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June 2020

CONTENT

NEWS FROM LANDBELL GROUP
Wuppertal Institute and Prevent Waste Alliance publish new study on the prevention of
plastic waste

SCiP and SiA webinar from H2 Compliance

WHO'S WHO AT LANDBELL GROUP
Interview with Oscar Terroso, CEE Project Manager

TAKE-BACK
Update on EPR guidelines
German government adopts new battery law
New study on producer responsibility in e-commerce
Focus on… Chile


CIRCULAR ECONOMY
New report on packaging essential requirements
European Commission publishes guidance on waste management in the context of the
coronavirus crisis
Indonesia unveils plan to keep 16 million tonnes of plastic waste from reaching the ocean


CHEMICAL CONTROL
European Commission starts stakeholder consultation on new chemical strategy
D4, D5, D6 update
ECHA support for dossier updates


NEW STUDIES AND REPORTS
Researchers uncover new process to make lithium-ion batteries more environmentally friendly
New project offers a look at the future of urban mining in Europe

INNOVATIONS AND FORERUNNERS
Getting involved in the circular economy 

EVENTS


Wuppertal Institute and Prevent Waste Alliance publish new study on the prevention of plastic waste

The Wuppertal Institute, a leading German research institute focused on climate, environment, and energy, has just published a new study as part of the Prevent Waste Alliance of which Landbell Group is a member. The new study “Prevention of plastic waste in production and consumption by multi-actor partnerships” looks at the growing problem of plastic waste and offers solutions to forge a more sustainable and circular economy.

Landbell Group contributed to the study with two case studies from former Green Alley Award winners, RePack and Sulapac. The two ambitious start-ups are taking novel approaches to eliminating plastic waste: RePack through reusable packaging for e-commerce; Sulapac through a fully biodegradable plastic substitute made out of wood.

The new study was presented, via video conference, by Dr. Henning Wilts, Director of Circular Economy at the Wuppertal Institute, and is now available for download at the Prevent Waste Alliance homepage.

For more information, please contact us.

SCiP and SiA webinar from H2 Compliance

The last in the current webinar series by Landbell Group company H2 Compliance will take place on Wednesday 24th June at 2 pm BST. The webinar will look at the upcoming deadline (5th January 2021) for the Substances of Concern in Products (SCIP) database regulatory requirement.

This session will be of interest to any company whose products or articles contain Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) in a concentration above 0.1% w/w. The webinar will explain what are SVHCs, how to identify articles or complex articles, and how to create dossiers and submit notifications.

Register for the webinar here.

For more information, please contact us.

Interview with Oscar Terroso, CEE Project Manager

What’s your job at Landbell Group?

I’m a project manager in the Circular Economy Engineering (CEE) team at Landbell Group company H2 Compliance. My work is focused on the provision of take-back services to our customers (mainly professional but also end-consumers) in compliance with local and international transport and waste regulations.

What are your most important tasks and challenges?

I am involved in a wide variety of tasks: from designing, developing and implementing global circular economy projects/solutions for producers, through to managing and extending our network of outsourced end-of-life suppliers. I try to continuously improve operational workflows and simplify processes, so that we can ensure constant high-performance service delivery to our customers. I also monitor the service performance of all the stakeholders on the projects and the profitability of the solutions by analysing a large amount of data. The majority of projects managed by our team are for worldwide customers and I therefore have to perform the above activities for several countries.

How did you come to work for Landbell Group?

I started as an intern for one of our local schemes, ERP Spain, where I then started working as a technician in the operations team. From there, I was promoted to a European role, reporting directly to the Head of Supply Chain. After some years working as a logistics expert, I moved to the Circular Economy Engineering team where I now work as project manager.

What do you do for the environment in your private life?

I’ve always tried to recycle all the waste fractions that can be recycled in the cities where I‘ve lived. I use public transport and my bike whenever possible to minimize use of the car. I also try to limit my electricity and water consumption.

Update on EPR guidelines

The Waste Framework Directive, which was revised in summer 2018, obliges the European Commission to develop guidelines on extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes in order to harmonise requirements among member states. A study by the consulting firm Eunomia, which was published last month, is the basis for developing these guidelines.

The study's recommendations cover the following aspects: necessary costs, fee modulation, equal treatment, and tackling free-riding. Landbell Group company, European Recycling Platform, has actively contributed to the stakeholder process and will continuously engage in the upcoming preparation of the guidelines by the European Commission.

The full study can be downloaded here.

For more information, please contact us.

German government adopts new battery law

The German government has adopted and published a new draft amendment to the country’s battery law. The aim of the new regulations is to take into account fundamental changes in the battery take-back market in recent years and to ensure nationwide collection and high-quality treatment of waste portable batteries in Germany.

Landbell Group company European Recycling Platform (ERP), which operates a battery take-back scheme in Germany, has engaged in the stakeholder process and very much welcomes the planned creation of a truly competitive environment for take-back schemes. The current, legally defined two-tier system, which has producer schemes and a basic take-back scheme with different rights and obligations, will be abolished. This change will create a level playing field among schemes and reflect the fact that, since January 2020, the basic scheme has stopped operations and become a producer scheme itself.

Moreover, the text makes clear that online sellers are fully in scope and obligated under the new regulations, which also introduce the possibility for an authorized representative to act on behalf of producers based outside Germany. The text also sets new requirements for producer registration and introduces several new measures, such as modulated fees, in line with Article 8a of the EU Waste Framework Directive.

Finally, the text allows the Federal Environment Agency to delegate tasks like running the producer registry and approving producer schemes to the existing WEEE registry, the Stiftung Elektro-Altgeräte Register. The ministry hopes that bringing the WEEE and battery register under one body will simplify procedures for producers.

As a next step, the draft amendments will be forwarded to the country’s upper house (Bundesrat) for comment. It must then be submitted to the lower house (Bundestag) for final approval.

You can find the draft amendments to the German battery law here.

For more information, please contact us.

New study on producer responsibility in e-commerce

A newly published study by the German Öko-Institut examines how best to handle the problem of third country free-riders as well as the destruction of returned goods. The paper also assesses how these issues affect various stakeholders.


The study discusses three proposals for tackling these problems: compulsory checking of sellers’ compliance by the electronic marketplaces, declaring marketplaces to be producers, or introducing a simplified producer responsibility or “flat fee” model. The study takes an in-depth look at each proposal, including the legal implications for all involved.

Read the full study here.

For more information, please contact us.

Focus on… Chile

The Chilean government has already developed policies for extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation on WEEE, batteries, and packaging through the creation of Law 20.920, which established the framework for the management of waste.

According to this Law, producers must implement a management plan either collectively or individually to comply with their obligations. These plans must meet certain criteria for them to be authorized by the Ministry of the Environment and will be valid for five years. After this time, the authorization must be renewed.

The Law also states that the Supreme Decrees, which will come into force later, will specifically clarify the other provisions and targets that producers must comply with for each waste stream.

Although Law 20.920 was introduced in 2016, the Chilean Ministry of the Environment only approved Supreme Decree 379, which regulates packaging waste, on 7th May 2020. This Decree will be reviewed by the Chilean Comptroller General before it is published in the official gazette.

The legislation states that producers must create a management system, which will be approved by the Ministry of the Environment. They must also register themselves on the “Pollutant Release and Transfer Register” and meet the annual recovery targets set by the Ministry.

Landbell Group collates all the laws, regulations and essential information on EPR in its Regulatory Tracking Reports. These reports capture the latest developments and requirements in over 100 countries, including four countries in South America (including Chile) and 10 countries in Central America. Find out more about Regulatory Tracking Reports here.

For more information, please contact us.

New report on packaging essential requirements

The European Commission has published the final report on the effectiveness of the packaging essential requirements. The report was conducted by the consultancy firm, Eunomia, following the revision of the packaging directive in summer 2018. The revised directive obliges the European Commission to examine whether to reinforce the essential requirements to further improve the recycling of packaging by the end of this year.

The Commission will use the report to develop its own proposals for the revision of the essential requirements and will also submit proposals for a revision of the directive in line with further preventive measures required by the EU Circular Economy Action Plan by autumn 2021. Landbell Group is actively engaging in the stakeholder process, which started with an online workshop conducted by the Commission with Eunomia on 26th May.

The report can be downloaded here.

For more information on this issue, please contact us.

European Commission publishes guidance on waste management in the context of the coronavirus crisis

The European Commission has released new guidance on the handling of waste management services during the coronavirus crisis. The guidance outlines some of the new practices that can be adopted to improve the health and safety of waste management workers and deal with waste from healthcare facilities, as well as how to receive funding to ensure continued operation in these uncertain times.

The guide includes input from member states, as well as key stakeholders in the sector, and will be updated periodically as new information and data becomes available. The waste management sector plays a vital role in maintaining safe and hygienic conditions, as well as protecting the environment.

You can read the European Commission’s guidance here.

For more information on this issue, please contact us.

Indonesia unveils plan to keep 16 million tonnes of plastic waste from reaching the ocean

Indonesia has produced an action plan, which will bring together public, private, and civil society changemakers to tackle the issue of ocean plastic, and is set to create more than 150,000 new jobs. The most impressive numbers associated with the action plan, however, are the 16 million tonnes of plastic waste that it is set to divert from reaching the ocean, and the 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions that it is expected to prevent each year.

The action plan outlines the importance of changing track when it comes to reducing plastic waste. An assessment of continuing with “business as usual” has shown that plastic waste is set to increase by one third by 2025, and to more than double by 2040 if nothing is done.

European Commission starts stakeholder consultation on new chemical strategy

The European Commission has launched a stakeholder consultation on its new chemical strategy, which will be open until 20 June, and will contribute towards the further development and fine tuning of its new approach. The Commission will then summarise all input received and explain in a separate report which suggestions can and cannot be applied.

The strategy aims to reduce the risks associated with producing and using chemicals, ideally by simplifying the processes around the reviewing of substances. The Commission hopes the new strategy can be officially adopted in the third quarter of 2020.

Find the European Commission’s roadmap on the strategy here.

For more information on this issue, please contact us.

D4, D5, D6 update

The siloxanes octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4), decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5) and dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane (D6) are identified Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs). They have been included on the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) Candidate List for Authorisation since June 2018 owing to their persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT), and very persistent very bioaccumulative (vPvB) properties.

Use of D4 and D5 in wash-off cosmetic products in concentrations > 0.1% is currently restricted. An ongoing restriction intention proposes to add D6 to the current restriction and to extend the restriction to personal care products and other consumer/professional products (e.g. dry cleaning, waxes and polishes, washing and cleaning products) containing D4/D5/D6 in concentrations > 0.1%.

On 5th March 2020, ECHA published their draft proposal to add D4, D5 and D6 to their 10th recommendation for inclusion on Annex XIV (Authorisation List).  Public consultation on the draft recommendation is ongoing and will end on 5th June 2020.

Depending on the development of the restriction proposal and comments received during the public consultation, ECHA could include D4, D5 and D6 as an entry on Annex XIV as early as 2021. Once included, the Latest application date could follow 18, 21 or 24 months later and the Sunset date 18 months later again.

Once the Sunset date has passed, all uses of D4, D5 and D6 would become subject to Authorisation apart from uses which fall under generic exemptions from the authorisation requirement, such as use as an intermediate, e.g. the manufacture of silicone polymers, use in scientific research and development, and use at concentrations less than 0.1%.

For more information on this issue, please contact us.

ECHA support for dossier updates

The upcoming Implementing Regulation on the duties placed on registrants to update their REACH registrations stipulates timelines which have been deemed challenging by both industry and member states.

In order to alleviate some of the challenges involved, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) are developing additional support to simplify the dossier update process, including:
  • Support with migrated IUCLID datasets
  • Revised registration guidance and guidance on updating older dossiers
  • Guidance on how industry can identify trigger points which would prompt dossier updates
  • Information on the status of co-registrants within joint submissions
  • A notification system for information and events for registered substances
  • Increased visibility on registrations and their latest updates
  • Dossier updates which do not require submission of an IUCLID dossier
  • Allowing members of a joint submission to access information on when the current lead registrant last submitted an updated dossier
  • Further alignment of update reasons available as options within IUCLID
For more information on this issue, please contact us.

Researchers uncover new process to make lithium-ion batteries more environmentally friendly

Researchers at Virginia Tech and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have developed a new process that uses water soluble binders to replace organic solvents in manufacturing and recycling. The new breakthrough could play a major role in reducing the costs, hazards and environmental impacts associated with the manufacturing and recycling of lithium-ion batteries.

One of the most pressing topics related to the expansion of lithium-ion production is how to best recover and reuse the valuable metals found in the electrodes of these batteries. At present, N-methyl-2-pyrolidone (NMP), a costly and toxic solvent, is used in both the manufacturing and recovery of these metals. After years of scientists working to develop more environmentally friendly solutions, it appears the industry is finally set to benefit from these efforts, although considerable testing and fine-tuning will still need to be done before commercial adoption.

Read the full study here.

New project offers a look at the future of urban mining in Europe

For four years, the ADIR project (“Next generation urban mining - Automated disassembly, separation and recovery of valuable materials from electronic equipment”), which is funded by the European Union and supervised by Fraunhofer ITL, has been investigating the feasibility of urban mining in the European Union. The study focuses in particular on the viability of automated disassembly, separation, and recovery of valuable materials in electronic equipment.

The project was launched with the strategic goal of reducing the European Union’s use of natural resources and reducing its reliance on costly and environmentally harmful imports. The project consortium demonstrated the efficiency and commercial readiness of its recycling concept by disassembling more than 1,000 mobile phones and 800 printed circuit boards, before presenting their results at the Berlin Recycling and Raw Materials Conference in March.

Visit the project’s website to learn more.

Getting involved in the circular economy

Every year, the Green Alley Award team is supported by a working student. Only a couple of weeks ago, we said goodbye to Laura, who was part of the team for more than a year. Laura had been working in a supermarket for the greater part of her Bachelor studies and, having seen the huge amounts of packaging thrown away every day, she decided to look out for ways to reduce her own ecological footprint and became interested in environmental and sustainability related activities. What better way to help saving the environment than working for the Green Alley Award?

A new adventure

Right from the start, Laura was involved in the preparation of the 2019 application phase. Part of this exciting phase of the award is calling on our extensive European network to support us in promoting the award, so that innovative startups all over Europe, whether they work in a co-working space or are still at university, get the message to apply for the award. As it takes a lot of courage to pick up the phone and call someone that you do not know, in a language that is not your mother tongue, it is not surprising that some of the thoughts that crossed Laura‘s mind were: 'What if no one picks up? What if I don’t know how to answer their questions?.' 

Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit

After the application phase closed, the team had the challenge to sort through all of the business ideas. In 2019, a record number of 274 startups applied. Laura’s effort was worth it. However, only six of the startups would make it to the finals and only one would be the winner of the Green Alley Award. As the Grand Finale approached, and when Laura saw the six finalists present on stage, she knew that the team’s effort had paid off: 'Watching the startups pitch their ideas live on stage once again made me realize that this award is for a great cause and is also a privilege to work for.'

Read the whole article on Laura’s working experience on the Green Alley Award here.

9 June, Tackling Climate Change: The Case for a Circular Economy, Worldwide

22 & 29 June, The Pathway to a Circular Economy Powered Through Design, Worldwide

22-29 June, Webinar Week: Cradle to Cradle Design - Powering the Circular Economy, Worldwide

23 June, Packaging: Hero or Villain in a Circular Economy, Worldwide

24 June, H2 Compliance: SCiP / SiA Webinar, Worldwide

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