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:
- 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.
Sydney, Australia – Federal Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, announced today that MobileMuster, the mobile telecommunications industry’s official recycling scheme, has been formally accredited by the Federal Government as Australia’s first voluntary product stewardship scheme under the Product Stewardship Act 2011.
(L-R: the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for the Environment, and the Hon. Paul Fletcher MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communication)
As the official accredited mobile telecommunications industry recycling program, MobileMuster and its members have committed to increase available collection rates of mobile phones from 50 to 55 per cent and volumes from 87 tonnes to 127 tonnes per year over the next 5 years, as well as increase consumer and industry engagement.
The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) manages MobileMuster on behalf of its members. The industry has invested over $36 million in the not-for-profit program, which is free to consumers. Since the program began, over 8.8 million handsets and batteries have been recycled, along with 550,000 kgs of accessories, which equates to nearly 1,100 tonnes of mobile phone and accessory e-waste.
“Our members and partners work tirelessly to ensure that the promotion, collection, transportation and recycling of old mobiles is done with transparency and accountability and MobileMuster has some of the highest rates of recovery in any recycling program across the world,” said Hakan Eriksson, Deputy Chair of AMTA.
AMTA’s Recycling Manager, Rose Read (pictured L), said receiving the Government’s accreditation gave the program a green tick of approval and recognised that MobileMuster has adhered to the highest safety and ethical standards when recycling old mobiles and accessories.
“The announcement today is an honour for the mobile telecommunications industry’s product stewardship program. It recognises the leadership role MobileMuster has played over the past 16 years and our expertise in developing best practice, ethical recycling programs,” she said.
Close the Loop (CtL) is an Australian-owned resource recovery and recycling company. CtL has established a global reputation for providing creative end of life product management services.
Specialising in post consumer recycling (PCR), CtL provides its services to leading global manufacturers of consumer and business to business products.
In partnership with 13 major printer manufacturers, CtL has established a network of over 35,000 collection points around Australia. CtL also provides “end of pipe” materials recovery solutions for battery and cosmetics manufacturers.
CtL is founded on a ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ promise. End of life products are returned to the original manufacturer for re-use where possible. If not, CtL uses a range of patented processes to recover all the materials from those products. These materials may be reused in the manufacture of the products, or turned into a range of new innovative products.
More than just a recycling company, CtL is a materials recovery company, giving new life to valuable resources. CtL offers advice to manufacturers in their design of new products with end of life disposal in mind – to improve reusability, to simplify recycling, and to maximise the value of recovered materials.
CtL was established in Australia in 2001 and in 2007 it set up collection and processing facilities in the US. CtL now employs over 200 people in these two countries.
Learn more about Close the Loop and their investment in R&D for recycled content products in the video below.
Product stewardship is clearly a hot topic of discussion in New Zealand, as reflected in the latest issue of revolve, published by WasteMINZ.
In the issue, WasteMINZ CEO Paul Evans weighs in on likely impacts of the Environment Minister’s recent release of a discussion document on priority waste streams for product stewardship intervention, and further detail is given on the potential designation of priority products.
John Gertsakis, Chief Sustainability Officer of Infoactiv, also reflects upon the need for life cycle benefits to drive ‘product stewardship 2.0′.
Check out revolve for further information.
Approximately 400 million handheld batteries weighing 5kg or less were sold in Australia in 2012-13. For the same time period, 14,703 tonnes of batteries were disposed of and 403 tonnes were collected for recycling. Recovery rates for sealed lead acid, nickel cadmium, lithium primary and nickel metal hydride batteries were all in the 4.4 – 5.5 per cent range, while the recovery rate for alkaline and zinc carbon batteries was estimated at 1.6 per cent.
Batteries were collected through different channels including commercial collections (139 tonnes), retail store drop-off (111 tonnes), e-waste collections (45 tonnes), household hazardous waste collections (16 tonnes) and other recovery routes (91 tonnes). The rest (14,345 tonnes) were disposed to landfill.
On a unit number basis, 90 per cent of the batteries sales proposed to be subject to the Australian product stewardship scheme are single‐use batteries and 10% are rechargeable batteries. On a weight basis, 50% are single‐use and 50% are rechargeable.
Consumption trends indicate that lithium ion batteries will continue to grow as a proportion of all battery sales, increasing from around 24 per cent in 2013 to 33 per cent in 2020.
The report, ‘Study into market share and stocks and flows of handheld batteries in Australia’, was commissioned by the Battery Implementation Working Group (BIWG) on behalf of Australian governments to assist in developing a national battery product stewardship scheme for Australia. Environment Ministers agreed on the need to include end-of-life handheld batteries and waste paint in the Standing Council on Environment and Water’s work plan. The Australian Government identified handheld batteries as priority products potentially covered under Australia’s Product Stewardship Act in 2013 and reaffirmed their designation in 2014.
The report is available to GlobalPSC members in the Knowledge Base, under the Batteries tab.
Created in 2011 by Canada’s electronics industry, the Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) is a national, voluntary, not-for-profit environmental compliance program dedicated to upholding high standards for the recycling of end-of-life electronics and providing secure, convenient recycling options throughout participating regions. EPRA currently operates provincially-approved and regulatory compliant electronics stewardship programs in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.
EPRA enables businesses and consumers to responsibly manage their end-of-life electronics, and assists obligated stewards in achieving regulatory compliance. EPRA programs are funded by an Environmental Handling Fee (EHF) on the sale of new obligated products to cover 100% of the costs of responsible recycling. Currently there are over 6,400 program stewards registered in EPRA programs across the country with over 1,450 permanent collection sites available to the public, and over 65 qualified recyclers responsibly processing EPRA e-waste. EPRA programs have safely processed close to 450,000 metric tonnes of end-of-life electronics since their programs began.
EPRA is committed to ensuring responsible recycling of end-of-life electronics collected by the EPRA programs through adherence to the Recycler Qualification Program (RQP), an open standard and comprehensive process that ensures products and resulting materials are handled in an environmentally sound and socially acceptable manner that protects the environment and safeguards worker health and safety. EPRA’s Director of Harmonisation, Jay Illingworth, serves as a member of the GlobalPSC Advisory Group.
Click below to watch the EPRA video on “What happens to end-of-life electronics.”
The European Commission has developed guidance drawing on European experience with extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes. The report provides an overview of existing EPR schemes in the EU-28, examines their performance and reports on their cost-effectiveness (fees paid by producers vs. collection rates) by product type via 36 case studies.
Some of the interesting findings include:
- The extent to which net operational costs are covered by producers’ fees is highly variable. Using packaging as an example, the net cost coverage by producers’ fees ranges from around 10 % in the UK to 100% in five of the Member States examined.
- Sound waste management and recycling have generally improved, notably through the implementation of EPR.
- There is a general lack of transparency and availability of reliable data, especially for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
- The best performing schemes are not necessarily the most expensive.
- No single EPR model emerges as the best performing and the most cost-effective.
- There is no clear evidence of a strong positive impact of EPR on the eco-design of the products.
- Few or no targets or indicators regarding eco-design have been developed.
- Collective schemes can de-incentivise individual producers’ efforts for eco-design.
The report is provided in the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members, under the Programs tab.
On 2 July 2014, the European Commission launched its Green Growth package. The aim is to link waste policy with resource efficiency through the “circular economy” to reduce resource consumption, maximise reuse and recycling, and improve security of supply and create jobs by reprocessing waste materials within Europe.
The Commission is now proposing a target of 70% recycling and preparation for reuse by 2030 and a ban on the landfilling of recyclable materials by 2025. The Commission is also proposing some aspirational targets – reducing food waste by 30% between 2017 and 2026, and ending the landfilling of recoverable waste by 2030. The Commission is proposing to replace overall recovery targets (recycling, energy recovery, etc.) under the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive with overall and material-specific targets for recycling and preparation for reuse.
Member States must ensure that financial contributions into extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes by producers “cover the entire cost of waste management, including separate collection and treatment, adequate information to waste holders, data gathering and reporting.” Producers must also “support litter prevention and clean-up initiatives.”
An overview of the proposals and targets, led by GlobalPSC Foundation Members Perchards, is provided in the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members under the Frameworks & Harmonisation tab.
The GlobalPSC has gotten confirmation from Nova Scotia authorities that they are extending their consultations on approaches that include a product stewardship /extended producer responsibility (EPR) framework across a wide range of products.
Nova Scotia has flagged possible product stewardship / EPR for 24 product categories as part of proposed changes to the provincial solid waste regulations. Consultation is now open until 1 August 2014.
The GlobalPSC sought members’ views on the proposed Nova Scotia changes and is finalising a submission in consultation with our newly formed Advisory Group. Similarly, the GlobalPSC provided a submission to the New Zealand Ministry for Environment on behalf of our members in response to a discussion paper on prioritising particular products for product stewardship. The New Zealand response is available in the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members, under the Frameworks & Harmonisation tab.