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November 2018


Aeropowder wins Green Alley Award 2018
At a Glance Reports – easy explanations of producer responsibilities
Reminder: chemical compliance webinar (in English) on Poison Centre Notifications

Interview with João Avelar from the Circular Economy Engineering team

Recovering critical raw materials: Suggested policy changes for 20% increase by 2030
Study recommends revision of Batteries Directive

Ending marine litter: EU Parliament backs market restrictions for certain single-use plastics
European Parliament adopts circular economy resolutions

Despite concerns, ENVI Committee proposes new restrictions for brominated flame retardants 
2019-2021: European Member States to evaluate 100 substances

Software brings new opportunities to recycling facilities

A green future for batteries?
Policy perspectives: Improving plastics management  


Aeropowder wins Green Alley Award 2018

This year’s Green Alley Award, which is sponsored by Landbell Group, goes to the UK start-up Aeropowder. The company convinced the jury with their ecological insulation material and beat off five strong competitors. The startup uses waste feathers from the poultry industry to produce sustainable thermal packaging. Feathers have incredible properties, as they are light-weight and robust, and insulate against heat and cold. After cleaning and treatment, the feathers are covered in a certified, compostable food grade liner. This textile is called pluumo and serves as an environmental-friendly alternative to conventional polystyrene packaging, PE-foams or thermal foil.

The decision was made on the evening of October 18 at Haus Ungarn in Berlin. In mentoring sessions, the finalists worked with experts on their business model. Afterwards, all six startups presented their project to the audience and the jury in live pitches. “Once again, this year’s decision was not easy, and our finalists presented six strong and well-designed concepts,” said Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of Landbell Group. “Aeropowder convinced us with their product pluumo, as they are repurposing materials which would otherwise be disposed of. We want to give the Green Alley Award to those innovative approaches that directly feed into the idea of a Circular Economy.”

The Green Alley Award is the first European start-up award for the Circular Economy. For five years, Landbell Group has been honouring young companies whose solutions help reduce the use of finite resources and waste. In 2018, 215 startups from 30 countries applied with their business models in the fields of digital circular economy, recycling and waste prevention.

Find here the Award in pictures

At a Glance Reports – easy explanations of producer responsibilities 

Introducing “At a Glance” reports, one of Landbell Group’s latest products. The reports provide country specific overviews of extended producer responsibility (EPR) obligations that producers face. Three types of report outline the basic knowledge that a producer needs to initiate or maintain compliance with national EPR obligations for packaging, WEEE and batteries.

Currently focusing on European countries, “At a Glance” reports will soon extend beyond Europe. The aim is to summarize the legal requirements and present the information in a Q&A format, answering core producer questions in an easy-to-understand way.

The reports are logically structured with an introduction providing information on the existing requirements and relevant definitions, followed by a section listing the regulatory requirements at each stage in the product’s life cycle, including design, information to users, specifics for different sales models and take-back obligations.

Please contact us for more information

Reminder: chemical compliance webinar (in English) on Poison Centre Notifications

H2 Compliance, a Landbell Group company, is running a free webinar on the Poison Centre Notification (PCN) system on 4 December.

The new PCN system takes effect from 1st January 2020 and December’s webinar will explain what you need to do to prepare for this.

To register for the PCN webinar, please click here

Interview with João Avelar from the Circular Economy Engineering team

What’s your job at Landbell Group?
I’m a project manager in the Circular Economy Engineering (CEE) team. I design and implement innovative and cost-effective circular economy solutions that meet customer requirements and, whenever possible, exceed their expectations! I also look to improve existing solutions.

What are your most important tasks and challenges?
The kind of projects we develop at CEE are very diverse. It can be anything from a closed loop solution for plastic resulting from WEEE treatment to a recyclability assessment for a certain end-of-life product. This diversity is very exciting because we are continuously exploring new areas.

The biggest challenges are posed by the legal frameworks that our solutions must meet, including extended producer responsibility and waste management regulations, as well as transport and health and safety rules. This can be a moving target as legal requirements evolve very quickly and vary a lot from country to country.

The circular economy is full of opportunities and I’m lucky to work in a Group where we have all the competencies needed to make a big difference. We’ve an impressive customer portfolio, knowledgeable people, huge geographical coverage (with local presence), strong IT tools and a solid track record. By combining and integrating all these assets, we can offer a unique value proposition to our customers.

How did you come to work for Landbell Group?
I’m a chemical engineer who has worked in waste management for almost 20 years, mainly developing total waste management projects for the pharmaceutical, petrochemical and other industries. This involved managing all kinds of (mostly hazardous) waste and moving them across Europe to ensure the most sustainable solution for each specific stream.

This work brought me into contact with European Recycling Platform (ERP) and an opportunity to join the group came in late 2015 when I was asked to join the team in charge of developing the business plan for a WEEE producer responsibility organization (PRO) in Brazil.

It was great to be involved in such a huge project which encompassed all the steps needed to setup a PRO. The interaction with the Brazilian market was very interesting and it was a great experience learning how to adapt the European vision of this business to different cultures.

What do you do for the environment in your private life?
I always try to buy local products and support local businesses. I also try to reduce the amount of packaged goods that I buy, although it still scares me sometimes the amount of plastic that I generate! I subscribe to many kinds of sharing platforms and take great care to sort my waste and recycling properly at home.

Recovering critical raw materials: Suggested policy changes for 20% increase by 2030

Huge quantities of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) are disposed of in the European Union each year, and while certain valuable materials are recovered in the recycling process, many “critical raw materials” (CRMs) such as silver, platinum and gold are not. European Recycling Platform (ERP) in the U.K. is a partner on the Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery project, which recently worked to develop the following policy recommendations to increase the recovery of target CRMs across Europe by 20% before 2030:

1. Redesign and harmonise WEEE collection infrastructure.
2. Increase awareness amongst citizens and businesses.
3. Create incentives for collection and recycling organisations.
4. Continue innovation and research on CRM recovery and foster international collaboration.
5. Introduce CRM-specific requirements into standards.

Read the policy recommendations here

Study recommends revision of Batteries Directive

The EU Directive on batteries and accumulators needs to be revised. This is the result of a comprehensive evaluation report published by the European Commission last month.

The study, conducted by the research institutes Trinomics and Oeko-Institut, finds that the Batteries Directive has largely been a success, having helped to phase out the use of heavy metals like mercury and cadmium in batteries. However, the study also identifies areas in which there is room for improvement. Although the principle of extended producer responsibility for portable batteries has proven to be effective, the collection of waste batteries within the European Union is insufficient and needs to be substantially increased.

Other recommendations for the revision of the Directive include:
  • better enforcement of the Directive in Member States, especially with regard to collection targets and the removal of batteries from electronic waste;
  • European targets and reporting requirements in order to avoid waste batteries ending up in municipal waste;
  • better adaption of the Directive to new developments, especially with regard to lithium ion batteries;
  • improved and harmonised labelling on battery performance and safety aspects; and
  • minimum requirements for producer responsibility organisations, with regard to awareness campaigns, for example.
The evaluation report is based on a broad stakeholder consultation which was carried out over the last 12 months and to which European Recycling Platform contributed. The actual revision process is not expected to start until the end of next year, following the European elections in May and the formation of the new Commission.
Read the report here

Ending marine litter: EU Parliament backs market restrictions for certain single-use plastics

On 24 October 2018, the European Parliament adopted draft plans to ban certain throwaway plastics. According to the European Commission, more than 70% of all marine litter is single-use plastic. Under the new measure, single-use cutlery, cotton buds, straws, and stirrers will be banned from 2021 onwards with additional calls for national reduction targets of at least 25% by 2025 on other plastics where no alternatives are currently available.

The European Parliament also proposes to amend the plans to include a 50% reduction requirement for cigarette filters containing plastics, and a 50% collection target for fishing gear by 2025. In addition, Member States would be required to establish extended producer responsibility schemes for fishing gear, but also for products like food and beverage containers and tobacco products with filters, which would require producers to cover the costs of collecting and treating their waste products, as well as cleaning up litter.

The draft directive was passed by 571 votes to 51, with 34 abstentions. The European Parliament started the trialogue negotiations after the EU ministers set out their initial positions on 31 October. The plan is to reach a compromise and to officially adopt the Directive in spring 2019 before the European Parliament elections in May.

European Parliament adopts circular economy resolutions

In response to communications published by the European Commission earlier this year, the European Parliament has adopted two circular economy resolutions.

The first resolution responds to the Commission’s plastic strategy from January 2018 (“European Strategy for Plastics in a circular economy”), which members of the European Parliament welcome as a key step towards developing a circular economy in Europe. They stress the importance of developing a true internal market for secondary raw materials, and call on the Commission to come forward with quality standards for recycled plastics. They also propose widening the scope of extended producer responsibility (EPR) to cover non-packaging plastic, in order to improve separate collection and recycling rates. Furthermore, parliamentarians have called for a ban on microplastics in cosmetics and cleaning products by 2020.

The second resolution responds to the Commission’s communication on “Options to address the interface between chemical, product, and waste legislation”. The European Parliament stresses the importance of making the existing laws fully consistent and of addressing regulatory gaps that create barriers to a more circular economy. It also calls on the Commission to promote the substitution of substances of very high concern and to phase out substances posing unacceptable risks to human health.

Both the communications and the resolutions are non-legally binding.

Despite concerns, ENVI Committee proposes new restrictions for brominated flame retardants

The European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) has ignored concerns raised by the recycling industry and put forward its proposal to restrict the use of certain brominated flame retardants. In a vote on 10 October, parliamentarians adopted rapporteur Julie Girling’s draft report on the recast of the regulation on persistent organic pollutants (POPs). European Recycling Platform (ERP) and nine other associations argued that these restrictions could threaten the correct recycling of plastics from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), jeopardising the European Union’s ambitions to move towards a circular economy.

According to the ENVI Committee’s proposal, decaBDE should only be allowed in concentrations equal to or below 10 mg/kg when occurring in substances, mixtures, articles, or as constituents of the flame-retarded parts of articles. However, this concentration would be too low to reliably detect decaBDE in the recycling process, and to separate WEEE containing decaBDE from other materials, effectively prohibiting the recycling of plastics from WEEE. Although it is of the utmost importance to phase out these substances in new products, and to restrict their use in virgin materials, there still need to be applications for recycled plastics - even if they contain brominated flame retardants - in order to allow their natural phasing out while still recycling plastics from used products. This is why ERP and others call for a more consistent and internationally aligned approach.

The recast of the POP regulation will now be discussed within the Parliament’s plenary. The final vote is scheduled for 15 November 2018.

Read ERP’s joint position paper here

2019-2021: European Member States to evaluate 100 substances

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has proposed that Member States evaluate 100 substances over the next three years under the Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP). 31 substances are planned for evaluation in 2019, 43 in 2020, and 25 in 2021.

ECHA is requesting that downstream users of the registered substances review and share information with registrants. It is particularly important that use and exposure scenario assessments are up to date and clearly documented in chemical safety reports. Changes can still be made to the draft plan, which was prepared with Member States, before the final plan will be published in March 2019. From the date of publication onwards, Member States will have one year to prepare draft decisions.
For more information, please contact H2 Compliance

Software brings new opportunities to recycling facilities

The global recycling industry, which is projected to more than double its 2011 capacity by the end of the decade, is undergoing tremendous growth. With such growth comes the opportunity to employ the latest technologies, and optimise processes across the industry. One of the most promising trends is the use of smart software to automate certain tasks, and increase the efficiency of others.

In the United States, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) is a good example. In the US, it is compulsory that all vehicles being recycled must be reported, with information sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in California. Software programmes are able to automatically compile and send in the required details, saving plant operators from having to manually enter information themselves.

In addition to time saving, improved tracking is also a major draw of new software. Live container tracking allows recycling companies to see where any of their containers are at any given time. At the same time, valuable information such as when they were dropped off, and who dropped them off allows companies to offer new, improved services that were not possible before.

For over 10 years, Landbell Group has pioneered the use of software to simplify tasks and is harnessing digital transformation to enable new ways of interacting with suppliers, partners and customers to pave the way for the circular economy. Landbell Group’s Circul8 software, for example, tracks materials and products along the supply chain so that companies can organize reverse logistics for products at end-of-life, converting potential waste into a valuable resource. This innovative software solution helps all players in the circular economy comply with current requirements and adapt to future needs.

For more information on recycling software, please contact Prodigentia

A green future for batteries?

Spanning the automotive, energy, and digital technology sectors, batteries present a huge opportunity for both the economy and the global transition to clean energy. But developing cost-effective, reliable, high performance batteries will need to go hand in hand with reducing their environmental impact. The European Commission’s new report, “Towards the Battery of the Future,” provides insights on the future development of more environmentally sustainable batteries, such as design features that make it easier to reuse and recycle batteries.

The report suggests:
  • using non-toxic, abundant materials; 
  • increasing energy density; 
  • powering battery plants with clean sources of energy; 
  • extending battery lifespan; 
  • improving efficiency; and
  • enabling ease of recycling and reuse at end-of-life by embracing ‘design for disassembly’ principles.
Read the report here

Policy perspectives: Improving plastics management

An OECD policy paper prepared for the G7 Environment, Energy and Oceans ministers focuses on improving the global management of plastic. To deal with the environmental impact of rapid development, consumption, and disposal of plastic, the report recommends the following approaches:
  • changes in product design;
  • better waste management systems; and
  • clean up and remediation activities.
The report highlights the problems of low recycling rates and the limited market share of recycled plastic that need to be addressed. Furthermore, it points out that plastics trading is limited and hindered by trade restrictions, and that the consequences of import limitations need to be addressed with a future-oriented and economic mindset. Overall, stronger domestic frameworks are required, with international cooperation to improve standards and innovation.

Read the report here

22 – 23 November 2018, V4 Waste Recycling XXI International Conference, Miskolc, Hungary 

27 – 30 November 2018, Pollutec 2018, Chassieu, France 

4 – 5 December 2018, 13th European Bioplastics Conference – the leading business forum for the bioplastics industry, Berlin 

5 – 6 December 2018, 9 th International Conference on Recycling: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

6 December 2018, Conference "Recyclingfähigkeit und Sekundärrohstoffeinsatz bei Verpackungen", Berlin, Germany

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