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The aviation industry, broadly understood, has long been the source of substantial waste management challenges, both for the host airports themselves and for the communities in which they are situated. It is only very recently that much attention has been paid to addressing these aviation waste practices and, to date, no meaningful integrated strategy, capturing all aviation waste materials across the supply chain, has emerged. And yet, with recent seismic shifts in air travel demand,…

Long-awaited, and much-contested, new repairability requirements will soon impact many household electronic appliances within the European Union. Compliance deadlines for these standards start as soon as April 2020. Until these recent regulatory changes to the EU’s 2009 Eco-Design Directive, electronics repair rights had been successfully resisted on proprietary and safety grounds across target industries. The broader complaint, not commonly articulated by industry, is the discernible shift these repairability standards signal in the relationship between producers…

Some might have wondered what the purpose might be for this joint assessment from Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada: Draft Science Assessment of Plastic Pollution, January 2020. After all, the federal government and the provinces have already entered into an agreement through the Canadian Council of the Ministers of the Environment to create a regulated circular economy for plastics in the name of environmental harm reduction. In fact, a single-use plastics law…

The European Union’s landmark Single-Use Plastic (SUP) Directive is set to be enacted into member states’ national laws by 2021. Some countries outside the EU have already signaled their intention, in all but name, to adopt consistent SUP laws, for good commercial and regulatory reasons. Confidence in the EU as the world’s standard bearers on environmental management, including product environmental regulatory matters, is in its ascendancy, particularly with initiatives such as the Circular Economy…

Jonathan Cocker is leading a partnership with Canadian Industry leaders and ReTraCE (Realising the Transition to the Circular Economy). ReTraCe is a Horizon 2020 EU-funded project which supports the implementation of the European Commission’s Circular Economy strategy. It is also a part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks. More exciting updates to come as the project progresses.

There has certainly been rapid growth in the market for electric vehicles (EV), in part due to their associated (and celebrated) environmental attributes. What receives much less attention, however, is the looming waste-management challenge, particularly for EV lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). The proliferation of post-consumer LIBs has yet to fully materialize given the recent installation of long-life LIBs across multiple vehicle industries, but the environmental price for the switch to EV will soon be paid by…

After the uncertain rise and precipitous fall of a number of Canada’s energy-from-waste (EfW)  industries, it may have been easy to underestimate the commercial opportunities for renewable natural gas (RNG). After all, the corporate community lost much of its interest in capital intensive and technologically uncertain EfW projects at some point following the 2008 crash.  With a few notable exceptions, EfW became a local, and mostly municipal, waste management issue, usually undertaken on a small scale.  …