Aug 14

Plastics Weekly: EU Bans Plastic Waste Exports to Developing Countries

Editorial Staff
Dec 28, 2020

Welcome to NEO’s weekly news monitoring about the plastics industry.

Every Monday, we publish a roundup of the top developments in the sphere of plastics and sustainability – from regulatory changes to company innovations.

This week’s highlights:

  • The European Union has banned all non-recyclable plastic waste from being shipped to developing countries from 1 January. Every year, Europeans generate 25 million tonnes of plastic waste, only 30% of which gets recycled. The latest move is part of the EU plastics strategy, which aims to make all plastic packaging in the EU recyclable by 2030 and reduce the consumption of single-use plastics and microplastics. (EU Observer)
  • UK retailers are ramping up efforts to take plastic out of packaging for the holiday season, with major players like Tesco and Marks & Spencer removing products with single-use plastic from their Christmas range this year. The industry moves come in advance of a new tax on plastic packaging in 2022 that will place additional fees on plastic that fails to meet a minimum threshold of at least 30% recycled content. (The Guardian)
  • The oil and plastics industry has a serious problem with plastic pellet spills despite claiming to have anti-spillage programmes in place, according to a new investigation by NPR and PBS Frontline. Already decades ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warned that pellets are “the least conspicuous and therefore more often overlooked component of plastic debris,” which contaminate beaches and are frequently ingested by marine life. (NPR)
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