News

US Allows Take-back Options for Unwanted Medicines

New regulations by the US Drug Enforcement Administration encourage safe medicine disposal and expanded take-back opportunities at pharmacies and hospitals to address prescription drug abuse.

Patients and family members can also use pre-paid mail-back packages to return unwanted medicines.

The changes apply to controlled substances including opioid painkillers such as OxyContin, stimulants such as Adderall and depressants such as Ativan that previously could not legally be returned to pharmacies.

Participation in the program will be voluntary.

US Attorney General Eric Holder’s video below outlines the intent of the new regulations.

Click here to view
 

New Zealand Developing National Scheme for Waste Electronics

New Zealand’s Ministry for the Environment is progressing a national product stewardship scheme for waste electrical and electronic equipment (commonly referred to as e-waste or WEEE) for the country.

Drawing from international experience with WEEE and actively engaging with stakeholders in NZ and Australia will be essential to the project (which we’ll designate as #eWasteNZ or eWasteNZ where possible).

A key deliverable of the project will be a “White Paper” to the Ministry with advice on, and recommendations for, implementation of a preferred option for the long-term management of WEEE in New Zealand. This will include recommendations on the scope of any potential product stewardship scheme(s) for WEEE.

The information and recommendations from this project will contribute directly to the policy analysis being undertaken by the Ministry on priority waste streams for product stewardship intervention under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 (WMA).

New Zealand’s Minister for the Environment, the Hon Amy Adams MP, recently released a discussion paper on potential prioritisation. The Minister’s media release for the discussion paper is available here. The discussion paper raises the possibility and rationale for designating some or all of the following four products as priority products under the WMA:

  • WEEE
  • tyres
  • agricultural chemicals and farm plastics
  • refrigerants and other synthetic greenhouse gases.

A call for submissions on the discussion paper closed 2 July 2014. Following consultations, 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 is included in the discussion paper.

The #eWasteNZ project is being delivered through a partnership of companies, led and managed by SLR Consulting, with MS2 as technical lead and supported by Synergine and Equilibrium. MS2 is a Foundation Member of the GlobalPSC and Director Russ Martin also serves as our CEO.

Stakeholders will be notified shortly of consultation details and invited to participate. For further project details, email ewasteNZ@slrconsulting.com.

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.

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Global Product Stewardship Council

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Email: info@globalpsc.net