Posts Tagged ‘Queensland’

Guest Blog – Battery Stewardship Moves to the Next Stage in Australia

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:11 pm, August 13th, 2015Comments4

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 Chief Executive of the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI). 

 

At their last meeting in July, Australian Environment Ministers agreed to continue work on an industry-driven stewardship program for handheld batteries but with a focus on hazardous and rechargeable batteries only.

This is a significant win for Energizer, Duracell and the Consumer Electronics Suppliers Association (CESA), who have argued that battery stewardship for primary batteries would need to be regulated to ensure that all suppliers participate. During a Product Stewardship Institute battery recycling webinar (5/6 November 2014) Energizer’s spokesman advised that they had ‘zero tolerance’ for voluntary stewardship but would work with ABRI to develop a regulatory solution.

Handheld batteries are one of only two product categories that are still listed on the national ‘priority list’ for government action under the Product Stewardship Act. That list identifies products that the Minister for the Environment will consider for regulation or accreditation under the Act.

The Queensland Government is leading negotiations on the battery stewardship program on behalf of all government jurisdictions. A discussion paper, released in March 2014, outlined proposals for battery stewardship that were well received by most stakeholders but failed to secure the necessary level of industry support, particularly from primary battery manufacturers.

Following the Ministers’ decision to refine the scope to rechargeable and hazardous batteries only, a more focused proposal is expected to be developed by key industry associations and brand owners in late 2015 for broader consultation. While the exact scope of the stewardship scheme is yet to be defined, it is likely to include all handheld rechargeable batteries weighing less than 5kg as well as primary button cells. Button and coin cells have been the subject of extensive media coverage in Australia over the past two years due to an increasing number of infants and children presenting at hospitals with life threatening injuries associated with batteries.

The Australian Battery Recycling Initiative will continue to advocate for ‘all battery’ recycling services because these offer the most convenient and environmentally-responsible solution for consumers. Existing battery recycling programs, which are funded by state government agencies, local councils and retailers such as ALDI and Battery World, already collect both primary and secondary batteries.

Nevertheless, the establishment of a national, voluntary stewardship scheme for rechargeable batteries would be a welcome development because it would increase industry engagement and improve the availability of recycling services. ABRI is working on a series of pilot projects for particular battery types to inform the design of a national program. The first of these, for power tool batteries, will commence in September this year.

At the same time ABRI will continue to work on regulatory options for primary batteries. These include stand-alone regulations (similar to the model legislation developed by the battery industry in the US) or extension of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme to include primary batteries. If discussions on a voluntary scheme for rechargeable batteries do not reach a successful outcome in 2016 then ABRI will argue that regulations should apply to all handheld batteries.

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

Helen Lewis is part-time chief executive of the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative. She has been actively involved in product stewardship initiatives for plastics, packaging and batteries for over 20 years. Helen is a member of the GlobalPSC Advisory Group

 

Webinar – Battery Stewardship Developments in the U.S. A Joint Government and Industry Regulatory Solution for Single Use + Rechargeable Batteries

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:52 pm, October 2nd, 2014Comments3

The United States is on the verge of breakthrough legislation for both primary (single-use) and rechargeable batteries. This shift from a voluntary approach to a regulatory approach covering both battery types has coalesced over the past six months, as an increasing number of government agencies have expressed interest in a legislative solution to household battery management. This webinar will discuss the unique differences between the single-use and rechargeable battery industries, key issues that are being addressed to find a unified legislation solution, explore lessons for other countries such as Australia (where consultation is underway on a national battery stewardship scheme), and outstanding challenges faced by US state and local governments, manufacturers, retailers, and other key stakeholders in the year ahead.

The date of the webinar is:

  • if attending from Australia – Nov. 6th at 9 a.m. EST
  • if attending from the US – Nov. 5th at 7 p.m. EST.

Moderated by Scott Cassel, CEO & Founder, Product Stewardship Institute.

Speakers will include:

  • Marc Boolish, Director of Technology, Energizer Battery Manufacturing Inc, and President, Corporation for Battery Recycling
  • Carl Smith, CEO/President, Call2Recycle
  • Jen Holliday, Compliance Program and Product Stewardship Manager, Chittenden County, Vermont
  • Garth Hickle, Product Stewardship Team Leader, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Introduction by Russ Martin, CEO, Global Product Stewardship Council and Independent Chair, Australia’s Battery Implementation Working Group.

Register here.

Registration is free for Australian residents thanks to our sponsors the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI), TES-AMMQueensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and Canon, in partnership with the GlobalPSC. For details on how to register at no charge please contact Russ Martin at russ@globalpsc.net.

GlobalPSC Forms Advisory Group on Product Stewardship and Extended Producer Responsibility

Posted by GlobalPSC at 8:02 pm, July 31st, 2014Comments9

GlobalPSC_Advisory_Group_0714At the Global Product Stewardship Council, we take pride in the breadth and depth of experience represented by our members and our extensive global network of those in the know. We regularly seek information and advice from a diverse range of experts across varying product types, regulatory perspectives and program experience. It therefore gives us great pleasure to announce the founding members of the GlobalPSC Advisory Group spanning Europe, Africa, North America and the Asia Pacific:

Brief profiles for GlobalPSC Advisory Group members are provided here.

The GlobalPSC will regularly canvass information and views from the Advisory Group, as we did recently in preparing  submissions to governments on proposed changes to product stewardship and extended producer responsibility frameworks in Nova Scotia and New Zealand. We greatly appreciate their contributions to the continued growth of the GlobalPSC and look forward to working with them in the years to come.

Proposed Scheme Released for National Battery Product Stewardship Approach in Australia

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:05 pm, March 7th, 2014Comments4

The Battery Implementation Working Group (BIWG) tasked with developing a national handheld battery product stewardship scheme for Australia has today released a discussion paper for consultation as well as a project communique on efforts to date. Consultation on the proposed scheme is open until 31 March.

Australian, state and territory governments have made product stewardship for handheld batteries a national priority and dedicated resources to the development of an appropriate scheme, including project funding and the establishment of the BIWG, with bipartisan support.

The discussion paper outlines a proposed voluntary, industry-led national Battery Product Stewardship Scheme (Scheme) for Australia, along with a number of options for the operation of the Scheme. The proposed Scheme would apply to all handheld batteries less than 5 kg, with the exception of embedded batteries, and comprise the following elements:

  • A Battery Stewardship Agreement that would provide a collective written commitment between stewards for developing, funding and implementing the Scheme.
  • A 5-year Strategic Plan to be developed jointly by the producer responsibility organisation (PRO) and stewards that would provide more detail for how the PRO and stewards will implement the Scheme in accordance with the Agreement.
  • Transparent annual reporting of performance against the Strategic Plan.
  • Importers seeking to meet the objectives of the Agreement through their own arrangement rather than through an industry-wide PRO would be expected to deliver a comparable Strategic Plan and annual reports to Stewards under the Agreement.

As a voluntary, industry-led national approach, the proposed Scheme is open to a broad range of stakeholders and has the benefits of simplicity of design, reduced barriers to participation and ease of understanding. The proposed Scheme would provide more immediate action with lower costs and greater certainty compared to immediate pursuit of a co-regulatory approach. Stakeholders that are already implementing collection programs or are likely to do so in the near future can be better recognised for their early action. A voluntary approach provides the flexibility to modify and improve the Scheme in order to improve performance and reduce costs, especially in the first few years of implementation.

It is envisaged that importers of handheld batteries would have primary financial responsibility for funding the Scheme, although it is recognised that other parties may make additional direct or in-kind contributions. Other parties may have roles as stewards, for example, by providing collection facilities at point-of-sale or at local council waste management sites. Options considered are provided in the discussion paper.

The Global Product Stewardship Council and GlobalPSC members have been active throughout the process:

GlobalPSC Sustaining Government Member – Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection

Posted by GlobalPSC at 10:18 am, March 7th, 2014Comments9

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection administers the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011, which provides a framework for waste management and resource recovery in Queensland, Australia. Among other things, the Act provides for the development of product stewardship schemes for products of priority for Queensland. The Department also supports national product stewardship initiatives and provides the Secretariat support for the current program of work on the development of a handheld battery product stewardship scheme. More information on Queensland’s waste management and resource recovery agenda and legislation can be found here.

In June 2014, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection upgraded its GlobalPSC membership to become a Sustaining Government member.

The Department’s Manager-Waste Policy and Legislation, Kylie Hughes, serves as a member of the GlobalPSC Advisory Group and Executive Committee.

 

Handheld Battery Product Stewardship Project Update

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:59 pm, January 29th, 2014Comments1

The Battery Implementation Working Group (BIWG) formed to support the development of a handheld battery product stewardship scheme for Australia has released their first project communique. The Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection leads the development of the scheme and provides Secretariat support for the BIWG. GlobalPSC CEO Russ Martin serves as the Independent Chair.

The BIWG comprises representation from:

Retailers, brand owners, battery manufacturers and other stakeholders have been invited to participate during the development of the scheme. The GlobalPSC has been active in the scheme’s development, including stakeholder consultations and gaining overseas perspectives from experts at Call2Recycle, Energizer and P&G. GlobalPSC Foundation Members MS2 led the development of the business and public policy case for battery stewardship on behalf of SV.

The BIWG is developing a discussion paper on key issues for the design of the product stewardship scheme, including objectives, principles, scope, management, funding, targets and performance indicators. The first draft of this paper will be presented to jurisdictions and broader stakeholders 19 February in Canberra.

Evolving Nature of Product Stewardship

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:41 pm, October 31st, 2013Comments0

By Russ Martin, GlobalPSC CEO

Our current travels are reinforcing the evolving nature of product stewardship. After recently highlighting the evolution of established programs in Canada, we are now seeing evolution of New Zealand’s e-scrap program and the need to better understand how the chemical industry and related players are viewing product stewardship globally.

Product Stewardship from a Risk and Hazard Perspective

I am currently in Singapore for the Asia Pacific OH Conference led by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and recently-formed Product Stewardship Society (PSS).

As part of a professional development course, I presented on Australia’s chemical assessment and notification requirements in addition to outlining global developments in product stewardship. The presentation will be made available for members on the GlobalPSC Knowledge Base.

The GlobalPSC is a supporter of the event as part of our ongoing outreach within the Asia Pacific region. It also provides an excellent opportunity to better understand regulatory approaches within Asia and to see firsthand how chemical industry giants such as BASF, ExxonMobil Chemical, Shell and others view and implement a version of product stewardship that is different than what most of our colleagues traditionally consider to be product stewardship.

We have long said that product stewardship encompasses broader sustainability issues and entire supply chains. Considerable resources are being directed to a form of product stewardship that is focused on toxicity, risk assessments, hazard reduction and notification requirements that can span 30-40,000 or more products, such as the European REACH requirements.

Fundamental commercial issues such as ability to introduce products into global markets are hot topics of conversation. The focus is not necessarily on traditional considerations such as end of life management, product recovery and costs to local waste management and recycling programs. While ‘our version’ of product stewardship may seem to pale in significance when billions of dollars are at stake, as we see the continued evolution of supply chains there are potential impacts on material substitution, hazards and toxicity (some of the traditional concerns of producer responsibility) that warrant bringing these different views of product stewardship together. We are actively exploring areas of collaboration with the AIHA and PSS to help do so.

We will be providing more detailed analysis of this event for GlobalPSC members, in addition to highlights from next week’s discussions in Taiwan and Electronics Recycling Asia the following week back here in Singapore.

New Zealand Update

One of the GlobalPSC’s longest-serving members, WasteMINZ, conducts an annual conference that serves as the main gathering of the waste and recycling industry in New Zealand. While product stewardship has been a regular theme, its importance was highlighted more in this year’s event than in the previous several years the GlobalPSC has participated.

This year, we were invited to speak on e-scrap, global developments in product stewardship and voluntary vs. regulatory approaches to product stewardship. Interest in the topic and the importance of GlobalPSC members was especially evident in that speakers also included GlobalPSC members Lion, Infoactiv, Sustainability Victoria, eDay New Zealand Trust and 3R Group. In addition, Liz Goodwin of the UK’s WRAP program joined us, and the New Zealand Ministry for Environment was well evident in attendance.

To date, the New Zealand government has focused on a voluntary approach to product stewardship, featuring the accreditation of nine programs to date. In addition, the government has provided funding to assist in the establishment of collection points for e-scrap and a public education campaign on the program’s availability for consumers.

However, pressure has continued to build for a more traditional product stewardship approach for e-scrap in New Zealand. The GlobalPSC and several members, including recycler TES-AMM, were asked to participate in initial discussions on such an approach and to share lessons from the development and implementation of Australia’s National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme as well as other international programs.

A New Zealand approach won’t necessarily be easy, but it is doable. Australia’s hurdles of low population and market influence, recovery volumes and high logistics costs are further exacerbated in New Zealand. However, a shared e-scrap standard with Australia and key players active in both countries provide a good basis for collaboration. A fresh approach to actively engaging these key stakeholders, improving on some pre-existing relationships, moving forward from the blame game and building upon existing infrastructure and material flows will be essential first steps.

Priority Product Stewardship

We are seeing an especially strong response from members and other interested parties to the priority product stewardship workshop that the GlobalPSC is holding 18 November in Australia. The workshop features GlobalPSC members PaintCare, Call2Recycle and the Product Care Association. Panel participants will also include GlobalPSC members representing the Australian paint industry and the state governments leading efforts to develop product stewardship initiatives for batteries and paint, Queensland and Victoria, respectively.

We’ll have speakers from four countries addressing paint, batteries, household hazardous waste and a range of other products as part of the GlobalPSC’s facilitation of national product stewardship approaches for batteries and paint in Australia. We are lucky to have these global leaders on product recovery making themselves available to share their insights as Australia seeks to evolve several product stewardship initiatives.

Thanks to our principal speakers and other members TES-AMM and DHL Supply Chain, we can make the workshop available at no charge for GlobalPSC members. However, registration is necessary so let us know if you’ll be able to join us.

 

Australian Battery Stewardship Stakeholder Workshop Results

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:28 pm, August 30th, 2013Comments5

On 13 August 2013, battery stakeholders and government representatives met in Brisbane to discuss the development of a national battery product stewardship scheme for Australia. The Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP), a GlobalPSC member, is the lead jurisdiction on batteries for Australia’s governments.

Workshop attendees considered four questions in relation to a scheme—

  1. the vision for the program;
  2. the scope (which types of batteries should be covered and why);
  3. the form of the scheme and;
  4. effectiveness of the program in addressing the public policy and business case considerations.

After opening comments and discussions with The Hon. Andrew Powell, Queensland’s Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, attendees were split into four groups to discuss each question separately. The groups then reported back and their responses were compiled. A summary of the workshop has been posted on the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC Members.

(L-R: Dr Diana Wright, First Assistant Secretary, Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities; Andrew Chesterman, Director-General, EHP; Fiona Proctor, Minister’s Media Advisor; The Hon. Andrew Powell, Minister for EHP; Tony Roberts, Deputy Director-General, EHP; Bill Ford of Toshiba)

 

The GlobalPSC and its members have been active in the program’s development. GlobalPSC Foundation Members MS2 led the development of the business and public policy case for battery stewardship on behalf of Australia’s Victorian Government. The report was circulated to attendees in advance of the workshop. GlobalPSC CEO Russ Martin, who was recently appointed as the independent chair of Australia’s Battery Implementation Working Group, facilitated the workshop. The GlobalPSC also facilitated earlier discussions on battery product stewardship with one of our longest-standing government members, Sustainability Victoria, and the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative.

GlobalPSC Member – Waste Recycling Industry Association of Queensland

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:38 pm, August 29th, 2013Comments2

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Waste Recycling Industry Association of Queensland (WRIQ) is Queensland’s leading waste and recycling association. As an Australian not-for-profit industry-sponsored association, it has over 90 members, ranging from small independent operators through to the large national and multi-national organisations.

WRIQ provides its members with confidence and professionalism that their business interests will be advocated clearly and concisely to all stakeholders to ensure the industry remains a dynamic, sustainable and significant sector in relation to the provision of waste and recycling services. This includes industry and regulator working groups to advocate clear policy direction to increase resource recovery and the promotion of sound principles such as product stewardship.

WRIQ produces voluntary Codes and Guidelines which promote sound industry practices and build confidence in the professionalism and identity of the sector. WRIQ and its stakeholders acknowledge industry achievements and showcase its member’s services of delivering highly ethical and compliant industry practices through the WRIQ Annual Member Awards Program, which recognises outstanding achievements by members, their employees and potential new entrants (students) into the industry.

Focused on improving job skills, training opportunities and the level of professionalism for all industry employees, WRIQ offers monthly member forums and has a Next Generation Group.

For more information on WRIQ please contact its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Rick Ralph on +61 7 3375 6961. Please visit the WRIQ website for the latest industry reports and information on the current working groups.

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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