Posts Tagged ‘European Commission’

Delivering Resource-Efficient Products in Europe

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:22 pm, March 31st, 2015Comments1

The European Environment Bureau (EEB), a federation of environmental citizens’ organisations, has released a report on how ecodesign can drive a circular economy in Europe through resource-efficient products.

Drawing from a range of research, the report highlights some of the broader life-cycle and resource implications of products sold in Europe:

  • 40% of all the raw materials used in the EU were sourced elsewhere. For some raw material categories like metal ores, the import dependency is over 90% (Eurostat 2014).
  • Increasing resource productivity by 2% per year could create two million extra jobs in the EU by 2030 (European Commission 2014).
  • Stimulating economic activity in the areas of product development, remanufacturing and refurbishment would provide net material cost savings to EU manufacturing worth up to €410-490 billion per year by 2025 (Ellen MacArthur Foundation 2013).
  • Selected electrical and electronic devices placed on the EU market over one year cause the equivalent of 1,500 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over their lifecycle, equal to the entire energy production of the UK, Germany and Poland combined (EEB).

The report highlights three options that can be combined to reduce resource use in products:

  • identifying design requirements that support better repairability and durability of products;
  • ensuring that selected materials in products are managed carefully from production to end-of-life, including options to use high shares of recycled content and support their high-quality recyclability;
 and
  • removing problematic or hazardous substances undermining the potential for re-using material from products.

Since 2005, design decisions on many energy-using products have been regulated under the EU Ecodesign Directive, with a focus on reducing energy consumption during usage and little emphasis on resource use. The EEB report argues that the relative weight of greenhouse gas emissions embedded in products will grow when looking at a product’s emissions over its life-cycle, resulting in a gradual shift in the attention of policy-makers from the usage phase to the design and production phase of products.

 

European Commission Withdraws Circular Economy Package

Posted by GlobalPSC at 4:22 pm, December 21st, 2014Comments0

In an expected move, the European Commission has withdrawn the Circular Economy Package from consideration, with the package likely to be revisited in around one year.

The Commission normally proposes around 130 initiatives a year, but has committed to adopting 23 targeted initiatives in 2015.

In Questions and Answers: the 2015 Work Programme, the Commission states,

“In some cases the Commission is proposing to withdraw proposals in order to replace them subsequently by more ambitious proposals or to tailor them more closely to its ten priorities (for example to present a new proposal with a broader approach on the circular economy to meet our ambitions in a more effective way).”

The GlobalPSC will continue to follow Circular Economy developments closely and share insights.

European Experience on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

Posted by GlobalPSC at 4:37 pm, July 10th, 2014Comments0

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.

EU Launches New Green Growth Package and Amendments to Product-Specific Directives

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:42 pm, July 10th, 2014Comments1

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. 

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.

European Commission proposes mandatory CSR disclosure for large companies

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:24 pm, April 19th, 2013Comments1

by David Perchard, GlobalPSC Vice-President and Managing Director of Perchards Ltd

On 16 April the Commission adopted a proposal for a directive that will amend the Accounting Directives by requiring companies with more than 500 employees and either a balance sheet total of over EUR 20 million or a net turnover of over EUR 40 million, to include in their annual reports a non-financial statement containing information relating to environmental, social and employee matters, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery matters.

This would have to include a description of company policy in these areas, the results of these policies, the risks related to them and how the company manages those risks. Where a company does not pursue policies in relation to one or more of these matters, it would have to provide an explanation for not doing so.

See here for further information.

GlobalPSC Foundation Member Profile – Perchards

Posted by GlobalPSC at 7:16 pm, August 22nd, 2012Comments4

 

 

Perchards Ltd is a Foundation Member of the Global Product Stewardship Council.

Perchards monitors and analyses legislative developments on packaging, e-waste and spent batteries worldwide, and helps companies with compliance. Perchards has advised more than 350 clients in 36 countries, and its web-based information service is used by subscribers from all over the world.

Perchards publishes comprehensive and regularly updated reports on legislation and policy in 40 European countries and at EU level, and has also published surveys of packaging legislation and policy in the Canadian provinces, US states and in 15 African countries.  It also offers clients a tailored service providing monitoring and information, policy analysis and advice on strategic development.

Perchards has carried out studies for the European Commission, the World Bank group, the Commonwealth of Australia, the EPA of one Australian state, the Czech Environment Ministry, the Irish EPA, the Slovak Environment Ministry and for two government departments in the UK.

They include a major report for the Commission on the implementation of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and its impact on the functioning of the European Internal Market.  From 2001 to 2007 Perchards also took part in a series of Commission seminars in EU candidate countries, explaining aspects of implementation of the Directive, the lessons learned by existing member states and the pitfalls to be avoided.

Perchards has given evidence to a Knesset committee in Israel and helped to prepare South Africa’s Packaging and Paper Industry Waste Management Plan for submission to the government.  Consultants from Perchards regularly speak at conferences all over the world, and in 2011 outlined European experience of extended producer responsibility (EPR) at a US state legislators’ forum.

Managing Director David Perchard has written several papers on packaging eco-design, and from 1998 to 2006 was Packaging Consultant to CEN, the European Standards Committee, while the European standards on packaging and the environment were being developed. David also serves as GlobalPSC Vice-President.

 

EUROPEN Green Paper on Packaging & Sustainability

Posted by GlobalPSC at 10:04 am, November 5th, 2011Comments0

A Green Paper on packaging and sustainability has been released by EUROPEN, the European Organization for Packaging and the Environment. Stakeholders consulted during development of the Green Paper include representatives of environmental NGO’s, the European Commission, The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, retailers and retailer trade associations as well as EUROPEN’s corporate members. A media release and the Green Paper are now available.

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Global Product Stewardship Council

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Email: info@globalpsc.net