News

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.

 

GlobalPSC Appoints Russ Martin as CEO and Neil Hastie as President

 

 

 

Whistler, British Columbia – The Global Product Stewardship Council (GlobalPSC) has appointed Russ Martin as Chief Executive Officer of the organisation. During the opening session of the Recycling Council of British Columbia’s Zero Waste Conference, Russ also announced Neil Hastie as the new President.

Russ has over 20 years experience in product stewardship, public policy and sustainability in the US, Australia and Middle East. This includes roles in government and as an advisor to governments and industry. He is Director of consultancy MS2 and is a GlobalPSC founder in addition to serving as President for the first three years of the GlobalPSC’s existence.

We’ve grown the GlobalPSC to over 40 members in 11 countries and put in place a variety of resources to add value to our members, in addition to influencing development of product stewardship across a range of products. I’m pleased to have this opportunity to continue building the GlobalPSC and expanding our network to best learn from the lessons of product stewardship and producer responsibility programs internationally. Neil has been integral to our efforts and his experience with running a leading recovery program is invaluable.” Russ said.

Neil is President and CEO of Encorp Pacific (Canada) with over 15 years experience running extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs in British Columbia, Canada. He previously held a variety of general management positions in retailers across the country.

There is an increasing commitment to corporate sustainability for organizations based in North America and operating globally. Producer responsibility can be one of the pillars in a successful sustainability strategy. Evaluating and tracking national and global trends in the performance and costs for voluntary, co-regulatory and regulated systems is an imperative for robust enterprise risk management. The GlobalPSC assists its members in this analysis. I am enthused by the opportunity to intensify my contribution to the Council and to assist in enhancing value for our current and increasing base of business, government and NGO members.” said Neil.

Australian Environment Ministers Take Action on Batteries and Paint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Environment Ministers from Australia have agreed on the need to include end-of-life handheld batteries and waste paint in the Standing Council on Environment and Water’s (SCEW) work plan. In the communique announcing the decision, SCEW stated,

“More than 264 million handheld batteries reach the end of their useful life each year and the equivalent of 18,000 tonnes of paint require disposal each year. There could be significant environmental and community benefits to be gained from working with industry to find better management solutions for these products. Ministers asked officials to develop a work program and examine funding arrangements to progress these issues.”

The Global Product Stewardship Council and GlobalPSC members have been actively facilitating the development of product stewardship for both batteries and paint to help transition from government-funded takeback schemes to industry-led producer responsibility. In addition to running pilot projects, Government members Sustainability Victoria (SV) have been engaging industry players to develop practical approaches to product stewardship for the products.

Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI) Chief Executive Dr Helen Lewis supported the SCEW decision, telling the GlobalPSC,

“This decision represents a significant milestone in ABRI’s campaign to promote the development of sustainable recovery programs for used batteries. We look forward to working with environment ministers and other stakeholders to explore options to increase recycling of handheld batteries. We need to ensure that everyone involved in the production or consumption of batteries – from the manufacturer or importer through to the consumer – plays their part in ensuring that batteries are used and recovered in a sustainable way.”

In conjunction with SV and ABRI, the GlobalPSC facilitated initial stakeholder discussions, with an aim to developing a strategic plan to address domestic battery stewardship over the next three years. GlobalPSC Foundation members MS2 have also been incorporating GlobalPSC program expertise and data in developing the public policy and business case on handheld battery product stewardship for SV.

GlobalPSC member the Australian Paint Manufacturers’ Federation (APMF) is collaborating with SV on an industry-led pilot program to collect trade waste data and to examine the most efficient and environmentally sound ways to collect and treat waste paint. The GlobalPSC is incorporating trial results in helping SV develop the public policy and business case for paint stewardship.

Richard Phillips, Executive Director of the APMF, also supported the decision by Environment Ministers and discussed plans for further research,

“The APMF supports the SCEW decision to include waste architectural and decorative paints in its work plan. A key element of our current Strategic Plan involves working with Governments on a future product stewardship scheme for waste architectural and decorative paint. When looking to the future, the APMF Council believes that a voluntary industry program has the potential to provide a cost effective and efficient product stewardship scheme for our sector. The current PaintCare trial program in Victoria also acknowledges that any future product stewardship program should also consider the issue of waste paint generated from the trade sector. Currently, there is no collection service in any state or territory for trade waste paint. The APMF also believes that further research is now warranted. Hence, we are funding a joint research project with Sustainability Victoria for Swinburne University of Technology to generate new research into better and more environmental friendly ways to address waste paint.”

John Polhill, Product Stewardship Specialist – Waste Strategy with SV, reinforced the importance of collaboration,

“The Victorian Government is committed to working with industry to effectively manage problematic products in accordance with Victorian and national waste policy. The work with ABRI and APMF demonstrates the success of industry-government partnerships thusfar.”

The GlobalPSC and several members have been appointed by the Australian Government to a Product Stewardship Advisory Group that provides independent advice to the government on products that could be considered for attention under the Product Stewardship Act. The SCEW work plan operates in conjunction with the Product Stewardship Advisory Group to explore opportunities for management of priority products.

 

National Voluntary Tyre Stewardship Program Approved

The Australian competition authority, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has issued a final decision to authorise a national Tyre Stewardship Scheme for five years. The Australian Tyre Industry Council (ATIC) applied to the ACCC for authorisation of the proposed Scheme, to be administered by Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA).

Participants in the Scheme will be required to commit to contribute to the environmentally sound use of end-of-life tyres, elimination of the inappropriate export of baled tyres from Australia, elimination of the illegal dumping of end-of-life tyres and elimination of the disposal of end-of-life tyres to landfill.

The scheme involves imposition of a $0.25 levy per passenger car tyre equivalent on tyre importers to fund the operation of the Scheme.

British Columbia’s Recycling Handbook

British Columbia’s Recycling Handbook is a collaboration of fifteen stewardship agencies that operate extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs within the province.

All participating stewards contributed to the content  and funding of this publication designed by GlobalPSC Corporate Member Encorp Pacific to provide consumer awareness and convenience of recycling.

This link takes you to the fourth edition of the handbook, issued in December 2012. Over 6,000 hard copies have already been distributed along with hundreds of web downloads, and thousands of views. A direct link to a PDF copy is available here.

A new video on BC’s product stewardship model is also now available below.

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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