News

California Adopts First US State Sharps EPR Program

California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 212 on 30 September, creating the first comprehensive, producer-funded take-back program for both home-generated sharps and unwanted medicines in the US. 

California now becomes the first US state to require extended producer responsibility (EPR) for sharps. France is the only country with national EPR for sharps.  

The California program requires producers or distributors to adopt and implement a stewardship program for covered drugs or sharps, as applicable, or to join a collective organisation to discharge those responsibilities. Key provisions require a proposed stewardship plan, initial stewardship program budget, annual budget, annual report, and other specified information. The state government, via CalRecycle, is to have regulations in place effective no later than 1 January 2021.

California joins New York as US states with mandated EPR laws for unwanted medicines (referred to as ‘covered drugs’ in AB 212) set to take effect. New York’s program became law in July 2018, with implementation to be effective mid-2019.

Takeback programs, either voluntary or regulated, for unwanted medicines exist in a range of states and countries globally.

 

Free PSI Webinar

 

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Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 | 11 am – 12:30 pm EDT / 4 pm – 5:30 pm CET

Content courtesy of the Product Stewardship Institute


Learn about the world’s best producer responsibility programs to manage packaging and printed paper.

 

Imagine a world where packaging is minimal, and what remains is reused and recycled, with few environmental impacts. Strong extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs can help us get there. Under advanced EPR systems, businesses have incentive to incorporate eco design, waste prevention, reuse, and recycling into their operations, returning valuable resources to the circular economy. EPR can help your business and government meet sustainability goals, save money, create green jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

This PSI facilitated webinar will begin a global conversation on challenges and opportunities to managing packaging and printed paper (PPP). Speakers from the Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance (EXPRA) and high-performing European and Canadian EPR organizations will explain what EPR is, how successful EPR systems work, and the benefits EPR can deliver – including better recycling infrastructure and increased recycling, eco design, and public awareness. The speakers will also examine EPR’s role in advancing the circular economy and preventing plastics pollution. Participants will leave the webinar with guidance on what is necessary to set up a successful EPR system and next steps to continue the global conversation.

 
Speakers

Joachim Quoden
Managing Director of Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance (EXPRA)
Belgium

 

John Coyne
Executive Chair of Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance
Vice President of Unilever Canada
Canada

 

Johan Goossens
Director of Finance & Communication of Fost Plus
Chair of EXPRA Regulatory Committee
Belgium

 

Scott Cassel (Moderator)
Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Product Stewardship Institute, Inc.
USA

 

Can’t make it? Register to join the network and receive the webinar recording.
Pricing: FREE!
Questions?
Megan Byers
+1 (617) 236-4866

 

Unilever Increase Recycling of Rigid Plastics

Unilever Australia & New Zealand is introducing at least 25% Australia-sourced post-consumer recycled plastic for bottles of brands such as OMO, Dove, Surf, Sunsilk and TRESemmé, and commit to going further when technically possible.

The move will create an end market for approximately 750 tonnes of recycled plastic per year – equivalent to more than 100m single-use plastic bags*.

“As a consumer goods company, we are acutely aware of the consequences of a linear take-make-dispose model and we want to change it. We are proud to be taking this step forward, but no business can create a circular economy in isolation. Creating a local market and demand for all types of recycled plastic is critical and heavy lifting is needed from all players involved – suppliers, packaging converters, brand owners, policy makers and retailers, collectors, sorters and recyclers. We need a complete shift in how we think about and use resources.”, said Clive Stiff, CEO Unilever Australia & New Zealand.

In 2017 Unilever committed globally to design all of its plastic packaging to be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 (which would be consistent with a target set in April 2018 by Australia’s Meeting of Environment Ministers) and to use at least 25% recycled plastic packaging by 2025.

*Based on average single-use grocery plastic bag weight of 5.5g

 

Building Roads with Plastic Bags and Glass

 

 

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The GlobalPSC joined one of our Sustaining Corporate Members, Close the Loop, and other stakeholders for the launch of the first road in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, built from soft plastics and glass.

The road, in the Sutherland Shire, incorporated soft plastics (equal to 176,000 plastic bags), glass (equal to over 55,000 glass bottles), toner from almost 4,000 toner cartridges and 66 tonnes of asphalt from reclaimed roads.

Infrastructure service provider Downer notes that the road product, called Plastiphalt, is cost competitive and has a 65 per cent improvement in fatigue life, as well as increased resistance to deformation. These characteristics allow Plastiphalt roads to last longer and to better handle heavy vehicle traffic.

Nerida Mortlock, General Manager of Close the Loop Australia, noted, “Our close partnership with Downer, along with our collaborative partnerships with RedCycle and Plastic Police has allowed us to design, develop and manufacture sustainable products using problematic waste  streams. We are very pleased to see soft plastics used for the first time in a NSW road”.

 

Approaching Deadline for EPR Reporting in Chile

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Under the provisions of the second transitory article of Law No 20,920, producers of certain priority products are obligation to report information to the Chilean Ministry of Environment. The submission date for products placed on the market last year is 31 August, under the Exempt Resolution No. 0409/2018 of the MMA.

The obligation applies to producers of the following products: lubricating oils, electrical and electronic devices, batteries (split by weight), packaging, tyres, and newspapers and magazines. You are considered a producer of a priority product if you sell one of the obligated products for the first time in the market; dispose of priority products acquired from a third party that is not the first distributor; or import priority products for your own professional use. Furthermore, in the case of packaging, a producer is the person who introduces the packaging or packaged consumer goods into the market.

Product Definition

Lubricating oil​

Liquid substance of mineral or synthetic base, formulated for reduced friction, to dissipate heat and facilitate movement between pieces. Applicable to machines and tools of all kinds, including domestic and individual. ​​

Electrical and electronic devices​

Electrical appliances and electronic apparatus that to function correctly need electrical power or electromagnetic fields, as well as the necessary devices to generate, transmit and measure such streams and fields. ​

Batteries (baterias)​

Any source of electrical energy obtained by direct energy transformation from chemicals and constituted b one or several elements, with a weight greater than 2 kg. ​

Packaging and packaged products​

Packaging and packaged products manufactured with any material and from any nature, in order to be used as containment or protecting, or to manipulate, facilitate delivery, to stock, transport or to improve the presentation of distant product, from raw materials to processed items. ​

Batteries (pilas)​

Any source of electrical energy obtained by direct transformation of chemical energy and consisting of one or more elements, not weighing more than 2 kg. ​

Newspapers and magazines

Diaries, newspapers and all printed publication that are published and distributed periodically, orientated to deliver news, to inform or to entertain. ​​

​The reports must be submitted through the Emissions Registry and Transfers of Pollutants website and should include the following information: quantity (in units, cubic metres or tons, whichever is appropriate) of priority products marketed in the country during 2017; collection activities such as recycling and disposal carried out in the same period, and its cost; Quantity (units, cubic meters or tons) of waste collected and recycled in said period; Indication that if the management for the activities of collection and recycling is carried out individually or in association with other producers.

Producers must also register on the Polluting Emissions and Transfer Registry and access the Extended Producer Responsibility (REP) platform, where they can make their declaration.

Analysis provided by GlobalPSC Corporate Members Lorax Compliance.

 

Australian Senate Recommends Stronger Product Stewardship

 

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An Australian Senate inquiry into waste and recycling has recommended shifting from Australia’s traditional preference for voluntary product stewardship to greater introduction of mandatory schemes.

The inquiry’s final report contained a number of recommendations specific to product stewardship, including:

  • prioritising the establishment of a circular economy.
  • a national container deposit scheme.
  • making Australia’s product stewardship schemes under the Product Stewardship Act 2011 mandatory.
  • mandatory schemes for tyres, mattresses, e-waste and photovoltaic panels.
  • re-establishment of the Product Stewardship Advisory Group.
  • a phase-out of petroleum-based single-use plastics by 2023.
In accordance with an original intent of extended producer responsibility, the inquiry recommended “that the Australian Government extend producer responsibility under product stewardship schemes to ensure better environmental and social outcomes through improved design”.

Some of the related measures recommended by the inquiry include:

  • strengthening various aspects of the National Waste Report.
  • targets for recycled content.
  • promotion of sustainable procurement policies.
  • reaffirmation of the waste hierarchy, with waste reduction and recycling prioritised over energy from waste.

Plastic pollution, particularly plastics in marine environments, are also highlighted in the inquiry, with recommendations including establishment of a Plastics Co-Operative Research Centre to lead Australia’s research efforts into reducing plastic waste and a recommitment to recommendations of an earlier Senate inquiry into the threat of marine plastic pollution in Australia.

Participants in the GlobalPSC’s International Stewardship Forum contributed to the inquiry and various recommendations from the Forum are reflected in the final report and recommendations.

 

Implementation of 2018 Open Scope WEEE

 

 

The EU WEEE Directive (Directive 2012/19/EU) introduced a number of changes to the original Directive (Directive 2002/96/EC), including an “Open Scope” of 6 revised categories instead of the previous 10, which according to the Directive are to be introduced from 15 August 2018. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, which was made an EU law in February 2003, was instituted to set collection, recycling and recovery targets for electrical goods. The Directive sets the foundations for the creation of collection/compliance schemes. The aim of the schemes is to ensure waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is collected and reused or recycled.

The six new categories to be introduced are:

1. Temperature exchange equipment: fridges, freezers, air conditioning, etc.

2. Screens, monitors, and equipment containing screens having a surface greater than 100 cm2: TVs, computer monitors, etc.

3. Lamps

4. Large equipment (any external dimension more than 50cm): washing machines, dish washers, cookers, luminaires, large printers, copying equipment in general, etc.

5. Small equipment (no external dimension more than 50cm): vacuum cleaners, calculators, video cameras, cameras, hifi equipment, watches and clocks, smoke detectors, payment systems, etc.

6. Small IT and telecommunication equipment (no external dimension more than 50 cm): mobile phones, tablets, routers, laptops, GPS, printers, etc.

Although the revised scope comes into effect in August this year, Member States and compliance schemes have reported a range of implementation dates for the Open Scope categories. For example, the Finish WEEE scheme, Elker Oy, has introduced the new categories starting 1 January this year. The scheme said in a press release that all the subcategories previously in use will be found in one of the new six categories. Also, B2B and B2C equipment will be placed in new equipment categories. B2C categories are covered by all those listed above and the B2B equipment is under categories 1, 4 and 5 of the new open scope.

On the other end of the scale, Recupel, the Belgium WEEE scheme, release annually their new categories and fees which are valid from 1 July each year. This year and next there is no difference, hence the Open Scope categories have not been introduced from 1 July this year. The scheme has confirmed with us that as usual, there will be no further fee or category changes until 1 July 2019, almost a year after implementation of the 2018 WEEE Open Scope categories.

In the UK, the 2013 WEEE Regulations fully transposed the requirements of the EU WEEE Directive, therefore will include changing the UK’s 14 categories to 6, which according to DEFRA will be from 1 January 2019.  Defra opened a consultation on the ‘open scope’ as they wanted to hear people’s view on 2013 WEEE Regulations, specifically whether they improved the environment as a proportionate cost to business. The consultation proposed three options for the implementation of the Open Scope:

Option 1

The first option involves making no amendments and hence allowing the WEEE Regulations to take effect, with the requirement to categorise and report in 6 revised categories from 1 January 2019. The new categories would be: 1 Temperature Exchange Equipment; 2 Screens, Monitors & Equipment Containing Screens Surface are >100 cm2; 3 Lamps; 4 Large Equipment Any External Dimension > 50 cm; and 6 Small IT & Telecom No External Dimension > 50 cm. This would require changes to how producers and Approved Authorised Treatment Facilities (AATFs) report. Furthermore, there would be a significant redistribution of costs, with some producers paying significantly more and others making savings.

​Option 2

The second option involves making amendments to the 2013 WEEE Regulations to retain the UK’s current 14 categories and to allocate any EEE previously out of scope to one of the existing categories. This would avoid redistribution of costs and is the government’s preferred option.

Option 3

The final option would adopt the 6 revised categories but introduce 3 subcategories in order to reduce the change in costs to producers. This would mean that more costly or hazardous WEEE treatment is fairly allocated to producers who place it on the market as they would have to report in the relevant subcategories. Hence increased costs will be imposed on some producers, and savings for others as well as changes to the reporting system for both producers and AATFs. Two subcategories would come under ‘Temperature Exchange Equipment’ which would be: 1 Those containing refrigerant and 2 Those not containing refrigerant. A further three subcategories would come under ‘Large Equipment Any External Dimension > 50 cm’ which would be: 5 PV, 6 Large household equipment (LDA) and 7 All other.

An announcement on changes to the UK WEEE scoping is expected in May. ​​​

Elsewhere, the new Open Scope categories are planned to be implemented on 15 August this year in Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Romania. Along with the UK, the revised Directive will be implemented on 1 January 2019 in Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Analysis provided by GlobalPSC Corporate Members Lorax Compliance.

 

Packaging EPR Regulation in Mozambique

Mozambique has introduced extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging.

All packaging is obligated under Mozambique’s Decree 79/2017, including commercial and domestic packaging and the packaging waste produced. The ​​Ministry for the Environment is responsible for drafting and disclosure of rules and procedures in the context of the production and import of packaging and packaging waste. The Ministry for Industry and Commerce is responsible for establishing rules and standards applicable to import and production of packaging. Furthermore, under the Regulation, the Ministry for Finance is responsible for the collection of fees and fines as well as the supervision of the rules applicable to packaging in the context of clearance goods.

Producers and importers of packaging and packaging waste are responsible for the management of packaging and packaging waste, pursuant to the Regulation and other applicable legislation; the payment of fees for the management of packaging and the return and recovery of packaging waste, whether directly or through organisations created for waste recovery.

Further detail is in the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members via the Members Page. Analysis provided by GlobalPSC Corporate Members Lorax Compliance.

 

California Adopts Groundbreaking Carpet EPR

With Governor Jerry Brown’s signature 14 October on AB 1158, California has adopted groundbreaking extended producer responsibility (EPR) for carpet.

The legislation requires carpet manufacturers to submit a carpet stewardship plan that meets specified requirements and increase the rate of carpet recycling to 24% by 1 January 2020. The legislation also aims to end consumer subsidization of carpet incineration in municipal incinerators and cement kilns, incentivize production of more recyclable carpets, and ensure proper training for carpet installers.

Stewardship plans must include quantifiable 5-year goals and annual goals subject to review by CalRecycle. Updates to the stewardship plans must also address recommendations by an advisory committee to be appointed.

In California for 2016, over 257 million pounds (over 116,500 tonnes) of carpets were disposed of to landfills (about 2% of total disposed), while over 20 million pounds (over 9,000 tonnes) were disposed of in incinerators. Carpets are comprised of 99% plastic, derived from fossil fuels. Carpet production is estimated to grow 4.5% annually.

 

Automotive Industry Stewardship Plan for Ontario out for Consultation

Automotive Materials Stewardship Inc., representing the Canadian automotive sector, has submitted an automotive materials Industry Stewardship Plan (ISP) for Waste Diversion Ontario’s (WDO) approval under the Waste Diversion Act and WDO’s procedures for ISPs.

The ISP applies to the following designated materials:

  • Antifreeze, and the containers in which they are contained
  • Oil filters – after they have been used for their intended purpose
  • Containers that have a capacity of 30 litres or less and that were manufactured and used for the purpose of containing lubricating oil

For further information, including details of the consultation process, contact WDO.

 

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