The Vinyl Council of Australia was established in 1998 to advance the sustainability of the vinyl or PVC industry in Australia. Members are drawn from across the supply chain, representing a wide range of products.
In 2002 the Vinyl Council launched a Product Stewardship Program for the industry.
This voluntary initiative sets out a series of commitments for Signatories along the vinyl supply chain to address the environmental and health aspects associated with the life-cycle of PVC. Over 35 Signatories are currently committed to actions in areas including manufacturing emissions, safe use of additives, and end-of-life management.
During ten years of operation the Program has resulted in improvements through reduced emissions, phasing out of lead and cadmium additives, waste management activities and adoption of life-cycle thinking in new product development. Stakeholder feedback, annual reporting and expert scientific and technical research help to maintain the Program’s relevance and effectiveness.
Chief Executive Sophi MacMillan serves on the GlobalPSC Advisory Group.
Zero Waste SA has become the latest Government Member of the Global Product Stewardship Council.
Zero Waste SA was established in 2004 and promotes practices that advance the development of resource recovery and recycling and, as far as possible, eliminate waste or its consignment to landfill.
Through collaboration, advocacy, financial incentives and education, Zero Waste SA is working to meet the target in South Australia’s Strategic Plan to reduce waste by 35% by 2020 and achieve the milestone of 25% by 2014.
Zero Waste SA’s first five year strategy helped to reduce waste from 2002-03 levels by 17.3% and reinvested $60 million of levy funds into recycling and waste reduction projects targeting local government, industry, business, schools, community groups and the tertiary sector.
South Australia’s Waste Strategy 2011–2015 has two key objectives:
- maximising the useful life of materials through reuse and recycling
- avoiding and reducing waste.
The Waste Strategy for 2011-2015 maintains the original vision but focuses on new challenges. These include: avoiding waste; taking a more considered approach toward resource consumption; and addressing the more difficult wastes such as food scraps, electronic waste (e-waste) and contaminated soils.
For more information visit www.zerowaste.sa.gov.au.
Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator the Hon Don Farrell, addresses the Zero Waste Summit in Melbourne, Australia. Senator Farrell, who led the passage through Parliament of Australia’s Product Stewardship Act 2011, cited bipartisan support for the Act and updated attendees on product stewardship developments in Australia, including the new TV and computer recycling scheme.
Global Product Stewardship Council President Russ Martin chaired the first day of the Zero Waste Summit and presented the GlobalPSC perspective on global developments in product stewardship. Other speakers on product stewardship included representatives of the Australian Government, Fuji Xerox, ANZRP and Australian Packaging Covenant. The GlobalPSC was a proud supporter of the Summit.
The Australian Government has worked in collaboration with the GlobalPSC, from being one of the GlobalPSC’s first government members and an International Speaker Sponsor for the inaugural International Product Stewardship Summit, to seeking GlobalPSC input into the development of product stewardship legislation. We are certainly grateful for the Australian Government’s ongoing support.
In addition to our existing Knowledge Base, the Global Product Stewardship Council is compiling a database of international product stewardship and producer responsibility programs for GlobalPSC members. Initially, we are seeking basic program information across product and material categories developed in conjunction with stakeholders. We expect to provide greater detail over time as resources allow.
We encourage users to submit program information and share the link to the page with other programs so that they can be included.
Contributors will be acknowledged and are asked to serve as contacts for further inquiries. All posts will be moderated and checked for accuracy prior to posting. The first few lines of program description will be visible publicly, while GlobalPSC members will be able to access the full descriptions by logging in.
Those willing to provide more detailed program information are encouraged to complete the GlobalPSC’s template analytical framework and return the framework to us for peer review and posting.
Any questions or feedback can be emailed to email@example.com.
Multi-Material British Columbia (MMBC) has posted its Draft Packaging and Printed Paper (PPP) Stewardship Plan and other information describing how it will collect and recycle PPP in British Columbia. MMBC is currently seeking feedback on the draft plan and has invited interested parties to submit comments by 9 November. Details are available here. MMBC intends to submit the PPP Stewardship Plan to the Ministry of Environment on 19 November, 2012.
In the Global Product Stewardship Council’s September 2012 newsletter, we highlighted duelling data and reports on the value of extended producer responsibility (EPR) for consumer packaging in the U.S. and shared more detailed analysis with GlobalPSC members. One of the programs examined, Ramsey County, Minnesota, has raised concerns about their treatment as a case study in one of the reports, so we are now providing their response to GlobalPSC members.
Evaluation of Extended Producer Responsibility for Consumer Packaging (“the SAIC report”) was prepared by SAIC for the Grocery Manufacturers Association and released in September 2012.
The letter provided by Ramsey County states that they “have concerns about this report, including:
- The consultant’s process for including Ramsey County as a case study,
- The potential implication that Ramsey County, a strong supporter of the concept of product stewardship/extended producer responsibility (EPR), supports the conclusions in this report against EPR,
- A key conclusion that mentions Ramsey County and is not adequately supported, and
- Incorrect or incomplete statements.”
The complete response has been posted in the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members.
The Australian Paint Manufacturers’ Federation Incorporated (APMF) was established in 1947. Today, its purpose is to represent and advance the interests of its members to ensure the sustainability of the Australian paint and surface coatings industry. The industry produces some $2.5 billion worth of surface coating products and directly employees some 5,000 persons. The APMF represents 48 companies and members account for over 90% of all paint manufactured in Australia. It is a not-for-profit industry association.
In its Strategic Objectives 2012-14, the APMF has committed itself to work with the State Governments on initiatives to collect and treat waste domestic paint.
An industry-led pilot program, with Sustainability Victoria, to collect trade waste data and to examine the most efficient and environmentally sound ways to collect and treat waste paint, is scheduled to occur in 2013.
We are pleased to welcome the APMF as an industry association member of the Global Product Stewardship Council.
We are pleased to welcome Planet Ark as the latest environmental NGO member of the Global Product Stewardship Council.
Planet Ark Environmental Foundation unites people, business and government to create environmental change through engaging and practical solutions.
Planet Ark has been active in the recycling and product stewardship space since being founded in 1992. The success of the innovative ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ program is one of Planet Ark’s key achievements to date. This voluntary extended producer responsibility program brings together a group of committed original equipment manufacturers, and it has recycled over 19 million used printer cartridges in 10 years. Planet Ark is an active promoter of other product stewardship schemes in Australia, particularly through the RecyclingNearYou.com.au website.
Planet Ark endeavours to facilitate new product stewardship and recycling programs, particularly for materials where few recycling options are currently available. Most recently, Planet Ark has worked to secure more recycling options for consumer batteries, and is an active member of the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative.
The Global Product Stewardship Council will periodically invite thought leaders on product stewardship and producer responsibility to contribute guest blogs. This guest blog is by Sandy Sigmund, Vice President, Development & CMO, Encorp Pacific (Canada). Encorp Pacific (Canada) is a Global Product Stewardship Council Foundation Member.
The province of British Columbia, in July this year, attained the highest score nationally from Extended Producer Responsibility Canada (EPR Canada) for measures making producers wholly responsible for recycling end-of-life product and packaging waste. EPR Canada ranked each jurisdiction by evaluating federal, provincial and territorial EPR policies and programs in place or pending by the end of last year.
“BC is seriously committed to the principles of reducing the amount of waste we produce,” said Terry Lake, BC’s Minister of the Environment. “We’ve worked hard for years to create policies that put responsibility fully in the hands of producers and consumers and we assess our progress continually to take stock of how we are doing and what more we can do”.
The BC Recycling Regulation, a flexible, performance-based regulatory framework within which to operate comes under the authority of the Environmental Management Act and shifts taxpayer-funded responsibility for managing end-of-life products and packaging to producers and consumers.
Not-for-profit stewardship agencies, developed by industry to collect and recycle products at end-of-life, implement industry developed and government approved plans. British Columbians divert close to 20,000 metric tonnes of electronics, 2 million litres of hazardous household waste, 40,000 tonnes of scrap tires and over 1 billion beverage containers from landfills a year. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from these programs is equivalent to removing more than 73,000 cars from BC’s roads annually.
The Stewardship Agencies of BC (SABC) emerged as a voluntary council for stewardship agencies and programs. Each regulated product’s manufacturer, distributor or brand owner develops a product stewardship plan and implements a program to collect and recycle their products through SABC.
“After more than 18 years in operation, we have demonstrated that the industry self-managed model meets or exceeds expectations of most stakeholders”, says Neil Hastie, President and CEO, Encorp (Pacific) Canada. He adds, “We recover 80% of all the beverage containers sold in BC and operate without any form of subsidy from any level of government.”
SABC members include Encorp Pacific (Canada), Brewers Distributors Limited, Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA), Recycle My Cell, ElectroRecycle, LightRecycle, Switch The ‘Stat, Call2Recycle, BC Used Oil Association (BCUOMA), Tire Stewardship BC (TSBC), Product Care Association, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute of Canada and the Post Consumer Pharmaceutical Stewardship Association. For more information about the SABC and the products recycled go to bcstewards.com.
Encorp Pacific (Canada), one of the largest stewardship agencies, was launched in 1994 to create a province-wide network of industry owned and operated beverage recycling depots; within 4 years 125 were established. The unique structure and flexibility of Encorp allows the agency to concentrate on managing collection and recycling programs while ensuring that stakeholder and consumer interests are addressed. Today, Encorp has a network of 180 independently owned Return It™ depots, mobile collectors, and has contracted 33 partners in transportation and 17 in processing. The Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) and the BC Dairy Council (BCDC) have contracted Encorp to manage their respective collection operations by utilizing Encorp’s existing Return It™ depots.
“Each year our network of owners invest in new locations and upgrades all in keeping with our commitment to enhance the appeal and customer service for our citizens who are doing their part by returning containers for recycling”, says Neil Hastie. He adds, “Encorp combines private-sector efficiencies with a high degree of public-sector transparency and accountability. This transparency provides the public and all interested parties with information about its mission, key objectives, operational and financial performance as well as consumer awareness and educational programs.”
A driving force behind product stewardship is growth. Soon SABC, government and consumers are about to do the next big thing. Governing Boards of the 13 stewardship agencies operating in BC are anticipating the addition of packaging and printed paper to the Recycling Regulation, moving responsibility for recycling these items from municipalities to industry. Industry, municipalities and stakeholders will decide the type of program that will fit their communities, but one model may have municipalities acting as a service provider and to continue collecting through curbside recycling programs.
BC’s Stewardship agencies have demonstrated the benefits in merging public sector accountability with private sector know how, and while we welcome the kudos from EPR Canada, we hope that the Scorecard motivates all jurisdictions to our shared aspiration of fewer new landfill sites and the reduction of energy needed to produce new products from raw materials.
Sandy Sigmund is Vice President, Development & CMO, Encorp Pacific (Canada).