepted this mission with pride because I have always felt that the very pragmatic approach of Fost Plus has proved its efficiency by placing a country as complex as Belgium on the world podium in Recycling. "
Sustainable management of household packaging in Belgium in numbers
On the occasion of the European Week of Waste Reduction, Fost Plus takes stock of the contribution to the sustainable development of the Belgian recycling system for packaging, which is at the heart of its mission.
The choices made by packaging managers, public authorities and operators make it possible to place Belgium among the best performing countries in Europe in this field and are also beneficial for the environment.
These results are possible thanks to the active participation of citizens, who sort their packaging waste according the instructions and the sustained efforts of the companies involved. In addition to funding the system, it should be noted that the obliged industry plays an active role also in the development of eco-designed packaging and in recycling.
Given the very high quality of sorted waste sent for recycling, end-of-life packaging should not be considered as a waste, but as a "secondary" raw material. The Fost Plus approach is therefore fully in line with the circular economy, which aims to use resources in a more sustainable way. Indeed, the reuse and recycling of a maximum of materials have a positive impact on the environment: less waste, lower energy consumption, less CO2 emissions, etc.
The few indicators listed in the graphic bellow, summarize the contribution of the Belgian management of household packaging for sustainable development.
Québec is tackling the challenges of glass recycling with major investments and a plan driven by green economy principles
A true first in North America, the Innovative Glass Works Plan set out by Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) puts forward a practical solution for 100% of the glass collected through curbside recycling in Québec.
This fall, ÉEQ revealed the names of the five centres that will test cutting-edge glass cleaning and sorting equipment in conditions that are specific to the Québec context. Ten market studies are also underway to determine the potential of different outlet initiatives for the glass collected from co-mingling bins.
The Innovative Glass Works Plan is funded with €4.8 M contributed by the companies that market containers, packaging and printed matter in Québec and which finance municipal curbside recycling services.
For more information, go to www.ecoentreprises.qc.ca/glass
The first-of-its-kind facility in Bulgaria, sorting glass waste by color, upgraded thanks to a BGN 2.5 million investment by ECOPACK Bulgaria, has the capacity to process 100 tons of glass packaging per day.
The Ravno Pole facility was officially opened on 11 November 2016 in the presence of Ivelina Vassileva, Minister of the Environment and Water, Yordanka Fandukova, Mayor of Sofia Municipality and Svetoslav Atanasov, CEO of Coca-Cola HBC and Chair of the Board of Directors of Ecopack Bulgaria. Minister Vassileva stressed the benefits for the environment from this investment and more notably, reduced amount of glass packaging waste going to landfills,
reduced use of natural resources in the production of new packaging, saved electricity and harmful emissions.
The investment in new technologies has doubled the capacity of the facility and has reduced by half the level of contaminants in the ready raw material. It guarantees higher quality and allows automated color sorting of the glass. “This is good news for the recycling plants in Bulgaria, as well as for the manufacturers of products sold in glass containers – they will receive cleaner raw material and hence, higher-quality packaging,” said Todor Bourgoudjiev, Executive Director of ECOPACK Bulgaria, further stressing that “the effective management of the separate waste collection system allows investing in modern technologies”.
The upgraded facility has the capacity to sort half of all the glass packaging put in circulation on the Bulgarian market.
Such an investment was also necessitated by the established higher quality standards for glass cullet to be classified as a secondary raw material. Furthermore, in the past three years, ECOPACK Bulgaria clients have reported an overall 30% increase in glass packaging as set against only 15% increase in all other types of packaging in circulation. Last but not least, the EC Circular Economy Package proposes increasing glass recycling targets to 75% by 2025 (the current target is 60%).
Already September is over and the work has started with full speed again. During the summer we already began to study the proposed amendments by the ITRE Committee of the European Parliament which, together with the amendments tabled by the ENVI Committee now are over 2000.
Obviously this is a challenge also for the MEPS, their advisors and assistants as the voting in the ENVI Committee has been postponed from November to January 2017.
The forthcoming discussions in Parliament and Council about the new waste legislation of course will continue to be a priority for all major stakeholders in the forthcoming challenging months and possibly years. Based on the vast experience and expertise of its members, EXPRA will continue to provide relevant information to stakeholders on technical matters related to packaging waste management like for example, the measurement point of recycling.
Still, alongside with the CEP, a major event for all waste management professionals was the ISWA 2016 World Congress that took place in Novi Sad, Serbia from 19 to 21 September. EXPRA played an important role during the Congress: chairing Sessions on Good Governance and on EPR, delivering presentations during the Deposit Session and the Session on Communication and Behavioural change.
During the Session on EPR, the updated OECD Guidance on Extended Producer Responsibility for Efficient Waste Management was officially launched. This report updates the 2001 Guidance Manual for Governments on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), and looks at some of the new design and implementation challenges and opportunities of EPR policies, takes into account recent efforts undertaken by governments to better assess the cost and environmental effectiveness of EPR and its overall impact on the market, and addresses some of the specific issues in emerging market economies.
For the first time as part of the formal program of the ISWA Congress, Sessions on Informal Sector were included where also EXPRA had a major role. As the informal valuable waste collection is rapidly developing in Europe and has a major impact on the waste management sector, EXPRA EPR Working group has developed a position paper and a project for estimating the impact of the informal sector activities on the EPR systems.
Wishing a good start into the busy autumn season,
Enjoy your reading!
With EU waste legislation currently under discussion in the Parliament and Council, EXPRA is calling on European policymakers to safeguard the primary role Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) has to play in transitioning towards a circular economy.
It should be acknowledged that producers and the organisations implementing EPR on their behalf perform general interest services by contributing to environmental protection, economic efficiency and social responsibility. Respectively, their non-profit character should be recognised within legislation.
EXPRA strongly welcomes the inclusion of common, general requirements for EPR schemes within the revised Waste Framework Directive (WFD). These should be maintained under the Waste Framework Directive, and tailored to the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive so as to ensure efficient and effective EPR systems which beneficially serve society.
The Alliance recalls that each stakeholder can only be made financially responsible for the costs falling under their remit. In this respect their costs need to be clearly spelt-out and properly demarcated. Furthermore companies are neither the main littering source nor have extended responsibility over it. As litter clean-up is directly linked to consumer misbehaviour, it should therefore be dealt with as a waste preventive measure for which all stakeholders share responsibility.
The debate surrounding the circular economy has also highlighted the issue of how best to calculate waste which is actually recycled. EXPRA research suggests that recycled waste should in fact be measured at the gate of the recycling plant to the recycling plant coupled with quality standards for waste materials. This will allow for quality recycling alongside reliable and feasible monitoring. Of major importance is that course Reliable data should be at the core of new waste target levels, which should be justified and technically feasible.
If appropriately developed and implemented, this revised waste legislation could prove a unique opportunity for Europe to achieve its transition to a fully circular economy – conserving our precious natural resources, creating jobs, and generating growth for years to come.
The ISWA World Congress, the leading event in the field of waste management, brought together over 1300 participants from 72 countries in Novi Sad. EXPRA played an important role during this year’s Congress
as EXPRA MD - Joachim Quoden chaired 2 workshops on good governance and on EPR, spoke during the deposit session, EXPRA Regulatory & PA Manager - Monika Romenska presented best practices on communication and Alphan Eroztürk, Governmental and External Affairs Manager of CEVKO and chair of EXPRA EPR Implementation Working Group presented EXPRA common position during the informal sector Round Table.
Good governance Session:
EXPRA MD chaired a session in which the procedure to come up with good legislation in the waste sector was presented and discussed. Peter Börkey, OECD presented the procedure that was used to develop the resource efficiency guidelines of the OECD, Julius Langendorff, EC, DG Environment presented how the European Commission involved all stakeholders to develop the Circular Economy Package proposal and Peter Eek from Estonia and Ms Dulce Passaro, former Minister for Environment from Portugal, presented how this is done in their countries.
3 key note speakers (Peter Börkey, OECD, Julius Langendorff, EC, DG Environment and Carlos Silva from the Brazilian Waste Management Association presented the status of EPR in their country respective in their organization) started this session which was moderated by EXPRA’s MD Joachim Quoden. During the session were presented: the motivation of the EC to come up with the general requirements for EPR, the status of a Brazilian framework law on reverse logistics which is a very similar idea as EPR. During the updated EPR guidelines of the OECD were officialy launched. It was agreed by all panelists that minimum requirements for EPR are necessary to make any EPR system a success, especially in the case of several service providers, a clearing house or central agency is strongly needed.
Informal Sector Session
In the session participated representatives of NGOs, informal recyclers and waste collectors, EPR Organizations and consultancy companies. During the sessions the relations between the waste collectors/recyclers, local authorities, WMC and Producer Responsibility Organisations as well as some best practices and solution of current problems were discussed. The situation regarding the informal sector in Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo as well as some international examples on integration of Informal Recycling Sector in Brazil, South Africa and Colombia were presented.
Mr. Alphan Eröztürk, CEVKO presented the situation in Turkey and the practical solutions found: the street collectors can work as «individual collectors» in cooperation with WMCs and also showed some estimations on the impact (financial and material losses) of the IS on the operation of EPR systems in the Balkan region. He underlined that all stakeholders should work towards the legalization of the informal sector, as illegal operation is not an option.
Communicating Circular Economy, Communication and behavioral change Session
The session focused on how communication can play a major role in changing people’s behavior, and how different stakeholders can be used to make a difference. The session included presentations on: successful projects on waste management in social media, resource management and the role of communication in reputation management.
The best practices in awareness raising campaigns on promoting separate collection from EXPRA members: Belgium, Israel, Malta, Bulgaria and Turkey were also presented and highly appreciated by the participants. The presented practices demonstrated the wide variety of approaches and means used by EXPRA members not only to create and maintain environmentally friendly behavior, but also to support charity campaigns and social inclusion.
This report updates the 2001 Guidance Manual for Governments on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which provided a broad overview of the key issues, general considerations, and the potential benefits and costs associated with producer responsibility
for managing the waste generated by their products put on the market. Since then, EPR policies to help improve recycling and reduce landfilling have been widely adopted in most OECD countries; product coverage has been expanded in key sectors such as packaging, electronics, batteries and vehicles; and EPR schemes are spreading in emerging economies in Asia, Africa and South America, making it relevant to address the differing policy contexts in developing countries.
In light of all of the changes in the broader global context, this updated review of the guidelines looks at some of the new design and implementation challenges and opportunities of EPR policies, takes into account recent efforts undertaken by governments to better assess the cost and environmental effectiveness of EPR and its overall impact on the market, and addresses some of the specific issues in emerging market economies.
The Update to EPR Guidance was officially lounched during the ISWA Congress (19-21 September) Novi Sad, Serbia
The waste review package amends the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC, Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 96/62/EC, Landfill Directive 1999/31/EC as well as Directives 2000/53/EC on Endof-life Vehicles, 2006/66/EC on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and 2012/19/EU on Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators.
The package is the legislative arm of the Circular Economy Action Plan. 1693 amendments were tabled in addition to 274 amendments by the Rapporteur in the four draft reports, which were discussed in Committee on 15-16 June 2016.
Waste Framework Directive
1149 amendments were tabled. Various amendments aim at clarifying the definitions and strengthen the application of the waste hierarchy. Some members proposed to introduce a specific waste hierarchy for food waste. Amendments also touch on the new provisions proposed on by-products and end-of-waste criteria.
Many members tabled amendments on the calculation method and the targets for the municipal waste recycling with varying numbers as well as proposed to add new targets on preparation for re-use, recycling of construction and demolition waste, targets for waste intended for incineration and a specific target for the recycling of biowaste and of waste oils. Members also replaced the automatic derogation from the targets with a mechanism based on performance of countries applying for it. Several amendments concern waste prevention and extended producer responsibility schemes.
Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste
327 amendments were tabled. The majority of amendments focus on the calculation method and the general targets for packaging waste and for specific packaging materials. Amendments were also tabled to strengthen the life-cycle approach and the application of the waste hierarchy. Promotion of bio-based packaging, multiple-use packaging and recycled packaging materials was also proposed as well as mandatory minimum recycled content.
Members also suggested specific measures for return and collection schemes and proposed to modify the essential requirements for packaging, including the specific Annex, to align them with the waste hierarchy. EPR is also addressed in the amendments.
Directive on landfill of waste
135 amendments were tabled, focusing on new targets for the reduction and phase-out of landfilling, Member State specific exemptions from these targets, Member State and Commission reporting obligations, and on acceptance criteria for waste to be landfilled.
Directives on End-of-life Vehicles - Batteries and accumulators – Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
82 amendments were tabled, focusing on the proper treatment of WEEE, and on the harmonisation of reporting obligations and statistical data in all three directives. Rapporteur: Bonafé, (S&D) Shadows: Florenz (EPP), Demesmaeker (ECR), Torvalds (ALDE), Abaun z (GUE/NGL), Pedicini (EFDD), Škrlec (Greens/EFA), Jalkh (ENF)
Environmental taxes can contribute to a healthier planet and healthier people. They also spur jobs and growth, are easy to administer and difficult to evade.
However, meeting EU climate and other environmental policy targets will erode the existing base for these sort of taxes. This and other systemic factors have implications for the design of future tax systems in Europe, according to an EEA report published today.
The report, ‘Environmental taxation and EU environmental policies’ gives an overview of market-based instruments (MBIs), such as taxes, recycling fees, polluter-pays schemes or emissions trading permits, created under EU environmental legislation. It also analyses the current design and application of environmental taxes in EEA member countries and considers future prospects.
The report stresses the value that environmental taxes play in decoupling pollution and resource use from economic development. For example, in Sweden, GDP has grown by 58% between 1990 and 2013 since the introduction of a carbon dioxide tax that contributed to a 23% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions over the same period.
The report, stemming from a public consultation on the functioning of waste markets in the EU, looks at the main obstacles and regulatory failures impacting waste markets in the EU, and provides recommendations on how to address them.
The stakeholders in question include EXPRA, the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), CEWEP, European Battery Recycling Association (EBRA), EuRIC, Eurometaux, FEAD, Municipal Waste Europe, PRO-Europe, RReuse, and WEEE Forum.
Obstacles and regulatory failures across the EU occur despite the fact that the EU waste shipment regulation (WSR) contains provisions for free movement of waste destined for recovery within the EU. The obstacles identified include differing definitions of ‘waste’ across the Member States, different classification approaches to hazardous and non-hazardous waste, as well as the diverging application of end-of-waste criteria. Non-harmonisation of EPR schemes was also singled out as one of the key obstacles, alongside insufficient capacities for waste treatment, lack of EU-wide enforcement of waste legislation and some specific rules contained in the EU’s WSR.
Among its recommendations, the report proposes actions at both EU and national levels. Overall, the analysis produced 54 recommendations. In particular, the first recommendation on a Schengen area for recycling and recovery addresses the administrative burden created by the WSR. Such a zone should ensure free movement of waste for recovery and recycling to environmentally sound facilities, accompanied by strict controls at its borders. According to the authors of the report, this would address most of the identified market distortions, and necessitates changes to the waste shipment regulation (specifically Article 3) in order to abolish the notification requirements for waste for recovery and recycling in the EU. All currently notifiable waste, e.g. hazardous, unlisted and mixed municipal waste, should be included in the zone. To do so, the report highlights the need to first tackle issues related to traceability, ESM, safeguards in exceptional circumstances, as well as considering the broader context of international requirements.
„Pakomak“ won a first prize on traditional urban competition „Days of Spring - Days of ecology“ as greenest company with the 3D interactive training project for students and teachers „3D Ekobus“.
The project aimed at raising eco-awareness of students and promoting recycling among the younger generation, as a global mission.
Through an interactive 3D training lecture, screening of a 3D film and interactive game-test more than 49,000 children were able to learn more about the importance of sorting and recycling of waste, exchanging eco-messages conveyed thoughtful Pakomak eco-heroes.
The interesting and interactive program for children took place within the Eco bus that visited all primary schools in Skopje and a significant part of other local communities in the provinces in Macedonia.
Social responsibility for Pakomak is a business imperative, seen as a strategic long-term goal, with the ultimate aim of improving the overall quality of life.
According to data published in the final balance and General Programme of prevention and management of packaging and packaging waste, in 2015 a total of more than 9.000.000 tons of packaging waste were recovered, constituting 78,6% of the total packaging placed for consumption.
8.200.000 tons of used packaging have been recycled – nearly half of it being directly managed by CONAI and Consortium system – thereby making up 66,9% of packaging placed on the market in 2015.
Quantities of packaging waste sent for recycling has been quadrupled in the last twenty years, the urban waste sent for recycling grew from 900 thousand tons in 1998 to 4.2 million in 2015.
As in the past, the result meets and exceeds the goal established by the European Union and national regulations. 3 out of 4 packages today are retrieved, in 1998 were 1 of 3.
Green Dot Cyprus has recently developed and launch the interactive game 'Recycling Mania'.
The interactive game 'Recycling Mania'.
The main purpose of the game is to educate the public and especially young people on the proper sorting of their packaging. The game takes advantage of new technologies with motion detection to make sorting options interactive and therefore interesting for the e-generation. The game combines a similar application for household battery recycling.
“ReCYcling CY”: Αn app for Recycling
The ‘Green Dot Cyprus’ free mobile guide (for tablets and mobile phones) has recently been upgraded and renamed to “ReCycling Cy”. It has become a more comprehensive recycling guide with information not only for packaging recycling, but also for household batteries and WEEE. The application is available for free from the Windows Phone Store, Apple Store and Google Play Store.
The Eco Labyrinth is a unique innovative educational instrument with which in an entertaining and memorable way children acquire new knowledge about beverage cartons and their recyclability.
The event is taking place at the central town square on Saturday or Sunday. In order to enter the labyrinth each child, with or without a parent, should provide “entrance fee” – one UBC. In each chamber in the labyrinth there are two gates each of them covered with curtain with a question and an answer one of them right, the other – wrong. The right answers lead the way out of the labyrinth, the wrong answers – to a dead end. Upon exiting the child receives a present.
All questions are related to UBC. On the walls of the dead end chambers there are posters with the right answer and some additional information on the respective issue.
The labyrinth (which is inflatable, i.e. easy to deploy and transport) is the central attraction in the event. There are also a plastic recycling workshop and UBC recycling presentation.
3 367 children from 90 schools passed through the labyrinth and more than 4 000 UBC were collected during the events in 8 Bulgarian cities in the period September – October 2015.
• First Place, Green Communications and Urban Environment category, PR Priz, Bulgarian Public Relations Society, Sofia 2016.
Over the past decades, the amount of solid waste in Malta has grown alongside the growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This linkage needs to be broken and the quantities of waste generated by increased commercial activity needs to be decoupled from the growth in GDP.
The ‘Sustainable Practices Award’ introduced during GreenPak Annual Awards 2016 ceremony, promotes this forward-looking concept. Birkirkara won this new award having registered the most sustainable waste practices for 2015. The quantity of waste collected from Birkirkara in the black bags decreased by an impressive 37%. At the same time, waste packaging recycling in this locality increased to 45kg per capita last year. This was announced by GreenPak’s Coop Society CEO Ing Mario Schembri during GreenPak’s Annual Awards ceremony, held at the Garden of Serenity in Santa Lucia.
The prestigious award for ‘Best Overall Performance’ was presented to the community of Sliema. This award is presented to the community that registers the highest amount of waste recyclables collected. In 2015, Sliema registered a 65% increase in the collections of recyclable waste. Mosta won the ‘Most Responsive Community Award’ for registering a sustained increase of 30% recycling following a two-month educational campaign run by GreenPak in January 2015.
The Ħal Balzan Local Council scooped the ‘Most Supportive Locality’ award for the Council’s continued commitment in mobilizing its residential and business community to recycle more.
The ‘Most Glass Collected Award’ went to the community of Żurrieq.
In 2015, the environmental NGO Nature Trust Malta and GreenPak led a campaign to promote the protection of Malta’s wildlife through the recycling of used clothes. In recognition to this collaboration, Mr. Vince Attrad, CEO of Nature Trust, presented a special award to Qrendi Local Council after its residents were judged to have participated mostly in the used clothes campaign in aid of Nature Trust’s Wildlife Rescue Unit.
Besides receiving the trophy and certificate of achievement, the winning local councils were presented with the prize money of €1,000 to support ongoing environmental projects within their respective locality for the benefit of its residents.
The project is implemented by GreenPak Malta in cooperation with the local council and the Cleansing Department and aims to take effective action against inhabitants who dump illegally waste
(bags full of rubbish, metal bed-frames, construction debris and even animal carcasses) next to the recycling bins, this littering the area.
With the help of the installed CCTV cameras at two of the eight bring-in sites in Żebbuġ, and the support from the police, the perpetrators were identified. As a result at least 50 people are expected to be taken to court in October after being caught on camera committing over 100 illegal dumping-related offences at Żebbuġ bring-in sites in a span of 10 weeks. The project was developed after numerous complaints about the abuse were sent by the inhabitants to GreenPak Malta.
Europe is now in turmoil, after the Brexit became a reality on 24 June…We will see in the coming months and years its impact both on the United Kingdom and the European Union, of course spreading over all sectors, including the waste management one.
While trying to gasp all consequences and uncertainties we are of course aware that this could deviate the attention of the EU institutions from the topic of major importance to us: the Circular Economy Package and especially the proposed waste legislation. Of course as this legislation will govern and regulate our day to day work in the next 15 years and beyond, EXPRA like all major stakeholders in Brussels, is focusing its efforts in presenting and defending our position and proposals, especially in regards to the European Parliament where the two reports on the Waste directives, namely the Bonafe report from the ENVI Committee and the Poche report from the ITRE Committee are being discussed. Of course in this process we are relying on networking and joining forces with like minded associations in order to provide for a sound and realistic legal framework which will contribute in practice for a genuine Circular economy and best performing EPR systems.
As an Alliance representing non-profit packaging waste recovery and recycling organizations, owned and run by the obliged industry, we will continue to support stronger EPR provisions enabling a level playing field for the various actors involved, including explicit roles and responsibilities for key players within the supply chain. Based on the vast practical experience of our members coming from 23 Countries, including 17 Member states, we will also continue to promote our proposals for measuring the recycling objectively and fairly, ensuring recycling quality guaranteed by respective standards.
We are also happy to present our updated Brochure with information for all our 25 members and share best practices and recent interesting news from our members.
Wishing you a good start into the summer, although it looks again that it will be quite busy for all of us.
Enjoy your reading!
The updated EXPRA Membership Brochure provides information on EXPRA’s principles and values, its structure and activities.
EXPRA currently embraces 25 members from 23 countries. These include 17 EU Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Israel, Macedonia, Norway and Turkey. Every year, our members, on behalf of the obliged industry, recover and recycle over 19 million tons of packaging, and provide over 200 million inhabitants with packaging collection, sorting and recycling infrastructure. The Brochure also provides updated key facts and figures for 2014 relating to members’ activities as well as EPR best practice.
On 20 June 2016, the Environment Council held a public debate on the Circular Economy Action Plan. The plan aims to reduce waste and keep the value of products, materials and resources in the economy for as long as possible. The conclusions support this aim and demonstrate commitment to this transition towards a more sustainable model, for instance by cutting resource use, boosting recycling and better managing waste. You can read the conclusions here.
During the debate, the Commissioner for Environment and Maritime Affairs, Karmenu Vella, briefly introduced the Action Plan, noting that some of the measures listed in the document are already being dealt with by the Commission, European Parliament and Council (such as the Fertilisers Regulation, the Green Public Procurement and the legislative proposals on waste). Eco-design, a strategy on plastics and the creation of a functioning secondary raw materials market were mentioned as immediate upcoming challenges for policy-makers. The Commissioner welcomed the fact that the work on the legislative proposals on waste will be one of the Slovak Presidency's priorities.
The Ministers welcomed the Action Plan and complimented the Netherlands Presidency on their work on finding a compromise on the conclusions text. The public debate was short and concise as key elements of the Action Plan were already discussed in detail at previous Council meetings.
On 15 June, the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee met to consider the draft reports on the waste legislative proposals by the Rapporteur Simona Bonafe (S&D, IT).
The draft report on the proposal for a Directive amending Directive 2008/98/EC contains 165 amendments. Inter alia the proposed amendments include:
• Increase of the recycling target for 2030 to 70% and keeping only one method for calculating the attainment of the recycling targets based on input into final recycling (re-use excluded);
• Introduction of a new recycling target for bio-waste of 65% by 2025, to be preceded by obligatory separate collection of bio-waste as of 2020;
• In addition, wood and textiles should also be separately collected. In the future, the Commission should examine the possibility of setting up preparing for re-use and recycling targets for commercial and industrial waste to be met by 2025 and 2030.
• The rapporteur enhanced the transparency of EPR schemes and the oversight as regards the implementation of the minimum requirements for EPR as well as introduced an obligation for Member States to ensure that any producer has extended responsibility and that EPR schemes are established at least for packaging, WEEE and batteries and accumulators. She also proposed a number of provisions as regards prevention with the aim of reducing overall waste generation as well as of food waste and land-based marine litter in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
The draft report on the proposal for Directive amending Directive 94/62/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste contains 63 amendments. The rapporteur proposed to increase overall targets for recycling of packaging waste to 70% in 2025 and to 80% in 2030 as well as to increase targets for material streams. The attainment of these targets should be calculated using one method based on input into final recycling. Re-use of packaging cannot be calculated as recycling but should be subject to new reuse targets: 5% by 2025 and 10% by 2030. Amendments also introduce obligation on the Commission to present proposals to strengthen enforcement, in particular for measures concerning non-recyclable packaging, packaging with hazardous substances, single-use packaging and excess packaging. Member States should take measures to encourage the use of bio-based packaging.
On Tuesday 14 June 2016 the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee held a consideration of draft opinions on the legislative proposals on waste.
Mr Poche (S&D) worked on the Amending Directive 2008/98/EC on waste. He contributed 70 amendments, that range from the introduction of a clearer definition of municipal waste and a definition for extended producer responsibility, to the proposal that the Commission shall consider the possibility of setting separate recycling targets for inert non-hazardous commercial and industrial waste by 2025 (at least for paper, metal, and bio-waste). He also suggests that by 2030, the preparing for re-use and the recycling of municipal waste shall be increased to a minimum of 70% by weight, instead of the current 65% proposed by the Commission.
Mr Ferreira (GUE) is responsible for the "packaging and packaging waste" file and has introduced 15 amendments. These include the need to recognise the different starting positions in each of the Member States with regard to the targets that are being set. As different levels of effort will be required to achieve these goals by Member States, the possibility of the Union to support Member States in making the necessary investments should be considered. The draft opinion also calls on Member States to include in their national prevention initiatives environmental awareness-raising activities aimed at the general public and the integration of environmental education activities in school curricula.
Communication has a key role in supporting the implementation of environmental legislation, spurring public participation and can help foster environment-friendly behaviours to build a sustainable future. The European Environment Agency (EEA) study published on 14 June 2016 explores how communication can support legal and economic policy tools.
The EEA report "Communication, environment and behaviour",acknowledges that integrating communication in environmental policy processes could improve implementation of legislation and ultimately contribute to facilitating a transition to a resource-efficient, green economy. Used alongside other policy tools, communication can prove to be a very effective — and in many cases, cost-efficient — policy tool.
The study, which draws on communication experiences and best practices used by the network of communicators in environmental protection agencies across Europe, explores the role of communication in environmental policy, identifies emerging tools and approaches to communicate policy messages, and looks at recent research in behavioural science to assess how it can assist in communicating environmental policies. The study also includes a set of recommendations on how public policy communication can be improved for more effective results on the ground.
You can find the publication here.
„The Greenest Companies in Bulgaria" is a national competition, the emblem of responsible business in the country, which evaluates the greenest companies operating in Bulgaria.
Small and big companies showed and proved that they are making changes to their environment indicators and develop their business in a responsible way for the environment. The study is unique for Bulgaria, taking into account the achievement of 'green' targets and corporate strategies. Every year in 13 categories, companies from all sectors of the economy in Bulgaria present their "green" policies and messages.
ECOPACK Bulgaria Ltd won the "Green Oscar" I-st place in the category "Recycling industry, waste management."
Bulgarian Society for Public Relations also awards ECOPACK BULGARIA in the category "Green communications and urban environments" of the annual competition PR PRIZ- 1st place for the campaign "Ekolabirint" and the 2nd place for " Become an eco hero, learn all at home to collect separately! "
Under the current Swedish regulation dated 1th of November 2014, the recycling targets for producers in Sweden will be raised from 2020.
We therefor reinforced the work whitin our 5-point program and also conducted a campaign to highlight the impact of the Government’s recycling targets on your customers, the producers in Sweden. The 5-point program has been adopted by the Board of FTI as our roadmap for meeting the new and raised recycling objectives. We monthly present reports on our website regarding developments within the framework of the program. We hope to reach more people in order to make our work transparent.
Our information about the 5-point program is in Swedish only but if you have any questions you are welcome to contact our CEO Kent Carlsson.
In an effort to secure quality of life for all, Pakomak initiates simple measures that result with lasting improvements, efficiencie and sustainable benefits for society. One of those initiatives is the eco-school project "Clean environment, clean school, clean hands", which runs from September, 2012, continuing every following year
Over 43,500 pupils from 66 primary schools were collecting plastic bottles through the year in exchange for liquid soap for the needs of the schools and learned about the selection of packaging waste, the time of decomposition of materials in nature, energy efficiency and renewable energy in order to realize the benefits of proper behavior with packaging waste.
In the school year 2014/2015, students collected 1.500.000 PET bottles or 37.400 kilograms of plastic packaging. This huge quantity of packaging waste indicates that they understand the challenges of today's life and learn how to cause minimum possible impact on the environment and nature.
Green Dot Cyprus is one of the main partners of the European Life+ Program “Rethink – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, that aims to promote waste reduction, reuse and recycling in Cyprus, through an awareness raising campaign.
The program started ιn June 2014, it will finish ιn April 2017 with a total budget close to 2 million euros. Besides our Organization, the other project partners are, the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, the Cyprus News Agency, the Department of the Environment, the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute and Fost Plus Belgium.
The main objective of the program is to raise awareness and inform the public, as well as targeted audiences, through TV and radio campaigns and documentaries, social media, printed press, festivals, workshops and guides for best practices for the 3Rs. You can visit the program’s website: www.rethink.com.cy and the pages on Facebook: liferethink and youtube: Rethink Campaign for more information.
For the second consecutive year, Ecoembes organized a market for products made from recycled materials
Presentation of Ecoembes’ results for 2015
For the second consecutive year, Ecoembes organized a market for products made from recycled materials
Santa Barbara Palace in Madrid was the place chosen to organise the market. More than 2.000 visitors had the opportunity to experience the latest trends in decor, jewelry or fashion from an exclusive selection of brands committed to the environment. Visitors also enjoyed workshops for all audiences: from building recycled instruments to making homemade soap as well as tasting beers... Undoubtedly the best way to discover the recycling world and its opportunities!
Ecoembes results presentation
On 17 May, on World Recycling Day, Ecoembes presented the household packaging figures for Spain in 2015 to the media, announcing that Spaniards recycled 1,300,339 tons of packaging, up 3.3% from 2014, representing 74.8% of the containers managed by Ecoembes. This achievement was possible thanks to the commitment demonstrated by citizens and the efforts made by both governments and companies, which combined to reduce our impact on the environment by preventing the release of 1.2 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere – equivalent to removing 25.88% of Madrid's cars from the road.
A total of 29 journalists attended, including professionals from the leading Spanish media outlets operating nationwide and specializing in economic issues. Ecoembes took advantage of the press conference to also divulge its positions about packaging deposits, refunds and returns
Over 90 primary students were invited to join the international eco-conserving community and celebrate World Oceans Day at the Malta National Aquarium.
The students were welcomed by Prof. Alan Deidun, a marine biologist and resident academic at the University of Malta, who introduced them to the citizen science campaign ‘Spot the Jellyfish’. The students learnt about the phenomenon of jellyfish blooms in Malta and how marine litter affects the Maltese marine environment.
A craft-making workshop was organised, whereby the students were invited to create marine species rendition by using an assortment of plastic and other non-organic material waste. Her Excellency the Acting President of Malta, Dolores Cristina, presented a memento of participation to each student, whilst the best three displays were given a special gift each.
The World Oceans Day activity was supported by GreenPak Coop Society as part of its ongoing education and awareness programmes.
More information can be found here
On 16 June this year, Fost Plus received the Lean and Green Award for its five-year plan, which aims to reduce the CO2 emissions of the logistics activities it coordinates and supports by 20% by the year 2020.
The Lean and Green Award is presented by the Vlaams Instituut voor de Logistiek/Flemish Logistics Institute (VIL) to companies that take concrete steps to reduce the environmental footprint of their transport and logistics activities. Seventy-four companies in Belgium can now pride themselves on having won this major environmental award.
To obtain this recognition, Fost Plus drew up a detailed action plan based largely on the close cooperation it has established with its operating partners (intermunicipalities and garbage collection companies), since it is through these players that many of the planned actions will be undertaken.The actions focused on four main axes:
- Optimisation of collection methods: optimisation of collection routes, skip fill levels and collection frequencies.
- Eco-friendly driving and technological progress: incentive to modernise fleets of lorries on the roads (engine that meets the most stringent environmental standards, use of alternative fuel, etc.) and support for eco-friendly driving courses for drivers.
- Night collection and alternative transport: where justified, promoting collection in the evening and at night; feasibility study on increased use of transport by train and by water.
- Communicating, inspiring, educating: increasing awareness among all partners of the importance of a sustainable approach to collection and transport, at the same time showing them how they can contribute to this and spread best practices.
Fost Plus is also planning to develop a website on which the operating partners would be able to calculate their CO2 emissions per round, per fraction collected or per type of lorry.
The Environmentalist Cat Çevki meets up with his audience with a new Play
ÇEVKO Foundation General Assembly Held
The Environmentalist Cat Çevki meets his audience with a new Play
Çevki is performing his new play for his young audience, in which Earth and Water - our affable characters from our books are also taking part. In the play, which was written and directed by Fulya Şirin, a little boy called Fire, who is a bit naughty, and his lovable cat become environmentalists with the efforts of Çevki, Earth and Water.
The play has been performed since May, and during this time it was shown fifteen times and watched by 6350 students. Our play, called “Recycling Will Do Good” will continue to meet up with students when the next, 2016/2017 academic year starts.
ÇEVKO Foundation General Assembly Held
The 25th Regular General Assembly of ÇEVKO Foundation was held on 13th May at Green Park Pendik Hotel. ÇEVKO Foundation is renowned for works such as protecting the environment, contributing to social development and economy by improving a sustainable recovery system on behalf of the leadership of industry in Turkey.
The meeting began with the election of the members of the Presidential Board. The Board Annual Report was presented by Mete İmer, General Secretary of ÇEVKO Foundation.
In the second sitting of the meeting, the balance sheet, income and expense accounts, and the audit report dating up to 31st December 2015 were presented to the Board; also permanent and alternate members for the Board of Directors and Supervisory Board were elected.
The 25th Regular General Assembly of ÇEVKO Foundation ended with a photo sesion for all members.
I believe that the extremely busy working start of this year, almost immediately after the holidays, will mark the whole 2016. After the publication of the Circular Economy Package in December 2015 by the EC, the focus now is on the European Parliament and the Council, which will finally define the legal framework to govern our activities in the next 15 years.
The work in both EU institutions has already started in full speed. Member States already discussed within the Environment and the Competitiveness Councils the Circular Economy Action Plan and the CE Package was presented by EC representatives in the EP ENVI and ITTRE Committees, which already had announced the names of the rapporteurs and shadow-rapporteurs for legislative proposals on waste.
Of course we in EXPRA, like all major stakeholders are preparing and fine tuning our positions regarding the new Circular Economy package and especially, of course on the revised Waste Directives. Again like all stakeholders we believe that transition to a circular economy is needed and it is needed very soon. We further truly believe that EPR is a major tool in this process and we are happy to share our vast experience of over 20 years and to partner with the EU institutions and other stakeholders in a bid to enable a genuine circular economy and best performing EPR systems.
I am happy to state that now EXPRA is positioned as the thought leader in EPR matters and the hub for know-how and information around all technical matters like statistics, measuring and reporting. We had again a prominent role in one of the most important forums for the packaging waste sector - Packaging Waste & Sustainability Forum 2016, 1-3 March, where I had the honor to chair the special seminar dedicated to the Extended Producer Responsibility, The EPR Toolkit Seminar. We were well represented during the two days of the forum as well: our President and members of the Board of Directors participated in the different panels. The broad spread of participants from across the packaging value chain, the European Commission and NGO community, the engaging presentations and debates all contributed to making the event a success.
Enjoy your reading!
The Managing Director of EXPRA chaired the 2016 edition of the EPR Toolkit seminar which was organized by Informa Agra alongside the Packaging Waste & Sustainability Forum with a strong involvement of EXPRA on content and speakers. It was attended by over 50 participants, mainly representatives of packaging recovery organizations, business organizations and others.
The focus of the event was on the proposed Minimum requirements for EPR in the New Circular Economy package. Mr. Julius Langendorff, Deputy Head of the Waste Management and Recycling Unit, EC informed briefly the participants about the ideas and intentions of the Commission when developing the Waste legislative proposal.
In his statement MEP Davor Škrlec (Greens/EFA) noted that further work on the definitions of EPR and EPR Organization is needed as this might cause misinterpretation by the MS and other stakeholders and added that these and other topics should be further discussed between the EP and the MS. He underlined that the need of reliable and comparable EU statistics is of major importance.
The major topics of the discussions in the 2 following panels were: the proposed transparency of EPR Scheme(s) with regards to its ownership and membership, the financial contributions paid by the producers and the selection procedure for waste management operators (Art 8a.3 (d)) and the proposed cost coverage of the waste management for the products put on the market by the obliged industry (Art.8a. 4).
In the lively debate on transparency different points of view were presented ranging from stating that compliance is a normal business so that transparency with regard to costs, ownership, scope, fees etc would not be necessary (Reclay) and underlining that the public mission and the importance of transparency to ensure credibility and reliability by EXPRA representatives. Similar was the debate on the cost coverage, with widely ranging opinions.
During the second half of the Workshop the participants discussed the situation in countries, where the EPR systems are based on competition between PROs. The discussion was focused on whether the proposed Minimum requirements help to to guarantee fair competition and will make possible to compare different EPR systems in EU.
Mr. Peter Borkey, Senior Economist, OECD, presented an overview of the key elements of the updated guidance (based on the 2001 OECD guidance on EPR) that focuses on four areas: governance, competition, design-for-environment incentives, and the role of the informal sector.
Mr. Matthias Klein of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety presented The Planned German "Wertstoffgesetz", involving extension of EPR to Non-Packaging Household Waste from Plastics and Metals.
In total, the 1 day seminar was a very lively event with a lot of discussion and interaction between the panellists and also with the audience
Alongside the Informa Agra Packaging Waste & Sustainability Forum, EXPRA organized its traditional annual reception, attended by over 50 participants from all relevant stakeholders including many representatives from packaging recovery organizations including several non EXPRA members.
MEP Davor Škrlec, shadow-rapporteur of the Greens, gave the key note speech during the reception, highlighting that the European society has to move to a circular economy and that EPR plays a crucial role on this way. He endorsed the efforts of EXPRA to spread know how and expertise based on the 20 year experience of its members.
In the next two days the presentations and panel discussions dealt with the proposed revision of the Waste Framework and Packaging Directive and the resulting need to change the entire economic model & philosophy. The Forum this year was attended by around 100 participants.
In his key note speech, Mr. Daniel Calleja Crespo, the European Commission focused on the new Circular Economy Package and the key actions to be carried out under the current Commission. Among the issues discussed were the current and future actions of stakeholders along the supply chain, aiming to reduce packaging waste levels and bring about greater sustainability achievements. The improvement of the packaging design, functionality and marketing was also discussed.
Delegates had the opportunity to hear the positions of the European Commission, MEPs and Councils Presidency regarding the proposed new targets in the Waste Legislative proposals, further improvement of the separate collection systems, how to improve the quality of reported data, etc.
Inter alia, Paul Christiaens from the EXPRA Dutch member Nedvang presented the findings on the reliability of the data that the member states are reporting to EUROSTAT and which are the basis for the European Commission to justify the new proposed targets. He demonstrated very clearly that many of the data are questionable and would minimum need further explanation and that there is a great need to first harmonize the reporting of all member states to understand where the 28 member states of the European Union will start to reach the newly proposed very ambitious targets.
EXPRA developed an EPR leaflet which describes Extended Producer Responsibility in an easy and understandable way, with practical examples of the functioning/organization of the different systems. This is of course a living document that will be further updated and improved.
During its meeting on 16 March, the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) held an exchange of views with Commission Vice-President for Growth and Jobs Katainen on, among others, the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan. This debate will feed into the decision-making process whether the ENVI Committee is going to work on an own-initiative report on the Circular Economy Action Plan
Mr Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, focused on the fact that theEU is already a global leader in green technologies. In order to become more innovative the Commission makes Structural Funds and different financing streams available to prospective investors. On the monitoring and reporting, the Commission Vice-President claimed that the Commission is already working with Eurostat in order to improve the quality of collected data.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) welcomed the Circular Economy Action Plan. However, Josu Juaristi Abaunz (GUE/NGL, ES), Shadow-rapporteur on the legislative proposals on waste, claimed that the Commission proposal could be more ambitious.
The priorities of the ENVI Committee members include also reduction of marine litter, including micro-plastics and food waste. Some MEPs were inquiring about a possibility to introduce financial incentives, such as tax reductions or product price reductions for investors in order to facilitate transition towards the circular economy.
Timeline for the ENVI Committee work on the legislative proposals on waste:
On Friday 4 March 2016, the Environment Council held a public debate on the Circular Economy Action Plan. Member States’ statements focused on three questions prepared by the Netherlands Presidency. Delegations were asked to identify which actions proposed by the Commission should be prioritised, what measures could be taken by Member States to promote the transition to a circular economy and to present what type of governance should be set up, in addition to the announced monitoring framework.
The debate was opened by the Netherlands Presidency who explained that the outcome of both the discussions of the Competitiveness Council on Monday 29 February 2016 and Environment Ministers will feed into the work on the Environment Council Conclusions on the Action Plan. The document is to be adopted in June 2016.
Afterwards, Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment and Maritime Affairs, briefly introduced the Action Plan, noting that all Member States need to make efforts to enable the transition to a circular economy. The latter embraces targeted green investments and new business models that will be supported by a stable policy framework.
Ministers welcomed the Action Plan. Member States tend to agree that its focus should be placed on developing a secondary raw materials market, encouraging eco-design measures and ensuring the use of the Green Public Procurement.
When it comes to the legislative proposals on waste, Eastern European countries would like these to be awarded a greater policy flexibility to achieve the targets. Luxembourg would like to focus on plastic waste reduction, while Sweden and France would like to prioritise marine litter reduction and phase out microplastics used by the cosmetics industry. Some countries, including Sweden and Finland, highlighted that the waste legislation should not contradict other policies such as the chemicals legislation. There was also agreement on the need to fight food waste. Action on EPR schemes should be taken at the EU level, according to France.
Member States would be willing to increase exchange of best practices and take initiatives aimed at raising citizens’ awareness. They stressed importance of additional fiscal and economic incentives to support the industry to transition to a circular economy.
On the governance model, ministers asked for new indicators and benchmarks to be development in order to monitor the progress that was made. The results could be a part of the European Semester or be regularly reported and discussed by the Environment Council. However, it was stressed that this should be done without creating any further administrative burden on Member States.
On 16 March 2016, Antti Ilmari Peltomaki, Deputy Director General, DG GROW, European Commission, presented the Circular Economy Package in the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). It was the first time when members of the Committee had a change to exchange views on the Circular Economy Package (CEP).
The debate was opened by Antti Ilmari Peltomaki, Deputy Director General, DG GROW, European Commission, who presented the CEP. He explained that the legislative proposals on waste set out ambitious and achievable targets which are to improve waste management in Europe. The Commission will make sure that the proposed instruments are implemented across the EU in a coherent way. In addition, the Commission would like to facilitate the use of bio-based products through the Green Public Procurement. Eco-design will be used as a tool to focus on properties of specific products.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) welcomed the CEP by highlighting that the circular economy creates new business opportunities for the European industry. A creation of a single market of the secondary raw materials and establishment of appropriate standards for these seem to be priorities of the ITRE Committee.
There were concerns raised by some MEPs about the lack of clarity on definitions, calculation methodologies and statistics used by the Commission to set targets. The issue of whether the level of targets is ambitious enough was discussed.
In addition, MEPs would like the Commission to propose financial incentives for the industry to encourage investments in innovative and outline available European funds which can be used to support investments in the circular economy.
THE INNOVATIVE GLASS WORKS PLAN
Last January, Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) launched the Innovative Glass Works Plan, a concrete solution for recycling 100% of glass in Quebec.
Thanks to its Innovative Glass Works Plan, Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) is introducing a concrete solution to recycle 100% of glass in Quebec. A total of $6.7 million will be invested in the first three parts of the plan to modernize sorting centres and support the development of new market outlets for recycled glass.
Following a rigorous two-year initiative and the input of external experts, ÉEQ established a strategic Quebec-Great Britain partnership between equipment manufacturer Machinex and Krysteline Technologies to make the Innovative Glass Works Plan a reality. The field demonstration segment launched last January drew the interest of 80% of sorting centres. The second part consisting in financial support for the marketing of new applications for recovered glass will begin on March 15, 2016.
For more information, go to: www.ecoentreprises.qc.ca/glass
PAKOMAK WITH A NEW, EXTENDED LICENCE
Pakomakis a leading waste management company in Macedonia and the only one that has achieved the national goals in four consecutive years.
The Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning assessed Pakomak’s application positively and extended our waste management license for the next 5 years. This is a result of all the activities that Pakomak has done over the years on infrastructure level (donations of containers and bins for selective waste collection) and for the numerous campaigns that the company has started to raise the public awareness about the importance of waste recycling.
More than 800 companies and 16 municipalities of Republic of Macedonia are part of the waste management system of Pakomak and together we have collected over 49.000 tons of packaging waste. The company this year received a national award for socially responsible practices by the Ministry of Economy.
ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS TO PROMOTE RECYCLING
Green Dot Cyprus organized for 5th consecutive year the Environmental Awards Ceremony. The aim of these awards is to promote and encourage initiatives that protect the environment and improve the quality of life in Cyprus, by recognizing people, institutions and organizations that are environmental pioneers. The winners were jointly selected with votes of the public and an Evaluation Committee. In total, 10 Awards and 2 honorary recognitions were awarded.
To promote packaging recycling at pubs and restaurants, we joined the 11th Time Out Eating Awards. We established a special Award to recognize the facility with the most active participation in recycling in 2015. Time Out Eating Awards is the most prestigious food industry awards in Cyprus, recognizing every year the best restaurants in Cyprus. With our initiative to join the Awards; we want to encourage the catering industry to excel in recycling as well.
THE FIGHT AGAINST LITTER: READY, SET, GO!
In order to tackle the litter problem, of which packaging unfortunately is part of, Fost Plus has elaborated an ambitious litter plan in 2015. This plan aims at changing the citizen’s behaviour and attitude.
As it happens, littering is first and foremost a behavioural, and not a product-related problem. At the same time, the plan is also an efficient alternative to a deposit return system, which is being presented as a miracle solution for the litter problem, both in Flanders and Wallonia. The official launch of the concretization of the packaging business companies’ involvement in the struggle against litter in Flanders and Wallonia, was given with the signature of the agreement with the respective ministers end of January
There is a total annual budget of about 17 million euros available to finance the plan. This significant amount of funding is invested by the members of Fost Plus. It is however the intention to possibly have other sectors, of which products are also found in public spaces, to contribute in the short term both financially and participatory to this plan.
The elaboration of concrete actions for the coming years, as well as the discussions about the cooperation modalities between the public and private sector to solve this problem in an efficient manner, are in a final stage.
A NEW PROJECT FOR THE DIVERSIFICATION OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONTRIBUTION FOR PLASTIC PACKAGING
CONAI announces the launch of the Environmental Contribution diversification project for plastic packaging. A fundamental step, since 18 years since the establishment of the Consortium, who sees the overcoming of the unique Environmental Contribution for the same packing material, rewarding the efforts of companies for the eco-designed packaging with environmental and sustainable features.
The new Environmental Contribution will be modulated on the basis of three criteria: easy selection after the collection, recycling capability - assessed on the basis of available industrial technologies - and the target circuit (domestic or trade / industry).
To get to this important milestone were analyzed about 60 types of plastic packaging, and then classified into three categories to which correspond different values of the Environmental Contribution: will enjoy lower charges the easier to recycle packaging and will pay higher charges the "difficult” to recycle packages.
The implementation of the project will accrue presumably within 12 months after the necessary testing period for the companies.
THE GREENEST MUNICIPALITY 2015 COMPETITION
ECOPACK Bulgaria organized a competition for municipalities to launch a broad consultation, promote responsible green behavior and create conditions for sound and sustainable waste recovery.
The first edition of the Greenest Municipality competition brought together 24 partner municipalities of ECOPACK from across the country. The goal was to award the best eco projects, as well as to encourage active green policies on the part of the municipalities, to improve the efficiency of the systems for separate waste collection, and to inform and educate the public about its uses and benefits. The prizes provided by ECOPACK Bulgaria will finance green and sustainable projects of social importance in each municipality.
Plovdiv and Peshtera Municipalities won the Greenest Municipality of 2015 Award in the competition, respectively in the categories of large and medium-size municipality. The prizes of 25 000 BGN (Plovdiv) and 15 000 BGN (Peshtera) will finance projects for the development of systems for separate collection of waste in both municipalities. In 2016 was launched the new edition of "The Greenest Municipality":
ÇEVKO FOUNDATION BOTH ACHIEVED ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS AND HELPED TURKEY GAIN ALMOST TRY 1.9 BILLION THROUGH ITS ACTIVITIES IN RECYCLING IN ITS 25TH YEAR!
Engaged in activities to develop a sustainable recovery system in Turkey under the leadership of the industry for environmental protection, social development and economic contribution for the last 25 years, the ÇEVKO foundation achieved significant environmental and economic benefits for our country in 2015 as well.
Reaching a population of nearly 24 million this year through a cooperation with 154 municipalities and 62 licensed companies, the ÇEVKO Foundation increased the amount of packaging waste collected thanks to the support it provided in bins, containers, recycling boxes for interior use, and separation bags to improve separate collection at the source. While environmental resources were conserved as a result of the recovery of these wastes, the country’s economy, too, gained TRY 1,855,000,000 thanks to the savings achieved in energy and resource consumption.
ÇEVKO Foundation will continue working in support of a green world!
Secretary General of the ÇEVKO Foundation Mr. Mete İmer said it was technically and economically possible to recover all packaging waste made of glass, metal, plastic, paper-cardboard, composites and wood many times, and summarized the extent of the environmental and economic benefits they delivered in 2015 by way of their recovery activities as follows:
“As a result of the recovery activities we carried out in 2015, we contributed TRY 1,855,000,000 to our country, factoring in both the saved fossil fuel, water and energy, and the economic value of recycled materials as well as a reduction in landfill costs. It is quite possible to further increase this figure by ensuring the society acquires the habit of separating at the source, and by establishing a culture of recycling – provided that we see and safeguard these benefits. For instance, recycled plastic packaging waste can be used to manufacture fiber-containing textiles, wastewater pipes, furniture byproducts, vinyl flooring and other materials, which results in lower costs in terms of oil and energy used compared to their production using original raw materials. Recovering all packaging waste not only prevents environmental pollution, but also contributes significantly to the saving of original raw material, energy and water, and helps to lower greenhouse gas emissions. At the ÇEVKO Foundation, which has been safeguarding these benefits for 25 years, we will maintain our activities in 2016 with the aim of contributing to our country environmentally and economically through recycling, and of supporting a green world.”
The environmental benefits of ÇEVKO’s recovery activities in 2015:
The total environmental and economic savings achieved thanks to the activities of the ÇEVKO Foundation in 2015 is given in the following table.
SUMMARY OF 2015 YEAR-END SAVINGS IN NATURAL RESOURCES,
ENERGY AND LANDFILL SPACE
20,000 acres of forestland
liters savings in gas
Equal to gas savings of 2.8 million fuel tanks
Annual water consumption of nearly 100,000 people
Almost 36-day water requirement of the Turkish province of Aydin
m3 landfill space
Landfill space savings equal to 1,367 Olympic-size swimming pools
thousand kWh of energy savings*
Energy use of 893,000 households in a year
10% of annual residential energy consumption in Turkey
tons of CO2-equivalent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
Equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions generated by an airplane circumnavigating the globe 13,700 times
TOTAL SAVINGS = TRY 1,855,000,000
Another year, full of challenges, difficult moments but also luckily sometimes great results is near its end. It was a year of crucial importance for EXPRA and its members as the discussions about the new CEP evolved and finally the proposal of the European Commission, that will mark our work for the next 15 years and beyond, was published.
But then we could say that the whole year worldwide/globally was the Year of Sustainability: In September, in New York, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was announced, aiming to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets of the Agenda are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. Then on 12 December, a historic agreement to combat climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future was agreed by 195 nations at the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21). The Paris Agreement for the first time brought all nations into a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities, namely to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
And I am happy to say that with our work we significantly contribute to the preservation of natural resources. And this is not only work, but also our mission as all of us believe in what we do: save resources and care for the environment, without making a profit out of it.
At European level, almost one year after withdrawing the Circular Economy package, the Commission kept its promise and published the new Circular Economy package on 2 December. As you know, EXPRA actively participated in the process as one of the key stakeholders and I think that we can see a lot of positive proposals, especially concerning the Extended Producer Responsibility in it, that are also based on our common efforts and input. Still there is a lot of work ahead for EXPRA members, and especially for our Working Groups, which will further assess the waste legislative proposal and of course provide EC, EP and Council experts with accurate and detailed data, further share our experience and generally continue to be useful partners in the entire process.
With the forthcoming co-decision procedure, I can assure you that EXPRA will remain actively involved in the discussions and we will continue to share our thorough knowledge and experience in end-of-life management of packaging with the European Institutions and other major stakeholders.
And last but not least I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Enjoy your reading!
The autumn EXPRA General Assembly took place in Brussels on 26 November. As in this period Brussels was in the highest security alert - 4, around 10 members of EXPRA and several guests joined the meeting in person and several others joined by phone.
During the formal part of the General Assembly the budget and the membership fees for 2016 were approved as well as the membership applications from SLOPAK (Slovenia) and EKOPAK Bosnia. EXPRA represents now 25 Packaging Recovery Organizations from 23 countries, including 17 EU Member States.
During the public part of the General Assembly meeting guest speakers joined like Julio Garcia Burguez (DG Envi), Said El Khadraoui, European Political Strategy Centre, EC and Marc Giraud from EucoLight. We also had the pleasure to welcome several guests from obliged industry like Mustan Lalani from Tetra Pak, Andrew Fisk from P&G as well as Virginia Janssens and Francois Paquet from EUROPEN. As the new Circilar Economy package was expected in the beginning of December, the Commission representatives were not able to disclose any details about the proposal for a revised WFD and PPWD; nevertheless, it was possible to have an interesting discussion covering the elements of the new CE proposal, the objectives and the vision of the Commission as well as the rationale behind the package. In his presentation Mr. Marc Giraud presented EucoLight, new association, comprising European WEEE compliance schemes specialized in managing the collection and recycling of WEEE lighting. The Association has very similar believes as EXPRA and supports EXPRA key messages and proposals for amendments
The Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance (EXPRA) extends its reach into the Balkans:Two new members, SLOPAK Slovenia and EKOPAK Bosnia and Herzegovina, join the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Network
During its General Assembly meeting, EXPRA, the umbrella organisation for packaging and packaging waste recovery and recycling systems which are owned by the obligated industry and work on a non-profit basis, welcomed two new members - SLOPAK from Slovenia and EKOPAK from Bosnia and Herzegovina, thereby extending its presence in the Balkans.
The Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance (EXPRA) welcomes the European Commission’s acknowledgement that Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes form an essential part of an efficient waste management process, and their potential could be put to use as long as the right framework is applied.
Given that EPR is implemented in a variety of ways across the bloc, the proposed common requirements for EPR are likely to ensure a level-playing field for producers, Producer Responsibility Organisations (PROs) and other actors in the waste management chain. EXPRA, however, demands that these criteria are enhanced, in particular as concerns the roles and responsibilities of the various EPR players, and formalised in the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD), which is the key Directive for the packaging sector. This would facilitate the functioning of EPR within this specific waste stream, that involves a high number of companies from various industry sectors and requires a dense waste management infrastructure.
The Circular Economy Package will be a key environmental dossier for the Dutch Presidency. The Netherlands has announced that they will prioritise the discussions on this Package within the Environment and the Competitiveness Council. Their challenge will be to shape a legislative text that strikes the right balance between the environmental and industrial dimensions.
With regards to the process, the internal debate will kick off immediately by addressing the technical matters upfront. In so doing, the Presidency expects to hold working group meetings every three weeks. Some sources have moreover hinted that a number of technical meetings between experts, rather than attachés, could take place in-between these working group gatherings. This would help to accelerate progress around the technical details.
On 16 December, the Environmental Council held a Public Debate on the Circular Economy Package. Following a brief presentation by European Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella, nine Member States (Italy, Cyprus, Germany, Poland, Romania, France, UK, Belgium, Sweden) took the floor, providing their first impressions.
Overall, Environment ministers believe that the Commission’s updated Package is an improvement on its predecessor. Most of them moreover underlined the importance of integrating Circular Economy elements into the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Several ministers particularly welcomed the fact that the new proposal makes different demands of different member states depending on their circumstances, particularly their current recycling rates.
On 21 December, the ENVI Committee held an EoV with Commissioner Vella on the Circular Economy Package replacing the one presented last year, during which the various items of legislation in the Commission’s proposal were debated.
In the beginning of the month, during plenary debate, the MEPs generally welcomed the draft rules, but nevertheless criticized those on waste recycling, reducing food waste and landfill for aiming too low.
Commissioner Vella presented briefly the Package, noting that the Commission aimed to be realistic in its ambition and that it wanted to achieve real results, fine tuned to the economic circumstances in Member States, and not just put aspirations that look nice on paper. He added that the Commission also proposes an ambitious and comprehensive framework that comes in the shape of an action plan, defining areas that need to be addressed and covering the full lifecycle of products. He also informed MEPs that the Commission is currently testing an environmental footprint methodology that could be used in the future to better measure and to better inform the public on the environmental performance of products.
There were mixed responses from Members of the European Parliament (MEPs): they appreciated the proposal as including the whole circle, but many again criticized the reduced targets and lack of concrete legislative action on food waste and resource efficiency while others questioned whether the new CEP was ambitious enough.
EPP MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz, noted that he does not think that the package is more ambitions. He added that it is broader, but thus there are more loopholes built in. He said “It is regrettable that the ecological and economic effects which should be brought in by the circular economy are not made clear here. The industry is worried that this is a cost instrument but we have to make it clear that that this is an economic and ecological instrument which will ultimately help companies make more money.”
S&D MEP Simona Bonafè, responsible for the waste package in the European Parliament, noted that the Commission kept its promise to deliver the package before the end of the year. She added “there is a more balanced and holistic approach, the idea is that the CE is not only an environmental policy, it is also an economic policy that covers all stakeholders”. Among the areas that need further attention she pointed out the lack of specific targets on prevention, tackling food waste, making separate collection of waste mandatory and with clear deadlines.
ALDE MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy joined his colleagues noting that the proposal did not meet all expectations. Still he noted that there are points that are better like the definition of extended producer responsibility. He urged the Commission to come with much stronger legislative part of the action plan, which should be also much more concrete.
The European Environmental Agency (EEA) published their second review entitled ‘Waste prevention in Europe – the status in 2014’. The report provides a review of 27 national and regional waste prevention programmes in 24 countries which were implemented until the end of 2014.
All of the reviewed programmes look into different sectors (including household and public services) and waste types such as food/organic waste, municipal/household waste, electrical equipment, packaging waste and hazardous waste.
While the report concludes that the actual effectiveness of these waste prevention programmes cannot yet be assessed, it highlights the following:
Repak is a not for profit company set up by Irish business and owned by its members. Our mission is to deliver on behalf of our members, the best environmentally sustainable packaging recovery compliance scheme for Ireland.
Repak member fees have remained fixed at 2008 levels, and are intended to remain so up to December 2018. A fee rebate scheme for members commenced in January 2015. Early developments in this programme were very positive, with a strong take up by member companies. The programme is expected to return an estimated €1m to members in 2015 who comply with payment and statistical return deadlines.
Repak's recovery and recycling performance was also strong for the year. Repak members supported the recovery of 812,046 tonnes of packaging waste in 2014, up 14% from 712,054 tonnes in 2013. This was achieved at a cost of €20.279m, better than budget by €103k. Ireland’s overall recovery and recycling rates for 2014, based on EPA estimated figures, will be of the order of 95% and 71% respectively. These rates are well ahead of our approval targets and will maintain Ireland’s position as one of the top performers in Europe for packaging recovery and recycling.
Repak is confident it will achieve all packaging waste targets as set out in the Circular Economy Package issued by the EU Commission. The only material of concern is plastic, the current recycling rate is 40% and the 2025 target is 55%. Repak is taking measures to ensure that this target is met.
CLEAN SITE SYSTEM :AN INNOVATIVE SOLUTION FOR PLASTIC PACKAGING WASTE ON BUILDING SITES
Managing plastic packaging waste on building sites is often difficult. Waste should be correctly sorted, collected and removed in collection bags. There is an innovative solution to solve this problem, a solution which is also economical and environmentally friendly : Clean Site System.
This initiative was launched by VAL-I-PAC several years ago.
HOW DOES THE SYSTEM WORK?
Building contractors can buy Clean Site System collection bags from their building materials wholesaler for € 1,65/each (400 litre bags). Each bag can contain approximately 15 kilos of plastic packaging waste. They can fill the bags with the plastic packaging waste on their building sites (film, covers, bags etc.). Afterwards the filled bags can be dropped at one of the participating wholesalers, free of charge.
EVERYONE’S A WINNER!
What are the advantages of the system ?
A cleaner and more professional building site gives a good impression to clients and architects. It is also a way to combine work with safety as plastic waste on building sites is often cause of accidents. A clean, well-organised site improves safety. And increased safety means improved quality and efficiency.
As we know, plastic waste is bulky and hard to condense. It takes up unnecessary space in mixed containers. By collecting his plastic packaging waste, the building contractor no longer wastes time at container terminals and pays lower charges for his containers.
Last but not least, Clean Site System is a way to protect the environment : the collected plastic is recycled and used as a raw material to make other products.
To sum up, for a very attractive price Clean Site System offers a practical solution for plastic packaging waste on construction sites, making the building site cleaner and safer. At the same time, cutting costs, saving time and protecting the environment.
Last year, 1.800 ton plastic waste was recycled and more than 143.000 Clean Site bags were sold. Since the launch of this project in 2005, almost 250 wholesalers are now participating in the system and 11.200 ton of plastic packaging waste entered into recycling.
Do not leave plastic packaging waste on building sites.
More information : 02/456.83.10 - www.cleansitesystem.be
Pakomak, together with some of the coffee bars and restaurants in Skopje, started the project „Аre you recyclINg?“. The employees in these eco locations are collecting their glass packaging waste that Pakomak then takes it to the recycling facilities.
The project started with 15 popular coffee bars and restaurants and only after two years it has more than 100. In every one of them, Pakomak has placed interesting eco branding in order to raise the public awareness about the importance of the separate waste collection and recycling.
More than 33 tons of glass packaging waste is collected every month from these eco locations in Skopje. The goal of the project is to include as many bars and restaurants as possible and together with all of them - to create a positive environmental impact on the city in which we all live.
In 2015, our Organization focused specifically on achieving the glass recycling targets and thus promoted glass recycling through among others the following actions
The videos of the competition can be found here
Currently the collection of light packaging in Belgium is organized around the blue PMD bag for Plastic bottles and flasks, Metal cans and Drinks cartons.
Six pilot projects that will involve 120 000 inhabitants will start in early 2016. They are designed to test the new collection scenarios to see if it is possible to recycle plastic packagings other than bottles. These projects reflect the shared will of Fost Plus and the public authorities to increase the rate of recycling of plastic packaging waste in Belgium.
For the municipalities taking part in these innovative projects this will involve the replacement of the blue PMD bag with a purple P+MD bag that could also be used for rigid plastic packaging such as tubs, punnets and pots, and sometimes, according to the collection scenario, even for flexible plastic packaging, i.e., foils, bags and sachets.
After their completion, these projects will be thoroughly assessed in order to determine whether the purple P+MD bag might be extended throughout the whole of Belgium in the short or medium term.
CONAI announced the winning companies of the second edition of "Award for innovation and sustainable packaging – 2015 edition”, which rewards the most innovative and sustainable packaging solutions of italian companies.
CONAI announced the winning companies of the second edition of "Award for innovation and sustainable packaging – 2015 edition”, which rewards the most innovative and sustainable packaging solutions of italian companies.
56 projects admitted - on 91 and 38 cases presented winners from 39 companies. The 56 cases admitted have achieved an actual reduction of the environmental impact of packaging of 49% in CO2 emissions, the saving in energy consumption of 50%, and reducing water consumption by 51% . The sectors concerned by the actions of prevention are many, with greater incidence of food industries, detergents and personal care, and also electric and electronics and handling. Best practice concerning the six packaging materials: steel, aluminum, paper, wood, plastic and glass.
Packaging eco-design and prevention actions made by companies are: reuse, save raw materials, optimization of logistics, facilitation of recycling activities, use of materials from recycling, simplification of the system packaging and optimization of production processes.
The Rinki eco take-back point network is almost complete in Finland. It will be a substantial and successful network once ready. All of the 1,850 take-back points as defined in the packaging decree will be completed and finished during 2016.
The cost of the full producer responsibility will be clarified as the operations begin. We have invested in consumer advice in order to get well-sorted and clean material to the Rinki eco take-back points, so that the recycling process will go according to plan.
The rise of the recycling fee highlights the need to involve all organisations with producer responsibility obligations in Rinki's operations. We conducted a survey and found out that around 120,000 tonnes of packaging waste do not appear in the statistics. Around EUR 3.5 million that should be paid to the producer responsibility system remain uncollected. All Rinki member organisations should ensure that their partners are dealing with their producer responsibility obligations properly.
This year is a jubilee year for EKO KOM - the system for recycling of packaging waste in the Czech Republic. Within these 15 years, the system achieved the aimed goals in the amount of the sorted waste, collection bins and the number of people who are willing to sort their waste - 72% of Czech citizens actively sort the waste and 75% of all packages in the EKO-KOM system are recycled.
More than 253,000 recycling bins are available across the country for people to sort their waste. Each collection point serves an average of 141 people, which is an excellent results by EU standards. In other countries, one collection point serves hundreds or even thousands of people. The growing density of the recycling network also decreases the average distance people have to go to get to the nearest recycling bins. This distance has been cut in half over the last decade, and has now dropped below the magic number of 100 meters. More importantly, the closer people have their recycling bins, the more they recycle!
It is already September and the work has started with full speed again. Of course during the summer we did not slow our speed too much, while preparing the contributions for the public consultations started by the European Commission.
The first one, on Circular Economy, collected over 1400 stakeholders’ views on the main policy options for developing the ambitious new approach on the Circular Economy. The other EC consultation of importance to our sector was the Public Consultation on the Functioning of Waste Markets in the European Union. Its objective was to gain a better understanding of the exact nature and extent of regulatory failures causing distortions to EU waste markets for recycling and recovery. As the Commission is processing the received information, we look forward to see the final result: the new action plan to be published at the end of the year.
A major event for all waste management professionals was the ISWA 2015 World Congress that took place in Antwerp from 7 to 9 September. The motto of the Congress was “Let's make the most of our resources and waste!”and I am happy to say that EXPRA was actively involved, inter alia chairing a special EPR session.
EXPRA was also one of the stakeholders that joined a meeting on Informal waste collectors, organized in parallel with the ISWA Congress. The informal valuable waste collection is rapidly developing in Europe and has a major impact on the waste management sector. This fact has been acknowledged by ISWA and during the next 2016 Congress in Novi Sad, one full day of the event will be dedicated to this topic.
I believe that until the end of the year and even after our attention will be fully focused on EC and the new Circular Economy proposal. Already 20 European associations, members of the Packaging Chain Forum developed an updated joint statement on the legislative proposal part of the Circular Economy package, giving a cross industry message to the European Commission and to other stakeholders.
Needless to say, EXPRA and its 23 member Organizations will continue to be actively involved in shaping the developments around the new Circular Economy package.
Wishing a good start into the busy autumn season,
Enjoy your reading!
Following the issue paper on EPR which was developed by the ISWA Working Group on governance and legal issues, the working group organized a special session about EPR during the ISWA World Congress. The special session concentrated on the question how to organize competition if a government has decided to grant accreditations to several Packaging Recovery Organizations.
The session was chaired by EXPRA’s Managing Director Joachim Quoden. Mr. Mathieu Hestin, from BIO by Deloitte presented the conclusions from the study commissioned by the EC, noting that EPR paves the way to resource efficient economy and that in cases of several PROs operating in one country, there is a need for centralized system or mechanism that should allocate the responsibilities among the stakeholders. Mr. Peter Börkey from OECD presented the current work regarding the updating of the 2001 OECD EPR Guidelines and noted inter alia that when there is a competition among PROs, a very strong regulation is needed. Mr. Christoph Scharff, ARA and Mr. Fritz Flanderka, RECLAY presented the current situations, the expectations and experiences regarding centralized organization/clearing house in Austria and Germany. Mr. Alphan Eröztürk, CEVKO and Chair of the EXPRA EPR Implementation WG presented the position of EXPRA, that is strongly supporting the introduction of a clearing house respective a dedicated central organization in case of competing PROs.
The panelists and the participants in the session discussed different issues, including whether competition on the PRO level is relevant or it should be at the WM operational level. As a conclusion it was agreed that the functioning of several PRO’s add complexity to the EPR system and therefore more control and enforcement of legislation by the government is needed. Moreover, all agreed that a central organization is absolutely necessary as it should ensure a level playing field and that that all PRO’s follow the same rules and have the same responsibilities.
In parallel with the ISWA 2015 Congress in Antwerp a meeting of European Informal Recyclers was organized by Springloop Cooperative U.A., NWMC and DTI. In the meeting participated 25 representatives of NGOs, informal recyclers and waste collectors and consultancy companies.
EXPRA participated in the meeting where were discussed the relations between the waste collectors/recyclers, local authorities, WMC and Producer Responsibility Organisations. Related social issues were also presented by the representative of Italian informal waste collectors. It is still not fully clear, especially for the informal waste collectors what is legal and what is illegal. Representatives of the French association of waste pickers, Ameloir, the only member from Europe of the Global Alliance of Waste pickers, presented the problems their members have with local authorities and the police. They believe that the authorities should offer an alternative for earning of their living as well as affordable training in other skills.
The chair of EXPRA EPR Implementation Working group Mr. Alphan Eröztürk presented the situation in Turkey, concerning the development of relevant waste management legislation (since 1991) as well as the changes in line with EU legislation introduced in 2005 and 2007. Pursuant to these changes all informal waste collectors should be licensed (not as individuals but as companies) in order to continue to work legally. He informed the participants that it is estimated that in Turkey operate 70-75 000 waste collectors (30 000 in Istanbul) and noted that efforts should be made to integrate them in the formal system. He underlined that solutions should be discussed with and not for them. CEVKO is working in this direction with the help of NGOs and has organized several meetings with informal waste collectors, local authorities and NGOs.
During the meeting different project under implementation were presented, including a comprehensive waste monitoring and benchmarking system that is currently being tested in Colombia.
As the issues related to informal waste collectors are becoming more important, the topic will be a part of the next ISWA Congress 2016 in Novi Sad, where a full day meeting and discussion will be organized.
EXPRA has been invited by the European Commission to participate in their newly founded packaging working group. The goal of this working group (WG) is to provide guidance on packaging related modelling and data issues in the running Environmental Footprint pilot phase.
EXPRA has been invited by the European Commission to participate in their newly founded packaging working group. The goal of this working group (WG) is to provide guidance on packaging related modelling and data issues in the running Environmental Footprint pilot phase. The first meeting took place on September 9 in Brussels. The main topic of the meeting was to discuss and approve the mandate of this working group. Around 20 people mainly from all packaging material associations but also from EUROPEN participated in this meeting.
The goal of the Crosscutting Packaging Working Group (PWG) is to provide guidance on packaging related modelling and data issues in the running Environmental Footprint pilot phase. In particular, the WG will propose requirements to be implemented in the final PEFCRs/OEFSRs and, to the extent possible, to be tested by the pilots in the supporting studies. It will ensure material neutrality1 in all activities of PWG and avoid discrimination of packaging materials or systems.
The following tasks of the WG are foreseen: a) To identify a number of ‘default' secondary datasets for packaging systems2 (cradle to gate) and packaging related activities, available in public/commercial databases, or newly created; b) To provide further guidance on reuse rates3 for the relevant packaging system, where reuse is an option; c) To provide further guidance on packaging specific transportation aspects (e.g. connected to re-use systems or cube utilization); d) To provide further guidance on the application and definition of recycled content; e) To identify a number of ‘default' secondary End of Life datasets, available in public/commercial databases, or newly created. The intentions of the WG are to finalize the work until April 2016, having 1 full day meeting per month.
With the growing of EXPRA and joining of new members we decided that it is time to update our leaflet. We hope that the new design of the leaflet will also help for the better transmission of our messages to external and internal audiences.
EXPRA joined the updated statement on the Circular Economy Package (CEP) signed by 29 members of the Packaging Chain Forum (PCF) - European industry associations from the whole packaging value chain and single PROs.
The joint statement relates to the legislative proposal that would be a part of Circular Economy Package. Its aim is to leverage a joint, strong and cross industry message to the European Commission ahead of the published CEP on 2 December, and to other stakeholders.
Among the recommended actions to further enable the transition towards a resource-efficient and competitive Circular Economy, are the need to ensure full implementation and enforcement of the Waste Framework Directive and PPWD and strengthening of the legal framework for EPR, that should further include introducing a clear definition of EPR in the PPWD and stipulating binding EU minimum performance requirements for EPR schemes. The need for establishing a comparable and harmonized calculation method and setting realistic and achievable packaging recycling targets is also highlighted in the document
The European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) published latest industry data showing that the EU28 average recycling rate for glass packaging hits the 73% mark for the first time. Over 25 billion glass containers continue to be recycled in a bottle to bottle closed loop making glass a model of the circular economy.
Sweden, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria and Germany continue to be the best performers and to record striking rates (1). Italy, the Netherlands and Malta improved on previous years. However, it is Eastern Europe that is catching up as the industry begins to address the glass recycling challenges in these countries. Estonia, Slovenia, Slovak Republic and Croatia – recorded promising growth rates (2). The increased recycling efforts make Europe the continent with the highest glass recycling rates in the world.
Glass recycling enables the container glass industry to dramatically reduce its environmental footprint by saving energy and raw materials (3), and it helps maintaining 125,000 stable and local jobs in the EU. Glass plants deliver more than half of their products within 300km and more than 70% of raw materials travel less than 300km (4).
A report on collection and recycling of post-consumer PET in Europe carried out by PCI PET Packaging Resin & Recycling Ltd for Petcore Europe reveals success and challenges.
The equivalent of 66 billion 1.5L PET bottles were collected and recycled in 2014, representing 57% of bottles and containers placed in the market.
This conclusion comes from a report carried out by PCI PET Packaging Resin & Recycling Ltd for Petcore Europe from a Europe-wide survey among actors involved in the collection, sorting and recycling of PET.
Looking at the 2014 collection rates in Europe shows that with 1,8 million metric tons of bottles and containers, PET collection has grown by 6.8% compared to 2013. Comparing this number to an estimated 3,1 million metric tons demand for bottles and containers placed in the market during this period suggests a 57% collection rate. In 2014, the growth in PET demand itself increased by 4.8%.
In 2014, 1,7 million metric tons of PET were recycled in Europe. With an installed processing capacity estimated of circa 2,1 million metric, the recycling industry operating rate reached only 79%, lower than the 83% rate of 2013. This decrease illustrates the challenges that the PET industry had to face in 2014, in particular the pricing throughout the RPET (recycled PET) chain and pressure from low virgin PET resin prices that occurred during the last quarter of the year.
Furthermore, the processed PET volume in 2014 was also below the collection volume. According to the survey participants, this difference is due to process losses, maintenance shut downs as well as shift programmed and production schedules adjusted to available bale supplies. The latter, issues related to bale supplies, was cited as one of the main contributing factors to lower productivity in 2014. The evolution of PET resin pricing and demand for recycled PET remain uncertain for the future.
The results of the report will be presented during the Petcore Europe Conference in Brussels on 24 November.
The European Environmental Agency published a Technical report on Assessment of global megatrends — extended background analysis.
The purpose of this technical report is to complement the SOER 2015's Assessment of global megatrends by providing substantially more in-depth information and data on each megatrend. It provides background information on the research framework and processes that have underpinned EEA work on megatrends since 2009. The goal of this report is to stimulate thinking, spark discussion and thought, and encourage strategic decision-makers in Europe to consider emerging threats and opportunities, and ensure that policy is 'fit for the long term'.
Essentially, the report aims to trigger questions about what global developments should be accounted for in order to ensure that environmental policy is relevant, adequate and resilient.
Slopak organized internal workshop for Slovene officials who are preparing the legislation amendments regarding the waste management and packaging waste in particular in Slovenia.
The aim of the workshop was to present how the packaging waste management is organized in some European countries. The workshop should facilitate the decision which solutions to implement in new Slovene legislation regarding the EPR principles and how the packaging recovery organizations should operate. In attendance were officials from Ministry for the Environment and Spatial Planning, Slovenian Environment Agency and Inspectorate for Environment and Spatial Planning.
EXPRA members from Austria (ARA), France (EcoEmballages) and Spain (Ecoembes) were among the speakers as well as Joachim Quoden, Managing Director of EXPRA who provided the overview of different EPR implementations in European countries. His presentation was followed by presentations from Esther Colino from Ecoembes, Alexandra Lange from EcoEmballages and Heribert Löcker from Ara. Each presented valuable insight about different systems that are implemented in respective countries and its strengths and weaknesses.
The workshop provided valuable overview of different EPR implementations as well as good opportunity to the participants and speakers to discuss open questions and concerns about which solutions to implement in Slovenia. The representative of the Ministry expressed appreciation to speakers and Slopak for their valuable contribution.
Ekopak is the first and leading packaging recovery organization in Bosnia and Herzegovina, whose goal is establishment and development of an efficient and integrated system for the management of all types of packaging waste: glass, paper, metal, plastic, wood, packaging contaminated with hazardous substances and multilayer materials.
Ekopak takes responsibility for the fulfillment of legal obligations on behalf of its clients, producers of packaging, importers, fillers, distributors and retailers, with the lowest sustainable cost and for the benefit of the entire community.
Achievements of Ekopak
In the period 2012-2014 Ekopak fulfilled recycling/recovery targets and increased the number of recycling tones of packaging waste along with the increase of number of clients.
According to the Ordinance on packaging and packaging waste management, specific targets came into force in 2014. Ekopak had a big challenge - in terms of lack of municipal infrastructure and capacity for separate collection and recycling of packaging waste, to provide collection and recycling/recovery of all types of packaging materials: plastic, paper, metal, glass, wood, multilayers and packaging containing and/or the contaminated with hazardous substances. Thanks to network of collectors from all over the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina that Ekopak established, activities on the field were implemented and targets were achieved.
Besides, as Ekopak operates on the non-for-profit principle, Ekopak invests in the local community with an aim of the system development. Consumers are now able to actively participate in the disposal of packaging waste in the 14 municipalities in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina where Ekopak established the system which develops constantly.
Ekopak has significant role in the promotional and educational activities. Targeted group are kids from kindergartens and schools, and so far about 40,000 children participated in different Ekopak projects. Activities of Ekopak can be followed on the link: http://www.ekopak.ba/en/home.
Today Ekopak operates on behalf of more than 500 packaging companies. For the three years of its operations Ekopak organized collection and recycling/recovery of more than 20,000 tons of packaging waste. Ekopak is dedicated to further develop transparent, long-term and sustainable business what is real challenge in the circumstances of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Certificate of contribution to CO2 emissions savings
In the 1980s, scientific evidence of global climate change and its consequences became a growing concern among scientists, politicians and the public. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Convention defined a series of obligations for all countries, mostly concerning the development and implementation of a policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As the response from developed countries (which are the main “producers” of greenhouse gases) turned out to be very poor, the Berlin Mandate was presented in 1995, establishing a negotiations process in order to strengthen commitment to UNFCCC for the period after 2000. This process finally resulted in the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) in 1997.
The Kyoto Protocol (KP) is a very important step towards limiting the emissions of 6 greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N20, HFCs, PFCs and SF6), as legally binding commitment was specified for the first time. Under KP, developed countries have special obligations: during the first commitment period (i.e. from 2008 to 2012), they needed to lower their total emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 5% compared to 1990 levels. The agreed goals were differentiated between the developed countries (e.g. the U.S. was obliged to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 7%, the European Union (EU) as a whole by 8%, Japan and Canada by 6%), while the same principle was applied within the European Union among member states in accordance with an internally adopted agreement on dividing the obligations. Recently, the U.S. pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol, to the frustration of the entire global community.
The Republic of Serbia, while still not a KP signatory, is following the effects of climate change and is working to decrease emissions of the 6 gases together with the rest of the world.
The experiences of EU countries, which adopted the principle of “extended producer responsibility” (EPR), showed that a significant reduction in the amount of CO2 emissions was possible by introducing a sustainable system of primary selection of packaging waste at the place of its creation, as well as through recycling, i.e. reusing packaging waste. The separation of packaging waste directly decreases the amount of material deposited in unsanitary landfills, which are the majority in the territory of the Republic of Serbia.
Citizens of the Republic of Serbia generate about 2.3 billion tonnes of waste a year, of which in 2014 packaging waste accounted for about 320 thousand tonnes.
Sekopak, which represents over 40% of the Serbian economy, had a share of 65% in total CO2 emission savings (7,831 tonnes of CO2) in 2013, and a share of 67% (10,763 tonnes of CO2) in 2014.
From this it is clear that the rising trend of CO2 emissions savings, observed through the prism of the EPR system, can be secured only by continuing and intensifying the separate collection of packaging waste at its place of creation, to which all citizens of the Republic of Serbia can contribute, as well as all other entities within the packaging waste management system, above all the responsible system operators, through compulsory investments in the primary selection system.
On 16 September 2015, Sekopak will hold the “Green Economy and Recycling Infrastructure” in the conference centre of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Belgrade, in cooperation with the Danas Conference Centre and with the support of the Serbian Environmental Protection Agency, at which the CO2 calculator will be presented for the first time.
Fulfilment of national goals
Sekopak is obliged on behalf of its clients to provide packaging waste management in accordance with the Regulation on Determining the Plan of Reduction of Packaging Waste for the Period from 2014 to 2019 (Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, no. 144/2014) which sets the general goal of 38% of all packaging waste in 2015 to be reused in accordance with the Contract on Assuming Obligations Based on the Law on Packaging and Packaging Waste, as well as specific goals for the recycling of individual packaging materials. In this regard, we are able to confirm to all clients that Sekopak’s performance in 2015, as of today, successfully meets the national goals for reusing packaging waste in 2015, as can be seen in the table below. Table - Fulfilment of national goals for reusing packaging waste - January to August 2015
We would like to say thank you for trust placed in us and we look forward to continued successful cooperation.
This year Sekopak also supported the Eco-Festival held as part of the Eco Regions of Serbia - Banat and Šumadija project, which is implemented by the company A.S.A through its educational programme titled “Čistunko”.
Sekopak participated in the festivals in Batočina on 22 May 2015 and in Topola on 5 June 2016, where the final eco-festivals were held and the “Eco Grand Prix” awards were handed out.
Almost 1000 children from schools in 30 municipalities in Serbia entered their artworks in A.S.A’s competition called “Best Čistunko Mascot”. The awards this year were given to schools, not individuals.
The goal of the festival is to develop in children of all ages a positive relationship with the environment, cleanliness and health, while raising awareness of culture and the environment, through creativity, fun and socialising. The purpose is to change the long-term behaviour of our younger generations and for them to transfer their knowledge and habits to their parents.
Sekopak participated in this cultural event together with its promo team who showed the children how to separate packaging waste. The companies Bambi and Knjaz Miloš, supported the festival with a donation of their products, while Sekopak distributed books to primary schools. Eco-Festival was also supported by many public personalities, such as the children’s writers Ljubivoje Ršumović, Moša Odalović and Minja Subota, and the actors Boda Ninković, Manda and Raša Popov, amongst many others.
The Eco-Olympiad of the Olympic Committee of Serbia, supported by Coca-Cola, Sekopak and the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, was held in several towns and cities in Serbia, including: Mali Zvornik, Novi Pazar, Subotica and Pirot.
The goal of the Eco-Olympiad is to develop an Olympic spirit and instil the importance of looking after the environment in primary school children through sport, fun and participation in various workshops.
Part of the programme also included the planting of 5 trees in selected schools. The trees represent the 5 Olympic values which the young should adopt in their everyday lives: joy of effort, fair play, respect, pursuit of excellence and balance of spirit, body and mind. Coca-Cola gifted footballs, basketballs and handballs to schools with the aim of encouraging pupils to take up sport.
Various sports players, judo players, shooters, athletes and others took part in the Eco Olympiad Playground environmental workshop together with the school children. The slogan of this action was “My School Yard”.
The main idea of this action was to tidy up the school yard by raising young people’s awareness of recycling and waste separation.
For this purpose, Sekopak donated recyclable waste sorting bins to schools.
Sekopak at Design and Innovation Fair
The Nordic Business Alliance in Serbia organised the educational event “Nordic Design and Innovation” on 1 June 2015 in the Radisson Blue Hotel.
Sekopak participated as a member of the Nordic Alliance. IKEA, Telenor, Volvo, DSV, Triplan, Astra Zeneca, SFK and others also participated in the Fair alongside Sekopak.
At the opening of the event, Nordic Business Alliance Executive Director Andreja Pavlović underscored that the NBA, as a non-for-profit association that promotes Nordic business ethics, corporate values and principles, serves as an incubator of ideas and projects important for the local business community.
Apart from companies which are geographically from the Nordic countries, the members of the Nordic Business Alliance also include local companies which do business with Nordic corporations.
They have by and large adopted the values of Nordic companies, and because of this they can serve as a model, which through joint efforts can offer an example of good practice for the entire local business community.
Sekopak garnered huge interest from visitors with its original appearance and interesting stall.
“For a Clean Beach, Recycle Your Packaging” Action
For the first time this summer the sorting of packaging waste for recycling was organised and promoted in Novi Sad at the Štrand beach. The primary waste selection action was initiated by the Gradsko Zelenilo public utility company in cooperation with Sekopak and the plastics recycling company Greentech.
For this purpose Sekopak donated 35 bins for disposing of packaging waste.
The company began with the environment-themed performance titled “Dirty or Clean - Not the Same Thing” on 4 June 2015, featuring the actors Slobodan Boda Ninković, Marija Maki Veljković and Jovica Jocke Tišma. The actors answered the following questions for the youngest visitors to the Štrand: What is ecology, and what is recycling, where is rubbish disposed and can it be useful?
The next day, on 5 June 2015, Sekopak and the companies Greentech and Recan organised a joint action to mark World Environment Day.
Through a series of interesting and education activities and talks with company promoters, visitors to the Štrand had the opportunity to learn why recycling is important, how to recycle packaging waste and how they, themselves, can contribute to the recycling of waste.
In July and August, a further two actions were organised where Sekopak promoters were tasked with teaching visitors to the Štrand as much as possible about recycling, packaging waste and Green Point.
Containers for sorting glass packaging
In ly 2015, Sekopak in collaboration with the Gradska Čistoća public utility enterprise, set up 2 recycling containers for glass packaging. The containers were placed in the centre of Belgrade in Obilićev Venac near the entrance to the public car parking garage.
The plan is to set up a further 80 recycling containers in all important locations in Belgrade in the upcoming period. The placement of recycling containers is important for both us and Gradska Čistoća and the capital city of Serbia, since this is one in a series of projects which we are implementing in order to establish primary packaging waste selection in Belgrade together with the public utility enterprise Gradska Čitsoća.
“This is one part of the puzzle which will in the end lead to our capital standing shoulder to shoulder with other metropolises,” said Violeta Belanović Kokir, the general manager of Sekopak.
The goal of the action is to raise citizens’ awareness of the importance of recycling and looking after the environment.
The first containers were placed in the centre of Belgrade in Obilićev Venac near the entrance to the public car parking garage. A further 43 containers were placed in 29 locations over the weekend: Ada Huja, Cvetni Trg, the corner of Njegoševa and Kralja Milutina streets, the corner of Resavska and Kralja Milutina, the corner of Tadeuša Koščuška, Strahinjića Bana, Milan Gale Muskatirović Sports Centre, Beton Hala, Savamala, the park opposite Palace Hotel, the island by the Pevac cafe-bar (corner of Gračanička and Cara Lazara streets), Ušće under Branko’s Bridge (Brankov Most), Asterix Restaurant at Ušće, Zemun Quay Grand Casino, Zemun Quay Lido, Venecija Restaurant, Zemun Green Market (Gospodska street), Glavna street opposite Robna Kuća in Zemun, Belville settlement, the corner of Kralja Petra and Cara Lazara streets, 27. mart street at the Business College, ZeleniVenac, Brankova street no. Topalovićeva street, Makedonska street by Piraeus Bank, the fountain on Terazije, Kej Oslobođenja at the terminus for bus 82, Terazije outside Kasina bar, the roundabout in Vračar by Kalenić traditional restaurant and Republic Square.
The Government Offices of Sweden announced in June that Mia Torpe will serve as the head of the upcoming waste management and recycling inquiries.
An extensive inquiry has been appointed to investigate whether the municipalization of packaging and newspaper collection will make it possible to meet the environmental targets set for 2020, while also stipulating in the statutory waste hierarchy that combustion is not the preferred option and that re-use and recycling are to be prioritized. FTI´s analyses back in 2012 in connection with the proposals of the earlier waste management inquiry indicated that leaving the responsibility for collection as it is would be the best option for those who recycle, for the market and for the environment. Essentially nothing has changed since then. The new inquiry will start in September and results are due in March 2016. FTI look forward to discussing the matter once again.
In 2015, our Organization completes 10 years’ presence in Cyprus.
A special honorary ceremony was organized to praise the 29 pioneering companies that were the founding shareholders of the Organization. The main speaker of the event was the Minister of Finance of Cyprus who concentrated especially on the successful coupling of economy and ecology for a more sustainable development. The Organization’s achievements and awards in its 10 year life were also presented during the event.
Green Dot Cyprus organized for 5th consecutive year the Environment and Recycling Festival. The Festival provides an informative, educational and entertaining experience to visitors. More than 10,000 people visit the Festival every year, making it by far the largest environmental event in Cyprus.
Event at a glance
4850 children participated in the third national campaign "Old paper for a new book"
For the third consecutive year ECOPACK together with paper Center Greenwich organized campaign "Old paper for a new book." This year it took place not only in the capital Sofia, but also in two other cities: Plovdiv and Rousse. Delivered to stations transmitting paper curled long queues of children and parents. They were there to show their commitment and responsibility towards the environment and love of reading. Children from Plovdiv, Rousse and Sofia exchanged 26.5 tons of old paper for 6000 new books and thus saved 345 trees.
Any child with accompanying adulst who brought five kilograms of old paper was given the opportunity to choose from among 300 book titles. The organizers and campaign partners united around the idea that it is important that each child from an early age should learn to take care of nature, to collect waste separately and to have particular regard to books and reading.
The initiative was accompanied by a children's festival - the eko play "Tale of little heros with empty bellies - Papereater, Plasticeater and Glass eater" presented in the park, and with a lots of music, dancing, games and quizzes. There were eko workshop for making jewelry, flowers and souvenirs from recycable packaging waste materials.
R Prizes, the MFSHOW Laboratory by Ecoembes and Upcycling
Ecoembes appreciate and value every initiative that helps to care for the environment. That’s why this year we will again recognize those initiatives that promote recycling and sustainability.
From 2 September to 12 October, entries for all those wishing are will be accepting of the five categories: “Best corporate measure”, “Best journalism work”, “Best social initiative”, “Best awareness campaign by a government agency” and, new this year, “Best innovation and/or entrepreneurial project”.
And, to top it off, we have a special “Ecoembes 2015 Honorable Mention” and the “Best ambassador for the environment award”.
Ecoembes presented “The MFSHOW Laboratory by Ecoembes”, an innovative project for young eco designers to develop sustainable collections with recycled material.
Through this initiative Ecoembes aims to inspire recycling in the fashion world and to raise awareness of the importance of caring for the environment by promoting innovation. In this first edition we will recognize the best young designers who are using recycled material for at least 80% of their collections.
The winner of the MFSHOW Laboratory by Ecoembes will get to create a capsule collection using textiles made from recycled materials, to be presented at the February 2016 edition of the MFSHOW WOMEN.
For the third year running Ecoembes, the fashion company Ecoalf, and the Photography school Efti are organizing the 3rd Annual Photography and Video Upcycling Contest on recycling. The goal of this initiative, launched two years ago, is to come up with ideas on caring for the environment and capturing them in photographs.
Following the success of the previous two years, this year’s edition features a new category: video. This will make it possible to reach a wider audience and to show recycling from a positive, emotional and committed viewpoint.
The 2015 Annual GreenPak Local Council Awards organised by GreenPak Cooperative Society saw the introduction of a new award entitled ‘Waste to Recyclables Award’ which is intended to stimulate the diversion of waste away from the refuse bag and towards the recycling bag.
Every year GreenPak organizes this event as a way to award those local councils that have striven most to improve their green credentials. Three local councils were nominated as finalists in each of the six categories i.e. Most Supportive Locality, Most Improved Locality, Best Performance: Glass Recycling, Best Performance Overall and The Inspire Foundation Award.
Ing. Mario Schembri, GreenPak ‘s CEO, said: “With satisfaction, one notices that amongst the runner ups and winners are local councils who have joined GreenPak in recent years for the purpose of improving their environmental credentials. In the space of a few years, these local councils have improved so much that they are now enjoying both benefits and rewards and are an example for others to follow. ”
The award ceremony was attended by more than 80 local council Mayors, Executive Secretaries and Councillors as well as Government Minister Mr. Leo Brincat and Parliamentary Secretary Dr Stefan Buontempo.
Besides receiving the trophy and certificate of achievement, the winning local councils were each awarded a cash prize to support ongoing environmental projects within their localities.
Start-up discussion on circular economy in Romania and Debate on authorization waste management operators and control procedures of PROs in Romania
Start-up discussion on circular economy in Romania
President of Commission for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, Giovanni La Via, was present in Romania at a conference on circular economy organized on September 1st in Bucharest.
President La Via talked about the new way of thinking of the circular economy that will reshape the perceptions and approach about materials and products. “We have to do better with less and we have to do more about waste” he mentioned. He stressed that the new proposal on circular economy will represent the cooperation and a compromise between the proposals of European Council and the Parliament.
William Vermeir, EXPRA Chairman, present at the event, talked about the important role of EPR in increasing the recycling sector in EU. He mentioned that imposing higher goals is not sufficient and will have to analyses how the EU institutions will manage the paradox of ‘European legislation versus subsidiarity’.
Romania has a low level of recycling of municipal waste while is succeeds to reach the packaging waste recycling obligation mainly from the commercial flow. The separate collection from the household will need to be based on real costs and not the lowest ones promoted by the sanitation companies and accepted according with the law of public acquisitions. The representative of Eco-Rom Ambalaje, CEO Sorin Cristian Popescu, called for clear legislation that is not subject to annually change or even, sometimes, suddenly changes. These situations lead to unpredictable environment and impossibility to create a medium and long term planning from the obliged industry side.
Debate on authorization waste management operators and control procedures of PROs in Romania
The number of waste management companies increased and according to Ministry of Economy there are more than 300 companies. But in reality the number seems to be four times higher. The authorizations for their operations are given by the local environmental agency. In the last 4-5 years the activity of waste management increased as well as the complexity of the activities which is not always reflected in the authorizations. These have an influence on others activity working on the value chain of the packaging waste including the PROs.
Eco-Rom Ambalaje supported a round table discussion among Romanian environmental authorities and waste management companies – recyclers and collectors – organized at the end of July in Bucharest.
The Romanian PROs raise the subject of traceability of waste in Romania which includes authorizations for waste management activities. They are different from a region to another, sometimes are not clear and therefor are subject to different interpretations.
Eco-Rom Ambalaje has contracts with more than 200 waste management companies for which are requesting an increased number of documents in order to prove the traceability of the packaging waste. The participants at the seminar proposed that the entire control procedures should be part of a particular legislation and the existing provisions are not clear and enough. Eco-Rom Ambalaje calls for more transparency and less bureaucracy.
Romanian authorities recognized the need to change the legal framework for waste management authorizations and create a working group that will look closer at the practical situations that creates obstacles for a clear traceability.
Actively working to promote a sustainable recovery system led by the industry for 23 years with the goals of protecting the environment, and contributing to the social welfare and national economy, the ÇEVKO Foundation provided significant environmental and economic benefits to our nation in 2014.
Collaborating with local governments, the ÇEVKO Foundation reached out to more homes and consumers in 2014, and was able to increase the amount of packaging waste collected by providing cases, containers, boxes for indoor use, and sorting bags to promote sorting at source. Recycling the collected waste resulted in energy savings, and reduced resource utilization, which in turn contributed a total of TRY 1,490,000,000 to the national economy.
ÇEVKO Foundation to continue its efforts for a greener world!
Mr. Mete Imer, secretary general of the ÇEVKO Foundation, points out that any packaging waste made of glass, metal, plastic, paper-cardboard, composite, and wood can potentially be recovered multiple times both technically as well as economically, and summarized the environmental and economic contributions of the Foundation's recovery efforts in 2014 as follows:
"Our recovery efforts in 2014 not only helped to save fossil fuel, water, and energy, but we were also able to contribute TRY 1,490,000,000 to the national economy by combining the economic value of recycled items with a reduction in storage space costs. We may be able to increase this number many times by fostering a culture of sorting at source and recycling in the society... If only people could see and appreciate these benefits. For example; recycled plastic packaging waste may be used to manufacture textile fibers, drainpipes, furniture by-products, vinyl floor covering, etc; the use of recycled materials in the manufacturing process of such products saves fuel and electricity compared to the use of unprocessed raw materials. Complete recovery of all packaging waste not only helps to prevent environmental pollution, but also contributes to a reduction in greenhouse gases. Being aware of these benefits, the ÇEVKO Foundation is committed to creating a greener world by protecting the environment and contributing to the national economy, and will continue its efforts also in 2015.”
Environmental gains as a result of Çevko's recovery efforts in 2014:
4 million trees were saved. This corresponds to 400,000 acres of forest area or in other words, 50% of Turkey's surface area…
The following chart provides an overall view of the environmental and economic savings achieved through the operations of the ÇEVKO Foundation in 2014:
During the last weeks in the exhibition site of Expo 2015 in Milan was achieved a very good result of separate waste collection, in particular packaging and organic waste. This result was possible thanks to the collaboration between Expo, Amsa - the manager of the collection in Milan - and the CONAI system.
From 1 May to 15 September, the rate of separate collection within the site amounted to 65% - with peaks of over 70% in August and in the first two weeks of September - a value greater than that recorded in the entire City of Milan. The progress of the separation of waste has allowed the non-issuance of almost 252 tons of carbon dioxide, the savings of more than 31,500 cubic meters of water and more than 2.7 million kWh of electrical energy, in addition to the lack of production of 1,218 tons of virgin raw materials.
The quantities sent for recycling in the first four months of Expo Milano 2015 allow to produce 143,140 T-shirts (PET), 1,496 benches (mixed plastics), 34,627 wrenches (steel), 1,673 coffee pots (aluminum), 1765 cabinets (wood), 3470847 shoe boxes (paper and cardboard), 900,012 bottles (glass) and 122,205 kg of compost (organic) for the city public parks, just to name some of the products commonly generated from recycled materials.
Raising awareness to encourage better sorting
Conscious of the fact that the success of selective sorting depends on people being motivated to sort, Fost Plus is pursuing its awareness-raising drives among the general public to highlight the importance and purpose of waste sorting.
To this end, Fost Plus is launching a large-scale national communication campaign, steadfastly optimistic, looking to the future, to give meaning back to the act of sorting, with its environmental purpose back centre stage. Via an ad which will be broadcast on TV and in cinemas, featuring an exchange between a young boy and his father, Fost Plus reminds us that, generation after generation, it is important to continue to sort properly for the future of all of us. The audiovisual campaign will run alongside a poster campaign promoting the slogan "For the future, let's carry on sorting".
PYR is now RINKI
The new name, Finnish Packaging Recycling RINKI Ltd, was launched in May.
It was changed to reflect a wider scope of producer responsibility and the new duties that Rinki now has. Our previous role of maintaining the register of companies that bear product responsibility has now expanded to also cover the collection of consumer packaging and organisation of glass packaging recycling.
Rinki's vision is to be the most efficient and best-known supplier of packaging recycling in Finland. We are here to ensure that the producer responsibility is fulfilled in the best possible way and at the lowest possible rates.
We are busy building the new network of Rinki eco take-back points signing contracts, acquiring containers and preparing the logistics. In three months time, the collection of consumer packaging, arranged by the producers, will be available for all Finns.
Geen Dot Norway is launching a new automated system for packaging reporting based on import data.
Through audits over the last years, we have seen substantial underreporting among our members that import packaged goods. Many companies do not have packaging data in their systems, and have great difficulties reporting the packaging amounts to Geen Dot Norway.
Geen Dot Norway now has the opportunity to offer members an automated way of reporting packaging, by using import data received from Customs. More than 300 companies has already signed up for this way of reporting, and will receive invoices based on the system for the first time in October.
Average packaging amounts for members using the automated system is expected to increase with at least 14 %.The system is built for sharing with other EXPRA partners, and interested parties are invited for a webinar in October.
Pakomak as a leading packaging waste management company started the project 3D eco bus in the Macedonian elementary schools. The launch was in 2014, but the project continued in 2015 as well – with the beginning of the new school year.
More than 19.000 children from 1st -5th grade visited the eco bus and watched the interactive 3D movie, learning all the important facts about the recycling. Through fun and interactive games they found out what every one of them should do to keep our planet clean and green.
The goal of the project is to help children build a personal positive attitude towards separate waste collection and recycling. It was so well accepted by all of them, so it will continue in the future because only with projects like this we can protect the natural environment in the long run.
It looks like this summer will be again quite busy for all of us packaging and waste professionals as the European Commission is actively working on the new Circular Economy Package.
After publishing an indicative Roadmap for the route to a new CEP the Commission has opened a public consultation to collect views on the main policy options for developing an ambitious new approach on the Circular Economy. Stakeholders' input will help feed the preparation of the new action plan, to be presented by the end of 2015. The Commission also organized several bilateral meetings with leading stakeholders and I am very proud that EXPRA was amongst those leading associations. EXPRA was also invited to make a statement during the Stakeholder Conference “CLOSING THE LOOP: Circular Economy - boosting business, reducing waste”, organized on 25 June in Brussels.
The CEP was among the priorities of the other EU institutions: the Environment Committee of the European Parliament adopted the report of MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP, FI) on Resource Efficiency – Moving towards a Circular Economy. The report is scheduled for a vote in the EP Plenary on 7 July and contains several quite positive proposals among others concerning strengthening of EPR as a very important tool to implement the environmental goals of EU legislation.
Following the started consultations EXPRA will remain actively involved in shaping the developments around the new Circular Economy proposal. We strongly believe that EPR is a key tool to ensure both economically and environmentally sound waste management. This is why we will continue with our efforts to convince the stakeholders that EPR minimum requirements should explicitly be integrated into the proposal for amending both the Waste Framework and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directives, and be made even more ambitious by outlining clear roles and responsibilities for the actors across the waste management chain.
With EXPRA’s and our members’ thorough experience in end-of-life management of packaging, we will continue to actively share our knowledge with interested stakeholders on ways to deliver effective EPR and sound waste management.
Enjoy your reading!
Within the efforts to collect the views of the different stakeholders on the main policy options for developing an ambitious new approach on the Circular Economy the European Commission organized the Conference: “CLOSING THE LOOP - Circular Economy: boosting business, reducing waste”.
Ahead of the new Circular Economy proposal, EXPRA calls on policymakers to safeguard and reinforce the primary role that Extended Producer Responsibility has to play in the transition towards a circular economy
According to the OECD, EPR is an environmental policy approach through which a producer’s responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of a product’s life cycle. We believe that the OECD definition should be formalised in European law. This needs to be accompanied by minimum requirements for EPR.
In order to achieve economic and environmental excellence, we strongly believe that Producer Responsibility Organisations (PROs) should be industry-owned and operate on a not-for-profit or profit-not-for-distribution basis.
At the same time, we highlight that new waste management targets need to be realistic and based on reliable statistics. Data harmonisation should therefore be at the centre of the legislative review. Our key messages are further explained below.
EXPRA’s key messages
Need for introducing EPR minimum requirements in EU Waste Directives
EPR is an important tool that helps Member States to move towards more sustainable waste management. In order to ensure a streamlined implementation of EPR across the bloc, it is important that the EPR principle is appropriately incorporated into EU waste legislation and that strong and clear minimum requirements for EPR schemes are set.
With a view to harmonising legislative approaches in EPR environmental policy, the PPWD could follow the precedent set by the Directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The latter explicitly recognises the principle of producers responsibility, or third parties acting on their behalf, to create the link between the production and the waste phase of a product. The various actors involved in the life cycle of electrical and electronic equipment, such as producers, distributors, local authorities, consumers and operators of collection and treatment, take part in this process.
Need for realistic waste management target levels
Waste target levels
The need for consistent and reliable data
Quality of recycled materials and measurement point
During the lunch debate over 20 representatives of the different stakeholders in the process, namely, local and regional authorities, PROs, waste management companies, recyclers and NGOs, had the opportunity to share their views and positions on the need and scope of accreditation criteria for PROs. The need for such criteria is of great importance especially when the PROs operate in a competitive environment.
Mr. Joachim Quoden, Managing Director of EXPRA,introduced the participants to the topic. He raised the questions related to accreditation criteria for PROs that need to be discussed on a European level. Usually the PROs in close cooperation with municipalities have to establish and maintain the necessary infrastructure for the collection and sorting of packaging waste and to ensure that the collected packaging waste is treated in the right way. This is of major importance especially in times when the sorted packaging waste has a negative value. In order to continue to perform their obligations the PROs have to have solid financial basis. In addition to this, there are other basic criteria to be met, such as providing for respective level of transparency concerning ownership, the kind of packaging under the contract of the PROs, etc. In order to ensure this, a consolidated public surveillance over PROs is needed. It may be provided inter alia through defining a clear authorization process (recognition procedure to act as a PRO) and this authorization should be renewed on a regular basis[*]. This will help EU Member States to improve the packaging waste management system, will close existing loopholes in the legislation and will finally clarify what can be expected from the PROs.
Two case studies for PROs operating in a competitive environment were presented during the debate: ECOPACK Bulgaria (by Monika Romenska) and SLOPAK, Slovenia (by Srečko Bukovec, Managing Director): In the Bulgarian case the competition was introduced at the start of the system in 2004. However, due to the lack of clear accreditation criteria covering all aspects of the PRO’s scope of activity, the results were not satisfactory. Over the years, additional and more specific accreditation criteria were introduced in the legislation, which improved the performance of the PROs to a certain extent, but still the monitoring and imposing of sanctions in case of non-fulfillment should be strengthened. In the Slovenian case the situation was even more difficult as the system was designed for a single non for profit PRO, but later on a competition was introduced. This was done without establishing basic competition rules, such as a clearing house, setting the market share, controlling of the fulfillment of the legal obligations, etc. Thus at present there is a co-habitation of two systems, meaning a vertilally intergrated PROs (owned by WMC) and non for profit PROs owned and run by the obliged insdury which are practically in contradiction.
The other participants in the debate, including representatives from Reclay, SUEZ – SITA, ACR+ RDC, ReLoop, MWE, IGBE, Norwegian Local Authorities and Fost Plus exchanged their views and shareed their positions on the topic. They all agreed with the need to have accreditation criteria and supported the idea that such criteria should be included in the minimum requirements for EPR to be defined in EU legislation. These criteria are especially needed in a competitive environment in order to ensure a level playing field and avoid unfair competition and fraud.
An ACR+ / DSD Conference is scheduled for 29 September 2015. The topic, which will be introduced by DSD, is on postconsumer plastics and how to close the loop.
*(c.f. Development of Guidance on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).FINAL REPORT. European Commission – DG Environment 2014)
Over 90 participants, representing different stakeholders, including 20 representatives from 11 EXPRA members participated in the public seminar on “The impact of street collectors on separate collection” organized by CEVKO, the Turkish members of EXPRA.
The key notes were given by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Prof Dr Mustafa Öztürk, and by Andre Vilhena from CEMPRE - a Brazilian association of industry, implementing a successful pilot project supporting street pickers. Mr. Vilhena explained the Brazilian model that aims to help waste pickers to change from the informal to the formal sector by helping them to establish and run cooperatives. He noted that with the help of the pilot project since 2010, 10 % of 800 thousand waste pickers are working in the 1.000 cooperatives they founded. He underlined that that with education and better work conditions the capacity of the cooperatives was improved, and the Brazilian Model was accepted as a reference for developing countries by United Nations Environment Program in Rio+20.
In the following sessions, EXPRA members - Packaging Recovery Organizations (PROs) from Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Macedonia, shared their experiences and the negative impact of informal sector collection on their operations. The existence of a parallel, informal collection system, decreases the quantities of incoming valuable materials, increases the operating costs, damages the established collection infrastructure and de-motivates the inhabitants to separate the waste. There is also a negative impact on the processing of documentation aand reporting of recycled/recovered quantities.
It has to be noted that in a growing number of countries this topic is gaining importance and that it gets more and more difficult for many PROs to protect their separate collection infrastructure from damages and respectively to document the collected and recycled packaging amounts.
Still the PROs are trying to find ways to solve these problems – by implementing pilot projects as for example in the city of Stip, Macedonia, where the PRO in cooperation with NGOs is trying to integrate the waste pickers in the formal system.
Representatives of local authorities from Turkey shared also their experiences and discussed the different aspects of this complex problem: environmental, social and economical.
During the panel on “Solution Alternatives for the Management of Street Collectors “moderated by Head of Ministry of Environment and Urbanization Waste Management Department Ahmet Varır, Ahmet Cihat Kahraman from Marmara Municipalites Union, Alphan Eröztürk from ÇEVKO, Joachim Quoden from EXPRA, Andre Vilhena from CEMPRE and Ercan Yürekli from TÜDAM discussed the related problems and possible solutions.
At the end of the seminar, the following conclusions were made by the participants:
EXPRA and its EPR implementation working group will develop a respective position paper which should then be shared with national and European authorities to make them aware of the topic.
As there were several developments during the last year, we updated the EXPRA EPR glossary.
It is a collection of terms that are commonly used in the field of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and in the waste management sector. Of course this is a living document and we will continue to develop it according the changing legal environment and emerging new technologies.
On 17 June, the EP ENVI Committee voted on the amendments to the Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP, FI) report on Resource Efficiency – Moving towards a Circular Economy, and the draft report as amended was thereafter adopted (please find draft report here).
The report was adopted by 56 votes to 5, with 5 abstentions and follows up on the previous Commission’s Communication on Circular Economy (here) but also aims to provide input to the new Circular Economy proposals that the Commission is planning to publish this autumn. The report includes a call from the MEPs to the Commission to table a new proposal by the end of 2015 that includes:
After the resolution was adopted rapporteur Sirpa Pietikäinen, reportedly stated that the vote showed that MEPs and the Commission agree on the direction to take but Green MEP Claude Turmes (LU) did not agree with Pietikäinen in this regard. Instead, he felt that the ENVI MEPs had suggested substantial improvements (please consult the article with both of their statements here). Massimo Paolucci, the S&D shadow rapporteur on the circular economy reiterated the call for action in circular economy: ‘Rather than being just an opportunity, a circular economy is a necessity for Europe. The challenge to compete in the global economy will more and more depend on innovation and sustainability. Investing in the quality of our lifestyles and our ecosystems is key to building a new development model, capable of creating jobs and well-being’ (please see S&D press release here).
Among the stakeholders reacting to the vote, PlasticsEurope welcomed the MEPs’ call to end landfilling. Executive Director Karl-H. Foerster was very encouraging of the ENVI Committee’s strong position on asking the Commission to put an end to the disposal of plastics in landfills (please see press release here). The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) encouraged the MEPs’ strong stance on resource reduction as Piotr Barczak, Policy Officer for Waste (EEB), said: ‘Companies, NGOs and citizens can all see the value of adopting a new economic model which makes more careful use of our resources and limits waste’ (please see press release here).
The ENVI Committee report available on the ENVI website (please see here). The report is scheduled for a vote in the EP Plenary on 7 July.
It is remarkable that all political parties are supporting the need for minimum EPR requirements as they see EPR as a very important tool to implement the environmental goals of EU legislation but it has to be ensured that it is used following the best practices. EXPRA has met in the last 12 months several times with the rapporteur and all shadow rapporteurs and will of course continue the engagement especially to convince them to promote the right minimum requirements. Besides personal meetings EXPRA had sent last week a letter to all shadow rapporteurs supporting the need for minimum requirements and the need to measure recycling as input recycling. The letter is enclosed for your kind notice.
The European Commission opened its Public Consultation on the Circular Economy on 28 May. The deadline for contributions from stakeholders has been set for 20 August 2015. The consultation aims to collect stakeholder views on the best policy options for putting forward an ambitious new plan regarding the Circular Economy.
The consultation includes question sections on the Production Phase; Consumption Phase; Markets for Secondary Raw Materials; Sectoral Measures; as well as Enabling factors for the circular economy, including innovation and investment. It also makes it possible to attach position papers and other documents.
The European Commission has launched a second public consultation within the work on the Circular Economy. To recap, the consultation is organised in the context of a Commission study looking into obstacles to the functioning of waste markets, which was launched in January this year.
The overall aim of the consultation is to ‘obtain a better understanding of the nature and the extent of regulatory failures causing undue distortions to EU waste markets for recycling and recovery.’
It will be open for input until 4 September 2015. A first stakeholder event on this matter was organised in May, and another stakeholder conference to discuss the issues addressed in the consultation will take place on 12 November 2015.
When the G7 Leaders convened in Elmau, Germany, on 7-8 June they discussed the global economy, as well as foreign, security and development policy issues, but also climate/energy and resource efficiency.
On resource efficiency, the final declaration includes a specific section on this topic. Therein, the leaders acknowledge the importance of resource efficiency for competitiveness, growth and jobs and argue that life-cycle-based decision making can ensure that focus is placed on sectors with significant potential. The Leaders also commit to take action in order to improve resource efficiency, and this will include the setting up of a ‘G7 Alliance of Resource Efficiency’. The aim of this alliance is to promote exchange of best practices and innovation, together with businesses and other stakeholders.
More concretely, a series of workshops will be organised under the Alliance on a range of topics, at least one workshop per year. The topics include:
The declaration also includes a section on the Protection of the Marine Environment, focusing on marine litter. In this regard, the G7 commits to take action to address this problem, targeting both land- and sea based sources as well as removal actions. The priority actions for land based sources include improving waste management systems, encouraging waste reduction as well as reuse and recycling. Also, to encourage industry to develop sustainable packaging as well as incentives to reduce the use of single-use items. Deposit schemes are mentioned, but only in the context of reducing waste items from the fishing industry.
As of 1 June the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation has become fully applicable across the EU.
Whilst the CLP had already replaced the old rules on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances in December 2010 it now also applies to the classification, labelling and packaging of mixtures. The CLP Regulation aligns existing EU legislation with the criteria and labelling of the United Nations Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) which is aiming to ensure that the same hazards are described and labelled in the same way globally.
The Regulation requires a large number of products to be re-labelled, including consumer items such as detergents, as well as industrial mixtures. The new system is based on hazard classes, categories and statement codes instead of risk phrases and categories of danger as was the case under the old legislation.
As part of its 10th Anniversary activities, Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) launched an advertising campaign to inform communities throughout Québec about the importance and success of curbside recycling system.
In this humorous and informative advertising, Éric Salvail, who is well-known and liked by Quebecers, plays the role of a milk carton that passes through each step of the recovery process, up until his “second life” as a new product, made from recycled material.
This spring’s segment of the campaign was presented on TV and social media over six weeks, and users could click the link to ÉEQ’s website to see the ad’s making-of. The entire campaign featuring Mr. Salvail will run over a three-year period to highlight various aspects of materials recovery.
From April 1, 2015 new agreements have superseded the ones that producers had with FTI. Also new and simplified instructions took effect on April 1, 2015.
In summary, the major news in the new instructions is that FTI have changed the structure in order to make them clearer and easier to read and follow. In addition, service packaging and grower packaging are being merged and are now classified as Manufacturer’s Packaging. We now offer more customers the possibility, to report similar packaging products. At the same time new fees are valid. For planning, collection and packaging recycling, our fees are based on the costs generated per type of material. And most of the fees remain unchanged from previous levels. The fees for plastic and paper packaging have been raised for household and service packaging. All fees for metal packaging remain unchanged.
Although Christmas is still six months away, the 5th edition of GreenPak’s ‘Nirricikla ghall-Istrina’ – (Recycling for Charity) campaign has been launched already.
Due to popular participation, kicking off earlier than usual aims to allow participants more time to collect plastic caps and increase the donation given by GreenPak Coop Society. l-Istrina is Malta’s Boxing Day charity campaign in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund (MCCF), an organisation established to help individuals in need.
Mr Edgar Preca, Chairperson of the MCCF and spouse of the President of Malta, was present for the official inauguration. The launch was held at the Helen Keller Resource Centre in Qrendi - the school which last year collected the most plastic caps per student. Established in 1992 the Centre caters for physically and mentally challenged children and young adults.
The initiative, energetically driven by GreenPak for the fifth consecutive year, aims at collecting funds for the upcoming l-Istrina 2015 through gathering and recycling of plastic bottle caps. In recent editions, participation in the campaign has been extended beyond the participation of schools. As from last year, GreenPak has encouraged companies and organisations to join in and participate as well in this noble cause. For this year’s edition, GreenPak is actively working towards reaching an even wider audience. For the full story: http://www.greenpak.com.mt/community-news/1697-greenpaks-nirrikla-gall-istrina-2015-campaign-launched-months-in-advance
Household packaging recycling continue growing in Spain, standing at 73.7% in 2014, which represents an increase of nearly two points coming off the previous year.
The figure, presented by Ecoembes, demonstrates that the percentage of recycled packaging in Spain has been continuously rising since 1998, and already surpasses by 19pp the objectives set by the EU (55%). In total, last year 1,258,602 tons of household packaging were recycled in Spain, meaning +5.3% than in 2013, an achievement made possible thanks to the collaboration of all households who recycle on a daily basis taking their packaging to the yellow and blue containers.
Thanks to these results in 2014, the emission of 1.2 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere was averted - equivalent to taking 25% of the vehicles registered in the city of Madrid off circulation. This figure is of particular importance this year, as the United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Paris, France in 2015. The European Union (EU) has already agreed to reduce its emissions by least 40% by 2030.
Ecoembes launched the 4th edition of the "Los Profes Cuentan" contest, which encourages primary school teachers and their students to create, together, a story that delivers a lesson about cooperation and recycling.
The objective is to reward teachers' educational work regarding the environment through literature.
This year, under the themes of Collaboration, Cooperation and Recycling, over 150 works were presented, analyzed by a panel headed by the Spanish journalist and wrighter Rosa Montero.
Los recicladores nocturnos (The Nocturnal Recyclers), the winning story, seeks to raise awareness about the environmental importance of placing waste in the right container. In this story a group of cats, when they see that the recycling containers are empty, and the grey one is full, decide to take each packaging item to the right container before the garbage truck arrives.
For the second consecutive year, Ecoembes, the organization that looks after the environment through recycling and packaging eco-design in Spain, has once again been elected as one of the 50 best companies to work for in our country within the 100-250 employees category, granted by the consultancy firm “Human Resources Great Place to Work”.
This certification recognizes that the organization has met objectives thanks to a highly-motivated team that trusts and feels proud of the company, considering it as an excellent place to work. In addition, as last year, Ecoembes has been the only organization within the environmental sector awarded with this recognition.
Great Place to Work develops this classification through the evaluation of an extensive questionnaire distributed among employees and analyzing the corporate culture developed by each organization’s Human Resources team. Factors considered and evaluated include credibility, fair and equal treatment, employee satisfaction, general information about the organization, employee benefits, communication and employment development.
Fost Plus unveiled its 2014 results at its traditional annual academic symposium which was held on 11 May 2015. Here is a summary of the key points.
A high recycling rate despite a drop in the consumption of newspapers and magazines
In 2014, Fost Plus once again achieved a very high recycling rate: 86.8% and 682,424 tons of packaging waste recycled, i.e. a result which exceeds the legal objective of 80%, despite a slight dip in results compared with 2013 (-0.8%). This decrease is due to the paper-cardboard segment:
Out-of-home sorting continues to increase and is now becoming the norm
Out-of-home PMC sorting centres have taken off over the last few years and are gradually becoming the norm. The initiatives taken by the Regions to make such sorting compulsory have contributed significantly to this: that is the case in Flanders since July 2013, in Brussels since February 2014, and will shortly apply in Wallonia, with effect from 1st January 2016. The efforts of Fost Plus, supported by the development of a favourable legal framework, have resulted in practical terms in a significant increase in the quantities of PMD collected via the specific channels put in place and financed by Fost Plus. The volume has increased from 2,100 tons collected in 2013 to 4,200 tons in 2014, and the trend is unlikely to slow.
Collecting more and better: plastic packaging other than bottles and flasks is being closely scrutinised
Many councils nationwide now organise additional collections of items other than plastic bottles and flasks. These collections are generally located in container parks: expanded polystyrene, plastic film, flower pots, etc.
Fost Plus is supporting these local initiatives financially, but would like them to be standardised eventually across the whole country. To that end, it has launched an inventory of the composition of the items collected, and the recycling options.
At the same time, Fost Plus is pursuing its preparatory study with a view to expanding the collection of plastics, whether or not via the blue bag. Large-scale tests have been carried out in sorting centres in order to assess the impact of such an expansion on existing facilities. This large-scale study is led by a committee of experts drawn from inter-municipal authorities, waste sector companies, the Interregional Packaging Commission and the Regions. 2015, and especially 2016, will be pivotal years, with pilot projects launching in a number of Belgian municipalities.
A deposit system, a simplistic response to a complex problem, namely public uncleanliness
There have recently been calls in Wallonia and Flanders for the introduction of a deposit system for plastic cans and bottles in order to eliminate the scourge of litter. Fost Plus strongly believes that the introduction of such a deposit system would be a mistake, since it is not an appropriate response to the need to tackle litter and will not generate the necessary mindset change:
Litter is a real problem. To resolve this problem, we need to work on changing mindsets. The business world via Fost Plus wants to prove that it is possible, as the success of waste sorting has shown. To achieve this goal, we need to break with the past and adopt a far more militant approach. Respect for public cleanliness must become the norm once again. As part of an enhanced partnership with the public authorities and all the business world stakeholders, it is important to lay the foundations for a “clean” revolution. This will involve in particular raising public awareness, high-performance cleaning tools and a zero tolerance approach to polluters.
The 2014 annual report is available on the www.fostplus.be website in French and Dutch, with the English version available soon.
Conai is the official supporter of the Circular Economy Program for Expo Milano 2015, which provides the enhancement of waste recycling in the exhibition site during the italian six months event.
Conai has created a series of video pills with information for the visitors on the correct action to be taken in the waste separate collection during the Universal Exhibition.
The performance data of the collection and waste recycling in Expo Milano 2015 will be communicated to the visitors by a counter, which measures the environmental benefits, economic and social generated by the proper management waste: CO2 emissions avoided, the amount of waste removed from the landfill and recycled, the second raw materials generated and the water and energy savings.
There will be other initiatives such as: an installation of 30 benches made from recycled packaging materials, an interactive game that can be enjoyed by 18 e-wall and a nice video for the children “The wonderful story of packaging and recycle” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH04E_8dXjs) in the Children Park area.
With the new Valorlux app the user can obtain his PMC-bag collection schedule. He only has to enter his location (municipality or town and street) and the appropriate schedule will be displayed.
To be sure not to forget to put his blue bag out the user can set the notifications to have an alert at a particular delay before the day of collection.
Other interesting features of the app are:
- A sorting guide with information about what can and what can’t be put in the PMC-bag.
- Address, opening hours and geolocation of the recycling park the user is attached to.
- Localization of the Recycling stations for plastics “RE-box”.
The app is available for free for iOS and soon for Android and can be downloaded on the stores.
More information here
At the beginning of May responsibility for organising the reception and recycling of pre-sorted packaging waste was transferred to producers. PYR, under the authorisation of Suomen Keräyslasiyhdistys, the producer organisation for glass packaging, is now starting up the collection recycling of glass packaging.
An extensive tendering competition – over 40 firms – proved to be worthwhile. From the tenders received PYR compiled a more cost-effective integrated scheme for the organisation of glass recycling than was projected. The glass packaging waste collected by municipalities and private firms will be received at thirty eight reception terminals throughout Finland. The material will be transported from the terminals via Porvoo harbour to England where the cooperation partner, Berryman, will sort and clean the glass. The glass treated by Berryman has obtained EU End of Waste status, meaning that it is no longer considered to be waste but raw material. Berryman markets the finished glass cullet for the manufacture of Coca Cola bottles and for other applications.
The next step in the EPR process takes place at the beginning of 2016. At this juncture producer responsibility will begin for the organisation of take-back services for consumer packaging at eco-points. http://info.pyr.fi/aiheet/in-english/
Green Dot Cyprus has organized for the third consecutive year educational and recreational recycling workshops for children.
These workshops are organized every year in a different city in Cyprus. The workshops are specially designed for children aged between 5 to 11, to educate them for recycling and its benefits, in a creative and enjoyable way. In the workshops, the children were informed about the recycling program and were guided to produce various handicrafts from used materials, to give them a 'second life'. The workshops lasted for a week and more than 1,000 children have participated. We will continue the environmental education of children in the future via interactive and participative methods, as they are the best way to cultivate the environmental awareness in our children and an important investment in the future of our country.
The separate collection of household waste and recycling is directly related to sustainable development and an important part of environmental protection and efficient use of natural resources.
The involvement of the widest range of people, the effective change in the understanding and attitude towards the process of building lasting environmental habits are the main goals of large scale communication campaigns ECOPACK held since its inception.
The main informational and educational initiatives of ECOPACK targeted the kids and aimed to develop a responsible attitude to nature, to sow the seeds of the Green idea in the hearts of our children.
ECOPACK 3D Eco bus: For five years the 3D Eco bus toured schools and kindergartens to train the children to have a responsible attitude towards nature and society. The innovative educational product - 3D movie "Lords of recycling" and the interactive game "Be Eco Hero" transformed the 40-minute lesson in a "flying green classroom”, an unforgettable experience, and the children - in ambassadors for separate collection of packaging waste.
For these five years were visited 107 municipalities, 950 schools and kindergartens, and trained over 150 000 children. With the educational package for adults have been trained and more than 5000 employees of companies and municipalities. ECOPACK investments amounted to 758,392 BGN.
The huge interest of the children to the interactive game in 3D Eco bus gave the idea of a new educational platform based on the Internet - " Be Eco hero: Teach your family to collect separately". Through effective cooperation with municipalities and school authorities all students from the first to eighth grade received an information brochure and a card with a unique code. After registration in the platform, the child had to team with a parent to answer questions related to recycling and environmental protection. Each correct answer carried points. The participant who collected the necessary number of points become a member of the Club " Eco Hero" and had the right to participate in a raffle for prizes. The enthusiasm with which students and their families took part in the initiative far exceeded expectations. The results are indicative - from the beginning of the year 11,700 children from 9 cities (over 35% of students from 98 participating schools) became "Eco Hero" - Ambassadors of separate collection of packaging waste and the green idea in their families and communities.
For the youngest ECOPACK created new fiction characters - three fun "critters”: the Papereater, Plasticeater and Glasseater who lived in the park. They are the “faces” of the latest educational campaign "Feed me separately!" and gave identity o the coloured containers of ECOPACK located near parks in the cities of Sofia, Pleven, Vratsa and Veliko Tarnovo. The new faces attract children's attention to this serious topic. A special puppet show was developed with the new heros that presents the separate collection of packaging waste as a and fun game enjoyed huge success.
The information and education campaigns of ECOPACK reach millions of Bulgarian families and the separate waste collection becomes recognized need of the people who believe that everyone is responsible for the nature conservation and sustainable development of our society.
Welcome to the spring edition of the EXPRA e-newsletter. As you already know, you can see its web version here.
After the stormy end of the last year, when the EC proposed to withdraw the Circular Economy Package, as well as other 72 legal acts, the withdrawal has been finalised: The 2015 Work Program of the Commission was published in the EU Official Journal of Saturday 7 March.
Since December last year we have been witnesses of the heated discussions on this topic, especially in the European Parliament and the exchange of statements and open letters from the major stakeholders. As we all know despite the strong opposition, the Commission did not change its decision. Of course now the most important question is how the Commission will move forward, what will be the scope of the new, broader and more ambitious proposal? While the Commission is deciding on its next steps, we will be even more active in our efforts to reiterate our beliefs how the future legislation should look like.
I am glad to say that EXPRA started successfully 2015. We had a prominent role in one of the most important forums for the packaging waste sector - Packaging Waste & Sustainability Forum 2015. I had the honour to chair a special seminar dedicated to the Extended Producer Responsibility, EPR Toolkit: Creating a level playing field for EPR across Europe. We were well represented during the two days of the forum as well: our President and members of the Board of Directors moderated or participated in the different panels. During the three days of the event, there were informative interventions on a wide range of topics – from EU policy developments on the future of circular economy to best practices in the field of material sustainability and ways to address packaging waste across the globe. The broad spread of participants from across the packaging value chain, the European Commission and NGO community, the engaging presentations and debates all contributed to making the event a success.
Enjoy your reading!
Joachim Quoden, Managing Director of EXPRA moderated the EPR Toolkit Seminar - Creating a Level Playing Field for EPR Across Europe, that took place in Brussels on 24 February 2015 and preceded the Packaging Waste and Sustainability Forum 2015.
The seminar started with an overview of the EPR legislation on national level that was followed by a presentation of the obliged Industry’s point of view concerning the history of the EPR and packaging recycling development since 1988 and the current challenges in ensuring a fair competitive environment.
During the first panel of the Workshop, representatives of different EPR models: Duales System Holding GmbH, Germany, ETO, Estonia and Repack, Ireland discussed the European experiences of EPR legislation and the challenges, resulting from the different approaches. An interesting debate followed on who should be responsible for the collection of packaging waste – the municipalities or the EPR systems, in which participated representatives of the Waste Management Corporation Munich AMW, Germany and the Environment Exchange, UK.
During the second part of the Workshop the discussion was focused on the issues of transparency and competition with the participation of representatives of Altstoff Recycling AG, Austria, the Reclay Group, ACR+ and EKO KOM, the Czech Republic.
A special panel was dedicated to the EPR implementation outside Europe, with presentations from the Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance, the Global Product Stewardship Council (GlobalPSC), Australia and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa.
EXPRA also organised a well-attended dinner at the occasion of the forum, with Peter Börkey from the OECD’s Environment Directorate as guest speaker.
The GlobalPSC published a story about the seminar in its most recent newsletter, stating that the “seminar emphasized harmonising EPR rules and guidelines in Europe, learning from international experience and the roles of transparency and competition.”
The 22nd edition of the Packaging Waste and Sustainability Forum gathered a wide range of speakers and participants from the EU institutions, industry and NGOs. EXPRA supported the organisation of the event for the second year in a row, and various representatives from EXPRA’s management and members took part as moderators, speakers or participants.
The introductory speech was given by Karl Falkenberg, Director General at DG Environment, European Commission, who provided insights on the Commission’s next steps to follow the withdrawal of the Waste Targets Proposal. Falkenberg explained that the work on the new proposals – one waste legislative proposal as well as further initiatives to ‘close the circle’ of the circular economy - now kicks off.
The first panel of the Forum provided opportunity also to the business and NGO to discuss the practical measures to improve recycling, as well, as the financial responsibilities of the different stakeholders in the packaging value chain.
The Hon. Leo Brincat, Environment Minister of Malta provided the view of the Member States on the proposed changes to waste targets. Brincat outlined inter alia that it is important to treat waste as a resource and that Malta is working to further increase their recycling levels. He added that the work that has been done on the current Waste Package needs to be taken into consideration in the preparation of the new proposals.
Various EXPRA representatives were also among the high level speakers. EXPRA President William Vermeir moderated a session on EPR during which an analysis of the Disparity of cost responsibilities in EPR for packaging in Europe was presented by Paul Christiaens, Nedvang, speaking on behalf of Jan Storm,’s as well, as a presentation on the findings of the BIO IS Guidance on Extended Producer Responsibility.
During the panel on EU wide view on Regional perspectives for packaging waste legislation and targets, Liliana Nichita, EcoRom Ambalaje, presented the view of the EPR systems concerning the cooperation with local authorities.
High level speakers from industry and the EU Commission debated issues such as the importance of waste in the context of resource efficiency. Michele Galatola, Product Team Leader in DG Environment explained how the work is progressing in the field of Product environmental footprint (PEF) Pilots, and representatives from IKEA, Unilever, Tetra Pak International and Dow Europe discussed Industry led sustainability initiatives. They sahred their experience in innovative product design and how packaging fits into broader waste, environment and efficiency strategies.
Together with a range of other speakers, inter alia, Stephane Arditi from the European Environment Bureau and Virginia Janssens from EUROPEN, the event provided a comprehensive overview of policies and initiatives in the field of packaging and packaging waste and plenty of networking opportunities.
Additional information about the forum can be found here
EXPRA calls for sound waste legislation to be re-tabled in 2015
Acknowledging the Commission’s formal decision to withdraw the waste target proposal under the Circular Economy Package (published in the EU Official Journal, 7 March 2015), the Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance (EXPRA) calls on the EU Executive to live up to its commitment of delivering sound legislation setting new realistic recycling targets by the end of 2015.
EXPRA serves as the alliance for non-profit packaging and packaging waste recovery and recycling systems that are owned by obliged industry. In light of the contribution that our sector can make to efficient waste management and green growth in the EU, we call for new legislation that:
1. Safeguards and reinforces the primary role that Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) has to play in the transition towards a circular economy. EPR is a policy approach that gives producers improved incentives to guarantee that packaging recovery and recycling are carried out in the most economically competent and sound manner. In order to ensure a streamlined implementation of EPR across the bloc, it is important that the EPR principle is appropriately incorporated into EU waste legislation and that strong and clear minimum requirements for EPR schemes are set.
2. Clearly defines the roles af all stakeholders taking part in the waste management chain.
3. Sets targets on the basis of a sound-based feasibility study.
4. Harmonises calculation methods for recycling rates and proposes a comprehensive reporting methodology that yields reliable waste management statistics in Europe.
5. Defines a clear timeline for zero-landfilling of recyclable waste alongside a clear set of measures that promote investment in alternative facilities.
EXPRA’s President, William Vermeir commented: ”EXPRA fully supports EU action to drive the Circular Economy forward through a new, more coherent proposal. EPR is a key tool to ensure both economically and environmentally sound waste management. This is why EPR minimum requirements should explicitly be integrated into the proposal for amending both the Waste Framework and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directives, and be made even more ambitious by outlining clear roles and responsibilities for the actors across the waste management chain”.
EXPRA’s Managing Director, Joachim Quoden, concluded: “Taking measures to improve waste management in Europe is fully in line with the new Commission’s priorities – this is a considerable commitment, which now has to be followed up with action. We therefore call on the Commission to come up as soon as possible with a proposal for the Waste Target Review, delivering realistic target levels, consistent recycling measurement and recognition of EPR”.
The report states that “waste management had improved, but Europe remains far from a circular economy”.
The positive developments include decrease of generation of municipal waste per capita by 4% between 2004 and 2012, falling to 481 kg. Looking beyond waste generation, there are also signs of improved waste management in Europe. Between 2004 and 2010, the EU-28, Iceland and Norway reduced the amount of waste deposited in landfills substantially, from 31% of total waste generated (excluding mineral, combustion, animal and vegetable wastes) to 22%. This was partly due to an improvement in recycling rates of municipal waste, from 28% in 2004 to 36% in 2012.
Concerning the 5–10 year trends, the Report states that less waste is being landfilled due to reduced generation of some wastes, increased recycling and greater use of waste for energy recovery, while for the 20+ year outlook it is pointed out that the total waste generation is still high, although implementation of waste prevention programs could alleviate this.
According to the EEA’s executive director Hans Bruyninckx, the report puts pressure on the Commission to come up with an improved circular economy proposal. Bruyninckx stated: “We have done substantial work that illustrates the vital importance of the circular economy and resource efficiency for well-being and competitiveness, and that focusing on these elements contributes to European competitiveness, job creation and economic performance." He added: “So we are looking forward to seeing the strengthened packages.”
Speaking at a press conference to launch the report, Commissioner for Environment Karmenu Vella made some statements on the new circular economy package and explained: “We are not being more ambitious only by setting targets, […] we want to be more ambitious on the outward side, on the implementation side, on the results side”. Vella added: “We want future products to be durable, more reusable, more repairable, and more recyclable as well. We need to create a market for the recycled product. We do have a certain amount of recycling but most of that recycled waste is not finding its way into the production”.
Please see http://www.eea.europa.eu/soer for the report and http://www.eea.europa.eu/media/newsreleases/future-prosperity-depends-on-bolder for a press release.
The European Commission recently published its Communication for a Strategic Framework for an Energy Union, which is structured around five main dimensions of energy and climate policies (security of supply, the internal energy market, energy efficiency, decarbonisation and R&I).
The Communication provides further details on the overall objectives of these dimensions and presents a list of concrete actions and initiatives that the Commission intends to undertake over the coming five years.
As part of the Energy Union the Commission will publish a Communication on Waste-to-Energy. In this context ENDS has published an article on 6 March quoting an EU official saying that “an EU waste-to-energy initiative will focus on energy recovery from non-recyclable materials without affecting the waste hierarchy”. He added that “the Commission’s paper will consider the role of energy recovery from non-recyclable waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, […] whilst it will not change the low ranking of incineration in the waste hierarchy”.
Since the beginning of 2015, the ‘Triman’ logo officially entered into force after some years of debates in France. The purpose of this new black stickman figure is to inform consumers whether or not a product is recyclable, and should apply to certain recyclable products placed on the French market that are subject to a system of EPR.
The original idea of the Triman dates back to the Grenelle environmental law, but there has been significant discussions since it was proposed, not least due to firm opposition and fierce lobbying of the industry. As a consequence, the text of the new decree has been significantly watered down and the government has introduced an increased level of flexibility regarding its application. For example, it will only apply to certain products while others are excluded (for example glass and WEEE).
Several environmental NGOs and organisations have reportedly commented that because of this flexibility, the original purpose to inform the consumer about a product’s recyclability and simplify legislation was not achieved, making its application and use even more complicated
The Recycling Initiation Module (RIM) teaches children about better waste management.
Ten years ago Fost Plus decided to join forces with GoodPlanet Belgium and inter-municipal waste management associations with the idea to raise children's awareness of sorting, recycling and responsible management of household waste. More than 17 000 interactive workshops have been organized for more than 300 000 pupils in Belgian primary schools. During these educational workshops the children learn how to manage better household waste and receive practical advice on how to acquire good habits at home. This initiative, endorsed by the competent public authorities, has for sure achieved very good results: the pupils are now more aware about waste, are careful to use properly the sorting bins with which the majority of schools are now equipped and, once back home, have more responsible behaviour concerning disposal of waste.
10 years of activities, worth celebrating
To celebrate 10 years of the RIM Fost Plus and GoodPlanet have set off on tour, from January to May. A dozen schools all over Belgium will benefit from special attention. As a matter of fact, pupils in these schools that have booked the RIM production will have the opportunity to celebrate this anniversary with (non-alcoholic) sparkling wine, some cake and a little gift, miniature sorting bins full of sweets. The press has also been invited to cover this event.
Workshops adapted to all ages
The RIM is designed for pupils from the 3rd to the 6th year of primary school and, since its launch, has been a continuous success. Each year, thanks to the support of the participating inter-municipal waste management associations, many schools have signed up for the module www.animationmir.be in order to take part in the free workshops. Given the success of this project a follow-up initiative was launched in 2008. This was a workshop intended for students in secondary Schools, entitled "C'est du propre!" (literally translated "It's clean!" but it also means “Well, that’s nice!”). It is obvious that, while the RIM initiative was meant to work on awareness raising, use of language and acquisition of scientific knowledge, the module for elder students focused on debate, critical thinking and the ability to reason. Finally, in 2012 the production "Pays pas propre" ("Not neat Country") was initiated, addressing the very youngest and based on an imaginary world to which children are led to by a 'conteuse' - a ‘storyteller’. In this way the children, throughout their school education, are generally made aware of the necessity and importance of correct management of waste materials and, in particular, their sorting.
A record number of 7,274,833 plastic caps were gathered in less than two months from over 90 organisations across Malta and Gozo and deposited at GreenPak for recycling.
A Centre catering for individuals with special needs, The Helen Keller Resource Centre claimed the honour of being the highest contributor, with an average of 7,972 plastic caps per student. This collective effort led to the donation of a record €15,000 cheque presented by GreenPak Coop Society to the President of Malta, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, during l-Istrina 2014. l-Istrina is Malta’s Boxing Day charity campaign organised by the Malta Community Chest Fund.
GreenPak was presented with an official certificate from The Malta Records organisation in recognition for the record number of plastic caps collected in Malta. Originally launched by GreenPak in November 2011, the 4th edition of Irriċkla għall-Istrina (Recycle For Istrina) campaign saw the participation of primary schools and business organisations. GreenPak’s official waste educators, along with GreenPak’s mascot, Green Gary, visited various premises to supply recycling bags and explain the benefits of this initiative.
Ing. Mario Schembri, GreenPak Coop Society CEO, said: “The overwhelming response is a clear indication that our sustainable recycling practices message is being well received not only by the younger generations but also from private organisations. This further encourages us to continue providing recycling opportunities in a responsible manner.”
Ecoembes set up in 2014 a working group on Prevention with the 17 Autonomous Communities and the Ministry of Environment.
It has been created as a tool to share knowledge, experience and opinions to build a communication and working space to improve collaboration between Ecoembes and Public Administrations about Prevention and all the work done by licensees on this field.
As long as 2014 is the year in which we need to work in preparing our triennial (2015-2017) Prevention Plan with licencees, we focused all our efforts on this issue with very positive results. We were able to build a new Prevention Plan more robust that help fillers to continue working actively on Prevention and at the same time meet the needs raised by Public Administrations. Additionally, the working group allowed us to organize for the first time events during the European Prevention Week in cooperation with Autonomous Communities. In 2014 we put together 8 events aimed to spread out Design for recycling among a wide variety of audiences, from licensees to university students.
CONAI has signed a new agreement with ANCI (National Associaton of Italian Municipalities), lasting five years, from April 2014 to March 2019, establishing the amount of fees to be paid to the municipalities covering a part of the costs of packaging waste separate collection (steel, aluminium, paper, wood, plastic and glass).
The new agreement confirms the basic principles: the ANCI-CONAI Agreement is a voluntary tool for the municipalities, who can choose to join it and give their packaging waste to the consortia chain for recycling, or sell it elsewhere. CONAI also confirmed the guarantee for the take back of packaging materials in the whole country, in every part of Italy, even beyond the achievement of the recycling and recovery objectives, recognizing the full amount of fees to the municipalities.
The new agreement even estabilishes the increasing of the economic fees, plus 17% for all the materials, with particular increase for the glass, with 20% more than in the past.
With the agreement it is confirmed, moreover, the priority of the quality of waste collection, as a prerequisite for the subsequent recycling process.
On November 23rd, 2014, we uploaded an edited video to our facebook and YouTube page. Our main goal was to show other perspectives of recycling, a fun perspective.
The video presented its viewers with young acrobats, riders, and gymnasts with exceptional throwing capabilities, trying and succeeding to throw packages such as ketchup bottles, cans etc., into the orange bin (meant for recycling packages). One scene even included a milk carton thrown into a boat from the iconic bridge over the Yarkon Rive in TEL AVIV.
Within days this video had become viral, showing not only on Facebook pages but also on mainstream national television, which helped it reach a wider audience, concluding with a whopping 1.22 million views within a week across mediums.
The success of this campaign is mainly attributed to the shift from digital media to traditional telecommunication. This was possible thanks to a combination of a perfect performance and editing, right timing and a strong digital strategy management. Once the video received references in the traditional media, it had become viral.
At the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the eco-bag Madam the Minister Carole Dieschbourg, explained that Luxembourg with 18 plastic bags per habitant per year, is already well under the number desired by the EC. The reusable “eco-bags” has a lot to do with it.
Indeed, since its launch in Luxembourg in 2004 and the introduction of a priced one-way plastic bag in 2007, consumer habits have changed dramatically. Today, over 85% of customers use reusable bags for shopping. This avoided since 2004 the use of more than 560 million one-way shopping bags, representing a saving of 3,700 tons of plastic. The eco-bag project has reduced the total weight of one-way plastic bags of 89.8%. In September 2012, the EC designated the eco-bag project as an example of best practice in the field of waste prevention. The eco-bag is a part of an environmental agreement on packaging waste prevention and is based on a voluntary agreement between the Ministry, VALORLUX and the Luxembourg Trade Confederation (clc).
The producer run take-back scheme for consumer packaging should be in place on 1 January 2016. Careful planning and the acquisition of the right partners through an invitation to tender for the various operations are essential to attaining an efficient end result.
Take-back and recycling of glass
The first phase of extended producer responsibility for packaging will begin in May. At present, the search for glass recycling partners is at an advanced stage. Reception terminals for glass packaging waste will open their doors and recycling will commence on 1 May in accordance with the agreement between Suomen Keräyslasiyhdistys, the Finnish producer organisation for glass packaging, and PYR. The quantity of waste glass take-back will amount to some 15,000 tonnes per year. This is where it begins with the first steps towards extended producer responsibility now being taken.
You can see more information here: http://info.pyr.fi/aiheet/in-english/
HERRCO commissioned one of the most reliable research companies for public opinion, to undergo a Pan-Hellenic survey regarding Packaging Recycling.
The survey’s findings were very encouraging for the future of packaging recycling and the operation of the System of the Blue Bin in our country. Specifically:
• 96% believe that recycling is important;
• 73% state that recycling is a stable priority in their daily lives;
• 94% endorse that Packaging Recycling is identified with Blue Bins.
When questioned about their recycling of packaging in the blue bin, 88% replied positively. On the other hand, even if they do not recycle packaging, they state in the majority (61%) working or practical reasons for not doing so, without doubting though the operation process of the Packaging Recycling. From the overall assessment is shown that packaging recycling in Greece has become a daily practice and that subconsciously Recycling is synonymous with the System of the Blue Bin.
Green Dot Cyprus is engaged as a major partner in a European Project entitled "Rethink (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Awareness Raising Campaign for the promotion of waste Reduction, Reuse and Recycling in Cyprus".
The project’s total budget is €2,181,960, its duration is 34 months and it is co-funded by 46% by the LIFE + Environment Policy and Governance of the European Union. The project aims to bring about notable changes in perceptions, awareness and habits of the general public and targeted groups through the utilisation of the RRR concept. www.rethink.com.cy.
Green Dot Cyprus has been selected as one of the ten most dynamic and exciting businesses for The Award for Environmental & Corporate Sustainability in the 2014/15 European Business Awards. These Awards are Europe’s largest and most significant cross-sector business recognition programme and this year has engaged with over 24,000 businesses across Europe. www.businessawardseurope.com
In the beginning of February we held our yearly seminars for customers in Sweden. This year, we also offered them to participate online by live webcasting our seminar in Stockholm.
Both the webcast and the opportunity to submit questions to the speakers via text messaging were highly appreciated saving many of them both time and money. FTI presented among other things the new ordinance as of November 1, 2014 and our new affiliation agreement from April 1, 2015.
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency participated at each meeting to speak about the new legislation and the new tasks of the Agency as a consequence thereof.
Our head of marketing ended the seminar by talking about the new affiliation agreement and on how to easier find the documents on our Extranet. In the evaluation we got a rating of between 7 and 9 on a 10 point scale.
Welcome to the first edition of the EXPRA monthly e-newsletter. You can see its web version here. We hope that in this new format you will find it more attractive and easier to read.
The end of the year is usually a time for evaluation. I believe that we can confidently say that EXPRA has succeeded in establishing itself as the leading association for industry owned EPR.
Internally the organization strengthened, our members are constantly working to improve their performance, EXPRA Working groups are following the identified priorities and their first projects have been finalized and delivered. A major success was the Feasibility study on the effects of the proposed EU packaging waste policy on waste management practice, developed by the Data and Reporting WG. The study was highly appreciated by all stakeholders, including the European institutions. EXPRA was the first to organize a high-level policy dialogue on the Circular Economy Package in Brussels, which saw the participation of representatives from the Commission, industry and NGOs.
2014 has been a challenging year too: in July the Commission published the Circular Economy package and the legislative proposals for the PPWD and WFD. As you know, EXPRA participated actively in the process, providing the Commission experts and the consultants with accurate and detailed data, shared our experience and generally tried be useful partners in the entire process. Nevertheless, the proposals for revised WFD and PPWD were not as satisfying as we expected and many topics should be improved from our point of view, just to mention the targets respective deadlines, the proposed new measurement point, the EPR minimum criteria and overall the reliability of the data on which the whole proposal is based.
We actively participated in all following discussions, presenting and defending our positions. We declared that there are key aspects of the legislative proposal concerning the EPR criteria including the cost question, the targets and the measurement point, which will require the new Commission to change and to improve their proposal. As a key stakeholder EXPRA joined in the discussions on the possible withdrawal of the CEP, sending an open letter to Commissioner Vella, that you will find in this newsletter.
Finally, as you know, the new Commission decided to withdraw the Circular Economy Package, giving the justification that there is “no foreseeable agreement” between member states and MEPs. Still the Vice President Timmermans pointed out that the Commission will reintroduce a new package that would be “broader and more ambitious” and would not look at just “half the circular economy, but the whole of the circular economy”.
This decision raises numerous questions, but I can assure you that EXPRA will remain actively involved in the discussions and we will continue to share our thorough knowledge and experience in end-of-life management of packaging with the European Commission and other major stakeholders.
And last but not least I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Enjoy your reading!
On December 3, EXPRA held its second General Assembly meeting during 2014. Following the already established tradition, the meeting was organized in two sessions.
The CEOs of virtually all of EXPRA’s member organizations were present and approved the applications of our colleagues from FTI, Sweden and PYR, Finland as new full members. The General Assembly also confirmed the membership of EXPRA in the EPR Club - the platform for exchange and debate about EPR in Europe amongst key stakeholders and experts.
During the public part of the General Assembly meeting several guests and guest speakers joined. Mr. Seamus Clancy, Managing Director of REPAK (Ireland), Mr. Johan Sneyers and Mr. Francis Huisman from VAL-I-PAK (Belgium) and Mrs. Undine Bude and Mrs. Sigita Namateva from Green Dot Latvia, Ms. Agathe Bocquet from the Office of Pavel Telička, ALDE MEP for Czech Republic,as well as representatives from Tetra Pak and Ball Packaging participated in the meeting. Mrs. Marianne Muller from the European Commission, Ms. Bilyana Spasova, author of a thesis about EPR & Competition, Mr. Garth Hickle from the Minnesota Pollution Agency, Mr. Kent Carlsson from FTI (Sweden) and Mr. Juha-Heikki Tanskanen from PYR (Finland) gave presentations. The participants discussed the key developments on the EU waste and resource efficiency agenda as well as the future development of the debate on the Circular Economy Package and the Waste Target Review.
During its General Assembly meeting on 3 December 2014, EXPRA welcomed two new members - FTI from Sweden and PYR from Finland, extending its presence in Northern Europe.
FTI (Förpacknings- och Tidningsinsamlingen) is a company responsible for ensuring that packaging and newspapers in Sweden are collected and recycled. FTI is operating since 20 years and is the face of obliged industry towards the government and local authorities. Owners of FTI are the four materials companies Plastkretsen, MetallKretsen, Returkartong and Pressretur. There is also Svensk GlasÅtervinning with an agreed collaboration. The FTI's and materials companies' boards include representatives from the packaging and newspaper industry, commerce and trade associations.
PYR, The Environmental Register of Packaging PYR Ltd is a non-profit company implementing packaging producer responsibility in Finland. It is owned by the Finnish business and industry sector and has 10 shareholders that are trade associations representing the whole Finnish industry. Over 95% of Finland’s packaging producers, fillers and producers are registered with PYR. It assists member companies and the Finnish authorities to fulfill their recovery obligations in compliance to EU and national legislation and its aim is to create a system that serves the interests of the environment, companies and people in the best possible way.
The two organisations are very warmly welcomed to the EXPRA family, and we look forward to a close future cooperation. They have come on board at an interesting time, given the discussions on the Circular Economy Package published in July this year and the legislative proposals for the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and the Waste Framework Directive, that will impact waste management in the next 15 years and beyond.
Among the numerous reactions to a potential withdrawal of the CEP and following a letter of several leading Members of the European Parliament, as well as the one of 11 Member States.
Another open letter was sent to Commission President Juncker this week, condemning the possible withdrawal of the CEP, signed by various stakeholders, including Municipal Waste Europe, RREUSE, ACR+, FEAD, European Environmental Bureau and Zero Waste Europe.
Therefore after an intensive internal discussion EXPRA decided also to raise its voice and to send an open letter to Commissioner Vella, cc to President Juncker and Vice president Timmermans. In this letter, EXPRA highlighted the need for improvement of certain topics in the Package with a focus on target levels, recycling measurement and provisions regarding Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Of course, EXPRA states that it is willing to share the vast experience and knowledge of its members in the packaging waste management field.
In view of the forthcoming presentation of the European Commission’s work programme 2015 on 16 December 2014, a coalition of industries active in the packaging value chain has sent a joint statement on the EU Waste Package to President Juncker, First Vice-President Timmerman, other relevant Commissioners, Member States, Members of European Parliament and media.
The 27 organizations, including EXPRA, declare that they are prepared to work constructively with the European Parliament, Council and Commission to help them reach an agreement that meets the growth and environmental objectives of the proposal. It is noted that even if the proposal is withdrawn, there will still be substantial challenges that will need to be addressed to ensure better implementation of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and the organizations are ready to discuss these challenges and possible solutions.
On 16 December the European Commission adopted its Work Programme for 2015, setting out the actions the Commission intends to take over the next 12 months.
During previous discussions, the Commission’s representatives stated that the Work Programme aims to put the notion of ‘political discontinuity’ into practice. It therefore included a list of items to be withdrawn among which is the Circular Economy Package.
The withdrawal of the current Circular Economy Package was announced by the European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans. He underlined that this only indicates that the format of the particular item is incorrect and that the objectives will be attained via a new proposal. Vice President Timmermans pointed out that the Commission will reintroduce a new package that would be “broader and more ambitious”, would not look at just “half the circular economy, but the whole of the circular economy” and would come in 2015.
The withdrawal will however be confirmed once the views of the fellow institutions are heard.
EXPRA regards this development as an opportunity to work now even closer with the European Commission to ensure that the new legislative proposal is more in line with our beliefs and expertise.
The ISWA Working Group on Legal Issues recently published a Key Issue paper on “Extended Producer Responsibility based on experiences with EPR in the European Union.”
The paper states that the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) has lead without any doubt to better recycling results for packaging waste, WEEE, and many other waste streams.
In the document is quoted the OECD definition for EPR - “an environmental policy approach in which a producer’s responsibility for a product is extended to the post consumer stage of a product’s lifecycle.” In this way the responsibility is shifted from the local authorities and taxpayers towards the producer. This also creates a market incentive for producers to incorporate environmental considerations in the design of their products. In addition, ISWA points out that EPR should reduce landfilling of waste and lead to increased recycling, under environmentally, healthy and socially desirable conditions.
EXPRA welcomes the findings of ISWA, namely that all stakeholders in the product chain should be involved in the process and that their responsibilities should be clearly defined, to avoid conflict of interests. Among the most important prerequisites for the successful implementation of EPR is transparency. It is necessary to enable national governments to control the proper implementation of EPR and ensure that both producers and consumers can make informed choices. Another major condition defined in the document, is the setting up of an effective and efficient legal framework accompanied by adequate regulatory investigation, monitoring and enforcement activity.
The paper concludes that EPR is not a stand-alone policy measure. It should always be incorporated in a mix of environmental policy measures as there is no one-size-fits-all approach. EPR effectiveness will always depend on national circumstances, conditions, priorities and waste streams.
You can find the full text of the Key Issue Paper in the section “Most recent ISWA Publications” at http://www.iswa.org/iswa/iswa-groups/working-groups/
Created as part of EU LIFE+ Equal (Ensuring Quality of waste derived products) programme, “Is it waste” is a web tool, recently launched to help businesses manage their waste and surplus materials.
With this tool, businesses are guided step-by-steps on the procedure to determine if their waste or surplus materials meet the end-of-waste criteria and can be considered as products again.
Commenting on the launch of the tool, Chief executive of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) declared: “deriving value from waste materials by turning them back into safe, high quality products is an essential element in the move towards a more circular economy”. “Offering both economic and environmental benefits if supported and regulated appropriately, waste-derived products improve business resource efficiency and competitiveness, reduce reliance on landfill, and help to conserve virgin raw materials” he added.
On the 24th of November, at the occasion of the European Week of Waste Reduction, Fost Plus and Val-I-Pac organized a seminar in Brussels dedicated to packaging optimization.
The event was also the appropriate time to announce the start of the Greener Packaging Awards 2015, a contest open to all companies that put packaging onto the market. The purpose of the biennial contest is to reward a number of companies that wish to highlight the efforts made in order to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging.
Various speakers were invited to the Seminar, two of them the big winners of the previous edition of the Greener Packaging Awards (Colruyt and P&G). They spoke about the progress made in terms of packaging, about the weight reduction in packaging, the logistic optimization and the use of new materials such as nanomaterials. All presentations and photos of the past event are available on the site www.greenerpackaging.be
Ecoembes has recently published its new Code of Ethics that was approved by the company board last May.
This new code replaces the 2008 version. Based on the company’s mission, vision and values, it is the cornerstone of the company’s corporate ethical culture. Ecoembes’ seven corporate values- Cooperation, Efficiency, Integrity, Innovation, Proactivity, Rigor and Sustainability- were selected by the employees and completed and approved by the Board. These values are the basis of the company’s action guidelines: Efficiency, Business Ethics and Sustainable Development.
The new Code embodies a double approach to the company’s obligations: it lays down the company’s commitments to its main stakeholders- stockholders, employees, member companies, public administration, recyclers, suppliers, and public in general and on a more specific level, it includes guidelines for appropriate conduct. Furthermore, Ecoembes’ new Code is not only a guide for employees; it is also applicable to other company members such as stockholders and board members. The company is committed to promote its code throughout its supply chain, specially where legal compliance and human and labour rights are concerned.
The features of the package once it becomes waste, are key elements for its proper collection, sorting and recycling.
The Ecoembes "Design for Recycling"project comprises a set of activities and services that aim to provide companies with greater knowledge about how to integrate environmental aspects relative to package management in their design phase: a diagnostic computing tool, an online course, visits to sorting plants, in-company training on recyclability, Autonomous Community workshops, etc.
Throughout 2014, ECOEMBES has been especially dedicated to this project, training 43 companies that have shown interest in acquiring more in-depth
knowledge on recyclability, 3 workshops in cooperation with the government, 12 visits to sorting plants, and a presence at the Envifood and Empack Fairs.
Ecoembes has taken part in the European Week for Waste Reduction, at which it plans to conduct various workshops in collaboration with 5 Autonomous
Communities, where it will continue to demonstrate its commitment to recyclability as a transversal issue in its message towards its stakeholders.
The results achieved in more than 15 years of activity of the CONAI System were collected in the first Sustainability Report CONAI.
The report applies the international last generation standard Global Reporting Initiative (GRI-G4): through the involvement of the stakeholders has been identified six indicators considered key to define the environmental, social and economic effects.
In 15 years of actvity, the amount of packaging sent to landfill fell by over two thirds to less than a quarter; that recovered from 33% to 76.4%, avoiding the construction of at least 100 landfills. Tons of packaging waste sent for recycling in 2012 were 8.6 million. Thanks to the recycling of packaging, the KwH saved in 15 years were 350 billion, a value greater than the total annual energy demand in Italy, as well as 125 million have been tons of CO2 emissions avoided.
According to research commissioned to society Althesys, compared to € 4.1 billion of contributions from CONAI member companies, the recovery of packaging of the six materials produced 15.2 billion euro of benefits for the entire country. Since 1997 for each Euro invested in the CONAI system, the whole country got benefits for 3 Euro.
From an employment perspective, the recycling companies in Italy are now 1400, with a turnover of 9.5 billion Euros. As part of the recycling industry, the system generated a consortium led economic of 6.3 billion euro, the result of increased employment generated (activities of collection, logistics, selection and packaging recycling) . In waste management are estimated almost 150,000 employees: the system of collection and recycling of packaging waste has created, up to 2012, 16,000 new jobs in addition the employees (about 21,000) of the recycling industry. Collection and recycling of packaging waste employ about 37,000, more than double compared to 2003.
To download the “CONAI Sustainability Report”: www.contenutiecontenitori.it
During its 10 years of existence ECOPACK Bulgaria established itself as the undisputed market leader in recovery and recycling of packaging waste, following its own core values
Care to nature, society, stakeholders; Respect the highest ethical and professional standards; Transparency in running the business and in communication with public authorities, customers, consumers.
Only in 2014 ECOPACK received numerous prestigious awards in the field of environmental protection:
Eco-Rom Ambalaje organized the 8th edition of the annual workshop dedicated to obliged industry to launch new services and discuss the current situation of EPR and packaging waste in Romania.
More than 240 representatives of producer and importers attended the event.
The new services announced were: the catalogue of best practices of prevention, the CO2 emission reduction equivlent calculated for the quantaties of packaging waste recycled and a consulancy service regarding the legislation and the waste management.
The discussions were focused on the current challenges and solution for increasing the performance of the house-holds collection, including a pilot project of bag collection in 2015, working more closer with local authorities and enforcement of current legislation as well as changes forseen for packaging and packaging waste legal framework. The strategic directions of new Circular Economy legislation were also presented to Romanian industry.
The initiative, energetically driven by GreenPak Coop Society, aims at collecting funds for the upcoming l-Istrina 2014 through gathering and recycling of plastic bottle caps.
Primary school students are being encouraged to help Maltese charities by collecting and depositing plastic bottle caps in recycling bags at their respective schools. Primary schools in Malta and Gozo have been supplied with GreenPak’s recycling bags.
GreenPak’s Waste Education Officer, Ms Charlene Mercieca Magro, along with GreenPak’s mascot, Green Gary, encouraged students to appreciate the importance of recycling, while at the same time help raise more funds for l-Istrina.
Ms Denise Brincat, GreenPak Senior Manager said: “This is the fourth year that GreenPak is organising what is fast becoming a popular charitable activity which students eagerly look forward to before they break for the festive holidays.
“The combined effort from the participating schools during last year’s l-Istrina 2013 event culminated with the presentation of €12,000 by student representatives. In other words, a staggering 4.5 million plastic caps were recycled by GreenPak,” she added.
As one of Malta's major charity events, l-Istrina is organised by the Malta Community Chest Fund and involves the airing of a 12-hour TV marathon on 26 December 2014.