28 September 2022:
A quick scan of recent waste, recycling and related environmental developments from around the globe...
On October 1, a Czech law banning certain single-use plastics will take effect the Ministry of Environment said in a recent reminder announcement. The Czech Republic is an EU Member State, and the Czech law transposes EU Directive 2019/904 on single-use plastics.
The new ban will apply to plastic cotton buds, disposable cutlery and plates, straws, stirrers, balloon sticks, food containers, and cups and drink containers made of expanded polystyrene. Also banned will be products made of oxo-decomposable plastics.
Other provisions in the law address labeling and handling of some plastic wastes and requires producers of cigarette filters and packaging to implement an extended producer responsibility scheme for their products.
The Czech Ministry of the Environment announcement with a link to the new law's provisions is posted at
Ecuador's Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition recently announced it had achieved a ministrial agreement with lamp manufacturers to establish a national extended producer responsibility (EPR) program. The program will apply to mercury-containing lamps and LED lamps.
The first step in establishing EPR for lamp producers is to submit a "comprehensive management plan" for collecting and processing waste lamps to the ministry. All the covered lamps are imports because Ecuador does not manufacture any.
"During the first year, the agreement will regulate 53 importers of discharge lamps, which represents 99.29% of companies in this market with an average collection goal of 3 tons, and 61 importers of LED lamps, which represent 76.70%. from the market with an average collection goal of 13 tons," the ministry said in its announcement.
Get more information at
In 2016, the French Parliament approved a law to help prevent food waste generation that includes requiring food businesses with at least 400 square meters of floor space to sign agreements with non-profit organizations to donate surplus food. However, according to National Assembly Deputy Christophe Naegelen, the law is limited in its "scope and effectiveness" because it lacks government monitoring and enforcement.
On September 20, Deputy Naegelen introduced Resolution No. 245 in the National Assembly that would require monitoring and enforcement by food safety inspectors during their routine checks of food distribution and preparation facilities. The bill would amend the French Environmental Code to require the records inspections.
To review French National Assembly Resolution No. 245, go to
On September 23, the New South Wales (NSW) EPA announced it was allocating $9 million to support small and medium size businesses in transforming their operations and accessing the latest plastic recycling technology. The money will be used to fund a new Circular Plastics Program.
The new program seeks to help triple the Australian state's plastics recycling rate by 2030.
"At the moment, NSW produces about 800,000 tons of plastic waste every year, and about 10 per cent is recycled," said Environmental Minister James Griffin. "That figure should be much higher and I want to see plastic being repurposed and reused as many times as possible, rather than ending up in landfill or the environment."
"Through this $9 million program, we're giving eligible businesses the support they need to recycle and reuse more plastic when making new products," the the minister added.
The NSW EPA announcement is posted at
The Government of New Zealand has awarded $5.57 million in grants to four organizations and groups to reduce plastic waste, according to announcement made last week. The grants are the first among others that will be financed by the country's $50 million Plastics Innovation Fund.
The four project receiving grants will 1) turn waste polystyrene, such as used in appliance packaging, into innovative building products, 2) extend an an existing reusable milk keg delivery service to reduce use of disposable plastic milk bottles, 3) collect PVC and HDPE construction waste to make new plastic products, and 4) develop bio-degradable nursery pots as an alternative to traditional plastics pots.
"We are also utilizing funding from the Waste Minimisation Fund to help design a regulated plastic packaging product stewardship scheme for New Zealand," said Environment Minister David Parker. "Once in place it will require producers, brand owners, importers, retailers and consumers to take responsibility for collecting and dealing with plastic packaging."
For more information, go to
Last week, the United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Association and the Committee of Advertising Practice Ltd. said that UK packaging producers should "get real about your recycling claims."
"Marketers should ensure they hold suitable evidence in substantiation of the recycling claims they make," according to the announcement. "Importantly, they should hold that evidence prior to the publication of any ad making such a claim." The two organizations said marketers also should not make claims about the amounts they recycle unless they can present supporting evidence.
The two organizations also said that climate change and the environment are currently high on their agendas, and that packagers "can expect to see more rulings and updates to guidance in the coming months."
Get more information at
Today, the UK's Environmental Services Association (ESA), with support from the British Plastics Federation, the Recycling Association and the packaging recycling organization RECOUP, announced a joint "defined quality standard for post-consumer recycled plastics, with the aim of driving consistent standards across the sector."
"While the Quality Standard does not replace the regulatory position or requirements of regulators, which will remain in place, the document provides evidence of a clear, objective, commercial baseline standard agreed by organisations across the post-consumer value-chain (ie sellers and buyers)," the announcement stated. "This standard will ensure consistency of quality and sets a benchmark for all operators to adhere to – something which ESA members agree to phase in within the next twelve months."
Download the ESA new quality standard for post-consumer plastic at
The international non-profit organization Green Seal announced last week it has created a Sustainable Packaging Advisory Group "to reward producers that reduce packaging waste, increase the use of recycled content in packaging, and verify the recyclability of packaging materials."
Green Seal said it was opening a Sustainable Packaging Stakeholder Network, too, and that all interested parties are encouraged to sign up for network to receive "regular updates on the program and be invited to provide feedback on program design and proposed criteria."
Among the 17 corporations and organization participating in the advisory group are the (US) Association of Plastics Recyclers, the U.S. Plastics Pact, the Household & Commercial Products Association, Meijer, Inc, Ecolab, and Sonoco Products Company.
More details about the Green Seal packaging initiatives is available at