Packaging Waste and Sustainability Forum, May 4-5, Brussels
EXPRA collaborated with Informa to organise the EPR Toolkit Workshop and to support the Packaging Waste and Sustainability Forum, held from 2 to 5 May 2022, in Brussels, where the presence of many EXPRA members (CONAI, Fost Plus, EKOPAK d.o.o., Svenskt Producentansvar, Grønt Punkt Norge AS, Valipac, PAKOMAK DOO, ETO), as well as other PROs and key representatives from industry and trade associations, brought great added value.
During the first day of the Packaging Waste and Sustainability Forum, Ms Maja Desgrées du Loû, Policy Officer for Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, ENV/B.3 Waste Management & Secondary Materials, EC, opened the session with her presentation regarding the revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) that aims to reduce negative environmental impacts and improve the functioning of the internal market.
EPR Toolkit Workshop, May 3, Brussels
Ms Monika Romenska, Regulatory and Public Affairs Manager at EXPRA, provided an overview of the current implementation of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) and the Waste Framework Directive (WFD), focusing on the EPR minimum requirements. After that, a very interesting panel discussion on eco modulations took place, where Mr Mike Jefferson, Director at Verde Research Consulting, moderated the various interventions of Mr Luca Ruini, President of CONAI, Miss Romane Colleu, EU Policy Officer at CITEO, Mr Henrik Nilsson, CEO at Svenskt Producentansvar AB, Mr Joao Letras, Director at Waste Management Sociedade Porto Verde and Mr Jens Niessmann, Managing Director, Reclay Group. The excellent panel discussed fee modulation approaches in Europe and the best performances to meet EU recycling and recovery targets through a harmonized approach.
In the following session, Mr Joe Papineschi, Eunomia Research Consulting, presented "Online sales: measures to address free-riding." Also, three esteemed panelists: Mrs Gunda Rachut, president of Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister, Mr Andreas Perti, an official of VKS GmbH Austrian Packaging Coordination Office, and Mr Joao Simao Pires, president of CAGER- Waste Management Oversight Committee, formed a panel discussion on EPR Competition: “Challenges for the independent body”.
Mr Simon Francis Webb, Government Relations and Public Policy at Procter & Gamble, and Mr Gyorgy Viskei, Co-president at the Hungarian Association of Packaging and Materials Handling, explained their presentations during the session “Mandatory use of EPR: Case Studies of national solutions”. In the last session, Mr Scott Cassel, Chief Executive Officer at the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), presented the packaging EPR in the U.S.
Finally, for the first time in two and a half years, EXPRA was able to organise the famous traditional networking dinner after the EPR Toolkit workshop in the centre of Brussels: a great opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and friends.
NERF & UNEP launch webinar on a global EPR project to reduce plastic waste pollution
Mr Joachim Quoden, Managing Director of EXPRA, was invited by UNEP to moderate the panel discussion: 'Understanding the opportunities, barriers, and lessons learned from the perspectives of governments and business', in conjunction with the launch of UNEP's new global EPR project, funded by the Norwegian Retailers Environmental Fund (NREF).
The virtual event was organised as part of the partnership between the Norwegian Retailers' Environment Fund (NREF) and UNEP to end plastics through Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR): a tool widely recognised as critical to increasing waste collection and recycling rates, encouraging more sustainable product design and promoting circularity. The objective of this partnership is to discuss the opportunities countries face in designing and implementing EPR, identify synergies and possibilities for international collaboration, and provide inspiration for the implementation of this new policy.
EXPRA KEY EVENTS 2022/2023
✨In April 2023, the Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance will celebrate its 10th Anniversary✨
10 years in which our EXPRA family has expanded to now include 30 organisations joining the alliance worldwide.
The event will provide an opportunity to discuss future challenges and opportunities for EPR in transitioning towards a circular economy and climate neutrality in Europe and beyond, while reflecting on the progress achieved by our members in supporting sustainable packaging waste management. We are happy that in these years EXPRA became an important and constructive partner, highly appreciated by Industry, EU institutions, International Organizations, NGOs and other stakeholders. The 10th Anniversary Conference will take place on 26 April 2023 in Bussels.
EPR Congress “Efficiency through diversity: EPR best practices across the EU” an event by EXPRA and CONAI that will be organized on 26&27 September 2022 in Brussels.The two-day event aims at highlighting the role of PROs and EPR country schemes diversity in contributing to achieving packaging sustainability targets, thus showcasing the importance of maintaining their geographical nuances. As the European Commission is currently reviewing key legislations in accordance with the objectives of the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan 2.0, it is of critical importance to discuss the effectiveness and positive diversity of current EPR schemes across Member States and exchange about their role in achieving packaging sustainability targets.
Upcoming events with EXPRA participation
Upcoming events, where EXPRA Management and representatives are participating/presenting.
21-22 September, 2022 Prague, Czech Republic
Circular Economy Conference
21-23 September, 2022 Singapore, Singapore
ISWA World Congress 2022
26-27 September, 2022 Brussels, Belgium
Packaging EPR Organizations' Congress
29-30 September, 2022 Skopje, North Macedonia
Balkan EXPRA Forum
13- 14 October, 2022 Brussels, Belgium
Chemical Recycling Europe, Annual Conference
2-4 November, 2022 Barcelona, Spain
Sustainability in Packaging in Europe, Conference
26 April, 2023 Brussels, Belgium
EXPRA 10th Birthday
The fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly
Hosted by the UN Environment Programme, the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) brought together representatives of the 193 Member States of the UN, businesses, civil society and other stakeholders to agree on policies to address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.
The fifth United Nations Environment Assembly was the first step towards adopting a historic mandate to move forward with an international treaty on plastics production, the establishment of an intergovernmental panel on chemicals, and a wide range of measures to address chemicals and waste. Indeed, Heads of State, Ministers of environment and other representatives from UN Member States endorsed a historic resolution to End Plastic Pollution and forge an international legally binding agreement by 2024: the resolution addresses the full lifecycle of plastic, including its production, design and disposal.
Waste Framework Directive (WFD) Revision
The WFD, initially adopted in 2008, is intended by the EU to introduce “measures to protect the environment and human health by preventing or reducing the adverse impacts of the generation and management of waste and by reducing overall impacts of resource use and improving the efficiency of such use”.
The legislative proposal of the PPWD (July 2022)
The EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) defines essential requirements for the design and composition of packaging and sets targets for the collection and recycling of packaging. It aims to improve the environmental performance of packaging, reduce packaging waste and protect the free movement of packaging in the EU single market.
Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union
From 1 July 2022, the Czech Republic holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The role of the Council Presidency is to set the agenda and priorities of the Council of the EU, lead its meetings, broker compromise between the interests of individual Member States and, above all, represent the Council in negotiations with the European Commission, the European Parliament and external partners.
The greatest success was achieved by Czech negotiators at the end of July. They succeeded in negotiating an agreement on gas demand reduction in a record six days from the presentation of the Commission’s proposal. It was approved almost unanimously by EU energy ministers at an extraordinary meeting. According to the agreement, the fifteen percent gas savings are only voluntary for now, but they will become mandatory if there is an acute shortage. The goal of the adopted Council regulation is to reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian gas, which is being used as a weapon to divide the EU-27.
NEWS FROM FOSTPLUS (BELGIUM): A NEW MEASURING METHODOLOGY TO CALCULATE RECYCLING FIGURES
The background: towards a level playing field in Europe
1. The simple, uniform sorting message for the public minimises the risk of sorting errors.
NEWS FROM ECOPACK (BULGARIA): ORGANIZATION OF GLASS COLLECTION - FREE ICE SKATING
NEWS FROM EKOPAK (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA): NEW GLASS PACKAGING PROJECT
As part of the regional project "Management of glass packaging in the Western Balkans" implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina in Bihać, Novi Travnik, Konjic and Ilidža, a total of more than 150 tons of glass packaging was handed over for recycling, which is 27% more than in 2020.
The promotion of the project was also implemented, so citizens were informed and educated on how to dispose glass packaging and special attention was paid to the catering facilities involved in the implementation of the project.
The project "Management of glass packaging in the Western Balkans" is implemented within the development partnership program with the private sector (develoPPP) and is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the first operator of packaging waste management in Bosnia and Herzegovina "Ekopak" and in addition to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the project is being implemented in Serbia and Northern Macedonia.
NEWS FROM ECOEMBES (SPAIN): LIBERA PROJECT
LIBERA, the environmental project by SEO/BirdLife in alliance with Ecoembes which involves more than 1900 organisations throughout Spain, continues fostering its growth through different events linked to its focus of action. In the field of knowledge and regarding science, LIBERA has participated in the II International Forum on Marine Litter and Circular Economy (MARLICE) in Seville.
NEWS FROM CONAI (ITALY) : GENERAL PLAN 2022
Milan, 4 July 2022 - In 2021 Italy sent 73.3% of the packaging placed on the market for recycling: 10 million 550 thousand tonnes. A slightly higher percentage compared to the record of 2020, when a recycling start-up level of close to 73% was reached, and a result that far exceeds the 65% total recycling demanded by Europe from its member states by 2025.
All this despite a year of strong recovery in consumption, which saw an exponential increase in the amount of packaging released for consumption: over 14 million tonnes, about 8.5% more than the previous year.
Introduction by the Managing Dorector
Another incredible year is ending, still full of many developments both externally and internally, not to mention the still ongoing Covid pandemic, impacting our lives and work and moving our communication to a virtual one already for a second year.
Externally, the European Commission worked on the revision of the PPWD as well as continuing with the secondary legislation stemming from the Single Use Plastic Directive and the Waste Directives. In 2022 we are expecting the publication of the revised Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) as well as the Sustainable Product Initiative (SPI) and Green Claims.
Of course, we are and will continue to be closely involved in all consultations, discussions and webinars on these important topics.
The implementation of all these new legislative pieces, measures and initiatives will indeed require very good coordination of how they will be implemented in the different Member States and to ensure that we will not end with 28 or 27 ways of transposing them in the MS National legislations.
And as you could see in our members news section, all EXPRA members are working hard in prevention, promoting sustainable packaging and implementing numerous national and local information and public awareness campaigns. 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.
Wishing you smooth move into 2022 and hopefully it will be safer and healthier, bringing us all new hopes!
Enjoy your reading!
EXPRA General Assembly
EXPRA General Assembly, December 2
On 2 December, the General Assembly was held online due to the latest COVID-19 explosion in Belgium. EXPRA President Oscar Martin Riva, CEO of Ecoembes, warmly welcomed EXPRA members and called for active participation, contribution and support and to join the efforts of members.
EXPRA`s Managing Director, Joachim Quoden, presented EXPRA's annual report highlighting the current challenges of WFD, PPWD, SUPD, where European Commission guidelines are missing especially for "necessary costs, online sales, and tax modulation". The MD also outlined EXPRA's key priorities for the coming years focusing on transforming technical expertise into policy influence, strengthening industry alliances, devising new thought leadership, and revisiting EXPRA's operational structure.
The development of a joint vision and of the EPR 2030/40 Charter has an effect on the EXPRA Action Plan and Lobbying Strategy 2022. To this end, it is crucial to revisit EXPRA's advocacy strategy from a climate perspective, to be proactive concerning all ambitious legislative proposals, policies, and initiatives from European institutions, national governments, and other stakeholders, but also to help members to be fully fit for the future and excel in their performance. For this purpose, EXPRA will be supporteded by the strategy and innovation consultancy TomorrowLab, specialising in strategic future exploration, high-level strategic conversations, scenario analysis, and business model innovation.
The summary of activities during 2021 saw EXPRA's participation in a large number of activities: 21 management reports plus external newsletters, 3 meetings with the European Commission plus 12 workshops, participation/intervention in more than 100 webinars, 3 general assemblies, more than 50 meetings with Circular Plastic Alliance, ISWA, CEFLEX, Holy Grail 2.0 Project, and 15 meetings of Working Groups - Task Forces
Regulatory and Public Affairs Manager, Monika Romenska, reviewed the latest developments on CEP, SUP, Plastic Strategy; in particular, she focused on file updates on Average Loss Rates and Separate Collection, and delayed files such as Sustainable Products Initiative, PPWD, and Green Claims, the public of which will most likely be adopted in Q1 2022.
Furthermore, three interesting presentations took place: Ms. Maryse Vermette, CEO of EEQ, presented "On the way to more operational responsibility, from a pure financial to a partly operational EPR approach" in Canada.
Ms. Nathalia Silva, AB Chile, analysed the early progress of the Chilean industry in establishing an EPR; and Mr. Henrik Nilsson, Svensktproducentansvar / FTI, Sweden, explained the government's proposal for the new Packaging Ordinance 2023, which needs a stricter definition of material recycling to avoid competition as a race to the bottom.
Several EXPRA members welcomed and thanked for the great efforts of the EXPRA team to support them during the whole year despite the COVID challenges and asked to continue this support during 2022.
EXPRA has a new team member!
After a thorough selection process, during which over 30 applications were received, and after a second round including written exercise for shortlisted candidates, Ms Valeria Branca was approved as the new Project Manager at EXPRA.
She is an Italian national, educated in Political Science and International Relations with many specializations and internships in the spheres of European Union Law, International Affairs analysis, International Public Affairs, etc. acquired in Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Mexico and Cyprus
A warm welcome to Valeria in the exiting world of EPR and (packaging) waste management!
EXPRA elected vice chair of the ISWA WG Gov & Legal issues
EXPRA`s MD Joachim Quoden, having been the chair of ISWA`s WG Governance & Legal Issues for 8 years, was not allowed to apply for another 4 years term following the ISWA governance rules. Nevertheless, he was elected as vice chair for the next 4 years, supporting the new chair of the WG, Mr Rodrigo Leiva Neumann from Chile, a long term member of this working group, who is the South American expert on EPR matters, especially how to involve the informal sector
Upcoming events with EXPRA participation
Upcoming events, where EXPRA Management and representatives are participating / presenting.
19 January, 2022 Dusseldorf, Germany
AMI Future of Polyolefins conference
1 February, 2022 Brussels, Belgium
APEAL conference 2022
3-5 May 2022, Brussels, Belgium
PACKAGING WASTE & SUSTAINABILITY FORUM & EPR Toolkit Workshop
15 – 17 March 2022, Bergamo, Italy
First Edition of Waste Management Europe Exhibition & Conference (WME)
18 - 19 May 2022, Munich, Germany.
14th Packaging Innovation Conference
13 – 15 September, 2022, Vienna, Austria
Plastic Recycling Technology Conference
Commission adopts proposal to review Waste Shipment Regulation
On 17 November, the European Commission adopted the proposal for review of the Waste Shipment Regulation. Under the proposed revision, companies would only be able to export “green-listed,” non-hazardous waste — which includes scrap metal, waste paper and certain plastics — to non-OECD nations if those countries “explicitly notify the Commission of their wish to receive new waste” and are able to prove that they can treat the waste “in a sound manner.”
The Commission’s objective is that the new rules will stop such waste from being shipped to emerging countries where it could end up being dumped instead of recycled. The goal is also to boost recycling within the EU and help keep valuable materials in the bloc. The Commission also wants to step up the monitoring of waste exports to OECD countries, enabling it to “ultimately suspend exports” if needed. All EU companies shipping waste outside the bloc would have to carry out third-party audits on the sustainability of their exports. As for waste shipments within the bloc, the revision will force them to be tracked digitally and introduces a harmonized classification for such shipments, as well as stricter conditions for waste destined for incineration and landfill. The Commission will also be setting up a new “waste shipment enforcement group” to “increase cooperation between customs, police [and] national inspection authority” and introduce “stronger rules on penalties.” The proposal has now to be approved by the EP and Council to enter into force.
What are the main measures of the proposal on the export of waste?
To ensure that the export of waste from the EU to third countries is managed sustainably, the following measures are proposed:
- For countries that are not members of the OECD, exports of waste from the EU would be made conditional on an official request from the country to import non-hazardous waste from the EU and demonstration that it can recover it in a sound manner. A list of countries authorised to import waste from the EU will be set up.
- The Commission will monitor the levels of waste exports from the EU to OECD countries. If there is a surge in waste exports to one of these countries, risking serious environmental or public health problems in that country, the Commission will seek information on the treatment of this waste in the country concerned. The Commission will suspend export of this waste if there is no guarantee that this treatment is sustainable.
- EU exporting companies would have to carry out independent audits for their waste exports outside the EU. These audits should demonstrate that the facilities treat this waste in an environmentally sound manner. EU companies would only be authorised to export to these facilities if this is the case.
- To address waste being illegally presented as “used goods”, specific binding criteria will be developed to differentiate between waste and used goods for specific commodities of a particular concern, such as used vehicles and batteries.
What are the main measures on shipments of waste between EU Member States?
The following measures are proposed on the shipments of waste between EU Member States to unlock the potential of the EU waste market and boost the circular economy:
- A full digitalisation of all procedures governing the shipments of waste between EU Member States, in particular for “green-listed” waste;
- New provisions to support the use of fast-track procedures for shipments of waste destined to recovery, when they are destined to facilities certified by the EU Member States (“pre-consented facilities”);
- Harmonised classification of waste at the EU level, to help overcome the current fragmentation of the EU market, where a shipment of waste can be subject to different interpretations and procedures when crossing borders in the EU;
- New provisions making it possible to streamline at the EU level the calculation of financial guarantees that operators have to establish before shipping “notified” waste abroad;
- New and stricter conditions for shipments of waste for incineration or landfilling, so that they are only authorised in limited and well-justified cases, as they are the least preferred options for the management of waste.
Commission provides further details on its plans to bring Circular Economy in E-Commerce
On 17 November, during a Politico event “Bringing circularity in e-commerce”, industry demanded circularity in the e-commerce sector. In her response, Rozalina Petrova, a member of Sinkevičius’ cabinet responsible for implementing the Circular Economy Action Plan, said the key is for companies to make high-quality first-hand goods.
She also said the Sustainable Products Initiative — which the Commission is expected to present early next year — will “provide the basis for prolonging the life of goods.” Petrova said obligations on manufacturers to provide spare parts “will be considered” in the Commission’s future initiatives, and that the right to repair “is something which [the Commission] will be working very intensively on from different points of view.” The Commission is expected to present its legislative proposal on the right to repair in Q3 2022.
Commission Work Program published
The Commission’s Work Program for 2022 has been published on Tuesday 19th October. The Program provides indications on the expected publications of key initiatives.
Among other things it lists the following:
- On products, the initiative for the right to repair is expected in Q3.
- On plastics, the policy framework for bio-based, biodegradable and compostable plastics is expected Q2; the restrictions on microplastics as well as the measures to reduce the release of microplastics in the environment both expected Q4.
- On water and air, the Carbon removal certification is expected for Q4.
The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) is not listed. Nonetheless, it is expected that the draft amendments will be published by the end of Q1 2022. Officially, the Commission is still trying to meet the initially set deadline (Q4 2021), yet unofficially, the information conveyed by the Units (i.e., B1 officials) seems to confirm that it will be delayed to the spring of 2022.
The same destiny is almost certain for the Sustainable Product Initiative (SPI) and Green Claims. Although they were initially planned to be released in December 2021, reliable sources let us understand that they will be postponed being adopted in Q1 2022.
EU Council of the EU published its 18-month work program
On Friday, 10th December, the Council of the EU published its 18-month work program from January 2022 to 30th June 2023. The three Presidencies - France, the Czech Republic and Sweden - will strive to find common solutions to challenges and tasks ahead.
The crisis provoked by the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes an unprecedented challenge. The trio will do everything necessary to enable the Union to overcome the economic and social shock. This will be achieved by implementing the Recovery Plan, notably through investing in the green and digital transitions, revitalising the Single Market, strengthening the EU´s resilience, competitiveness as well as convergence, and ensuring economic policy coordination in line with the pace and strength of the recovery to strengthen the European Union, including the Economic and Monetary Union. In that endeavour, the trio is also determined to protect the rights of Union’s citizens and uphold Union's values. The priorities set out in the Strategic Agenda for 2019-2024 remain fully relevant. At the same time, the pandemic and its consequences have reinforced and accelerated some of the challenges to which the EU must respond. The trio will therefore endeavour to address all of them. Among the challenges that have emerged, health deserves particular attention. The current pandemic has underlined the need for a strong European Health Union and improved coordination at EU level in this area: threats to Member States’ health systems can have significant cross-border implications.
CONAI (Italy) - The new Green Economy Report quantifying the environmental and social effects of recycling activity
CONAI published the Sustainability and Green Economy Report recounting the 2020 events.
The new Report quantifies the environmental and social effects of recycling activity, with a scientific tool - the Life Cycle Costing Tool - in order to calculate the direct and indirect effect of the efforts of the system.
Speaking of 2020, one cannot fail to consider the crisis situation in which we were forced to operate as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic that changed the lives of each of us. It is only thanks to the collaboration and vision of the system that the health crisis was not followed by one of an environmental nature. Thanks to the collaboration of all the players in the chain in which CONAI played a fundamental role, making it possible, thanks to the timely intervention of the Supply Chain Consortia and the active collaboration with central institutions and ANCI, to save natural resources and energy and generate new secondary raw materials, subsequently used for the production of new goods for daily use in place of other virgin raw materials.
The 2020 data even set a record for our country, which brought 73% of the packaging materials put on the market to a second life, far exceeding the minimum recycling targets in force (55%). If we add recovery to recycling, i.e. the exploitation of packaging materials as an energy source, we reach 83.7% of the total amount of packaging waste recovered. Thus also contributing to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere; in 2020 alone, 4.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent avoided thanks to the recycling of the consortium system.
Thanks to recycling packaging waste, in 2020 consumption of about 4,6 million tons of raw material was avoided, equal to the weight of 460 Eiffel towers.
Talking about economics, the benefits generated by the CONAI- Supply Chain Consortia reached over one billion euros in 2020 and from 2005 to 2020 totaled 12.8 billion euros. The commitment since 1998 has avoided the filling of 175 new medium-sized landfills.
To learn more, download the “CONAI Green Economy Report - Highlights” at this page: https://www.conai.org/en/about-conai/green-economy/
RINKI (Finland) News
“A step towards fairer treatment” – Rinki’s campaign focuses on overseas distance sellers and ‘Recycling heroes’ - a website in Finnish especially designed for schoolchildren
“A step towards fairer treatment” – Rinki’s campaign focuses on overseas distance sellers
Producer responsibility for packaging expanded last summer to include foreign online shops and other distance sellers. Rinki decided to launch a campaign to involve foreign companies in the producer responsibility scheme. The project has turned Rinki’s expert Suvi Rapola into quite the detective.
The amended Waste Act means that overseas distance sellers are included in the producer responsibility scheme. As Rinki’s expert, Suvi Rapola, can you tell us: what changed?
EU Member States must now ensure that producers also meet their producer responsibility obligations when selling goods online, according to the EU Waste Directive. The obligation of the directive was put into effect in Finland by the revised Waste Act, which entered into force in July.
The change in legislation was very welcome. This is a step towards fairer treatment in terms of producer responsibility obligations. It also means that the packaging statistics compiled by Rinki will be even more comprehensive as online shopping will be included in the scope of reporting.
Rinki has launched a customer acquisition project for distance sellers. What is the project about?
Rinki’s project to encourage cross-border distance sellers to become members started with a background study, which I drew up before the amended legislation entered into force. I went through the development of online shops and identified the key players. I drew up a customer acquisition plan on the basis of the report, which I’m now implementing.
Rinki’s goal is to involve all overseas online shops in the system so that they can fulfil their producer responsibility obligations in Finland. In practical terms, this means signing a customer agreement managed by Rinki. There is a separate agreement form for distance sellers to join the producer responsibility scheme, but the same terms and conditions apply to all Rinki customers.
What has the project achieved so far and what can we expect to happen next?
We have approached online shops operating outside Finland with an INFO newsletter, and a separate brochure has been prepared for this target group. Our campaign material describes the new obligation and how to handle it in the most convenient manner in Finland.
The first round of messages was sent to foreign online shops and producer responsibility consultants in August.
Some overseas companies use consulting agencies to fulfil their producer responsibility obligations. These compliance consultants, prompted by the campaign, have been in contact Rinki.
The first agreements have already been signed with distance sellers. Work will continue with targeted communications aimed at specific companies. New online shops that sell packaged products to Finnish customers appear all the time, and we continue to inform them about how to manage the producer responsibility obligations.
You can read the full information here:
Communication Initiative "Recycling Heros"
Children can now explore the world of recycling through a game. Kierrätyksen sankarit (‘Recycling heroes’) is a website in Finnish especially designed for schoolchildren. It is a great way to learn everyday recycling skills in a fun way in the digital gaming world. The game teaches players how waste is sorted, recycled and further processed.
Kierrätyksensankarit.fi is the first website that is this extensive and teaches players the rules of sorting and recycling, as well as tests their skills in a fun way. The interactive game was created in collaboration with twelve producer organisations, and players do not even notice that they are learning recycling skills. The website is designed to be used in schools, and it is especially suitable for primary school children.
“It’s important for children to understand that sorting and recycling are a natural part of sustainable consumption. The gaming environment, however, is suitable for all of us, from school children to older people,” says Heli Satuli, Communications Manager at Finnish Packaging Recycling RINKI Ltd.
Visitors to the website spent more than eight minutes on the game in the first month after its launch, so the game clearly interests and activates its users.
Recycling at home, the supermarket, and other familiar places
Recycling skills are taught in recycling environments that children are familiar with: in the home, at collection points, shops, in town and in nature. Each recycling environment not only features games and tasks but also provides sorting instructions and information related to waste sorting, recycling and further processing of materials.
Players can also find useful information on how to recycle plastic, cardboard, beverage, glass and wood packaging, as well as paper, metal, electrical equipment, batteries, cars and tyres. Players complete tasks to go from being a novice to a recycling superhero by collecting stars. The tasks are simple but versatile – there are different types of tasks, and they require powers of deduction, visual perception, and reading comprehension.
The website https://kierratyksensankarit.fi/ is free to use, and you don’t need to register, and the tasks can be done on any device.
News from Ekopak Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ekopak Bosnia and Herzegovina various initiatives:
- Ekopak delivered 90 special containers for collecting glass packaging
- Ekopak participated in successfully implemented project of Coca-Cola and SFF “Recycle me. Give me a new life”
- Management of glass packaging in the Western Balkans - Regional glass packaging management project expanded, eight new municipalities will receive glass recycling containers
- Ekopak participates in project "Improving the living conditions and health of citizens in the local communities of Sarajevo Canton
Ekopak delivered 90 special containers for collecting glass packaging
Symbolically, on World Recycling Day, the first and leading operator for packaging waste management system in BiH - Ekopak, ogether with GIZ and REDAH, delivered 90 special containers (bells) for collecting glass packaging, of which 50 will be delivered to Municipality Ilidža and 40 to Municipality Konjic.
Previously, 100 such containers were procured and 69 were delivered to the Municipality of Bihać and 31 to the Municipality of Novi Travnik. German Development Cooperation and Ekopak provided a total of 190 special containers within the regional project "Management of glass packaging in the Western Balkans", which includes Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Northern Macedonia through their system operators Ekopak, Sekopak and Pakomak with the support of the German Organization for international cooperation - GIZ, NALED, ZELS and REDAH.
Due to the insufficient number of containers for the disposal of glass packaging but also the lack of appropriate recycling facilities, glass is less recycled in the Western Balkans than is the case in the member states of the European Union. EU countries recycle about 70% of glass packaging annually, while in BiH the amount is 12%. Most of the used glass in our country ends up in landfills or illegal dumps and in such conditions it takes as much as 5,000 years for it to decompose.
Given that glass is the only packaging material with 100% recycling efficiency and can be recycled indefinitely, we are free to award it the title - "star of the recycling industry"! Therefore, before we put an empty glass bottle or jar after usage in the container with other municipal waste, we should keep in mind some of the following facts:
1. By recycling one glass bottle, a 100W bulb can work for a full 4 hours!
2. By recycling one glass bottle, you save energy to power your computer for 25 minutes!
3. Recycling one ton of glass saves 42Kwh of electricity or 19 liters of oil!
4. By recycling 1000 kilograms of glass, the emission of harmful gases is reduced by 3 kilograms in relation to the production of new glass.
5. By recycling glass we can save about 40% of energy and 50% of water needed to produce new glass and reduce air pollution by 20% and water by 50%.
In order to make the situation, regarding the management of glass packaging waste in the region, more favorable in the coming period, the project "Management of glass packaging in the Western Balkans" is being implemented. Thus, 190 special containers for the disposal of glass packaging will be installed in the municipalities of Bihać, Novi Travnik, Konjic and Ilidža as well as in selected cities and municipalities of Northern Macedonia and Serbia.
The goal is to increase the amount of collected glass packaging in the region by 20%, as well as to reach a sustainable model of collection and recycling of glass packaging that would gradually expand to other municipalities in BiH in the coming years. In addition to this technical part, an appropriate campaign was developed aimed at raising citizens' awareness of the importance of recycling this packaging material. The campaign is unique for all three countries and at the same time respects the specifics of each of the countries. It will be implemented at the local level in the local communities involved in the project. The project in BiH is implemented by Ekopak, GIZ and REDAH.
Ekopak participated in successfully implemented project of Coca-Cola and SFF “Recycle me. Give me a new life”
One of "Ekopak" founders, company Coca-Cola HBC in cooperation with the Sarajevo Film Festival, Ekopak and PUC RAD, during the largest film festival in Southeast Europe "Sarajevo Film Festival" implemented the initiative "Recycle me. Give me a new life ", which is part of the global program "World without waste".
The activities within the initiative were aimed at creating new habits, educating and raising awareness of citizens about the importance of proper disposal, sorting and recycling of waste.
Containers for plastic bottles, cans and mixed waste were set up at the busiest locations in the center of Sarajevo and mobile teams were circulating around the city with backpacks for disposal of plastic bottles and cans. All collected waste, in cooperation with the utility company "Rad" and company "Ekopak" was sent for recycling.
Coca-Cola HBC as a socially responsible company and a leader in the application of the postulates of sustainable business has clear set of goals related to reducing environmental impact. One of the company's strategic commitments globally is the "World without Waste" program. This directly contributes to reducing the environmental impact and offers solutions to the challenges associated with packaging waste.
" We are happy to have the opportunity to participate in Coca-Cola's global initiative "World without Waste" through partnership of the Sarajevo Film Festival with the world's strongest brand, a leader in the field of corporate social responsibility. It is especially important that the initiative “Recycle me. Give me a new life. ” in Bosnia and Herzegovina started at the Sarajevo Film Festival. Culture, art and a successful society are based on a culture of responsible and sustainable living. Part of that culture is responsible waste disposal, collection and recycling and that is why we are honored that the Sarajevo Film Festival is participating in the first steps of the initiative", said Mirsad Purivatra, director of the Sarajevo Film Festival.
“We want to contribute to the reduction of environmental impact through cooperation with all our stakeholders. Therefore, already traditional partnership in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Sarajevo Film Festival is opportunity for initiative “Recycle me. Give me a new life.”. We encourage citizens to have a responsible attitude towards packaging waste. At the same time, we promote sustainable and responsible business practices by reducing the environmental impact of the communities in which we operate” said Bruno Jelić, World Waste Free Project Manager at Coca-Cola HBC Adria.
“We were extremely honored to be part of this project and give support for initiative of our founder Coca-Cola HBC. In cooperation with colleagues from PUC RAD, Ekopak was in charge of setting up the infrastructure as well as collecting and transporting the collected packaging waste for recycling. The results were extraordinary and I hope that this year's Coca-Cola initiative will grow into the practice not only during SFF but as part of all major sport and cultural events in BiH" said Amela Hrbat, Managing Director of Ekopak.
In addition to Coca-Cola, its customers from the hospitality sector as well as Konzum and Mercator, are also participating in the initiative.
Management of glass packaging in the Western Balkans - Regional glass packaging management project expanded, eight new municipalities will receive glass recycling containers
Responsible glass disposal available to 1.5 million citizens of BiH, Serbia and Northern Macedonia. After 1,000 glass packaging recycling containers began arriving in the region in December, the Western Balkans Glass Packaging Management project was expanded to eight more municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Northern Macedonia.
Apart from Sombor, Niš, Bihać, Novi Travnik, Štip and Ilinden, the containers will be distributed in Kragujevac, Varvarin, Konjic, Ilidža, Skopje, Bitola, Gevgelija and Tetovo. The complete equipment will be installed by the end of March, in the city cores, restaurants as well as in the suburbs.
One of the main goals of the project, launched by the German Development Cooperation - GIZ, in cooperation with packaging waste operators - Ekopak, Sekopak and Pakomak, is to increase the amount of collected glass packaging in these municipalities by 20% and achieve profitability of glass recycling.
Thus, by the end of March, Ekopak, with the help of project partners and local communities, will set up 69 containers for glass packaging in Bihać, 31 in Novi Travnik and 40 in Konjic and 50 in Ilidža.
"With the aim of increasing the rate of glass packaging recycling by 20% in BiH, we joined the original municipalities of two more municipalities Konjic and Ilidža, and provided them with the required number of containers for the collection of glass packaging waste. Monitoring of the collection will include the city center, rural settlements and catering facilities, and the project will be accompanied by an educational campaign intended for citizens and institutions. Upon completion of the project, a Guide will be developed that will contain all data on the achieved results, which would serve for the development of systems in municipalities where it is not implemented and to establish an efficient and economically viable glass packaging management system, " said Managing Director of Ekopak, Amela Hrbat.
Only 44% of glass packaging is recycled in Serbia, 30% in Republic of Northern Macedonia and 12% in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is insufficient to establish a cost-effective recycling system in the Western Balkans. Since there are no recycling plants in the region, glass packaging must be exported and this is an additional cost for packaging waste operators. Consequence of such a system is that most used glass packaging ends up in landfills or illegal dumps, where glass needs more of 5,000 years to disintegrate.
The project will prepare a Guide for local governments to establish an efficient and cost-effective glass packaging management system and the project also aims to contribute to improving the implementation of laws and regulations in the field of environmental protection which is also a direct contribution to further EU accession and harmonization of rules and regulations.
The project is implemented in BiH, Serbia and Northern Macedonia within the development cooperation program with the private sector - develoPPP.de funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and implemented by NALED, the Association for Economic Development REDAH and the Association of Local Governments (ZELS) ) from Republic of Northern Macedonia.
Ekopak participates in project "Improving the living conditions and health of citizens in the local communities of Sarajevo Canton
Ekopak is involved in another important project for Sarajevo Canton. Czech Embassy in Sarajevo, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the Czech Development Agency launched a project called "Improving the living and health conditions of citizens in local communities of Sarajevo Canton", and KJKP Rad Sarajevo and Ekopak joined the implementation.
In this regard, a working meeting was held attended by Ivana Pejič Povolná from the Czech Development Agency, Jaromir Manhart, Czech project expert, Maida Čukojević from KJKP Rad and Amela Hrbat, Director of Ekopak.
"We discussed the details of the project that will be implemented in the municipalities of Sarajevo Canton, the expansion of the network for waste collection and recycling in Sarajevo Canton by building eco-islands and recycling yards" said Amela Hrbat.
Boys Jure and Marko Slišković, stars of recycling in Novi Travnik, received awards and gifts
Ten-year-old boys from Novi Travnik, Jure and Marko Slišković, have become real little recycling stars in their city. This municipality, through Ekopak, at the end of last year joined the regional project "Management of glass packaging in the Western Balkans" which in addition to Bosnia and Herzegovina is being implemented in Serbia and Northern Macedonia. In Novi Travnik, urban and rural area of this municipality, waste-bins for glass were set up to collect glass packaging which attracted the attention of the boys who initiated an action of collecting glass packaging.
Jure and Marko visited the houses of their neighbors for days and diligently collected glass packaging waste and filled it into a waste-bin for glass and in just a few days they collected 260 kg of glass packaging and filled the container. It was the first waste-bin for glass in Novi Travnik, but also in other local communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina where this project is being implemented, that the special container is 100% filled with waste glass packaging.
Their commitment to collecting glass packaging and preserving the environment in general did not go unnoticed, so Ekopak in cooperation with the utility company Vilenica-Čistoća and the Municipality of Novi Travnik, at the celebration of the Day of the Municipality of Novi Travnik, presented the boys with special recognition and gifts.
We remind you that the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the National Alliance for Local Economic Development "Naled" from Serbia in cooperation with the first operator of the packaging waste management system in Bosnia and Herzegovina "Ekopak", and system operators "Sekopak" from Serbia and " Pakomak "from Northern Macedonia, as well as the Association for Economic Development of Herzegovina REDAH and the Association of Local Self-Government Units ZELS, launched a regional project" Management of glass packaging in the Western Balkans " which will be implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina in Bihać and Novi Travnik municipalities. Konjic and Ilidža and one of the goals is to increase the collection rate of glass packaging in these municipalities by 20%.
Pakomak (Republic of North Macedonia) SMART packaging waste management
The problems that Pakomak is facing every day, by collection of packaging waste from Igloo containers, is due to non-precise information that we have in real time about their fullness with packaging waste on the one hand and on the other hand their positioning (location) in the municipalities across the country.
The frequency of these problems is increasing daily with the increase of the number of placed containers on the entire territory of the Republic of North Macedonia. At the moment we have placed approx. 1700 Igloo containers in 37 biggest municipalities covering more than 70% of the territory where we have population. It often happens that specialized vehicles for emptying these containers visit containers that are partly full with packaging waste (they are half empty) or due to human error they do not visit some containers at all, their location is forgotten or the operators do not visit them to collect packaging waste due to their daily priority activities. As a result of this, we are facing with dissatisfied and discouraged citizens for the selection of packaging waste because the containers are often full and citizens do not have the opportunity to throw their packaging waste in them. On the other hand, Pakomak has big operating collection costs by specialized vehicles with ineffective visits for emptying half-full containers.
With the installation of the smart sensors on the Igloo containers, Pakomak will have accurate information for each container individually about its fullness and of course information about location of the container. This information from the smart sensors included in the Global Positioning System (GPS) will enable a system where Pakomak will be able to have on time complete overview of all Igloo containers placed throughout the country. This information will enable a significant increase in the efficiency of the operators who collect packaging waste from Igloo containers and also will decrease collection costs by precise daily planning of the routes for emptying the containers. The increase of the effectiveness of Pakomak and the reduction of the collection costs will directly reflect in the reduction of the fees for collection of packaging waste paid by the obliged companies members of Pakomak system.
Fost Plus: White Paper - Belgium as European recycling hub Four steps towards a circular economy for household packaging
Fost Plus wants to make the circular economy for household packaging a reality in Belgium by offering a recycling solution for every packaging on the market.
Our country will thus become a real European recycling hub. In our white paper we take a closer look at the 4 essential steps to achieve our goal. Discover them in our white paper. Despite all the calls for zero waste, packaging is necessary in many cases. They guarantee food safety, protect products during transport, ensure safe storage and provide the space to legally required product information. However, it is important to reduce their environmental impact to to a minimum. That is also the assignment we were given more than 25 years ago. Then it pointed packaging industry, industry and trade Fost Plus to assume their producer responsibility for to complete the selective collection, sorting and recycling for household packaging. Today we are more than ever the engine of the circular economy.
In our white paper we take a closer look at the 4 essential steps to achieve our goal. Discover them in the white paper: https://viewer.pdf-online.nl/books/azee/#p=1
Introduction by the Managing Director
Welcome to the spring & summer edition of the EXPRA e-newsletter! The period witnessed many developments both externally and internally, not to mention the still ongoing Covid pandemic, impacting our lives and work and moving our communication to a virtual one already for a second year.
Internally EXPRA members elected new President – Mr Oscar Martin, CEO of Ecoembes and re=-elected EXPRA Board of Directors’ members for the mandate 2021-2023.
Externally, the European Commission is working on the revision of the PPWD as well as continuing with the secondary legislation stemming from the Single Use Plastic Directive. Unfortunately, some of the secondary legislation, stemming from the Waste Directives (WFD and PPWD) as the EPR Guidelines has been put on hold, which is to some extent hampering their timely transposition and implementation in all EU MS. Of course, we are closely involved in all consultations, discussions and webinars on these important topics.
With all these challenges but also opportunities we, in EXPRA, continue with our efforts to ensure an adequate policy framework for the functioning of PROs, thus enabling the circularity of packaging.
EPR is attracting more and more attention internationally, as recently over 150 companies committed to a declaration facilitated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation that EPR is part of their business concept and with Maine being the first US state introducing EPR. That is why we are also evaluating how to continue our successful cooperation with ISWA and PSI by for example organizing of 8 EPR Masterclasses during 2020 and 2021, to disseminate information, know how and best practices on EPR.
Our members are continuing toenhance their performance by mainstreaming cost-effective solutions and implementing best practices, as you can see in the articles below as well as from the updated EXPRA Brochure.
Enjoy your reading!
EXPRA General Assembly Meeting
On 29 April, a Zoom meeting as already usual due the Corona virus crises took place. The Managing Director presented a short overview of 2020 with all challenges, noting that the goal for EXPRA to be the know how hub for EPR (for packaging) has been achieved, as well as the annual evaluation by members (59% excellent, 32% very good and 9 % good marks).
The most recent EU developments regarding SUP & EPR guidelines and the forthcoming revision of the PPWD were presented and discussed.
During the meeting a new Board and a new President for the term 2021- 2023 were elected - all current BOD members were re-elected and as the new President Mr. Oscar Martin, CEO of Ecoembes, was unanimously elected. The new President shared his views on key priorities for the next two years in order to ensure that EXPRA meets all forthcoming challenges stemming from the new role for EPR within the transition towards circularity.
Very interesting were the presentations of the external speakers, namely Ms Vivian Xin Chen, WWF Project lead of Extended Producer Responsibility, WWF Deutschland, Graham Mr Gian de Belder, P&G, Vanessa Chesnot Product Policy Manager, FEVE and the colleagues Lieven Capon, Fost Plus & Karel Gemmeke, Valipac.
Ms Vivian Xin Chen, WWF Project lead of Extended Producer Responsibility, WWF Deutschland, presented their very interesting project, developed with EXPRA Contribution. WE belive that it is very important that WWF has identified the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme as a critical policy tool, as well as encouraging holistic eco-design in the business sector. The project is also presented in the new section of EXPRA homepage, EPR partnerships: https://www.expra.eu/en/epr-partnerships
Mr Gian de Belder, P&G presented an update on the Holy Grail 2.0 Project and its consequences for national EPR systems. As you recall this is an innovative project on digital watermarks, in which EXPRA is involves form the start:
Ms Vanessa Chesnot, Product Policy Manager, FEVE presented an update on the Close the Glass Loop Project, where EXPRA members as Ecovidrio, Coreve and others are actively involved. She focused on the practical aspects of the project, sharing some examples.
The Belgian hub for packaging eco design - “Pack it better” was presented by the colleagues Lieven Capon, Fost Plus & Karel Gemmeke, Valipac.
The Hub is a platform helping companies to make well-considered choices for developing / improving the packaging of products and to ensure the circular nature of the packaging materials, taking into account the packed product and the fact that companies can be active in the markets of different European countries. It covers:
- Prevention of packaging, both qualitatively and quantitatively
- Recyclability of packaging
- Household & commercial/industrial
- Primary, secondary and tertiary packaging
- Reusable and one way
- All materials and all sectors
For such a platform, neutrality is very important (no commercial companies selling packaging or materials) and an Independent guidance committee is overseeing any doubts or Governance rules and the final assessment (qualitative & quantitative) including Valipac management, Fost plus management, 1 federation of household products, 1 federation of industrial products.
EXPRA/PSI/ISWA Webinar | EPR Masterclass 2021 - The Role of the Waste Management Sector in EPR Systems, June23
EXPRA/PSI and ISWA, this time also with the support of SWANA (the waste management sector association of North America) organized the 4th EPR Masterclass webinar in 2021, this time discussing the role of the waste management sector within an EPR system.
With the transition to an EPR system comes needed funding and opportunities for innovation and business growth. In Europe, presented by Dr Clemens Pues from PreZero (the waste management company of LIDL/Kaufland), most regions expanded from single-stream to multi-stream collection for recycling, and MRFs were upgraded with modernized equipment. Canada’s provinces with EPR have a range of system models, no two exactly alike. In the U.S., as momentum grows toward packaging EPR, stakeholders in the waste management sector are preparing for the transition.
In this webinar — part of a series developed and organized by PSI and EXPRA — this time followed again by over 200 participants from all over the world, we provided context for role of waste management in EPR and heard speakers from all three perspectives discuss their experiences regarding the transition to EPR, the challenges of a complex system with significant political attention, and the business development opportunities they continue to find.
First UNEP Regional Capacity Building Online Workshop on Extended Producer Responsibility, June 4
The event brought together around 100 participants from Eastern Partnership countries and international stakeholders, including representatives of relevant Ministries, local authorities, UNEP, international organizations, the EU Delegation, private sector and CSOs from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
The goal of the WS was to facilitate a regional dialogue and information sharing on the status of the EPR in the partner countries, discuss main issues and bottlenecks in the EPR implementation; and look at the mechanisms and solutions for a successful implementation of operational EPR schemes in the region.
The more concrete objectives included: to identify and discuss common critical issues with EPR within the region (based on a study carried out) as well as to discuss policy choices and pragmatic elements of EPR. Joachim Quoden, EXPRA MD presented and discussed with the participants the current best practices for the EPR schemes for packaging waste in EU Member States (Belgium and the Czech Republic). The opportunities for the EPR system establishment in partner countries, including the development of a regional approach to EPR were presented by Kyriakos Parpunas a partner under the project.
The following interactive discussion covered many important topics as: Policy development and implementation, Minimum EPR requirements, Action from the private sector: Monitoring and enforcement, single v/s multiple PROs, Informal sector and public awareness/role of the inhabitants/consumers.
Upcoming events with EXPRA Participation
Upcoming events, where EXPRA Management and representatives are participating / presenting.
14-16 September, Virtual
Packaging Waste and Sustainability Virtual Forum
August 31, 2021, Virtual
Regional European Network of ISWA
September 29, 2021, Messe Essen, Germany
Plastics Recycling World Expo
Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) review
The Circular Economy Action Plan announced the review of the PPWD, seeking to make all packaging on the EU market is reusable or recyclable in an economically sustainable way by 2030.
The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) aims at the reduction of the impact of packaging and packaging waste on the environment, as well as to improve the functioning of the internal market. This is put in place though provisions on essential requirements for packaging, prevention, reuse, recovery, and recycling targets.
The Circular Economy Action Plan announced the review of the PPWD, seeking to make all packaging on the EU market is reusable or recyclable in an economically sustainable way by 2030. The revision will:
• update essential requirements to improve packaging design for reuse and high-quality recycling.
• include measures to reduce packaging waste generation, including overpackaging, defining of new waste reduction targets, or making reuse mandatory for some packaging formats.
• consider additional measures, such as crating an enforceable definition of ‘recyclable packaging’; creating packaging registries; introducing recycled content targets for specific packaging formats; tackling e-commerce packaging.
In 2021 an impact Assessment has been assigned to EUNOMIA – the consultant organized 6 Webinars on PPWD review in June:
- Compostable Packaging
- Over-arching measures
- Recycled Content
- Waste Prevention
Overall, Eunomia consultants are inclined to favour waste reduction and reuse over recycling, which may come in form of new waste generation limits and reuse targets. This position is supported by main NGOs. On the other side, industry, spearheaded by EUROPEN, advocates to move away from setting arbitrary measures such as waste generation limits, calls for a cautious assessment for making reuse mandatory for certain packaging (e.g. transport) and supports the creation of EU standard on effective reuse systems.
EU Guidelines on SUP products published
On 31 May, the European Commission published the final version final version of the EU Guidelines on SUP products, developed under article 12 of the Single Use Plastics Directive. The Guidelines provide further clarifications, in particular on the definition of plastic, of single-use plastic products made wholly or partly of plastic, and on the different items covered by the Directive.
Regarding the Guidelines’ content, paper-coated products are included in the scope, while bioplastics are not expressly mentioned, but they are considered in reference to natural polymers. In addition to that, viscose, lyocell and cellulose are excluded compared to previous versions. The text clarifies that multipacks of food containers are exempted, but such exemption does not apply to packets and wrappers. Concerning caps, covers and lids, no changes have been made from the last version: plastic caps with separate sealing membrane (two-step closure) used in combination with a single-use plastic beverage container are included. The document closely resembles the latest draft published in April. At a first glance, the call from various industry groups, including EXPRA, to postpone the publication of the guidelines and the call to split them leaving aside the most controversial issues, made by Confindustria and BDI, was not taken into consideration by the Commission. Biodegradable/bio-based plastics fall under the SUPD due to a lack of widely agreed technical standards for the degradation process in the marine environment.
However, the review of the SUP Directive in 2027 will include an assessment of the scientific and technical progress concerning criteria or a standard for biodegradability in the marine environment applicable to single use plastic products.
Commission publishes draft act on the separate collection targets for single-use beverage bottles
On 20 May, the European Commission published the draft Implementing Decision on the methodology for the calculation and verification of the separate collection targets for single-use beverage bottles.
According to the document, separately collected waste SUP bottles shall be calculated by dividing the weight of separately collected waste bottles by the weight of bottles placed on the market. The weight of the waste bottles shall include the weight of their caps and lids, but not include the weight of any remaining beverage.
Waste bottles will be considered as separately collected if collected separately from any other waste (i.e. DRS) or together with other municipal waste collected separately for recycling. Moreover, the weight of waste bottles will be calculated differently depending on the separate collection method. The different formulas for the methodologies are listed in an Annex. This draft act was open for stakeholder feedback until 17 June to which EXPRA provided contribution, together with CITEO, France and ARA, Austria.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation call for EPR as part of the business concept supported by over 150 companies
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is the only proven and likely way to provide funding that is dedicated, ongoing, and sufficient. Through EPR schemes, companies putting packaging on the market are required to pay for its collection, sorting, and recycling after use.
To stop packaging pollution we need a circular economy where we eliminate what we don't need, innovate towards new packaging, products and business models, and circulate all the packaging we do use, keeping it in the economy and out of the environment. But collection, sorting, and recycling of packaging typically costs more to do than the money it makes. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is the only proven and likely way to provide funding that is dedicated, ongoing, and sufficient. Through EPR schemes, companies putting packaging on the market are required to pay for its collection, sorting, and recycling after use.
For the first time, more than 150 leading businesses and other organisations from across the packaging value chain, publicly recognise that without EPR, packaging collection and recycling is unlikely to be meaningfully scaled and tens of millions of tonnes of packaging will continue to end up in the environment every year.
Companies including: Beiersdorf, Danone, Diageo, Ferrero, FrieslandCampina, H&M, Henkel, Inditex, L'Oréal, Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Reckitt, Schwarz Group, Tetra Pak, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, and Walmart (companies in red are member of EXPRA`s Strategic Committee). See also the press release of EXPRA, strongly supporting this move as only if we have functioning waste management systems all over the world we can make packaging circular and stop the marine litter problematic.
You can find more information here.
News from Fost Plus / Belgium: Recycling App for Antwerp
Antwerp and Fost Plus are joining forces to keep the streets of Antwerp tidy. The Click project encourages residents and visitors to throw their waste in the right bin outside the home, just like at home. In this context, an innovative application has been developed. The waste infrastructure was also overhauled to enable proper sorting. By scanning every package that you throw away in the right waste bin with your smartphone, you save 'Circular UCoins'. You can redeem it at the local merchants.
Fost Plus launched the Click last summer in De Haan. The project is now being extended to the city center of Antwerp. In summary, it comes down to this: if you dispose of your waste properly, you will be rewarded with Circular Ucoins that can be used at local merchants. The project will run for 1 year in the neighborhoods around the Meir, the student neighborhood (environment of the UA city campus), the Scheldekaaien and the Statiestraat (Berchem district) and is continuously monitored and adjusted during that period.
Els van Doesburg, alderman for city and neighborhood maintenance: “Litter is one of the biggest annoyances in our city, in shopping streets, in residential areas, on squares, in parks and on the quays. Everyone knows that. City services do everything they can to keep Antwerp clean. For example, we just started installing the new Mr Fills, the compressing super waste bins, just last month. But a change of mentality is also needed, a 'click' as it were. The Click app makes that easier for everyone. I'm happy to launch a warm call to install the Click app and get started. In this way everyone can ensure less litter in the city.”
On the one hand, the project aims to create a change of mentality among citizens and visitors and to encourage them to properly dispose of their own waste and to clean up litter. In addition, the Click is committed to strengthening the infrastructure and logistics for collecting waste. The local middle class is also involved. After all, the Circular UCoins that residents and visitors save when they dispose of waste correctly can be exchanged for extras when purchasing in participating stores or when visiting the catering industry. Those who do well are therefore thanked. Alderman for the middle class Koen Kennis: 'A clean city, and new customers for our entrepreneurs. I call that a win-win.”
“We want people to make the mental 'click' so that litter disappears from the streets,” says Patrick Laevers, managing director at Fost Plus. “The Click is the missing link to achieve this and is complementary to our already existing initiatives to collect more packaging waste outdoors. This brings us one step closer to realizing our ambition: a circular economy for packaging.”
Via the Click app, you scan the barcode of every packaging that you throw in the correct waste bin outside the home. This way you save Circular UCoins that can be exchanged for benefits at local merchants. The waste infrastructure was taken care of for this. On the one hand, there are the double waste islands for PMD and residual waste such as you find in the station, for example, so that you can sort correctly when throwing away. On the other hand, waste bins were strikingly decorated in strategic places in streets and squares. Waste that is collected unseparated there will be pre-sorted so that the packaging is recovered as much as possible for recycling. Both routes are part of Fost Plus' strategy to double the pmd collected outside the home by 2023. Additional teams are deployed during specific events or activities to encourage everyone to 'click'.
CONAI (ITALY) Biorepack is born, the seventh consortium of the CONAI system
With the 16th October 2020 decree of the Minister of the Environment, in agreement with the Minister of Economic Development, the statute of "Biorepack - the Italian National Consortium for the organic recycling of biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging” was approved. Biorepack is part of the CONAI system as a new consortium for the end-of-life management of biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging collected with the organic fraction of waste and transformed, with specific industrial treatment, into compost.
The new consortium is joined by:
- producers / importers of biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging materials (“Producers”);
- manufacturers / converters of biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging and / or related semi-finished products, including importers of empty biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging and / or related semi-finished products ("Transformers").
As proposed by Biorepack, in March 2021, CONAIhas redetermined the environmental contribution for all bioplastic packaging.
It will be reduced to EUR 294/ton starting from 1 July 2021.
Therefore, for the first time in Europe, an extended producer responsibility system has created a consortium to promote biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging with an ad hoc environmental contribution.
"The new environmental contribution for bioplastic packaging, decided just over three months from the official recognition of Biorepack, is the result of intense and very productive work", says CONAI President Luca Ruini. "It represents a step towards the development of the new consortium, which will allow to optimise the recycling process of biodegradable and compostable packaging within the organic waste chain. This is its natural course”.
"An excellent teamwork between Biorepack and CONAI allowed to achieve this very important result, which brings benefit to the entire system and confirms the value of organic recycling", says Marco Versari, President of Biorepack. "Thanks to the integration between new materials, and collection and treatment technologies, we are the European country with the most efficient organic fraction management system, a real model of bioeconomy able to offer concrete solutions in the name of circularity of resources and sustainable development".
Biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging is certified and compliant with harmonised UNI EN 13432:2002 by accredited bodies.
Rinki’s 2021 consumer campaign was visible across Finland "Let’s make sure that packaging is recycled "
Finnish Packaging Recycling RINKI's spring campaign reminded consumers about cleanliness of materials, tidiness of eco take-back points and how easy it is to sort their packaging waste. The campaign also informed consumers of the role that companies with producer responsibility play in the recyclicling.
The aim of the Rinki campaign was to inform consumers that sorting and recycling packaging is an important part of both consumption and production. In Finland, companies that package products or import packaged products are responsible for recycling the packaging and the related costs. Consumers, in turn, are responsible for taking empty and clean packaging to a collection point, either to one at the building where they live or to the nearest Rinki eco take-back point. The campaign also reminded of the importance of the quality and cleanliness of the recycled material and the tidiness of the Rinki eco take-back points. The campaign slogan ‘Let’s make sure that packaging is recycled’ crystallised the campaign objective.
The campaign survey* results show that the campaign succeeded in communicating the relevant issues in a clear manner and that it had a positive effect on consumers’ views of companies that bear producer responsibility. As many as eight out of ten respondents (81%) felt that the campaign clarified the meaning of producer responsibility and the role of the companies in recycling the packaging. More than half (61%) of the respondents said that the campaign managed to clarify the sorting of packaging and its impact on the environment.
You can read more about teh campaign here.
TMIR (Israel): Encouraging Separate collection
The activity aims to encourage source separation: a transparent caravan was built to collect packaging waste. The caravan travels between cities in Israel, visiting different city every day.
The residents aree invited to arrive with packages and to throw them in the transparent caravan. Those who came with packaging received a small gift and information material. In addition, the residents enjoyed a short and entertaining show, which also includes content about packaging recycling.
Please see the attached pictures and a short film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27MS9h7QDlI
Ecoembes (Spain) 1m2 contra la basuraleza” (1m2 against littering) , LIBERA´S ANNUAL COLLABORATIVE CLEAN UP LITTER EVENT IN NATURAL AREAS, HAS REACHED 11.000 VOLUNTEERS IN 2021
The Libera project, a creation of Spain’s flagship environmental NGO, SEO/Birdlife, in alliance with Ecoembes, even mobilized Queen Mother Sofia last June in one of the 1.013 cleaning points across all Spain.
In this citizen-led project and through going out to the different habitats, LIBERA pretend to rise awareness of the importance of not getting rid of waste in nature. This year, on june 12th, we managed to join forces and about 11,000 people in 1,077 points throughout the national geography, collected more than 114 tons of garbage scattered in our natural spaces.
‘1m2 contra la basuraleza” is the flagship of the LIBERA project and represents a notorious boost for the visibility of the problem for audiences of all ages.Belongs to the participation area, one of the three key parts of Libera, along with the awareness and the sensitization, where Libera tries to become part of the solution to the problem of littering. Because even if it´s not our litter, It is our problem.
ECOPACK (Bulgaria): Partner of the anniversary edition of the jazz festival A to JazZ
Ecopack was a partner of the anniversary edition of the largest jazz festival in Bulgaria. The music event exceeded expectations and attracted a record 40,000 visitors and caused incredible emotions among the audience.
After a long period without F2F events and concerts, the three days on the lawns in South Park 2 in Sofia were like a breath of fresh air for music lovers, and the unprecedented scale of the event restored the feeling of a real festival life. The beginning of the musical summer was given with the exclusive musical selection of Bulgarian and foreign artists, a diverse accompanying program and incomparable energy.
With the help of Ecopack Bulgaria, A to JazZ organizes for the first time separate waste collection, and the collected packaging amounts to over 1 ton of glass, 436 kg. paper and 327 kg. plastic and metal. They were handed over for recycling, which confirms the festival's responsibility to the beloved park and the environment.
The organizers have already announced the eleventh edition of the festival, which will be held from 1 to 3 July 2022 at the same place in Sofia South Park 2.
Ekopak (BiH): Best CSR practices & Activities with students
- Ekopak is one of the two members presented on behalf of AmCham Bosnia and Herzegovina within AmCham Europe in the segment of best CSR practices.
- World Environment Day-Ekopak introduced Bjelave Student Center into the recycling system.
- Boys Jure and Marko Sliskovic, stars of recycling in Novi Travnik Municipality, received awards and gifts
Ekopak is one of the two members presented on behalf of AmCham Bosnia and Herzegovina within AmCham Europe in the segment of best CSR practices
Ekopak has been a member of AmCham BiH for many years and actively participates in the work of the Health Care & Environment Committee, which provides support in overcoming the challenges that Ekopak faces on a daily basis. Our work has been recognized and presented BY aMcHAM Bosnia and Herzegovina within AmCham Europe in the segment of best CSR practices.
AmChams in Europe, an umbrella organization of 46 AmChams from 44 countries in partnership with the Washington, DC-based Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) have collected feedback from all AmChams about how American, European or local companies contribute to the development of local communities by contributing to the ESG factors. CIPE is an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and works with local partners around the world to craft business-driven solutions to socio-economic problems that affect millions of people.
AmCham Bosnia and Herzegovina were honored to apply with two great examples from two members: Ekopak and Prevent CEE (Prevent Fabrics).
Ekopak's core business is social responsibility - the establishment and development of the packaging waste recycling system in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For ten years Ekopak is actively working on developing packaging waste recycling system accordant with the best European practices and for good of the whole community.
So far, Ekopak delivered about 90.000 tons of packaging waste to recycling. Coverted it into trucks, that would be composition of about 5,000 trucks, lined up one after the other is the distance from Sarajevo to Konjic (approximately 60 kilometres). This amount of packaging did not end up discarded in nature, nor it was disposed of in landfills, but it ended up in the recycling process where packaging waste was given new value.
Ekopak is very involved in local communities where work on raising the awareness of citizens, especially children.
Ekopak is also active internationally, as a member of two umbrella European packaging organizations EXPRA and Pro Europe.
All those has been achieved with four employees only.
»As a proud member of AmCham Bosnia and Herzegovina, we gladly accepted the invitation and the opportunity to introduce other members to the work of Ekopak, whose core business is social responsibility. I think we can be proud of all our achievements in terms of recycling packaging waste and raising citizens' awareness of the importance of recycling and environmental protection in general. If we take into account the conditions in our country in which Ekopak operates, and poorly developed waste collection capacity and very limited waste recycling capacity, then our results become even more important. It is also important to us that AmCham Bosnia and Herzegovina, through the Health Care & Environment Committee, provides support to our work, which makes it much easier for us to successfully overcome the many challenges we face", they said.
World Environment Day-Ekopak introduced Bjelave Student Center into the recycling system
On Saturday, June 5 Ekopak marked the World Environment Day in an appropriate way.
Ekopak representatives in cooperation with students from Student Center Bjelave. Sarajevo cleaned green areas in front of the dormitory, planted a beautiful flower island, set up containers for separate collection of packaging waste and introduced the this Student Center into Ekopak recycling system.
Through its activities, Ekopak develops awareness about importance of environmental protection and implements actions with citizens. It is through this activity on World Environment Day that we want to raise awareness about importance of packaging waste recycling and environmental protection in general.
"In order to establish a system of separate collection and recycling of packaging waste, it is necessary to work in two directions at the same time. One is the education of the population where we try to bring out the importance of change in the treatment of packaging waste closer to the citizens. That is why Ekopak carries out activities with children and young people. Because it is from them that the change and acceptance of a new culture of living begins, which means the separate disposal of packaging waste ", said Amela Hrbat, Managing Director of Ekopak.
Despite the extremely challenging situation due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ekopak with its partners - consisting of 21 collectors from all over the Federation of BiH and on behalf of more than 700 producers, importers, distributors and traders who transferred the obligation to manage packaging and packaging waste, send 11,911 tons of packaging waste for recycling. Since its establishment in 2012, Ekopak has sent a total of close to 90,000 tons of packaging waste for recycling.
Boys Jure and Marko Sliskovic, stars of recycling in Novi Travnik Municipality, received awards and gifts
Ten-year-old boys from Novi Travnik, Jure and Marko Sliskovic, have become real little recycling stars in their municipality. This municipality joined the regional project "Management of glass packaging in the Western Balkans" which in addition to Bosnia and Herzegovina is being implemented in Serbia and Northern Macedonia by PROs Sekopak, Pakomak and Ekopak. In Novi Travnik, urban and rural areas of this municipality, waste-bins for glass were set up to collect glass packaging. This attracted the attention of the boys who initiated an action of collecting glass packaging.
Jure and Marko visited the houses of their neighbors for days and diligently collected glass packaging waste and filled it into a waste-bin for glas. In just a few days they collected 260 kg of glass packaging and filled the waste bin. It was the first waste-bin for glass in Novi Travnik, but also in other local communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina where this project is being implemented, that the waste bin is 100% filled with waste glass packaging.
Their commitment to collecting glass packaging and protecting the environment in general did not go unnoticed, so Ekopak in cooperation with the utility company Vilenica-Cistoca and the Municipality of Novi Travnik, at the celebration of the Day of the Municipality of Novi Travnik, presented the boys with special recognition and gifts.
German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the National Alliance for Local Economic Development "Naled" from Serbia in cooperation with the first operator of the packaging waste management system in Bosnia and Herzegovina "Ekopak", and system operators "Sekopak" from Serbia and " Pakomak "from Northern Macedonia, as well as the Association for Economic Development of Herzegovina REDAH and the Association of Local Self-Government Units ZELS, launched a regional project" Management of glass packaging in the Western Balkans " which will be implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina in Bihać and Novi Travnik municipalities. Konjic and Ilidža and one of the goals is to increase the collection rate of glass packaging in these municipalities by 20%.
Introduction by the Managing Director
With the end of this year so close we can take a look back at the very busy times we had with the numerous challenges but also opportunities, arising from the revised waste legislation, and especially the respective acts clarifying the details as how and where to measure recycling, how to define in a fair and transparent manner average loss rates, etc.
The Plastic being the buzz word in 2019, we also witnessed the adoption of the Singe Use Plastic Directive with unprecedented speed not seen before here in Brussels, without exhaustive public consultation, somehow focusing on emotions and not on facts and figures and whose proper implementation in Member States will require further clarifications and guidance. There are of course many other measures targeting plastic as the proposed “Plastic Text” and other initiatives just to name the Circular Plastics Alliance supported by DG GROW and the EU Plastics pact, where for example the Governments of France and The Netherlands demand that 70% of all plastic packaging should be recycled by 2025 (new MP) which seems even theoretically impossible.
The implementation of all these new legislative pieces, measures and initiatives will indeed require very good coordination of how they will be implemented in the different Member States and to ensure that we will not end with 28 or 27 ways of transposing them in the MS National legislations.
The elected this year new MEPs and the new European Commission have put even more the focus on environmental issues - just few days ago the new European Commission unveiled its ambitious plan to make the EU the first climate neutral continent in the world by 2050 -the EU Green Deal. Still, while we in Europe are of course proud to be the leader in sustainable waste management and fight with litter and negative impact on climate, it should be underlined that joint efforts from other Asian and African counties are needed as well!
And as you could see in our members news section, all EXPRA members are working hard in prevention, promoting sustainable packaging and implementing numerous national and local information and public awareness campaigns. 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.
Internally, during the EXPRA fall General Assembly meeting in November, we had to say good bye to Todor Bourgoudjiev, who is retiring. Todor was a member of EXPRA BOD and CEO of ECOPACK Bulgaria - one of EXPRA founding members. He will be missed and we at EXPRA are grateful for his strong beliefs in EPR, his dedication to EXPRA and his constant support.
As we are looking forward to the many new challenges, awaiting us in 2020, I would like to wish you relaxed holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Enjoy your reading!
EXPRA General Assembly, November 27, Rotterdam
On 27 November EXPRA held its autumn General Assembly in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. 18 members of EXPRA attended the meeting.
During the meeting, EXPRA’s Managing Director Joachim Quoden presented preliminary summary of 2019 noting that 2019 was dominated by the implementation guidelines for WFD / PPWD and SUP resulting in many consultations, workshops, position papers, individual meetings with DG Envi etc. During this year also was the start of the Circular Plastic Alliance by DG Growth which caused unexpected additional workload. The MD informed the members on the EXPRA highlights from April to November 2019 and outlook for the events coming in 2020.
Monika Romenska, EXPRA R&PA Manager informed the members about the state of play in the CEP IAs, DAs and guidelines as well as the on-going developments with regards to the Single Use Plastics (SUP) Directive and other plastics policies and initiatives.
Ms Romina Giovannetti, Ecoembes, Chair of RAC informed the members on the proposed action on EU technical level, National and EU level. RAC has also initiated collection of data form members on the National transposition of the new legislations in two dimensions.
Amanda Fuso Nerini, CONAI, Chair of the Sustainability and Packaging WG presented the activities of the WG as well as the forthcoming publications. The activities of the TWG were presented by the Chair, Daniel Tabone, GreenPak.
Very interesting was the presentation of the Chair of Data and Reporting WG, Mr Paul Christiaens, Dutch Afvalfonds on "Monitoring, reporting & data collection, the new currency!? Which role EPR has to and can play?" The presentation covered all hot topics namely: eco modulation, litter costs and plastic tax, focusing on the more technical aspects of calculation and reporting. In this regard, members were also called upon to reach out to their respective national experts.
The Restart of ISWA in Rotterdam was presented by Mr. Marc Tijhuis, CEO ISWA. He especially focused on how can EXPRA and ISWA benefit of an increased cooperation. Mr. Tijhuis invited EXPRA to participate actively in the next ISWA World Congress which will take place in Rotterdam 28-30 September 2020.
The General Assembly approved the budget 2020, the budget distribution method and the membership fees (not changed).
As previously agreed, 3 EXPRA members presented the situation in their countries – Valipac, Belgium, EEQ, Canada and TAMIR, Israel.
Workshop on Collecting and Maximising Glass recycling through EPR, December 12, Brussels
The event was organized by FEVE jointly with FERVER, EXPRA and other PROs. Over 25 representatives of the glass packaging value chain (including the EXPRA members EcoVidrio, Afvalfonds, Eco Rom, Fost Plus and the respective material associations from Italy, Sweden, Finland) gathered to discuss key aspects of the glass collection & recycling chain, namely:
• What happens after collection? Minimising losses in the treatment of glass cullet and optimising the uptake of recycled materials in production.
• How to increase glass collection without compromising on quality?
• Is the bottle bank the most cost-efficient system to collect and recycle glass?
The different parts of the glass packaging value chain presented the situation of their sector at the moment, as well as current and future challenges: The uptake of cullet in a glass furnace - issues for production & packaging was presented by Hans Hilkes, Supplier Quality Manager Glass – Europe, Ardagh Group and the challenges for cullet treatment were presented by Baudouin Ska, Secretary General, FERVER. The many changes on the glass market were presented and the overall conclusion was that all stakeholders should adapt to these minimizing the (negative) quality impact for cullet.
The challenges for Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes in the revised EU legislation on waste & packaging waste & possible impacts on glass collection were presented by EXPRA MD Joachim Quoden. He underlined the impact of the ne EU legislation and the forthcoming guidances on EPR and especially on eco modulation and Essential requirements.
EXPRA members from Spain (Ecovidrio), Netherlands (AF) and Romania (Eco-Rom Ambalaje) presented the Glass collection and recycling in their countries and especially how to reach 90% glass collection by 2030.
Different approaches/ways for collection of glass (bottle banks, door to door) packaging were also presented and their pros and cons discussed by PROs as CITEO, SPV and Swedish Glass Recycling (Svensk Glasåtervinning).
Adeline Farrelly, Secretary General, FEVE presented the Close the Glass Loop initiative: the major industry stewardship programme for glass packaging initiated by FEVE and aiming to reach a post-consumer glass container collection target of 90% by 2030. In parallel the initiative should ensure that the recycled material is reused again into a new production loop of glass containers. Obviously, the contribution and active involvement of all parts of the value chain are crucial for achieving this goal. A study on the topic has been commissioned by FEVE to ACR+. Considering the strong support expressed by ACR+ for deposit, EXPRA should assess carefully the outcome of the study.
The possible additional benefits of the project were discussed, namely developing a “model (glass) collection system, as well as using the deliverables of the project for lobbying activities in different countries. The next meeting of the stakeholders under the project will be end of April and deliverables would be presented in June 2020.
ISWA event in Brussels discusses the Circular Economy 2.0, December 5, Brussels
In his role as Chair of the newly reinstated ISWA EU group, Joachim Quoden organised and chaired an event in Brussels on 5 December, on the topic of “Towards a Circular Economy 2.0: Combining ambition with reality”.
The event, attended by more than 50 selected people, brought together Commission and Member States’ official, including 2 representatives from DG ENVI namely Rozalina Petrova and William Neile as well as the representative of the upcoming Croatian presidency, local authorities, waste management industry representative and NGOs to discuss the current challenges faced by municipalities and industry with the implementation of the EU waste framework. Participants learnt about the Commission’s priorities for the coming year as regards the Circular Economy Action plan and the review of a number of waste legislation (which were later confirmed by the EU Green Deal publication on 11 December).
Speakers from ISWA and municipalities such as Rotterdam and Olso presented their activities on the implementation of the circular economy, highlighting opportunities but and challenges. The fast changing legislative environment at EU level (another review of the EU waste legislation is expected shortly, while implementation of the 2018 revisions have barely started) was highlighted as one of the main challenges from the industry.
Packaging Waste and Sustainability Forum
Now in its 26th year, Packaging Waste and Sustainability Forum (23 - 25 March 2020, Brussels) is the longest established conference in the packaging waste policy and sustainability space.
As already a tradition, The Managing Director of EXPRA developed the content of the EPR Toolkit Workshop as well as proposed nearly all speakers and will moderate it. This year the WS will focus on Implementing the EPR minimum requirements Across Europe.
Upcoming events with EXPRA participation
Upcoming events, where EXPRA Management and representatives are participating / presenting
12 February 2020, Brussels
New Charter 2020+ Symposium, organized by A.I.S.E.
10-11 March, 2020, Cologne, Germany
AMI's Plastics Regulations 2020 conference, organized by AMI
11-12 March, 2020, Vienna, Austria
Packaging and Converting Executive (PACE) Forum, organized by Arena International Events Group
17-18 March, 2020, Vienna Austria
AMI’s Plastic Pouches conference, organized by AMI
10-11 March, 2020, Cologne, Germany
AMI's Plastics Regulations 2020 conference organized by AMI
European Parliament approves new European Commission
On 27 November, the new College of Commissioners was approved by the European Parliament by 461 to 157 against, with 89 abstentions. The new European Commission will take office on 1 December.
The new Commission received overwhelming support from the EPP, S&D and Renew Europe. The Greens were split on this issue, as some members voted in favour of the new Commission despite calls from the leadership to abstain. In her speech, unsurprisingly, von der Leyen noted that fight against climate change will be at the core of the EU's economic policy. With regards to the European Green Deal, she noted it “is a must for the health of our planet, our people, and for our economy”, adding that “Frans Timmermans is the right person to make this happen”. The low carbon transition, she said, “must be just and inclusive or it will not happen at all”. To enable it, she pledged to “support people and businesses with a targeted just transition mechanism”.
Ursula von der Leyen’s full speech is available here.
European Commission presents European Green Deal
On 11 December, the new European Commission unveiled its ambitious plan to make the EU the first climate neutral continent in the world by 2050. To reach this objective, the Commission will propose the first European ‘Climate Law’ to enshrine the 2050 climate neutrality objective in legislation and present an assessed plan to increase the EU’s 2030 emission reduction targets to at least 50%.
According to the Communication, climate action will be mainstreamed across all policies and sectors. Within the new Circular Economy Action Plan, to be published in March 2020, the Commission will adopt reduce and reuse of products over recycling. In particular, the Commission is planning the following initiatives:
• A “sustainable products” policy, focusing on supporting circular design for all products on the basis of a common methodology and principles, and prioritising reduction and reuse of materials over recycling. Under this policy, the Commission plans to strengthen extended producer responsibility.
• Particular emphasis will be placed on resource-intensive sectors, including plastics, textile, construction and electronics.
• Requirements to ensure that all packaging placed on the market is reusable or recyclable in an economically viable manner by 2030 (through the planned revision of Essential Requirements under the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive). A regulatory framework for biodegradable and bio-based plastics and further measures on single-use plastics are also foreseen.
• On waste avoidance and minimisation, the Commission plans to come forward with new legislation including targets and specific measures to address over-packaging and waste generation. This will include possible measures on mandatory recycled content (including for packaging) and a proposal on a EU model for separate waste collection.
More details had been send to you via an adhoc mail and can be also found here.
EU Heads of State and Government discuss multi-annual budget
On 12 December, EU Heads of State met in Brussels for the last EU Council Summit of 2019. While discussions mostly focused on the EU’s climate strategy for 2050, EU leaders also discussed the proposal on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (i.e. the EU multiannual budget), on the basis of the latest “negotiating box” shared by the Finnish Presidency on 2 December.
The document details the main budget headlines, including on the proposal for new “own resources” to be provided by Member States. The negotiating box also reiterated the proposal for a so-called “plastic tax”, which would take the form of “a national contribution calculated on the weight of non-recycled plastic packaging waste with a call rate of EUR [0.80] per kilogram”.
While the basket of new own resources has drawn some criticisms especially from Eastern Member States, overall the plastic tax appears to be so far one of the least-controversial items of the budget and as such is expected to be tackled amongst the last item of discussion. The Council meeting on 12 December only discussed the main headlines of the MFF without reaching an agreement. According to press reports, Member States were overall not satisfied by the overall proposal shared by the Finnish Presidency, with concerns being raised, amongst other things, about the overall size of the budget. Negotiations are expected to continue under the Croatian Council Presidency (which takes office on 1 January 2020).
More details can be found here.
Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention discussed plastic pollution in Naples summit
Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention gathered in Naples from 2 to 5 December for their twenty-first meeting. T
To recall, the Barcelona Convention was signed in 1975 under the UN Environment Programme to promote and ensure environmental protection in the Mediterranean region.
Ministers and Senior Officials representing all the Contracting Parties – 21 Mediterranean countries and the EU - agreed, among others, to work to eliminate marine plastic pollution by 2030. In the Naples Ministerial Declaration, the signatories recognised the urgency to tackle plastic leakage in the Mediterranean Sea. They pledged to reduce plastic consumption, to support eco-design and to improve waste management but also to put in place bans, incentives, taxes and EPR schemes.
They also agreed to strengthen the regulatory framework to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic items and set out more ambitious targets.
More information can be found here.
Council of the EU adopts conclusions on oceans and seas and on the bioeconomy
On Tuesday 19 November, the Council of the EU adopted its conclusions on oceans and seas. The document calls on Member States and the European Commission to increase their actions to protect marine and coastal ecosystems as plastic waste and microplastics cause major environmental problems.
In this regard, the Council welcomes the adoption of the Single-Use Plastics Directive and encourages the full implementation of the provisions related to marine litter in the EU Strategy for Plastics. It also supports Member States’ efforts to strengthen the Blue Economy and boost the transition towards a more circular approach to minimise marine litter along with the generation of waste. As a result, the Council welcomes local, regional and public-private partnerships consortia to further develop waste management, including the collection of plastic waste from coastal areas. More details here.
Along the same line, the Competitiveness Council adopted conclusions on 29 November on the EU’s updated bioeconomy strategy. The document acknowledges that “sustainable and circular bioeconomy can offer solutions for a sustainable replacement of fossil-based and other non-renewable primary resources by bio-based products and materials. These include resource-efficient use and reuse of bio-based products and materials in particular solutions for bio-based recyclable and marine biodegradable substitutes for plastics and micro-plastics also contributing to plastic-free, healthy seas and oceans and reducing plastic waste from sea and land”.
The conclusions can be found here.
GreenPak (Malta) won first prize for at Sustainable Enterprise Awards 2019
GreenPak’s network of 800 smart iBiNs installed in 41 localities won the first place in the fifth edition of the Sustainable Enterprise Awards organised by the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses (MEIB).
GreenPak Cooperative Society was awarded the overall prize for its efforts to increase the social, environmental and economical sustainability pillars.
The use of these attractive containers increased sharply, registering a sharp rise in the collection of post-consumer products including plastic, paper, glass, and metal waste for recycling during 2019. Fitted with smart technology, the iBiNs provide citizens with a simpler and more convenient way to recycle 24/7.
Looking ahead at future trends in the Maltese society and steering the need to recycle more as a country, GreenPak invest in smart bins to address current needs and be ready for the future Smart Cities. The iBiNs project utilizes the emerging latest technology of IoT (Internet of Things). It has the capability to monitor waste levels and feed information back to a central system using real-time data which enables GreenPak’ recycling service to prioritise and customise collection routes in the localities it serves across Malta and Gozo.
Using the iBiNs interactive web app, ibins.greenpak.com.mt, and selecting the colour-coded image of the iBiN, the public is directed via a Google Map interface to go straight to the nearest iBiN that has sufficient empty space to take their recycling materials. This app is avoiding unnecessary traffic movements, including a reduction of collection truck trips on the road, resulting in lower exhaust emissions.
You can read the full information ; https://www.greenpak.com.mt/first-prize-for-greenpak
CONAI (Italy) presents the new Green Economy Report
In 2018, almost 10.7 million tonnes of packaging waste were sent for recycling and recovery. This is 80.6% of the amount put on the market, well above the legal targets, a trend that is constantly and progressively growing.
This figure is the result of more than twenty years of work by the Consortium System whose mission was, and still is, to evolve the supply chain from a management model based on recourse to landfills to the "recycling society", based on the circular economy model.
This mission that we can say has been met since from 1998 to 2018, recourse to landfills for packaging waste in Italy has gone from 67% to 19%, above all bridging the gap with other major European countries. Packaging sent for recycling in 2018 in Italy amounted to approximately 9.3 million tonnes, i.e. 69.7% of the quantity put on the market and with quantities tripled compared to those of 1998.
CONAI’s aim was to quantify these flattering results also in terms of the positive effects they have on the environment, the economy and society. And to do this, the Consortium choses a cutting-edge scientific methodology, Life Cycle Costing, which, thanks to precise traceability of the packaging waste flows managed by the Supply Chain Consortia, highlights the contribution that the CONAI-Consortia system has made in terms of positive externalities in a more intelligible manner.
All this with an eye on the new circular economy objectives that consider the role of design as a tool for preventing the environmental impact of packaging to be central. For this reason, the Green Economy Report includes a specific analysis on the positive effects that eco-design interventions, promoted by companies and narrated by CONAI as examples of good practice, have on the environment.
Download the CONAI Green Economy Report: http://www.conai.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Green_Economy_Report_Conai_EN.pdf
Green Dot Norway is developing a new tool to show how packaging choices affect recyclability
In order to increase the recycling of the packaging materials, it is important that the packaging is designed so that it is best suited for both sorting and recycling.
In some cases, it may be complicated for the packaging designer to orientate themselves on how different choices affect recyclability. Therefore, Green Dot Norway has developed an interactive recycling calculator, which is a useful tool for all our members.
The beta version of the calculator was launched in October and is available to our members. This first version has its limitations, and we advise against steering uncritically after the results. Among other things, it is limited to plastic packaging, and we are in the process of quality assuring some of the recyclability calculations.
The purpose of making the beta version available is to learn and get feedback from our members. We include the feedback in the work with a full version, which should cover several packaging designs and types of materials. It is scheduled to be launched during the first half of 2020. The goal is for the calculator to serve as a useful tool as a packaging designer and give access to downloadable comparisons of various choices.
Fost Plus (Belgium) Better sorting of waste outside the home? FP joins efforts with Brussels Airport Company
Brussels, 20 December 2019 - In June this year, Brussels Airport Company (BAC) and Fost Plus signed a "Waste Charter" by which BAC undertook to sort 50% of airport waste.
This is a priority project for both companies as the 24,000 employees and 70,000 passengers who set foot in the airport every day generate about fifteen truck loads of waste every day. Plastic bottles, food waste, waste paper, etc. As many sorts of waste that do not always get put in the right bin, leading to waste not being recycled. The many foreign travellers are often not well informed about the Belgian sorting system. As for Belgian passengers, they are not always aware of the sorting possibilities outside of their homes.
Six months after the signing of the charter, we are getting good results and it is time to launch a Christmas action with the thousands of people who are leaving from Brussels airport this week. Fost Plus has developed a campaign to inform, motivate and educate visitors. The objective is to make the circular economy contribute. Cups, packaging, paper, cans ...: throw them in the right trash can and in this way help increase the quantity of better-quality pre-sorted waste. The main idea is: "Be careful, participate, every contribution counts! ". The campaign was broadcasted on digital screens in the various terminals and additional activity was organized on Sunday, December 22. The passengers were invited to join a game board with a simple sorting messages, they also received a Memory game to learn how to sort waste in a funny and entertaining way.
With BAC, Fost Plus wants to recycle 50% of all airport waste, including passenger waste. This percentage is twice as high as the current recycling percentage. The amount of residual waste will be greatly reduced by 2023.
Ecoembes (Spain) Initiatives
Three major compaigns of Ecoembes are presented: LIBERA - 1m2, David Cup campaign and Recycled Orchestra of Cateura.
LIBERA - 1m2
Between December 7th and December 15th, more than 6,000 volunteers from all over Spain went out to the countryside to put an end to the trash present in terrestrial environments, within the third edition of the national campaign of citizen science ‘1m2 por el campo, los bosques y el monte’ organized by LIBERA, created by SEO / BirdLife in alliance with Ecoembes. With the objective of characterizing the trash found, a total of 141 groups in 168 points of 47 provinces of Spain carried out cleaning and characterization of abandoned waste, almost 70 points more compared to the previous year, a figure that demonstrates the great awareness of society.
Thanks to the collaboration of all volunteer groups it has been possible to evaluate data such as the volume, quantity and type of garbage that exists in the countryside, forests and mountains.
Over a week, 8.6 tons of trash have been removed, three tons more than the previous year, and more than 34,000 objects have been characterized.
David Cup campaign
Gerard Piqué is a famous international Spanish football player but also a business man. Following his commitment with sports he’s brought Davis Cup to Madrid for the first time in 2020 and 2021. Spanish society is becoming more and more sensitive to environmental issues and sports are not out of this sensitivity either.
Supporting environment policies from every sector is the way to assume that the climate emergency is no joke. Davis Cup got in contact with Ecoembes to create a shared campaign on recycling. We definitely saw that we shared goals so went for it.
The “Top Ten” campaign consisted on having special tennis ball shaped yellow containers where citizens could get free tickets for Davis Cup matches by bringing 10 plastic bottles. This promotion helps us spread the link between plastic bottles and the yellow container where they should be recycled.
There were 10 different spots in Madrid city and also in other 3 Madrilian localisations. The campaign was on air from October 31st til November 20th and 10.000 free tickets were given away.
Sharing values with relevant events such as Davis Cup is a natural way to reach citizens where they are and take recycling with them wherever they may go.
Recycled Orchestra of Cateura
Ecoembes makes possible for the sixth time the performance of the Orquesta de Instrumentos Reciclados de Cateura (Recycled Orchestra of Cateura) this Christmas.
Recycled Orchestra of Cateura is an orchestra composed of children from Asunción (Paraguay) who play musical instruments made from scrap materials collected from Asunción´s Cateura landfill.
On December 28th at 7:30 p.m. they will perform at the Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria, in the city of Santander, in front of almost 1,600 people and together with the singers Luis Cepeda, Nando Agüeros and with the Choir Halane Junior. Later, on January 2nd, more than 1,700 spectators will see them at the Royal Theater of Madrid at 8:00 p.m., with the presence of their Majesty the Queen of Spain Mrs. Sofía and by the hand of artists like Luz Casal, Sara Baras and the Gospel Choir of Madrid .
RINKI (Finland) explores the benefits of recycling glass: sorting glass packaging is a climate action
Sorting glass packaging is a small act that has a great impact on climate. Each kilogramme of sorted, non-deposit glass packaging saves about 0.5 kg of greenhouse gas emissions compared to glass that ends up in mixed waste.
Every Finn sorted an average of 4 kg of non-deposit glass packaging in 2018. The most enthusiastic sorters of glass can be found in the Salo, Savonlinna and Rovaniemi regions, while there is still a lot to be done in Central Finland.
Rinki already recycles 97 % of its customer companies’ non-deposit glass packaging, i.e. almost all of the glass is reused in new products. Recycled glass can be turned into a variety of products: about 82% becomes new glass packaging and about 18 % is turned into products such as glass wool, flat glass and building blocks. Glass waste always contains a small amount of other waste and materials that are sorted incorrectly, such as plastic, porcelain or metal. These, too, are primarily recycled as new products and, whenever possible, used in energy production.
Glass packaging can be melted and recycled again and again. Using recycled glass as a raw material for new packaging significantly saves energy and reduces emissions. The reductions in emissions achieved this way are significantly higher than the emissions from the transport of recycled glass.
With the reduced emissions, you could drive around the globe more than 2,000 times
When a Finn puts one kilogramme of glass packaging into a collection bin at their own property or at a Rinki Eco take-back point, the total greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by about 0.5 kg compared to glass that ends up in mixed waste. Every Finn recycles an average of four kilos of glass packaging waste every year, cutting down carbon dioxide emissions by 2.1 kg. The report was commissioned by Rinki and carried out by LCA Consulting Oy.
Finns recycled a total of 22 million kilogrammes of glass packaging in 2018. Sorting and recycling glass packaging reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 11,500,000 kg (2.1 kg/Finn). Equivalent emissions are generated if a diesel car is driven around the globe 2,052 times (15 km/Finn).
New glass packaging is not manufactured in Finland, so the glass recycled by Finns is currently used as a raw material for new bottles and jars in the UK and the Netherlands. Recycling is a great way to save the environment, and shipping to other EU countries has very little impact on this. If there was a glass packaging recycling facility in Finland and new glass packaging was manufactured here, shipping would not be required. This would reduce the emissions from glass packaging recycling by 12 %.
Proper sorting ensures that materials are successfully recycled
Finns already know how to sort most of their glass packaging, but glass waste still contains an average of 7 % of materials other than glass packaging. For example, medical glass and heat-resistant glass (e.g. coffee jugs, oven dishes, drinking glasses) should not be put into glass packaging collection containers as they impede recycling. The rule for sorting glass packaging is simple: only recycle glass packaging such as jars and bottles. Do not put kitchen glassware, such as drinking glasses and mugs, or flat glass or medical glass, into the collection container.
The Salo region is the best place for recycling glass, while efforts need to be stepped up in Äänekoski
The most enthusiastic sorters of glass packaging in Finland are found in the Salo region, while the area in which efforts needs to be stepped up is the Äänekoski region. The top five and the bottom five glass waste terminals, in terms of glass purity, are listed below by location. The terminals take in glass packaging collected from Rinki eco take-back points, shops, properties and the industries. The terminals’ radius of operation varies from region to region, and does not follow the geographical boundaries. There are 38 terminals for glass packaging waste in Finland.
Glass packaging waste is taken from the local terminals to Tolkkinen Port and shipped to glass processing plants in the UK and the Netherlands. Each batch of glass is inspected at the port of departure for impurities such as the proportion of heat-resistant Pyrex glass. The order is based on the proportion of Pyrex glass in the batch, i.e. the less Pyrex glass found in the batch, the better the sorting effort. The data is from 2018.
The best sorters of glass packaging, top 5 by region
Sorting of glass packaging requires improvement, top 5 by region
Ekopak (Bosnia and Herzegovina) initiatives
Over the past three months, Ekopak has organized and participated in several major events and implemented a large number of activities that contributed to the development of the recycling system in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Special part of our activities was the continued promotion of recycling and its importance to citizens through key social, educational and sporting events.
The annual meeting of EXPRA Balkan members was held in Sarajevo in September this year. Achieved results of Expra alliance’s members in the last year, problems at the moment and the way, outgoing challenges in front of Expra alliance’s members from countries of Balkan, as well as implementation of the latest legitimate solutions of EU were some of the topics at this meeting. The meeting was also attended by director Joachim Quoden with whom we organized appearing on N1 television, CNN exclusive news channel affiliate, and have highlighted the problems and solutions for the recycling system in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Every year, millions of beauty and skin care packages end up in containers and landfills, so Ekopak, in collaboration with the L'OCCITANE brand, has organized a program to collect and recycle beauty product packaging. Ekopak gladly supported this action by his client L'OCCITANE, and provided the containers for the collection of packaging waste and ensured that all the collected packaging waste was handed over for recycling.
Also, one important event for Ekopak was the introduction of the Federal Ministry of Ministry of Internal Affairs (FMI) into our recycling system. We provided 80 bins for paper collection to FMI which were installed on their premises. Having successfully established cooperation with the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Ministry of the Environment and Tourism has also joined our system.
On the 6th International Fair RENEXPO BiH Ekopak presented the achieved business results and provided support for the start and development of the Eco-School program in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Last year, Ekopak, in cooperation with its partners from Europe, helped Munja Incubator become a member of the FEE network and entrusted this organization with the implementation of the Eco-Schools program in BiH. This program is of great importance for the development of the system of selective disposal and recycling of packaging waste because of its implementation through internationally established standards. Program encourages school children, teaching staff and local communities to establish and develop in their schools awareness of the importance of waste recycling and environmental protection in general.
Ekopak provided support for notable social and sporting events: Sarajevo Film Festival, the Avon races, Sarajevo Half Marathon, ITF European Taekwondo Championship…
Pakomak (Northern Macedonia): SmartBin - a reverse vending machine that will operate as part of ecoMac – an incentive system that rewards people
The enormous volume of packaging waste generated by the ever-growing consumption in our society further emphasizes the importance of recycling as an instrument that regulates the sustainability process.
Macedonian packaging recovery organization Pakomak is already working on an innovative solution called SmartBin - a reverse vending machine that will operate as part of ecoMac – an incentive system that rewards people who will throw their PET bottles, alu cans etc. in the machine through free services, discounts and other benefits.
Citizens of this country will be able to throw packaging waste through SmartBin, and tying the machine to a mobile app will allow them to get "green points" that they can use to their advantage for public service discounts, commercial promotions, tickets for events etc. The difference from the standard deposit system is that this system is a deposit without deposit. This implies that instead of money the machine will give back green points through the loyalty program. The advantage of this system is that retail prices of the products will not rise due to the deposit and it will not need to be implemented nationally, but instead it can be implemented regionally, city by city, municipality by municipality.
This is the first project of its kind on the territory of Northern Macedonia and it is a revolutionary step in waste collection and recycling practices in Northern Macedonia and in the region.
The average citizen of Northern Macedonia generates about 50-70kg of packaging waste annually. Using technology, Pakomak has set itself the goal of motivating citizens to participate actively in the process of selecting and disposing of waste, thereby reducing environmental pollution. Implementing a system of reverse vending machines creates benefits for everyone – citizens, who are going to have access to an easier way of selecting waste; the country, which in time will receive a greater number of environmentally educated citizens; and Pakomak, which will have easier and more organized access to packaging waste.
TAMIR (Israel) Promotion of simple and clear information for sorting to the public
In addition to requiring the citizens to make an effort to separate waste at home, they are required to understand into which package to throw to each waste bin and this prevents many from joining the effort.
In order to solve this problem, TAMIR initiated the promotion of a simple and clear information for the public - explaining into which waste bin to throw each package. The Organization developed unique recycling icons to label packaging in collaboration with designers specializing in product and packaging design. TAMIR also created a practical manual for the correct and simple use of the recycling symbols and added a packaging catalog detailing which symbol fits which packaging.
Introduction by the Managing Director
While the number of meetings, events and conferences in Brussels is decreasing and the (too) hot summer is coming in, the preparatory work for the busy autumn is not ceasing at all. With the election of the new European Parliament with many new parties and faces that are coming to the European level for the first time and the negotiations regarding the structuring of the new European Commission, our work and efforts in explaining, promoting and improving EPR will actually intensify.
Enjoy your reading!
Packaging recyclability roadmap project online
In light of the publication of the Circular Economy Action Plan by the European Union (EU), EXPRA, the European umbrella organisation representing non-profit packaging and packaging waste recovery and recycling systems owned by the obliged industry, recognises the need to focus on packaging design, collection and sorting infrastructure to minimise the environmental impact of both the product and its package.
This project was developed by EXPRA's Sustainability and Packaging Working Group in response to the many requests from the obliged industry for information and support in facing the challenges regarding packaging recyclability. The project’s three main objectives are: raising awareness of recyclability and relevant guidelines, informing of cutting-edge and innovative packaging trends, and strengthening the links between packaging producers and recyclers. Considering the packaging (prevalent) material, and based on an interactive online questionnaire, this toolkit allows users to find out how recyclable their packaging is. In so doing, it facilitates access to best practices and guidelines, across Europe, on packaging design, labelling, collection systems and sorting. It also includes an overview of Research and Development (R&D) initiatives currently under development.
You can find the link here: http://www.expra.eu/en/Sustainability/ecodesign-activities#685
EXPRA accepted as liaison Organization in CEN/TC 261
With DECISION C11/2019 taken by CEN/TC 261 on 2019-06-18, the CEN/TC 261 ‘Packaging’,
considering the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations - Part 2, subclause 4.3.2, which lays down the conditions for external liaisons;
- considering that the conditions laid down in CEN-CENELEC Guide 25 “The concept of partnership with European organizations and other stakeholders” are fulfilled;
- agrees to the participation of the EXPRA in CEN/TC 261;
- requests the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre to inform EXPRA accordingly of this decision.
Virtuous Mission of the European Commission to Hungary, June 24, Budapest
Last September, the Commission adopted a series of early “warning reports” on progress towards EU recycling targets. They showed 14 Member States at risk of not complying with the 50% municipal waste recycling target by 2020.
For 12 of these Member States (it seems that Finland and Estonia were able to convince the Commission that it is not necessary to visit them) the Commission decided to visit them and to organize an exchange of ideas, experiences and best practices to help them to improve their approaches and systems. After Malta, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Portugal, this time Hungary was the destination.
EXPRA can proudly say that the Commission invited us for each of the mission as THE experts for EPR and this time our colleague Üllar Huik represented EXPRA and gave a respective presentation.
Commissioner Vella mentioned some interesting topics in his opening speech (https://ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2014-2019/vella/announcements/speech-commissioner-vella-opening-virtuous-circle-circular-economy-mission-waste-management-budapest_en) that he is “here today with experts from all over Europe. They want to share their experience of getting on the virtuous path to a circular economy. They will explain how they found the economic incentives. How they identified smart ways to extract more value from products. And cutting-edge techniques to extract that value when used products become waste.
Much of the problem can be traced back to poor implementation of waste legislation. Some Member States now recycle around 60% of their municipal waste. Regions like Catalonia, who you will hear from today, are showing how getting the economics right can lead you to a virtuous circular path very quickly. They show that it can be done, and so that it can be done in Hungary as well.
The obstacles are usually easy to identify. Insufficient separate collection. Weak implementation of the polluter pays principle. Lack of effective economic instruments.
Very often, you start by identifying responsibility. You need to be clear about who is responsible for reaching the targets, with an effective system to enforce the targets. But passing the responsibility to local authorities may not be enough – they usually need technical support and policy advice as well.
And citizens need to be engaged. When they know what to do, and when the economic incentives are there, then action follows naturally. We see this all over Europe. Well-designed economic instruments, coupled with information campaigns, bring rapid changes in behaviour.
Secondly, you need separate collection. It’s the best way to attract recyclers to operate in your country. Separate collection of glass, plastic, metal and paper, complemented by collection of biowaste has to be your priority.
Thirdly, economic instruments, such as landfill and incineration taxes have a proven track record. If landfilling and incineration remain the cheapest options, there is little incentive to change, and progress is very difficult. Effective systems for Extended Producer Responsibility are another essential element in the toolbox for modern waste management.
It has to be reminded that currently there is no EPR in Hungary as the government changed from EPR to a tax approach in 2012. First of all, large stake of this tax is transposed into the state budget and not spend on environmental purposes but also there is established political 'gentleman agreement' not to increase tariffs on the utilities, among other also on waste management services. Very obviously government is not willing to lose these billions in revenues.
Industry is lobbying for implementation of EPR. They have got great support from EU directive which is making EPR mandatory in achieving of ambitious CE targets.
During the government presentations it was revealed that authorities have been established two working groups - one to discuss municipal waste situation and another for EPR. Establishing of these working groups seems to be new for industry as they were not invited to participate in discussions. The attitude towards EPR among the Hungarian authorities has changed -they are not thinking any more to be with EPR or not, but they are discussing how to implement it in one or another way.
European Commissions’ Circular Economy Mission to Singapore, June 4 to 6, Singapore
Mario Schembri, CEP of Greenpak and Board Member of EXPRA, represented EXPRA during this Circular Economy Mission to Singapore as EXPRA was again invited and asked to participate in this mission, as the experts in all matters around EPR. This time the mission was led by DG Environments Director General Daniel Calleja Crespo
The mission was organised by the Directorate-General (DG) for the Environment of the European Commission and aim to build bridges between European institutions, NGOs and companies and the relevant stakeholders in those third countries, interested in the opportunities that the transition to the circular economy brings.
The Circular Economy Missions are conceived with three clear objectives:
- To increase cooperation between the EU and third countries in the field of environmental policy. This can be achieved by signing political agreements directed at fostering the circular economy, green public procurement and innovative, sustainable and inclusive growth.
- To achieve a better understanding of the environmental challenges faced by third countries.
- To promote green solutions through business partnerships abroad. In this regard, the missions will organise matchmaking events between European and local entrepreneurs and will engage in exchange of views with targeted audiences.
The policies discussed during the missions gravitated around circular economy, resource efficiency and sustainable use of natural resources. In particular, the missions focus on topics related to eco-innovation, chemicals and plastic, waste, water management, marine pollution and urban environmental best practices. These issues offer a wide area for further bilateral discussions, not least because they have a great potential for innovative business solutions. For instance, the use of state-of-the-art technologies can help to reduce environmental impacts.
2nd International EPR & Stewardship Forum, July 2 – 4, Paris
The International Stewardship Forum was held in Paris on July 2 and 3 2019. With over 200 participants and over 50 international speakers, the Forum provided a unique opportunity for participants to gather practical insights from product stewardship and extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs across a broad range of products and substances.
• a final day of discussions with select stakeholders (including EXPRA) to reflect upon the Forum presentations, identify key insights, and help map out a way forward. These discussions followed a modified Chatham House Rule to encourage openness and information sharing.
Nevertheless, still doubts on the success of EPR on design for recycling were raised
EXPRA supports 2019 ISWA World Congress
EXPRA Managing Director will moderate two sessions: The ISWA EPR project – Providing a picture of EPR and EPR & Innovation – one goes with the other. In the sessions EXPRA members from the Netherlands, Italy and Malta will present thier experiences and best prcatices.
The ISWA World Congress is the world‘s most important congress in the field of waste management. The Congress is organized by ATEGRUS, ISWA National Member in Spain, in cooperation with the International Solid Waste Association – ISWA. The ISWA World Congress offers the perfect setting for networking and direct contact with potential customers as well as numerous decision makers from government, science and industry
High-level event of the Circular Plastics Alliance
On 20 September 2019 in Brussels, the Circular Plastics Alliance will present and adopt its declaration. The declaration will describe the alliance's vision for more recycled plastics in Europe, as well as their commitments for action to reach the EU target, Namely, that 10 million tonnes of recycled plastics find their way in products in the EU by 2025. EXPRA President and Managing Director will participate and sepak at the event.
The European Commission announced the launch of the Circular Plastics Alliance on 11 December 2018 with the support of First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Vice-President Jyrki Katainen.
The launch of the Alliance followed the preliminary assessment of pledges (November 2018). This assessment showed that pledges from suppliers of recycled plastics were sufficient to reach and even exceed the EU target of 10 million tonnes of recycled plastics used in Europe by 2025. But pledges received from users of recycled plastics (such as plastics converters and manufacturers) were not sufficient, and action was necessary to bridge the gap between the supply and demand.
Upcoming events with EXPRA Participation
Upcoming events, where EXPRA Management and representatives are participating / presenting
10–11 September 2019, Munich, Germany
6th Annual Beverage Packaging Congress 2019, organized by Arena International Events Group
5-7 November 2019, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2019 Conference on Canadian Stewardship, organized by The Conference on Canadian Stewardship
12-14 November, Barcelona, Spain
Sustainability in Packaging Europe 2019, organized by Smithers Pira
18-20 November, Vienna Austria
12th Multilayer Flexible Packaging conference, organized by AMI
EU institutional transition: European Parliament update
Following the outcome of the elections to the European Parliament (EP) at the end of May, the four centrist pro-European groups within the new EP (EPP, S&D, Renew Europe (formerly ALDE) and the Greens) have now started negotiations on identifying common priorities.
• EPP: Siegfried Muresan (RO), Peter Liese (DE)
• S&D: Kathleen Van Brempt (BE), Eric Andrieu (FR)
• Renew Europe (formerly ALDE + Macron’s Renaissance): Pascal Canfin (FR), Chris Davies (UK)
• The Greens: Bas Eickhout (NL), Yannick Jadot (FR)
• Chair: Pascal Canfin (RE, FR)
• 1st Vice-Chair: Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL)
• 2nd Vice-Chair: Seb Dance (S&D, UK)
• 3rd Vice-Chair: Cristian-Silviu Busoi (EPP, RO)
• 4th Vice-Chair: Anja Hazekamp (GUE/NGL, NL)
• Stressed the symbolism of ENVI being the largest committee, showing that the Parliament appreciates the level of climate emergency and loss of biodiversity the world is facing.
• There is no Western European or East European transition – all have to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
• ENVI has to be the frontrunner on climate ambition. It has to be able to compromise, but also to show strength.
• Chair: Adina Valean (EPP, RO)
• 1st Vice-Chair: Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR, PL)
• 2nd Vice-Chair: Morten Helveg Petersen (RE, DK)
• 3rd Vice-Chair: Patrizia Toia (S&D, IT)
• 4th Vice-Chair: Lina Gálvez (S&D, ES)
• Chair: Petra De Sutter (Greens, BE)
• 1st Vice-Chair: Pierre Karlesking (RE, FR)
• 2nd Vice-Chair: Maria Grapini (S&D, RO)
• 3rd Vice-Chair: Roza Thun (EPP, PL)
• 4th Vice-Chair: Maria Manuela Leitao Marques (S&D, PT)
• Chair: Johan Van Overtveldt (ECR, BE)
• 1st Vice-Chair: Janusz Lewandowski (EPP, PL)
• 2nd Vice-Chair: Olivier Chastel (RE, BE)
• 3rd Vice-Chair: Margarida Marques (S&D, PT)
• 4th Vice-Chair: Niclas Herbst (EPP, DE)
The European Commission’s Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) on waste
On 5 June, the Commission published its country-specific recommendations (CSRs), setting out its economic policy guidance for Member States for the next 12 to 18 months.
Overall, the Commission highlighted that thirteen Member States were experiencing imbalances (Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Romania, and Sweden) and that three countries were experiencing excessive imbalances (Cyprus, Greece and Italy). With regards to waste specifically, the Commission noted that there is a lack of adequate waste management in a number of countries, including Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, and Romania.
In the case of France, for example, the Commission welcomed its 2018 national circular economy roadmap, as well as highlighting that the country performs above the EU average in terms of overall demand for recycled materials but noted that recycling rates for municipal waste are below average. In the case of Italy, the Commission highlighted regional differences and called on the Government to focus more on investing into waste management infrastructure across the country. For Hungary, the Commission noted that circular economy is only at its initial phase, and that recycling of municipal waste is underdeveloped.
Individual CSRs for all Member States can be found
G20 Environment Ministers adopt communiqué on marine litter
During their first meeting, which took place on 15 and 16 June, in Karuizawa, Japan, the Energy and Environment Ministers of G20 countries adopted a communiqué on climate change, energy transition, marine litter and resource efficiency.
EEA report on plastic prevention
On 3 June, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published a report on waste prevention policies in Europe, with a focus on the issue of plastics and plastic waste. Overall, the report found that despite some progress and a clear commitment to address plastic waste in many countries, concrete prevention targets for various types of plastic waste are not widespread.
While close to half of the countries assessed (EEA member countries) have declared plastic waste a “priority waste stream”, only nine EU Member States have set concrete targets for its prevention.
In total, the EEA identified 173 measures having been implemented, of which around 37 were market-based instruments (mostly fees for plastic bags), 25 were regulatory instruments, and 30 were voluntary targets. 104 measures covered the production of plastic products and 69 their consumption. Five countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Romania and the UK) notably included numerical targets compared to a baseline. The EEA concluded that while fees on plastic shopping bags have contributed to significantly reducing their use, and subsequent waste, these should also be applied to other types or products, including plastic packaging waste. Prevention of single-use plastics and non-recyclable plastic products should be prioritized, the EEA said.
As a good practice example to address plastic waste, the EEA highlighted a combination of regulatory measures, such as bans, and softer instruments such as stakeholder agreements. These should also be accompanied by adequate training and capacity building.
The full report can be accessed
Environment Ministers discuss Circular Economy 2.0
on 11 and 12 July, the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU held an informal meeting of EU Environment and Climate Ministers in Helsinki. During the second day of the meeting, the discussions focused on circular economy and in particular ways to expand it into new areas.
In terms of the implementation of circular economy, the Ministers stressed the need to continue pursuing an ambitious approach that can accelerate the transition. To this end, they discussed the need for a new circular economy action plan – the so-called circular economy 2.0 – which could, beyond facilitating the process of implementation, also help expand circular actions into other priority sectors. These include sectors such as construction, textiles, mobility and food. More generally, the intention is to cover the entire chain of production and consumption, starting with sustainable product design. As such, some of the key issues to be discussed in this regard under the Finnish Presidency’s helm include opportunities stemming from product policy, digitalization as a way to promote circular economy, follow-up measures on the interface between product and waste legislation, as well as funding for circular economy.
The Finnish Presidency will work to prepare conclusions on the circular economy, which should set out ways for the new Commission to promote circular economy during its term. These will be discussed at the Environment Council’s meeting on 4 October.
In addition, during their discussions, the Ministers highlighted new businesses opportunities from moving from a single-use culture to a circular economy. Improved materials recycling, they said, can help address some of the key challenges the EU is facing, including climate change and biodiversity loss. Both manufacturing and consumption should be based on the 6 Rs of sustainability, namely “refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, remanufacture, and recycle”.
During the meeting, EU Commissioner for the Environment Karmenu Vella and the Vice-President VP for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen delivered keynote speeches. Commissioner Vella emphasized the need to focus on waste prevention, not only recycling, when looking at the transition to circularity, noting that some Member States already have programmes in this area and that targets could also be considered. Meanwhile, during his address, VP Katainen stressed in particular the need to create a well-functioning market for secondary raw materials. He also highlighted sustainable finance taxonomy and green public procurement as important tools in the transition to circular economy.
Fost Plus (Belgium) : A new look at the circular economy - Fost Plus 2018 Annual Report
Fost Plus’s ambition is to develop a true circular packaging economy in Belgium over the next few years. To achieve this, we can build on past successes, but we also need to invest in innovative solutions and new technologies.
The introduction of the new blue bag is an important step in the right direction. By extending the collection of plastic bottles, metal packaging and drink cartons (PMD) to include all plastic packaging, we can collect and recycle 8 kg of extra packaging per person per year.
At the same time, we’re looking to broaden our scope. Belgians are in the habit of carefully sorting their packaging waste at home but away from home, too much packaging material is discarded, either because it is poorly sorted or because it ends up as litter. Fost Plus has plans to collect and recycle as much of this material as possible.
However, we can’t achieve a circular packaging economy alone.
Sustainable management of packaging is a shared responsibility: the public sorts, producers pack, governments lay down policy, intermunicipal authorities raise awareness and operational partners work in the field. That’s why we want to engage everyone in this story. With user-friendly collection systems, sustainable recycling solutions and an open mind on new developments and changing needs.
In this way, we will make it easier for everyone to help build a circular economy and a sustainable future.
You can read the report
This is undeniable: our future will be circular or will not be. At the end of 2018, Valipac redefined its mission: "To act together for a circular economy" is since the new credo of Valipac. An exercise, carried out with the support of all its stakeholders, is an important step in preparing Valipac for the challenges of the future.
Policies must now put in place the legal framework needed to meet these challenges. Valipac has produced a policy memorandum with 8 recommendations to successfully address these challenges.
They hope that the respective Belgium ministers and governments will take these recommendations into account in their strategic notes. They were so kind to send it to us as well so that we can share it with our EXPRA colleagues.
You can read the document here: https://www.valipac.be/memorandum-2019-fr/files/assets/basic-html/page-1.html#
Ecoembes (Spain) Initiatives
1M2 FOR NATURE’ (SPAIN), LIBERA´s Annual Collaborative Clean Up Litter Event In Natural Areas, Has Reached 13.000 Volunteers In 2019
The , a creation of Spain’s flagship environmental NGO, SEO/Birdlife, in alliance with Ecoembes, even mobilized Queen Mother Sofia last June in one of the 453 cleaning points across all Spain.
This project, addressed to citizensm, works with the objective of reduce to zero the litter in the mountains, the beaches or the nearest natural. This massive mobilization collected 83 tons of litter, had 1.013 media impacts and became the environmental event of the day on June 15th.
‘1m2 for nature’ it´s the most important event of the mobilization area of LIBERA, that tries to become part of the solution to the problem of littering and that also works on awareness and science. Because even if it´s not our litter, It is our problem.
You can read more information about this initiative here.
Ecoembes launches Naturaliza, an education project to drive a greater presence of environment and sustainability in the education system
Education is a key tool to create habits in order to achieve a global environmental awareness. The Sustainable Development Goals are clearly committed to education as a way to generate sustainable lifestyles. Caring for and respecting the environment are values that should be internalised from an early age, for which, daily environmental education is required.
With that purpose, Ecoembes launches Naturaliza, an education project which aims to drive a greater presence of environment and sustainability issues in the Spanish education system. To achieve that goal, Naturaliza is bases on three axis: it offers an online teacher-training course, it provides teaching resources, and it promotes outdoor learning.
More than 600 teachers among the country have joined the project for the following academic year, giving an environmental point of view to the current curricular contents of the core subjects of primary education stage.
For further information, visit its website
In the following web you can consult all the information: https://www.ecoembes.com/proyectos-destacados/chatbot-aire/
EKO-KOM (The Czech Reublic) Waste and Municipalities Conference 2019: Long-Term Trends for Sustainability in the Czech Republic
This year the Czech Packaging Recovery Organization (EKO-KOM) organized its jubilee 20th annual Conference “Waste and Municipalities”. This year’s event brought together representatives of various municipalities in the Czech Republic along with members of the domestic and international business community in the recycling and waste management sectors.
Legislators and officials representing relevant Czech ministries and institutions also participated in the conference. The principle topics addressed during the course of the event were the current state of municipal waste management in the European Union, initiatives being undertaken to improve the efficacy and efficiency of waste management and the concrete steps which must be taken in order to fulfill the long-term objectives of the European Union Circular Economy Package and the implications these developments have for the future of waste management in Europe.
The two-day summit began with a comprehensive introduction from Zbyněk Kozel, EKO-KOM CEO. He declared that the establishment of a new paradigm in waste management is now underway in the Czech Republic - that in addition to sorting, we are beginning to place a significant emphasis on recycling, with a fundamental shift away from landfilling, framed by the European principles of the circular economy. He further stated that waste should be considered a valuable resource as source material for further industrial production. This idea was endorsed by another panelist at the conference, Jean-Marc Boursier, President of the European Waste Management and Environmental Services Federation (FEAD). Mr. Boursier outlined his organization’s commitment to proper waste management in Europe, the reduction in the use of landfills and increasing the rate of recycled waste across the continent.
The European Union’s Circular Economy Package was lauded by the various stakeholders from the private and public sectors represented at the conference, and Czech government representatives were commended for their creation and implementation of legislation to improve upon the state of domestic recycling and waste management. One distinct indicator of the Czech Republic’s progress in this regard is that the rate of recycling of packaging materials is comparable with that of the old 15 European Union member countries. Another achievement is that contributions from EKO-KOM have enabled municipalities to effectively participate in the functioning of the system. The high density and wide distribution of distinctly colored recycling containers with accessible and user-friendly design is now commonplace. A high rate of recycling is now a prerequisite for the next step, which is the continued reduction of landfill use and the improved circulation of waste materials.
These new trends were reflected in the various presentations on specific topics over the course of the conference and some clear priorities were established - waste management and sorting, efficient and accessible energy recovery, recycling of mixed plastics, the recycling of PET bottles, maximizing the efficiency of sorting processes, promoting the further development of biodegradable plastics, addressing the challenges associated with micro plastics, non-plastic additives in yellow bins, developments in eco-friendly design, better set-up and optimizing collection networks, and the means of increasing efficiency in the use of recycled materials. In sum, the modern technologies which support improved waste management are now widely available and so what is imperative now is that the value chain within waste management providers in the public and private sector reflects this and that they are put into effective practice.
The progress the Czech Republic has made with respect to recycling and waste management was noted at various points throughout the congress. Petr Balner of EKO-KOM summarized the effective legislation put in place over the last two decades and the financial efficiency of the current system: "We have succeeded in working with municipalities, and I can state today that our joint annual project to collect and evaluate municipal waste data is unparalleled in Europe." Jan Maršák from the Department of Waste, a division of the Ministry of the Environment, also commended the positive trends in waste management in the Czech Republic, noting that Czech legislation is adequately prepared. “Legislation and draft bills addressing recycling, packaging waste and the End-of-Life Products Act have all been deliberated and are prepared. Inter-departmental collaboration is in progress and the new Waste Act will revolutionize the circulation economy, recycling, and the recovery and sorting of waste in the Czech Republic.”
It is evident that waste management in the Czech Republic is undergoing a major transformation, that Czech and Moravian municipalities are prepared for the changes resultant from the Circulation Economy Package, and that the preparation and implementation of Czech legislation is very much moving in the right direction. The Czech EPR system EKO-KOM has proudly played a relevant role in setting these trends and served as an important initiator of development in the area of municipal waste management.
GreenPak (Malta): Registers Huge Increase In Plastics Recovery
GreenPak Cooperative Society’s commitment in the collection of plastics via recycling bins on both islands is consistently yielding better results. A dramatic increase in plastics recovery was recorded following the introduction of the innovative iBiNs at the beginning of this year.
Latest figures show that between January and May 2019 plastics recovery nearly doubled when compared to the same period in 2018. During the first five months of this year over 253,000 kilograms of plastics were recovered, which is equivalent to 3,162,500 plastic bottles. Many consider plastic as the miracle material that has made modern life possible, but nearly half of it is used just once, and a significant part of it ends up polluting our seas to the detriment of the ecosystem, and ultimately our health.
Furthermore, between January and May 2019, GreenPak also registered another highly significant increase of 39% in recovered paper and glass materials when compared to the same five-month period in 2018. From over 651,000 kilogrammes last year, the total figure for both paper and glass over the past five months has increased to more than 882,000 kilogramms.
During the week marking World Environment Day, GreenPak’s CEO Ing Mario Schembri said: “As these figures amply show, iBiNs are positively impacting on recycling in both Malta and Gozo as they are making it easier and more efficient for people to recycle, anytime, anywhere.”
“For us at GreenPak, world environment day is practically every day – 365 days a year. Recycling serves to protect and improve the environment which today is globally recognised as being seriously threatened through, among others, the depletion of its raw materials. Our day-to-day work and operations serve as a tangible platform for public outreach across Malta and Gozo. Using our latest technological system, today we know that in 2019 there has not been a single day when citizens did not use GreenPak’s iBiNs to recycle.”
Earlier this year, the iBiNs replaced all the previous recycling skips in the 40 localities served by GreenPak. Equipped with smart technology, iBiNs enable citizens to recycle 24/7 in a simpler and more convenient way, while doing away with the unsightly overflowing of recycling bins.
Following last month’s official launch of the iBiNs link, in collaboration with Vodafone, more significant results are expected in the coming months as this link via mobile phone will be directing the person to the nearest empty iBiN, meaning more efficient use of time and less driving trying to locate an empty bin. The link is found at ibins.greenpak.com.mt with no download necessary. It works on any mobile device such as smartphones, tablets, portable computers and others.
GreenPak Cooperative Society’s commitment in the collection of plastics via recycling bins on both islands is consistently yielding better results. A dramatic increase in plastics recovery was recorded following the introduction of the innovative iBiNs at the beginning of this year. Latest figures show that between January and May 2019 plastics recovery nearly doubled when compared to the same period in 2018. During the first five months of this year over 253,000 kilograms of plastics were recovered, which is equivalent to 3,162,500 plastic bottles.
ECOPACK (Bulgaria): The sea side city of Bourgas collects plastic packaging in “sea shell” art installations
Five attractive containers in the form of huge shells invite the residents and guests of Burgas to collect their plastic waste separately. The art installations are located at the key outlets of the Sea Garden in the city will symbolically remind you that the place of plastic waste is not at sea and on the beach, but in the special yellow containers of ECOPACK.
Art installations are part of this year's twelfth edition of "My Green City", within which 10 public transport stops in Sofia were transformed into plastic containers.
Ekopak (BiH) Eco-schools: EKOPAKET Creative Competition Winners Announced - Ekopak Awarded the Most Creative Students
In the framework of the International Eco-School Program, the authorized representative of the program "Incubator of Social Innovations - MUNJA" organized the creative competition EKOPAKET, which involves the collection of used Tetra Pak packaging, organizing education about the recycling process for students, and motivating students to take part in creative competition.
From 23 elementary schools of 23, 170 pupils' works were created, real small artworks rated by an expert jury, among which was the representative of Ekopak Eldin Sabet. Ekopak as a strategic partner of the Eco-School in BiH, has also provided valuable prizes for the winners.
The International program of Eco-Schools was developed by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in 1994, and is is being implemented in more than 60 countries and 50,000 educational institutions. Eco-schools have a system of rewarding educational institutions, in such a way that schools that meet the set criteria and promote environmental care as a lasting value and way of life, receive a charter on the status of the International Eco-School and the Green Flag with the Eco-school sign. The methodology is based on seven steps that certain educational institutions implement according to the individual plan with the help of this program.
INTRODUCTION BY THE MANAGING DIRECTOR
Since the very beginning of this year we were overwhelmed with numerous parallel legislative and other developments with direct impact on our work. These include not only the Implementing and Delegated Acts and Guidances stemming from the WFD and the PPWD, but also all existing and new initiatives, like the Circular Plastics Alliance initiative of DG GROW, European Coalition for Chemical Recycling, etc. to name just few. Not to forget also the new serious requirements and responsibilities for the Industry/EPR Organizations defined in the SUP.
In parallel we are continuing with our usual work as we met in beginning of April in Seville, Spain for our GA meeting where we discussed among other issues the new strategy of EXPRA focusing on operational excellence and thought leadership in sustainable packaging. The Assembly was organized back to back with the International forum on Marine Litter and Circular Economy - MARLICE, where several EXPRA members shared their best practices and experiences in protecting nature, promoting environmentally friendly behavior and fighting litter.
So, I will repeat myself stating that again we will have a very busy spring and summer, due not only to all challenges mentioned above but also to the coming EU elections and the respective structuring of the new Parliament and Commission. Of course, EXPRA will continue to support its members during the transposition of the new EU legislation and well as promote sharing of best practices like with the “Green Book on Innovation” being currently developed with examples form EXPRA members.
Of course in all this activities 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.
But there are developments regarding EPR not only in Europe – things are moving in Latin America and Asia, in countries like Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia where EPR is on the table as governments understand the potential to improve the system together with industry and to solve all the problems resulting especially in marine litter. As THE EXPERT in EPR, EXPRA is contacted and invited to several events in those countries, but due to the very tight and busy EU schedule, we are always ready to share our long term expertise and to support industry on demand, respectively try to send experts from our member base.
Enjoy your reading!
EPR Toolkit workshop & Packaging Waste and Sustainability Forum, April 1 – 3, Brussels
The Managing Director of EXPRA moderated as in the previous years the EPR Toolkit Workshop which is done the day before the 2 days conference; like also in the previous years, EXPRA developed the content of the workshop as well as proposed nearly all speakers.
Around 50 to 60 experts participated in the workshop where a lot of lively discussions took place around the following topics:
Transparency within Packaging Recovery Organizations - Equal treatment and non-discrimination of the clients
- On the way to sustainable packaging – Initiatives of PROs and EPR Fee Modulation
- What will industry have to pay? How can it be calculated? What are the full costs?
- Enforcement, reporting and monitoring - Ensuring a level playing field in industry reporting, sharing comparable data, avoiding free riding
Next to industry associations and companies, PROs from Germany (DSD, RECLAY and ERP/Landbell), France (CITEO), Spain (Ecoembes and EcoVidrio), Belgium (Fost Plus), Norway (GDN), Ireland (REPAK), Portugal (SPV), Latvia (LZP), Netherlands (Dutch Waste Fund) participated and partly spoke in the workshop and/or the conference.
Malgorzata Golebiewska, DG Environment, introduced into the Art 8a minimum requirements for EPR, concentrating on the various studies and acts that the Commission is preparing at the moment to help the Member States to implement all criteria and to ensure a minimum level of harmonization.
EXPRA General Assembly, April 9, Seville
On 9 April EXPRA held its spring General Assembly in Seville, Spain. During the meeting, EXPRA’s Managing Director Joachim Quoden presented summarized the organisation’s key achievements in 2018, the Highlights in the period: December 2018 to April 2019 and the outlook for 2019.
According to the statutory requirements, the Organization’s annual accounts, the annual financial statements and the accountant’s opinion were approved. The Managing Director also presented to the members the Organization’s New strategic framework, including two major building blocks: “Operational excellence” and “Thought leadership”, accompanied by a targeted communications strategy aiming at raising EXPRA’s profile towards external audiences. As practical example of these efforts will be the Green Book on Innovation currently being developed (collecting best practices in innovation form all EXPRA members).
EXPRA Member were also informed about the state of play in the transposition of the new Waste Legislation as well as the on-going developments with regards to the Single Use Plastics (SUP) Directive. From the planned IAs and Das only the Implementing Act (IA) on calculation, verification and reporting of data is to be finalised in April, while the other planned acts will be delayed possibly within the second half of the year. The new measurement of recycling and its consequences – Implemented act on how to measure and average loss rates were presented by Paul Christiaens, Dutch Afvalfonds / Chair WG Data & Reporting. He also informed the members about the impact of these acts on the different stakeholders/processes, including operational changes.
As having the General Assembly in Spain, EXPRA’s Spanish members, Ecoembes and ECOVIDRIO presented the situation in Spain regarding the national and new EU waste legislation. They presented the achievements of the two organizations as well as the challenges they are facing which should be met with regulation with technical thoroughness and political intelligence.
Amanda Fuso Nerini, CONAI, Chair of the Packaging and Sustainability WG presented the great project of the WG - Packaging for recycling (P4R). This is an online toolkit, developed per material and waste management stage, and provides information on recycling systems in Europe as well as the collection, sorting and recycling aspects/specifics of the different types of packaging. The website provides a dynamic online information tool aimed at allowing users to self-assess the recyclability of their packaging, according to a roadmap based on the following four recyclability critical control points: design, labelling, collection and sorting.
Maryse Vermette from EXPRA Canadian member – EEQ, presented the The Plastic Solutions Forum, aiming to present and promote new approaches based on technologies and processes developed through polymer research, contribute to speeding up innovations in the recycling of plastic packaging and establish relations and projects between these start-ups and investors, as well as with contributing companies.
Marine Litter and Circular Economy - MARLICE Forum, 10th – 12th April 2019 Seville Spain
Seville was the host of the International forum on Marine Litter and Circular Economy - MARLICE Forum, which took place in the period 10th – 12th April 2019. This major event with over 250 participants was the reason for organizing EXPRA statutory meetings in Seville as well.
The forum, conceived as a cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder event to advance in the management of marine litter, gathered public authorities, research institutes, private sector and environmental organizations, was organized by Spanish Marine Litter Association (AEBAM), with the support of Ecoembes and EXPRA among others strategic partners.
Marine litter is a global threat that requires cross cutting solutions and a large panel of interlocutors. For the event, four thematic blocks were formed in order to involve all the actors who can successfully deal with the marine litter issue, namely : Governance, Research, Circular Economy and Innovation, and Awareness. Begoña Benito Fernandez, Ecoembes participated in the opening ceremony of the event as well as shared Ecoembes’ activities in promoting environment friendly behavior and prevention of marine litter. Their great project - LIBERA, implemented jointly with SEO / BirdLife was also presented during the event.
During the first session, Circular economy & innovation, Maryse Vermette, Éco Entreprises Québec presented the International Quebec-France Forum, which discussed different plastics solutions: recycling innovations on both sides of the Atlantic
The following session, Circular economy and legislation, focused on different aspects that concern the private sector working in 3 main areas: Legal framework, Private Sector Initiatives and R+D Projects. EXPRA Managing Director Joachim quoden presented EXPRA’s views on the Circular Economy Package and Single Use Plastic Directivewith focus on the challenges but also on solutions, provided by EPR organizations. A representative of the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition presented the development of the Spanish roadmap towards a circular economy.
In the following presentations (including Life Eps-Sure project of CICLOPLAST, in which EXPRA is participating) the and discussions a wide variety of topics were discussed, as the role of the private sector in the collection, recovery and valorization of marine litter, the potential value of litter in the market from the perspective of circular economy, pioneering projects in restructuring production processes and the role of consumers in enabling the circular economy (responsible consumption and behavior).
Workshop of EBRD – MOVING TOWARDS A CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN WASTE MANAGEMENT, April 15 + 16, Sofia
The Source Separation for Recycling Policy Seminar in Sofia was organized within a project of the EBRD during Save the Planet Sofia Event: Conference and Exhibition on Waste Management, Recycling, Environment for South-East Europe.
The project, implemented by EXPRA as a technical consultant, aims to support National and local authorities from: Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine in their endeavour to explore how to best promote source separation and increase recycling rates by introducing and financing separate collection activities. The seminar also tackled the issue of the non-technical enabling environment for increasing source-separation of recyclables. This means looking at experiences and solutions for the institutional and legal setup and contractual arrangements for financing source-separation activities and how they impact the ability to attract more private sector involvement.
Monika Romenska, EXPRA Regulatory and PA Manager, moderated the seminar with the active involvement and participation of Dr. Roland Ramusch, Sector specialist – Solid Waste, EBRD, and presented a General introduction on source separation, overview on legal requirements at the EU level and real-life situation in the various countries. Dr. Ramusch presented the EBRD and its solid waste management projects as well as the current challenges in the EBRD countries.
After the short presentation of the participants and the situation in their countries/local authorities regarding waste management in general as well as waste source separation, the situations in three countries: Estonia, Bulgaria and Macedonia were presented, respectively by: Üllar Huik, Circular Economy Adviser at Estonian Food Industry Association, Todor Bourgoudjiev, CEO of ECOPACK Bulgaria and Filip Ivanovski, MD of PAKOMAK.
On the second day of the seminar, ECOPACK Bulgaria very kindly hosted a visit to the new lightweight packaging Sorting plant and Educational Center of the Organization near Sofia. The participants appreciated highly the really impressive achievements of ECOPACK and expressed their intentions to implement some of the examples in their country/local authorities.
The Seminar continued with a very interesting presentation of Üllar Huik introducing Sustainable Waste management and the conribution of solid waste management to the implementation of the UN sustianable goals. The best practices of EXPRA members in innovation and development in packaging waste mananegment were presented by Monika Romenska. The participants in teh Seminar were very active during the to days of the seminar and evaluated the event as very good/excellent.
The final deliverable of the project will be a policy paper including detailed information on the countries participation as well as practical examples and best practices.
EXPRA presenting best practices during the EU Green Week 2019
In September 2018 the Commission adopted its ‘Report on the implementation of EU waste legislation, including the early warning for Member States at risk of missing the 2020 preparation for re-use/recycling target on municipal waste’ (COM(2018) 656 final). This Report identified key challenges that prevent full compliance and provided recommendations for how to improve waste management in countries and regions that are lagging behind.
In April 2019, the European Commission published a set of reports on the state of implementation of environmental laws in Europe: the Environmental Implementation Review. The EU Green Week 2019 will be built around the findings of the Environmental Implementation Review, and its suggestions for the future of these laws. The main topic will be on ‘Applying the environmental legislation’. On 16 May there will be a dedicated session on waste, where EXPRA has neen invited as a speaker and will be represented by ing. Mario Schembri, CEO of GreenPak Malta and member of EXPRA BOD. This session will aim at presenting best practice in separate collection of municipal waste and the role of extended producer responsibility schemes - the crucial tools to enable better recycling performance.
EXPRA MD - a keynote speaker at the 2nd International Conference & Expo on Recycling and Waste Management
EXPRA MD Joachim Quoden has been invited as a keynote speaker, as well, as entrusted with the organization of a Workshop on EPR during the conference for young researchers.
The conference has been specifically designed to focus on the modern technologies of recycling in today’s world. It also aims to provide educational opportunities as well as world-class scientific content delivered by quality keynote speakers, with plenary sessions, symposiums, hands-on workshops, etc.
The Conference has been particularly intended to center around the cutting edge recycling and its pervasiveness in this day and age. The Conference encompasses the theme: “Elevating endless Possibilities of Recycling”. The expected participants include: researchers, innovators, associations, industries, Global experts, environmental engineers, professionals, funding agencies, Management bodies, product developers, etc.
Upcoming events with EXPRA Participation
Upcoming events, where EXPRA Management and representatives are participating / presenting
4 June 2019, Brussels
EUROPEAN CHEMICALRECYCLING CONFERENCE 2019: Challenges and Opportunities, organized by ChemRecEurope supported by PCE
22-23 May 2019, Rome Italy
“2nd International Conference and Expo on Recycling and Waste Management”, organized by Recycling 2019/Allied Academies
26-29 June 2019, Heraklion, Greece
HERAKLION 2019 7th International Conference on Sustainable Solid Waste Management, organized by National Technical University of Athens
2-3 July 2019 Paris, France
International Stewardship Forum, organized by Global Product Stewardship Council and French producer responsibility organisation (PRO) for sharps, DASTRI
7-9 October 2019, Bilbao, Spain
The 29th ISWA World Congress, organized by ISWA
5-7 November 2019, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2019 Conference on Canadian Stewardship, organized by The Conference on Canadian Stewardship
18-20 November, Vienna Austria
12th Multilayer Flexible Packaging conference, organized by AMI
European Parliament adopts the SUP Directive, March 27, Brussels
Today the European Parliament in the Plenary session adopted the compromise reached between the negotiators on the Single-Use Plastics (SUP) Directive. The text was adopted by 560 votes in favour, with 35 MEPs voting against and 28 abstentions.
Launch of the Circular Plastics Alliance by DG Growth
As part of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy, the Circular Plastics Alliance aims at improving the economics and quality of plastics recycling in Europe. The Alliance should help the supply and demand for recycled plastics in the EU market to match at 10 million tons by 2025, at least
- To work together to reach the EU target that 10 million tons of recycled plastics are sold on the EU market by 2025
- To work together along the plastics value chains
- To work together on 5 priority topics: better collection and sorting of plastic waste; better product design for recycling; greater recycled plastic content in products; R&D and investments, including chemical recycling; and monitoring of progress.
- Invest in several recycling technologies, including chemical recycling technologies;
- Implement separate collection of plastic waste across the EU;
- Improve sorting of plastic waste. This required to invest in R&D and waste management infrastructures, also to properly sort multi-layered or flexible packaging such as foils;
- Improve the recyclability of plastic products (product design).
- Collection and sorting of plastic waste
- Product design for recycling
- Recycled plastic content in products
- R&D and investments, including chemical recycling
- Monitoring of recycled plastics sold in the EU
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION ON WASTE MANAGEMENT ADOPTED BY THE EP, APRIL 4, BRUSSELS
The motion for a resolution follows several petitions submitted to the EP in the last few years over Member States’ failure to properly implement waste legislation.
2ND EU WIDE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW, APRIL 5, BRUSSELS
On 5 April, the European Commission published its second Environmental Implementation Review (EIR). This follows up on the initiative launched in 2016, and the first EIR published in February 2017, with the aim of helping the Member States better apply EU environment rules.
Afvalfonds Verpakkingen (The Netherlands) introduces differentiated rate
For rigid plastic packaging that is sorted and recycled without impediments, and with a positive market value in 2019, a lower rate of € 0.38 per kg applies. This modulated fee is intended to reward companies that use well-recyclable rigid plastic packaging with a positive market value after sorting, leading to lower net costs for Afvalfonds Verpakkingen (‘Packaging Waste Fund’).
The fees are re-established annually and the relative discount compared to the regular plastic rate will be maintained for a multiannual basis.
To determine if a plastic packaging is easily recyclable or not, Afvalfonds Verpakkingen uses the recycle check for rigid plastic packaging, which has been developed by Netherlands Institute for Sustainable Packaging (Kennisinstiuut Duurzaam Verpakken, KIDV). The KIDV Recycle Check can be downloaded here. Find more information about the Recyclecheck here.
Afvalfonds Verpakkingen chooses to reward the use of highly recyclable packaging and not to sanction the use of other packaging. All plastic packaging that isn’t easily recyclable within the current systems of collection, sorting and recycling existing in the Netherlands nor generate a positive market value, are not qualified for the lower rate as yet. This could change in the future for example by innovations in sorting and recycling.
FTI (Seweden) New CEO Håkan Ohlsson
As the demands and recycling targets of companies change, the Packaging and Newspaper Collection Service (FTI) is increasing its focus on new circular business solutions, extended producer responsibility and increased recycling. On March 29, Håkan Ohlsson will step into the role of CEO of FTI to lead this work.
Håkan is currently a Board member of Apoteksgruppen i Sverige.
Waste is a resource that must be collected effectively to maintain high quality, so that the raw material can be recycled into new products. That is FTI’s mission.
“FTI is taking new steps in its efforts to provide closed-loop systems for its customers and for consumers. This requires a strong focus on partnerships, innovation and business development. Accordingly, we take great pleasure in presenting Håkan Ohlsson as the new CEO of the Packaging and Newspaper Collection Service. His solid experience of business development in environments with complex stakeholder groups feels quite right,” says FTI’s Chairman, Gunnar Svensson, in a commentary.
FTI currently combines responsibility for the collection of packaging and newspapers across Sweden with the dissemination of knowledge to households and retail packaging strategists. The Swedish collection and recycling system is internationally leading and enjoys the strong support of households – 83 percent claim that sorting waste is simple. New targets and higher expectations on integration with other aspects of waste management, such as updated guidance for producer responsibility, are the starting points for an ongoing development process.
“Environmental issues in general – and climate change specifically – are making new demands on the business sector. Today, you have to show how products and packaging are designed, how waste is handled and the responsibility you are taking for the entire value chain. In this situation, it is very exciting to be taking on the role as CEO for FTI,” says Håkan Ohlsson.
Håkan Ohlsson is 56 years old and holds a degree from the Stockholm School of Economics. He has previously held positions at Unilever, GB Glace, McKinsey and CityMail, and most recently at Apoteksgruppen i Sverige. Håkan has extensive experience working with a complex stakeholder market, with experience building relationships and working in an environment where private-sector, political, central government and municipal parties work together.
Ecoembes (Spain) Think With Your Lung
Who has not paid much attention to the heart being in love or has been carried away by the stomach before a cake of three chocolates? It is clear that we not only think with our heads. And it is time to start thinking with your lungs to take care of the air we breathe.
How? Recycling cans, briks and plastic containers that we consume in the yellow container. That is thinking with the lungs!
Imagine the entire manufacturing process of a container from scratch, taking into account the obtaining of raw materials. Now think about how that process is reduced if we use recycled materials. The difference is a great saving of water, energy and CO2 emissions that no longer go to the atmosphere.
From the UNESCO Chair and the Cidaut Foundation studies have been carried out that quantify the environmental benefit linked to air quality that involves recycling light containers in the yellow container (cans, briks and plastic containers). And to make it even more tangible, some equivalences have been developed that bring it closer to our day to day life : https://ecoembesanuncios.es/piensa-con-los-pulmones-2/#pulmones/slide3
ECOVIDRIO (Spain) Recycling data for glass containers: record in 2018!
Ecovidrio always want to facilitate the process of recycling to citizens. For this reason, during 2018, 6,873 new green containers were installed, increasing the figure by 3% to reach 225,019 igloos. ECOVIDRIO is very pleased to announce that the recycling of glass containers has grown by 9% in the past year, the largest increase of the last decde!
What does this mean? That last year a total of 893,989 tons of waste from glass containers that have been converted into new containers were recycled. In results, the recycling rate of glass containers has grown by 3.5 points, reaching 76.5%, as we estimate for the year 2018.
How much has been recycled per citizen? The selective collection through the green container reached in 2018 the 840.361 tons of waste of glass containers, which represents a growth of 6.5% over the previous year. Each citizen separated and deposited an average of 18 kilograms of glass, equivalent to about 68 containers per person.
In which autonomous community is more recycled? In the position number 1 is Baleares with 30 kg / IPH (Human Pressure Index). In position 2, Euskadi is followed by 27.5 kg / inhabitant. The third place is taken by La Rioja with 27.5 kg / inhabitant. They are followed on the Navarra list with 25.9 kg / inhabitant and Catalonia with 21.4 kg / inhabitant
Which are the provinces that recycle the most? The ranking of the provinces that recycle the most is headed by San Sebastián, with a ratio of 38.4 kg / inhabitant. It is followed by Pamplona with 29kg / hab. Barcelona is in third place with 22.7 kg / inhabitant, followed by Bilbao 22.6 kg / inhabitant and Palma de Mallorca with 22.5 kg / inhabitant.
José Manuel Núñez-Lagos, General Manager of Ecovidrio, comments: "These record increases allow us to affirm that we are working on the key levers to place our country at the forefront of sustainable development and the great environmental challenges of our time. We can not stop. Although we are backed by more and more citizens and municipalities that demonstrate a solid commitment to recycling, there are still very pronounced inequalities between territories that we will only be able to overcome if policies are generalized that place the bet on the current recycling system in a priority place of the public agenda ".
In addition to the selective collection through the green container, from Ecovidrio we have managed the recycling of 53,628 tons of glass packaging waste from 16 urban waste plants. What does this mean? The recovery of containers through RU plants allows to recycle the containers that the citizen throws to the garbage incorrectly, in order to avoid that they end up in the landfill and can become new containers. This is a pioneering project!
The collection figure through urban waste plants represents an increase of 76% compared to 2017, although in terms of collection, it is only 6% of our total management in Ecovidrio.
Did you know that, thanks to this, Spain is one of the best containerized countries in Europe? Currently there is an igloo for every 208 inhabitants. In addition, our commitment to hospitality continues to be a key part of these results, since this sector generates 50% of single-use glass containers that are sold.
From Ecovidrio we have visited more than 37,300 establishments and delivered 24,900 cubes to raise awareness and facilitate the recycling of these containers in the hospitality sector. There are already more than 9,500 igloos adapted especially for this sector. Surely you will also hear the special plans that we set up each year on a seasonal basis, such as the campaign "Take note, recycle glass", to encourage the recycling of glass containers especially in summer.
During 2018, we carried out 338 social mobilization campaigns, aimed at young people, children, hospitality professionals and citizens. In addition, many of the initiatives have been regional or local, supported by the municipalities of the different municipalities.
You will also hear some awareness campaigns such as "Recycle Glass By Them" or "Recycle Glass and Pedal".
And ... are you one of those who has a miniglub at home? The citizens are part of this chain and that this year we have the best results of the last decade! And is that about 76,500 households already have their miniglú to recycle glass containers. Have you seen the more than 20 original designs they have? On the other hand, from Ecovidrio we have also collaborated in causes beyond recycling, carrying out actions with the Red Cross, Save the Children, Aladina Foundation or the Vicente Ferrer Foundation.
Green Dot Norway Plastic Pledge & Green competitiveness seminar
The key features/Objectives of this project are:
- Enhance the use of recycled plastic
- Reduce plastic in those packagings and products where it is possible
- Design for recycling
The project is also meant to function as a tool for our members, helping them set their environmental goals for 2025 (based on goals set by the EU, saying that 50% of all plastic will be recyclable within 2025, and 55% within 2030). The project will also contribute in opening the dialogue between our members, encouraging them to share experiences related to design for recycling. Green Dot Norway also has a responsibility to follow up those members who decide to take the Plastic Pledge, and help them along the way with arranged workshops where members (actively taking the pledge) will meet up and work in groups focusing on how they can develop their packaging, and making it even more recyclable while adding recycled plastic or reducing it. These groups will meet and work together for three days. Green Dot Norway will arrange the day, set the agenda and contribute with the knowledge we have.
Green competitiveness seminar
Green competitiveness seminar (Grønn Konkurransekraftdag) was arranged for the third time this year at Oslo Kongressenter. This is a cooperation between Returfellesskapet, where Green Dot Norway, Renas and Batteriretur arranges a full day containing subjects surrounding circular economy and innovation seen from an environmental perspective, while also offering their members the possibility of mingling. This year, almost 200 people participated.
Norway’s Minister for Climate and Environment, Ola Elvestuen, opened the seminar, where both members from Returfellesskapet and leaders from influential Norwegian companies spoke about how they are working towards a circular economy. The title of some of the topics were among others:
Anders Skoe, leader FINN.no – EVP Schibsted Media Group - “How to help people make smarter choices for themselves and the environment”.
- Christine Lundberg Larsen, Adm. dir. Regnskap Norge - “Sircular economy - how to make a profitable change”.
- Øystein Ruud, founder of Restaurant Rest - "First class environment".
- Bård Bringsrud Svensen, Sustainability Innovation Manager Orkla - “Recycled plastic - the new normal”.
Cases provided by our members
Both the Plastic Pledge and and Grønn Konkurransekraftdag are initiatives from Green Dot Norway and our partners, in our goal to contribute more support to our members.
When we say contribute, it is because we are fully aware that a lot of our members already have more knowledge than us when it comes to design for recycling and other environmental topics related to both their packaging and their products. This is also why working together throughout a project like the Plastic Pledge, will contribute a lot more knowledge to everyone involved.
We also focus on our members hard work by writing and sharing cases about them, involving design for recycling in our monthly members newsletter. More and more of our members are willing to share “behind the scenes”-information about how they develop their packaging, which makes it possible for us to share this knowledge with members who may still don’t know how to position themselves in questions regarding circular economy and design for recycling.
These are some of our latest cases from our members:
- Member: Löfbergs - Case: “By 2030 all of Löfbergs packaging will only contain recycled or renewable material”
- Member: BEWiSynbra - Case: “All types of EPS can be recycled”
- Member: Glomma Papp and Q-meieriene - Case: “We do not produce product or packaging that can not be recycled”
We hope the Plastic Pledge will help secure the quality of the knowledge related to design for recycling for both us, our partners and members.
Ekopak (Bosnia and Herzegovina) communication & awareness campaigns
Ekopak at EYOF, the biggest international sports event held in Sarajevo after 14 Olympics Games & Ekopak and NGO Incubator Munja introduce the International program "Eco-schools" in schools of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ekopak at EYOF, the biggest international sports event held in Sarajevo after 14 Olympics Games
More than 900 athletes from 46 European countries took part. We are proud that our capital Sarajevo, together with East Sarajevo, was a host to the European Olympic festival for the young (EYOF). Ekopak was a part of this successful story. In corporation with public utility company RAD and EYOF, Ekopak placed containers for packaging waste disposal on the Olympic mountains Igman and Bjelasnica and inside of the halls Zetra and Skenderija. This was also a great chance for awareness raising of the new generations about importance of package waste recycling.
Ekopak and NGO Incubator Munja introduce the International program "Eco-schools" in schools of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The first info seminar on the international program "Eco-school" was organized by Ekopak and the NGO Incubator Munja. The Eco-School project was developed in 1994 by FEE - the Foundation for Environmental Education, which is headquartered in Copenhagen. Now is being implemented in more than 60 countries of the world and 50,000 educational institutions, and also started in Bosnia and Hercegovina.
In the organization of the Munja Incubator and Ekopak, with support of Tetra Pak Company, the first info seminar on the international program "Eco-school" was held in Sarajevo, attended by representatives of primary schools, local authorities and municipal enterprises.
The aim is to educate a new generation of young people who will be environmentally conscious, empowered and active in their communities.
This project is of great importance for the development of the system of selective disposal and recycling of packaging waste, since internationally established standards encourage children of school age, teaching staff and local communities to establish and develop in schools awareness of the importance of waste recycling and environmental protection in general.
This info seminar is the first in a row, since this is a long-term project and will continue in the coming years.
PAKOMAK (Macedonia) with the project called “Hokus Pokus, recycling in focus” received an award for being the most environmentally responsible company of the year
Pakomak - Packaging and Packaging Management Company received the 2018 award for environmentally responsible practices, traditionally awarded annually by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Macedonia.
The award recognises the project called "Hocus Pokus, recycling is in focus", which "Pakomak", together with magician Christian Sopov, intended for children of preschool and school age. In this project, through a fun magical play and interesting tricks, children learned about the importance of selecting and maintaining a clean environment.
Children were educated that the glass should be put into the green container, the paper - in blue, and the plastic and cans in the yellow container. The play was seen by more than 33,700 children in Skopje from 52 schools and another 17,000 children from 45 schools from 7 cities in Macedonia. The project was supported by Brewery Skopje and the Dutch Embassy in Macedonia, Pakomak's traditional partners when it comes to ecology.
The project has proved remarkably successful and represents a positive experience for children, teachers and for Pakomak as an eco-company with a clear eco-vision. The company is especially proud that the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Macedonia has recognized and rewarded this project, because the project is a contribution to our children and their future. It is important for children to have highly developed ecological awareness in order to live in a cleaner environment in the future.
“Imagine provoking laughter, joy, excitement in 50,700 children and learning about selection of waste, that's indeed wonderful. The feeling can not be described when you know that through educational fun you contribute to a better future for our planet. The incredible and mysterious nature of humor always awakens the interest of the audience. There is no one who does not want to smile and see something interesting, unimagineable. Being surrounded by so many sincere people who are immensely rejoicing with the illusion you are displaying is wonderful.
Plus, when you know that you are transmitting an eco message, which should motivate children to select waste and thereby create a cleaner world, satisfaction is even greater" was the statement of magician Christian Sopov, who is also a great ecologist, illusionist and humanist.
CONAI (Italy) Published Easy CONAI
“Easy Conai” is a short and pocket-sized version of the Guide to membership and application of the CONAI environmental contribution,
with the new contribution values and procedural changes for 2019, including the main requirements for producers and users of packaging. Also reported the main results and information regarding the consortium system.
Download Easy CONAI: http://www.conai.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/EasyConai_2018_en.pdf
ECOPACK Bulgaria partner in "My Green City" campaign giving a second life to plastic bottles
In April 10 city public transport stops in Sofia will have additional functionality. Special containers for separate collection of plastic waste are embedded in existing facilities and invite: "Give your plastic bottle the chance to live again."
Introduction by the Managing Director
After the adoption of the new Waste Legislation, in Europe, but not only, especially during the second half of this year, the key word was PLASTIC. Do we need plastic packaging? Should we not just ban the use of certain products? Why don’t we just drink from the tap or use glass bottles like in the past? How can we stop the marine litter? The European Institutions tried to give answers to these questions via the proposed Singe Use Plastic legislation.
EXPRA, ProsPA & EPRO Workshop on Eco Modulation of EPR fees, October 9, Brussels
On 9 October, PROsPA (Producer Responsibility Organisations Packaging Alliance), EXPRA (Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance) and EPRO (European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations) co-organised an expert talk on the “Eco-modulation of EPR fees as a tool towards a circular economy”.
The SUMMARY REPORT of the Expert talk: “Eco-modulation of EPR fees as a tool towards a circular economy” is now published on our homepage. You can read it here: http://www.expra.eu/uploads/downloads/events/Summary%20Report_Expert%20Talk%209%20October%202018.pdf
FEVE, FERVER, EXPRA and EuRIC join forces for an ambitious and comparable measurement point for glass recycling
FEVE, FERVER, EXPRA and EuRIC are committed to increasing the quality and efficiency of the glass recycling value chain through separate collection, quality recycling and closed loop manufacturing of glass. To help achieve this, a single, harmonised, ambitious and enforceable calculation methodology for the reporting of glass recycling in all Member States is needed.
EXPRA General Assembly meeting, December 5, Brussels
On 5 December, EXPRA held its autumn General Assembly in Brussels, Belgium. During the meeting, EXPRA’s Managing Director Joachim Quoden summarised the organisation’s key achievements in 2018, noting that it has broadly fulfilled most of its objectives while EXPRA 2.0 is already in full swing.
With regards to 2019, EXPRA will focus on continuing to provide expert knowledge and know how to EU policymakers regarding pending legislative proposals, assisting a smooth process of legal transposition of the Waste Directives, preparing for 2025-2030 target compliance and supporting national responses to the plastic strategy and the voluntary commitments, amongst other objectives.
The dismissal of all 9 Board Members, and the subsequent appointment of the new Board, through to April 2021, were approved. Leaving the Board after having served 3 consecutive terms, Mr Bogdan Ureche, CEO of the Romanian member of EXPRA ECO ROM Ambalaje, has decided to focus even more on the national context that currently requires significant attention.
Mr Todor Bourgoudjiev from EXPRA’s Bulgarian member ECOPACK was elected as a new Member of the Board. In addition to Bulgaria, Members of the Board now represent PROs from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Italy, Malta, Norway and Spain. EXPRA’s MD Joachim completes the Board.
Upon the Board’s recommendation, the General Assembly elected Mr Cees de Mol van Otterloo, the Director General of Afvalfonds Verpakkingen, as President of EXPRA, effective immediately and until April 2021. De Mol van Otterloo takes over from Mr William Vermeir, the former CEO of EXPRA’s Belgian member Fost Plus and EXPRA’s founding President.
EXPRA members were informed about the state of play in the transposition of the new Waste Legislation as well as the on-going developments with regards to the Single Use Plastics (SUP) Directive. With the transposition already kicking in, the discussion focused on the Commission’s upcoming Implementing Act (IA) on calculation, verification and reporting of data and a Delegated Act (DA) for establishing rules for average loss rates for sorted waste. It was agreed that EXPRA will continue to liaise with the Commission to ensure that the final legislation takes its concerns, and in particular the position on measuring at the entrance of the recycling plant, combined with relevant standards, into account. On SUP, Weber Shandwick explained the European Parliament and the Member States’ respective positions on key points of concern for members, namely the inclusion of litter clean-up cost obligations for producers and the bottle collection target.
EXPRA’s support act for the industry’s voluntary commitments on plastics’ recycling was also presented. The documents is based on three key actions: boosting quality collection of all packaging waste materials, enabling quality recycling the uptake of quality secondary materials, including plastics, and enhancing (plastic) packaging innovation. Overall, members voiced their strong support for the approach, while stressing the need to place greater emphasis on PRO’s not-for-profit nature, the role of local authorities for both collection infrastructure and the availability and quality of recycled materials, and technological neutrality.
An update on the two lighthouse projects under EXPRA 2.0 – transposition of EPR minimum requirements into national law and the Early Warning System (EWS) – was provided. With regards to EPR minimum requirements, for 2019 EXPRA will prepare transposition proposals and recommendations for PROs, national authorities as well as the Commission, continue discussing with the obliged industry, assist PROs, map specific challenges and closely follow the transposition process at EU and national level. On EWS, EXPRA will liaise with PROs on initial country-level findings, assess their respective targets, clustering them according to performance, and develop an Action Plan for each respective PROs groups.
Amongst other topics discussed, Francis Huisman from VALIPAC and EPRO informed members of the outcomes and key learning of the study trip to Asia while Michael Minch Dixon introduced the CEFLEX project, its vision, goals and deliverables. In the following discussion, key developments in each country were discussed, with several members highlighting the difficult situation they currently face at national level regarding legislative changes, as well as the challenges stemming from developments at EU level.
Single-use plastics: Presidency reaches provisional agreement with Parliament
On 19 December at 6.30 am a provisional political agreement on the SUP Directive was reached. It took 12,5 hours to get there and, against the odds, both the Austrian Presidency and Parliament managed to pull off the draft deal. The agreement will still have to be confirmed by the national ambassadors, and then adopted in Plenary in the European Parliament.
On 20 December in a public session, the Council had the opportunity to hear a presentation by the Presidency on the directive on single-use plastics. The Austrian Presidency announced that, after very intense negotiations, an agreement had been reached between the co-legislators. They stated that it is an “ambitious” text which will provide the EU with the necessary tools to quickly put into place measures which can considerably reduce marine litter. It was explained that the agreed rules will ban the use of certain throwaway plastic products for which alternatives already exist, such as cutlery and plates. In addition, specific measures will be introduced to reduce the use of the most frequently littered plastic products, for example plastic cups and plastic containers for food which is intended for immediate consumption. The new Directive will also set up provisions concerning, in particular, the collection of waste tobacco filter products containing plastic and waste fishing gear. It also includes an obligation to increase the share of plastic bottles collected separately to be recycled.
- Recycled content target for PET beverage bottles
- Collection targets
- The possibility that national restrictions would only be possible with safeguards for the environment and the internal market
- The extension of the scope of the extended producer responsibility for fishing gear
- Other points such as the collection of tobacco filters.
EC ‘Virtuous Circles’ Missions to Malta, Romania and Bulgaria 30 November – 7 December 2018
The missions followed the EC early warning report for 14 Member States identified as being at risk of missing the 2020 preparation for re-use/recycling target of 50% on municipal waste. These include: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain.
• Roundtable discussion at the relevant ministry(ies) and major stakeholders: covering topics such as the circular economy & materials, economics and effective waste management and mobilizing resources;
• Workshops (in parallel) for a wider audience, including (upon suggestion of EXPRA) a dedicated session devoted to EPR.
An afternoon session, which included several breakout sessions on specific topics, including EPR. Open to a wider audience, general debate topics encompassed circular economy & materials, economics and effective waste management, and mobilizing resources.
Illustrating the Maltese case, EXPRA also showed the juxtaposition between GreenPak’s performance, marked by exceeding its recycling targets over the years, with the country’s failure to reach the overall ones. The reasons behind this contrast were also exposed, including weak legislation until 2017, lack of enforcement with the producers and the public, competition at PRO level that has led to inefficiency in environmental and operational costs, as well as the low landfill fees.
The Mission also coincided with the recent introduction of separate biowaste collection in Malta. The results here also impressed: following a couple of weeks since the introduction of the measure, the island saw a 32% increase in the recyclable waste collected by GreenPak.
The next two missions, last for 2018 were organised on 6 and 7 December respectively in Bucharest, Romania and Sofia, Bulgaria. The EC had identified several experts covering the different waste streams who visited both countries: Håkon Jentoft, EUROCITIES Waste Working Group Chair and Coordinator of the EU Urban Agenda Partnership on Circular Economy, Vanya Veras, Secretary General of Municipal Waste Europe, Michele Giavini, City of Milan and Italian Composting Association “Biowaste recycling”, Enzo Favoino, Zero Waste and European Compost Network and Susana Lopes, Director International Business Unit, Lipor, Portugal, David Fitzsimons, European Remanufacturing Council, as well as representatives of EIB and EBRD. The consultant – EUNOMIA was part of both missions.
In Bulgaria the organizer was the Bulgarian Economic forum, and the Ministry of Environment and waters was represented by the Minister and members of hist staff. As Commissioner Vella was not able to attend, he was substituted by Joanna Drake, Deputy Director General of DG Environment, European Commission, who delivered a very inspiring speech. The Bulgarian participants included, apart from EPR schemes for different waste streams, also representatives of the Soft Drinks and Beer associations, local authorities and other stakeholders. EXPRA was represented/speaking in both high-level closed and open sessions/workshops, but again all presentations were limited to 5 minutes, while not providing sufficient time for discussion. Still the EXPRA messages were transferred to the EC and Ministry representatives, who were not very active. Todor Bourgoudjiev, CEO of ECOPACK Bulgaria, presented the best practices of ECOPACK Bulgaria including the organizations’ serious investments in collection infrastructure: containers, sorting lines and especially communication and education campaigns.
EU Circular Economy Mission to India, September 3 – 7, New Delhi
EXPRA has been invited again to be part of the EU delegation for another Circular Economy Mission, this time to India following missions to Chile, Colombia, China and South Africa. The Circular Economy Missions are a series of high-level political and business meetings in third countries to communicate and promote sustainable and resource-efficient policies.
These initiatives have the potential of strengthening existing and creating new ties between the EU and third country institutions in the field of environment, as well as supporting green European businesses - especially SMEs- to expand their activities abroad.
• To achieve a better understanding of the environmental challenges faced by third countries.
• To promote green solutions through business partnerships abroad. In this regard, the missions will organise matchmaking events between European and local entrepreneurs and will engage in exchange of views with targeted audiences.
After the 2 Circular Mission conference days, all participants including Commissioner Vella participated in the annual sustainability conference of India, organized by the biggest Indian trade & business association. It should be noted that during this conference, EPR was the dominating topic with a special session which concentrated on EPR for WEEE.
Under the CEFLEX initiative EXPRA endorses the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment
The Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance (EXPRA), togather with the other members of the CEFLEX consortium: companies, associations and organisations collaborating to enhance the performance of flexible packaging in the circular economy in Europe, endorses the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) Global Commitment for a New Plastics Economy. This support is based on the EMF vision of a circular economy for plastic packaging being fully aligned with the CEFLEX vision.
CONAI (Italy) Sustainability Report 2018
In 2012, for the first time in its history, CONAI has decided to undertake a structured reporting process for its stakeholders, institutions and citizens to describe clearly and transparently the results achieved, progress, prospects growth for the industry.
This is why the first Sustainability Report 2013 was prepared, which is the first Green Economy Report in Italy and the first report to incorporate the new international standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI-G4). An update to the 2014 Report was published in 2015.
The CONAI Report applies the latest international Global Reporting Initiative (GRI-G4): Six stakeholders identified six key indicators to define Conai’s environmental, social and economic performance.
You can find the full report here: http://www.conai.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/CONAI_Report_Sostenibilit%C3%A0_2018_eng.pdf
RINKI (Finland) Consumer campaign raises public’s interest in packaging recycling
Finnish Packaging Recycling RINKI Ltd launched its second consumer campaign in the beginning of October in Finland. The campaign consists of several videos for social media and tv as well as radio spots.
Ecoembes (Spain) ‘1M2 FOR BEACHES AND SEAS’
‘1M2 FOR BEACHES AND SEAS’ (SPAIN), LIBERA´S ANNUAL CITIZEN SCIENCE CLEAN UP LITTER EVENT IN MARINE AREAS, EXPECTS HIGHER GROWTH IN 2018
The Libera project, a creation of Spain’s flagship environmental NGO, SEO/Birdlife, in alliance with Ecoembes, will mobilize this year thousands of volunteers, from September 28 to October 7, in almost 90 seashore points across Spanish coast.
In this specific clean up event, along with its other environments, we head to the beaches, to the seas and to the shallow seabeds to contribute to citizen science through assessing litter with MARNOBA app and then trying to reduce the litter and waste there to zero. This massive mobilization reached 70 seashore points and 31 tons of litter last year, involving all kinds of waste including furniture, home appliances, car tires and thousands of cigarette butts.
‘1m2 for beaches and seas’ belongs to the ‘knowledge’ area of LIBERA, one of the three key parts of Libera, along with the prevention and the participation, where Libera tries to become part of the solution to the problem of littering. Because even if it´s not our litter, It is our problem.
You can read more information about this initiative here.
Herrco (Greece) Awareness campaigns and initiatives
The Hellenic Recovery Recycling Corporation (HERRCO) completing its 15 years of works and operating under an environmental sense of responsibility, continues its informative events for the public’s awareness for packaging recycling, mainly with following actions:
Distribution of informative literature, door-to-door, at the Municipalities of Naxos Island and Anogeia - Crete, where 18.000 and 2.300 inhabitants respectively were informed regarding the beginning to the Recycling project at their Municipality.
Targeting the promotion of the cooperation between the contracted companies, the local communities and the Municipalities, HERRCO participated with a speaker and informative kiosk at a Meeting of the Chamber of Commerce and the Municipality of Kilkis in the Region of Central Macedonia. HERRCO also participated with a speaker and informative kiosk at the 12th Panhellenic Convention of Solid Waste Managers, the Meeting of Eco-Watch in Athens, as well as the 2nd Forum of Technology and Environment – Verde Tech at MEC Paianias, where the organizational committee awarded HERRCO as the most productive system.
During the first 6 months of 2018, 26 Luna Park events were held with educational games for the children with the cooperation of respective Municipalities, which organized school visits in the place of the event. More than 6.500 children were informed .
Meanwhile, with the cooperation of a national T.V. station, 3 events took place: at the Municipality of Thessaloniki during the 3rd Recycling Festival and at the municipalities of Ambelokipon – Menemenis and Arta.
HERRCO, within the framework of its cooperation with the Municipalities for the education of the next generation, supported events which were organized by the Municipalities of Ioannina and Pallini for rewarding the schools which took part in recycling championships for the school year 2017 – 2018, organized by the Local Authorities.
Apart from the above, more than 900 educational presentations took place at schools at several Local Authorities where approximately 22.000 students were informed.
With the collaboration of a contractred company HERRCO supported through the collaboration with 5 Local Authorities (among them Thessaloniki, Chania, Marathon, Naxos island and Thermaikos a specially designed project which run for 12 weeks on beaches, where recyclable waste was collected in four streams and people was informed about good recycling practices on the beach. About 220.000 kgs of materials were also collected.
Afvalfonds Verpakkingen (The Netherlands) New magazine Circular Packaging
In November, Afvalfonds Verpakkingen released the first edition of the magazine Circulair Verpakken (Circular Packaging).
The magazine informs the stakeholders about the good results and the many efforts and initiatives from producers in sustainable packaging, the prevention of litter and the improvements in recycling and collection. You can find the magazine in digital form on https://issuu.com/afvalfondsverpakkingen/docs/magazine_circulair_verpakken_1_2018
Greenpak (Malta) New bins with smart technology 'will make overflowing sites history'
Recycling cooperative GreenPak has announced plans to roll out bins equipped with smart technology that, it hopes, will make overflowing sites a thing of the past.iBiNs have the capability to monitor waste levels and feed information back to a central system which will enable GreenPak’s recycling service to prioritise and customise collection routes in all of the 41 localities it currently serves.
Speaking during the sixth edition of the annual Local Council Awards, GreenPak CEO Mario Schembri said that by the end of the year the cooperative would have invested more than €500,000 to introduce 800 bins around Malta and Gozo with the smart iBiN.
“This is an exciting time for GreenPak as our initiative is one of the first public service IoT (Internet of Things) projects on this scale in Malta that will take our waste management to another level. This is the way forward for a greener environment,” Mr Schembri said. The project, which will be rolled out later this year, is being supported through the Business Enhance ERDF Grant Schemes Initiative, and part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under Operational Programme I 2014-2020 ‘Fostering a competitive and sustainable economy to meet our challenges’.
The iBins will avoid unsightly overflowing and enable GreenPak to save costs through optimised routes for its truck drivers. The bins are also equipped with temperature sensors that will immediately alert head office if the waste inside the bin has caught fire, a possible occurrence in the summer months.
The winners of this year’s local council awards held by GreenPak to recognise the local councils that have made a significant contribution to the recycling effort are: the Attard Council who won Best Overall Performance Award; the Safi Council for the Battery Collection (BATREE) Award; the Most Glass Collected went to Xewkija; Most Responsive Community Award to Ta’ Xbiex; Most Proactive Award to Kirkop; and Most Supportive Locality Award to Qrendi. The award ceremony was attended by Environment Minister Jose Herrera and Local Government Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Parnis.
Ecopack Bulgaria invested BGN 1.45 million in a new technology center for packaging waste processing
he Minister of Environment and Waters, Neno Dimov, the Sofia Mayor, Yordanka Fandakova, the CEO of ECOPACK Bulgaria Todor Burgoudjiev and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ecopack Bulgaria and Coca-Cola CEO Jurg Burghalt joined the official opening, attended as well by many producers, partners and supporters of the green mission of Ecopack Bulgaria.
The new line is built on an area of 35 decares. The plant will process the waste from the separate collection via Ecopack Bulgaria’s colored containers from 6 regions in Sofia, from 130 HORECA sites and 310 retail outlets. The device has magnetic separators for automatic separation of iron and aluminum. The line i served by 27 employees.
"This center is a model where environmental policy can be focused on whether it is a family, a municipality, a state or an alliance. If we put our efforts to build habits among those who are between 7 and 27 today, this is a guarantee that when they are of our years there will be no need for such initiatives, "said Minister Dimov.
ÇEVKO (Turkey) Environmental Cleaning with Fox TV
Media employees working for the Fox Group Networks carried out an environmental cleaning in collaboration with Kartal Municipality and ÇEVKO Foundation on 27th September at the Aydos Woods.
Within the #21CFImpactWeek activities of Fox carried out simultaneously throughout the world, Fox TV employees were trained by ÇEVKO for a whole week on recycling. Following the trainings, nearly 100 Fox TV employees participated in the Aydos Woods cleaning, and over a ton of packaging waste was collected to be sent to recycling.
The environmental benefits of the recycled packaging waste are as follows;
. With the recycling of 140 kg of paper, cardboard and composite packaging waste, 2 trees were saved from being cut down.
.With the recycling of 350 kg of plastic waste, approximately 263 litres of petrol was saved, which is an amount enough to fill the tanks of 6 vehicles.
. With the recycled paper-cardboard/composite packaging waste, 4m3 of water was saved.
. With the recycled packaging waste, 3,740 kW.hr electricity was saved. This is more than the annual consumption of a family of four.
. With the recycling of packaging waste instead of burying them in landfills, 6m3 of storage space was saved.
VALIPAC (Belgium) New style, new ambitions
On October 25, Valipac celebrated its 20th anniversary. On this occasion, the management organization of industrial packaging has unveiled its new mission statement, ambitions and values for the coming years.
Green Dot Cyprus Limassol Environment and Recycling Festival
The Limassol Environment and Recycling Festival, which took place on Saturday 6 October in Molos, Limassol, by Green Dot Cyprus in cooperation with the Municipalities of Larissa, was a great success.
Once again, the Festival was embraced both by the world of Limassol and by foreign visitors, who had the opportunity to learn more about recycling and to become aware of the environment. The festival hosted more than forty informative and entertainment booths, which included, among other things, educational toys for recycling, food stalls, as well as kiosks where visitors could prepare and taste Cypriot traditional products as part of the promotion of "ZEN" .
The festival was accompanied by a rich artistic program with the participation of dance and music bands, and a three-hour live link from Radio First. At the same time, the first companies that participated in the Green Academy of Green Dot Cyprus were awarded.
The companies were awarded the title "Green Company" by Environment Commissioner Mr. Ioanna Panagiotou. Green Dot Cyprus would like to thank all the participants, the co-organizers as well as the sponsors who contributed to the successful conduct of the Festival, and renews its meeting with the Limassol world for the following year.
Introduction by the Managing Director
I hope that you had a relaxing and interesting summer! Still for many of us it was quite busy time - the topic which kept the European Parliament, the National Ministries but also EXPRA and other stakeholders busy during this summer was, as expected, the proposed by the EC Directive to reduce the impact of certain plastic products in the environment.
By the beginning of September over 700 amendments to the EP report on SUP were filed by MEPs and will now be considered during the negotiations around the so-called ‘compromise amendments’ between the political groups. The latter will be the final amendments submitted to the Committee vote on 10-11 October. In addition, the European Parliament adopted in Plenary MEP Mark Demesmaeker’s (ECR, BE) Resolution on the EU Plastic Strategy. The resolution is not binding but set a precedent for Parliament’s future work on these issues. The Council is also actively working in parallel on the draft legislation.
EXPRA is actively expressing its position and concerns regarding this legislative proposal, which are in line with the views of the packaging value chain expressed in the Cross-industry statement on the Single Use Plastics legislative proposal (SUP), co-signed by 68 European and national industry associations.
So plastics is everywhere in the discussions. Do we need plastic packaging? Should we not just ban the use of certain products? Why don’t we just drink from the tap or use glass bottles like in the past? How can we stop the marine but also land litter? We should understand that these questions should not only be discussed in Europe but beyond, as for example in India where I could see presonally the situation during my trip as member of the EU delegation of Commissioner Vella. Here, we could see and feel where the plastics in the ocean is really coming from. So strong and joint efforts and cooperation are crucial if we really want to make a change in the fight with land and marine litter!
Enjoy your reading!
EXPRA joins TAIEX High Level Regional Workshop on Circular Economy, July 19, Tirana, Albania
The aim of this Circular Economy Workshop, organized by the TAIEX Office and the Directorate-General for Environment of the European Commission, was to provide updates on the developments of the circular economy in the EU and in the enlargement countries.
Monika Romenska, EXPRA’s Regulatory & Public Affairs Manager, presented the Extended Producer Responsibility contribution to green jobs and growth. In her presentation she showcased the best practices especially in Belgium and Spain in promoting sustainable growth and innovation.
EXPRA joins the EU Circular Economy Mission to India, September 3 – 7, New Delhi, India
EXPRA has been invited again to be part of the EU delegation for another Circular Economy Mission, this time to India following missions to Chile, Colombia, China and South Africa. The Circular Economy Missions are a series of high-level political and business meetings in third countries to communicate and promote sustainable and resource-efficient policies.
• To increase cooperation between the EU and third countries in the field of environmental policy. This can be achieved by signing political agreements directed at fostering the circular economy, green public procurement and innovative, sustainable and inclusive growth.
• To achieve a better understanding of the environmental challenges faced by third countries.
• To promote green solutions through business partnerships abroad. In this regard, the missions will organise matchmaking events between European and local entrepreneurs and will engage in exchange of views with targeted audiences.
• Industry sign-on Industry to build a PET self-aid organization under PACE banner – PRO to be incubated September 2018
• Public announcement of PET PRO – October 2018
EP Resolution on the Plastics Strategy adopted, September 13, Brussels
On 13 September, the European Parliament adopted in Plenary MEP Mark Demesmaeker’s (ECR, BE) Resolution on the EU Plastic Strategy.
o Paragraph 12. Calls on the Commission to make resource efficiency and circularity overarching principles, including the important role that circular materials, products and systems can play, also for non-packaging plastic items; considers that this can be achieved inter alia by Extended Producer Responsibility, by developing product standards, by conducting lifecycle assessments, by broadening the eco-design legislative framework to cover all main plastic product groups, by adopting eco-labelling provisions and by implementing the Product Environmental Footprint method.
o Paragraph 28. Stresses that there are various pathways to achieving high separate collection and recycling rates and a reduction in litter of plastic waste, including extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes with modulated fees, deposit-refund schemes and increased public awareness; recognises the merits of established regimes in different Member States and the potential for exchanging best practices between Member States; underlines that the choice of a certain scheme remains within the remit of the competent authority in the Member State.
Joint declaration of Packaging Chain Forum Members
All but one have endorsed the principles and related amendments. This impressive outcome (in full summer recess) demonstrates continued will and efforts to position the PCF members jointly on the bigger picture and defend core policy principles that are being challenged by SUP. It is still possible to send further co-signatures as EUROPEN will further update the statement.
EU publishes new environmental standards for waste treatment
Updated EU environmental specifications have come into force for new large waste treatment installations, the European Commission announced.
GREEN DOT NORWAY: Added value to our membership
These days Groent Punkt Norge is launching "Plastloeftet" (translated The Plastic Promise/Pledge). This is a promise/pledge extended from the EU pledge aiming to contribute to a more circular plastic economy. Plastloeftet will help Norwegian companies reach EU's new targets for 2025/2030. In addition, we will meet upcoming SUP regulations.
CONAI (Italy) restructures the Environmental Contribution to give way to the recycling of packaging
Having listened to the opinion of the Ricrea, Cial, Comieco, Corepla, Rilegno and Coreve Consortia for Packaging Materials, the CONAI Board of Directors approved the restructuring of the Environmental Contribution for steel, aluminium, paper, plastic, wood and glass packaging. This is to ensure the economic resources required in order to achieve the recycling/recovery targets for packaging waste throughout Italy.
For wooden packaging, CONAI’s BoD has decided to further facilitate the reuse of wooden pallets in controlled productive circuit areas, that are both new and placed back on the market. To this end, the decision has been made to reduce the percentage of the pallet weight to be subjected to the Environmental Contribution: from 40% to 20%.
• € 3.00/ton (previous value: € 8.00/ton) for steel packaging
- the rates to be applied to the overall import value (in Euros) will go from 0.13% to 0.16% for packaged food products and from 0.06% to 0.08% for packaged non-food products;
- the Contribution through the flat-rate calculation on the weight of only the packaging of imported goods (total weight without material distinction) will go from € 52.00/ton to € 64.00/ton.
In 2017, the CONAI-Consortia for Packaging Materials system and independent recyclers contributed to the recycling of 67.5% of packaging waste, resulting in a total of 8.8 million tons.
PAKOMAK (Macedonia) is awarding the most eco-oriented mayor in Macedonia
Pakomak announced a competition for the selection of the most environmentally friendly mayor and municipality for 2018. The selection will be made in January 2019, and all municipalities in the country, urban and rural, have the right to participate.
GreenPak (Malta) Over 21,000 plastic bottles collected by PlastiKAXXA at Farsons Beer Festival
Over 21,000 plastic bottles and 2,000 caps were collected through an initiative by recycling cooperative GreenPak and environmental NGO Zibel at the Farsons Beer Festival.
Ecoembes (Spain) HORECA FOOTBALL CAMPAIGN
Football is a big thing in Spain, Real Madrid, Barça… Hold on, football is a big thing all over the world!
Although the football league is massively followed by men and women, major fans are still men.
We had it clear; we wanted to change this pattern.
Moreover, the Spanish Football league turns to be perfect for this aim; we have many men, enjoying football, surrounded by other men and some women… Where? In bars.
The campaign consists of 3x10” pieces and are scheduled for 10 matches along the football league calendar. Starting August 19th until November 25th. With a lower investment, tan general TV and a potential reach of 415.000 viewers per match in 70.000 HORECAS all over the country.
ECOPACK Bulgaria campaign - "Feed me separately!"
The ECOPACK Bulgaria campaign - "Feed me separately!"is aiming at the youngest. The campaign includes an educational puppet show on wheels that tours the country with the program developed by ECOPACK and Theater of Tales - Sofia.
A fabulous story about three animals who eat paper, plastic and glass, who have recently moved to live in the park. The story of the strange creatures presents the separate collection of packaging waste as a fun game. It is aimed at the youngest - children in kindergartens and pupils from the first to fourth grades. Through the fairy tale and game we explain how to protect nature and create positive attitude and habits in the separate collection of packaging waste at home.
ÇEVKO FOUNDATION (TURKEY) Recycling Awareness at The Tekirdağ Music Festival
At the Tekirdağ Music Festival on 3-4-5 August in Erikli, ÇEVKO Foundation and Keşan Municipality collaborated to create and increase environmental awareness, and to inform the public on the topic.
The festival attracted attention with participants from all over the world, with various fun and meaningful events, performers and music groups, and with its environmentalist approach while ÇEVKİ was the focus of the attendees.
Hosting over 100,000 participants, the festival will be held next year, too. As ÇEVKO Foundation, together with the municipalities we are cooperating with, we will support such events and inform many more consumers on recycling
Introduction by the Managing Director
We look again at a quite busy summer – the legislative proposals on waste were finally adopted, respectively published in the EU Official Journal, but now the actual work of their transposition and relevant implementation will start. EXPRA is already working to support and prepare its members for the new challenges abut also opportunities.
EPR Toolkit workshop, within the 24th Packaging & Sustainability Forum
Mr Séamus Clancy, CEO of Repak presented the case of Ireland, the impact of free riding resulting from distance sales, as well, as the measures initiated by Repak in trying to solve this problem. Monika Romenska, EXPRA presented the general context within the new waste legislation pertaining to online sales, as well, as some findings of the scope of the problem of free riding identified jointly with WEEE Forum and EucoLight.
- the extension of the producers’ responsibility to clean-ups costs as proposed in the SUP Directive;
- the new contribution to the EU for every kilo of plastic packaging waste not recycled;
- the online sales, which are not yet addressed by existing EPR schemes, though rapidly growing across EU and being increasingly used in new sectors such as food and beverage;
- a still too limited, fragmented secondary raw material market for plastics;
- Plastic packaging should be designed for optimized resource use, for sustainable sound sourcing, for responsible use phase and for recycling and reuse;
- Separate collection of plastic packaging should be improved, particularly for plastic packaging consumed on-the-go/outside households;
- Quality standards should be defined for recycled plastics to stimulate the demand. This means, technical specifications for each material collected should be reflected in national standards, defined by the EPR with recyclers and sorters and used to award municipality accordingly.
- Innovations in bio-based plastics, mainly related to biodegradability and composability, should be also carefully addressed through common EU codes and standards.
EPR Club LUNCH DEBATE hosted by EucoLight, EXPRA and WEEE forum on EPR, online sales and free-riders
When EPR was introduced nearly 30 years ago, practically all of the products under EPR were sold by retail stores with a small part of specialised catalogue distance sellers existing. Already in these days in the 1990s, this sector had a lower compliance than other sectors with local retailers.
With the success of internet trade which enables the (private and commercial) consumer to buy directly at a seller without visiting a stationary trade, more and more goods under EPR are sold via this distribution channel, often with a seller outside the jurisdiction where the user has its seat, or even outside the European Union. This has been boosted by the success of trading platforms like eBay, Amazon, etc. which makes it extremely easy for a consumer to find his seller of preference. The OECD has seen a growth in business in internet trade from 2014 to 2017 by over 60% in 8 major EU economies (150 to 230 billion €).
Members' communication campaigns available on EXPRA homepage
We in EXPRA strongly believe that EPR organizations should support an environmentally and economically sustainable recycling society, which benefits the inhabitants of the country.
For that purpose the communication with consumers is a key prerequisite for a successful EPR organization - irrespective of the type of system chosen, selective collection cannot perform up to standard without the consumers‘ understanding and involvement. Our members, industry-owned, not for profit PROs, for over 20 years engage in raising awareness about sorting and recycling and generally promoting environmentally friendly behavior among the inhabitants, as well, as providing support for educational programmes. The best examples of these efforts are available already on EXPRA homepage.
You can see them here
EXPRA Communication Network Meeting
The annual Workshop for Communication Directors and Managers from EXPRA members in May this year focused especially on anti-littering campaigns. This year representatives of EEQ Canada, Ecoembes Spain, Valorlux Luxemburg, GD Cyprus, TAMIR Israel, CEVKO Turkey, Fost Plus Belgium and EXPRA participated in the Workshop.
During the meeting it was also discussed that the new waste legislation as well as the mentioned new developments are posing new challenges but also new opportunities to PROs sector and in meeting those, the communication with all stakeholders is of major importance.
Paul Christiaens, Afvalfonds Verpakkingen (NL) and Chair of D&R WG, presented how the litter items couls be measures “Litter: facts or “alternative facts”?
This common European litter measurement system is designed to provide data to support effective policy making at EU and National level on litter management. The system will also support litter control and reduction programmes within our cities and identify where action is needed to drive behaviour change.
• What is being assessed
• Determine which individual litter types and how much litter is present in locations being surveyed
• Determine the degree of cleanliness of the locations that are surveyed
• Gather a basic understanding of the public’s attitude towards litter locally
The methodology is design to be flexible to accommodate the needs of all users, both in terms of resource availability and statistical output. With this in mind, a modular approach has been chosen to allow individual users the freedom to choose which elements would best fit.
New waste legislation officially published
On 14 June the waste Directives were published in the Official Journal of the EU. Please note that their transposition within 2 years has not started.
EU Commission Proposes a Directive to reduce the impact of certain plastic products in the environment.
On 28 May 2018, as part of the EU Plastics Strategy, the European Commission proposed a Directive to reduce the impact of certain plastic products in the environment. It puts forward some radical reduction measures.
Environmental Council Meeting, June 25, Brussels
Summary of Council conclusions
On the European Plastics Strategy, the Council conclusions:
• Call on the Commission to present as soon as possible an integrated product policy framework, broadening the principle of eco-design to all product groups with appropriate product regulation;
• Call on the Commission to accelerate the development of quality standards for sorted plastics waste and recycled plastics;
• See the improvement of the sorting and the decontamination of waste as a prerequisite for increasing the recycling of plastic and plastics products à Support the Commission in developing guidance to facilitate more standardized and effective practices in separate collection and waste sorting;
• Stress the role of EPR schemes, primary sorting systems for different waste streams and deposit systems to boost high-quality separate collection and engage producers over the whole product life cycle;
• Strongly encourage the Commission to enhance EU instruments for rewarding eco-innovation in product design and innovation in reusing, sorting and recycling;
• Call on the Commission to work on harmonized definitions and rules for labelling plastic and plastic products;
• Highlight the importance of implementing the most recent targets and requirements for packaging waste while noting the importance of stimulating the demand for recycled materials à Recognize the need for objective verification and quantification of recycled content;
• Welcome and commit to a rapid examination of the SUP proposal;
• Call on the Commission to strengthen the link between public procurement requirements and the use, reuse and recycling of plastics products and recycled content of plastics products, and on the Member States to step up action in support of green public procurement;
• Call on the Commission to assess and, where appropriate, provide additional support towards the development of innovative recycling technologies and capacities in the EU;
On the interface between chemical, product and waste legislation, the Council conclusions:
• Call on the Commission and Member States, together with ECHA, to define substances of concern to be minimized or eliminated in products and waste;
• Encourage the Commission’s actions to develop a methodology addressing the management of waste containing substances of concern and also in consultation with Member States to identify waste types that typically contain legacy chemicals and that could successfully be recycled in a restricted set of specific applications that are safe for health and the environment;
• Favour the establishment of guidelines to promote best practices and harmonized rules to allow a clear distinction between waste and product status avoiding duplication of burdens for the operators to comply with two sets of rules;
On monitoring and follow-up, the Council conclusions:
• Request the Commission to provide the Council with an annual written report on the progress made on the implementation of the Action Plan for the Circular Economy.
In addition, speaking at the Council meeting, EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella said that the Single-Use Plastics (SUP) proposal will be treated as a matter of priority by both the Council and the European Parliament, with the aim of getting a first reading agreement by next Spring.
Deadline for submitting voluntary pledges on recycled plastics extended to 30 September 2018
As announced in Annex III to the 'Plastics Strategy', an EU-wide pledging campaign for the uptake of recycled plastics is taking place. As part of this campaign, the European Commission calls on stakeholders to come forward with voluntary pledges to boost the uptake of recycled plastics.
Greenpak (Malta) New bins with smart technology 'will make overflowing sites history'
Recycling cooperative GreenPak has announced plans to roll out bins equipped with smart technology that, it hopes, will make overflowing sites a thing of the past.
The winners of this year’s local council awards held by GreenPak to recognise the local councils that have made a significant contribution to the recycling effort are: the Attard Council who won Best Overall Performance Award; the Safi Council for the Battery Collection (BATREE) Award; the Most Glass Collected went to Xewkija; Most Responsive Community Award to Ta’ Xbiex; Most Proactive Award to Kirkop; and Most Supportive Locality Award to Qrendi. The award ceremony was attended by Environment Minister Jose Herrera and Local Government Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Parnis.
CONAI (Italy) school project – 2 CLASSES FROM SCHOOLS IN SAN SEBASTIANO VESUVIO (NAPLES) AND TERRACINA WIN THE 2ND EDITION OF THE NATIONAL RECYCLING PRIZE
The project “Riciclo di Classe” promoted by CONAI and in partnership with Corriere della Sera, focused on environmental education in primary schools to promote the importance of separate collection and recycling of packaging waste.
The project involved 18.900 students from 676 classrooms in the country and the production of 1.810 essays on the topic of recycling and separate collection. These high figures reflect the success of the “Riciclo di Classe” project, an initiative led by CONAI and in partnership with the newspaper Corriere della Sera. This was its 2nd edition and it aimed once again to engage all grades in Italian primary schools to share their ideas and views on the importance of separate collection and how, thanks to recycling, packaging waste can be transformed in completely new objects and be re-used in the creative ways.
“The success of the “Riciclo di Classe” project and participants ‘great enthusiasm shows how the protection of the environment is a theme very important for children in schools who can become real ambassadors for separate collection in Italian families” said Giorgio Quagliuolo, President of CONAI. “A correct separation of packaging waste is key for ensuring a correct beginning of the recycling process. Children have understood this and its relevance for protecting the environment” he added.
“Young students have proved with this project how much they care about good recycling rules and practices” said Gianna Fregonara, Responsible for relationships with Schools from Corriere della Sara. “Kids also showed with their excellent work how well they can communicate their ideas on such topics via games, theatre plays and video materials, which confirm how promising this project actually is”.
The initiative had the objective to promote education in schools on the importance of a correct separate collection of packaging waste and recycling as an act of individual responsibility towards the planet and future generations as well as to uphold values such as responsible citizenship via games and workshops in elementary schools.
A jury, composed by representatives from CONAI, Corriere della Sera and an elementary School teacher, chose six of the most successful projects that best embodied the values and objectives of the initiative.
You can read the full information
ÇEVKO (Turkey) Nişantaşı Is Taking On a Cheerful Look with Recycling Boxes That Make You Smile
Şişli Municipality and ÇEVKO are in a ‘Fun’ collaboration to instill the habit of separating waste at its source for recycling. The recycling bins in 24 different locations in Nişantaşı have been ‘dressed up’ by artist Serkan Altuniğne’s custom made recycling-themed caricatures that make one smile and think at the same time.
The caricatures convey the message ‘Waste is Recycled, Şişli is Beautified’ and also aim to attract more attention to the recycling bins which have an important mission in terms of environmental sustainability. These pleasant recycling bins were put up on 5th June 2018, World Environment Day.
Caricature artist Altuniğne, who lives and pursues his career in Germany, says that recycling has become a part of the established culture in that country, and continues, “They try to teach you how to recycle in the integration courses while teaching the German language. Also in schools there are lessons on this subject, and you learn while still a child that recycling and waste separation is as natural as breathing, and the consequences will be dire if it is not done. The best part of the collaboration with ÇEVKO is that I will be able to convey to the people in a fun way the consciousness I have acquired on this important matter.”
On the subject, Mete İmer said, “We believe that the step we have taken in the collaboration with the Şişli Münicipality will render good results.”
Ecoembes (Spain) EducaEnEco Education, Environment and Recycling: environmental education 15 PROVINCIAL CAPITALS
Talher was awarded the contract for the environmental education programme that Ecoembes, the packaging waste management company, runs in primary and secondary schools.
Green Dot Norway Comedy campaign for no-littering
Groent Punkt Norge has for several years had great success by using humour as an important feature in their advertising. In 2018 the company has recorded eight new commercials. Four of them was aired during the winter.
ÉEQ (Canada) Circular economy in Québec: Economic opportunities and impacts
The Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ), the Québec Business Council on the Environment (CPEQ) and Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) are proud to be releasing the first study on the potentials and perspectives of circular economy in Québec. In the context in which, like other jurisdictions around the world, the different levels of government are beginning to take an interest in circular economy, it is important that a substantive debate be conducted on the topic, to the benefit of businesses.
HERRCO (greece) “ZERO WASTE AT SEASIDES”
HERRCO in cooperation with the ECOLOGICAL RECYCLING COMPANY and funding from the COCA-COLA FOUNDATION are starting a program regarding integrated actions having as their goal to achieve Zero Waste at the seasides so that we can contribute towards cleaner beaches as well as the oceans.
The duration of the program will be from July until the end of October 2018 and it will take place at 5 specific beaches in Greece: at the Municipalities of Thessaloniki, Thermaiko, Naxos, Chania and Marathon. The program will cover:
• The organization and operation for 12 weeks of an original and effective network for collection and recycling of waste at 5 beaches with the supplying and placement of a sufficient number of tripod – stands with a bag, aiming at the recycling of plastic bottles, aluminum cans, glass bottles and paper packaging.
• A communication with the local municipalities and all venues (restaurants, stores and hotels) at the beaches for their participation in the program and their cooperation with the simultaneous training of the municipalities’ staff and the personnel at the venues.
• A complete and systematic communication campaign for those people who enjoy the beaches for the 3 summer months of 2018 (swimmers, visitors to the beaches, local camping grounds, houses which are near the beaches).
• A systematic monitoring and recording program of the operation and the achievement of the program’s goal with the compilation of a final report.
ECOPACK Bulgaria once again partners with “Let’s Clean Up Bulgaria Together”
The Executive Director of ECOPACK Bulgaria, Todor Bourgoudjiev, took part in a national meeting of the partners to the bTV Media Group campaign “Let’s Clean Up Bulgaria Together”. During the event, the organization received two awards – for active support to the campaign volunteers, and as a longstanding partner to the initiative.
Introduction by the Managing Director
I do sincerely hope that you had some time to enjoy the Easter holidays, despite the busy period and the ongoing debates and discussions around the CEP, EU Plastics strategy and expected possible new legislation.
It looks again that we will have a very busy spring and summer - the CEP is already approved by the Council, while the European Commission is reported to be working on drastic measures against certain waste items, including a Single Use Plastics (SUP) Directive proposal as well as suggesting a tax on all plastic packaging that is not recycled.
We are expecting the legislative proposal with mixed thoughts - while our members fully support European Union (EU) efforts towards preventing and reducing marine litter, we believe that some of the proposed measures are neither consistent with the recently-reviewed EU Waste Directives nor justified on grounds of proportionality. We strongly believe that the recently-reviewed Waste Framework and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directives provide an excellent framework for EPR schemes’ operations moving forward which we are confident will effect positive change across Member States. We also strongly believe that any new legislation should be consistent with the CEP as well as feasible and realistic and are actively working with all major stakeholders in Brussels to secure this.
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.
Enjoy your reading!
EXPRA Spring General Assembly April 13 2018, Sofia
EXPRA held its festive spring General Assembly meeting on 13 April in Sofia, Bulgaria, where also the 5th Anniversary of our organization was celebrated. The meeting was organized outside Brussels due to the related event with the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The kind hospitality of EXPRA Bulgarian member – ECOPACK Bulgaria was appreciated by all participants - 22 of 26 members of EXPRA came to Sofia to discuss the current topics.
Joachim Quoden gave a short report on the achievements of EXPRA as well as the outlook on 2018, including EXPRA Evaluation 2017 and objectives for 2018. The members were informed about the new Waste Legislation, to be shortly rubber-stamped, as well as the recent developments related the EU Plastics Strategy - the EP opinion (ongoing) and the expected in May single use plastic legislation.
In the open part of the meeting the waste management in Bulgaria: currents status and challenges were presented from the point of view of a legislator, obliged company and PRO.
The contribution of industry in Circular economy was presented by Svetoslav Atanasov, Chairman of BD Ecopack and General Manager Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria. He presented the activities of the Company on improving environmental performances, including eco design (plant bottle) and optimiziation of packaging: Decreasing weight of primary packaging, consumption of secondary packaging and optimization of pallet configuration.
In her presentation, Ms Ivelina Vasileva, Chairperson of the Environment and Water Committee of the Bulgarian Parliament and former Minister of Environment and Waters provided overview of the situation in waste management in Bulgaria with a focus on packaging waste: the existing legislation defining the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders and expected changes resulting from the CEP.
Todor Bourgoudjiev, CEO of ECOPACK Bulgaria, presented the functioning of EPR for packaging waste with focus on ECOPACK operation and results, as well, as the challenge ahead. These include insufficient PET recycling facilities, the China’s impact on the EU’s recycling industry and Bulgaria in particularly. He presented also how ECOPACK plans to overcome the challenges by: increasing container’s density and the servicing frequency, Investing in new sorting lines and recycling facility for PET production and development of new projects – retail outlets and HoReCa. In the plans of the Organization is also to cover all contaminated polyethylene's and plastics that are difficult to recycle and have no capacity in Bulgaria - PP buckets of milk, polystyrene (Styrofoam) and polycarbonate (HOD).
In the following discussion hot topics in different countries including deposit were outlined – both the representatives of the Parliament and the industry underlined that if the EPR system is performing well, there is no need to disrupt it and at the end to increase the costs/end price for the consumer.
Ms Amanda Fuso Nerini, CONAI, Chair of EXPRA sustainability and Packaging WG presented the Expra’s principles standpoint on “harmonized” fee modulation. This is an ongoing project, aiming at meeting the new requirements, stated in the WFD, Article 8.a, point 4 (b).
EXPRA’s joint event with the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, April 13, Sofia
EXPRA General Assembly meeting in Sofia was, on this occasion, accompanied by an external event entitled “The Extended Producer Responsibility’s contribution to Circular Economy Implementation”. The latter took place in the National Archaeological Museum and was organised alongside the Bulgarian Presidency as part of the official agenda of the EU’s Informal Environmental Attachés meeting.
National representatives from Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Cyprus, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Hungary, Slovenia, France, Lithuania, Spain, Croatia, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, Poland, Latvia, Portugal, Czech Republic, UK and Malta were present at the event. Others included members of the European Commission and the Council of the EU.
The Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Environment and Water, Ms Atanaska Nikolova, also joined us during the networking part to greet our members and support our role in the circular economy.
The event kick-started with introductory words from Mr Kalin Iliev, Head of Environment Unit in the Bulgarian Permanent Representation and our President William Vermeir, followed by a presentation delivered by Cees de Mol Van Otterloo, Director of Afvalfonds Verpakkingen and member of EXPRA’s Board.
Key messages conveyed during the presentation included EPR schemes’ commitment to the implementation of the waste legislation, underlining opportunities and challenges facing the Member States and how EXPRA’s members are gearing up to respond to them. The new recycling targets and the EU’s plastics’ ambition were at the heart of the discourse.
EXPRA also launched a call for an industry-policy partnership that would help bring the Circular Economy to life.
The ensuing exchange of views with the attachés was moderated by EXPRA’s Managing Director, Joachim Quoden. The event concluded with bilateral conversations between our members and their representatives over Bulgarian wine-tasting.
The gathering was a unique opportunity to showcase EXPRA’s leadership in EPR expertise and best practice in packaging waste management. It also helped echo EXPRA’s key messages regarding the Circular Economy to both EU and national officials. Our 5th Anniversary thereby found its way into a forum that offered an innovative format for debate.
Several EXPRA members took the chance to fix formal meetings and exchange views on national issues at a later stage. We are also already being contacted to provide an informed opinion of the transposition process by the some of the national officers that attended our event.
EP opinion on the Plastics Strategy, April 4, Brussels
In a nutshell, the draft EP report on the Plastics Strategy authored by MEP Mark Demesmaeker (BE) highlights the following elements of relevance to EPR:
1. The Rapporteur stresses that there are various pathways to achieving high collection and recycling rates and a reduction in litter, including deposit-refund schemes or extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes; underlines that the choice of a certain scheme remains within the remit of the competent authority in the Member State, which can take local specificities into account and ensure that any existing well-performing and cost-efficient systems are not jeopardised;
2. The Rapporteur does not support the idea of an EU plastic tax. He is also eager to stress that fiscal policy remains a Member State competence, and therefore opposes the introduction of an EU-wide plastics tax as a potential own resource stream for the EU.
3. On quality standards, he refers to EuCertPlast but also calls on an independent third party certificate, suggesting the QA-CER certification scheme, developed by the Belgian Quality Association, as a model to follow. There is currently a mismatch between the quality of recycled plastics and the quality required for the functionality of a certain product. This is due to a lack of trust, verification and transparency. Developing recycling grades which match the functionality of various products and verification are key in this regard. A European audit scheme is already available for use, EuCertPlast. However, the rapporteur believes that an independent third party certificate, could equally offer an important step forward. The QA-CER certification scheme developed by the Belgian Quality Association could provide a model for Europe to follow.
4. He also mentions EPR as a tool to leverage for assisting companies in up-taking recycled content. The rapporteur welcomes the various positive public commitments by leading industry players on recycled content, but considers it key that these public commitments are turned into concrete pledges. However, this voluntary approach alone may not be sufficient: the rapporteur therefore believes that mandatory rules for recycled content for specific products may be needed. EPR and VAT modulations could support this.
You can read the draft report here. The adoption of report in ENVI is expected in the period 9-10 July
European Commission - Press release EU budget, May 2, Brussels
European Commission - Press release EU budget: Commission proposes a modern budget for a Union that protects, empowers and defends
You can read the full PR here.
First CEFLEX Stakeholder Webinar, April 20
The first CEFLEX stakeholder webinar was organized on 20 April. The purpose of the webinars (the next one is planned for 22 May) is to present and discuss information on different topics relating to flexible packaging in the circular economy, to help increase awareness and understanding among the different parts of the value chain. The interested in participating stakeholders were over 100.
The webinar was focused on 'Current status of collection and sorting of post-consumer flexible packaging in Europe' and covered the following topics: Introduction to EPR, how collection and sorting is implemented in different European countries and how a sorting facility works.
As EXPRA joined the project form the very beginning, and was actively supporting the organization of the Webinar, we had the chance to impact/suggest the contents as well as to involve EXPRA members as speakers.
Monika Romenska, EXPRA Regulatory and PA Manager introduced the topic of EPR. Special thanks to Luca Stramare, COREPLA and Paul Christiaens, Packaging Waste Fund, Netherlands, Chair of EXPRA Data and Reporting WG, who delivered very interesting to the audience presentations regarding the functioning of the EPR systems in their countries with focus on flexible packaging collection and processing. Among the other presenters were also CITEO and DSD. The Webinar was evaluated as very successful and possibly more time for Q& A will be scheduled for the next one, to take place on 22 May.
Ecopack Bulgaria: books for trash
“Books for Trash” is back with a new edition on April 22nd 2018 and for the first time, the environmental campaign that promotes reading is to be held simultaneously in five cities. This year the initiative is to visit Sofia, Plovdiv, Bourgas, Veliko Turnovo, and Stara Zagora on the emblematic Earth Day.
One of the most popular and wide-reaching Bulgarian initiatives, organized by Credo Bonum Foundation and Smart Books publishing house, will bring together the residents of five cities in a race to collect and recycle the most plastics. As usual, the campaign is to kick off at 10am, and the locations are the same as in previous years – the Soviet Army Monument in Sofia, in front of the Municipality building in Plovdiv, the Pantheon in Bourgas, Mall Veliko Turnovo in the old capital city, and Mall Galleria in Stara Zagora.
More than 11.5 tonnes of plastic waste were submitted for recycling under the Books for Trash campaign. This year, the eco initiative, organized by the Credo Bonum Foundation and Smart Books, was held simultaneously in 5 cities, providing for participants a book of choice for a 1 kilo of plastic packaging. According to the principles for calculating the results according to the number of population, Plovdiv residents gathered 3.1 tons, which ranked the city as the winner of the race. Besides the title of "The City with the Smallest Plastic Waste", Plovdiv will host "Books for Trash" once again in the autumn of this year. In the other cities - in Sofia a total of 5,200 tons were colected, in Veliko Tarnovo - 2,100 tons, in Burgas 2 tons, and in Stara Zagora - 1,200 t. plastics packaging, which was transported by the trucks of Ecopack Bulgaria for recycling.
Partners to the initiative include Bulgarian American Credit Bank, the Europrean Commission in Bularia, ECOPACK Bulgaria and the municipalities of Bourgas, Veliko Turnovo, and Plovdiv, Mall Galleria Stara Zagora and Mall Veliko Turnovo, and the media partner is the BNT program Green Light.
ÇEVKO Foundation (Turkey) Releases Its 2017 Environmental Benefit Report
RECOVERY ACTIVITIES OF THE ÇEVKO FOUNDATION CONTRIBUTED TRY 2.6 BILLION TO THE ECONOMY IN 2017
The first authorized organization for the recovery of packaging waste in Turkey, the ÇEVKO Foundation continues to contribute to environmental sustainability and the economy.
Acting as a leader for 27 years on the way to a sustainable recovery system and helping the industry fulfill its obligations, the ÇEVKO Foundation once again created significant value in 2017 for environmental sustainability. The recovery activities of the Foundation contributed TRY 2.6 billion to the country’s economy.
The first organization authorized by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization of the Republic of Turkey for the recovery of packaging waste, the ÇEVKO Environmental Protection and Packaging Waste Recovery Foundation has been increasingly active for 27 years in its recovery efforts. Activities carried out by the ÇEVKO Foundation with a view to develop the sustainable recycling system it leads and to improve separate collection at the source created significant value for a sustainable environment in 2017 as well. Besides, the positive contribution of recovery efforts to the country’s economy was TRY 2.6 billion.
Noting that as the authorized organization they were fulfilling the recovery obligations of more than 1,800 packaging users that place packaged products on the market, the Secretary General of the ÇEVKO Foundation Mete İmer said, “We build partnerships with local governments and licensed companies in order to collect packaging waste at the source on behalf of the producers and economic enterprises we represent. In addition to that, we organize communication, awareness-raising and education activities.”
Stating that it was technically and economically possible to recover all packaging waste made of glass, metal, plastic, paper-cardboard, composites and wood many times, Mete İmer added, “We have been active for 27 years in the development of the recycling system we lead. We cooperate with 162 [BC1] municipalities in 30 provinces with a total population of 26 million. We undertake the recovery obligations of packaging users that have partnered with ÇEVKO. The recovery activities we carried out on behalf of the industry in cooperation with municipalities and licensed packaging waste collection, sorting and recycling companies resulted in savings of fossil fuels, water and energy. Less natural resources and energy were consumed. These recovery efforts made a positive contribution of TRY 2.6 billion to the country’s economy.”
Recovery Protected the Air We Breathe and the Forests, and Saved Water and Energy
Mete İmer, the CEO of CEVKO summarized the economic and environmental benefits achieved with the documented recycling of packaging waste in 2017 as follows:
The recycling of packaging waste made of paper, cardboard, wood and composites saved 4,715,000 trees, equivalent to roughly 94 thousand acres of forestland.
130 million liters of gas was saved thanks to the recycling of plastic packaging waste. This amount is enough to fill the fuel tanks of about 2.9 million cars.
7.3 billion liters of water was saved through the recovery of packaging waste made of paper-cardboard/composites, equivalent to the annual water consumption of 41,505 families.
2.7 billion kWh electricity was saved with recovered packaging waste, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of almost one million (977 thousand) families.
Thanks to the recycling of packaging waste instead of their burial in landfills, 3,645,000 m3 of landfill space was spared, equivalent to the volume of about 1,457 Olympic-size swimming pools.
Greenhouse gas emission amounting to 339,700 tons of CO2, equivalent to the amount emitted by an airplane circumnavigating the globe 16,985 times, was prevented.
CONAI (Italy) Assembly 2018
The meeting of the CONAI Consortium, which was held on 4 May 2018, approved the CONAI Management Report and the Balance Sheet for the year 2017.
According to preliminary data, more than 10 million packaging waste was recovered in 2017, amounting to 77.7% of the total packaging put on the Italian market. The result confirms and exceeds, as already happened in the past, the objective set by European and national legislation.
8.7 million tons of used packaging were recycled, thus achieving 67.1% of packaging put on the market. Waste packaging of urban origin sent for recycling increased by 5.3% compared to the previous year.
Download the document (Italian version): http://www.conai.org/en/news/2018-conai-assembly/
Afvalfonds Verpakkingen (The Netherlands) Iconic Glass Bin celebrates 40th anniversary
A symbol of sustainability, recycling and circular economy
On the 17th of May 2018 the glass bin will be 40 years old. As part of the anniversary edition of the Glas in 't Bakkie campaign, Studio Lernert & Sander, in collaboration with creative agency Arttenders, designed five jubilee cakes in the form of five recognizable glass bins.
In a large national campaign, the bottle bank gets the status it deserves: a Dutch icon. lass collection now seems so logical, but it has not always been. On 17 May it is exactly 40 years ago that the first municipal glass container was placed in 's-Hertogenbosch. A milestone, because thanks to the glass container, separate glass collection has become an everyday ritual. Together (citizens, municipalities, waste services and companies) we have been achieving excellent results in glass collection and recycling in the Netherlands for years. The national campaign calls for this to be celebrated ('busy') and also introduces the verb “glass binning” in the sense of 'going to the bottle bank'. Because such a beautiful and familiar act, deserves its own verb.
Ideal circular product
Packaging glass is an ideal circular product. Every time a bottle or jar in the glass container disappears, the glass is recycled without loss of quality. In principle, every jar or bottle can be placed on the table as a different product within a week. The current recycling percentage of glass in the Netherlands is very high. Approximately 84% of the packaging glass is in the circular loop. The target is even higher: 90%. By emphasizing what we have already achieved, Glas in 't Bakkie will give a positive boost to glass collection and recycling in the Netherlands in 2018.
About Glas in 't Bakkie
Glas in 't Bakkie is a Dutch campaign to stimulate glass collection and glass recycling in the Netherlands. Glas in 't Bakkie is part of the Action Plan on Glass, an initiative of Afvalfonds Verpakkingen.
Green Dot Cyprus: Recycling Targets Attained one more year!
Green Dot Cyprus, the Collective Scheme for the management of Packaging and Waste in Cyprus is pleased to announce that following overall collaboration the 2017 targets for the recycling of packaging have been attained!
The year saw the recycling of 56,200 tonnes of packaging, meaning that the target set by the legislation (41,600 tonnes) was more than covered; in fact, it was covered to a degree of 135%, even though the recycling target was raised by 5% in 2017. This success is deemed even more important when taking into consideration that there is no institutional framework for the obligatory participation of citizens in recycling.
When compared to 2016, 2017 saw an increase of approximately 5% in the collection of PMD, Paper and Glass materials. In total, 63,931 tonnes of materials were collected (60,871 tonnes in 2016), from residencies and business premises.
By the end of 2017, the programme for the collection of recyclable packaging served about 82% of the population of the country, covering the needs of residents in 26 Municipalities and 50 Communities with regard to recycling related infrastructure.
At the same time, in 2017 the special programme for the collection of empty packaging for plant protection products that was developed in collaboration with the Cyprus Crop Protection Association continued to progress with a 52% increase in the amount of collected packaging compared to 2016.
It should be noted that the Green Dot Cyprus Recycling programmes rely on the participation and financial support of 959 companies – members and shareholders of the Organisation, which in this way show their support for and trust in the Collective System.
Green Dot Cyprus thanks most warmly all citizens for their voluntary participation in the recycling programmes. Without the contribution and support of the public we would have been unable to meet our recycling targets.
Ecoembes (Spain): 1m2 por la Naturaleza
1m2 por la Naturaleza ' is once again the great civic collaborative collection at a national level promoted by LIBERA, a day that from the collaboration of all seeks to help clean and raise awareness of the problem of trash in the natural spaces of our country.
On June 16 we will all go out to any natural space that we want to keep and free from the garbage that one day was thrown away and remains abandoned, and pick it up. A day to clean, but above all to raise awareness.
This year your collaboration and the sum of efforts of all is more important than ever, because you have already seen what is out there and have the ability to convince, as you have done before, others that add their m2. That's why we can not stop counting on you, the backbone of Libera, the #HeroesLibera. For this reason we encourage you to participate once again in '1m2 for Nature' by creating a collection point or encouraging your neighbors to believe or join established points.
Read the full Pres relase here
TAMIR (Israel) google play app: Dedi the cat
The app won the first place at the App Store within 36 hours, 200,000+ downloads
Who said separate collection of used packages can not be fun? Welcome to Catomolo game developed by TAMIR based on the used packaging cycle. An innovative and entertaining way to learn about the separation of recyclable packaging which should be collected in the orange bin in Israel. This funny and at the same time educational game is fit for all ages.
TAMIR’s strategy included choosing a character to represent the company and its messages. From the very start, TAMIR’s character was named most beloved and memorable commercial character by Globes, one of Israel’s leading financial magazines.
The character is Dedi, a silly animated ginger cat that lives atop an orange bin at an apartment building. Dedi conveys the messages with humor and wit, interacts with the tenants in the building’s trash room and explains to them how to separate the trash for the orange and regular bin. The orange bin is situated near the regular bin and is intended for packaging waste like plastic, metal and drink cartons. Dedi’s commercials does not include preaching or desperate cries to save the planet; they simply describe the new Israeli reality. Dedi stars in the company’s commercials, billboards and on-site campaigns. The latest TAMIR campaign even included a mobile app starring Dedi, called CATOMOLO (“orange or not”).
Launched in April 2018, the app stars Dedi the cat who teaches us how to separate trash as packages fall down from the sky. In the app, Dedi uses her paw to direct packages into the bin, or away from it, as needed. The application is humorously narrated by a well-known Israeli comedian, which undoubtedly contributes to its success. The app includes many levels, with dangerous bombs threatening Dedi’s wellbeing – each bomb or incorrect package disposal results in Dedi losing a life. TAMIR also chose to reward top winners with a daily prize of headphones and a weekly draw for a drone.
The app reached no. 1 in the apple and google app stores during its first 36 hours. Within three weeks of marketing, the app had 300,000 downloads, with over 5,000,000 games played. The launch campaign included TV ads, billboards, social media advertising, digital advertising and more. TAMIR succeeded in creating a device that educates the public on how to separate trash, and did so in a playful manner in line with the Fun Theory strategy that had been preferred. Furthermore, the app and other innovative activities led by TAMIR established the issue as a cool, modern issue that is easily identifiable.
Recycling organzation's CEO Kobi Dar had this to say, “Over the past six years, since the legislation was passed, orange bins have been placed in many local authorities. This swift and gradual adoption has now reached 3.2 million people, of a total 8.6 million Israeli residents. We expect an 80% exposure rate over the next five years, enabling many Israeli households to join the recycling process.”
“The Fun Theory marketing strategy raised great awareness, made recycling a daily agenda and posed TAMIR and recycling as something one can happily identify with. I believe this has motivated action among Israelis who enjoy having an orange bin by their home, and motivates countless others to join the environmental conservation revolution by separating packaging at home.”
The payors are invited to sort the packages as soon as possible, decide what enters the orange trash and what not. You can see more here.
Introduction by the Managing Director
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!
CEP: Council and Parliament reach provisional agreement on new EU waste rules
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
EU Plastics Strategy delayed
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.
Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU: Environment
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
First meeting of the Circular Economy Platform’s Coordination Group in Brussels, November 22, Brussels
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’s General Assembly meeting, November 30, Brussels
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.
New cooperation partner - The Icelandic Recycling Fund joins the EPR Network
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”.
EXPRA represented in the Advisory Board of LIFE+ EPS SURE Project
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.
EXPRA, WEEE Forum and EucoLight call on policymakers to introduce explicit obligations for online sellers under the new waste legislation
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
Afvalfonds Verpakkingen (The Netherlands)Dutch circular economy another step closer with contribution of the packaging chain
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
ÇEVKO (Turkey) Children’s Theatre Completes Antalya Tour
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 Inbound Marketing for Recycling
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 (Malta) Second phase of PR campaign started on November 22
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.
Ecoembes (Spain) The Orchestra of recycled instruments of Cateura comes to Spain at Christmas
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.
Fost Plus (Belgium) Extends and simplifies selective sorting: From 2019 onwards, all plastic packaging can be put in the blue bag
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
Pakomak (Macedonia) awarded with National prize for implemented socially responsible practice in 2017
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 (Italy) The Plan with the 2017 and 2018 forecasts is published
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
Ekopak (BiH) Another success of Ekopak: Adopted amendment of the WML stating that PRO(s) can be founded exclusively by obliged Industry
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.
EKOPACK Bulgaria : Students, teachers and parents together with ECOPACK participate in the European Waste Reduction Week 2017
"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).
Eco-Rom Ambalaje (Romania) facilitates best practices exchanges
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.
Herrco (Greece) Double Distinction for Herrco at the Waste & Recycling Awards 201
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.
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.
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!
EXPRA Workshop: Eco-design for packaging workshop for obliged companies
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.
Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference: Delivering on the CE - What's next?, Feb 20 + 21, Brussels
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.
News from the EP ENVI Committee: Waste package
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.
News from the EP ENVI Committee: Implementation of the 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP)
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.
Plastics Strategy in the European Parliament
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.
Exchange of views with the Commissioner Katainen in the ENVI Committee, Feb 21, Brussels
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.
European Commission concerned about the impact of the China ban
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.
Fost Plus (Belgium) The Ambassadors of Cleanliness, supporting municipal services
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.’
FTI (Sweden) Press release: System supplier contracted for Motala facility
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
Pakomak (Macedonia) achieved again the National R&R tragets
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.
CONAI (ITALY) The new CONAI 2018 Environmental Contribution Guide has been published
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).
Green Dot Cyprus New Campaign “Recycling and Quality of Life”
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.
GreenPak’s (Malta) Crush and Win campaign
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.
ÉEQ (Canada) proud to be part of the solution: Chinese ban on imports of recyclable materials
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: Recycling School "Teachers for Clean Environment“ in Vratsa
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.
ÇEVKO Foundation (Turkey) Will Continue With Its Educational Activities With The Support of The Ministry of National Education
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."
GREEN DOT NORWAY: News
Producer responsibility for packaging has been a voluntary system in Norway since 1994. Despite this, approximately 85% of all packaging has been counted for through the Groent Punkt Norge (Green Dot Norway) system.
Thus we used to view the voluntary system a success. With entrance of competition soon 3 years ago we – and the environmental authorities experienced competition to be on different terms with different agendas. It became possible to collect members (and fees) without necessarily taking control and responsibility for a functioning return scheme and traceable recycling. As solution the environmental agency suggested that the producer responsibility for packaging should be regulated by law, got approval by the environmental department and implemented a new chapter in the existing waste regulation. In full effect from January 1st every producer bringing more than 1000 kilo packaging (in sum) to the market is responsible for the recycling of this through an approved PRO.
This fall has been busy applying for approval for all our packaging schemes and February 1st it was announced that the schemes included in the Groent Punkt Norge membership is the sole ones approved (the five different material companies). Our competitor (established producer responsibility for EE and expanding to packaging and batteries) did not get approval for any of the packaging materials. We suppose they have filed a complaint, but without a national coverage and collection scheme all through the year we do not expect that the decision is changed. We are of course satisfied that our nationwide, proper and transparent system is acknowledged by the authorities, but we do not believe that the competition is gone.
In the new waste regulation responsibility for wooden packaging is included. These days we´re creating a new national recycling reporting scheme for repair and recycling of pallets and expect this to meet the targets and will apply for approval within few weeks. The memberships fees are expected to be NOK 0,04/kilo effective from June 1st.
Introduction by the Managing Director
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!
First Meeting of the EU Expert Group on financing the Circular Economy
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.
EXPRA Workshop on EPR and its implementation in various countries– October 17-18, Ljubljana, Slovenia
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.
Status of Trialogue on the waste legislation review
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.
Rethinking Plastics – Closing the Circle Stakeholder Conference, 26 September 2017
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
ISWA World Congress 2017, September 25 - 27, Baltimore, USA
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.
Canadian Stewardship Conference, September 27 - 29, Montrea
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.
EC Circular Economy Mission to Columbia, October 16 - 20, Medellin + Bogota, Colombia
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.
Ecoembes (Spain) chosen as a member of the Coordination Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform
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.
ÇEVKO (Turkey) Circular Economy Congress, 5-6th October 2017
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
HE.R.R.Co (Greece) Annual report 2016 published
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 PMD Recycling category of Green Dot Cyprus is enriched
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.
FTI (Sweden) New brochure about producer responsibility
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)
Afvalfonds Verpakkingen (The Netherlands) Action plan glass on steam: on the way to 90% glass recycling in The Netherlands
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
CONAI (Italy) Contribution diversification decided for plastic packaging
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/
Éco Entreprises Québec (Canada) EEQ hosts 7th Conference on Canadian Stewardship
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 (Malta) A campaign on sustainable use of plastic bottles and the increasing importance of recycling.
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.
Introduction by the Managing Director
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!
EXPRA Workshop: Towards European EPR requirements in new waste legislation: a blueprint for success, May 30, Brussels
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.
New publication of EXPRA: Sustainability drops – news from 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 .
Waste package: Council agrees its negotiating stance
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:
- Waste framework directive;
- Packaging waste directive;
- Landfill directive;
- Directive on electrical and electronic waste, on end-of-life vehicles; and on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators
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
- June/ July: Technical meetings feeding into the trilogue negotiations
- September/October: Third and fourth trilogue meetings
EP ENVI committee exchange of views with Mr Siim Kiisler, Minister of Environment, Estonian Presidency
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:
- Eco-innovation, as a key element in the transition to a circular economy.
- The Paris Agreement. The Presidency’s priority is to uphold multilateralism by fortifying a broad-based international alliance.
- The COP 23 in November. The EU must remains decisive and speak with one voice on these critical matters.
13-14 July Informal Environment Council in Tallinn
13 October Environment Council in Luxembourg
19 December Environment Council
EC Strategy on Plastics in a Circular Economy: developments
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
New EEA report: Circular by design Products in the circular economy
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.
Mandatory reporting of packaging data in Singapore by 2021
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 (Sweden) News from Sweden
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 Recycling Kit & Recycling in Limassol Carnival
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.
Ecoembes (Spain) CircularLab
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 (Turkey) The Collaboration of ÇEVKO, AFAD and UNDP
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 (Malta) Special Award during Koperattivi Malta’s 20thAnniversary event
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 (Italy) 20 years of National Packaging Consortium: the Sustainability Report
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
Fost Plus (Belgium) News from Begium
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: ECOPACK wins again the Green Oscar award
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.
Introduction by the Managing Director
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!
EXPRA hosts EPR Club lunch debate on “How to measure recycling?”
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.
Article from EXPRA in the ISWA magazine Waste Management World
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.
European Parliament: Plenary votes the WFD and PPWD
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.
Exchange of views with Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen
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 Eco-design Directive together with the Energy Labeling Directive work well towards energy savings in Europe.
- The investments in the circular economy are not being financed from the European Fund for Strategic Investments.
- The waste legislation puts technological pressure on the waste management. Therefore, the waste operators might seek more funding once the legislation is adopted.
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.
Packaging Chain Forum cross-industry statement, March 15, Brussels
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:
- Maintain EU Internal Market as sole legal base (art 114 TFEU) for the PPWD to safeguard the free circulation of packaging and packaged goods
- Ensure Extended - not Endless - Producer Responsibility for packaging waste management
- Develop an EU harmonised calculation methodology with clarified definitions and robust data prior to assessing the feasibility of setting quantitative targets for reusable packaging
- Set packaging recycling targets that are realistic and achievable, with clear and EU harmonised definitions and a packaging recycling calculation method
The PCF members can put this document into the work of each individual advocacy efforts.
You can read the recommendations here
RINKI (Finland) A year of producer responsibility
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
GreenPak (Malta) Collection of plastic caps in aid of Istrina 2017
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
PAKOMAK (Macedonia) "Project Happiness"
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.
CONAI (Italy) Competition and environmental protection in waste management
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 (Turkey) Perception Survey Results Published:ONLY ONE OUT OF THREE PEOPLE COLLECTS PACKAGING WASTE SEPARATELY!
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 announce a new radio show - "Green line"
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.
Fost Plus (Begium) Major joint initiative for clean environment in Wallonia
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:
- Coordinate the efforts of the various stakeholders involved in maintaining public cleanness,
- Share best practices and encourage their implementation,
- Conduct awareness campaigns and encourage innovation.
You can read more about the initiative here
Ecoembes (Spain) announces the environmental benefits of packaging recycling with its new campaign "Breathe"
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.
Introduction by the managing Director
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!
EXPRA General Assembly meeting, 24 November 2016, Brussels
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.
European Parliament aims for circular economy position in February
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.
Environment Council (ENV) 19 December 2016
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.
European Commission publishes Communication on an eco-design working plan 2016-2019
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
EASAC publishes reports on indicators and priorities for critical materials within the circular economy
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.
FTI (Sweden) A campaign focusing on music recycling and solutions in the home
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)
ENVI-PAK (Slovakia) On line: Don´t be lazy and sort waste! www.triedime.sk will help you!
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 (Malta) First prize in the second edition of the Sustainable Enterprise Awards
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 (Macedonia) Education campaign with Children's Drama Studio
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.
CONAI (Italy) Recovery and recycling: 2016-2017 forecasts
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) Educational Workshops about Recycling for children
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 (Turkey) ÇEVKO foundation, the pioneer in sustainable recycling, celebrates its 25th anniversary!
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.
Fost Plus (Belgium) News from Fost Plus
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.
Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) Canada The Innovative Glass Works Plan
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
ECOPACK Bulgaria Invested BGN 2.5 million in first-of-its-kind facility sorting glass packaging waste by color
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%).
Introduction by the Managing Director
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!
EXPRA’s proposals for an enhanced Circular Economy and waste target review
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.
ISWA World Congress, 19-21 September 2016, Novi Sad, Serbia
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.
OECD Publishes Update to EPR Guidance
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
News from EP ENVI Committee: the Waste Package
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)
New report on Environmental taxation and EU environmental policies published by the EEA
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 final EC report on the efficient functioning of waste markets in the European Union – legislative and policy options
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 (Macedonia): First prize on traditional urban competition „Days of Spring - Days of ecology“
„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.
CONAI (Italy) Recovery and recycling of packaging waste - Results
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) “Recycling Mania”: An Interactive Game about Recycling
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.
ECOPACK Bulgaria : The Eco Labyrinth
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.
GREENPAK (Malta): Local Council Awards 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.
Greenpak (Malta) Pilot project against illegal dumping & littering
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.
Introduction by the Managing Director
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 published
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.
Council conclusions on Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy
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.
European Parliament ENVI Committee reports on the Waste Directives
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.
European Parliament ITRE Committee reports on the Waste Directives
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 tools can foster greener behaviour: a new report of EEA
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.
ECOPACK Bulgaria : "GREEN OSCAR"
„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! "
FTI (SWEDEN) News from Sweden
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.
PAKOMAK (Macedonia) Eco-school project "Clean environment, clean school, clean hands"
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 Rethink: An Awareness Raising Campaign
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.
Ecoembes (Spain) News
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
GreenPak (Malta) suppors the international World Oceans Day activity
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
Fost Plus (Belgium) receives the Lean and Green Award for its efforts to promote sustainable development
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.
ÇEVKO (Turkey) News
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.
Introduction by the Managing Director
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!
EPR Toolkit Seminar: Creating a Level Playing Field for EPR Across Europe, March 1, 2016 Brussels
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
EXPRA Annual reception and the Packaging Waste & Sustainability Forum, 1 – 3 March 2016, Brussels
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 EPR leaflet
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.
EP ENVI Committee: Exchange of views with Commission Vice-President for Growth and Jobs Katainen, 16 March 2016
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:
- 16/17 March 2016: First exchange of views
- 21 April 2016: Presentation of the draft report
- 23 May 2016: Consideration of the draft report
- 1 June 2016: Deadline for amendments
- 11 July 2016: Consideration of amendments
- 7 November 2016: Adoption of the report by the ENVI Committee
Environment Council Public debate on the Circular Economy Action Plan, 4 March 2016
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.
EP ITRE Committee: Presentation of the Circular Economy Package by Antti Ilmari Peltomaki, Deputy Director General, DG GROW, 16 March 2016
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.
- 21 April 2016: Presentation of the draft report inthe ENVI Committee
- 23 May 2016: Consideration of the draft report in the ENVI Committee
- 1 June 2016: Deadline for the amendments in the ENVI Committee
- 14 June 2016: Consideration of draft opinion in the ITRE Committee
- 16 June 2016: Deadline for amendmentsin the ITRE Committee
- 20 June 2016: Environmental Council Conclusions on the Circular Economy Action Plan
- 11 July 2016: Consideration of amendments in the ITRE Committee
- 13 October 2016: Vote in the ITRE Committee
- 7 November 2016: Vote in the ENVI Committee
ÉCO ENTREPRISES QUÉBEC (CANADA)
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.
GREEN DOT CYPRUS
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.
FOST PLUS (BELGIUM)
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:
- 4 million trees were saved. This is equivalent to almost 20,000 acres of forestland.
- 125,000,000 liters of gas was saved. This equals to gas savings of about 2.8 million fuel tanks.
- 6,200,704 m3 of water was saved. This is equal to the annual water consumption of nearly 100,000 people, or the 36-day water requirement of the Turkish province of Aydin.
- 3,417,792 m3 of landfill space was spared. This is equal to a saving in landfill space of 1367 Olympic-size swimming pools.
- A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 274,016 tons of CO2 was achieved. This offsets the emissions generated by an airplane circumnavigating the globe 13,700 times.
- 2,465,793 MWh of energy was saved. This is the amount of energy used by 893,400 households in a year, as well as 10% of the annual residential energy consumption in Turkey...
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!
EXPRA GENERAL ASSEMBLY, NOVEMBER 26, BRUSSELS
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
TWO NEW MEMBERS - SLOPAK (SLOVENIA) AND EKOPAK (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA) JOIN EXPRA
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.
EXPRA FIRST REACTION TO THE NEW CEP
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.
DUTCH PRESIDENCY AND ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL PUBLIC DEBATE ON THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY PACKAGE
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.
EP ENVI COMMITTEE EXCHANGE OF VIEWS (EOV) WITH COMMISSIONER VELLA ON CIRCULAR ECONOMY PACKAGE
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.
EUROPEAN ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY RELEASES REPORT ‘WASTE PREVENTION IN EUROPE – THE STATUS IN 2014’
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:
- Most of the programmes mentions the overall objective of breaking the link between economic growth, and the environmental impact associated with generation of waste.
- 17 programmes had quantitative targets, while other countries did not set specific ones.
- Many waste programmes developed specific measures: 39% focus on the design, production and distribution phase; 40% are related to the consumption and use phase; and 21% focus on the general framework conditions of waste generation.
- Programmes moreover include policy instruments of which “63% concern information and awareness raising; economic and regulatory instruments account for 16% and 14% respectively; and 7% voluntary agreements”.
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.
VAL-I-PAC (BELGIUM) CLEAN SITE SYSTEM
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 (MACEDONIA) “ARE YOU recycINg?” – ECO LOCATIONS IN SCOPJE
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.
GREEN DOT CYPRUS, CAMPAIGNS TO PROMOTE GLASS RECYCLING
In 2015, our Organization focused specifically on achieving the glass recycling targets and thus promoted glass recycling through among others the following actions
- The action ‘Will you help me?’ was organized in collaboration with bars and restaurants. The goal was to inform the employees of such premises for the importance of increasing their participation in glass recycling. Through this action the majority of the commercial premises in all the touristic areas of the island have been informed.
- A second called ‘Recycle Me’, was organized in collaboration with big supermarket chains. The goal was to inform the general public about the importance of glass recycling, the location of the recycling bins and the promotion of our mobile application 'ReCYcling CY', which uses GIS to locate glass recycling bins.
- In addition, we promoted glass recycling through online competitions and videos.
The videos of the competition can be found here
FOST PLUS (BELGIUM) PILOT PROJECTS FOR MORE RECYCLING OF PLASTIC PACKAGING
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 (ITALY) REWARDS COMPANIES THAT CHOOSE SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING
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.
RINKI (FINLAND), READY STEADY GO!
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.
EKO-KOM (THE CZECH REPUBLIC) CELEBRATES ITS 15TH ANNIEVRSARY
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!
ISWA 2015 CONGRESS: SPECIAL EPR SESSION ABOUT THE SENSE OF A CENTRAL ORGANIZATION, SEPTEMBER 8, ANTWERP
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.
INFORMAL SECTOR WORKSHOP, SEPTEMBER 7, ANTWERP, IN PARALLEL WITH THE ISWA 2015 CONGRESS
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 MEMBER OF THE EC WORKING GROUP ON A PACKAGING PEF
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.
EXPRA Updated leaflet available for downloading
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.
UPDATED JOINT STATEMENT OF THE PACKAGING CHAIN FORUM ON THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY PACKAGE (CEP)
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
GLASS RECYCLING STATISTICS 2013 PUBLISHED BY THE EUROPEAN CONTAINER GLASS FEDERATION (FEVE)
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).
PETCORE EUROPE REPORT ON COLLECTION AND RECYCLING OF POST-CONSUMER PET IN EUROPE REVEALS SUCCESS AND CHALLENGES
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.
TECHNICAL REPORT ON ASSESSMENT OF GLOBAL MEGATRENDS — EXTENDED BACKGROUND ANALYSIS PUBLISHED BY THE EEA
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 (SLOVENIA) ENABLED EXPERTISE EXCHANGE
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 ( BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA) ACHIEVEMENTS
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.
SEKOPAK (SERBIA) NEWS
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.
FTI (SWEDEN) ONE MORE INQUIRY IN SWEDEN OF WASTE MANAGEMENT AND RECYCLING
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.
GREEN DOT (CYPRUS) 10 YEARS’ PRESENCE IN CYPRUS
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
ECOPACK BULGARIA "OLD PAPER FOR A NEW BOOK” CAMPAIGN
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.
ECOEMBES (SPAIN) THREE ECOEMBES INITIATIVES
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.
GREENPAK (MALTA) 2015 LOCAL COUNCIL AWARDS RECOGNISES MARKED IMPROVEMENT BY LOCALITIES
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.
ECO-ROM AMBALAJE (ROMANIA) NEWS
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.
ÇEVKO (TURKEY) ENVIRONMENTAL GAIN ASIDE ÇEVKO’S RECOVERY EFFORTS CONTRIBUTE NEARLY TRY 1,5 BILLION TO TURKISH ECONOMY!
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…
- 117,000,000 liters of gas was saved. This is enough to fill up approximately 2,6 million cars…
- 6,316,143 m3 of water was saved. This is enough to supply fresh water to the Aydın province for 40 days...
- 3,327,032 m3 of storage space was saved. This is equal to the size of 462 football pitches…
- CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by 682,042 tons. This offsets the gas emissions of 34,100 aircrafts that circle the globe…
- 2,451,114 MWh of power was saved. This is equal to 10% of the domestic power consumption in Turkey in a year...
The following chart provides an overall view of the environmental and economic savings achieved through the operations of the ÇEVKO Foundation in 2014:
CONAI (ITALY) EXPO 2015, REACHED 70% OF THE SEPARATE WASTE COLLECTION
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.
FOST PLUS (BELGIUM) NATIONAL CAMPAIGN "SORTING WASTE, AN ACTION THAT MATTERS"
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 (FINLAND) HAS A NEW NAME - RINKI
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.
GREEN DOT NORWAY, NEW SYSTEM FOR REPORTING LAUNCHED
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 (MACEDONIA) 3D ECO BUS – THE FUN RECYCLING PROJECT
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!
EXPRA with intervention at the EC Conference “CLOSING THE LOOP - Circular Economy: boosting business, reducing waste”, June 25, Brussels
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”.
EXPRA’s position on a new Circular Economy Proposal
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.
- The Waste Framework Directive (WFD) spells out the principles and definitions related to waste management. It is essential that the formalisation of the EPR definition is included within this Directive, and that EPR minimum requirements are recognised on a general level as well. This will lay the foundations for a fair level playing field for waste management operators across the EU.
- The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) is the key Directive for the packaging sector. EXPRA demands that legislators include detailed minimum requirements for EPRwithin this Directive.This has been backed by the Commission’s Ex-Post Evaluation of the Five Waste Stream Directives, which notes that EPR is subject to both the WFD and PPWD, and ‘in need of further alignment as well as further development in both Directives’. Packaging is a very specific waste stream involving a high number of companies obliged by EPR legislation and requiring a dense infrastructure especially for packaging arising at the municipal level. This is why specific criterianeeds to be incorporated into the PPWD.
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.
- EPR minimum requirements should embrace inter alia the following elements:
- Defining roles and responsibilities amongst stakeholders. While producers have a key role to play in implementing EPR, all actors in the value chain, from packaging production through to the recycler, should bear specific responsibilities. They should therefore run the EPR model and their roles with regard to collection, sorting and recycling should be defined by legislation as their operations affect the remit of producers and importers, especially if they have a substantial financial responsibility to cover the costs for running this EPR scheme.
- Clarifying stakeholders’ financial liability. Each stakeholder can only be financially responsible for the costs falling under their remit and influence. In this respect, obliged industry can only be made accountable for the costs allocated to the take back of packaging waste in to a recycling/recovery process exclusively within their dedicated collection systems. Packaging waste that is either littered or ends up within municipal solid waste due to inadequate use by the consumer of the existing infrastructures for selective collection should not belong to the financial responsibility of EPR systems.
- Ensuring a transparent accreditation process for PROs. On behalf of obliged industry, Producer Responsibility Organizations fulfil legal obligations and contribute substantially to achieving national recycling targets. Given their central role in waste management, a strict authorisation process for PROs should therefore be put in place by national governments. The accreditation needs to be further accompanied by strict and permanent audits.
Need for realistic waste management target levels
Waste target levels
- It is important that EU waste targets are realistic and up-to-date. The legislative review is a necessary exercise, but any new targets need to be realistic and justifiable from both an economic and environmental perspective. EXPRA’s own research concludes that is feasible to determine optimum and maximum levels for recycling.Waste management is also a field where performances still vary across Member States. EXPRA supports an approach through which national circumstances are considered when setting recycling targets, for instance through derogation schemes, in a bid to find tailored solutions to shortcomings while enhancing enforcement. It is also important that mechanical recycling and preparation for re-use targets are not mixed as this could lead to uncertainties stemming from differing interpretations of what these definitions stand for and how these targets should be calculated.
The need for consistent and reliable data
- The Waste Fitness Check (WFC) confirms that Member States report data that is not reliable, coherent and comparable and that the latter operate on different interpretations of recycling and recovery. The EUNOMIA Waste Target Review Study moreover explains that there is currently no consistent reporting methodology at European level and that the data are unreliable and not comparable. These findings support EXPRA’s own research findings that demonstrate that, on this basis, it is difficult to affirm whether all Member States comply with the current recycling targets under the PPWD. EXPRA would therefore welcome additional measures to align the level of quality of Member State reporting to the European Commission, which would facilitate the task of identifying the most cost effective solutions. These could take the form of alternative reporting, through which Member States explain their measurement system and the quality of the results. Ideally, an updated, more detailed reporting methodology should be developed.
Quality of recycled materials and measurement point
- When developing new proposals, EXPRA also calls on policymakers to enforce the existing measurement point for recycling, based on the input of the recycler entering a recycling process without significant losses. EXPRA also promotes the evaluation of complementary measures with the potential to bring about recycling quality and improve transparency of the recycling processes. The introduction of recycling input specifications and certification programmes for recycling processes should be further examined within this context.
EPR lunch debate on Accreditation Criteria for PROs, hosted by EXPRA, 24 June, Brussels
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)
Public Seminar “The impact of street collectors on separate collection of packaging waste”, Istanbul, 22 May
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:
- Under certain conditions it might be possible to integrate street pickers into the official collection and recycling system especially when the existing separate collection system is run on a very low scale;
- If a separate collection system is existing or will be set up in the near future, the work of the street pickers is counterproductive, even damaging the system.
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.
EXPRA EPR Glossary updated
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.
ENVI Committee adopts Pietikainen draft report, June 17, Brussels
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:
- clear minimum standards for EPR requirements ‘to ensure transparency and cost effectiveness’ of the schemes.
- application of the “pay as you throw” principle
- targets for recycling / preparation for reuse to be raised to at least 70% of municipal solid waste and 80% recycling of packaging waste by 2030
- ‘an obligation for recyclers to report on the "input" quantities of waste going into the sorting plant as well as on the "output" quantity of recyclates coming out of the recycling plants, preventing the reporting of discarded waste (landfilled or incinerated) as recycled waste’
- binding waste-reduction targets for municipal, commercial and industrial waste to be achieved by 2025
- waste prevention measures
- incineration to be strictly limited by 2020 to non-recyclable and non-biodegradable waste
- a binding, gradual reduction of all landfill waste.
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.
Commission launches Public Consultation on Circular Economy
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.
A second EC Public Consultation on the distortion of the waste market started
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.’
- Identification of the main perceived regulatory failures;
- Obstacles to the functioning of waste markets connected to the application of EU waste legislation or other EU legislation;
- Obstacles to the functioning of waste markets arising from national, regional or local rules or requirements and decisions which are not directly linked to EU legislation (note in particular that they ask whether the design and implementation of EPR schemes lead to competition distortions or market access problems for producers and waste operators)
- Final questions (including views on differences between Member States as regards the functioning of their waste markets, suggestions for solutions to address obstacles and regulatory failures etc).
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.
Resource Efficiency among the chapters of new G7 declaration
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:
Life-cycle-based decision-making tools, data, concepts, and methodologies of resource efficiency;
Sustainable products and purchasing, green public procurement, local supply chains and the integration of resource efficiency into decision-making in government agencies;
Circular economies, eco-design, sharing economies and remanufacturing.
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.
Full application of the rules of the Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation
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.
ÉEQ has launched its first awareness ad campaign
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.
FTI (Sweden) New agreements, instructions and fees valid from April 1, 2015
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.
GreenPak (Malta) ‘Nirrickla ghall-Istrina’ 2015 campaign launched months in advance
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
Ecoembes (Spain) Household packaging recycling continue growing in Spain, standing at 73.7%
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 (Spain) The 4th edition of “Los Profes Cuentan” (“Teachers Telling”)
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.
ECOEMBES (Spain) A GREAT PLACE TO WORK
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 (belgium) 2014 annual report has been published
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:
- In the context of a sharp decline in the consumption of newspapers and magazines, the consumption of packaging remained steady. The proportion of packaging in the combined paper-cardboard segment is set at 25% in the Fost Plus approval. However, this distribution formula dates from a time when newspaper and magazine sales were higher. Recent studies have demonstrated that the 25% allocation now underestimates the packaging proportion and therefore artificially deflates the recycling results.
- The high value of paper-cardboard on the recycling market has led some parties to organise parallel collections (legal or otherwise). As a result some tonnage, despite being recycled, no longer features in the official recycling statistics.
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:
- It will not resolve the problem of uncleanliness, since litter goes beyond drinks packaging (plastic bags, cigarette butts, paper, etc.)
- It is a very expensive system: the cost of collecting and recycling packaging waste could amount to more than three times the cost of the current system (up to EUR 230 million on an annual basis)
- It would undermine the existing system and its success by creating competition between two systems working towards the same goal: to reduce packaging waste.
- It will not be consumer-friendly because it will force consumers to sort and store at home a new recyclable (the drinks packaging), which they will have to take themselves to the collection point and scan one by one, whereas, today, they can dispose of such waste in their blue bag which is collected from their home.
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 (Italy) for Expo Milano 2015
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.
Valorlux (Luxemburg) “Mon sac bleu” the new Valorlux application for iOS and Android
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
PYR (FINLAND) FINNISH HERRING JARS TURN INTO COCA COLA BOTTLES
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 Co