ECN e.V.

Network for Organic Resources and Biological Treatment
ECN E-BULLETIN No. 13_2021
3 DEcemBer 2021
EU Commission I Feedback Deadline 28 December 2021

Public consultation on Microplastics pollution – measures to reduce its impact on the environment

This initiative aims to tackle microplastics unintentionally released into the environment. It will focus on labelling, standardisation, certification and regulatory measures for the main sources of these plastics.
It aims to:
  • improve the science on the risks and occurrence of microplastics in the environment, tap water and food
  • reduce environmental pollution and potential health risks, while respecting the principles of the single market and encouraging competitiveness and innovation.
The public consultation can be accessed here.
GIZ I BMU I 8 December 8:00 – 10:00 am

Biobased and Biodegradable Plastics

Disposable, single-use packaging is convenient from the perspective of consumers, e.g. take-away food packaging. However, the high amounts of plastic consumed entail various negative impacts. In the dilemma between ecological perspectives on single-use plastic and the convenience that biobased and biodegradable plastic packaging offers, this type of plastics has been discussed as an alternative to fossil-based plastics for quite some time. Environmental benefits are often attributed to biobased and biodegradable plastics due to the fact that “bio” is understood to mean “environmentally friendly”.
Screenshot 2021 12 02 At 13 10 58 Oekoinstitut Biobased And Biodegadable Plastic Pdf
Biobased and biodegradable plastics are perceived as suitable substitutes for the conventional plastics whose environmental impacts have been widely researched. However, this supposed solution implies various consequences and problems. A one-to-one substitution of conventional plastic with biodegradable or biobased plastic does neither lead to any changes in waste volumes nor to a reduction of the associated environmental impacts in the long run.
This episode of the dialogue series provides science-based background knowledge on biobased and biodegradable plastic. The speakers’ input shall enable the partners to avoid regrettable substitution, aims to raise awareness for the need to consider the trade-offs and anticipate consequences of material decisions, in terms of environmental impacts and end-of-life treatment.
The dialogue series is part of the project “Collaborative Action to Reduce Single-Use Plastic in South-East Asia (CAP SEA)”, which is part of a global project “Export Initiative for Green Technologies” commissioned by the German Ministry of the Environment (BMU).
The event will take place mainly in English with simultaneous interpretation into Thai and Bahasa Indonesia.
Please register here.
Pre-Study on "Why are biobased and biodegradable plastic not part of the solution to reduce plastic waste?
Screenshot 2021 12 02 At 13 12 12 Oekoinstitut Biobased And Biodegadable Plastic Pdf
EU Commission I Feedback Deadline 16 February 2022

Public Consultation referring to digital labelling of EU Fertilising products

The Commission is working on a study to support an impact assessment for the introduction of digital labelling of EU Fertilising Products. Based on the responded we received from our members, we have submitted written responses on the questionnaire of the contracted consultancy.

For following up the work the Commission has launched a public consultation questionnaire to seek the views from different stakeholders and citizens on a possible introduction of digital labelling of many chemical products, including fertilizing products.
The consultation is open from 24 November 2021 to 16 February 2022 (midnight Brussels time). If you have an interest and expertise in digital labelling, please take part in this public consultation.
Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC (Revision)

Joint Research Centre published a study on the status of landfilling in Europe

The European Commission is expected to adopt a proposal for a Directive revising the rules on separate collection and other elements of the Waste Framework Directive during the second quarter of 2023. The study may be part of the future impact assessment to be performed between 2022 and 2023.

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) made available, on 18th November 2021, a Report on Waste Disposal operations. The study offered an overview and analysis of waste and flows and management in the EU for waste disposal operations categories (D codes) listed in Annex I
to Directive 2008/98/EC (WFD). The Report consisted of two volumes, one representing the main report and another one mainly dealing with Annex I of the WFD. The study observed that the implementation of the WFD varies across Member States, namely there are overlaps between D codes depending on the definitions given by Member States and lack of harmonisation on the definition of landfill operations.

The study suggested multiple possible technical improvements, both related to the necessity to provide and clarify (the D codes in particular) the definitions describing waste disposal operations.
On possible legal suggestions, the study underscored that it would be desirable to clarify the legal text and develop a new guidance document, ensuring a more harmonised interpretation and implementation of legal provisions and requirements. In addition, it was underlined the necessity to align the Landfill Directive and the Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) Decision with technological novelties, in particular by regularly revising these legal documents and by developing a reference guidance document on best disposal practices for waste.
Furthermore, the study identified the necessity of introducing:
  • Possible ban on incineration and landfilling of municipal waste suitable for recycling;
  • Progressive limitation of land deposit (D1) of unrecyclable industrial or construction wastes, of land treatment (D2) (in the optic of banning this method), of deep injection (D3), of surface impoundment (D4), of release into water (D6) and in seas/oceans (D7) to specific cases;
  • More reductions targets for landfilling of mineral construction and demolition waste, and
  • Additional limitation of the permanent storage (D12) to hazardous wastes.
The European Commission is provisionally expected to launch a 4-week public consultation on the Roadmap and launch a 12-week public consultation in Q2 2022.


Check out the upcoming World Soil Day events:
  • FAO's/Global Soil Partnership - Official Ceremony of World Soil Day 2021 - 3rd December 2021 - register here
  • CIC's World Soil Day Celebration - From Soil to Earth - 3rd December 2021 - more information here
  • ECN World Soil Day Celecration - The new EU Soil Strategy - 6th December 2021 - register here
  • FAO I UN World Soil Day - Agricultural Plastics: The Good, The Bad and the UGLY -7th December 2021 - register here

S.O.S Save Organics in Soil

This international initiative S.O.S. SOIL – Save Organics in Soil, led by the European Compost Network (ECN) and the Italian Composting and Biogas Association (CIC), aims to highlight the importance of soil organic matter to encourage policy makers to develop instruments to move Europe towards implementing sustainable, climate proof soil management practices.
Sign the manifesto 'Save Organigs in Soil' here.

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