GlobalPSC News – August 2016
Posted by GlobalPSC on Uncategorized at 10:48 pm, August 31st, 2016Comments0
Message from the CEO
I’m regularly reminded of the practical lessons that can be discerned from the range of international product stewardship and extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs on offer and from colleagues with whom we’ve worked closely over the years.
The GlobalPSC has recently assisted some of our oldest members as well as some of our newest members in applied research on international programs and tailoring international experience to the circumstances of different countries. The results have been reflected in staff briefings, boardroom briefings and detailed background research and discussion papers for specific industries. Timezone differences and lengthy discussions have resulted in some early mornings and late nights as well as an appreciation for internet-based conferencing capability and long-distance phone plans. Throughout it all, we have benefitted from the cooperation of program experts (including a variety of our members) that have graciously made their time and insights available to the GlobalPSC and our members.
Some of the issues flagged during our first major event, the International Product Stewardship Summit 2010, remain, including balancing commercial risks and opportunities, addressing free riders, trying to ensure transparency and accountability and challenging existing perceptions. Ability to adapt over time to technological changes remains a vexing issue for many programs. The OECD’s updated guidelines on EPR have further illustrated the value in gaining an objective understanding of program strengths, weaknesses and the circumstances that contribute to the success (or otherwise) of the multitude of product stewardship and EPR programs.
Our network coverage continues to expand across a multitude of locales and product types. We’ve been doing some research on Latin American EPR initiatives for batteries and waste electronics and gained a new Chilean member. In a few weeks, we’ll be joining discussions in Serbia on good governance and EPR in conjunction with the OECD, European Commission and Estonian and Portuguese Ministries for Environment; GlobalPSC Advisory Group member Joachim Quoden is moderating the discussions at the International Solid Waste Association Congress. We’ll be doing site visits with members and EPR programs in the UK and France. We’ve also been expanding our outreach and activities in the US and Canada.
I look forward to sharing details of other new GlobalPSC members, research projects and events in the near future. As you can imagine, there will be strong international elements to them.
The Global Product Stewardship Council periodically invites thought leaders on product stewardship and producer responsibility to contribute guest blogs. Our guest blogger for this post is Nick Harford, Managing Director of Equilibrium.
The latest edition of Corporate Waste Solutions contains an article in which I argue that in Australia there are pockets of good resource recovery and product stewardship, but that more can be done.
The article points out that the resource recovery side of waste management is increasingly influenced by global factors and where the market is not delivering good waste management, where valuable resources are being lost and where health and the environment are exposed to risk, policy needs to address market failures and provide appropriate interventions.
In this regard, a key outcome of Australia’s National Waste Policy has been the Product Stewardship Act and the product stewardship schemes it has, if not directly spawned, aided. These include the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS), Paintback, FluoroCycle and Tyre Stewardship Australia, as well as endorsement for the long-running MobileMuster.
Clearly, while the performance of some schemes such as the NTCRS has attracted criticism because of failed recyclers and some poor outcomes, what cannot be refuted with respect to the schemes is this: if they were not in place e-waste and other materials would be a bigger environmental and social problem.
While the National Waste Policy may have been somewhat neglected and patchy as a vehicle for driving national coordinated approaches to a range of waste and recycling issues, product stewardship is proving to be a successful means for industry and government to establish programs that will have lasting economic, environmental and social value. For more detail, click here.
The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Global Product Stewardship Council.
Nick Harford is Managing Director of Equilibrium, a Melbourne-based sustainability consulting and management company servicing a range of private companies and governments. From 2009-2014 Nick was also a director of the Metropolitan Waste Management Group. Prior to Equilibrium, Nick was Group General Manager of environment at packaging and recycling company Visy and has a background in corporate affairs, government and the media.
Collaboration and shared responsibility are key, and while Australia has implemented a range of product stewardship approaches, there is room for improvement. These were common themes at a product stewardship forum hosted recently in Sydney by GlobalPSC Corporate Member TechCollect. The forum was well-attended and featured a range of product categories including electronics, paint, agricultural chemicals and chemical containers, and tyres.
TechCollect CEO Carmel Dollisson opens TechCollect’s Product Stewardship Forum
The Australian Government, a long-standing GlobalPSC Government Member, also provided essential context on Australia’s experience to date and on plans for the five-year review of Australia’s Product Stewardship Act 2011.
Peter Brisbane, Director, Stewardship and Waste for the Australian Department of Environment and Energy outlines Australia’s product stewardship framework
Contact TechCollect or the GlobalPSC directly for more information and insights from the forum.