The latest EU climate and toxic substances update

2021-12-08 06:23:31 By : Ms. Linda Yu

EU Sustainable Development Outlook-November 2021

The Council issued a report on the progress made during the negotiations on the "Fit 55" package during the Slovenian presidency (see Sustainability Outlook for July 2021), making it a major priority . Although the progress of the negotiation of the proposal has been mixed, overall progress has been made on the technical level. Some transportation proposals have made the most progress, energy documents have also made good progress, and the Environment and ECOFIN Committee needs more time to fully evaluate the proposals within its mandate. The Council noted that while some proposals represent new measures in the EU toolbox, such as the Social Climate Fund and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, other proposals, such as ETS and LULUCF, contain several new elements.

Delegations continued to view the Emissions Trading System (ETS) as the core of EU climate policy. Some people called for further raising the ambitions of ETS, but others questioned the possible impact of certain parts of the proposal on economic sectors and households, and emphasized the need to consider the different situations of member states. In particular, the proposal to introduce emissions trading for buildings and road transportation has raised major concerns about its social impact on low-income households and the risk of increased energy poverty.

Regarding the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), delegations seemed to support the goals of the proposal and its overall target level. However, they emphasized the importance of the flexibility of Member States to adopt the most cost-effective measures, to be consistent with existing legislation, and to respect the principles of subsidiarity and technological neutrality.

Regarding the Carbon Boundary Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Council established an ad hoc working group (AHWP CBAM) to prepare for further negotiations. In terms of international trade, the competitiveness of EU industry, and its impact on the economy (including the labor market), member states attach great importance to it.

Based on the leaked communication draft, the committee will develop an action plan to achieve a sustainable carbon cycle. The committee plans to achieve this goal through three key actions: eliminate or significantly reduce carbon dependence, recover carbon from waste, and upgrade carbon removal solutions that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it for a long time.

In particular, recovery from waste streams should be carried out from sustainable biomass sources or directly from the atmosphere. Then, in economic sectors that inevitably still rely on carbon, the carbon thus recovered should be used instead of fossil carbon.

The committee emphasized the importance of innovation funds. Carbon removal projects can improve their feasibility by combining grants from innovation funds with carbon removal credit sales revenue, while avoiding any double funding. The experience of carbon removal projects under the Innovation Fund will provide important feedback for the development of industrial carbon removal certification. The leaked documents confirm that a legislative proposal for this type of certification is planned to be proposed in 2022 with the aim of expanding carbon agriculture and industrial solutions to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

The committee is expected to approve the newsletter on December 14, 2021. 

The committee adopted a circular summarizing the key elements of the review of its competition policy. The committee has been evaluating whether current policy tools and enforcement practices are suitable for the dual transformation of green and digital, and the creation of a more flexible single market. The newsletter describes competition policy as a complementary tool to other measures in the European Green Agreement to support the green transition. For example, the newsletter mentions the "Horizontal Block Exemption Regulations and Guidelines" or the upcoming "Climate, Environmental Protection and Energy Assistance Guidelines" (CEEAG) update. The committee stated that the ongoing review of the State Aid Guidelines aims to ensure consistency with the regulatory principles related to the European Green Agreement, such as the “polluter pays” principle and the “no major harm” principle. According to the CEEAG draft, state support for projects involving fossil fuels is unlikely to comply with state aid rules. In a broader context, the committee may consider negative externalities as part of assessing the negative impact of aid on competition and trade.

Closely related to the content of the communication, the European Commission issued a policy brief on how EU competition rules can more effectively complement environmental and climate policies (see the September 2021 sustainability outlook).

The Commission passed a proposal for a new regulation to replace the European Union Waste Transportation Regulation 1013/2006 and amend the regulations on electronic freight information. The committee also issued a newsletter on "Waste Transport in a Clean and Circular Economy".

As the Commission said, the three main goals of the new rules are: (1) to ensure that the EU does not export waste to third countries; (2) to make the recycling and reuse of waste within the EU easier to transport; (3) to better handle Illegal waste transportation within the EU and between third countries and the EU.

First of all, the export of waste to non-OECD countries will not be approved unless the non-OECD countries clearly inform the EU that they are willing to accept the EU’s waste export "green list" waste, and can prove that they are capable of processing in an environmentally sustainable manner Dispose of these wastes. Waste exports to OECD countries will be monitored, and the committee will engage in dialogue with destination countries that are concerned about the environmental impact of such transportation. Companies that export waste outside the EU will be required to pass independent audits to ensure that their waste transportation facilities operate in an environmentally friendly manner. The committee will adopt standards for specific wastes (such as end-of-life vehicles (ELV), used batteries, and textiles) to distinguish waste from second-hand goods and prevent the export of waste under the name of "second-hand goods."

Within the EU, the transportation of waste for incineration or landfill will be subject to stricter conditions and will only be approved under limited and reasonable circumstances (for example, waste cannot be carried out in a technically and economically feasible way Recycled and cannot be disposed of in the country where it is located) it was generated). An EU-wide electronic document and information exchange system will be developed, and public and private participants will be able to submit and access information. The committee will also support the use of fast-track procedures to transport waste destined for recycling by allowing operators of recycling facilities to obtain prior consent. In addition, the committee will be granted executive powers to take measures to coordinate waste classification at the EU level (including the establishment of pollution thresholds for certain wastes).

The Commission will be authorized to investigate and coordinate actions against illegal traffic and may entrust the European Office of Anti-Fraud (OLAF) to take certain enforcement actions. The proposal includes non-exhaustive general standards for determining the types and levels of penalties imposed on infringements.

The proposal will follow ordinary legislative procedures. The committee opened the usual feedback period, which will last until January 17, 2022. 

In consultation with the correspondent (ie the national authority that disseminates advice and information on waste transportation), the committee adopted the so-called Correspondent’s Guide No. 12. It is not legally binding, but provides guidance on the interpretation of certain terms in the Convention. The entry on plastic waste in the EU Waste Transport Regulation 1013/2006 aims to provide legal clarity and certainty after the passage of the Commission’s authorization regulation 2020/2174. The regulations amended the above-mentioned items related to plastic waste in accordance with the changes in the "United Nations Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal."

The regulation and new guidelines aim to prevent low-quality plastic waste from being classified under B3011 (certain plastic waste imported/exported from outside the EU) or EU3011 (certain plastic waste transported within the EU), which allows "Easier" shipping. In order to be classified as B3011, the content of pollutants, other types of waste or non-halogenated polymers, cured resins or condensation products, or fluorinated polymers should not exceed 2% of the weight of a cargo that constitutes the majority of plastic waste. The same rules apply to plastic waste mixtures composed of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and/or polyethylene terephthalate (PET), provided that they are recycled separately. In the latter case, PVC is classified as another waste. Regarding plastic waste transportation within the European Union (EU3011), the content of pollutants, other types of waste or non-halogenated polymers, cured resins or condensation products, or fluoropolymers is allowed to increase instead of being a form of most plastic waste 6% of the total weight. However, member states can decide to adopt the maximum level of 2% after notifying the committee. Unlike B3011, EU3011 includes indentation for PVC shipments, and the guide proposes the highest pollution or other types of waste at 6% of the weight of the cargo.

In addition, the new guide reviews the prevention methods in its recommendations and provides guidance for the classification of hazardous wastes. They will apply from December 3, 2021.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) made a decision on the preliminary reference made by the Italian Supreme Administrative Advisory Body and the Court (Consiglio di Stato) on the interpretation of certain rules concerning waste transportation and waste classification for this purpose (Case C-315/20; English version is not yet available). The Italian court has asked the European Court of Justice whether the competent authority can object to mixed municipal waste sent for recycling. In this case, after the waste is mechanically processed to recover energy, its original nature has not changed substantially, and it has been classified as "other wastes (including material mixtures) from mechanical processing" in the European Waste Catalog (EWC). "(Code 19 12 12). According to the "Waste Transport Regulations", the competent authority can object to the transportation of mixed municipal waste collected from private households (20 03 01) for disposal and recycling. The European Court of Justice concluded that the rule It must be interpreted as allowing the competent authority to oppose the shipment of mixed municipal waste. These wastes (even if they are processed by energy recovery machinery) do not materially change the original characteristics of the waste, regardless of the waste classification given in the EWC. The European Court of Justice has followed Advocate The opinion of General Rantos, which recalled that the rules applicable to the transportation of waste depend on the substance of the waste and not on the formal classification of the EWC. 

The European Commission submitted a draft implementation decision to its Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75 (IED) Committee, which established the best available technology (BAT) conclusions for large combustion plants (LCP). The committee gave a positive opinion.

The BAT conclusion is a reference for setting licensing conditions for devices covered by IED Chapter II. The national competent authority must set emission limits to ensure that under normal operating conditions, emissions do not exceed the BAT-related emission levels specified in the BAT conclusion. The LCP BAT conclusion covers (1) fuel combustion in installations with a total rated heat input of 50 MW or above; (2) coal or other fuel gasification in installations with a total rated heat input of 20 MW or above (only when the activity is When the combustion device is directly related); (3) The combined waste incineration plant treats or recycles non-hazardous waste with a waste treatment capacity exceeding 3 tons per hour or hazardous waste with a treatment capacity exceeding 10 tons per day.

Based on the committee’s approval, the committee is expected to adopt an implementation decision in the next few months. It will then replace the Commission’s Executive Decision 2017/1442, which was annulled by the European Court of Justice in response to Poland’s application. Poland’s energy system still relies on coal and is supported by Bulgaria and Hungary (Case T699/17; appeal pending, Case C-207/ 21). The court ruling requires the committee to pass the new LCP BAT conclusion before the end of January 2022. If the court overturns the judgment in case T-699/17, so that the enforcement decision 2017/1442 remains valid, the decision will cease to apply on January 28, 2022.

The proposed regulations will establish mandatory due diligence requirements for companies placing certain commodities (soy, beef, palm oil, wood, cocoa and coffee) and some derivative products (such as leather and chocolate) on the market. These commodities and products are related to deforestation, forest degradation and illegal logging. Operators who put the affected products on the market for the first time, whether they are manufacturers or importers, must ensure that these products are not produced on land that has been felled or degraded after December 31, 2020; and that they are produced in accordance with the country of production. Of legal production. Failure to meet either of these two requirements will result in the prohibition of placing these products on the market. Operators need to have a due diligence system to assess and manage their risks.

The committee proposed to amend Regulation No. 2019/1021 on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs; see frESH Law Horizons June 2020). In particular, the proposal will update the concentration limits in Annex IV and V, which determine how wastes containing persistent organic pollutants must be treated, including whether they can be recycled or must be destroyed or irreversibly transformed. According to the POPs regulations, the committee must make legislative recommendations to modify these annexes to adapt to changes in the substance lists in the annexes of the United Nations Stockholm Convention or Protocol, or to modify the items or regulations in these annexes to adapt to technological progress.

The committee proposed strict restrictions on three substances or substance groups in waste: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and compounds; dicofol; and pentachlorophenol (PCP) and its salts and esters. According to the committee, these substances are still present in certain products, such as textiles, fire-fighting foam and treated wood. In addition, the committee proposes to tighten the waste maximum limits for other substances already controlled in these annexes: polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs, the cumulative threshold of five substances), short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs), hexabromocyclododecane (HCBDD), polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF), and dioxins-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dlPCBs).

The proposal follows ordinary legislative procedures, which involve amendments and legislative negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council before the final law is passed. 

While revising the general legislative procedures of Annex IV and V of the POPs Regulations (see above), the Commission has been using the powers granted to it by the Regulations. For example, it opened up comments on the draft of the Commission’s authorized regulations, which amended the content of hexachlorobenzene in Annex I of the POPs Regulations. This substance is used as a pesticide and is listed in Annex A of the United Nations Stockholm Convention (for elimination). Annex I of the POPs regulation currently does not set a limit for the presence of hexachlorobenzene as an unintentional trace pollutant (UTC). If the threshold is exceeded, the manufacture, placing on the market (including import) and use of the substance (and articles containing the substance) are prohibited. The committee discussed the amendment with its POPs expert group in June. The comment period ends on December 6, 2021. After that, the committee can pass the authorization bill; unless the European Parliament or the Council objects, it will take effect in two months.

The Commission issued three authorization directives in the official gazette (Commission authorization directives 2021/1979, 2021/1980, and 2021/1978), according to EU directive 2017/2102 on the restriction of the use of hazardous substances in medical devices and spare parts, and exemption of o-benzene The use of dimethylformate in medical equipment and spare parts electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS).

They added the following exemptions to Annex IV of RoHS: the use of bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) in the plastic components of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) detector coils; in ion selective electrodes Use DEHP (see the October 2021 Sustainability Outlook and frESH Law Horizons February 2021) for the analysis of human body fluids and/or dialysate; DEHP, butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), The use of dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) in spare parts recovered from the repair or refurbishment of medical devices and used for the repair or refurbishment of medical devices. EU member states must switch their directives before April 30, 2022.

The European Commission passed the amendment to the implementation regulations of REACH Annex XIV, the so-called DEHP (butyl benzyl phthalate, see also frESH Law Horizons February 2021 and Sustainability Outlook October 2021), BBP (butyl benzyl phthalate), DBP's authorized list (dibutyl phthalate) and DIBP (diisobutyl phthalate). To avoid authorization requirements, the concentration limit applicable to the presence of these substances in the mixture is 0.1%.

The Committee believes that it is inappropriate to use the options provided by REACH to establish exemptions based on specific (other) EU legislation that imposes minimum requirements related to the protection of human health or the environment to ensure appropriate control of risks.

The European Commission exempted the authorization requirements for the use of DEHP, BBP and DBP in direct packaging of medicines in Commission Regulation 143/2011. The Committee re-evaluated the exemptions set out in Annex XIV based on the court's judgment in Case C-651/15 (VECCO) in July 2017, which clarified certain aspects of the granting of authorization requirements for exemptions. In particular, the court found that Regulation No. 726/2004 on the authorization and supervision of pharmaceutical products and Directives 2001/82 and 2001/83 on the Community Code of Veterinary Drug Products and Medical Products for Human Use do not impose such minimums. The requirement is because they do not contain regulations specific to the substance at hand. In addition, the aforementioned EU laws only stipulate requirements related to the protection of human health, while DEHP has inherent characteristics related to environmental hazards. 

In an information note, the Council held a seminar on REACH authorization and restriction reforms in Brdo, Slovenia in early November. 130 representatives of the competent authorities of the member states considered several options for reforming the REACH authorization and restriction system. The first option is the simplification under the current authorization and restriction system, the second is the merger of authorization and restriction, and the third is the complete or partial removal of the authorization title from REACH (see frESH Law Horizons May 2021 and June 2021).

Participants expressed interest in merging authorizations and restrictions. For the sake of simplicity, the authorities do not need to prove that the use of the most hazardous substances poses unacceptable risks (as currently envisaged by REACH). The burden of proof for authorization and reduction or exemption restrictions should be borne by the industry. Member states also support the continued use of the Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) in order to prioritize further regulatory actions. They believe that it is advantageous to require additional use and exposure information on the shortlist.

A week later, the committee held a public workshop on the same topic. According to a background document, the challenges surrounding the authorization process include so-called upstream applications, covering hundreds of downstream users. In the case of individual applications by downstream users, this sometimes creates a large number of frequently repeated individual applications for similar uses of sometimes very small amounts of SVHC. The type and amount of information required is a challenge for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), which usually depend on the technology choices of suppliers, customers, and so on.

The problematic aspects of the restriction process include the burden of preparing restriction recommendations, because member states do not always have the necessary resources and access to key information, especially information related to use and exposure, as well as technological options and alternatives. Restricting restrictions to "informative" substances and restricting them on a substance-by-substance basis is also problematic, as this leads to regrettable alternatives (using unrestricted substances with similar characteristics), such as other perfluorooctanoic acid after the restriction of PFOA And polyfluoroalkyl substances. Although the problem has been partially resolved through broader restrictions (such as the extensive PFAS restrictions being developed), it is still an issue that requires close attention.

In addition to the above options, the seminar also considered the introduction of general methods of risk management, the introduction of essential-use concepts, strengthening the role of the ECHA Forum in assessing the enforceability of restrictions, and improving the feasibility of REACH for SMEs.

In the two documents submitted to the REACH and CLP (CARACAL) competent authorities to convene a meeting of the agency in November, the committee requested the approval of two CARACAL subgroups on endocrine and disruptor polymers (CASG-polymer and CASG-ED), Because it takes extra time to complete their work. In particular, CASG-ED may require additional meetings to discuss the specific technical aspects of the future updates of REACH Annex I and VII to X, to include data requirements for endocrine disruptors (please refer to the frESH Law Horizons in June 2021). Understand the recent changes in data requirements). The committee submitted two preliminary draft proposals at the CASG-ED meeting in October 2020 as a starting point for discussion. Based on feedback from CASGED members, the committee revised these two proposals and submitted them for discussion in March 2021. These revised proposals are used as policy options to be considered in a study designed to gather more information to support the impact assessment of potential options for updating the REACH Annex. The study will be included in the impact assessment of the REACH amendment (see frESH Law Horizons May 2021).

Prior to the second meeting of the High-level Roundtable on Chemical Sustainability Strategies in November (see Sustainability Outlook for October 2021), the Committee reported on the implementation of the strategy.

It is now planned to adopt a sustainable product initiative in 2022. The committee initiated a study on essential-use standards, and targeted consultations are ongoing. The committee plans to conduct public consultations in the spring of 2022, and then propose a horizontal standard at the end of 2022 and introduce this concept in its REACH amendment proposal. According to the concept of basic use, the most harmful chemicals are allowed to be used only when health, safety, or social operations are necessary and there are no acceptable substitutes. The committee will also propose three legal proposals: a horizontal proposal for reallocating tasks to EU institutions (2022), a proposal for transparency and data reuse to allow EU and national authorities to conduct tests (2023), and a proposal to improve the availability of ECHA funding. Predictability and stability (2023). In addition, the “one substance, one assessment” approach also includes the development of a common open data portal on chemicals (2023) and a health-based limit value repository (2022).

After revising the early drafts discussed in CARACAL since April 2021, the committee hopes to adopt a roadmap at the beginning of the year to prioritize REACH restricted substances. It submitted a new draft to CARACAL in November. The roadmap may use the following categories: substances that have been restricted in the Registry of Intent (RoI); substance restriction proposals being considered by ECHA, member states or committees; potential restrictions that ECHA anticipates requiring further regulatory action. Although it focuses on the hazard endpoints specified for the general approach to risk management, the revised version of the roadmap indicates that restrictions may also involve other endpoints, such as skin sensitizers, to ensure consistent use of regulatory resources.

According to the draft, among other things, ECHA, member states and committees are currently assessing the need for further regulatory measures on flame retardants in general. ECHA will formulate an overall strategy on flame retardants by 2022. This will support the committee's decision in 2023 to require ECHA to establish group restrictions (or restrictions) based on REACH. The substances in the scope are in principle all flame retardants, but brominated flame retardants will be given special attention and priority.

The European Chemical Agency submitted a report containing two case studies to quantify the causal impact of the REACH authorization system on the use of specific substances of very high concern (SVHC). The research focuses on Sweden. The study found that five years after the Swedish company included it on the XIV (authorized list), its annual use of SVHC has been reduced by about 40%. This shows that including a certain substance in the authorized list has a considerable substitution effect. Studies have found that adding substances to the REACH Candidate List may reduce their discharge into wastewater. It was found that 1,2-dichloroethane had a strong influence in this regard; its emissions dropped by approximately 66% between 2011 and 2017. The report believes that it can at least be attributed to its inclusion in the candidate list and expected inclusion in the authorization list (users are required to apply for authorization). The results of the two case studies indicate that the candidate list and the authorization list may be equivalent to the use of SVHC. Big impact. It would be desirable to extend similar surveys to other EU member states where data is available.

The European Chemicals Agency stated that REACH requirements need to be considered in the recycling of chemicals. The report drafted by ECHA consultant RPA analyzes current knowledge about the chemical recycling of polymer materials such as plastics and rubber, and how different chemical recycling technologies reduce the presence of substances of concern in recycled materials. The report outlines the different chemical recovery processes and the advantages and disadvantages of these technologies. In addition to the literature review, the report also includes the results of a consultation. Stakeholders believe that chemical recycling can be seen as a "complement" to mechanical recycling because it accepts waste that cannot be mechanically processed.

The report concluded that the ability of the chemical recovery process to eliminate related substances is not sufficiently understood, and further research is needed, especially in the areas of gasification and chemical decomposition. The report recommends harmonizing the terminology related to chemical recovery, because the term or its role in the circular economy is still unclear. Regulatory issues (such as REACH registration) and the potential for chemical recycling need to be studied on a case-by-case basis, with separate studies for each type of chemical recycling. For example, the report provides that pyrolysis and gasification have the potential to serve effective waste management technologies and replace incineration and/or landfills, despite some limitations in terms of recycling. In contrast, for example, chemical decomposition can promote the recycling of plastics, but its commercialization is currently difficult. The document emphasizes that some regulatory issues are unique to chemical recycling technology, because mechanical recycling does not cause chemical changes to the processed materials. Finally, it recommends the use of digital technology to improve the traceability of substances of concern in recycling.

The European Chemical Agency has initiated a social media campaign within the European Union to raise awareness of the Unique Formula Identifier (UFI), especially for parents with children. Since January 2021, the European Poison Center has asked callers to provide UFI codes. This helps them quickly identify the product and its ingredients in order to provide accurate advice to the caller. UFI can be found on the product labels of many everyday chemical products, such as cleaners, paints, and adhesives. It should always appear clearly near the product name or brand name, or near hazard information, such as pictograms and recommendations on how to use the product safely. UFI is created based on the company's VAT number (or company code) and the formula number of a specific mixture.

The European Food Safety Agency has issued a draft scientific opinion on the identification and prioritization of plasticizer risk assessment used in food contact materials (FCM), and a draft agreement on exposure assessment of priority substances for public consultation. 

In particular, the draft scientific opinion outlines the substances that may be used as plasticizers in FCM and divides them into high, medium and low priority groups for further risk assessment. EFSA will collect data on the migration of priority substances from FCM and their appearance in FCM through a dedicated telephone in 2022, separate from public consultation. The consultations on the draft protocol included exposure assessment as part of the safety assessment of phthalates, structurally similar substances, and alternative substances that may be used as FCM plasticizers, in particular dietary exposure, FCM's contribution to dietary exposure, and FCM The contribution of overall (dietary and non-dietary) exposure. Comments can be submitted until December 16, 2021.

The ordinary court ruled that the substance 4-tert-butylphenol (PTBP) was determined to meet the criteria for inclusion in the REACH Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). It dismissed the revocation lawsuit filed by Sasol, BASF and SI Group-Béthune.

In December 2016, ECHA's Committee of Member States (MSC) issued comments on the REACH Annex XV file. Although most MSC members believe that PTBP must be identified as SVHC, MSC cannot reach a consensus. In July 2019, the European Commission adopted the implementation decision 2019/1194, which identified PTBP as an SVHC in accordance with Article 57(f) of REACH because its endocrine disrupting properties may have a serious impact on the environment. Based on the decision to challenge the application, ECHA included PTBP on the shortlist.

Regarding the investigation results of the substances listed in Article 57 (a) to (e) with a degree of concern, the court determined that the committee did not simply analyze the hazards caused by the inherent characteristics of PTBP. On the contrary, it takes into account the difficulty of fully assessing the risk, while also noting that the effects are irreversible. According to the majority opinion of the MSC, these effects may be related to wildlife populations and the effectiveness of PTBP. The court also found that the factors argued by the applicant (ie, degradability, bioaccumulation, potency, and environmental exposure) did not constitute information that must be considered relevant for such identification purposes. Therefore, the committee has no obligation to consider them when determining PTBP as SVHC. In addition, the court also referred to the committee's 2020 roadmap on SVHC. According to the roadmap, regardless of the recommendations of the risk management option analysis (RMOA), endocrine disruptors may be identified as SVHC.

Especially in the case of endocrine disruptors, even if a restriction is foreseen, a substance may be included in the candidate list because a substance that is formally identified as a high concern may avoid further discussion of hazardous properties in the restriction procedure. According to the court, the applicant relied on the erroneous assumption that restriction is an easier measure than identifying the substance as SVHC. This basically triggers information obligations and even ends up being included in the authorization list, which still allows authorization. specific purpose.

The Italian government announced the fourth postponement of the national plastic tax of 0.45 Euro/kg on certain disposable plastic packaging (manufatti inplastica con singolo impiego (MACSI)). According to the government's 2022 budget law, taxation will be postponed to January 1, 2023. The proposed budget law has been submitted to Parliament for approval.

The UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has launched a call for evidence and public consultation on the ban on certain single-use plastic products in the UK. DEFRA considers that the supply of plates, cutlery, balloon sticks, and expanded and squeezed polystyrene food and beverage containers, including cups, will be prohibited in April 2023.

Unlike the EU Single-use Plastics Directive 2019/904 (SUPD), this specific initiative focuses on banning certain products and does not provide any other measures, such as reducing consumption targets, labeling requirements, or product requirements (ie, minimum recycling content). In addition, it does not include the prohibition of all products made of oxidatively degradable plastics. However, it defines terms such as "single plastic product" or "plastic" similar to SUPD. Therefore, plastics refer to "materials composed of polymers with additives or other substances that may be added, which can be used as the main structural components of the final product, except for natural polymers that have not been chemically modified." This definition is already used in the 2020 Environmental Protection Regulations that bans the supply of plastic straws, beverage stirrers and cotton swabs (see Legal NewsBITE September 2020). As with SUPD, the expected ban will include products made from various plastics, including bio-based plastics, biodegradable plastics, and compostable plastics.

According to their delegated powers, other parts of the UK, especially Scotland and Wales, have initiated other similar initiatives to ban single-use plastic products. In addition, the United Kingdom has pledged to transfer some of Northern Ireland's SUPD by January 2022, including restrictions on certain single-use plastic products from being placed on the market. Evidence collection and public consultation on the measures in England will continue until February 12, 202

Josep Bellot also contributed to this content.

Ken Huestebeck is a member of the European Public Policy Practice Department, focusing on energy, environment and health laws and policies.

His current focus is on circular economy policies and related regulations, including design and implementation of publicity and communication strategies.

Ken joined the firm in September 2017. Prior to this, he was a lawyer in the strategic litigation team of a public interest law firm in Brussels and London. There, he successfully managed controversial competition and environmental policy matters in the European upstream power and heat markets,...

Anita Lloyd specializes in environmental and sustainable development matters, including waste, environmental permits, producer responsibility, product compliance and labeling, chemical regulation, asbestos and contaminated land, and climate change laws.

Anita provides consulting services to clients in all industries, but has special expertise in the chemical, plastics, automotive, paper and other manufacturing industries. She regularly advises customers in the United Kingdom, the European Union and outside the European Union on environmental and product regulations and their applications in their businesses, products, facilities and supply chains. she...

Francesca Zuccarello Cimino is a member of the company's European Public Policy Business Unit in Brussels. She mainly supports clients in EU sustainability policies and regulatory affairs, including legislation and policy initiatives related to the circular economy.

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