Category: Europe

Basel amendment proposed to cover scrap plastic

Read the full story at Plastics Recycling Update.

An application seeks to tighten international regulation of recovered plastic movement.

The government of Norway on June 2 submitted a proposal to create a new waste category for plastics under the Basel Convention. The Basel Convention is an international convention that went into effect in 1992 with the goal of limiting global trade in hazardous wastes, especially between developed and developing countries. There are currently 186 parties to the convention.

Circular Economy package officially published

Read the full story at

The European Union has published the Circular Economy Package in its Official Journal, which means the legislation will enter into force next month.

Guidance on identifying endocrine disruptors published

A drafting group consisting of scientific staff from ECHA and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), with the support of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), have developed scientific guidance to enable the identification of endocrine disruptors. The guidance advises applicants and assessors of the competent regulatory authorities on how to identify endocrine disruptors in accordance with the endocrine disruptor criteria.

The European Commission tasked ECHA and EFSA to develop the guidance to ensure harmonised implementation of the endocrine disruptor criteria throughout the EU for the assessment of biocides and plant protection products. The guidance has been consulted with the Agencies’ stakeholders, ECHA’s endocrine disruptor expert group and Member States’ biocides and pesticides competent authorities.

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Better carbon accounting in European forests informed by Canadian model

Read the full story at the Climate Examiner.

The EU is implementing a new carbon accounting approach for its forests that improves the scientific rigour of previous methods.


Suspect Screening and Regulatory Databases: A Powerful Combination To Identify Emerging Micropollutants

Pablo Gago-Ferrero, Agnes Krettek, Stellan Fischer, Karin Wiberg, and Lutz Ahrens (2018). “Suspect Screening and Regulatory Databases: A Powerful Combination To Identify Emerging Micropollutants.” Environmental Science & Technology Article ASAP DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b06598

Abstract:  This study demonstrates that regulatory databases combined with the latest advances in high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) can be efficiently used to prioritize and identify new, potentially hazardous pollutants being discharged into the aquatic environment. Of the approximately 23000 chemicals registered in the database of the National Swedish Product Register, 160 potential organic micropollutants were prioritized through quantitative knowledge of market availability, quantity used, extent of use on the market, and predicted compartment-specific environmental exposure during usage. Advanced liquid chromatography (LC)–HRMS-based suspect screening strategies were used to search for the selected compounds in 24 h composite samples collected from the effluent of three major wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Sweden. In total, 36 tentative identifications were successfully achieved, mostly for substances not previously considered by environmental scientists. Of these substances, 23 were further confirmed with reference standards, showing the efficiency of combining a systematic prioritization strategy based on a regulatory database and a suspect-screening approach. These findings show that close collaboration between scientists and regulatory authorities is a promising way forward for enhancing identification rates of emerging pollutants and expanding knowledge on the occurrence of potentially hazardous substances in the environment.


E.U. Proposes Ban on Some Plastic Items to Reduce Marine Pollution

Read the full story in the New York Times.

The European Commission on Monday proposed an ambitious set of measures to clean up Europe’s beaches and rid its seas and waterways of disposable plastics, and urged the European Union to lead the way in reducing marine litter worldwide.

Packaging industry calls for policy reform to boost plastics recycling

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A host of UK packaging organisations have called for more recycling collection points, tax reliefs for recycled content and a universal list of acceptable materials as part of a desired regulation reform to make it easier for consumers to recycle packaging waste.


Circular Economy: New rules will make EU the global front-runner in waste management and recycling

Read the full story in Modern Diplomacy.

EU Member States approved a set of ambitious measures to make EU waste legislation fit for the future, as part of the EU’s wider circular economy policy.

The new rules – based on Commission’s proposals part of the Circular Economy package presented in December 2015 – will help to prevent waste and, where this is not possible, significantly step up recycling of municipal and packaging waste. It will phase out landfilling and promote the use of economic instruments, such as Extended Producer Responsibility schemes. The new legislation strengthens the “waste hierarchy”, i.e. it requires Member States to take specific measures to prioritize prevention, re-use and recycling above landfilling and incineration, thus making the circular economy a reality.

European parliament votes through circular economy package

Read the full story in Resource.

The European Parliament has given the go-ahead to the EU’s landmark Circular Economy Package (CEP) after formally approving higher recycling targets and new measures to reduce waste across Europe today (18 April).

Proposal to restrict hazardous substances in tattoo inks and permanent make-up

Read the full story from the European Chemicals Agency.

Due to the growing popularity of tattoos and no harmonised control in the EU on tattoo and permanent make-up inks, ECHA was asked by the European Commission to assess the chemical-related risks associated with the inks, the need for Union-wide action, and the relevant socio-economic impacts. ECHA asked Member States if they wanted to be involved in developing the proposal and Denmark, Italy and Norway became co-responsible. In addition, Germany contributed significantly to the proposal. As a conclusion to this assessment, the dossier submitters have made the proposal for a restriction.

The aim of the proposal is not to ban tattoo inks or tattooing. Instead, the aim is to regulate specific hazardous substances present in tattoo inks so that they are safe for people.

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