Feb 2

Plastics Weekly: EU to Ban Plastic Waste Exports to Developing Countries

Editorial Staff
Jan 23, 2023

Welcome to the Plastics Weekly, NEO’s regular news monitoring of the plastics industry.

Every week, we publish a roundup of the top developments in plastics and sustainability – from regulatory changes to company news.This week’s highlights:

  • The European Parliament has proposed a ban on plastic waste exports to developing countries. The new law would prohibit exports of plastic waste to non-OECD countries and phase out the export of plastic waste to OECD countries within 4 years. The EU expects this move, which was adopted with 76 votes in favour, none against and five abstentions, to boost the EU circular economy, resource efficiency and zero pollution goals. (Packaging Europe)
  • England is introducing a cash for plastic programme in a bid to boost recycling. From 2025, consumers in England will be able to claim some of their money back if they return an empty plastic bottle or can for recycling. The so-called deposit return scheme aims to reduce littering of drinks containers by 85% in England, Wales and Northern Ireland three years after launch. Similar programmes have been in place for decades in countries like Norway and Sweden, where they’ve helped to boost recycling and cut waste. (Bloomberg)
  • “Advanced” recycling of plastic is costly and environmentally problematic, according to a U.S. federal research lab study. While the plastics industry has bet on using chemical additives and extremely high heat to turn waste back into new plastics, this solution is costly and comes with significant environmental impacts, according to new research from the National Renewable Energy Lab. Researchers singled out two prominent “advanced” technologies—pyrolysis and gasification—as particularly problematic, saying they should not even be considered “closed-loop” recycling technologies. (Inside Climate News)

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