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Plastics bans - are we going forward or backward?
by Annis Mapleston at 13:40 in Emerging, Environmental, Packaging under Environmental

In recent months and years, we have seen countries around the world consider banning or taxing certain plastic products, such as bags, plates and straws (we have covered Italy​, Turkey​ and France in recent blog posts). However, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused many to question the safety of reusable alternatives, with some bans being postponed or over...

Plastics bans - are we going forward or backward?

Signs and symbols: what do they mean?
by Annis Mapleston at 15:08 in Packaging, Environmental under Environmental

Signs and symbols: what do they mean?

​Packaging, particularly plastic packaging, is often marked with a number of labels which the consumers may believe are linked to whether or not they can be recycled. Some are mandatory, others are optional, and some countries are changing the law around recycling labelling (see our earlier blog post​ on some of these changes).​ But do you know what som...

Industry commitments to reducing plastic waste
by Annis Mapleston at 10:33 in Circular Economy, Environmental, Packaging under Environmental

​The Lorax EPI blog has focused a lot in recent months on the steps being taken by governments around the world (e.g. in France, China, Turkey and South Korea) to reduce plastic and other packaging waste. However, manufacturers and NGOs are voluntarily making commitments of their own. We recently discussed the launch of the European Plastics Pact, but w...

Industry commitments to reducing plastic waste

Italy moves towards a more environmentally friendly economy
by Annis Mapleston at 14:32 in Circular Economy, Emerging, Packaging under Environmental

Italy moves towards a more environmentally friendly economy

Like many other countries, especially in the EU, the Italian Parliament is currently considering a range of measures to establish a more environmentally friendly and sustainable system. In the same vein as the recent French bill on the circular economy (see our recent blog), the Italian Parliament is also considering a draft legislative decree to transpos...

China's war on plastic waste
by Annis Mapleston at 07:45 in Environmental, WEEE, Packaging, Emerging under Environmental

Having been the world's main recipient of plastic waste for thirty years, China banned the import of most residential waste in 2017 (reducing imports from 581,000 metric tonnes in February 2017 to just 23,900 metric tonnes in February 2018). This has had a significant impact on other countries around the world, which are having to find alternative method...

China's war on plastic waste

European Circular Economy Action Plan
by Annis Mapleston at 16:36 in Circular Economy, Environmental under Environmental

European Circular Economy Action Plan

The European Commission has just published a new Circular Economy Action Plan​, which builds on the European Green Deal that was published in December 2019. The Action Plan aims to drive environmental sustainability into the mainstream​, separating economic growth from resource consumption.​​Some of the key topics covered in the Action Plan include:​​​​E...

Consultation on the UK Plastic Packaging Tax
by Annis Mapleston at 15:02 in Packaging under Environmental

​The UK has launched a consultation on the finer details of its Plastic Packaging Tax, confirmed as going ahead in the Chancellor's Budget 2020 speech last week.​Some elements of the tax have been confirmed, and are not subject to consultation:The tax will be implemented from April 2022;It will be charged at a rate of £200 per tonne of plastic packaging m...

Consultation on the UK Plastic Packaging Tax

Launch of the European Plastics Pact
by Annis Mapleston at 15:20 in Circular Economy, Environmental, Packaging under Environmental

Launch of the European Plastics Pact

​Last week, the first regional Plastics Pact was launched in Europe. Governments and businesses from across the European Economic Area (EEA) have joined together to commit to reducing plastic waste and move towards creating a circular economy for plastics. Signatories of the European Plastics Pact commit to a number of shared goals, including:Designing a...

Eco-modulation - what is it, and where is it being used?
by Annis Mapleston at 15:12 in Circular Economy, Packaging, Emerging under Environmental

​​Eco-modulation is a concept which is being talked about (and implemented) increasingly frequently by governments and stewardship/EPR schemes. But what is it? At the most basic level, eco-modulation is the concept of penalising the use of materials that are less environmentally friendly, and rewarding the use of those which are better - for example, thr...

Eco-modulation - what is it, and where is it being used?

So what actually is plastic, anyway?
by Annis Mapleston at 14:24 in Environmental, Packaging under Environmental

So what actually is plastic, anyway?

​Plastic is everywhere - in packaging, children's toys, furniture, and the houses we live in. The first fully synthetic plastic (Bakelite) was invented in 1907, and since then it has become a fundamental part of daily life in the Western world. Governments around the world are introducing legislation limiting or penalising its use (like ​Singapore, Chin...

Turkey imposes a Recycling Contribution Fee (GEKAP)
by Annis Mapleston at 11:26 in Battery, Emerging, Environmental, Packaging, WEEE under Environmental

Following an amendment to Turkey's Environmental Act (link in Turkish) that came into force on January 1, 2020, certain products are now subject to a Recycling Contribution Fee (GEKAP).The GEKAP has been introduced to help reduce waste, by obliging producers to pay a fee proportionate to the weight of the products they place on the market. Affected produ...

Turkey imposes a Recycling Contribution Fee (GEKAP)

France's Circular Economy law
by Annis Mapleston at 15:48 in Circular Economy, Emerging, Environmental, Packaging, WEEE under Environmental

France's Circular Economy law

​France has just introduced extensive new legislation ​(link in French) on waste management and the circular economy (the concept of ​​​designing the economy to minimise waste and pollution and to keep resources in circulation). Among many other measures, the new legislation introduces additional EPR schemes for products including waste from food vendors,...

China announces new measures to tackle plastic waste
by Annis Mapleston at 15:22 in Emerging, Environmental, Packaging under Environmental

​China has recently published details of its plans to significantly reduce plastic pollution within five years. ​ The new legislation will introduce bans on ultra-thin plastic bags and the production and sale of disposable PS foam tableware. Other products that will be affected include plastic straws, disposable...

China announces new measures to tackle plastic waste

UK Environment Bill reintroduced to Parliament
by Annis Mapleston at 15:57 in Circular Economy, Emerging, Environmental under Environmental

UK Environment Bill reintroduced to Parliament

​The UK Government is trying again to get its Environment Bill passed into UK law.The Bill introduces a wide range of measures, including the establishment of a new Office for Environmental Protection, changes to the current system of producer responsibility and the ability to impose charges for single use plastic items (e.g. disposable cups) in addition ...

The unintended consequences of legislation
by Annis Mapleston at 14:18 in Circular Economy, Packaging, Environmental under Environmental

​Governments around the world are passing legislation restricting or banning the use of certain types or forms of plastic. Many more countries are discussing doing so, and there are several voluntary initiatives worldwide to supplement existing legislation. Many of the bans and initiatives which have been in place for a while have resulted in significan...

The unintended consequences of legislation

Republic of Korea changes its recycling requirements
by Annis Mapleston at 15:19 in Packaging, Emerging under Environmental

Republic of Korea changes its recycling requirements

​The Republic of Korea has published an amendment ​to its Act on the Promotion of Saving and Recycling Resources (link in Korean), in reaction to China's ban on imports of foreign waste which has resulted in local waste collection companies refusing to collect certain types of refuse. As a result of the amendment, companies operating in Korea must underta...

Singapore introduces a Resource Sustainability Act
by Annis Mapleston at 08:46 in Emerging, Packaging, Environmental, WEEE under Environmental

​Did you know that new regulations on​ WEEE and packaging will come into effect in Singapore from 2020? The Resource Sustainability Act 2019 will affect companies operating in Singapore who produce or import electronic and electrical equipment (including batteries), as well as those who supply goods in packaging.​Obligated companies will need to register...

Singapore introduces a Resource Sustainability Act

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