Posts Tagged ‘recycling’

California Packaging Product Stewardship Reform

Posted by GlobalPSC at 1:56 pm, October 17th, 2017Comments0

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Roughly 25 percent of California’s disposed waste stream is comprised of packaging materials. While the benefits of packaging are noted, improper management can result in greenhouse gas emissions, waterway and marine debris, and human health impacts.

According to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle),

“(i)n order to help meet the state’s aggressive 75 percent recycling, composting, and source reduction goal by 2020, and particularly in light of significant recent developments such as the drop in California’s recycling rate and potential implications of China’s expanding regulations to ban certain scrap imports, it is critical now more than ever to address this portion of the waste stream. This will require a higher level of awareness and involvement by all parties involved in the sale and use of packaging: manufacturers, distributors, retailers, local governments, waste haulers, and consumers. After an extensive stakeholder outreach process dating back to 2012, the Director of (CalRecycle) instructed staff at the September 2016 monthly public meeting to develop a comprehensive, mandatory policy model for managing packaging to significantly reduce its presence in the waste stream.”

CalRecycle is seeking additional input on the proposed reforms for packaging.

In draft screening criteria for determining priority packaging types released in July 2017, CalRecycle noted that,

“(g)iven that there is not a one-size-fits-all policy solution for all packaging, the Department is choosing to evaluate which mandatory policy models (e.g., Extended Producer Responsibility, etc.) and instruments (e.g., minimum content, etc.) might be best suited to increasing collection and recovery of specific packaging types. In order to do this, staff are developing a set of screening criteria to determine which packaging types could be prioritized for analysis relative to different mandatory policy approaches.” 

To further advance public consultation on the issue, including an October 2017 workshop, CalRecycle has released a background document to

“solicit stakeholder input on a comprehensive policy framework as a policy model, what the framework should entail, critical steps for how it could work, and how specific policy tools could be implemented within that framework. In addition, staff are seeking feedback on how the framework could be enforced, how CalRecycle could measure progress and success, and how the framework could respond to changes in the marketplace.”‘

The background document contains final screening criteria for packaging based on the draft criteria and public consultation. Stakeholder submissions received prior to the 10 October workshop are also available here.

 

Rodrigo Leiva Neumann – Executive Member of GlobalPSC General Manager of Valoryza

Posted by GlobalPSC at 11:00 am, September 14th, 2017Comments0

Rodrigo Leiva Neumann’s 25-year career in waste management began in France and continued in Chile, where he managed national waste and recovery programs across several industry sectors as a Veolia Environment executive. Rod established his consulting practice, Valoryza, in 2010 to play an active role in in the establishment of Chile’s new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) approach.

Rod has been actively involved in Chilean EPR since its introduction in 2010. He works closely with the Chilean Environmental Agency and major industry producers –  initially to develop the nation’s EPR Law Framework – and more recently, to advise Government and Industry on the implementation of EPR Law relating to Chile’s 6 priority products (packaging, WEEE, tyres, used oils, car batteries and batteries for electronic devices).

As a former Chair of the Chilean AEPA (Association of Companies for the Environment), Rod played a key role in developing a collaborative professional community focused on Chile’s emerging waste management services, recycling, environmental technologies, water treatment solutions, and consultancy companies.

Rod’s consultancy also supports the design and administration of Product Stewardship initiatives (including Chile’s first Product Stewardship for used glass bottles), advises major producers (including Coca Cola bottlers, Walmart) on waste and recovery feasibility, strategy, design, planning and implementation.

Rod’s keen interest in international EPR and Product Stewardship best practice, and how these can be applied in Latin America has extended his network across the globe, where he engages with authorities and Product Stewardship organizations in the EU, Canada, Australia and USA.

Rod graduated as an Industrial Engineer from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and holds an MBA from Lleida University, Spain.

Review of Australia’s National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme – White Paper

Posted by GlobalPSC at 6:26 pm, August 31st, 2017Comments0

Australia’s Product Stewardship Act requires a five-year review that has been announced but has yet to be initiated. Part of the announced review is an assessment of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme.

The GlobalPSC and several of our members joined Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform (ANZRP) / TechCollect at Parliament House in Canberra for the launch of ANZRP’s White Paper on findings and recommendations for the Department of Environment and Energy to consider during the review.

Tim Wilson MP, Federal Member for Goldstein, joined ANZRP CEO Carmel Dollisson on behalf of the Minister for the Environment and Energy, to officially launch ANZRP’s White Paper.

The White Paper includes several recommendations for the Government to consider, including:

  • Redefining the volume of available e-waste
  • Educating the public on the benefits of product stewardship
  • Expanding the products collected
  • A greater level of shared responsibility by all stakeholders in the product lifecycle
  • Greater transparency within the Scheme itself

Dollisson adds: “The core principle of good product stewardship is that everyone involved in producing, selling, using and disposing of products has a shared responsibility to ensure those products are responsibly recycled.

“That principle has been behind our development of the White Paper. We’re very hopeful that the Review will facilitate greater collaboration and ensure confidence in the e-waste recycling industry.”

 

GlobalPSC Government Member – Department of the Environment and Energy

Posted by GlobalPSC at 12:27 pm, June 7th, 2017Comments0

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The Department of the 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.

 

PET Recycling Growth in South Africa

Posted by GlobalPSC at 8:36 pm, April 30th, 2017Comments0

 

PETCO, the organization responsible for fulfilling the South African PET plastic industry’s role of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), recently announced their annual PET recycling rate had increased from 52% of post-consumer bottle PET in 2015 to 55% in 2016, exceeding their expected target for the second consecutive year.

PETCO recycled an additional 22% of post-consumer bottles in comparison to the previous year, with the total PET market growing by 14.8% to 241,269 tonnes.

“PETCO is delighted with the latest figures,” says PETCO’s CEO Cheri Scholtz. “Through the remarkable network of people, companies and organisations we work with, 2 billion PET bottles were collected for recycling across South Africa during the course of 2016, creating some 62,000 income opportunities for small and micro-collectors, and changing their lives and those of their families in immeasurable ways.”

The voluntary recycling fee paid annually by PETCO members on every tonne of raw material purchased has enabled the payment of a total of R1.9 billion (~ 130 million or ~US$142 million) by contracted recyclers to collectors for baled bottles since the inception of PETCO in 2004, ensuring the collection of PET bottles for recycling is sustained, and resulting in almost 800,000 tonnes of carbon and over 3 million m3 of landfill space saved to date.

PETCO reports that South Africa’s 55% post-consumer PET recycling rate compares well with international PET recycling rates of ~ 30% in the US and European average rates of ~ 59%. However, PETCO also notes that considerable work is being done globally to understand these statistics, as the bases differ substantially and a direct comparison cannot be assumed.

Information and graphic supplied by PETCO.

 

An Auspicious Time for Change – Review of Australia’s Product Stewardship Act

Posted by GlobalPSC at 6:17 pm, April 26th, 2017Comments0

 

 

Australia’s Product Stewardship Act requires a five-year review that has been announced but has yet to be initiated. Conducting the review as a priority could help address a plethora of social, economic and environmental issues, and result in additional economic development and job creation.

The GlobalPSC will be active in the Act’s review in coordination with the Australian Department of Environment and Energy. GlobalPSC CEO Russ Martin recently assessed some of the opportunities for improvement through the review for CWS magazine. This assessment is now available online or as a PDF.

 

Webinar: Recycler and Waste Hauler Perspectives on EPR for Packaging

Posted by GlobalPSC at 7:52 pm, October 12th, 2016Comments0

The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) is hosting a webinar of recycler and waste hauler perspectives on extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging.

The webinar will take place 27 October, 2016 from 2:00 pm 3:30 pm EDT. 

The US recycling system has experienced a noticeable shift in the past few decades as the waste management and recycling industries have become increasingly privatized. Because of this change, waste and recycling systems often function as contractual agreements between haulers and recyclers with municipalities or residents. In contrast to this system, other countries – which operate under an EPR structure – rely on a central body to coordinate the recycling network, increasing efficiency and recovery. A shift in the US to EPR for consumer packaging would change the way the current contractual arrangements with recyclers and waste haulers are structured. Could the US shift to an EPR system where consumer packaging manufacturers manage and fund the recycling system? Would this change be for the better? Could it provide stability during market downturns and simplify system economics? Who would ultimately own recycled material, and how would a shift in ownership change economic dynamics?

Using the British Columbia system as a case study, expert speakers will explore these questions and more during the third part of PSI’s packaging webinar series.

Speakers:

  • Daniel Lantz, Green by Nature EPR
  • Deanne Stephenson, Cascades Recovery
  • Frank Mainella, Smithrite

Moderated by Scott Cassel, PSI

Registration link:

Register through PSI. 

When: Thursday, October 27
2:00pm 3:30pm EST
Where: United States
Contact: Suzy Whalen
suzy@productstewardship.us
+1 617 236-8293

Child Car Safety Seats – What a Valuable Waste!

Posted by GlobalPSC at 5:12 am, October 3rd, 2016Comments0

Sitting and gathering dust in a garage and waiting for the right time to pass on your used child car safety seat to a friend or relative may soon be a thing of the past.

Child car safety seats that have been involved in an accident or have been mistreated could result in damage to a number of the key safety components. Continuous exposure to heat and sunlight, something Australia’s climate serves up best, could also degrade the plastic structure and other important parts.

It has been found that the average consumer has little knowledge about the existence of recommended expiry dates and the continuingly updated Australian Standards applied to the manufacture of child car safety seats which in turn has an impact on the suitability of seats to protect children and infants over a period of time.

Removing potentially unsafe or worn or damaged child car safety seats from the market will not only protect children and infants, but could provide an opportunity to responsibly divert these products from landfill and implement an efficient resource recovery and recycling program.

Without a means to effectively remove child car safety seats from the public domain, expired and damaged seats may remain in circulation. They could be offered for sale in online stores such as Gumtree and eBay, illegally dumped on the side of a road or removed from kerbside hard rubbish collections to only be reused again.

There are currently no general programs or schemes within Australia to enable parents to responsibly dispose of and/or recycle child car safety seats. With a growing population and demand for new products, the cost to Governments and communities for the collection and disposal of child car safety seats will only increase.

Setting up a product stewardship and recycling program presents an opportunity to reduce the end-of-life child car safety seats being reused, sold or ending up in landfills which is what Equilibrium, an Australian based sustainability consulting and management company, is hoping to achieve.

Equilibrium will be bringing together a number of key stakeholders from product importers and manufacturers, retailers, automotive clubs and recyclers in early October 2016 to explore how a voluntary product stewardship program might be established to manage the whole of life cycle of a child car safety seat and significantly increase resource recovery and recycling as a result of providing an avenue to return and recycle end-of-life systems.

Content provided by Equilibrium

Guest Blog Addressing the Challenges of Measuring Recycling Performance

Posted by GlobalPSC at 4:45 pm, June 8th, 2016Comments0

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, 2016Comments0

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.

 

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