June 5, 2023
Nautilus Solar Energy and ISM Solar Development open solar farm on remediated landfill – Waste Today Magazine

Nautilus Solar Energy and ISM Solar Development open solar farm on remediated landfill – Waste Today Magazine

While recyclers’ main focus is on the movement of materials, legislation and regulations in the U.S. and abroad continue to affect commodity markets.

During the 2021 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Webinar Series, Adina Renee Adler, vice president of advocacy at the Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), outlined how international regulations as well as federal and state regulations are affecting commodity markets for paper and plastic scrap.

Global regulations

Regarding the international trade of paper and plastic scrap, Adler said ISRI has been looking closely at a few key markets.

Although China has closed its doors to recovered fiber imports, she said the association continues to keep close tabs on what is happening with trade regulations in China.

“China, as you know, over the last few years is in this drive toward some self-sufficiency in creating a domestic, insular circular economy, trying to improve their ability to secure raw materials for their manufacturers,” she said. “But, of course, as we all know so well how strong that economy is and how much construction continues … that [China] can’t fulfill all of that demand from domestic sources … so they do continue to need to import recycled commodities.”

Adler noted that China is implementing quality standards for importing scrap metals, adding that the association will be tracking whether anything similar plays out for paper scrap in the future.

Malaysia, another key market for paper and plastic scrap, has implemented scrap import requirements that are similar to those in China. Adler said Malaysia has been engaging in stakeholder outreach as it develops scrap import guidelines specifically for metal and paper scrap.

On the paper side, she said Malaysia is planning to continue to follow the European BS EN 643:2014 standard for recovered paper. Adler said Malaysia is expected to recognize that different grades of paper scrap will need to follow different standards based on quality. She added that the nation plans to have a zero-tolerance level for what it calls “scheduled waste,” including plastics and other waste.

Indonesia also is actively updating its regulations for paper scrap imports. In the summer, that nation confirmed it would accept up to 2 percent prohibitives in paper scrap imports. Adler said Indonesia is supposed to provide guidance on that update to preshipment inspection agencies, though as of late October that had not yet happened.

Domestic regulations

Within the United States, much activity is happening at the state level, and much of the regulation pertains to extended producer responsibility (EPR) and recycled-content mandates.

“States have been very active on a range of policy issues,” Adler said. “You can see a number of states have introduced or are considering EPR legislation, which is being driven by a need to increase recycling, finding ways to help pay for it as municipalities are being impacted by changes in the marketplace.”

Maine and Oregon passed EPR bills earlier this year, and Adler said a handful of other states have similar legislation in the works, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington.

Similarly, she said, state lawmakers are discussing recycled-content bills to ensure packaging contains minimum postconsumer recycled (PCR) content. Adler said Washington and New Jersey lawmakers are considering recycled-content mandates . However, she said, these mandates could be sidelined as EPR schemes have gained more traction.

Adler said ISRI tends to oppose product stewardship programs, including most EPR proposals, because they interfere with commodity markets.

“We want [the] supply and demand pieces of our economy and marketplace to move materials where they need to be,” she said. “But we do understand these bills are coming, and many proposals out there include what’s called [a] producer responsibility organization structure. We want to make sure there is recognition [in these bills] that infrastructure already exists and could be fully utilized.”

Along similar lines and in response to demand for brand owners to develop recyclable packaging and packaging that incorporates recycled content, Adler said ISRI is developing a recyclability protocol for fiber-based packaging.

“There are so many labels out there, it’s hard to know if there are teeth behind them,” she said. “At ISRI, we are developing a standard that would clearly identify packaging that is recyclable. The idea of this is to plain old reduce confusion among the population of what is and is not recyclable, and their decision for packaging to go in a bin will lead to recycling.”

Adler said the protocol will start by looking at setting criteria for fiber-based materials that would end up in residential recycling streams. The association has formed a brands council with several major brands to help craft the criteria.

At the state level, Adler said ISRI has noticed more activity related to environmental justice (EJ).

The Environmental Protection Agency defines EJ as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin or income, with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.”

Lawmakers in New Jersey already passed an EJ bill in the fall of 2020.

“What New Jersey did is they target businesses that are in what they call overburdened communities, and by addressing that they would apply additional permitting requirements [and] also require businesses that are seeking these permits to address environmental justice in their compliance,” Adler said. “New Jersey, in particular, did specifically identify scrap metal facilities and solid waste facilities as public health stressors. We’re in the process now of working with the Department of Environmental Protection in New Jersey as they implement the bill.”

She added that more than 20 other states have introduced similar legislation. She said these bills will add permitting requirements for not just scrap metal facilities but also those that handle solid waste and plastic scrap.

The Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Webinar Series aired Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 26-27, with on-demand viewing also available. Learn more at http://paperplasticsna.recyclingtodayevents.com/schedule. 

Source: https://www.wastetodaymagazine.com/nautilus-solar-energy-ism-solar-development-open-solar-farm-remediated-landfill.aspx

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