Posts Tagged ‘Australian Packaging Covenant’

Ed Cordner – Executive Member of GlobalPSC

Posted by GlobalPSC at 4:00 pm, September 14th, 2017Comments3

Ed Cordner spent more than 20 years in the packaging and paper industries, including J.Gadsden, Associated Pulp & Paper Mills and ACI Glass (now Owens-Illinois). During this time he spent 6 years in South East Asia, gaining extensive national and international management experience through general management and sales & marketing roles.

He commenced as the inaugural CEO of the National Packaging Covenant in 2003. The Covenant is a unique, co-regulatory product stewardship agreement between the packaging supply chain and governments, aiming to reduce the environmental impacts of packaging.

In 2008 he successfully coordinated a review of the progress of the Covenant to inform the development of a future Covenant framework. As a result of this review the current Australian Packaging Covenant, incorporating the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines, came into effect in July 2010 and is Australia’s primary mechanism for dealing with used packaging.

Subsequently, Ed has undertaken various consultancies in the environmental management field including with the Metropolitan Waste Management Group, responsible for coordinating and facilitating the delivery of municipal solid waste management across metropolitan Melbourne.

Ed has a Bachelor of Science in zoology and biochemistry from LaTrobe University.

 

Guest Blog – E-waste Recycling in Developing and Emerging Economies: the Importance of Working with the Informal Sector

Posted by GlobalPSC at 12:06 pm, September 23rd, 2014Comments4

Brett Giddings crThe 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 Brett Giddings, currently undertaking a PhD at UNSW focussed on e-waste and Manager, Member Services at the Australian Packaging Covenant.

The rate of ownership, and ultimately disposal of, electronic devices continues to increase year on year; the StEP Initiative estimating that 48.9 million tonnes of e-waste was produced worldwide in 2012, a figure that is set to increase to more than 65 million tonnes by 2017.

At the same time, devices such as mobile phones, laptops and televisions are becoming increasingly complex and challenging to recycle at end-of-life. Recycling the mix of valuable materials within this growing heterogeneous waste stream is important, but simply collecting products from consumers does not ensure recovery.

As highlighted by Adam Minter (keynote at the next GlobalPSC Thought Leadership Forum) in his 2013 book Junkyard Planet, inevitably some e-waste is shipped to locations where the manual labour, often better suited to dismantling complex products, is more cost-effective and within closer proximity to the manufacturers that will ultimately use the materials recovered. On face value, it is difficult for the public to support e-waste flows to these markets. While the situation is reported to be improving, the environmental and health impacts associated with poor e-waste recycling practices employed by the informal sector are well-documented, legitimate concerns with a quick Google search conjuring up images of youths burning PVC sheaths from copper wires and factory workers sitting in piles of broken CRT TVs and monitors.

Parallel to regulatory responses to these impacts is a growth in industry-lead supply chain transparency and certification, yet still the flows of waste (at times illegally) continue, and ultimately find their way to the informal sector. There have been many calls to stop the export of e-waste to regions that involve the informal sector, however there are inherent social benefits and value creation opportunities that should be considered and accounted for. These include the dramatic rises in ownership of refurbished electronic devices in these regions and the resultant social benefits that this access affords. At the same time, the developing world is producing its own increasing volumes of e-waste, with China now outstripping even the US in terms of total tonnes of e-waste produced each year. “Cutting and running”, as with many complex supply chain problems, is not the answer.

The viability of e-waste recycling is underpinned by the availability of high-value materials, including copper, gold, silver and palladium and the ease with which these materials can be separated and recovered from the units within which they are embedded. New, low-impact, practical and place-relevant solutions are required; solutions that mitigate the health and environmental impacts associated with practices such as chemical leaching and open copper wire burning, while maximising employment opportunities and resource recovery.

There is no right or wrong approach, but solutions should be systematic, linking effective manual recycling processes with the high-tech, environmentally sound, formal sector. They should be complementary rather than competing, also able to run in parallel and coexist with the formal sector, and empower both individual operators and those working in cooperative arrangements. One example is the East Africa Compliant Recycling operation in Kenya. Supported by Dell, HP, Microsoft and Philips, collectors are able to deliver electronic goods and receive fair payment. Electronic items are then manually sorted, dismantled, packed and shipped locally or globally for recycling.

Other solutions are technology-focussed. The Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT Centre) at UNSW, has demonstrated that processing printed circuit boards using pyrolysis at high temperatures in an inert atmosphere can be utilised to recover high-value material fractions in a manner that mitigates both the health and environmental impacts often associated with small-scale processing. Currently laboratory-based, I am involved in a research project to explore the viability of this technologies’ use by the informal sector and in an environment where waste streams are far from consistent, evolving with each product iteration. Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Director of the SMaRT Centre, will be discussing this project and others as a panellist at the GlobalPSC’s next Thought Leadership Forum.

 

The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Global Product Stewardship Council.

With a background in product development and environmental management, Brett Giddings has held roles that span the full lifecycle of products; from design through to recycling. Currently undertaking a PhD at UNSW focussed on e-waste, Brett is also the Manager, Member Services at the Australia Packaging Covenant. He has worked in local government in a waste management role, contracted to several environmental consultancies, held a research position at UNSW and was Visy’s Product Sustainability Manager.

Emerging Global EPR Best Practices for Packaging

Posted by GlobalPSC at 4:58 pm, March 31st, 2014Comments1

A new study of 11 international extended producer responsibility (EPR) and product stewardship programs for packaging and printed paper (PPP) has preliminarily identified a series of emerging global best practices to help optimize and harmonize solutions for managing packaging waste.

The report was led by the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) in association with PAC NEXT to help industry and government work together to find ways to reduce cost and regulatory complexity in existing and potential EPR programs for PPP.

“The preliminary findings of our research underscore what we at PSI have always believed: that, within the context of product stewardship, the most successful materials management programs often incorporate a combination of legislative and voluntary strategies,” said Scott Cassel, Chief Executive Officer of PSI and a member of the GlobalPSC Executive Committee. “The program summaries provided in this report offer a wealth of data for government agencies and industry groups around the world to evaluate, and we look forward to using this information as a springboard for critical stakeholder dialogues.”

The report examines EPR programs in Canada (Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia); Europe (Belgium, France, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom); and Australia. Based on an initial assessment of the data collected on these programs, PAC NEXT and PSI concluded that “the following attributes, when present together, can constitute a high performing EPR program:

  • The program covers residential, public, as well as industrial, commercial and institutional (IC+I) sources;
  • The program covers all material types (including printed paper);
  • The cost per ton is low;
  • Collection and recycling rates are high;
  • The value and quality of materials are high;
  • The program is convenient for residents and others;
  • Producers take full responsibility for post-consumer packaging management”.

“What this report has allowed us to do is develop an understanding of how EPR programs for packaging around the world operate – what they share in common, what they do different, what works, what could use some improvement,” said Jennifer Holliday, president of PSI’s board of directors. “It is our hope that these findings enable industry and government to collaborate on ways to harmonize packaging waste solutions.”

Also based on the data, PSI and PAC NEXT identified the following policies as “complementary to EPR, playing an important role in increasing the performance of packaging collection and recycling systems:

  • Pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) programs;
  • Mandatory recycling requirements;
  • Landfill bans for recyclable materials; and
  • Container deposit programs”.

The GlobalPSC provided program analysis in support of the study.

GlobalPSC Member – Helen Lewis Research

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:39 am, March 7th, 2014Comments9

Dr Helen Lewis, founder of Helen Lewis Research, is an environmental consultant with a focus on product stewardship and packaging sustainability.

She works for a variety of clients in government and the private sector to promote design for sustainability and increased recovery of products and packaging at end of life.

Helen has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI) since early 2010. She has also worked closely with the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) since its inception on capacity building projects including delivery of workshops, guidelines and industry case studies.

Helen is an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP). She is co-author of:

  • ‘Packaging for Sustainability’, with Karli Verghese and Leanne Fitzpatrick (Springer, 2012)
  • ‘Design + Environment’, with John Gertsakis (Greenleaf, 2001).

Helen also serves as a member of the GlobalPSC Advisory Group.

 

Australian Packaging Covenant 2013 Annual Report

Posted by GlobalPSC at 5:33 pm, January 22nd, 2014Comments0

The Australian Packaging Covenant‘s 2013 annual report highlights continued improvement from previous years’ efforts. The Covenant is a co-regulatory* product stewardship scheme based on a collaborative approach between industry, government and community groups to increase recycling and reduce litter.

2013 highlights include:

  • Another increase in the packaging recycling rate, from 39% in 2003 to 64.2% in 2013.

 

  • Continued reduction in litter based on the National Litter Index.
  • A record number of 925 signatories, with a 95% compliance rate.
  • Improvement across all key performance indicators reported by Covenant signatories.
  • A$55.4M in funding for 75 new recycling and litter related projects under the current term of the Covenant.

* co-regulatory = voluntary approach with a regulatory underpinning to address free riders

GlobalPSC Member – Greenstreets Environmental Resources

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:06 pm, November 22nd, 2013Comments2

 

 

 

 

Greenstreets Environmental Resources is a leading consultancy, specialising in Environmental Compliance, Resource Management and Sustainability.  Established in 2000, the company has offices in Australia and Ireland and is certified to ISO 9001 Quality Management System.

Greenstreets provides a range of consulting services and software solutions across the environmental spectrum covering areas such as packaging, energy management, carbon footprinting, waste management, water management, transport and environmental legislation which include:

Australian Packaging Covenant Action Plans and Annual Reporting

Greenstreets supports companies in the preparation of detailed company Action Plans and Annual Reports, as required under the Australian Packaging Covenant. Greenstreets aims to empower clients to meet their obligations with minimal cost and disruption to their core activities, while at the same time highlighting potential savings in relation to their packaging overheads. 

Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (SPG) Compliance Software

The Greenstreets Intelligent Packaging System (GRIPS) has been developed for the timely management of a client’s data in relation to the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines (SPG). This provides a clear audit trail for a company’s response to the SPG process as required under the Australian Packaging Covenant signatory membership rules. More information can be found here.

Environmental Review

Greenstreets can establish a framework to help an organisation monitor and manage its environmental obligations and performance.

Training in Sustainability

Accounting for the Environment is a series of training programs covering packaging, energy, transport, water and non-financial reporting. These courses assist accountants and business managers to interpret and apply the latest developments in environmental compliance and sustainability.

For more information, please visit here.

 

Global Packaging Stewardship Overview

Posted by GlobalPSC at 6:30 pm, August 15th, 2013Comments0

 

 

 

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.

Australia Reports 63.8% Recycling Rate for Packaging in 2012

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:08 pm, March 11th, 2013Comments1

 

 

 

The Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) has announced that the overall recycling rate for post-consumer packaging in Australia is 63.8% for 2012. Collaborative product stewardship actions have led to this considerable improvement in the recycling rate from the 39% baseline established in 2003. The establishment of the Packaging Covenant itself has had a direct contribution to the increased national recycling rate. APC funded projects have accounted for up to 32.4% of the overall increase in recycling tonnes from 2005-2012. There have been increases in recycling tonnes for all but one material type. Additional information is available here.

GlobalPSC Member Profile – RED Group

Posted by GlobalPSC at 11:08 am, December 7th, 2012Comments1

 

 

 

 

 

We welcome RED Group as the latest member of the Global Product Stewardship Council. The REDcycle Program has been developed and implemented by the RED Group to recover and recycle soft plastic bags and packaging returned to drop off points by Australian consumers. The material is processed in Melbourne and then sent on to Victorian company, Replas, to be converted into recycled plastic furniture for schools and communities. The program is a working product stewardship model and is proudly supported by program partners Coles, the Australian Food and Grocery Council, the Australian Packaging Covenant, Amcor and Replas. Some of Australia’s most loved brands are also participating including Arnott’s, Cadbury, Birds Eye, George Weston Foods, Goodman Fielder, Kellogg’s, Kimberly-Clark, McCain and SunRice.

The involvement of these producers, retailers and industry bodies ensure that everyone involved in the life cycle of a product – manufacturers, distributors and consumers – share responsibility for that product throughout its entire life cycle, including its end-of-life outcome.

Convergence of Product Stewardship and Zero Waste at Zero Waste Summit

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:34 am, November 9th, 2012Comments0

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.

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Global Product Stewardship Council

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Tel: +61 2 9489 8851
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Email: info@globalpsc.net