Posts Tagged ‘Product Stewardship Act’

TechCollect Product Stewardship Forum

Posted by GlobalPSC at 7:00 pm, August 31st, 2016Comments0

Collaboration and shared responsibility are key, and while Australia has implemented a range of product stewardship approaches, there is room for improvement. These were common themes at a product stewardship forum hosted recently in Sydney by GlobalPSC Corporate Member TechCollect. The forum was well-attended and featured a range of product categories including electronics, paint, agricultural chemicals and chemical containers, and tyres.

Carmel Dollisson opens TechCollect PS Forum 120816

TechCollect CEO Carmel Dollisson opens TechCollect’s Product Stewardship Forum

 

The Australian Government, a long-standing GlobalPSC Government Member, also provided essential context on Australia’s experience to date and on plans for the five-year review of Australia’s Product Stewardship Act 2011.

Peter Brisbane on PS Framework 120816

Peter Brisbane, Director, Stewardship and Waste for the Australian Department of Environment and Energy outlines Australia’s product stewardship framework 

Contact TechCollect or the GlobalPSC directly for more information and insights from the forum.

 

Guest Blog – Coordination in Waste Policy

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

nick_harford2

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 – E-waste Targets Must Go Up

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:41 pm, May 14th, 2015Comments1

john_gertsakisThe 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 John Gertsakis, Chief Sustainability Officer for Infoactiv. John is also a member of the GlobalPSC Advisory Group

 

Clear and logical support grows for increased recycling targets under Australia’s National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS).

Australia’s electronics recycling scheme is currently subject to an Operational Review by the Australian Government, and many stakeholders, including the Waste Management Association of Australia, are expecting the recycling targets to be sharply increased.

Anything other than a significant increase will continue to exacerbate stockpile creation, questionable recycling practices, and the appalling situation of Co-regulatory Arrangements (industry programs) terminating or minimising collection and recycling services to local councils across urban and regional Australia.

The NTCRS has achieved significant collection and recycling outcomes in a product category that was in urgent need of industry-wide Product Stewardship attention and industry support. The Product Stewardship Act and the subordinate regulations represent landmark policy reform aimed at applying the principles of Extended Producer Responsibility to unwanted, obsolete and end-of-life electronics. Infoactiv remains very supportive of the NTCRS and its achievements to date.

The majority of participating stakeholders wish to see the NTCRS expand and thrive as it continues to deliver measurable environmental, social and economic benefits. However the continuation of ‘easy-to reach’ recycling targets does nothing to demonstrate genuine CSR goals, nor do low targets address the vast volume of television and computer waste that continues to flood into landfills in all States and Territories.

We receive several calls each week from frustrated local councils that have had their collection and recycling service withdrawn by industry Arrangements under the NTCRS. And ‘frustrated’ is the polite translation of how they express their views. These are not isolated instances but a steady stream of municipalities who are now having to bear the cost burden of industry not recycling the very products that they produce and place on the market.

Most importantly, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for the Environment is perfectly placed to significantly increase the enforceable targets under the NTCRS and swiftly deal with several issues that require prompt and decisive attention.

Low-level target increases will continue to aggravate key issues at a time when the scheme needs proactive adjustment by the Australian Government. More information about the Government’s Operational Review that is currently underway can be found here.

Ongoing research and data collection by Planet Ark underscores the importance of the NTCRS given the number of public enquiries received every week wanting information about where and how to recycle unwanted televisions, computers and IT peripherals. Consumers, householders, small business and the wider public have clear expectations that manufacturers and brands in particular must play a greater role in managing the total product life cycle of their product beyond the point of sale and warranties. This merely reflects current activity in many other OECD countries.

In summary, Infoactiv believes that the NTCRS is a fundamentally sound and innovative scheme that addresses a significant and growing resource recovery imperative related to the consumption and disposal of television and IT equipment. The Department of the Environment is to be commended for its efforts in successfully launching and administering the NTCRS since inception in 2011.

Additional detail about our 10 point plan to adjust and improve the NTCRS can be found here.

We also recognise that any new, nationwide initiative such as the NTCRS will experience establishment phase glitches and minor hurdles, which only serve to inform the scheme’s long-term performance and success.

The Environment Minister’s option is very clear; sharply increase the enforceable collection targets, and do it swiftly. This will not only meet community expectation, it will also address the genuine needs of local councils nationwide, especially those that have been ignore by industry.

Most importantly, and often overlooked, is the unequivocal fact that a target increase under the NTCRS will further maximise resource recovery levels and better manage hazardous substances that are otherwise ending up in Australian landfills.

Losing such scarce and non-renewable resources at a time when the solution is available, obvious and uncomplicated would reflect poorly on the necessary policy reforms that are urgently required.

As always, greater public discussion about the NTCRS and how to achieve positive outcomes is welcome and encouraged.

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

John Gertsakis is a sustainability practitioner with over 20 years experience as an industry adviser, consultant and research academic. He works on a range of issues including Product Stewardship for electronics and EPR strategy, regulatory analysis, government relations and environmental communications. Through his current position as Chief Sustainability Officer with Infoactiv, John’s work is focused on strategic business development and the design of new stewardship solutions for manufactured durables.

John served as Executive Director of Product Stewardship Australia from 2006 – 2011, representing global consumer electronics brands and OEMs. He was deeply involved as a key advocate of the Product Stewardship Act 2011 and sat on the Implementation Working Group for the NTCRS. He authored Australia’s first report on e-waste product stewardship in 1995 titled: Short Circuiting Waste from Electronic Products. He was also the co-author and editor of Return to Sender: An Introduction to Extended Producer Responsibility (1997). John is also Vice President of the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative, and an Honorary Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia.

 

FluroCycle Gains Voluntary Product Stewardship Accreditation

Posted by GlobalPSC at 8:28 pm, September 12th, 2014Comments1

Sydney, Australia – Federal Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, announced today that FluoroCycle has been formally accredited by the Federal Government as Australia’s second voluntary product stewardship scheme under the Product Stewardship Act 2011.

Under FluoroCycle, organisations from the commercial and public lighting sectors (producers of 90 percent of waste lamps) commit to recycling their own mercury-containing lamps. FluoroCycle has 230 signatories including commercial users, building and facilities managers, government departments, recyclers and others involved in the recycling and re-use process.

“Fluorocycle is a good example of shared responsibility in action: the big users of lamps undertake the safe recycling of the products they use and the lighting manufacturers and importers work together through Lighting Council Australia to operate the scheme,” said Minister Hunt.

 

Australian Report Shows Low Handheld Battery Recycling Rate

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:15 pm, July 14th, 2014Comments2

 

Batteries cr1Australia has today released a material flow analysis showing that handheld batteries are being recycled at a rate of only 2.7 per cent.

 

Approximately 400 million handheld batteries weighing 5kg or less were sold in Australia in 2012-13. For the same time period, 14,703 tonnes of batteries were disposed of and 403 tonnes were collected for recycling. Recovery rates for sealed lead acid, nickel cadmium, lithium primary and nickel metal hydride batteries were all in the 4.4 – 5.5 per cent range, while the recovery rate for alkaline and zinc carbon batteries was estimated at 1.6 per cent.

Batteries were collected through different channels including commercial collections (139 tonnes), retail store drop-off (111 tonnes), e-waste collections (45 tonnes), household hazardous waste collections (16 tonnes) and other recovery routes (91 tonnes). The rest (14,345 tonnes) were disposed to landfill.

On a unit number basis, 90 per cent of the batteries sales proposed to be subject to the Australian product stewardship scheme are single‐use batteries and 10% are rechargeable batteries. On a weight basis, 50% are single‐use and 50% are rechargeable.

Consumption trends indicate that lithium ion batteries will continue to grow as a proportion of all battery sales, increasing from around 24 per cent in 2013 to 33 per cent in 2020.

The report, ‘Study into market share and stocks and flows of handheld batteries in Australia’, was commissioned by the Battery Implementation Working Group (BIWG) on behalf of Australian governments to assist in developing a national battery product stewardship scheme for Australia. Environment Ministers agreed on the need to include end-of-life handheld batteries and waste paint in the Standing Council on Environment and Water’s work plan. The Australian Government identified handheld batteries as priority products potentially covered under Australia’s Product Stewardship Act in 2013 and reaffirmed their designation in 2014.

Sustainable Resource Use (SRU), in association with Perchards Ltd and Sagis Ltd, conducted the work to provide an evidence base to inform the work of the BIWG.

The report is available to GlobalPSC members in the Knowledge Base, under the Batteries tab.

 

GlobalPSC Government Member – Australian Department of the Environment and Energy

Posted by GlobalPSC at 10:58 am, January 28th, 2014Comments10

The Department of the Environment (newly renamed as the Department of Environment and Energy) administers Australia’s Product Stewardship Act 2011 which provides a framework to effectively manage the environmental, health and safety impacts of products, and in particular those impacts associated with the disposal of products. The framework allows for voluntary industry led schemes, co-regulatory and mandatory product stewardship. More information on the legislation and product stewardship in general can be found here.

 

GlobalPSC Priority Product Stewardship Workshop

Posted by GlobalPSC at 12:45 pm, August 30th, 2013Comments5

18 November, 2013
DHL, 18-22 Salmon St, Port Melbourne, Australia

Australia has released a priority list of products potentially covered under the Product Stewardship Act 2011. The designated products include:
• Waste paint
• End-of-life handheld batteries
• Packaging
• End-of-life air conditioners with small gas charges
• End-of-life refrigerators with small gas charges

The Act provides a framework for establishing voluntary, co-regulatory and regulatory approaches for product stewardship. Australia’s Environment Ministers have also developed plans for paint and battery product stewardship. The GlobalPSC is helping the Commonwealth and state governments facilitate the efforts for batteries and paint.

The GlobalPSC is bringing global leaders on product-specific producer responsibility collection and reprocessing initiatives to help identify and learn from international best practice to assist these efforts. Featured international speakers include:

• Carl Smith, CEO and President, Call2Recycle (North America)
• Alison Keane, Vice President Government Affairs, American Coatings Association
• Mark Kurschner, President, Product Care Association (North America)
• Corinne Faure-Rochu, Director Business Development, Recupyl (France)

Panel sessions will include these speakers and other product-specific experts on batteries and paint from the USA and Australia. A special evening function will enable even greater access to this international line-up for GlobalPSC members. Full program and details are available here.

Attendance is free for GlobalPSC members in proportion to their membership level (5 free for Sustaining Members, 2 for Standard Members and 1 for other categories) but registrations are necessary for catering. Registrations are $299 plus GST for non-members of the GlobalPSC. Event details, registration and payment information are available at http://globalpsc.eventbrite.com.au. Lunch will be provided for registered attendees.

 

The Case for Voluntary Paint Stewardship

Posted by GlobalPSC at 7:12 pm, August 29th, 2013Comments3

In April 2013, Australia’s Environment Ministers added paint, along with handheld batteries, to the Standing Committee on Environment and Water (SCEW) product stewardship work plan.

In June 2013, Australia also released a priority list of products potentially covered under the Product Stewardship Act 2011 (the Act).

The Act provides a framework for establishing voluntary, co-regulatory and regulatory approaches for product stewardship. Under the Act, any future mandatory or co-regulatory approach must be preceded by 12 months notice before a particular product can have such a regulatory approach applied. Waste architectural and decorative paint was included in the priority list.

In the US and Canada, industry support is strong amongst paint manufacturers and trade painters for product stewardship as a means of responsibly managing paint in a way that is less costly and more flexible than alternative options available. In Australia, paint manufacturers received regulatory approval to voluntarily impose a levy to fund a paint collection trial in Victoria. However, the levy was suspended indefinitely due to opposition from major retailers that felt they could not pass any fee increases along to consumers. Paint manufacturers also recently launched Australia’s first trade waste paint collection trial, PaintCare.

For this report, the GlobalPSC was engaged by Sustainability Victoria (SV) and the Australian Paint Manufacturers’ Federation (APMF) to develop a business case for a levy-based voluntary paint product stewardship scheme in Australia, drawing upon international experience and stakeholder consultations.

The final report has been posted in the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members.

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.

GlobalPSC Facilitating National Battery Product Stewardship for Australia

Posted by GlobalPSC at 1:31 pm, August 13th, 2013Comments4

Global Product Stewardship Council CEO Russ Martin has been appointed as the independent chair of Australia’s Battery Implementation Working Group to help develop a national product stewardship approach for handheld batteries.

Russ’s appointment builds on earlier efforts on batteries, including facilitating initial stakeholder discussions and leading the development of the business and public policy case for battery stewardship (report available here) on behalf of the Victorian Government by GlobalPSC Foundation Members MS2.

Environment Ministers from Australia and New Zealand have agreed on the need to include end-of-life handheld batteries and waste paint in the Standing Council on Environment and Water’s work plan.
The Australian Government has also identified handheld batteries as priority products potentially covered under Australia’s Product Stewardship Act. The GlobalPSC and several members serve on the Product Stewardship Advisory Group recommending products for consideration as priority products.
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Global Product Stewardship Council

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