2014. november 26. 11:23

The EU has taken a historic step with the approval with the first piece of legislation aimed at bringing down the use of single-use plastic bags. The compromise allows member States to choose between a plastic bag reduction target of 90 bags per person per year by 2019 and then 40 bags per person per year by 2025; ban the handing out of plastic carrier bags for free by 2018; and ban plastic carrier bags at national level altogether.

2014. november 26. 11:19

A deal struck earlier this week between the European Parliament and member states to phase out the use of plastic carrier bags was confirmed today (21 November) by the Council of Ministers.

The new EU law will require governments to cut annual use of lightweight plastic bags to 90 per person by the end of 2019. That number will have to be cut to 40 bags per person by the end of 2025. This represents a reduction from current use of 50% by the end of 2019 and 80% by the end of 2025. Average consumption of single-use plastic bags was 176 bags per person in 2010.

2014. november 26. 11:14

Shoppers will be able to save hundreds of pounds on televisions, fridges and washing machines by trading in old models under a "revolutionary" recycling initiative.

Plans published on Tuesday disclose that 50 companies from Sainsbury's to Samsung will offer discounts and vouchers to customers who return electronic goods in working order.

A mid-range laptop computer is still worth around £240 two years after purchase, while a three-year-old 55-inch television is still typically worth £475.

2014. november 24. 13:25

Last month, the European Commission adopted a zero-waste programme, establishing a legal framework for an EU-wide circular economy. According to the Commission, the framework will boost recycling and prevent the loss of valuable materials; create jobs, economic growth and new business models; and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

2014. november 24. 12:21

Member states must either meet targets to reduce the number of single-use plastic bags or introduce a charge for them, legislators have agreed.

The deal struck by MEPs and member state negotiators on Monday will require governments to cut annual use of lightweight plastic bags to 90 per person by the end of 2019.

2014. november 24. 12:11

Conscious consumers know not to use disposable plastic bottles, or single-use plastic bags, and try to use as little packaging as possible in order to save the planet. A growing number of companies are also developing innovative ways to give waste a second lease of life.

1. Nappies to roof tiles and railway sleepers

Every parent knows that disposable nappies generate enormous amounts of waste. And with the average baby using the equivalent of 150kg of wood, nappies waste a lot of resources, too.

2014. november 18. 09:35

Companies said an independent review is needed of the bags – conventional plastic bags enhanced with additives that catalyse degradation at the end of useful life.

The European Parliament wants to ban them but the Council of member states is opposed to a ban. Lawmakers are preparing for final negotiations on Monday on an update to the packaging waste directive.

2014. november 11. 15:39

Jean-Claude Juncker, the new president of the European Commission, has begun preparations for his 2015 Commission work programme by testing commissioners’ reaction to withdrawing some unapproved legislative proposals from the previous Commission administration.

The letter, co-signed by Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans and seen by European Voice, was sent to the 26 other European commissioners on Friday. It includes possible new initiatives for 2015 and possible withdrawals of pending proposals “applying the principle of ‘political discontinuity’, as appropriate”.

2014. november 11. 15:18

Zero-waste efforts are underway in a number of communities around the world. Cities are adopting new principles and changing the way waste is handled and managed. They are also demonstrating that eliminating waste is not only environmentally beneficial, but also economically advantageous.

From San Francisco to the Philippines to Taiwan, cities are adopting innovative waste management strategies for consuming resources and managing waste that ensure discarded objects are being returned to nature or remanufactured.

2014. november 10. 15:07

A review is underway in Brussels and the commission says it will be seeking feedback and information from the sector.

Maria Banti, from the EC’s Waste Management Unit, told delegates at the recent Bureau of International Recycling convention in Paris that contractors had been appointed to carry out a study. Researchers include the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability.
Banti said the review had three tasks: