ACR+ has co-signed a "Call for EU Action on Recycled Content Mandates for Plastics" released on 19 July 2018.
 
More than 30 organisations and companies (amongst two ACR+ members, Retorna and Reloop) are calling the EU to move beyond voluntary requirements and adopt legislation that imposes recycled content mandates for new plastic products as without it there is not enough incentive for products manufacturers to shift from using virgin to recycled plastic feedstock and thus move to a circular economy.
 
The following recommendations to EU policy-makers are included:
  • setting minimum recycled content requirements for plastic products and packaging products where environmental benefits exist, and where food safety considerations are met, noting levels will vary by product and material. These requirements should escalate over time.

    Utilisation of recycled resin instead of virgin resin has a significant impact on energy and pollution reduction. It exponentially reduces climate emissions and improves resource efficiency, while at the same time carving out a future role for European enterprises and turning the recent China ban to our advantage.
  • designing eco-modulation of fees paid by producers in a way that does not only consider the recyclability of products, but the recycled content as well. Likewise, green public procurement is also an important tool to increase demand for secondary raw materials.
  • Review and consideration of new and innovative approaches through economic incentives and penalties by the European Commission to encourage the procurement of recycled resin.

Read the full call.

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The BLUEISLANDS project is heading towards its mid-term and the studying phase is well underway. The past months have been very active for the whole partnership, with a successful international conference in Brussels, the launch of a Charter of commitments, and on-going studies on waste generation, marine litter and waste water in the pilot islands.

The studying phase of the project is focusing on measuring the correlation between tourism and waste generation through quantification, analysis of waste, assessment of its composition, and the impact of marine litter in beaches, seawaters and coasts relevant to micro plastics, as well as the influence of waste water during the high season tourist peak through short-term microalgae deployments. Below are the main activities:
  1. Marine litter surveys and sand samples collection were conducted on beaches of 8 islands of the Mediterranean during the low and high seasons. Read more here.
  2. Monitoring of the quality of coastal seawater was carried out in Cyprus and Sicily (Italy) to evaluate the presence and distribution of anthropogenic nutrients. Read more here.
  3. Surface waters are currently being collected and analysed.
  4. Waste characteristics study: the collection of primary data about sources of waste, frequency, type and volume started in June 2018 and will continue for several months.
As the coastal areas are experiencing the high touristic season, more surveys and sampling collection are taking place in all partner areas, through the analysis of which the aim is to define waste seasonal variation in measurable and comparable quantities and quality.
 
Find out more: https://blueislands.interreg-med.eu

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The DECISIVE project has published a report "State-of-the-art of communication materials and incentive methods for improving biowaste"

focusing on how to ensure the involvement of waste producers in decentralised biowaste management systems. The report focuses on three main target audiences: households, restaurants, and collective catering services such as school canteens.

The report examines existing guidelines and good practices that can be replicated. While these examined practices primarily focus on ensuring that the DECISIVE units would receive sufficient quantities of proper quality source-separated bio-waste, they also tackle food waste reduction, and look into potential promotion and public acceptance of the DECISIVE treatment units. Finally, they present benchmarking elements on the biowaste generation and composition, as well as the potential impact of several communication activities and incentives on biowaste management. The documented good practices highlight the effectiveness of a combination of several incentives and communication instruments. Likewise, the effectiveness of legal obligation, and more importantly of PAYT systems is also highlighted.

Communication activities and incentives mainly aim to enable the behavioural change of waste producers.  Incentives cover a wide range of actions: the quality of the collection service, the pre-collection and collection material proposed to waste producers, the controls made to ensure a proper sorting associated with responses, financial instruments, and legal obligation. Communication activities are also very diverse, ranging from very general advertisement campaigns to direct engagement of the population through workshops and training sessions.

Source: www.decisive2020.eu

 

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The European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) is organising a webinar taking place on 7 September 2018 from 11:00 to 12:30 (CET).This training session will focus on some of the winning awareness-raising actions of the 9th European Week for Waste Reduction Awards.
 
By joining this new webinar, the participants will learn in detail about the best practices for waste prevention, reuse and recycling implemented during the EWWR 2017 from different categories of Action Developers. The presentations will also provide some insights into the participants’ involvement and show how each action can be successfully implemented.
 
The EWWR webinar is designed to provide some inspiring examples and good practices to be potentially replicated during the EWWR 2018 which will take place between 17 and 25 November 2018.
 
The programme can be consulted here. To register for the webinar follow this link: www.arc.cat.

 

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Four new factsheets on circular economy cases in Scotland have been published on the Circular Europe Network’s database by ACR+, overviewing good practices implemented by ACR+ member Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS).
 
ZWS supports businesses to improve their resource efficiency through the Resource Efficient Scotland service. This service, delivered through different pathways, helps to meet environmental objectives while improving business productivity, competitiveness and business resilience. Since its launch, over 3,500 businesses were helped, with one-to-one support identifying savings totalling 42 million pounds.
 
Additionally, Zero Waste Scotland administers an 18 million pounds Circular Economy Investment Fund, which provides grant funding to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to:

  • Explore markets for new circular economy products;
  • Commercialise innovative business models for new circular economy products and services;
  • Develop innovative technologies, products and services to support a circular economy.

Furthermore, the Circular Economy Business Support Service, administered by ZWS, offers support to SMEs based in Scotland who are developing solutions that will deliver circular economy growth. It is supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the 73 million pounds Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme.
 
Lastly, since October 2014 Scotland introduced a minimum 5p charge for single use carrier bags through the Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Scotland) Regulations 2014. Before the charge, retailers in Scotland gave out an estimated 800 million single-use bags each year. The new regulations have dramatically reduced this number. Through the Carrier Bag Commitment Scottish retailers have and continue to direct the proceeds of the charge to all manner of good causes.

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