What are the latest developments concerning environmental legislation globally? We’ve picked out some highlights for you for January 2021.
The European Commission has released a proposal to modernise the regulatory framework for batteries.
The aim of the new regulation is to ensure batteries are sustainable, efficient and safe throughout their entire life cycle.
The initiative is part of the Commission’s New Action Plan for the Circular Economy and aims to address the high strategic importance of batteries for the European economy.
The proposal includes the following amendments to the regulatory framework:
Stakeholders have until 1 March 2021 to comment on the Commission’s proposal. The regulation is set to apply from 1st January 2022.
Two years after the German Packaging Law came into force, the Foundation Central Agency Packaging Register (ZSVR) has released data – compiled in cooperation with the country’s Federal Environment Agency (UBA) – which shows that significantly more packaging is being recycled and more manufacturers are meeting their obligations than under the previous legal framework.
According to the new data, a total of 5.3 million tonnes of waste packaging was recycled in 2019, an increase of 13% compared to the previous year. For plastic packaging, the increase was as much as 50%.
The growth in recycling is driven by both the higher targets of the Packaging Law and the higher volumes of packaging resulting from the newly introduced and stricter enforcement regime.
The participation rate is over 75% and, at the end of November 2020, nearly 200,000 manufacturers were registered in the LUCID packaging register, compared to just 60,000 four years ago.
The Packaging Law has also helped to significantly reduce the number of free riders.
Further information and figures can be found in this presentation by ZVSR and UBA (in German).
The European Commission is currently preparing a revision of the Waste Shipment Regulation (WSR) to ensure the smooth functioning of the internal waste market, support the transition towards a circular economy and ensure waste shipped to third countries is managed in an environmentally sound manner.
In September 2020, the Commission hosted a stakeholder workshop to discuss the matter with representatives from member states, businesses, associations and NGOs (see article from November’s COMPASS).
The discussions revealed the complexity of the issue, as well as differences over how to set rules that would meet the above goals. The discussions mainly revolved around the following objectives:
More information on the objectives and policy options discussed can be found in the comprehensive summary of the workshop that was recently published by the Commission.