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Nova Scotia Solid Waste Regulations Review

Nova Scotia, Canada, is now consulting on proposed changes to the provincial solid waste regulations, including the potential for product stewardship / extended producer responsibility across a broad range of items. The consultation period is open until 11 July, 2014.

Seven key areas have been identified for potential amendment and are highlighted in the discussion paper, Revising Our Path Forward: A public discussion paper about solid waste regulation in Nova Scotia, including:

  • Product stewardship
  • Disposal bans and approval requirements
  • Used tire management program
  • Removal of the requirement for regional solid waste management plans
  • Clarity on the rules for energy from waste
  • Improve the enforceability of the solid waste regulation
  • Beverage container deposit-refund program

Written comments are encouraged and can be made online here. Questions or inquiries can be directed to the Solid Waste Unit, Nova Scotia Environment on +1 902 424-4300.

New Zealand Opens Consultation on Product Stewardship Priorities

Today New Zealand’s Minister for the Environment, the Hon Amy Adams MP, released a discussion paper on potential prioritisation for product stewardship under New Zealand’s Waste Minimisation Act 2008 (WMA). The Minister’s media release is available here.

The discussion paper released today raises the possibility and rationale for designating some or all of the following four products as priority products under the WMA:

  • electrical and electronic equipment (commonly referred to as e-waste or WEEE)
  • tyres
  • agricultural chemicals and farm plastics
  • refrigerants and other synthetic greenhouse gases.

Consultation will be open until 2 July 2014. Detail on consultation workshops in NZ is available here. Following the consultation, the costs and benefits of a range of options and additional stakeholder input will be considered.

New Zealand’s focus has traditionally been on voluntary product stewardship approaches, and 11 voluntary product stewardship schemes have been accredited to date. An overview of the accredited schemes in included in the discussion paper.

 

Australian States Ramp Up Tyre Regulation in Parallel with Industry Product Stewardship

Several large Australian states are stepping up regulation of waste tyres in advance of the implementation of an industry-led product stewardship approach. Senior Government officials have told the GlobalPSC that they will do what is necessary to improve tyre management through regulation and work with industry to improve management systems in parallel with the pending industry scheme.

The Victorian Government today gazetted a waste management policy to ban the unsafe stockpiling of waste tyres, partly in response to new commitments by the New South Wales (NSW) Government to tighten regulatory controls on waste tyres.

“In contrast with NSW and South Australia, Victoria does not have effective regulatory requirements for the management of waste tyres,” said Victorian Environment Minister Ryan Smith MP. “Consequently, tyre stockpiles are growing rapidly and will be expected to increase as NSW strengthens its regulation of waste tyres”.

In introducing the policy without delay, Minister Smith highlighted the key risk of improper storage of waste tyres as fire resulting from arson, accidents or bushfires.

Premises that store the equivalent of more than 5,000 waste passenger vehicle tyres or more than 40 tonnes of waste tyres must only store tyres for purposes such as transfer, reprocessing or energy recovery and must store the tyres in ways that minimise the risk of fire. Minister Smith will formally announce the new policy at a conference tomorrow

GlobalPSC Launches Key Themes to be Explored with Members

Singapore – The Global Product Stewardship Council today announced a series of themes to enable decision makers to more effectively draw upon international experience in product stewardship policy and to help raise the standards of recycling programs globally.

The roundtable discussions, hosted jointly by the GlobalPSC and Infoactiv at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, addressed a broad range of chemicals and products amongst key stakeholders including BASF, HP, Apple, Shell and CropLife Asia.

GlobalPSC CEO Russ Martin provided a global overview of product stewardship and extended producer responsibility programs then launched the themes being examined by the GlobalPSC, which include:

  • Making meaningful comparisons between programs (especially for recycling rates and key performance measures)
  • The importance of responsible recycling
  • The future of product stewardship
  • Competition amongst producer responsibility organisations and service providers

The GlobalPSC will be refining and prioritising the themes in consultation with GlobalPSC members and sharing results through a variety of approaches. These efforts will be assisted by product stewardship expert Marra Teasdale from her base in Singapore.

The Singapore roundtable was facilitated by Chris Mason and John Gertsakis from Infoactiv, and covered a range of key issues across the product life-cycle from Design for Environment and Cleaner Production through to product use and end-of-life management. Infoactiv’s focus during discussions was to explore the critical importance of regional priorities and cultural sensitivity given the diversity of countries and issues across the Asia Pacific region. The roundtable highlighted that the definition and application of Product Stewardship and EPR can vary dramatically mindful of context, culture and environmental priorities.

Ontario Seeks Input on Future Direction for WEEE/E-scrap

Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) has reported in a recent program update  that the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Program operated by Ontario Electronic Stewardship has collected more than 230,000 tonnes of WEEE since the program began in April 2009. WDO is seeking input on key areas identified for improvement by stakeholders, including targets and metrics; harmonization; recycling standards; the WEEE market outside of the program; program communications; and reuse.

New GlobalPSC Social Media Milestones

We’ve just reached 1,000 members on the Global Product Stewardship Council Public Group on LinkedIn and 400 followers of @GlobalPSC on Twitter. Thanks, everyone!

Canadian EPR Report Card 2012

During the recent Conference on Canadian Stewardship in Toronto, EPR Canada (EPRC) launched the results of its extended producer responsibility (EPR) Report Card 2012 as part of its efforts to see full EPR implemented across Canada. Based on government responses to a questionnaire, EPR Canada had British Columbia and Quebec leading the pack with each graded as a B+ and the Federal Government lagging with a grade of F.

According to EPRC, the report card “assessed and graded each jurisdiction’s submission based on their response to a set of questions that reflect best practices for the development and implementation of EPR policies and programs under three categories:

  • Commitment – indicators that each government, as a member of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) is following through on its commitment to adopt the principles of extended producers responsibility in compliance with the CCME Canada‐wide Action Plan on EPR, and is developing EPR policies and programs
  • Implementation – examples of how each government is implementing policies and practices to support producer performance
  • Accountability – indicators that each government has mechanisms in place to measure and report on producer performance”.
Details are available here.

Australian Battery Stewardship Stakeholder Workshop Results

On 13 August 2013, battery stakeholders and government representatives met in Brisbane to discuss the development of a national battery product stewardship scheme for Australia. The Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP), a GlobalPSC member, is the lead jurisdiction on batteries for Australia’s governments.

Workshop attendees considered four questions in relation to a scheme—

  1. the vision for the program;
  2. the scope (which types of batteries should be covered and why);
  3. the form of the scheme and;
  4. effectiveness of the program in addressing the public policy and business case considerations.

After opening comments and discussions with The Hon. Andrew Powell, Queensland’s Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, attendees were split into four groups to discuss each question separately. The groups then reported back and their responses were compiled. A summary of the workshop has been posted on the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC Members.

(L-R: Dr Diana Wright, First Assistant Secretary, Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities; Andrew Chesterman, Director-General, EHP; Fiona Proctor, Minister’s Media Advisor; The Hon. Andrew Powell, Minister for EHP; Tony Roberts, Deputy Director-General, EHP; Bill Ford of Toshiba)

 

The GlobalPSC and its members have been active in the program’s development. GlobalPSC Foundation Members MS2 led the development of the business and public policy case for battery stewardship on behalf of Australia’s Victorian Government. The report was circulated to attendees in advance of the workshop. GlobalPSC CEO Russ Martin, who was recently appointed as the independent chair of Australia’s Battery Implementation Working Group, facilitated the workshop. The GlobalPSC also facilitated earlier discussions on battery product stewardship with one of our longest-standing government members, Sustainability Victoria, and the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative.

The Case for Voluntary Paint Stewardship

In April 2013, Australia’s Environment Ministers added paint, along with handheld batteries, to the Standing Committee on Environment and Water (SCEW) product stewardship work plan.

In June 2013, Australia also released a priority list of products potentially covered under the Product Stewardship Act 2011 (the Act).

The Act provides a framework for establishing voluntary, co-regulatory and regulatory approaches for product stewardship. Under the Act, any future mandatory or co-regulatory approach must be preceded by 12 months notice before a particular product can have such a regulatory approach applied. Waste architectural and decorative paint was included in the priority list.

In the US and Canada, industry support is strong amongst paint manufacturers and trade painters for product stewardship as a means of responsibly managing paint in a way that is less costly and more flexible than alternative options available. In Australia, paint manufacturers received regulatory approval to voluntarily impose a levy to fund a paint collection trial in Victoria. However, the levy was suspended indefinitely due to opposition from major retailers that felt they could not pass any fee increases along to consumers. Paint manufacturers also recently launched Australia’s first trade waste paint collection trial, PaintCare.

For this report, the GlobalPSC was engaged by Sustainability Victoria (SV) and the Australian Paint Manufacturers’ Federation (APMF) to develop a business case for a levy-based voluntary paint product stewardship scheme in Australia, drawing upon international experience and stakeholder consultations.

The final report has been posted in the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members.

Australia Establishes Priority Products for Product Stewardship

Australia has released a priority list of products potentially covered under the Product Stewardship Act 2011 (the Act). The Act provides a framework for establishing voluntary, co-regulatory and regulatory approaches for product stewardship. Under the Act, any future mandatory or co-regulatory approach must be preceded by 12 months notice before a particular product can have such a regulatory approach applied.

The designated products include:

  • Waste architectural and decorative paint
  • End-of-life handheld batteries (less than 2kg in weight)
  • Packaging (and subsets of packaging, such as consumer packaging and beverage packaging)
  • End-of-life air conditioners with small gas charges
  • End-of-life refrigerators with small gas charges

The reasons given for their inclusion on the list are available here. In April 2013, Environment Ministers from Australia and New Zealand acting as the  Standing Council on Environment and Water (SCEW) added end-of-life handheld batteries and waste paint to their work plan. Preparation of a Decision Regulation Impact Statement is also underway for packaging.

Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, sought advice from a range of sources including the Product Stewardship Advisory Group, the SCEW, jurisdictional priorities, industry stakeholders, and international obligations in determining the list.

The Global Product Stewardship Council and GlobalPSC members serving on the Product Stewardship Advisory Group include:

The GlobalPSC has been working closely with the Australian Government and jurisdictions to draw upon international experience and expertise to further develop sensible, practical product stewardship approaches.

 

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Global Product Stewardship Council

PO Box 755, Turramurra, NSW 2074, Australia
Tel: +61 2 9489 8851
Fax: +61 2 9489 8553
Email: info@globalpsc.net