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16 February 2022:

A quick scan of recent waste, recycling and related environmental developments from around the globe...

Milk and Plant-Based Beverage Containers Added to British Columbia's Container Deposit System

On February 1, "ready-to-drink" milk and plant-based beverages in containers made of plastic, glass and metal, as well as cartons, were added to the province's Return-It container deposit system. Plant-based beverages include oat milk, soy milk or almond milk.

British Columbians now will have the option to redeem the milk and plant-based beverage containers or continue to place them in curbside recycling bins. The state container deposit scheme was launched in 1970. It places a 10-cent deposit on containers of all ready-to-drink beverages.

The RecycleBC announcement can be found at
https://recyclebc.ca/milk-plant-based-beverage-containers-join-deposit-system-feb-1/.

Norwegian Environment Agency Audits Find E-Waste Often Improperly Handled by Metal Recycling Facilities

A recent audit of Norwegian metal recycling facilities by the Norwegian Environment Agency (NEA) found that 36% of the facilities reviewed were improperly handling e-waste, according to a February 7 announcement by the NEA. Problems included facilities not having access to required e-waste recordkeeping systems and staff lack of knowledge aboout e-waste regulations.

As an example, the NEA said that "many of the plants do not sort, for example, transformers, electric motors, electric bicycles, electric wheelchairs, lathes and larger objects such as electric garage doors or drilling machines from other metal waste." The agency also said that about half the facilities audited had other regulatory violations.

"The campaign shows that there is a need to follow up with companies to ensure that they increase their knowledge about what is to be considered e-waste, so that it is sorted correctly," said NEA program manager Henning Gohtesen.

Get more information at
https://www.miljodirektoratet.no/aktuelt/nyheter/2022/februar-2022/mye-ee-avfall-sorteres-ikke-ut-og-behandles-korrekt/.


Paper Industry Survey Finds 94% of US Communities Have Access to Paper Recycling Programs

Late last month, the American Forest & Paper Association published its 2021 Access to Recycling Study that tracks and measures access to paperboard recycling in the United States. The top line statistic is 94% of residents now have access to community paper recycling programs and 79% have access to residential-curbside recycling programs that include paper.

The types of paper products for which community access to recycling is at 60% or more include cardboard, office paper, newspapers, magazines, mail, paper bags, pizza boxes, liquid packaging cartons, paperboard boxes without poly coatings (e.g., cereal boxes), and paperboard boxes with poly coatings (e.g., bakery boxes).

For more information, go to
https://www.afandpa.org/priorities/recycling/what-were-doing#AccessRecycling.


Spanish Glass Container Recycling Increased 5% in 2021

Ecovidrio, Spain's glass container recycling compliance organization, reported today that the amount of glass containers collected for recycling in 2021 increased by 5% from a year earlier.

Spanish residents deposited 884,000 tons of glass for recycling for 2021, yielding a per capita recycling level of 19 kilograms, according to Ecovidrio. More than 8 million glass containers were collected for recycling on an average day last year.

The organization also said it now manages 240,302 large glass recycling receptables across the country, an increase of nearly 5,000 such receptables since 2020.

Get more information at
http://www.ecovidrio.es/notas-de-prensa/resultados-reciclaje-envases-vidrio-2021


Zero Waste Scotland Report Identifies the Most Carbon Intensive Materials Wasted

The five most carbon intensive materials that become waste are paper and cardboard, plastic, textiles, metal, and animal and food waste, according to a report released today by Zero Waste Scotland. While the five streams accounted for only 46% of household waste by weight, they made up for 83% of Scottish carbon impacts. Textiles, which account for just 4% of household waste by weight, made up 32% of the country's carbon impacts.

Zero Waste Scotland stated that the report measured "the whole-life carbon impacts of Scotland's waste, from resource extraction and manufacturing emissions, right through to waste management emissions, regardless of where in the world these impacts occur."

""Every material that is wasted comes at a cost to our planet, but it’s clear that textiles are having a disproportionate impact," said Scottish Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater. "That's why we are establishing an innovation fund to support initiatives that could help Scotland tackle textile pollution and throw-away culture."

The Minister Slater also noted she is "preparing plans for an ambitious Circular Economy Bill that will be published for consultation in due course."

Download the Scottish Carbon Metric Report at https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/download/carbon-metric-scotlands-household-waste-2020


Victorian Government Announces $36.5 Million in New Funding for Recycling Infrastructure Improvements

The Victoria (Australia) Government announced on January 31 that an additional $36.5 million in funding is being directed to improving the state's recycling infrastructure. The funding comes from both the Victoria and the Australian Governments. The improvements are expected to help recycle an extra 137,000 tons of plastic, glass and waste tires.

"Victorians will see more recycled content used in the items and infrastructure they use every day, from recycled glass in road construction, to recycled plastic bottles, garden pots, and railway sleepers for the state’s train network," the announcement stated.

Sustainability Victoria also noted that the state plans to invest $515 million over the next ten years to increase recycling and transition the state to a circular economy.

The Sustainability Victoria announcement is posted at
https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/news/news-articles/technology-investment-to-transform-recycling-into-new-products.

Coca-Cola Company Plans to Make 25% of Its Bottles Reusable by 2030

Last week, the Coca-Cola Company said that it plans to have "at least 25% of all beverages globally across its portfolio of brands sold in refillable/returnable glass or plastic bottles, or in refillable containers through traditional fountain or Coca-Cola Freestyle dispensers."

"Accelerating use of reusable packages provides added value for consumers and customers while supporting our World Without Waste goal to collect a bottle or can for every one we sell by 2030," said Elaine Bowers Coventry, a Coca-Cola Company executive.

The announcement also noted that Coca-Cola plans to make all primary consumer packaging recyclable by 2025 and use 50% recycled content in its packaging by 2030.

To review Coca-Cola announcement, go to
https://www.coca-colacompany.com/news/coca-cola-announces-industry-leading-target-for-reusable-packaging.


American Chemistry Council Calls for Creation of a National Plastics Recycling Advisory Committee

Earlier this month, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) called for the establishment of a National Plastics Recycling Advisory Committee to help raise the recycling rate for plastic waste in the United States. According to the ACC, one of the biggest reasons that the plastic recycling rate is below those of other recyclable materials in the US is the "complexity of plastic packaging and our fractured recycling system."

The ACC said that since the creation of a US recycling instructure "lots of new types of packaging have been introduced, including lightweight plastic packaging, such as wraps, snack bags, and resealable pouches. This helped decrease the weight and amount of packaging needed to deliver food and drink, which has resulted in several important environmental benefits, such as reduced food waste, as well as less energy use, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and conserved resources compared to many alternatives. But it complicated recycling."

The proposed National Plastics Recycling Advisory Committee, which would be coordinated by the US EPA and Department of Energy, would bring together "the plastics value chain and municipalities to develop a set of national plastics recycling standards" needed to alleviate consumer confusion about the recyclability of some plastic packaging and products and help increase their recycling.

The ACC announcement is posted at
https://www.americanchemistry.com/chemistry-in-america/news-trends/blog-post/2022/for-plastics-recycling-to-succeed-we-need-national-recycling-standards.


Plastics Recyclers Europe Launches Data System to Better Monitor Plastic Recycling

The industry association Plastics Recyclers Europe today announced the launch of RecoTraceTM, which it described as "the first comprehensive data system to monitor plastic recycling and recycled plastics use," and it invited recyclers and converters to begin registering their recycled plastics data into the system.

The new system "provides recyclers and converters with a free-to-use online platform to track progress against individual pledges to produce or use recycled content and help demonstrate commitment towards circularity," said Plastics Recycler Europe.

The association that monitors, verifies and reports on European recycled plastic - PolyREC® - will use the new data collection system to "ensure transparency of the circular movement of European polymers," according to Plastics Recyclers Europe.

For more information, go to
https://www.plasticsrecyclers.eu/post/polyrec-launches-recotrace-multi-polymer-data-collection-system-to-record-eu-recycled-plastic.


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