The Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) is a sustainable packaging initiative which aims to change the culture of business to design more sustainable packaging, increase recycling rates and reduce packaging litter. It is an agreement between government, industry and community groups to work together to find and fund solutions to address packaging sustainability issues.
Organisations sign the Covenant to signal their commitment to:
- Design packaging that is more resource efficient and more recyclable;
- Increase the recovery and recycling of used packaging from households and away-from-home sources; and
- Take action to reduce the incidence and impacts of litter.
The Covenant aims to ensure that all companies involved in the packaging chain play their part by delivering on these commitments.
Currently over 900 organisations (business and industry, government and non-government) are signatories to the Australian Packaging Covenant.
The Global Product Stewardship Council is pleased to announce that we are working with one of our longest-standing government members, Sustainability Victoria (SV), and the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI) to facilitate battery product stewardship in Australia.
Sustainability Victoria’s BatteryBack program has been running for the last 5 years and has collected and processed over 6.7 tonnes of domestic batteries. However, 4.6 tonnes has been collected in the last 2 years, indicating more than just steady growth. It is SV’s intention to grow the collection system to increase the access for Victorians to drop off their spent batteries to be processed responsibility and develop the business case to reduce cost.
The GlobalPSC is assisting SV and ABRI through research, facilitation of stakeholder discussions, insight on lessons learned from overseas programs and developing the public policy and business case for battery product stewardship. The first step is initial stakeholder discussions, with an aim to developing a strategic plan to address domestic battery stewardship over the next three years.
Batteries hold special significance for the GlobalPSC. We led a European study tour that included industry-led battery product stewardship programs in Belgium and Switzerland (referred to as BEBAT and INOBAT, respectively). Several GlobalPSC corporate members, Call2Recycle, Raw Materials Company Inc., MobileMuster and TES-AMM Australia New Zealand operate programs that collect and recycle various batteries. One of our government members, the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, has also implemented product stewardship for batteries.
In this video produced exclusively for the Global Product Stewardship Council, Steve Rust, Managing Director of Panasonic Australia, discusses the business case for Panasonic’s approach to product stewardship in Australia and internationally. Panasonic is a Corporate Member of the GlobalPSC and launched the video at the GlobalPSC’s Product Stewardship Implementation Workshop in July 2012.
Global Product Stewardship Council Corporate Member MobileMuster recently launched a new video called The MobileMuster Promise about mobile phone product stewardship and have made the video available for followers of the GlobalPSC. Enjoy!
By Global Product Stewardship Council President Russ Martin
While in Singapore for the inaugural WasteMET Asia conference recently, three things in particular give me hope for our ultimate ability to help improve environmental outcomes through product stewardship:
- Holding a kilo of pure gold recovered from e-waste;
- Seeing some of the innovative sustainability initiatives at the new Gardens by the Bay precinct (pictured); and
- Hearing the interest from governments and companies alike in implementing product stewardship initiatives.
Courtesy of the senior management and staff of TES-AMM and Cimelia Resource Recovery, I was able to tour two of the largest electronics recyclers in the region and see precious metal recovery from computers, batteries and other e-waste. In addition to seeing molten gold being poured into ingots, one highlight was holding a kilo of pure gold recovered from electronics.
The risk, of course, is seeing the gold and thinking that the electronics recyclers must be making a fortune. Most people don’t realise all of the commercial risks, inherent uncertainties and system costs necessary to end up with those precious metals.
There was a variety of views on some of the barriers and opportunities of product stewardship, but many commonalities as well. The GlobalPSC will continue to explore these issues on behalf of our members.
Product stewardship is a sensible approach to help ensure reliable volumes of end-of-life electronics are available for recovery and ensure these precious materials aren’t wasted in landfills. Of course, this also helps to ensure that manufacturers have these materials available as feedstocks and to avoid many of the life-cycle environmental impacts of extracting and initially processing the raw materials.
Gardens by the Bay opened just before our events and reinforces how man-made solutions can help redress some of the man-made problems we face. The ‘supertrees’ provide foundations for a wide variety of vegetation and solar panels for powering the precinct, serve as heat exchangers and help educate the public on the value of sustainability initiatives. With a little creativity and innovation, we can deliver effective solutions.
While the Global Product Stewardship Council is truly international, has members from six countries and board members from four countries, we are based in Australia and have enjoyed strong support from the Australian Government as one of our first government members and as a sponsor of our inaugural International Product Stewardship Summit.
Australia’s Senior Trade Commissioner in Singapore and her staff were especially helpful and provided the opportunity to meet with the Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator the Hon Don Farrell. Senator Farrell led the passage of Australia’s Product Stewardship Act and had helped ensure that the GlobalPSC was active in its development.
We are keen to continue working with governments and other stakeholders in facilitating the development of sensible, effective product stewardship programs globally. Public and private representatives from Southeast Asia to Africa were seeking advice on how to get product stewardship in place, and we anticipate many productive efforts in the future.
Representatives of Singapore’s National Environment Agency shared insight on regional developments in product stewardship and introduced us to a wide range of award-winning industry leaders under the Singapore Packaging Agreement. As an example of the value in sharing program information, Australia’s packaging covenant had been a model for the agreement and adapted to suit local circumstances.
We certainly appreciate the interest and engagement of all those involved that have helped us continue to expand our outreach, engagement and knowledge base.
The Global Product Stewardship Council, in conjunction with the Sustainable Packaging Alliance and Packaging Council of New Zealand, held the Auckland Round Table on Packaging Product Stewardship 10 July 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand. Presentations from the Round Table have been posted on the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members.
The presentations posted include those from:
- Michele Bollinger, General Manager of Kimberly-Clark New Zealand;
- Paul Curtis, Executive Director of the Packaging Council of New Zealand;
- John Webber, General Manager of the Glass Packaging Forum Inc.; and
- Russ Martin, President of the GlobalPSC.
Michele Bollinger addressed the commercial implications and opportunities such as brand positioning, risk reduction and cost savings of sustainability and sustainable packaging. Michele discussed Kimberly-Clark’s efforts from forest certification through to sanitary hygiene composting. Discussion of benefits to the Kimberly-Clark brand from association with product stewardship included market research on increased brand awareness, increased sales and increased positive brand association.
Paul Curtis examined the fit of product stewardship within global packaging requirements such as those developed by the Consumer Goods Forum. In particular, Paul examined the role of product stewardship in increasing transparency and accountability across packaging supply chains.
On short notice, John Webber filled in for Lyn Mayes, founder of Mad World Limited, when Lyn was unable to present. John examined product stewardship from a practical business perspective. John also highlighted the Love NZ campaign.
Russ Martin examined options ranging from voluntary, industry-led programs to those with strict regulatory oversight. Cumulatively, these efforts can have tremendous impacts on industries and provide precedent for future programs. Global context was used to examine lessons for the packaging industry in Australia and New Zealand.
Electronics Recycling Asia
November 13 -16, 2012, Guangzhou, China
Conference, exhibition and plant tours organized by World Recycling Forum
The Global Product Stewardship Council has been invited to speak at the Electronics Recycling Asia event November 13 – 16, 2012 in Guangzhou, China, and is partnering with event organisers. The conference brochure is available here.
During the conference, leading recycling experts from around the world – including manufacturers, collectors, processors, steelmakers, legislators and policy-makers – will meet to discuss:
- Opening ceremony with keynote speakers
- Panel discussion with industry leaders: “How rare is rare earth really?”
- Today’s cutting edge recycling technology
- New frontiers of recycling technology
- How to recycle strategic metals out of E-scrap
- E-scrap country reports
- E-scrap collections: The data
- How to recycle lamps and other mercury containing
- E-scrap in Asia: Reports from the biggest players
Simultaneous translation into Chinese and English will be available. An exhibition area is integrated into the conference facility, where vendors meet their clients. Furthermore a cocktail reception and a networking dinner offer an excellent atmosphere to get in touch with your business partners, friends and competitors.
The conference is a platform to exchange information, to meet new business partners and to get easy access to new potential clients.
- Asia’s power has strong impact on the international recycling business
- Learn from the speakers and exhibitors of the conference
- Plant tours: You will have the chance visiting manufacturing and recycling companies within Guangdong province
- Meet your clients and sell your services and products
- Get in touch with the players and also the new upcoming companies of Asia
For further information please contact:
ICM AG, International Congress & Marketing
Claudia Gerstendörfer (English)
Ying Liu (Chinese)
5708 Birrwil, Switzerland
Phone: +41 62 785 10 00
Phone: +86 182 176 289 10 (Chinese)
Fax: +41 62 785 10 05
The Global Product Stewardship Council will periodically invite thought leaders on product stewardship and producer responsibility to contribute guest blogs. Our first guest blogger is Michael Washburn, Director of Sustainability at Nestlé Waters North America.
Annual U.S. recycling rates have stagnated at an unacceptable—and unsustainable—33%. Every year, valuable resources continue to pile up in landfills, logistics costs continue to rise and government recycling programs face deeper fiscal insecurities. Intensified by today’s uncertain economic climate—not to mention the growing effects of climate change—it has become increasingly clear that recycling in the U.S. needs to be reinvented.
At Nestlé Waters North America, the country’s third largest beverage company, we are committed to advancing recycling policies to capture and reuse every beverage container produced. As a packaged goods company, driving a long-term recycling solution is our social and environmental responsibility. It also serves our business interests.
Recycling epitomizes the triple bottom line of “people, profit, planet” and is the cornerstone of a sustainable society. It reduces litter in our communities, saves businesses and organizations money by cutting back on energy and raw material costs, and protects the planet by conserving natural resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It also drives economic growth. For example, a recent recycling study shows that if the U.S. could increase its recycling rate to 75% by 2030, it would create 1.5 million additional jobs. All we need is a way to get from 33% to 75%.
We believe we can get there with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging and printed paper, a model that brings the financial responsibility of recycling to industry, increasing access to curbside recycling and recycling away from home, not just for bottles, but for all product packaging. Designed using private sector efficiencies, an EPR model would increase recycling rates, lower municipal spending on recycling and ultimately, reward taxpayers with fewer costs, smaller government and a more effective recycling system in their communities. Further, EPR promises packaged goods companies increasingly reliable access to recycled materials, so we are able to produce the more sustainable products our consumers increasingly want and expect from us.
To be successful, EPR demands collaboration with a broad range of stakeholder groups, including brand owners, trade associations, private haulers, municipalities, state legislatures, environmental NGOs, retailers and more. One stakeholder group we’ve been working deeply with is Recycling Reinvented, a new nonprofit committed to increasing recycling rates in the U.S. through EPR. We also participate in a dialogue process facilitated by Future 500, a nonprofit that bridges corporations and sustainability advocates, which has brought together more than 30 organizations to talk about the best attributes of an EPR model in the United States , and how to craft and successfully pass state-level legislation. We hope to move legislation in key states in 2013.
Business success today requires constant innovation to meet 21st century sustainability challenges. By collaborating with environmental advocates, industry partners and policymakers through an EPR model, we can increase U.S. recycling rates, provide supply chain stability and sustainability and create millions of green jobs. EPR can work—we’ve seen it demonstrated in Europe and helped pilot it in Canada. The time has come to band together to make it work in the U.S.
Michael Washburn is the Director of Sustainability at Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA). His primary focus is working with a coalition of recycling stakeholders to advance Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging and printed paper in the United States. Michael’s work also includes building NWNA’s efforts towards innovation in energy usage and building design across its manufacturing facilities, encouraging constructive water policy initiatives and engaging with stakeholders about the environmental efforts of NWNA. Prior to NWNA, Michael held a senior position at The Wilderness Society and was Vice President of Brand Management at the Forest Stewardship Council-US. Michael holds a Ph.D. in forest policy from Penn State University and has served as an advisor to the USDA Forest Service on sustainability issues. Michael serves on several nonprofit boards of directors and devotes significant time and energy to the fields of workplace giving and disability advocacy.
 EcoWatch (May 29, 2012). Recycling Reinvented—Working with Top U.S. Industry Leaders to Bring EPR to the U.S. EcoWatch. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
The Global Product Stewardship Council is bringing experts on product stewardship policies and programs together to provide a practical product stewardship implementation workshop on 24 July in conjunction with the Enviro 2012 Conference & Exhibition in Adelaide, Australia.
Australia’s new Product Stewardship Act provides a policy framework for voluntary, co-regulatory and mandatory product stewardship programs. What are the implications? What are the opportunities and risks for your organisation?
Following keynote presentations providing international and domestic context, content will be targeted through short presentations and facilitated panel discussions in order to maximise opportunities for interaction and learning.
International experts will provide insight to overseas experience and commercial drivers for product stewardship and producer responsibility. Federal and state policy makers will provide context and address program expectations. Managers of existing programs will share practical insights and challenges of program implementation. Managers of new programs will address recovery, access, logistics, finance and other aspects of pending programs for collecting TVs, computers, other electronics and other products through product stewardship.
Confirmed plenary speakers include:
- Bruce Edwards, Assistant Secretary Waste Policy Branch of the Australian Government’s Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities;
- Steve Rust, Managing Director of Panasonic Australia (AV presentation); and
- Karen Gomez, Chief Executive Officer of AgStewardship Australia.
Confirmed panel speakers include:
- Vaughan Levitzke, Chief Executive of Zero Waste SA;
- John Polhill, Product Stewardship Specialist – Waste Strategy of Sustainability Victoria;
- Carmel Dollisson, General Manager of Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform Ltd;
- Peter Bruce, Senior Director – Service Parts Logistics of DHL Supply Chain;
- Rose Read, Manager, Recycling of MobileMuster;
- Ed George of Plasback;
- Greg Leslie, Battery World franchisee recycling spokesperson; and
- Lorraine Lilley, Project Manager of the FluoroCycle Scheme.
GlobalPSC members receive discounted registration rates for the workshop and a 10% discount off Enviro Conference delegate registrations. Registration details are available here.
To discuss sponsorship opportunities, contact email@example.com.
Hyperlinked organisations are all GlobalPSC members.
Contrary to a recent email reminder from Enviro 2012, the workshop will not address the issue of container deposits. The workshop will, however, address various electronics, including TVs, computers and mobile phones, as well as other products such as batteries, fluorescent bulbs and agricultural chemicals and chemical containers.
The Global Product Stewardship Council has compiled a convenient guide to ensure that GlobalPSC members or groups considering becoming members can make the most of partnering with the GlobalPSC. The guide covers benefits of membership, current statistics, promotional opportunities, themes being examined and practical guidance on leveraging membership. Click here to access the guide.