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 March 2017

Landbell News

Landbell AG participates in R2PI project

R2Pi - “Transition from linear 2 circular: Policy and Innovation” is a new three-year research project from the European Commission as part of the Horizon 2020 programme, in which both Landbell AG and Green Alley Investment GmbH are participating. 

The project aims to facilitate a smooth transition to a circular economy. To promote this the Cooperation Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production has brought together 15 partners from nine member states and associated countries within 36 months to form a consortium built on their extensive expertise and experience. Business experts, public institutions as well as think tanks and research institutes have joined the project.

What makes the R2PI project unique is its strong commercial focus, which goes above and beyond the environmental goals and looks at the role of businesses in spreading Circular Economy Business Models (CEBMs). This primarily entails developing cornerstones to increase the marketability of CEBMs. To determine the latter, the economic and political conditions, which are currently preventing the development of the circular economy and in some cases support the creation of linear value chains, have to be analysed. Additionally case studies can help the understanding of approaches and patterns, which promote the transition to a circular economy. The accumulated knowledge enables the participants of the project to further develop the R2Pi toolbox and policy guidelines, thereby supporting companies as well as political decision-makers.    

Further details about the
 R2PI-Project can be found here.  

New management at Landbell GmbH

Dirk Staubach will act immediately as spokesman of the management board and will be the head of Sales, Purchasing, Logistics and Services departments at Landbell GmbH. For the past 10 years, Dirk Staubach has been Procurator for Landbell AG and Managing Director of DS Entsorgungs- und Dienstleistungs-GmbH. Udo Knopf will continue to manage the finance and IT departments.

The takeover of operation and distribution as a combined task by the company’s top management will favour process optimisation, simplify decision-making and deepen the service and consulting approach with our customers.

To further improve the quality of our international services as well as our consulting, we decided to strengthen our management team. We are delighted to welcome Ellen Hitschler as the new head of national and international sales management of Landbell GmbH

With many years of experience in management positions at various international companies, like Veolia Umweltservice GmbH or Duales System Deutschland GmbH, Ellen Hitschler has the necessary know-how as well as extensive industry expertise for handling the new tasks.

What you need to know
Germany Packaging Law passed by German Federal Parliament 

The coalition parties CDU / CSU and SPD achieved the draft Packaging Law of the German Government (cabinet draft) including some own amendments to pass the voting in the German Federal Parliament last Thursday. 

The law is supposed to increase the recycling rate significantly and improve the enforcement of the law by establishing a "National Authority". Furthermore, a 70 percent quote for reusables and a setup -with increased influence by municipalities are to be established. Thus, municipalities are now allowed to set specifications for the collections of the dual systems if these measures are considered "suitable" and do not exceed their own collection standard. 

On the 10th February, the German Federal Council passed the Packaging Law proposing certain amendments to the cabinet’s December 2016 draft. The German Federal Government responded to those proposals on the 23rd February rejecting almost all amendments with an in-depth justification. After the subsequent debate on the 10th of March, the German Federal Parliament accepted the Packaging Law in its first reading and passed it on to the committees for further consultation, and consulted experts appointed by the parliamentary parties on the 20th March. 

Following the recommendations by the German Federal Parliaments’ Environment Committee, the Packaging Law, including the amendments proposed by the coalition parties, passed in its second and third reading with the support of the coalition parties in the Parliament on the 29th March.

Next, the Federal Council is expected to vote on the bill on 12 May 2017. With an approval by the Federal Council, the law would come into effect on 1st January 2019. This could be realistic, since main concerns of the Federal Council have been taken into account by the German Federal Parliament. 

The Landbell Group welcomes the Packaging Law. While the planned increase in the recycling quotas is a challenge, this will increase the security for investment by the private sector, as well as is making significant improvements for the environment. In addition to this, a “National Authority” would assure fair competition among the dual systems. Positive statements were made about the draft by the BDI, BDE, VMV and AGVU, who all called for the law to be passed quickly.   

EU Circular Economy Package: Europe urgently needs an ambitious circular economy

The European Parliament (EP) agreed to strengthen the circular economy in Europe in its session on 14th March, which was based on a proposal by the European Commission from December 2015. Six directives of the European waste package are up for discussion: the Waste Directive, the Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste, the Landfill Directive and the Directives on Waste Electronic Devices, End-of-Life Vehicles and Waste Batteries. The Members of the EP have thereby set ambitious recycling goals, which would include a significant decrease in the municipal waste that ends up in landfills.

The Landbell Group particularly welcomes the EP’s decision (on Article 8 and 8a) to strengthen the extended producer responsibility organised in free enterpreneurship and competition. The EP’s decision specifies the minimum requirements for systems, recycling quality requirements, and requests defined roles for all stakeholder as well as create an independent national authority, to ensure environmental standards and compliance and pave the way for a fair competition.  

The package is currently awaiting its vote in the European Council of the Member States. The Maltese Presidency wants to reach an agreement by the countries as quickly as possible, to significantly advance the tripartite negotiations (between the EU Commission, the Council and the European Parliament) during its council presidency. It can be assumed that the package will be passed in the second half of the year under the Estonian presidency for finalization. 

The Landbell Group, through its subsidiary European Recycling Platform (ERP) will, as previously, support the European Members of Parliament and the Member States at the EU and federal level as a competent stakeholder with years of pan-European operating experience in the take-back of WEEE, Packaging and Batteries. The goal is to get an ambitious EU Circular Economy Package to the benefit for the environment, the Member States as well as consumers. 

Landbell Group and the EU roadmaps for the circular economy

The EU called on stakeholders of the European circular economy to participate in developing a series of roadmaps with the overall objective of creating a pan-European circular economy policy. The Landbell Group and its subsidiary, the European Recycling Platform (ERP), followed this request and registered as a stakeholder for the following three roadmaps: 

1.) Analysis of the interface between chemicals, products and waste laws and policy recommendations; 
We welcome this initiative of the European Commission, believing that the regulatory framework needs further adaptation to promote the use of recycled materials in new products. Among other things, use of recycled materials is currently rendered more difficult by the fact that present flows of waste still contain materials whose use in new products is or will be restricted by current substance legislation (e.g. RoHS and REACH). Accordingly, a well-balanced approach that prevents combustion of high quantities of material and also increases the use of recycled material is required. Avoidance of hazardous substances in new products and thus also in future flows of waste must be ensured at the same time.

2.) Evaluation of Regulation No. 1013/2006 on Shipment of Waste; 
ERP welcomes this initiative of the European Commission. With over 15 years of experience in cross-border waste management, we can supply valuable information on the implementation status of the Waste Shipment Regulation in various European countries, and highlight problems that currently exist, as well as proposing improvements for a common European waste market.

3.) Communication: Strategy for plastics in a circular economy.
The plastic strategy aims to improve the efficiency and the quality of plastic recycling, promote the use of recycled plastic and to reduce plastic waste in the environment (especially microplastics in rivers and oceans). ERP welcomes this initiative of the European Commission, as packaging, WEEE and batteries - i.e. the waste streams that ERP handles systematically across Europe - contain significant quantities of plastic. Moreover, ERP’s customers are also highly interested in a reliable supply of secondary raw materials in a circular economy.  

Recycling solution for outdated wind turbines

The researchers of the “Recycling of composite components made of plastics as a matrix material – ReKomp” joint project are demonstrating how effective the recycling of glassfibre reinforced plastic or carbon reinforced plastic can be. These substances can be found predominantly in wind turbines. However, the process can also be useful for other areas, such as the automotive and aviation industry.

This special recycling process focusses on disassembly by utilizing energetic processes and treating the two-phase composite materials with material-specific methods. Using explosives to break the materials down has proven to be successful. The method has two advantages: the breakdown takes less than two seconds and the explosive positioning is flexible. For material recycling, the researchers recommend chemical treatment after the mechanical process. This achieves the best results by heating the samples to 220 degrees Celsius and subsequent use of the solvents PEG 400 and triethylene glycol. 

The project’s final report is available here. 

Study shows that landfill space is growing scarce

An overview of the German federal landfill capacities shows, that the Class 1 landfills (DK1) in some federal states will reach their capacity in less than ten years. Northern Germany in particular is acutely affected by a shortage of landfill space. 

Due to restricted landfill capacities, excavated soil, construction rubble and mineral waste with medium contamination levels is transported several hundred kilometres.

The new umbrella regulation, that will govern the future national approach to mineral waste, could exacerbate this situation. According to the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, this could add 13 million tonnes of mineral construction and demolition waste to landfills. Municipalities are responsible for disposing waste, so they are also responsible for ensuring that new landfills are created. That is reason enough for all stakeholders in the value chain to focus more on systematic recycling, so as to minimise the resources that end up as waste in landfills. 

Studies & publications

The European Parliament publishes an animated infographic on the circular economy

If the circular economy will not be implemented systematically in various EU countries, environmental protection in Europe, the competitiveness of the European economy and the standard of living of the EU citizens will be at stake. This is the core message of an animated infographic published by the European Parliament’s research service. It was developed for the public, as a visual explanation of the main concepts of the circular economy. The graphic shows the recycling processes of material and waste flows in various EU Member States and analyses each of their opportunities and obstacles. 

The main obstacle mentioned, for example, is the lack of funding available to develop innovative solutions for the circular economy. Moreover, environmental pollution is generally not factored into the product pricing. Also there is a lack of incentives which would lead to a more effective cooperation between manufacturers and recycling companies motivating them to make their value chain more circular. 

The European Parliament is calling on a pan-EU and national targets to increase resource efficiency by another 30% by 2030 compared to 2014. The EU Parliament additionally recommends the publication of a catalogue of indicators permitting measurement of various aspects of resource consumption. 

This link will lead you to the infographic

© Copyright Picture: European Parliamentary Research Service

The Landbell Group introduces itself

Interview with Kevin Hoban, Chief Operating Officer at H2 Compliance, a company of Landbell Group

Mr. Hoban, wat is your job at the Landbell Group?
I am the Chief operations officer for H2 Compliance (Chemical) within the BU2 group. I manage a team of almost 20 expert consultants to help companies meet their obligations under various regulations dealing with Chemical Control inside the EU and increasingly globally. The goal of these regulations is to determine intrinsic properties of chemical substances and mixtures, ensure safe use and to communicate to those affected. There are approximately 130,000 chemical substances in the EU so the task is significant with the EU taking the lead globally on this type of initiative.

What counts as your most important tasks and challenges?
We act as consultant to approximately 300 customers over the past 10 years, many are multi-year programs, particularly in the Pharmaceutical sector where we are industry leaders. We also act as legal proxy, as “Only Representative”,  much like the Authorised Representative model for WEEE, taking on the compliance obligations for 100 non-EU companies and their 1200 EU based importers. We are getting more deeply involved in highly complex programs to justify the continued use of certain chemicals in the EU (“Authorisation”) where the benefits to society are greater than the risks. Personally, my role largely involves client acquisition and management of the organisation. 

How did your journey lead you to Landbell?
After graduating as an Industrial Chemist, I worked in the Metals industry for 5 years before moving to Hewlett Packard for 10 years. Part of my role at H2 Compliance included takeback and recycling on print cartridges so I am familiar with the broader Landbell activities. I also sat on the board of the ERP prior to its acquisition by Landbell.

What do you do privately for the environment?
I segregate my waste streams, compost actively and enjoy growing my own vegetables and herbs. 

Did you know that ... ?

Dell uses recycled plastic waste

Technology giant Dell is on track to sell one of its notebook models in a packaging tray made of recycled plastic waste. According to Dell, much of the plastic waste is sourced from the ocean. The use of those HDPE packaging shells will start in April.

In the pilot project, roughly 8,000 kilograms of plastic waste were used to package the XPS 13 2-in-1 notebook. The plastic waste was collected from rivers, waterways, coasts and beaches. The plastic was then treated and mixed with other recycled HDPE plastic parts. The pilot programme was tested in a feasibility study in Haiti in 2016. Dell has announced that it will also provide its customers with information about the manufacturing procedure and future recycling opportunities with the new packaging.


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