Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the beginning of the holiday season, we want to inform you about current developments in the waste management sector:
- Open scope – amended scope of the WEEE ordinance as of August 15th, 2018!
- Green Alley Award 2018
- 7th tender to promote waste prevention projects
- Current developments in the EU
- Update of our privacy statement
We wish you a pleasant and relaxing summer!
Your ERP Austria team
Open Scope – amended scope of the WEEE ordinance as of August 15th, 2018
As reported earlier, according to EU-Directive 2012/19/EU (WEEE Directive II) there will be an open scope as of August 15th, 2018. New in the scope are for example adapters, cables, cash and credit cards with chip, plugs and sockets.
Furthermore, there shall only be six equipment categories instead of ten.
What does this mean for dispensation in Austria?
In Austria, the reporting pursuant to the current five collection and treatment categories remains unchanged.
7th tender for promoting waste prevention projects
You have innovative project ideas for waste prevention and are looking for a subsidy?
The packaging collection and recycling systems provide 0.5% of their annual dispensation fees for waste prevention projects.
Support will be granted for the implementation and development of measures for the quantitative and qualitative prevention of waste and the underlying research.
The focus of the current tender is on the following topics:
- Operational waste prevention
- Waste prevention in education
- Avoidance of food waste, f.e. in the food service sector, in the agricultural sector, etc.
- Waste prevention through product design
- Creating awareness for waste prevention
The waste prevention subsidy offers you the following advantages:
- A high level of freedom regarding the content of the project respectively the measures
- Simple application procedures
- Objective project evaluation through a jury of experts
- Simple funding administration
Don´t miss this chance for private subsidies!
Submission deadline is October 15th, 2018.
Further information as well as the submission documents can be found on the homepage of the Packaging Coordination Office (VKS) at www.vks-gmbh.at/abfallvermeidungs-foerderung.html.
Green Alley Award 2018: Startups wanted from the Circular Economy!
The Green Alley Award is Europe’s first startup prize for the circular economy. It was created in 2014 by Landbell Group and has been run annually since. Over time, more partners have joined. Together, we celebrate startups working to advance the circular economy in Europe and promote ground breaking digital circular economy solutions, recycling solutions or ideas for waste prevention to recover valuable resources from waste. Our mission: to turn the linear into a circular economy and transform the waste and recycling industry as we know it today. For this reason, we are on the lookout for startups based in Europe just entering the market, starting to grow or even expanding into new European markets. The only condition: The business concept must contribute to the returning of resources in a cycle.
The most convincing candidates will be invited to the finals in Berlin with great networking and learning opportunities for all. In workshops they will meet European circular economy experts and startup mentors offering valuable advice as well as the opportunity to gain new business contacts. In the evening all finalists will present their business ideas in a live pitch to an international audience. An expert jury will then select the winner of the Green Alley Award 2015, who will be rewarded with a cash prize of € 25,000 as well as our beautifully upcycled award trophy. A new asset this year: all startups applying for the Green Alley Award will also have the chance to win the Seedmatch Crowd Award including the chance to start the perfect crowdfunding campaign.
More information on the Green Alley Award can be found at www.green-alley-award.com. Anyone who wants to see Europe´s startup pioneers live can register here for the big final on October 18th in Berlin: https://green-alley-award.com/green-alley-award-2018-registration-form/
China‘s import ban: an opportunity for the European economy?
In Austria, more than half of all waste is recycled – this is Europe-wide a very good rate. The Austrian population considers the recycling topic to be of great importance. Although engagement with recycling is increasing, Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of Landbell Group, still sees growth potential in all European countries.
China’s import ban on 24 types of waste therefore offers a unique economic opportunity provided that the affected countries continue to expand their recycling capacity. Landbell Group is convinced that manufacturing companies can benefit in the long term as those companies that use secondary raw materials in production could make themselves more independent from volatile commodities markets. “This means greater security of supply for companies, more stable prices, and it makes them less dependent on imports,” says Schulz.
Various policies have already created a legal basis throughout Europe for the return and recycling of products including the EU’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, the Batteries Directive, and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.
Stakeholder consultation reveals need to revise the Batteries Directive
The European Commission is currently evaluating the Batteries Directive and asked stakeholders to provide their practical experiences and opinion of this legislative act. The results of this stakeholder consultation were presented at a workshop in Brussels on March 14th. The key finding: The Batteries Directive probably needs to be revised to reflect new market developments and meet its objectives.
Stakeholders particularly stressed the importance of adjusting the calculation method for the collection rate. All agreed that the current method does not reflect market reality, particularly regarding the rapid spread of lithium-ion batteries. Consequently, collection targets would also need to be revised. In addition, stakeholders proposed to improve and harmonise consumer information and labelling requirements. Other topics covered by the consultation included recycling efficiency, removability, and hazardous substances.
The Commission is expected to publish its evaluation report in August. However, legislative action is only expected after the European Parliament election and the reformation of the Commission in 2019.
U.K. plans to introduce a plastic tax
The United Kingdom is considering imposing a plastic tax to reduce the amount of single-use plastics and to mitigate their environmental impact. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, head of Her Majesty’s Treasury, has called on stakeholders to share ideas on how such a tax or other equivalent measures could be used to tackle the problem.
Some key players have already reacted to the government plans. The British Retail Consortium expressed doubts about the added value of such a tax as packaging items are already implicitly funded by the extended producer responsibility system. Under this, producers are obliged to cover the costs for the collection and recycling of their packaging waste and, as a result, typically factor these costs into their product prices. The Environmental Services Association also acknowledged the existing principle of extended producer responsibility but proposed to impose a tax on virgin plastics to incentivise the use of recycled materials.
The public consultation was open until May 18th. The government will use the evidence gathered to prepare legislative action.
Faraday Battery Challenge: £246 million fund for new battery technologies
The U.K. government announced the implementation of the Faraday battery challenge, a project that is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. The project has a fund of £246 million and aims to support the development of new battery technologies to develop cost-effective, high-performance, durable, safe, low-weight, and more recyclable batteries. The initial focus of the challenge will be on targeting the full electrification of the automotive sector and zero-emissions vehicles.
The Faraday challenge includes three main activities:
- The Faraday Institution brings together expertise from universities and industry to accelerate the fundamental research needed for future battery development.
- Funding for research and innovation projects is now available for any U.K. business or research and technology organisation. 27 projects have so far been funded, including some focusing on improving battery lifespan and increasing the recyclability of battery packs.
- The UK Battery Industrial Centre will be the U.K.’s first automotive battery innovation centre.
More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/faraday-battery-challenge-industrial-strategy-challenge-fund
EPBA publishes 5th annual report on the collection of waste portable batteries
Sagis EPR has published the fifth annual report on behalf of the European Portable Battery Association. The report monitors the achievement of targets for the collection of batteries set in the European Batteries Directive. In addition, it provides examples of best practice by analysing the countries that achieve high collection rates. Based on the results of the analysis, the report also recommends ways to improve collection systems.
The report is an updated version of the original report which was first published in 2013. It provides the most comprehensive analysis of the collection rates for portable batteries in the Member States of the European Union, as well as in Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.
Plastic eating bacterium may help the Circular Economy
While working on research projects to address global environmental pollution, Japanese scientists from the Kyoto Institute of Technology and Keio University discovered a bacterium in a waste plastic storage facility that is able to eat polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) continued the work by examining the three-dimensional structure of the enzymes used by the bacterium to understand how they break down large PET molecules. The scientists at KAIST have now developed an even more effective PET-degrading variant.
The discovery could be important for developing better recycling technologies and reducing the amount of plastics waste.
Update of our privacy statement
As of May 25th, 2018, the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is effective.
The handling of your personal data and the data protection are of great importance to us. We have updated our privacy statement and are using a data basis compliant with the rules of the GDPR for our mailing list. To read our updated privacy statement, please follow this link.