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Son Güncelleme: 10.04.2021 21:20
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General

Crude steel production increases

China is estimated to have produced 83.0 Mt in February 2021, up 10.9% on February 2020. India produced 9.1 Mt, down 3.1%. Japan produced 7.5 Mt, down 5.6%. The United States produced 6.3 Mt, down 10.9%. Russia is estimated to have produced 5.7 Mt, down 1.3%. South Korea produced 5.5 Mt, up 1.2%. Turkey produced 3.0 Mt, up 5.9%. Germany produced 3.1 Mt, down 10.4%. Brazil produced 2.8 Mt, up 3.8%. Iran is estimated to have produced 2.3 Mt, up 11.5%.

Table 1. Crude steel production by region
Feb 2021 (Mt) % change Feb 21/20 Jan-Feb 2021 (Mt) % change Jan-Feb 21/20
Africa 1.2 -6.4 2.4 -6.9
Asia and Oceania 109.7 7.5 230.8 10.1
CIS 8.0 -1.5 16.8 -0.4
EU (27) 11.9 -7.1 24.1 -3.7
Europe, Other 3.9 5.2 8.2 6.9
Middle East 3.2 -0.9 6.8 0.4
North America 8.8 -8.9 18.5 -7.1
South America 3.5 2.2 7.3 6.6
Total 64 countries 150.2 4.1 315.0 6.6

Crude steel production increases

China is estimated to have produced 83.0 Mt in February 2021, up 10.9% on February 2020. India produced 9.1 Mt, down 3.1%. Japan produced 7.5 Mt, down 5.6%. The United States produced 6.3 Mt, down 10.9%. Russia is estimated to have produced 5.7 Mt, down 1.3%. South Korea produced 5.5 Mt, up 1.2%. Turkey produced 3.0 Mt, up 5.9%. Germany produced 3.1 Mt, down 10.4%. Brazil produced 2.8 Mt, up 3.8%. Iran is estimated to have produced 2.3 Mt, up 11.5%.

Table 1. Crude steel production by region
Feb 2021 (Mt) % change Feb 21/20 Jan-Feb 2021 (Mt) % change Jan-Feb 21/20
Africa 1.2 -6.4 2.4 -6.9
Asia and Oceania 109.7 7.5 230.8 10.1
CIS 8.0 -1.5 16.8 -0.4
EU (27) 11.9 -7.1 24.1 -3.7
Europe, Other 3.9 5.2 8.2 6.9
Middle East 3.2 -0.9 6.8 0.4
North America 8.8 -8.9 18.5 -7.1
South America 3.5 2.2 7.3 6.6
Total 64 countries 150.2 4.1 315.0 6.6

EU microplastic ban just got a step closer, but has major loopholes

The European Commission has pledged to ban microplastic from cosmetics, paints, detergents, some farm, medical and other products to prevent 500,000 tonnes polluting mostly rivers and seas. The legal process moved forward on Tuesday when a detailed proposal was presented by ECHA to the Commission. The legal restriction is expected to become law next year.

But following industry lobbying, the proposal has major loopholes, according to the Rethink Plastic alliance of environmental groups. Some sectors could get up to 8 years to drop microplastic, while ‘biodegradable’ microplastic that has not been shown to degrade in the environment could escape the ban. The 500,000 tonnes target will be impossible to achieve unless the proposal is improved, they calculated.

European Environmental Bureau chemicals policy officer Elise Vitali said: “Microplastic pollution is everywhere: in our drinking water, our fields, filling the air in cities and even inside our bodies. The EU is right to build on its reputation of tackling plastic pollution with this new ban. But it must avoid being sidetracked by industry-sponsored loopholes. We want a quick and broad restriction with no green light for unproven biodegradable plastic.”

Hélène Duguy, chemicals lawyer at ClientEarth, said: “The EU promised to turn off the taps on microplastic pollution. Take sport pitches – it’s a gigantic source of microplastics pollution and it’s now up to the Commission to make sure that a full ban is in order. When it comes to cosmetics – another well-known source of this pollution – the Commission needs to reject the lenient proposal that would give the cosmetics industry a free pass to continue business as usual until 2028, even where alternatives are available.”

Microplastic pollution is irreversible and causes considerable harm to the environment, with potential grave consequences for humans. EU scientific advisors have recognised that microplastics pose an unacceptable risk, which justifies a comprehensive ban.

The groups are urging the Commission to adopt a broad restriction that covers all microplastics in all sectors and uses.

The proposal is now in the hands of the Commission’s industry department, which has not always shown ambition on chemicals policy, the NGOs said. The Commission has until late May 2021 to draft the restriction text, which will then go to a vote of member state experts. The European Parliament and Council of Ministers then have three months to object, but rarely do.

EU microplastic ban just got a step closer, but has major loopholes

The European Commission has pledged to ban microplastic from cosmetics, paints, detergents, some farm, medical and other products to prevent 500,000 tonnes polluting mostly rivers and seas. The legal process moved forward on Tuesday when a detailed proposal was presented by ECHA to the Commission. The legal restriction is expected to become law next year.

But following industry lobbying, the proposal has major loopholes, according to the Rethink Plastic alliance of environmental groups. Some sectors could get up to 8 years to drop microplastic, while ‘biodegradable’ microplastic that has not been shown to degrade in the environment could escape the ban. The 500,000 tonnes target will be impossible to achieve unless the proposal is improved, they calculated.

European Environmental Bureau chemicals policy officer Elise Vitali said: “Microplastic pollution is everywhere: in our drinking water, our fields, filling the air in cities and even inside our bodies. The EU is right to build on its reputation of tackling plastic pollution with this new ban. But it must avoid being sidetracked by industry-sponsored loopholes. We want a quick and broad restriction with no green light for unproven biodegradable plastic.”

Hélène Duguy, chemicals lawyer at ClientEarth, said: “The EU promised to turn off the taps on microplastic pollution. Take sport pitches – it’s a gigantic source of microplastics pollution and it’s now up to the Commission to make sure that a full ban is in order. When it comes to cosmetics – another well-known source of this pollution – the Commission needs to reject the lenient proposal that would give the cosmetics industry a free pass to continue business as usual until 2028, even where alternatives are available.”

Microplastic pollution is irreversible and causes considerable harm to the environment, with potential grave consequences for humans. EU scientific advisors have recognised that microplastics pose an unacceptable risk, which justifies a comprehensive ban.

The groups are urging the Commission to adopt a broad restriction that covers all microplastics in all sectors and uses.

The proposal is now in the hands of the Commission’s industry department, which has not always shown ambition on chemicals policy, the NGOs said. The Commission has until late May 2021 to draft the restriction text, which will then go to a vote of member state experts. The European Parliament and Council of Ministers then have three months to object, but rarely do.

EU microplastic ban just got a step closer, but has major loopholes

The European Commission has pledged to ban microplastic from cosmetics, paints, detergents, some farm, medical and other products to prevent 500,000 tonnes polluting mostly rivers and seas. The legal process moved forward on Tuesday when a detailed proposal was presented by ECHA to the Commission. The legal restriction is expected to become law next year.

But following industry lobbying, the proposal has major loopholes, according to the Rethink Plastic alliance of environmental groups. Some sectors could get up to 8 years to drop microplastic, while ‘biodegradable’ microplastic that has not been shown to degrade in the environment could escape the ban. The 500,000 tonnes target will be impossible to achieve unless the proposal is improved, they calculated.

European Environmental Bureau chemicals policy officer Elise Vitali said: “Microplastic pollution is everywhere: in our drinking water, our fields, filling the air in cities and even inside our bodies. The EU is right to build on its reputation of tackling plastic pollution with this new ban. But it must avoid being sidetracked by industry-sponsored loopholes. We want a quick and broad restriction with no green light for unproven biodegradable plastic.”

Hélène Duguy, chemicals lawyer at ClientEarth, said: “The EU promised to turn off the taps on microplastic pollution. Take sport pitches – it’s a gigantic source of microplastics pollution and it’s now up to the Commission to make sure that a full ban is in order. When it comes to cosmetics – another well-known source of this pollution – the Commission needs to reject the lenient proposal that would give the cosmetics industry a free pass to continue business as usual until 2028, even where alternatives are available.”

Microplastic pollution is irreversible and causes considerable harm to the environment, with potential grave consequences for humans. EU scientific advisors have recognised that microplastics pose an unacceptable risk, which justifies a comprehensive ban.

The groups are urging the Commission to adopt a broad restriction that covers all microplastics in all sectors and uses.

The proposal is now in the hands of the Commission’s industry department, which has not always shown ambition on chemicals policy, the NGOs said. The Commission has until late May 2021 to draft the restriction text, which will then go to a vote of member state experts. The European Parliament and Council of Ministers then have three months to object, but rarely do.

EU microplastic ban just got a step closer, but has major loopholes

The European Commission has pledged to ban microplastic from cosmetics, paints, detergents, some farm, medical and other products to prevent 500,000 tonnes polluting mostly rivers and seas. The legal process moved forward on Tuesday when a detailed proposal was presented by ECHA to the Commission. The legal restriction is expected to become law next year.

But following industry lobbying, the proposal has major loopholes, according to the Rethink Plastic alliance of environmental groups. Some sectors could get up to 8 years to drop microplastic, while ‘biodegradable’ microplastic that has not been shown to degrade in the environment could escape the ban. The 500,000 tonnes target will be impossible to achieve unless the proposal is improved, they calculated.

European Environmental Bureau chemicals policy officer Elise Vitali said: “Microplastic pollution is everywhere: in our drinking water, our fields, filling the air in cities and even inside our bodies. The EU is right to build on its reputation of tackling plastic pollution with this new ban. But it must avoid being sidetracked by industry-sponsored loopholes. We want a quick and broad restriction with no green light for unproven biodegradable plastic.”

Hélène Duguy, chemicals lawyer at ClientEarth, said: “The EU promised to turn off the taps on microplastic pollution. Take sport pitches – it’s a gigantic source of microplastics pollution and it’s now up to the Commission to make sure that a full ban is in order. When it comes to cosmetics – another well-known source of this pollution – the Commission needs to reject the lenient proposal that would give the cosmetics industry a free pass to continue business as usual until 2028, even where alternatives are available.”

Microplastic pollution is irreversible and causes considerable harm to the environment, with potential grave consequences for humans. EU scientific advisors have recognised that microplastics pose an unacceptable risk, which justifies a comprehensive ban.

The groups are urging the Commission to adopt a broad restriction that covers all microplastics in all sectors and uses.

The proposal is now in the hands of the Commission’s industry department, which has not always shown ambition on chemicals policy, the NGOs said. The Commission has until late May 2021 to draft the restriction text, which will then go to a vote of member state experts. The European Parliament and Council of Ministers then have three months to object, but rarely do.

PET-to-PET significantly increases capacities for food-grade rPET

“It is also thanks to the new Starlinger pelletizing line that PET to PET is one of the most modern facilities in PET recycling worldwide. Since the foundation of the company we ensure that PET bottles in Austria are continuously recycled in a resource-saving way, contributing significantly to the circular economy in the country” comments PET to PET General Manager Christian Strasser on the capacity increase.

PET to PET Recycling Österreich GmbH recycled around 1.13 billion PET bottles (equals more than 28,200 tons of PET material) in 2020, also due to the newly installed capacities. The company was able to increase throughput by 7.3 % despite the COVID-19 pandemic with subsequent lockdowns and the price decline for virgin PET resin.

The recoSTAR PET 165 HC iV+ bottle-to-bottle recycling system is the second line from Starlinger in operation at PET to PET. It has a throughput of 1,800 kg/h and achieves excellent decontamination results. The produced regranulate can replace virgin PET at a rate of 100 %. “The high quality of the recyclate is especially important to us. The Austrian beverage industry is continually increasing the share of recycled content in new PET packaging. Some of the producers even use bottles made of 100 % secondary raw material”, Christian Strasser explains.

The solid state polycondensation in the viscoSTAR 180 SSP reactor at the end of the recycling process is decisive for decontamination. It restores the mechanical characteristics of the recycled PET and increases the intrinsic viscosity to the level of virgin material. The PET recyclate is now food-safe and can be used for food packaging such as beverage bottles. More than 50 positive EFSA opinions, the US FDA as well as numerous brand owners in the food industry confirm the extraordinary decontamination results of the Starlinger iV+ process.

Using coronavirus stimulus packages to enhance climate action

The Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) and the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) consider these programmes an opportunity to set the course towards a more sustainable society by planning a resilient and viable economic recovery. At today’s Sustainability Transformation Conference organised by UBA and the BMU, international experts will be discussing how to shape and achieve a socially just and ecological transformation of economy and society.

Federal Environment Minister Schulze said: “We want to emerge from the coronavirus crisis stronger than before. The right way forward is to combine economic stimulus with effective climate action. The German government’s stimulus package therefore places a clear focus on investments for the future. We need to support our economy and our workforce through the process of environmental restructuring, preparing them to meet the challenges of the future. This is why we need exchange at international level as well.”

Dirk Messner, UBA President, commented: “The coronavirus pandemic is not over yet. But because of the vaccine that has been announced, we can see light at the end of the tunnel. There is, however, no end in sight for the climate crisis. We have to make sure now that the coronavirus stimulus package promotes a sustainable and viable economy. We must act quickly and decisively to mitigate climate change and advance sustainability. At our conference, we want to discuss how we can achieve this.”

UBA analysed 130 national and international studies and found that there is broad consensus about sustainable stimulus programmes being both effective and necessary. The key is to embed them in an overall concept of structural reforms that creates the necessary framework for a socio-ecological transformation. Social aspects, too, need to be considered.

In its position paper Sustainable Pathways out of the Corona Crisis, UBA examined the economic and social distortions caused by the Covid19-pandemic. According to UBA, one key objective is to direct the necessary short- and medium-term coronavirus financial aid in a way that also promotes the required long-term changes towards a sustainable and climate-neutral society. “If we pursue this course, we will not lose sight of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030,” said Messner.

At the conference Socio-ecological transformation on the fast track – Covid-19 as catalyst of change? on 19 November 2020, national and international stakeholders and experts will discuss the transformation of economy and society for a sustainable future. The aim of the conference is to consider the different perspectives of politics, business, science and civil society and develop potential measures to advance the transformation.

Using coronavirus stimulus packages to enhance climate action

The Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) and the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) consider these programmes an opportunity to set the course towards a more sustainable society by planning a resilient and viable economic recovery. At today’s Sustainability Transformation Conference organised by UBA and the BMU, international experts will be discussing how to shape and achieve a socially just and ecological transformation of economy and society.

Federal Environment Minister Schulze said: “We want to emerge from the coronavirus crisis stronger than before. The right way forward is to combine economic stimulus with effective climate action. The German government’s stimulus package therefore places a clear focus on investments for the future. We need to support our economy and our workforce through the process of environmental restructuring, preparing them to meet the challenges of the future. This is why we need exchange at international level as well.”

Dirk Messner, UBA President, commented: “The coronavirus pandemic is not over yet. But because of the vaccine that has been announced, we can see light at the end of the tunnel. There is, however, no end in sight for the climate crisis. We have to make sure now that the coronavirus stimulus package promotes a sustainable and viable economy. We must act quickly and decisively to mitigate climate change and advance sustainability. At our conference, we want to discuss how we can achieve this.”

UBA analysed 130 national and international studies and found that there is broad consensus about sustainable stimulus programmes being both effective and necessary. The key is to embed them in an overall concept of structural reforms that creates the necessary framework for a socio-ecological transformation. Social aspects, too, need to be considered.

In its position paper Sustainable Pathways out of the Corona Crisis, UBA examined the economic and social distortions caused by the Covid19-pandemic. According to UBA, one key objective is to direct the necessary short- and medium-term coronavirus financial aid in a way that also promotes the required long-term changes towards a sustainable and climate-neutral society. “If we pursue this course, we will not lose sight of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030,” said Messner.

At the conference Socio-ecological transformation on the fast track – Covid-19 as catalyst of change? on 19 November 2020, national and international stakeholders and experts will discuss the transformation of economy and society for a sustainable future. The aim of the conference is to consider the different perspectives of politics, business, science and civil society and develop potential measures to advance the transformation.

A call for a more sustainable Digital Services Act

EucoLight, Eucobat and EXPRA therefore welcome the reference to sustainability in the IMCO report led by MEP Saliba and would like to share some additional recommendations.

Still, for the sustainability angle in the Digital Service Act to be comprehensive, it should include both provisions on providing clear information to consumers and ensuring that producers contribute financially to the costs of waste management.

The Parliament’s report, adopted on October 20, includes wording on “fighting false ‘environmental claims’ while calling on online marketplaces to promote sustainability of e-commerce by providing consumers with clear and easily understandable information on the environmental impact of the products. We strongly believe that information on meeting the Extended Producer Responsibility obligations regarding packaging, WEEE and other product-related waste streams and delivery methods or services they buy online should be added to complete the ambition on information to consumers.

A reference to ensure that online platforms take responsibility for the end of life of products and their packaging is of crucial importance to address sustainability in a comprehensive manner thus decreasing and eliminating “free riding”. Free-riding describes the process whereby companies placing products on the market circumvent Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) obligations, including registering with EPR schemes and financing their products’ end-of-life management. 

In the Netherlands alone, the value of goods ordered from abroad by consumers online increased by 15% between 2017 and 2018, to €880 million for instance, a figure that has likely been further boosted due to the COVID 19 lockdown period. As an extremely high number of products from different product categories bought online do not comply with national requirements for financing the treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), we see a clear need for harmonised action at EU level to ensure that producers placing products on the market are made responsible for their collection and reprocessing costs.

We hope that the Commission will seize the opportunity to include such elements in its upcoming proposal. As online sales will continue to grow, notably due to the pandemic, the issue is of the utmost importance. As President von der Leyen has stated on several occasions, all sectors should contribute to the Green Deal objectives, and the online sales sector is just too important not to play its part.