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September 2019


Landbell Group joins PREVENT Waste Alliance
New Landbell Group white paper on the circular economy

Interview with Ulf Hallmann, Chief Information Officer

Focus on... South Africa
UK government publishes summary of stakeholder consultations on packaging  

Canada moves to ban single-use plastics starting in 2021

Update on poison centre notification deadline

New cloud based tool for sorting equipment users

Flexible polyethylene recycling offers massive potential

From wantrepreneur to entrepreneur: The secret to a successful startup


Landbell Group joins PREVENT Waste Alliance 

Landbell Group has joined the PREVENT Waste Alliance which aims to help developing and emerging countries transition towards a circular economy. The alliance was officially launched in May by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in cooperation with Indonesia and Ghana, and consists of more than 30 organizations from business, science, civil society and public institutions. 

Landbell Group has contributed to the circular economy for over 20 years and is very pleased to share this long-time experience with its partners in the alliance and in the developing and emerging countries. International cooperation and intensive exchange between all stakeholders are the best way to promote the circular economy worldwide, protect the climate and the environment, and create local value. 

With its expertise as a pan-European recycling service provider, operating 35 take-back schemes in 15 countries, Landbell Group will primarily support the alliance with its experience in the collection and recycling of waste packaging and electronics, and the related cooperation with municipal organizations. The alliance will collect best practice from different countries, work out solutions with local experts, and then implement them through pilot projects.

Find more information on the alliance here
Find the press release by Landbell Group here

New Landbell Group white paper on the circular economy 

Landbell Group has published a new white paper on the circular economy, “Innovative and sustainable: Transitioning Europe towards a circular economy”. The paper acknowledges the achievements made so far, points out the challenges ahead, and – based on Landbell Group’s comprehensive experience in this field, operating 35 producer responsibility organizations across Europe for WEEE, batteries and packaging – shares some recommendations for a policy framework which will enable all parties to contribute to this transition in the most effective way. 

The white paper points out that policy instruments like extended producer responsibility (EPR), specified in legislation such as the European Waste Framework Directive, and in corresponding national laws, have considerably helped to increase collection and recycling rates and to significantly reduce landfill and incineration in the European Union. On the other hand, many challenges still lay ahead, particularly when it comes to increasing recycling rates for all kinds of resources used in products and services, not only for the waste streams for which there are already policies in place. Further challenges include illegal waste shipments to third countries, waste and resource markets which are very fragmented, even within the EU, the often unclear roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in the product life cycle, and insufficient enforcement of existing legislation, all of which combine to hinder effective and cost-efficient implementation of the circular economy. 

In order to overcome these challenges and usher in an innovative and sustainable circular economy, the paper provides the following policy recommendations:
  • Set smart targets for recycling and for phasing out landfill and incineration
  • Strengthen and harmonise EPR legislation to create a level playing field
  • Set up clear and practical roles and responsibilities for all actors involved
  • Empower consumers
  • Harmonise rules and increase competition in the waste and resource markets
  • Ensure effective enforcement
  • Promote research and development
You can download the full white paper here

Interview with Ulf Hallmann, Chief Information Officer

What’s your job at Landbell Group?
I‘m in charge of all software services, products and solutions that we either sell or use internally. To make sure the Group is efficient and successful, I am also organizing and driving all information flows that are needed to create and deliver software solutions on budget, on time and according to customer expectations. This is why I not only run technical software production teams, but also project, process and business innovation management activities. My teams are located in Lisbon, where the focus is on software production; in Mainz, where the focus is on IT infrastructure and vendor management; and, last but not least, in Munich, where the focus is on project management organization, and where we have a project management office. 

What are your most important tasks and challenges?
I am currently focusing on synchronising efforts that were formerly distributed across different business units. In order to meet our corporate growth challenges, we need to synchronize the efforts of the great people that we already have on board and provide them with the additional skills and methodologies that a growing company needs – and which are expected by our world-class clients. We will foster and scale our portfolio of systems and solutions to provide maximum convenience and simplification, to increase business value, and to set benchmarks in digitalization. As a basis for this, we will create Group-wide processes and standards which will support our continuous growth. 

How did you come to work for Landbell Group?
Life is a network, and Landbell Group and its various brands are well-known players in the industry. On top of that, Landbell Group drives various initiatives in the circular economy, such as the Green Alley Award, which has become the talk of the industry. As I very much enjoy setting and driving standards, as well as bringing things to the next level, Landbell Group quickly came to mind when I started thinking about new challenges I could still meet in my professional life. 

What do you do for the environment in your private life?
To start with something semi-private, I set up the Munich office at a location that allows everybody to join us for daily work or meetings via public transport. From a purely private point of view, I am married to an environmental scientist and two of my three children are active “climate ambassadors” for Plant-for-the-Planet. As an active rower, I love the open air and clear water. I believe the best thing that I can do in my private life is teach the next generation what they might want to preserve and I am frequently asked to speak in schools and kindergardens. I am also delighted that I have had the chance to convert this rather personal mission into my professional life.

Focus on… South Africa

In March 2009, South Africa introduced the National Waste Management Act, which was later followed by the National Waste Management Strategy. Both legal frameworks then laid the foundation for the Industrial Waste Management Plan (or indWMP).

The indWMP is an instrument developed by producers, detailing how waste streams will be dealt with. It is a flexible tool enabling the industry and stakeholders to set up their own arrangements in areas such as standards, design requirements, financing and membership criteria. Although the South African Department for Environmental Affairs did not mandate recovery or recycling targets (or thresholds), the indWMP clearly states that industry must commit to targets that will determine the success of the plan.

The indWMP can be company specific or waste stream specific. Producers can develop their own plan or subscribe to an already existing one. Until now, the Department for Environmental Affairs has received more than four plans for review. Their approval will be published in the Government Gazette of South Africa.

The plans must raise environmental awareness and, to maximise their potential, address both households and producers.

Landbell Group company, European Recycling Platform (ERP) has been supporting stakeholders in South Africa: see previous articles on the WEEE and Batteries symposiums that ERP hosted in South Africa earlier this year.

UK government publishes summary of stakeholder consultations on packaging

In February, the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) launched four stakeholder consultations on packaging to gain insight into the implementation of the country’s new Resources and Waste Strategy. Five months later, Defra has reviewed all of the responses received and published a summary for each of the consultations.

Reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system
Stakeholders provided views on a wide range of proposals, covering matters such as the point of compliance, the de-minimis threshold and online market places. They also provided responses on an approved list of recyclable packaging, governance models and future targets. The UK government has said that it will undertake further analysis during 2019 and make final proposals for consultation in 2020. It has also said that an extended producer responsibility system for packaging will be introduced in 2023.

Deposit Return Scheme, Plastic Packaging Tax and Consistency of Collections
The other three consultations asked for views on the type of deposit return scheme that the government proposes to introduce in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 2023; the design of a plastic packaging tax that it proposes to introduce in April 2022; and plans to make local authorities collect the same kind of materials for household recycling and to improve how businesses recycle in England from 2023.

Landbell Group company ERP UK contributed to the stakeholder consultations and is actively involved in the discussions. If you would like to discuss any matters further, please get in touch.

View the consultation summaries: 
Contact Landbell Group here

Canada moves to ban single-use plastics starting in 2021 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Canada will ban harmful single-use plastics as early as 2021. The plan draws inspiration from the European Union, which implemented a wide-ranging ban on single-use plastics in March. 

The announcement comes less than five months before a national election that counts climate change and pollution among the top campaign issues. “As parents we’re at a point when we take our kids to the beach and we have to search out a patch of sand that isn’t littered with straws, Styrofoam or bottles. That’s a problem, one that we have to do something about,” said Trudeau. It is estimated that less than 10% of plastic used in Canada is currently recycled.

Update on poison centre notification deadline  

Following April’s release of the new submission portal for poison centres by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), there is uncertainty as to whether there will be a delay to the first deadline. 

Under the existing Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation, companies placing hazardous mixtures on the market must provide information in a harmonised format to the relevant national authorities from 1 January 2020 for mixtures for consumer use. A draft Regulation to delay the notification deadline by 12 months is now being discussed.  

To this end, the European Commission will carry out a Member State consultation on the draft Act in September. Assuming there are no objections, the Act will be adopted. As both the European Parliament and European Council will require time to review and suggest amendments to the Act, there is the possibility that this will not be completed prior to December, which may result in a further delay to the deadline. 

Landbell Group will monitor this issue. Please get in touch if you would like to speak to one of our poison centre experts.

Contact Landbell Group here

New cloud based tool for sorting equipment users 

Tomra Sorting Recycling has launched a new cloud based platform that uses data to give sorting equipment users a powerful new strategic management tool. The platform called “Insight” functions in real time, and can be accessed via both desktop and mobile devices at any time. “We are proud to launch a functional and secure interface that will unlock the power of big data for our clients and enable them to monitor and optimise their sorting processes,” said Felix Flemming, vice president of Tomra. Insight will help operators better manage the performance and maintenance of their machines anywhere at any time. 

Prodigentia, a Landbell Group company, has its own circular economy software, Circul8, which offers users greater control over all facets of their operations and processes: Circul8 Products is the online tool for managing extended producer responsibility; Circul8 Materials is the future of de-manufacturing, providing quality and traceability levels equivalent to a manufacturing plant; and Circul8 Waste converts potential waste into valuable resources, which is key to the circular economy.

Find more information on Prodigentia here

Flexible polyethylene recycling offers massive potential 

Plastic Recyclers Europe has released a new report outlining the potential to greatly increase the recycling of polyethylene. Polyethylene type LLDPE/LDPE is currently the second biggest resin produced in the European Union, with demand for around nine million tonnes. Only 20% of the resin is recycled, meaning considerable amounts end up in our natural environments and landfills.  

Commercial recycling processes offer the ability to turn polyethylene into a high quality raw material that can be used to create a wide range of products. The harmonization of collection processes is one of the main ways to increase recycling rates.  

“Plastic film waste is still perceived as a demanding and difficult stream to treat, however, we in Europe have proven that even stretch film recycling is possible. Nonetheless, to reach for the additional quantities from post-consumer packaging we need a strong commitment of the value chain to work towards making this material fully sustainable”, said Ton Emans, president of Plastics Recyclers Europe.

The full report can be accessed here

From wantrepreneur to entrepreneur: The secret to a successful startup 

As our Green Alley Award selection committee chooses this year’s finalists, we look at some of the qualities that successful start-up entrepreneurs need. According to the European startup report 2018, most start-up founders are looking for self-fulfillment (79.1 %) and independence (62.8 %). Following a career you are passionate about is a strong intrinsic motivation. However, if that was all that was required, there’d probably be more Steve Jobs around and companies would find hiring difficult. So what’s the secret recipe for sustainable start-up success?  

Entrepreneur success stories 
When looking at successful entrepreneurs, such as Steve Jobs, Sophia Amoruso or even Thomas Edison, they all showed the capability to stick to their vision, even if they needed to change track along the way. Even though Jobs was co-founder of Apple, he moved in and out of the company throughout the years, always coming back with a new idea. Amoruso sold vintage clothes on Ebay which led to the foundation of the fashion sales platform, Nasty Gal. After the bankruptcy of the company, she started Girlboss Media, producing a Netflix series about her early days in the vintage fashion industry. Today we know that Thomas Edison was not the first person to come up with the idea of the light bulb, but he was the only one who persevered, producing the first commercially manufactured type. Jobs, Amoruso and Edison have two things in common: they are passionate about something and they persevere.  

Grit: perseverance and passion 
When psychologist Angela Duckworth studied high school students and military cadets to try to predict their professional success later in life, she was surprised by the survey’s results.  Her findings show that it’s not talent or intelligence that are the decisive factors for success, but the combination of perseverance and passion that she calls grit. According to Duckworth, gritty people are unusually resilient and hardworking to the extent that they are willing to continue despite obstacles and failure. They are driven by the strong desire to improve. “Even if some of the things they had to do were boring, or frustrating, or even painful, they wouldn’t dream of giving up. Their passion was enduring.”  The Green Alley Award will present six gritty and passionate finalists at this year’s awards ceremony in Berlin on Thursday 17th October.

11 September 2019, RWM, Marston Green, United Kingdom

19 September 2019, European Recycling Conference 2019, Paris, France

23 September 2019, Sustainable Business Models in Circular Bio-Economy, Brussels,  Belgium

25 - 26 September 2019, EREK Intrnational Conference, Brussels,  Belgium

26 September 2019, NISP® Canada – Circular Economy Workshop, Vancouver, Canada 

9 October 2019, The adaptive re-use of our built heritage for a greener Europe, Brussels,  Belgium

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