Posts Tagged ‘producer responsibility’

NSW Product Stewardship Cluster Workshop 1 Summary

Posted by GlobalPSC at 11:00 am, March 2nd, 2017Comments0

The New South Wales (NSW), Australia, Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) is funding a series of half-day workshops to promote product stewardship and to explore collaborative product stewardship and circular economy projects. The GlobalPSC and a number of our members were invited to participate in the discussions.

The first workshop on 10 February 2017 involved representatives from 15 product stewardship organisations (PSOs), OEH, NSW EPA, Sustainability Victoria and the GlobalPSC. Other GlobalPSC members participating include the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage ProtectionClose the Loop, TechCollect, the Australian Packaging Covenant, the Vinyl Council of Australia and Helen Lewis Research.

This was the first time that so many PSOs had met formally to discuss opportunities for collaboration. They represented companies involved in the collection, recycling and program delivery of diverse products and materials including e-waste, mattresses, agricultural chemicals, packaging, plastics, paint, tyres and batteries.

The group identified a diverse range of common issues and potential areas of collaboration.

Results of Workshop 1 are provided in the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members via login on our Members page.

 

GlobalPSC Member – Equilibrium

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:15 am, January 20th, 2017Comments0

Since 2009, specialist sustainability company Equilibrium has been providing strategic, technical, business and policy advice across many sectors of government and industry. The company works extensively in policy and regulatory development, especially in waste and materials efficiency and extensively in product stewardship policy and scheme development. Equilibrium is recognised as one of Australia’s leading authorities in product stewardship, working with the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, Tyre Stewardship Australia, Paintback, Australian Packaging Covenant, FluoroCycle and more. In late 2016, Equilibrium founders Nick Harford and Damien Wigley teamed up with John Polhill – former Victorian Government product stewardship specialist – in order to work even more closely with industry and all levels of government to actively progress product stewardship opportunities in Australia. To find out more, visit here.

 

Guest Blog – Promoting the Business Case for Product Stewardship

Posted by GlobalPSC at 1:17 pm, December 7th, 2016Comments0

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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 Dr Helen Lewis, Principal of Helen Lewis Research and author of Product Stewardship in Action.

 

Product stewardship is often promoted as an environmental strategy for companies, or as an effective public policy solution to the costs of waste and recycling.

During my research and in-depth discussions with industry practitioners over the past few years, the broader benefits and value of product stewardship to business have become clear. Companies that understand the environmental and social impacts of their products; engage with stakeholders through genuine and open dialogue; and then implement appropriate strategies; can create shared value for themselves and their stakeholders. This applies whether the company is taking individual action or collaborating with industry peers.

Product stewardship in action: the business case for lifecycle thinking (Greenleaf UK) builds on my own experiences in eco-design, recycling and product stewardship. It would not have been possible, however, without the generosity of those I interviewed. Russ Martin, CEO of the GlobalPSC, supported this project from the beginning, provided useful information and insights, and connected me to local and international practitioners.

GlobalPSC members feature in some of the detailed case studies, including Call2Recycle (batteries and mobile phones), Vinyl Council of Australia (PVC packaging, medical products, flooring etc.), TechCollect (TVs and computers) and Close the Loop (printer cartridges). Other members, such as the Product Stewardship Institute, Product Stewardship Society, Dell, CalRecycle, Australian Packaging Covenant, Perchards Limited and PETCO, are also included as either mini-case studies or interviews.

My heartfelt thanks to all of the people who contributed their time, knowledge and insights to the project. GlobalPSC members can purchase the book at a 30% discount – please email Russ Martin for details.

 

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

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:16 pm, December 1st, 2016Comments0

The Global Product Stewardship Council is holding its Annual General Meeting via webconference at 0900 Australian Eastern Daylight Time in Australia on Thursday, 15 December 2016. Due to time zone differences, this equates to the following:

  • 2200 on Wednesday, 14 December in London
  • 1700 on Wednesday, 14 in Boston
  • 1600 on Wednesday, 14 in Minneapolis
  • 1400 on Wednesday, 14 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:

  • Approve minutes of last AGM
  • 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 Kylie Hughes, Scott Cassel, Garth Hickle, Mark Kurschner and Ed Cordner. With the exception of David Perchard, whose service since the foundation of the GlobalPSC 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 12 December 2016.

 

TIC Group Opens Australia’s First Automated Mattress Recycling Facility

Posted by GlobalPSC at 8:13 pm, October 31st, 2016Comments0

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TIC Group recently opened Australia’s first automated mattress recycling facility in Melbourne. The facility uses state-of-the-art technology developed in the Netherlands and deconstructs mattresses with recovery and recycling rates of up to 85% (and an objective of increasing this rate to 100%).

A second facility is being commissioned in the neighboring state of New South Wales that will be operational in 2017.

TIC Group’s efforts are intended to address the roughly one million mattresses ending up in landfill each year in Australia. Stacked on top of each other, that’s enough mattresses to reach the International Space Station.

TIC Group has partnered with social enterprise group Soft Landing to collect the mattresses from councils, transfer stations, retailers, hotels and hospitals.

Highlights from the launch are provided below.

 

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(L-R: Rob Millard, CEO of Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group; Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change; Michael Warren, Managing Director of TIC Group Mattress Recycling; Stan Krpan, CEO of Sustainability Victoria)

Photos and supporting information provided by TIC Group via Equilibrium.

 

Guest Blog – Coordination in Waste Policy

Posted by GlobalPSC at 4:32 pm, August 31st, 2016Comments1

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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 Nick Harford, Managing Director of Equilibrium

The latest edition of Corporate Waste Solutions contains an article in which I argue that in Australia there are pockets of good resource recovery and product stewardship, but that more can be done.

The article points out that the resource recovery side of waste management is increasingly influenced by global factors and where the market is not delivering good waste management, where valuable resources are being lost and where health and the environment are exposed to risk, policy needs to address market failures and provide appropriate interventions.

In this regard, a key outcome of Australia’s National Waste Policy has been the Product Stewardship Act and the product stewardship schemes it has, if not directly spawned, aided. These include the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS), Paintback, FluoroCycle and Tyre Stewardship Australia, as well as endorsement for the long-running MobileMuster.

Clearly, while the performance of some schemes such as the NTCRS has attracted criticism because of failed recyclers and some poor outcomes, what cannot be refuted with respect to the schemes is this: if they were not in place e-waste and other materials would be a bigger environmental and social problem.

While the National Waste Policy may have been somewhat neglected and patchy as a vehicle for driving national coordinated approaches to a range of waste and recycling issues, product stewardship is proving to be a successful means for industry and government to establish programs that will have lasting economic, environmental and social value. For more detail, click here.

 

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

Nick Harford is Managing Director of Equilibrium, a Melbourne-based sustainability consulting and management company servicing a range of private companies and governments. From 2009-2014 Nick was also a director of the Metropolitan Waste Management Group. Prior to Equilibrium, Nick was Group General Manager of environment at packaging and recycling company Visy and has a background in corporate affairs, government and the media.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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