About: Waste and recycling

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The Virtuous Circle: Why Permanence and Recycling are Vital for a New EU Economy

A circle isn’t just a shape. It is a symbol of continuity – of permanence. The European Commission has proposed creating a new circular economy, to boost sustainability and reduce pressure on natural resources.  It is now time for EU...
Circular economy 30-06-2021

Why carbon capture on waste-to-energy facilities undermines climate action

Despite the initial impression that carbon capture and storage would be a good idea to reduce emissions from waste incineration plants, the climate will not benefit from this, argue Mick Wallace and Janek Vähk.
Circular materials 07-06-2021

Germany’s pioneering bottle deposit scheme has lessons for the EU

Ten EU member states are planning to switch to deposit schemes for beverage container recycling in order to meet new Green Deal requirements. Germany has 20 years of experiencing in operating the world’s largest such scheme.
Circular materials 04-06-2021

Metals recycling in EU could collapse under new rules, companies say

Europe's metals recycling industry could collapse under the European Commission's proposed changes to waste shipments that clamp down on exports to encourage recycling, members of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) have warned.
Circular materials 21-05-2021

Europe risks missing e-waste recycling targets, EU auditors warn

Only two European countries are anywhere close to being on track to achieving the EU's recycling targets for electronic waste – or e-waste – the European Court of Auditors warned on Thursday (20 May).
Electric vehicles 19-05-2021

Mining is wreaking havoc – better recovery of battery metals will help

The EU’s proposed new standards for sustainable batteries are an opportunity to move away from destructive mining. The right policy measures can make the system more circular and avoid the mistakes of the past, write Benjamin Hitchcock Auciello and Alex Keynes.
Circular materials 23-04-2021

Last minute EU taxonomy changes water down sustainability criteria for waste, NGOs say

The European Commission on Wednesday (21 April), tabled a first set of implementation rules under the EU's sustainable finance taxonomy, but changes made since a draft leaked last week have weakened criteria on waste management, campaigners say.
Circular economy 25-02-2021

Soft drinks industry aims for 100% recycled or renewable plastic by 2030

European soft drink makers unveiled their new vision for 2030 on Monday (22 February), announcing plans to reach 100% recycled or renewable materials in plastic bottles by the end of the decade.
Circular economy 10-02-2021

Lawmakers back mandatory targets in EU circular economy action plan

Lawmakers in the European Parliament adopted a set of ambitious proposals on the EU’s circular economy action plan on Tuesday (9 February), including calls to introduce mandatory targets to reduce waste.
Circular economy 27-01-2021

Circular economy can cut CO2 emissions by 39%: study

Switching to a circular economy could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 39% and ease pressure on virgin materials by 28%, according to the Circularity Gap Report, published on Tuesday (26 January).

Recyclers fret as EU plastic waste export ban comes into force

New EU rules came into force on 1 January, prohibiting the shipment of unsorted plastic waste to foreign countries. Although the move will increase pressure on Europe to recycle, activists say the ban is likely to increase landfilling and waste burning inside the Union.
Circular economy 10-12-2020

Blue, yellow or white? Recycling varies widely in the EU

Deposit return and extended producer responsibility schemes are everywhere in the EU but have very different rules. Does this present a barrier to meeting the EU’s recycling objectives?

Plastic waste: how to square the circle

The EU’s circular economy plan aims to halve municipal waste in the next decade by increasing recycling rates. Can companies boost the use of recycled plastics in time to meet the target?

Plastic waste management

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The European Commission launched a circular plastics alliance in 2018, with an initial pledge of reaching 10 million tonnes of recycled plastics used in products by 2025. Can the industry rise to the challenge?
Circular economy 01-12-2020

Recycler: Simpler EU laws would help recycle e-waste plastics

Around half of e-waste plastics are not recycled in Europe but rather shipped abroad where they often end up being dumped or burnt. Simpler laws on recycling in Europe would help keep those materials at home and recycle them, argues Chris Slijkhuis.
Circular economy 19-11-2020

Waste incineration across Europe and the UK: profit at the expense of climate

The EU and the UK must bring waste incineration plants within the scope of emissions trading schemes (ETS) if they are to achieve net zero-emissions and comply with the Paris Agreement, writes Georgia Elliott-Smith.

Fixing plastic collection seen as vital to success of chemical recycling

Two billion people worldwide do not have access to proper waste collection services, leading to ever-growing plastic pollution in oceans and waterways, particularly in the global south.
Circular economy 24-09-2020

EU plans harmonised colour code for bin bags

The colour of garbage bags could soon be harmonised across the 27 EU member states under European Commission plans to improve waste collection and boost recycling.

Call it by its name: Synthetic gas and oil from old plastics is not ‘recycling’, it’s ‘recovery’

The term “chemical recycling” should only be used for plastic waste reconverted into new plastics. If those plastics are transformed into fuels or petrochemical products, the process should be called “recovery” instead, write Shanar Tabrizi and Fanny Rateau.

Chemical recycling ‘promising’ for circular economy, EU official says

While chemical recycling opens new possibilities for the circular economy, only a full lifecycle approach will be able to determine the real environmental benefits in terms of saved energy and global warming emissions, a senior EU official has said.

Britain to get first commercial refinery for extracting precious metals from e-waste

The UK is to get its first commercial refinery for extracting precious metals from electronic waste, which will also be the world’s first to use bacteria rather than cyanide-based processes.
Circular economy 19-08-2020

Economic meltdown threatens Europe’s war on plastic

Giving a new life to plastic trash gets Carlos Bento out of bed every morning. But the coronavirus pandemic has seen revenues drop up to 40% at Micronipol, the large recycling facility he runs in central Portugal, and it faces an uncertain future.
Circular economy 04-06-2020

‘Open strategic autonomy’: A vision for Europe’s raw materials future

Europe’s “green recovery” will be based on industrial leadership in the production of computers, batteries, electric vehicles, and wind turbines, writes Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou.
Circular economy 18-05-2020

Portugal suspends foreign trash imports to cope with own waste surge

Portugal, which usually attracts huge mounds of rubbish from other European states because of its low waste management fees, has suspended imports of trash until the end of 2020 to protect domestic landfill capacity, the government said on Saturday (16 May).