Member Profiles

CleanFARMS Expands Programming to Seed and Pesticide Bags

Canada’s leading agricultural stewardship organization, CleanFARMS, is expanding its stewardship programming. Starting in 2016, Eastern Canadian farmers will have access to a seed and pesticide bag collection program that will help keep these bags out of municipal landfills.

This program draws its roots in the Maritimes where farmers, ag-retailers and stewards have been working together to collect and safely dispose of empty pesticide bags since 2006. The program then moved west to Ontario and Quebec where it was offered on a pilot basis in select regions from 2012 – 2015.

The program will collect both small pesticide and seed bags (typically under 30 kilograms) and bigger bulk bags. The small bags are generally made of multi-walled paper though some manufacturers are using other materials such as plastic and plastic laminates. Most bulk bags (mainly 500 kg and 1000 kg) bags are made of woven poly-propylene plastic.

Empty bags will be accepted back at the point of purchase which gives farmers easily accessible collection points. They are then disposed of through waste to energy incineration facilities. As the program grows, CleanFARMS hopes to move higher up on the 3Rs hierarchy by recycling of the bags. The key to recycling some of these bags will be to ensure a consistent and adequate supply of the bags.

CleanFARMS and its predecessor CropLife Canada, on behalf of the agricultural industry, have been operating extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs for over 25 years. This new program shows that the agricultural industry embraces EPR and incorporates the practice as normal business practice.

In 2014, 197,000 bags were collected through the program. This is in addition to the 4.5 million containers that came through CleanFARMS’ award-winning empty pesticide and fertilizer container recycling program. To round off 2014, 224,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides and 5,000 kilograms of obsolete livestock medication were collected and safely destroyed.

CleanFARMS now joins agricultural stewardship organizations around the world offering EPR programs on a voluntary basis with results rivalling most regulated programs.

Visit here for more information.

Photo supplied by CleanFARMS.

 

Collaboration and R&D Improving Markets for Recycled Materials

 

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GlobalPSC members understand the business case and public policy benefits of collaboration. Recently, Corporate Member Close the Loop and Government Member Sustainability Victoria released a video highlighting collaborations to create new products for a range of recovered products, including toner from imaging supplies. It’s only when recovered materials are turned into new products that recycling has truly occurred.

Learn more about these effort and investment in R&D for recycled content products in the video below.

 

10 Years of Mobile Phone Recycling Insights

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) has released a report into how Australians’ attitudes to mobile phone use and recycling have changed over the past ten years showing that the gap between the number of mobiles used and consumer willingness to reuse and recycle is still excessive.

Despite record awareness of mobile phone recycling, Australians are still reluctant to part with old phones – some of which don’t even work.
“Australians are getting better at recycling, very few phones now go to landfill (down from 9% to 2%) and more and more phones are being recycled and resold.  However, like many countries across the globe the number of phones laying idle in homes has soared, up from 12 million to over 22.5 million in the past decade.  Almost one for every Australian.

“This represents a lost opportunity for reuse and recycling that enables materials to be put back into the supply chain, closing the loop, slowing the depletion of finite non-renewable resources and creating a circular economy,” comments Rose Read, Recycling Manager, MobileMuster (pictured below talking participants through the report’s findings).

“The research suggests that people still consider keeping their phone a better option than recycling even if it doesn’t work, will never be used and they know that it can be recycled. For many people keeping a phone is about having a backup and for more and more people it’s also about data security concerns.  But in reality how many backups do you need?”

Following the report’s launch and discussion of its findings, a panel discussed product stewardship for mobile phones and other electronics, including opportunities and barriers for reuse and recycling.

 

[Panel participants L-R: Peter Brisbane, Director, Stewardship and Waste, Department of Environment; James Chin Moody, Founder and CEO, Sendle; Dr Ruth Lane, School of Social Sciences, Monash University; Matthew Lobb, AMTA Chairman & General Manager, Industry Strategy and Public Policy, Vodafone Hutchison Australia. Not pictured: John Fieschi, Head of Buy Back and Financial Services, Brightstar]

Additional insights, MobileMuster Annual Reports and other publications are available here.

EPRA Wins Canadian Stewardship Award

The Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) was awarded the 2015 Canadian Stewardship Award in the Business/ Organization Category at the recent Conference on Canadian Stewardship in Banff, Alberta. On hand to accept the award on behalf of all eight EPRA programs and the team of EPRA/OES employees was Cliff Hacking, President and CEO of EPRA.

“This is an award that we have all won together,” said Hacking “and I thank all of our team for their contribution towards our success and the winning of this award.” Hacking also acknowledged that “the success of the programs and the award would not be possible without our founding organizations, Electronics Product Stewardship Canada and Retail Council of Canada, our over 6,500 stewards, and the EPRA and OES Board Members.”

 “The judges were able to make this choice based on the excellent work that EPRA has been doing since its inception,” said Mark McKenney, Managing Director – Conference on Canadian Stewardship. “My personal congratulations to all our EPRA colleagues. Your organization is a deserving winner of this award.”

L-R: Cliff Hacking, President and CEO of EPRA; Mark McKenney, Managing Director – Conference on Canadian Stewardship

R2 Pilot Expansion in Latin America

SERI‘s Latin America pilot project has shifted to helping participating recyclers learn and implement the requirements in the R2 Standard, following Spanish and Portuguese translations of the R2 Standard.

Now SERI and project partners Greeneye Partners, DIRECTV, Oracle, Sims Recycling Solutions and Arrow Electronics have announced that Greeneye Partners has completed site visits for the recycling facilities participating in the project,and performed a gap analysis for facilities in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador. R2 implementation training is also being offered to facility managers and environmental, health, and safety representatives.

“Stakeholders throughout electronics recycling community have recognized the need for more responsible, safe, and sustainable management of used electronics in Central and South America. By working with our partners to increase the number of responsible recycling options, SERI hopes to set a positive example others can build on. There is still much work to be done, but  this project represents an important first step in improving the overall quality of electronics recycling in the region”, Henry Leineweber, Program Director for SERI, told the GlobalPSC.

Progress to date has been encouraging, though many challenges remain such as communicating the importance of responsible recycling and the need for R2 certification in the region.  Developing cost-effective infrastructure to support certification, including local consultants and auditors, translated versions of EHSMS plans and documents, and acceptable end-markets for materials will also prove essential.

Progressing Voluntary Paint Stewardship in Australia

iStock_000006361563SmallA voluntary national product stewardship scheme has moved one step closer to reality in Australia with the recent application for regulatory approval of an A$0.15/litre levy to be applied to the sale of new architectural and decorative paint in Australia.

Levy revenue would fund the not-for-profit company Paint Stewardship Ltd to administer all aspects of the collection scheme, including education, marketing and communication, R&D investment, transport and processing of waste paint from trade and domestic sources across the country.

The National Waste Paint Implementation Working Group has completed the scheme’s business plan, economic model, 5-year rollout strategy and engagement plan and voted unanimously to support an application to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for approval of the levy. Assuming a favourable assessment by the ACCC against the Competition and Consumer Act, the scheme is expected to commence in May 2016.

The GlobalPSC and several of our members have helped facilitate development of the scheme since Australia’s Environment Ministers agreed to place paint stewardship on their work plan in April 2013 and the Environment Minister’s June 2013 nomination of paint as a priority product under the Product Stewardship Act 2011.

In conjunction with Sustainability Victoria and the Australian Paint Manufacturers’ Federation, the GlobalPSC facilitated initial stakeholder discussions, featured paint and batteries in a priority product stewardship workshop and developed the public policy and business case for a voluntary paint stewardship approach in Australia. Further details and primary documents are available on the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members.

 

PVC Resource Summit 2015

The Vinyl Council of Australia is convening an interactive Resource Summit to form alliances and plans for PVC recovery and recycling.

The summit will:

  • explore opportunities to access and source PVC for cost-effective input into new products
  • identify products, markets and challenges and form strategies for the future
  • combine expertise and networks to accelerate recovery and recycling in Australia

Key facts include:

  • in 2014 PVC use in Australia reached 190,000 tonnes for windows, flooring, medical, packaging and other areas
  • 85% of PVC is used in durable applications, particularly building products
  • there is an estimated 67,000 tonnes per annum of PVC waste to recycle in Australia
  • currently about 10-15% of this waste is diverted from landfill for recycling

Program and registration details are available here.

 

Celebrating Five Years of Industry-led Electronics Recycling in Prince Edward Island

The Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) recently celebrated five years of coverage on Canada’s Prince Edward Island (PEI).

In that five years, EPRA has collected and recycled more than 3,000 metric tonnes of unwanted electronics in the province. “That’s approximately 465,000 TVs, computers, printers and a myriad of other electronic devices diverted from landfill and illegal export,” said Cliff Hacking, President and CEO of EPRA. “Not only are these products being recycled responsibly, but they also yield a host of valuable materials such as steel, copper, silver, palladium and glass that is put back into the manufacturing supply chain,” said Hacking.

L-R: Gerard MacLellan, Executive Director of EPRA Atlantic Canada; Cliff Hacking – President and CEO of EPRA; The Hon Robert Mitchell, Minister of Communities, Land and Environment (PEI); Gerry Moore, CEO of Island Waste Management

EPRA is a not-for-profit, industry-led organisation that works in partnership with manufacturers, retailers, municipal governments and consumers to ensure end-of-life electronics are diverted from landfills and recycled in an efficient and environmentally responsible manner. “It’s a strong partnership model that’s seen success here in Prince Edward Island and across the country,” said Hacking.

This view was supported by Minister Mitchell, saying “Islanders can and should be proud of what’s been achieved here over the last five years” and “(t)his level of commitment to responsibly recycling electronics is a true reflection of their belief in being responsible stewards of our beautiful province.”
 The Minister commended EPRA PEI and more than 300 participating retailers, manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of regulated electronics in the province for making the program a success.

EPRA’s success in PEI is attributed primarily to 80% program awareness in the province and to convenient access to collection depots, with 99% of the population within 30 kilometres of an EPRA drop-off depot.

 

GlobalPSC Members Feature Prominently at AWRE

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In a few weeks, Australasia’s leading waste and recycling expo will feature a variety of GlobalPSC members from plenary talks to debate on e-waste futures.

Stan Krpan, CEO of Sustainability Victoria, will deliver the opening address and provide an environment portfolio CEO’s update. John Gertsakis, Chief Sustainability Officer for Infoactiv, will chair a debate on the future of e-waste that also features long-term GlobalPSC members Steve Morriss of Close the Loop and Carmel Dollison of ANZRP/TechCollect. Rose Read of AMTA/MobileMuster will chair and present at a session on going e-waste free in the workplace that also features Joel Newland of Infoactiv.

GlobalPSC members are eligible for a 10% discount on registration for the seminars. Contact us directly for the code to access the discount. Expo attendance itself is free but registration is still required.

Program details are available here.

 

PVC Stewardship Program 2014 Results

PVCSshipVertLogoColGradCMYK0615The PVC Product Stewardship Program is a voluntary initiative  launched by the Vinyl Council of Australia in 2002. The 2014 Annual Report recently released for the Program shows increased commitment from signatories and a 50 percent increase in the number of companies in the Australian vinyl industry reporting actions to improve energy efficiencies on site, monitoring carbon emission or setting targets to reduce energy consumption.

The Program aims to improve the sustainability of vinyl, or PVC, products by delivering change across the life cycle of PVC. Signatories include local manufacturers and importers of a wide range of products – pipes, conduit, cable, flooring, windows, building profiles, flexible packaging, fabrics and medical products – as well as suppliers of raw materials and intermediates.

The Program is structured around five specific aspects of the life cycle of PVC products: best practice manufacturing, safe and sustainable use of additives, energy and greenhouse gas management, resource efficiency, and transparency and engagement.

According to the report, more than two thirds of signatory companies are now complying with the industry’s ‘Energy Efficiency & Greenhouse Gas Charter’. The Charter, introduced into the industry’s long-running PVC Stewardship Program three years ago, formally commits businesses to improve energy efficiency at the warehouse, distribution and manufacturing level, and to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations, and ultimately, their products.

 

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Global Product Stewardship Council

PO Box 755, Turramurra, NSW 2074, Australia
Tel: +61 2 9449 9909
Fax: +61 2 9449 9901
Email: info@globalpsc.net