Environmental compliance… the latest developments

What are the latest developments concerning environmental legislation globally? We’ve picked out some highlights for you for October 2020.

EPR guidelines to be published in November

The guidelines on the practical implementation of the new minimum requirements for extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes are going to be published in November, according to the European Commission.

An advanced draft of these guidelines is currently being discussed with member states. The final guidelines should contribute to ensuring that the requirements of the 2018 amended Waste Framework Directive are implemented in a manner that is as harmonised as possible across member states.

The guidelines are based on a report by the consulting firm Eunomia, which was published in May this year and whose draft European Recycling Platform (ERP) commented on earlier in January (see here). It is worth noting that several comments from ERP have been taken up not only in the final report by Eunomia, but also in the current draft of the Commission’s guidelines. ERP remains in close contact with the Commission and is supporting them in finalising the guidelines.

In parallel, the Commission is working on the guidelines for implementing the Single-Use Plastic Directive. These are supposed to clarify which products fall within the scope of the directive and how to deal with possible overlaps with the Packaging Directive. These guidelines are also expected to be adopted shortly.

German parliament passes revised laws for waste portable batteries and electronics

The German parliament has passed the planned amendments to the country’s Battery Law. The parliamentarians had surprisingly few requests for changes. The most important difference between the adopted law and the draft submitted by the federal government is the higher collection rate for waste portable batteries (50% instead of 45%).

Unfortunately, there will be no binding clearing mechanism for the financial compensation of over- and under-collection, although this was demanded by ERP and also by many experts at the Environment Committee’s hearing on 9 September.

All the other government proposals, in particular the abolition of the existing two-tier system for take-back schemes, were adopted without amendment. The law still has to be formally approved by the Bundesrat, Germany’s upper house, which meets on 9 October. It can then be published in the country’s official journey and enter into force on 1 January 2021.

In addition, the parliament has passed a law that transposes parts of the 2018 amended EU Waste Framework Directive into national law. This involves increasing or maintaining the quotas for preparing for re-use and for recycling certain waste streams (e.g. paper, metal, plastic, glass, as well as municipal waste). The amendments affect, in particular, the Circular Economy Law and the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Law.

However, parliamentarians also introduced amendments to the Packaging Law at short notice. These include a new definition of composite packaging, according to which packaging with the main material component exceeding a mass share of 95% will no longer be exempt, but will also be considered composite packaging. These changes must also be approved by the upper house.

In parallel, the German government is working on a larger amendment to the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Law in order to ensure compliance with European requirements, in particular the increased collection target of 65%.

To this end, the network of collection points is to be expanded, for example, by requiring supermarkets with a total sales area of more than 800 square metres to take back electronic waste. Enforcement will also be strengthened. Stakeholders have until 15 October to comment on the proposals.

What else

Landbell Group to develop DRS in Kosovo

The German international development agency (GIZ) has awarded a contract to Landbell Group and Black Forest Solutions to advise on the development of a […]

Read more

Italian startups at 2020/21 Green Alley Award

This year’s Green Alley Award received over 180 applications from European startups, including 49 applications from Italy (26%). The ideas of the Italian startups […]

Read more

Focus on… Belgium

On 3rd September 2020, an amendment to the “Cooperation Agreement on the prevention and management of packaging waste” entered into force for all three […]

Read more

Who applied for this year’s Green Alley Award?

From 8th September to 17th November, Europe’s startups once again took the chance to apply for the Green Alley Award, Europe’s first startup prize […]

Read more

ERP contributes to small EEE stakeholder survey

Landbell Group company European Recycling Platform (ERP) has contributed to a recent stakeholder survey on electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). The results of the […]

Read more

DS Entsorgung sets up new battery take-back scheme

Landbell Group company DS Entsorgungs- und Dienstleistungs- GmbH has set up a new take-back scheme for waste portable batteries in Germany, which is operating […]

Read more

New WEEE take-back service for online retailers

Did you know that you have the right to return your waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) to an online retailer free of charge […]

Read more

Focus on… South Africa

Even though South Africa is leading other countries in its region in terms of waste management, it is still behind what the authorities desire […]

Read more

189 Applications for 2020/21 Green Alley Award

Applications for the 2020/21 Green Alley Award closed on 17th November and a total of 189 applications were received. The Green Alley Award team […]

Read more

Partnership between Landbell Group and ProductIP

Nowadays, products must not only comply with legal regulations, guidelines and requirements, but they must also be properly disposed of and recycled at the […]

Read more