1. European Court of Auditors warns that EU risks not meeting its plastic recycling targets for 2025, 2030
MOSCOW (MRC) -- The European Court of Auditors (ECA), which audits the EU's finances, says in a recent review there is a significant risk that the EU will not meet its plastic packaging recycling targets for 2025 and 2030, said Chemweek. ECA notes that the EU's 2018 update of its legal framework for plastic recycling reflects the EU’s increased ambitions and could help boost recycling capacity, but says the scale of the challenge facing the EU member states should not be underestimated. The auditors call for new and more accurate recycling reporting rules and a tightening of plastic waste export rules. Concerted action is needed to get the EU to where it wants to be in 5–10 years’ time, ECA says. According to the review, packaging alone, such as yogurt pots or water bottles, accounts for about 40% of plastic use and more than 60% of plastic waste generated in the EU. However, packaging has the lowest recycling rate in the EU at slightly more than 40%, ECA says. The European Commission’s plastics strategy, adopted in 2018, included an update of its 1994 Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and doubled the EU's recycling target to 50% by 2025 with a goal of 55% by 2030. Reaching these targets would be a significant step toward achieving the EU’s circular economy goals, the auditors say. "To meet its new recycling targets for plastic packaging, the EU must reverse the current situation, whereby we incinerate more than we recycle. This is a daunting challenge,” says Samo Jereb, the ECA member responsible for the review. “By resuscitating single-use habits amid sanitary concerns, the [COVID-19] pandemic shows that plastics will continue to be a mainstay of our economies, but also an ever-growing environmental threat."
MOSCOW (MRC) -- Stolt-Nielsen has reported net profit of USD29.2 million for the third quarter, a substantial improvement on net profit of USD3.4 million in the prior-year period and USD3.6 million in the second quarter, despite sales that declined over 8% year on year (YOY) to USD474.0 million, according to Chemweek. The improved result was mainly driven by healthy volumes, lower fuel prices in its tankers and tank containers businesses, and lower overall administrative and general expenses, it says. “We are cautiously optimistic that the momentum of a strengthening chemical tanker market will continue,” says CEO Niels Stolt-Nielsen. “Longer term, the favorable supply/demand outlook should provide a good foundation for continued improved results at Stolt Tankers,” he says. For its Stolthaven tank terminals business, the company expects to see healthy demand in most regions, he says. Stolt’s tank containers business is also seeing “signs of improvement, particularly in Asia,” after a seasonally slow third quarter, he adds. While the global economic outlook remains uncertain, the company is also cautiously optimistic about the fourth quarter and beyond, based on the contract portfolio it has secured across its three logistics businesses, according to Stolt-Nielsen. The COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting scheduling in its tankers business, “necessitating costly rerouting of ships in order to make overdue crew changes,” he says. The company was able to secure five modern 26,000-deadweight metric ton stainless-steel chemical tankers in the secondhand market “at a very attractive price,” he notes. The tankers are expected to be delivered starting in December.