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—
- the vision for the program;
- the scope (which types of batteries should be covered and why);
- the form of the scheme and;
- 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.
18 November, 2013
DHL, 18-22 Salmon St, Port Melbourne, Australia
Australia has released a priority list of products potentially covered under the Product Stewardship Act 2011. The designated products include:
• Waste paint
• End-of-life handheld batteries
• End-of-life air conditioners with small gas charges
• End-of-life refrigerators with small gas charges
The Act provides a framework for establishing voluntary, co-regulatory and regulatory approaches for product stewardship. Australia’s Environment Ministers have also developed plans for paint and battery product stewardship. The GlobalPSC is helping the Commonwealth and state governments facilitate the efforts for batteries and paint.
The GlobalPSC is bringing global leaders on product-specific producer responsibility collection and reprocessing initiatives to help identify and learn from international best practice to assist these efforts. Featured international speakers include:
• Carl Smith, CEO and President, Call2Recycle (North America)
• Alison Keane, Vice President Government Affairs, American Coatings Association
• Mark Kurschner, President, Product Care Association (North America)
• Corinne Faure-Rochu, Director Business Development, Recupyl (France)
Panel sessions will include these speakers and other product-specific experts on batteries and paint from the USA and Australia. A special evening function will enable even greater access to this international line-up for GlobalPSC members. Full program and details are available here.
Attendance is free for GlobalPSC members in proportion to their membership level (5 free for Sustaining Members, 2 for Standard Members and 1 for other categories) but registrations are necessary for catering. Registrations are $299 plus GST for non-members of the GlobalPSC. Event details, registration and payment information are available at http://globalpsc.eventbrite.com.au. Lunch will be provided for registered attendees.
The eDay New Zealand Trust was established in 2010 to promote the development and implementation of product stewardship schemes for electronic waste in New Zealand and Pacific Island countries. The Trust, previously known as the Computer Access New Zealand Trust (CANZ), was responsible for national eDay e-waste collection events, held annually throughout New Zealand from 2007 and piloted in the Cook Islands in 2010. The Trust believes that e-waste product stewardship should be mandatory and free to the consumer dropping off end-of-life equipment.
The Trust’s view is that voluntary product stewardship schemes will not work for e-waste and that central government must regulate to ensure compliance by all stakeholders. The Trust supports the Australian co-regulatory approach and advocate the development of something similar in New Zealand aligned with Australia.
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.
The Waste Recycling Industry Association of Queensland (WRIQ) is Queensland’s leading waste and recycling association. As an Australian not-for-profit industry-sponsored association, it has over 90 members, ranging from small independent operators through to the large national and multi-national organisations.
WRIQ provides its members with confidence and professionalism that their business interests will be advocated clearly and concisely to all stakeholders to ensure the industry remains a dynamic, sustainable and significant sector in relation to the provision of waste and recycling services. This includes industry and regulator working groups to advocate clear policy direction to increase resource recovery and the promotion of sound principles such as product stewardship.
WRIQ produces voluntary Codes and Guidelines which promote sound industry practices and build confidence in the professionalism and identity of the sector. WRIQ and its stakeholders acknowledge industry achievements and showcase its member’s services of delivering highly ethical and compliant industry practices through the WRIQ Annual Member Awards Program, which recognises outstanding achievements by members, their employees and potential new entrants (students) into the industry.
Focused on improving job skills, training opportunities and the level of professionalism for all industry employees, WRIQ offers monthly member forums and has a Next Generation Group.
For more information on WRIQ please contact its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Rick Ralph on +61 7 3375 6961. Please visit the WRIQ website for the latest industry reports and information on the current working groups.
Sustainable Resource Use (SRU) is an Australian environmental consultancy company trying to contribute to a more sustainable world.
Their work reduces the impact of material consumption, and leads to improved resource use efficiency and greater resource recovery.
A consistent feature of SRU’s work is identifying, measuring and describing the available options for reducing the environmental impacts of consumption. These options may range from changes to systems or products, right through to behaviour change by consumers. Areas of work include:
- Environmental policy and strategy development.
- Mapping resource flows, with associated data collection and research.
- Environmental impact of policy and investment decisions.
- Advice on issues and strategies relating to all aspects of the resource use hierarchy.
- Product stewardship guidance and advice.
- Life cycle assessment (LCA) and material flow analysis (MFA) studies.
- Resource efficiency / cleaner production assessments and advice.
SRU is a team with strong capabilities in core areas of expertise. They have also developed wide collaborative networks with partners in other disciplines, and often work with these partners to structure multi-disciplinary teams to meet the specific requirements of projects. Visit SRU’s website.
In August 2013, GlobalPSC CEO Russ Martin provided an overview of global packaging product stewardship and extended producer responsibility initiatives to the Australian Packaging Covenant Council. The report is now available on the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members.
International developments in product stewardship and EPR for packaging and other products were examined to help provide context for discussions on their implications for packaging in Australia. Topics such as industry leadership, material ownership, increased application of EPR across a broader range of products, a focus on better understanding impacts on local government costs and resource savings and attempts to harmonise varying schemes to reduce costs were addressed, as well as their implications for packaging. Several key developments in packaging product stewardship in North America were discussed in detail, including British Columbia’s EPR for packaging and printed paper (PPP), industry-led efforts to address PPP EPR comprehensively in the US and the increased influence of litter and marine debris as drivers for packaging product stewardship programs. Relevant aspects of developments in Europe and elsewhere were also highlighted. Australian implications of these issues were then discussed, with an emphasis on policies and projects.
Global Product Stewardship Council CEO Russ Martin has been appointed as the independent chair of Australia’s Battery Implementation Working Group to help develop a national product stewardship approach for handheld batteries.
Russ’s appointment builds on earlier efforts on batteries, including facilitating initial stakeholder discussions and leading the development of the business and public policy case for battery stewardship (report available here) on behalf of the Victorian Government by GlobalPSC Foundation Members MS2.
GlobalPSC member Recycling Reinvented has made available the first of three working papers produced as part of a study commissioned to model and assess the projected economic benefits, costs, and impacts associated with a ‘uniquely American’ extended producer responsibility (EPR) system, as advocated by Recycling Reinvented, for consumer packaging and printed paper (PPP). The paper focuses on study design and is now available here.
Although commissioned by Recycling Reinvented, the study is designed to be objective, rigorous, and transparent. It is being conducted by Reclay StewardEdge and includes an extensive review process by over two dozen experts from industry, non-governmental organizations, education and policy.
The study will model the effects of EPR in a single state (Minnesota), using state-specific data, but Recycling Reinvented hope that the methodology and analysis findings will have broader applicability. The goal of the study is to help advance the national dialogue on how to achieve higher recycling rates, greater system efficiency, and sustainably financed recycling programs.
The first working paper presents the study design, guiding principles, and assumptions. Subsequent working papers will present the in-depth state-level analysis and modeling projections, assessment of PPP material markets, and producer financing scenarios. A new website MarketBasedRecycling.com has been created to house all details of the study for more in-depth information.
Neil has over 15 years’ experience running extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs in British Columbia, Canada. Prior to joining Encorp Pacific in 1998, Neil had been a senior executive in the retail industry for more than 30 years.
One of Neil’s long-term colleagues, Malcolm Harvey, reflected on some of the factors for Neil’s success and his value to the GlobalPSC,
“Neil is a very disarming fellow. His approachable and modest attitude belies the fact that behind it lies an incisive and decisive intellect. His concern for others is genuine and he is unlikely to be swayed by emotion alone; he is, fundamentally, a pragmatist. One reason I think he has been successful at Encorp is his belief that the core need is to identify the high ground in any debate and never, ever be pushed or step down from it.”
“Neil was one of the first senior executives to discover that product stewardship was one of the few places where business practices and experience could be successfully partnered with a truly beneficial objective. The transition from the business of selling chocolates to that of collecting bottles and cans could have been a wrenching one but it was a change he made in a heartbeat. I think he simply found his calling. That he will continue to be involved in product stewardship in various forms only confirms that for me.”
GlobalPSC CEO Russ Martin stated,
“Neil has carved out a strong reputation in North America and beyond, which is part of why we asked him to join the GlobalPSC board and more recently to become President. He’s earned a great deal of respect and admiration over the years. We’re looking forward to Neil having even more time for the GlobalPSC, when he’s not with his family or on a golf course, that is.”
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:
- Russ Martin – GlobalPSC CEO and Director of MS2 (Foundation Member)
- Karen Gomez – Chief Executive Officer, AgStewardship Australia (Sustaining Corporate Member)
- Rose Read – Manager, MobileMuster (Corporate Member), Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association
- John Gertsakis – Chief Sustainability Officer of Infoactiv
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.
New GlobalPSC Members and Member Profiles
The Global Product Stewardship Council is presenting at or attending the following events:
- Conference on Canadian Stewardship, 16-18 September in Toronto, Canada
- WasteMINZ Conference, 21-24 October in Rotorua, New Zealand
- 2013 Asia Pacific OH Conference + Exhibition, October 29 – 31 in Singapore
- Electronics Recycling Asia, 12–15 November in Singapore
At each of these events, we will be promoting the involvement of GlobalPSC members and our activities. We are also planning special events on 18 November in Melbourne, Australia, featuring overseas leaders on batteries and paint and including a members-only event. Details will follow.