PFPW.NEWS – June 18, 2020


~   Microplastics in Drinking Water – Definition Adopted by California
~   Plastic Waste Reduction and Recycling Act Introduced in the House
~   Recycling – Consumer Brands Association (CBA) Position
~   Plastic Free July
~   Nanomaterial Use in Food – Food Safety Risk Assessment
~   Food Loss and Waste – EU Platform
~   Plastic Waste – Does not Degrade in the Deep Ocean

Microplastics in Drinking Water – Definition Adopted by California
– On June 16, 2020, The California Water Board (CWB)  “… adopted an official definition of ‘microplastics’ in drinking water. The definition sets the foundation for a long-term approach to studying this ubiquitous contaminant, which recently has come into mainstream awareness as a major environmental challenge. Researchers believe further monitoring and study of microplastics in drinking water supplies and its implications for public health and safety are imperative … Plastic pollution is a challenge throughout our watersheds … Microplastics are plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in length – a size that has long concerned scientists due to its potential ingestion by animals …” – Adoption of the definition is in response State legislation – CWB “… is collaborating with … [others] to lead an ambitious, international effort to standardize methods for monitoring [microplastics] in drinking water, surface water, sediment and fish tissue …” – The adopted definition is here.  #Microplastics #PlasticWaste

Plastic Waste Reduction and Recycling Act Introduced in the House 
– On June 16, 2020 “… Reps. Haley Stevens (MI-11), the Chairwoman of the House Science Subcommittee on Research and Technology, and Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16) introduced bipartisan legislation to reduce plastic waste and improve the global competitiveness of the United States plastics recycling industry … The Plastic Waste Reduction and Recycling Act directs the establishment of a plastic waste reduction and recycling research and development program, calls on the Federal government to develop a strategic plan for plastic waste reduction, and calls for the development of standards for plastics recycling technologies …”  “… the U.S. recycles just 9% of its plastic waste … [This] Act will help develop a world-leading U.S. industry in advanced plastics recycling technologies, and unleash the innovative potential of our nation to address our plastic waste crisis and generate greater value from the plastics we do produce …” – The text of the unnumbered bill is here.
Recycling – Consumer Brands Association (CBA) Position
– On June 17, 2020, Meghan Stasz, a CBA VP, testified before a Senate committee during a hearing, titled “Responding to the Challenges Facing Recycling in the United States” – She noted: “… packaging innovation … relies on a functioning recycling system … that system is at a breaking point. Recyclable packaging ends up where it shouldn’t … this breakdown needs to be recast as … [an] opportunity … CPG companies … [are] focused on getting to fully recyclable packaging by 2030 or sooner and using a much greater percentage of recycled content … There are nearly 10,000 individual recycling systems in America, each with different rules about what is recyclable and where and how it can be recycled … The … consumer confusion can be alleviated by harmonizing recycling rules across systems … CBA has identified two places where we see the greatest need for congressional action: … better data … [and] efforts to develop supply chains or end markets for recycled material must expand beyond state borders …” #Recycling #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic

Plastic Free July – The Plastic Free Foundation Ltd, an Australian not-for-profit, has launched “Plastic Free July” which “… provides resources and ideas to help … [its supporters] reduce single-use plastic waste … Our movement has inspired over 250 million participants in 177 countries … You can choose to refuse single-use plastics in July (and beyond!) …” #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic #PlasticPackaging

Nanomaterial Use in Food – Food Safety Risk Assessment
– According to a June 9, 2020 French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) news release  “… an increasing number of nanomaterials have been incorporated into everyday products, particularly foods … many questions are being asked about their identification, their impacts on human health and the environment, and how to regulate them … ANSES, requires manufacturers, importers and distributors of more than 100 grams of nanoparticle substances per year to declare the identity of the substances, the quantities handled and the intended uses … The food sub-sectors most concerned are infant formula (25.6%), confectionery (15.6%), breakfast cereals (14.8%), cereal bars (12.9%), and frozen pastries and desserts (10.9%) … Given the uncertainties … ANSES … calls for consumer exposure to be limited by avoiding unnecessary uses of nanomaterials in food and by promoting safe products, free of nanomaterials, that are equivalent in terms of function and effectiveness …” #Nanomaterials #FoodSafety #RiskAssessment

Food Loss and Waste – EU Platform – On Monday, June 15, 2020, the “EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste (FLW)” virtually conducted  its eighth meeting where members were to exchange views on the recently adopted Farm to Fork Strategy and food-waste related actions. Members were to also share recent food waste prevention actions taken in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic #FoodWaste

Plastic Waste – Does not Degrade in the Deep Ocean – According to a June 11, 2020 Science Daily story, researchers with the Germany Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR) report “… Even in the most remote regions of the oceans plastic debris can be found. Usually it is impossible to determine how long they have been lying on the seabed. Up to now, this has also hampered attempts to estimate how long plastic degradation might take. Scientists have now examined plastic items that have verifiably been at the abyssal seabed for more than 20 years. They could not find any traces of fragmentation or even degradation …” – The research report is here.   #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic #MicroPlastics #PlasticPackaging # GEOMAR