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December 2018


Webinar on WEEE Open Scope
Producer responsibility webinar in Chinese
European Recycling Platform contributed to CARE Innovation conference
Webinar: Circular Economy - EU policies and related developments

Interview with Pauline Matveeff, Head of Legal

China to expand its import ban on waste

Negotiations on single-use plastic to be wrapped up before Christmas

Upcoming trialogue negotiations on the POP Regulation
Brexit and REACH

Smart equipment

OECD predicts doubling of raw materials use by 2060
Consumers call for more resource efficiency

Aeropowder invests prize money in production automation

Real vs. Fake: Which Christmas tree is more eco-friendly?


Webinar on WEEE Open Scope

On Thursday 6 December, Landbell Group will host a webinar on WEEE Open Scope. The webinar will address questions such as:
  • What is WEEE Open Scope and how might you be impacted?
  • Which sectors and products might be newly affected by Open Scope?
  • What is the status of implementation of Open Scope in Europe?
  • What should you do to ensure compliance with Open Scope?
The webinar will be presented by Rupert Foxall, European Services Manager, and Sinead McCabe, Global Key Account Manager. Together Rupert and Sinead have almost 20 years’ experience in extended producer responsibility (EPR) and will draw on their knowledge to provide answers to the questions above.

Please click here to register
To our Open Scope Summary for Producers

Producer responsibility webinar in Chinese 

On Friday 7 December, Global Key Account Manager, Peggy Chao, will host a webinar in Chinese. The webinar will explain producer responsibility regulations for e-commerce companies in China.

This is an important topic as many e-commerce companies in China placing goods into the European market, directly or via e-commerce platforms, are either new or small and are not aware of the producer responsibility regulations in place in Europe for batteries, packaging and WEEE.

Please click here to register

European Recycling Platform contributed to CARE Innovation conference 

Last week, the CARE Innovation conference took place in Vienna. One of the largest platforms for exchanging developments in the circular economy, this international symposium takes place every four years. High-level speakers from global electronics and recycling companies, research institutes and environmental and consumer organisations delivered presentations to more than 400 attendees from all over the world. European Recycling Platform, a Landbell Group company, sponsored the event and contributed two presentations:
  • The impact of the EU geo-blocking regulation and the sales of goods directive on extended producer responsibility for electronic goods distance sellers (presenter: Arne Campen)
  • Reverse logistics for defective li-ion batteries and li-ion battery containing devices (presenters: Aneta Zych, Carola Krause, Andreas Bohnhoff)
More about the conference

Webinar: Circular Economy - EU policies and related developments 

As part of a series of webinars organised by the Polish Institute of Innovative Economy, Thomas Fischer, Head of Market Intelligence & Governmental Affairs at Landbell Group, gave a presentation on the EU’s Circular Economy framework on 20 November 2018, focussing on:
  • existing EU policies
  • recent developments in Brussels (such as the circular economy package, the plastics strategy and the batteries directive evaluation) and their impact on producers
  • related policy considerations for electronics and plastics from the EU funded Horizon 2020 project "R2Pi". Landbell AG and the Institute of Innovative Economy are both members of this project.
More about the webinar

Interview with Pauline Matveeff, Head of Legal at Landbell Group

What’s your job at Landbell Group?
I’m Head of Legal at Landbell Group. On a daily basis, I coordinate legal matters across the group, support our international teams and projects, develop and negotiate contracts, and facilitate local issues where relevant, working with local lawyers.

What are your most important tasks and challenges?
My main task is to support colleagues with timely and useful legal opinions, which means I have to be up-to-date with ongoing projects, and make sure our business remains legally safe while still being attractive to our customers.

An ever growing product portfolio and expanding geographical scope bring fresh challenges daily… and I enjoy this! I also try to improve group integration and adapt what we do to new regulations and strategies. Another nice challenge is to coordinate legal projects with so many various regulations and strategic interests for each team in the group.

How did you come to work for Landbell Group?
After I graduated in Environmental Law, I worked for a PV panel producers association that was very active in France promoting independent PV panel producers. I got in touch with ERP France to set up a workshop on PV panels recycling. ERP was looking for an internal legal advisor and offered me the job. I was delighted to join a company that matched my personal values in terms of the environment.

What do you do for the environment in your private life?
I really try to limit my environmental impact: some colleagues call me the “eco-warrior”! I buy local and organic food, no palm oil and as little packaging as I can. I use fair clothes and shoes, a renewable energy provider, an ethical bank, and Fairphone. I also support a number of environmental protection associations, but I still wish I could do more…

China to expand its import ban on waste

China has published a list of 32 waste materials which it will be prohibited to import from 2019. The document, jointly issued by China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Ministry of Commerce, National Development and Reform Commission, and General Admission of Customs aims to curtail import activities that pose a threat to the environment as well as public health in the country.

The Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries lauded the efforts in a post on their website, stating that it “supports the Chinese government’s efforts to protect the environment.” The new regulations, however, have also been met with some concerns that reduced waste imports will raise the price of paper in China. The true effects of the new declaration will only be seen once it goes into effect, but identifying the need to cut down on the flow of scrap materials into China is at the very least a step in the right direction.

Negotiations on single-use plastic to be wrapped up before Christmas

The ongoing trialogue negotiations on the directive on single-use plastic are likely to be concluded before Christmas. Following the first two meetings on 6 and 28 November, the European Commission, Parliament and Council are optimistic they will reach a final agreement at the third meeting on 18 December and officially adopt the directive early next year.

The three institutions have already identified possible compromises on several articles, e.g. on the directive’s objective, awareness raising campaigns and data reporting. However, there are still a lot of topics that need to be further discussed.

Pending issues include the list of single-use plastic items to be subject to market restrictions, targets for separate collection of plastic bottles, and targets for reducing the consumption of certain products. In addition, co-legislators are still debating to what extent producers should be obliged to cover the costs of collecting waste products – and which products should be covered. The discussions on these topics will now continue in technical meetings ahead of the next trialogue meeting.

Upcoming trialogue negotiations on the POP Regulation

Following the European Parliament’s decision to impose market restrictions for certain brominated flame retardants, putting the proper treatment of electronic waste at risk, the recycling industry is counting on member states to keep the European Union on track towards a circular economy and allowing for a more consistent and internationally aligned phase-out of these substances.

Ahead of the upcoming trialogue negotiations with the Parliament and the European Commission, Member States formulated their position on the recast of the regulation on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) on 28 November. According to this position, the Council is willing to allow for a concentration level of up to 500 parts per million for the cumulative sum of all polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) occurring in recycled material. Although this threshold is still below the currently allowed level of 1000 parts per million set by the REACH regulation, it is substantially higher than the 10 parts per million proposed by the European Parliament and, therefore, a step in the right direction. However, it is still not aligned with international agreements such as the Stockholm and Basel Conventions.

The first trialogue meeting on the POP regulation is scheduled for 4 December.

Brexit and REACH 

The EU-27 member states have approved a draft Brexit withdrawal agreement, which the UK House of Commons is now debating with a final vote set for 11th December. Setting the political aspects of the UK withdrawal aside, the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has stated that the chemical industry should prepare for a no-deal scenario as set out in their current sector specific guidance on Brexit.

The UK government has enacted the European Union Withdrawal Act (EUWA) which will carry over all EU law into UK law. This includes the REACH regulation (EC No 1907/2006), which regulates the placing of substances on the EU/EEA market (at a tonnage greater than or equal to one tonne per calendar year) and applies to substances both on their own and in a mixture.

UK-REACH, the new UK version of REACH, will come into effect after the withdrawal date on 29th March 2019. Upon withdrawal, the UK plans to split the deadlines for compliance with UK-REACH into two streams.

In a no-deal scenario, UK based companies that held a REACH registration before withdrawal must submit some basic information to the UK authorities within 60 days of the withdrawal date. A full package of data should be submitted within 2 years of withdrawal.

UK based companies, importing from the EU/EEA, which did not hold a REACH registration before withdrawal, must submit the same basic information within 180 days of the withdrawal date, followed by the full data package at a later date, which will be set following a review.

If the UK parliament votes to accept the withdrawal agreement then these deadlines may be pushed out. Please note that UK-Reach will not affect the majority of WEEE, batteries or packaging producers as they manufacture or import ‘articles’ (not substances) in the EU/EEA.

H2 Compliance, a Landbell Group company, is currently supporting a number of companies with their Brexit readiness strategies. If you think your company may be affected by any of the regulatory changes highlighted above, please don't hesitate to contact us. 
For more information, please contact H2 Compliance

Smart equipment

At the end of November, Landbell Group visited the Pollutec event in Lyon. This is one of the biggest circular economy events in Europe, with more than 2,200 exhibitors and 73,000 visitors from 128 countries. Prodigentia, Landbell Group’s software editor, was there to research new trends and opportunities in the sector.

One of the most visible trends is the evolution of equipment into smart equipment. Most machines, bins, counters, meters and even consumer-grade composting bins are now smart and include a management interface or app. Until now, Prodigentia’s Circul8 software solution has relied on a limited range of devices that could integrate with the platform, but this range is now much wider and creates additional opportunities.

Connecting devices with a non-integrated mix of software solutions can create problems for waste operators and collecting data from all those systems and transforming it into knowledge is a complex task. Circul8 can connect with devices from several different vendors and integrate them within one single software solution. Combining this with the capability of extracting information from non-smart equipment makes the Circul8 solution future-proof. Additionally, as equipment is more expensive than software, Circul8 also offers waste managers more freedom to replace equipment without impacting their processes.

More about Circul8
More about Pollutec 2018

OECD predicts doubling of raw materials use by 2060

A new report from the OECD presents a troubling picture regarding the global use of raw materials. A preview of The Global Material Resources Outlook to 2060 predicts that raw material use will double by the year 2060, despite a shift to more responsible processes, and a slowing of demand in countries such as China.

The bulk of the materials consumed will continue to be those used in construction, such as sand, gravel, crushed rock, and metals. The increase in consumption will be largely driven by a rise in average global income per capita, as well as a world population that is expected to reach 10 billion people by 2060.

With raw material consumption already playing a major role in contributing to climate change, the report signals a dire need to take action to curtail this consumption and move towards more sustainable practices.

Find the report here

Consumers call for more resource efficiency

A recent survey in the UK indicates that a large majority of people believe that society should be more resource efficient, with 60% claiming they would be willing to make lifestyle changes to assist in reaching that goal.

The study, included in a report from the Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and Products (CIEMAP), found that 90% of those asked “strongly believe” that society should be more resource efficient.

The researchers involved in the study were surprised by the level of agreement from those surveyed. ‘It was overwhelmingly clear that people aren’t satisfied and want to see change. They really care about this. They want higher quality products and less waste. Improving resource efficiency is an easy win for both the public and the environment,” said Professor Nick Pidgeon, who headed the study. The report suggests policies should be tailored to match people’s values, and the results of the study can help to achieve that goal.

More about the survey here

Aeropowder invests prize money in production automation

Winning the Green Alley Award 2018 provided UK startup Aeropowder not only with valuable advice and new business contacts, but also a cash prize that is directly helping to grow and expand their business.

“We are in a critical state with Aeropowder as we look to scale our manufacturing capabilities so that we can get more pluumo units out into customers‘ hands”, confirms Ryan Robinson, CEO and co-founder of Aeropowder. “Therefore, we are looking to use the prize money to purchase some equipment that will allow us to automate certain steps.”

This automation is key to satisfying growing customer demand. At Ecomondo, the leading green economy exhibition held in Italy in early November, Robinson experienced first-hand the global demand for the pluumo product: “We have had conversations with companies across a range of industries from every corner of the globe – and we are excited to see where our next steps will take us.”

Landbell Group sponsored Aeropowder’s participation at the fair in order to support new solutions for the circular economy. “It was great to take our product pluumo to the Ecomondo exhibition”, says Robinson. “It was really encouraging to see such a positive response to our sustainable packaging solution from established companies, especially as we are still relatively young.” 

Interview with Aeropowder
About Aeropowder at Ecomondo

Real vs. Fake: Which Christmas tree is more eco-friendly?

The British newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, has published a guide to help consumers make a more environmentally conscious decision when purchasing a Christmas tree this holiday season.

One of the main selling points of an artificial tree is that it can be packed away and reused for years to come. While the thought of going through a new tree each and every year may seem wasteful to many, it is important to remember that real trees are grown on special farms, and not just cut down in woodlands or forests.

As long as trees are locally grown, the carbon footprint of a real tree can actually be as much as 10 times less than that of an artificial tree. And, while many people may hold on to an artificial tree for long enough to offset this higher carbon footprint, artificial trees will eventually end up in landfill, while real trees are easily recycled.

Although real trees are shown to be the more environmentally responsible choice, they may not always be a realistic option for everyone. The guide suggests that if an artificial tree is the only option, people should opt for a used tree rather than buying a new one, and to stay away from those manufactured using PVC, which is non-recyclable and emits pollutants during production.  

More on the UK Telegraph
5 – 7 January 2019, BATTERY INDIA, New Delhi, India  

16 – 18 January 2019, 18th Internatinoal Electronics Recycling Congress IERC 2019, Salzburg, Austria

3 – 4 February 2019, 6th International Indian Material Recycling Conference, Kochi, India

24 – 27 February, 32nd Southeast Recycling Conference and Trade Show, Orlando, Florida, USA  

28 February – 1 March 2019, India International E-Waste 2019, Bangalore, India  

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