Posts Tagged ‘Global Product Stewardship Council’

Guest Blog – Addressing the Challenges of Measuring Recycling Performance

Posted by GlobalPSC at 4:45 pm, June 8th, 2016Comments1

The 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 Carl Smith, President and CEO of Call2Recycle, Inc.

Prior to becoming the head of a non-profit 12 years ago, I had spent most of my career with big for-profit companies where we measured everything. These measures provided continuous feedback on what was working and what needed to be fixed (or stopped). Upon arriving in the non-profit, product stewardship world, I noted that much less was measured and that organizational performance metrics were at best elusive.

One of the biggest frustrations we have is how to accurately assess the performance of our battery recycling efforts. The recycling field has typically relied on “diversion rates” as a measure; specific to battery collection and recycling, the more specific “collection rate” measure is typically used. As has been defined by the EU, battery collection rate is defined by the amount recycled in a year divided by the average annual sales of batteries for the previous three years. Like “diversion rates”, a “collection rate” is expressed as a percentage.

Traditionally, the focus of the Call2Recycle® program in the US has been on collecting and recycling rechargeable batteries. For a variety of reasons, this ‘typical’ approach to measuring our performance simply didn’t make sense.

First, fairly soon after I took this position, it became clear that rechargeable battery companies simply do not know what their consumer battery sales are into any specific jurisdiction. There are simply too many channels, applications and value chains to even estimate sales. For a very simple example, let’s look at how a big retailer like Walmart operates in the US. It purchases in vast quantities directly from a manufacturing facility in Asia. The facility transports via container ship to a West Coast port where they are then trucked to a distribution facility in a Midwestern state. Given the North American Fair Trade Agreement (NAFTA), units could also be shipped to distribution centers in Canada and Mexico. Those distributions centers then fulfill store orders on a ‘just in time’ basis. So if you asked the manufacturer how many batteries it has sold in, for instance, the state of Vermont, it won’t know. It sold to Walmart and where they actually appeared in the US market is a mystery to them.

Second, the rechargeable batteries we’re collecting today are likely 5, 10 or even 20 years old. On average, they were certainly not sold during the three-year window that a typical collection rate calculation would measure. A related issue to this is the general inclination that consumers “hoard” electronics and batteries long after their useful life. How many old cellphones do you have sitting in a drawer? When is the last time you used your first power tool?

These issues are particularly difficult for rechargeable batteries which generally last longer than primary batteries, are hoarded more (with the products they power) and are sold through much more complex value chains. So the conventional approach to assessing our performance using a collection rate just didn’t work.

We commissioned a study to see if we could develop a methodology that was repeatable, credible and defensible that would provide us more insight into this issue. When we started the study, we focused on two stages:,

  1. develop a way of accurately measuring battery sales; and
  2. adjust sales for the lifespan of the batteries.

The more we immersed ourselves into this subject, a third issue emerged that was in the initial research requirements.

Increasingly, rechargeable batteries are designed so that they cannot be easily removed by the consumer, which generally means that they are not typically available to be recycled. Cellphones, tablets and laptops are the most obvious examples of this. But how about electric toothbrushes and cordless shavers? Even when the host product is recycled by, let’s say, an electronics recycler, the batteries are not typically the material most coveted in the process. Therefore, even if they are technically recycled with the host product, the process has not often been optimized to reclaim the precious material in the battery.

We maintain that embedded batteries are not generally available for collection by a battery stewardship program and should be excluded from the calculation of “collection rate”. So we added a third stage of this research: adjust sales downward by the amount of embedded batteries in order to determine an accurate assessment of the amount of batteries truly available for collection.

The outcome of this research – the paper available via this link– shows our results. It gives us a new denominator called “available for collection” that would replace the EU standards of the average of the last three years’ sales. In the end, we now say:

Collection Rate = Batteries Collected / Sales (Lifespan) – Embedded Batteries

In addition to the important data generated through this research, we came away with four important observations consistent with the conversation above:

  • For primary batteries, battery sales from “bricks and mortar” retail locations are less and less of the total market. There are many more diverse channels for batteries to enter the marketplace including, in particular, on-line markets.
  • A new method for measuring collection rates is needed for rechargeable batteries to measure collection performance. Such a method must meaningfully capture longer battery and product lifecycles and increases in embedded batteries.
  • While some but not all of the products that rechargeable batteries power are managed through other stewardship programs, they are generally getting “lost” in tracking performance.
  • It is imperative that collection programs incorporate long product lifecycles into their funding models, as batteries remain in market long after they are sold.

The last point is notable. Most battery stewardship programs charge stewards based on sales into the market. However, there may be a 20-year lag time between when steward fees are paid on a sale and when we incur the cost to collect and recycle the battery from that sale. This puts a strain on funding models that are often forced to minimize reserves that might take care of the long-term “tail” associated with rechargeable batteries.

In the end, we felt we “moved the needle” on creating a better way to measure performance. We also added to the conversation on the issues associated with battery collection and recycling. But we don’t believe we’ve totally solved the challenges, hopefully giving others the opportunity to contribute to this discussion.

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

Carl E. Smith is President and CEO of Call2Recycle, Inc., North America’s leading product stewardship organization. With more than 35 years’ experience in environmental issues, program development, advocacy, corporate communications and technology, Carl is a nationally and internationally recognized spokesperson and leader in the corporate responsibility, sustainability and product stewardship arena. Carl leads the Atlanta-based non-for-profit organization in its efforts to help preserve the environment through responsible recycling of batteries among other products. Carl is also a GlobalPSC Executive Committee member and our Treasurer.

 

GlobalPSC Corporate Member – TIC Mattress Recycling

Posted by GlobalPSC at 5:33 pm, June 2nd, 2016Comments1

TIC Mattress Recycling employs world’s best practice to provide sustainable end-of-life mattress recycling. TIC services local governments and mattress retailers to provide high levels of resource recovery.

The company commenced operations in 2013 and has built Australia’s first automated mattress deconstruction facility based on European technology that it has developed further and is now marketing globally.

TIC’s processes ensure maximum resource recovery and environmental controls while minimizing handling and exposure to safety risks.

The company is working closely with mattress manufacturers, retailers, local government and other stakeholders to develop a mattress product stewardship program for Australia. TIC is committed to working with others to establish a mattress stewardship program that shifts costs from local government, encourages innovation, increases resource recovery and is transparent and accountable.

In an industry that has been dogged by poor practices, low resource recovery and boom and bust cycles, TIC Mattress Recycling heralds a new era of advanced and sustainable mattress recycling.

TIC Mattress Recycling is part of the TIC Group. Further details can be found here.

 

National Voluntary Paint Stewardship Scheme Launched in Australia

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:04 pm, May 1st, 2016Comments1

[L-R: Master Painter Stephen Papdan; Federal Environment Minister the Hon Greg Hunt MP; Master Painter Damien McRyan; Sustainability Victoria CEO Stan Krpan; Paintback Chief Executive Karen Gomez; Paintback Independent Chairperson Jim Liaskos]

 

Australia has just launched what is believed to be the world’s first, all-encompassing national voluntary stewardship scheme for waste paint* and paint packaging, Paintback. The program, founded by paint producers DuluxGroup, Haymes, PPG, Resene and Valspar, was launched 29 April in Melbourne by the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Australia’s Minister for the Environment.

The program will be funded through a levy of 15 cents per litre (plus GST) on new architectural and decorative paint in Australia.  The levy was approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to fund the collection and treatment of waste paint nationally, education campaigns and research for new uses of waste paint by Paintback Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the end-of-life management of waste paint and packaging.

Paintback will build upon a range of collaborative efforts between industry and governments. Australia’s Environment Ministers agreed to place paint stewardship on their work plan in April 2013 and the Environment Minister nominated paint as a priority product under the Product Stewardship Act 2011 in June 2013. The multi-stakeholder National Waste Paint Implementation Working Group completed the scheme’s business plan, economic model, 5-year rollout strategy and engagement plan and voted unanimously to support an application to the ACCC for approval of the levy.

The GlobalPSC helped facilitate development of the scheme. In conjunction with Sustainability Victoria and the Australian Paint Manufacturers’ Federation, the GlobalPSC facilitated initial stakeholder discussions, featured paint and batteries in a priority product stewardship workshop and developed the public policy and business case for a voluntary paint stewardship approach in Australia. Further details and primary documents are available under the Paint category on the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members.

 

* New Zealand accredited a voluntary paint collection program called Paintwise funded through a voluntary levy on Resene paint sold and from separate fees on non-Resene branded paint and trade waste paint.

 

GlobalPSC Sustaining Corporate Member – The Compliance Map Ltd

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:22 pm, March 11th, 2016Comments1

 

Compliance Map develops solutions to help businesses manage their environmental compliance obligations arising from regulations and directives and to help optimize their use of resources. This includes product stewardship responsibilities, reporting and minimization of waste as well as carbon disclosure that will play a significant part in identifying, monitoring and driving down their customer’s global environmental impacts.

Both Product Stewardship and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulations and standards are at the core of Compliance Map’s solution offering. This includes mechanisms to collect, store and produce remittance reports required for submission to EPR schemes for directives such as WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment), Battery as well as deposit and worldwide Packaging programmes. The solution offered automatically manages sales warehousing data and combines with relevant Packaging, WEEE, Battery, Oil, Beverage or Paint information to produce costs and weight reports ready to be remitted to registered schemes on a monthly, quarterly or annually basis. This enables companies to automate the entire process by which they track and report waste to schemes and programmes worldwide and make better use of their own resources.

Compliance Map are made of a team of regulatory compliance experts with over 20+ years of experience in the arena of environmental compliance which has been fed into their software solution offerings, creating a holistic approach to managing obligations businesses face in today’s regulatory climate.

 

GlobalPSC Member – Equilibrium

Posted by GlobalPSC at 8:43 am, February 29th, 2016Comments5

Equilibrium is a sustainability strategy and consulting company. It provides environmental solutions that cut costs, align organisational goals and enhance reputation. From environmental management systems to technical assessments to strategic advice, Equilibrium’s expertise and experience extends across many sectors of the economy including food manufacturing, stadiums and events, Government, waste management, recycling, agriculture, packaging and facilities management.

Equilibrium has worked extensively in policy and regulatory development, especially in waste and materials efficiency and including product stewardship across a range of schemes and materials. To find out more, visit here.

 

GlobalPSC Expands Board for Greater Program and North American Coverage

Posted by GlobalPSC at 12:22 pm, December 18th, 2015Comments2

The GlobalPSC Executive Committee (Board) recently expanded its coverage to include more members with practical program experience in implementing North American product stewardship and extended producer responsibility (EPR) approaches in addition to further deepening its policy expertise. These additions were reaffirmed and complemented by the Board and GlobalPSC members during our recent Annual General Meeting (AGM). These changes will further the GlobalPSC vision of facilitating the development and implementation of effective product stewardship schemes globally.

Recently, the Board expanded its coverage to include David Lawes (BC Used Oil Management Association), Kylie Hughes (Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection) and Mark Kurschner (Product Care Association). During the AGM, Carl Smith (Call2Recycle) was also appointed to the Board. All Board appointments, including long-serving members Scott CasselGarth Hickle and Ed Cordner were affirmed during the AGM and are valid for one year.

The GlobalPSC Board recognises the invaluable contributions of Neil Hastie during his years of service on the Board and as President. Neil has elected to step back from his GlobalPSC duties to focus on other pursuits. Neil has our continued appreciation and support.

During the AGM, the following Board members were elected as office-holders for one-year terms:

The President’s Report and Financial Report from the AGM are available to members.

 

Annual General Meeting and Call for Office-holders and other Executive Committee Positions

Posted by GlobalPSC at 12:13 pm, December 10th, 2015Comments0

The Global Product Stewardship Council is holding its Annual General Meeting via webconference at 0700 Eastern Standard Time in Australia on Wednesday, 16 December 2015. Due to time zone differences, this equates to the following:

  • 2000 on Tuesday, 15 December in London
  • 1500 on Tuesday, 15 December in Boston
  • 1400 on Tuesday, 15 December in Minneapolis
  • 1200 on Tuesday, 15 December in Vancouver

Email admin@globalpsc.net to register for participation in the AGM. While multiple representatives of member organisations are welcome to participate in the AGM, each organisation is entitled to one vote only. Participation details will be emailed to you once registered.

Items to be addressed during the AGM include:

  • President’s report on GlobalPSC activities during the last preceding financial year
  • Member feedback / Q&A on GlobalPSC member services
  • Financial statement
  • Election of office-holders and other Executive Committee Positions

 

Call for Office-holders and other Executive Committee Positions

In accordance with the Rules of the Global Product Stewardship Council, nominations for office-holders and other Executive Committee positions are now open. Only paid-up full GlobalPSC members may nominate a candidate, or be nominated as a candidate.

The term of office of all currently elected GlobalPSC officers and Executive Committee members will expire at the conclusion of the AGM.  Nominations are called for the following positions (current office-holders are listed), to be in effect for one year:

The Executive Committee currently comprises the office-holders plus David Lawes, Kylie Hughes, Scott Cassel, Garth Hickle and Ed Cordner. With the exception of Neil Hastie, whose service is greatly appreciated, all current office-holders and Executive Committee members have opted to run for re-election, as allowed under GlobalPSC Rules.

Nominations for office-holders and committee members must be made in writing, signed by 2 members of the GlobalPSC and accompanied by the written consent of the candidate. Candidates will be required to provide a recent high-resolution digital photograph and a statement of no more than 100 words in support of their candidature.

Nominations should be emailed to russ@globalpsc.net by 14 December 2015.

 

CEO & Business Leaders Summit 2015

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:33 pm, November 24th, 2015Comments1

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GlobalPSC CEO Russ Martin was invited to participate again this year in the CEO & Business Leaders Summit in Sydney, Australia. The Summit is a gathering of a global alliance of CEOs, senior executives and experts involved in creating advanced and sustainable projects worldwide. Speakers at the event are shown above and their roles are highlighted here.

Russ’s presentation on global projects and initiatives highlighted some of challenges of managing various wastes, especially for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).  The GlobalPSC’s collaboration with the SMaRT Centre at the University of New South Wales and proposed research on global WEEE models were also addressed. The presentation is available to GlobalPSC members in the Knowledge Base. Other speakers highlighted a range of challenges including changing resource and economic needs in China and South East Asia, opportunities for the circular economy and development of smart cities, sustainable financing, G20 discussions and emerging technologies with an emphasis on medical technologies.

 

GlobalPSC Members Support Product Stewardship in California

Posted by Brett Giddings at 8:01 pm, November 24th, 2015Comments1

 

San Francisco

On November 4th GlobalPSC members CalRecycle, Call2Recycle and PaintCare joined the California Product Stewardship Council and a range of government and industry representatives to provide perspectives on the role of legislation in driving product stewardship for household hazardous waste (HHW).

In a hearing held by the California Assembly Select Committee on Waste Reduction & Recycling in 21st Century California, participants expressed support for well-considered extended producer responsibility (EPR) to be trialled and ultimately introduced in the state for HHW; including batteries, used pharmaceuticals and sharps. The ubiquity of many HHW products and the potential threats they pose to the environment and human health were highlighted at the hearing, with estimates of approximately 600 million pounds being landfilled in the state each year.

With a ‘patchwork’ of ordinances being introduced in counties throughout the state, many agreed that state-wide EPR programs, underpinned by appropriate legislative frameworks, and managed by relevant industry bodies, would provide a more effective and efficient solution.

The hearing can viewed in full via this video posted by the California Product Stewardship Council.

 

CleanFARMS Expands Programming to Seed and Pesticide Bags

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:26 am, October 28th, 2015Comments1

Canada’s leading agricultural stewardship organization, CleanFARMS, is expanding its stewardship programming. Starting in 2016, Eastern Canadian farmers will have access to a seed and pesticide bag collection program that will help keep these bags out of municipal landfills.

This program draws its roots in the Maritimes where farmers, ag-retailers and stewards have been working together to collect and safely dispose of empty pesticide bags since 2006. The program then moved west to Ontario and Quebec where it was offered on a pilot basis in select regions from 2012 – 2015.

The program will collect both small pesticide and seed bags (typically under 30 kilograms) and bigger bulk bags. The small bags are generally made of multi-walled paper though some manufacturers are using other materials such as plastic and plastic laminates. Most bulk bags (mainly 500 kg and 1000 kg) bags are made of woven poly-propylene plastic.

Empty bags will be accepted back at the point of purchase which gives farmers easily accessible collection points. They are then disposed of through waste to energy incineration facilities. As the program grows, CleanFARMS hopes to move higher up on the 3Rs hierarchy by recycling of the bags. The key to recycling some of these bags will be to ensure a consistent and adequate supply of the bags.

CleanFARMS and its predecessor CropLife Canada, on behalf of the agricultural industry, have been operating extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs for over 25 years. This new program shows that the agricultural industry embraces EPR and incorporates the practice as normal business practice.

In 2014, 197,000 bags were collected through the program. This is in addition to the 4.5 million containers that came through CleanFARMS’ award-winning empty pesticide and fertilizer container recycling program. To round off 2014, 224,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides and 5,000 kilograms of obsolete livestock medication were collected and safely destroyed.

CleanFARMS now joins agricultural stewardship organizations around the world offering EPR programs on a voluntary basis with results rivalling most regulated programs.

Visit here for more information.

Photo supplied by CleanFARMS.

 

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Global Product Stewardship Council

PO Box 755, Turramurra, NSW 2074, Australia
Tel: +61 2 9449 9909
Fax: +61 2 9449 9901
Email: info@globalpsc.net