Posts Tagged ‘reuse’

Delivering Resource-Efficient Products in Europe

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:22 pm, March 31st, 2015Comments1

The European Environment Bureau (EEB), a federation of environmental citizens’ organisations, has released a report on how ecodesign can drive a circular economy in Europe through resource-efficient products.

Drawing from a range of research, the report highlights some of the broader life-cycle and resource implications of products sold in Europe:

  • 40% of all the raw materials used in the EU were sourced elsewhere. For some raw material categories like metal ores, the import dependency is over 90% (Eurostat 2014).
  • Increasing resource productivity by 2% per year could create two million extra jobs in the EU by 2030 (European Commission 2014).
  • Stimulating economic activity in the areas of product development, remanufacturing and refurbishment would provide net material cost savings to EU manufacturing worth up to €410-490 billion per year by 2025 (Ellen MacArthur Foundation 2013).
  • Selected electrical and electronic devices placed on the EU market over one year cause the equivalent of 1,500 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over their lifecycle, equal to the entire energy production of the UK, Germany and Poland combined (EEB).

The report highlights three options that can be combined to reduce resource use in products:

  • identifying design requirements that support better repairability and durability of products;
  • ensuring that selected materials in products are managed carefully from production to end-of-life, including options to use high shares of recycled content and support their high-quality recyclability;
 and
  • removing problematic or hazardous substances undermining the potential for re-using material from products.

Since 2005, design decisions on many energy-using products have been regulated under the EU Ecodesign Directive, with a focus on reducing energy consumption during usage and little emphasis on resource use. The EEB report argues that the relative weight of greenhouse gas emissions embedded in products will grow when looking at a product’s emissions over its life-cycle, resulting in a gradual shift in the attention of policy-makers from the usage phase to the design and production phase of products.

 

Guest Blog – Good Year for R2

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:58 pm, January 13th, 2015Comments0

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 John Lingelbach, Executive Director of SERI.

It has been a big year for the R2 program. Much has been accomplished – especially for a program in only its fourth year and which employs just four people. Over the past year, one of the most significant accomplishments has been the organizational transition from R2 Solutions to SERI.

We made this change so we could engage in a broader set of activities that are in line with our mission of promoting safe and sustainable electronics reuse and recycling throughout the world – particularly in Asia, Latin America, India, and Africa, where access to safe repair and recycling facilities has not kept pace with the rapidly expanding use of electronics.

One of the ways that we can expedite the work that needs to be done is to work collaboratively with others who share SERI’s goals. To that end, we established the R2 Leader program. In just a few short months, over a dozen corporations and organizations have joined. As part of the program each R2 Leader has identified steps they will take to promote safe and sustainable electronics reuse and recycling somewhere in the world. It is encouraging to see the energy and resources going into some of these efforts. For example, DirecTV is providing training in a number of Latin American countries. Other Leaders, such as Xerox and Goodwill, have taken steps to support and expand the collection of used electronics. A number of other projects in early stages of development will improve the electronics reuse and recycling landscape in various regions of the world.

On another front, we have just completed the transition from the original R2:2008 Standard to R2:2013. The new version of the Standard has a deep emphasis on quality and consistency, with new environmental health and safety planning, record keeping and documentation review requirements. Nearly 90% of all R2:2008 certified facilities upgraded to R2:2013.

Perhaps the most important SERI initiative this year is the development and initial implementation of SERI’s R2 Quality Program. Nothing is more critical to SERI’s work than the integrity of the R2 program, and nothing presents a greater set of challenges. Promoting consistency within the auditing community, and a solid understanding among facilities getting certified, is essential. Identifying and removing any bad actors is even more important. SERI is absolutely committed to doing everything in its means to maintain and enhance the overall quality of the R2 program.

2014 was a pivotal and transformative year for SERI and for the R2 Standard. Spring boarding from the momentum of the past year, SERI is well positioned to make considerable progress in advancing the cause of safe and sustainable repair and recycling around the world in the upcoming year as well as years to come.

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

John Lingelbach is the Executive Director of SERI – Sustainable Electronics Recycling International, formerly known as R2 Solutions. SERI is the nonprofit organization that administers and educates people about the R2 Standard and Certification Program. Mr. Lingelbach has served as Executive Director, as well as on the organization’s Board of Directors, since its inception, and previously in these capacities for R2 Solutions since its inception in 2010. From 2006 to 2009, he managed the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s development of the R2 Standard. Mr. Lingelbach is an attorney from the United States who has focused throughout his professional career on matters relating to innovations in environmental law and policy. Mr. Lingelbach received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of law.

 

UNIDO and Dell Cooperate on E-waste Solutions in Africa, Asia and Latin America

Posted by GlobalPSC at 5:10 pm, September 29th, 2014Comments1

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Dell (a GlobalPSC Corporate Member) have signed an agreement to cooperate on identifying and implementing a sustainable solution model for e-waste management for developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Developing countries are expected to account for the majority of discarded electronics by 2016, and twice that of developed regions by 2030.

The memorandum of understanding signed by UNIDO’s Director General LI Yong and Dell Inc.’s Executive Director of Sustainability David Lear (pictured below with Jean Cox-Kearns, Director of Compliance – Dell Global Takeback), commits the two organizations to work together for a five-year period, with an option to extend the partnership.

“Enabling recycling infrastructure in developing countries has significant benefits for the environment and local community, and facilitates Dell with the recovery of valuable resources currently being discarded. Together with UNIDO we will work to establish or up-scale facilities to operate environmentally sound management practices that meet international standards for e-waste recycling and further powers the circular economy for IT,” said Lear.

Lear added, “We are going to continue to support governments in developing effective regulations and policies for e-waste management. Since policy development is a multi-stage process, Dell and UNIDO will support governments in the dialogue and dissemination activities to accompany the various stages of policy development, and this will include organizing and participating in consultation meetings with major stakeholder groups representing industry associations, civil society groups, formal and informal sector collectors, recyclers and representative associations.”

Through the collaboration, UNIDO and Dell aim to create awareness, build capacity, and engage in knowledge sharing and policy advocacy with regard to sustainable e-waste management; to support the creation of an operational and economically viable collection network, and dismantling and recycling facilities, to process e-waste in developing countries in a safe and environmentally sound way; and to support the development of local recycling infrastructure, contributing to the industrial development of these countries and creating sustainable, green economies.

UNIDO has an established e-waste program that addresses the full life cycle of ICT equipment by properly dismantling and recycling it once the equipment has become obsolete. The program aims to foster the development of an environmentally sound e-waste recycling industry in developing countries.

With the active support of 35 National Cleaner Production Centres, UNIDO focuses on promoting an environmental service industry in developing countries; preparing national e-waste assessment reports; establishing partnerships with national and international institutions from the public and private sector; and facilitating the establishment of local and regional e-waste dismantling and recycling facilities.

Dell began integrating sustainability features into its products and processes nearly 30 years ago with designs that were upgradable, serviceable and recyclable because it was good for business, customers, and the environment. Dell is building on this commitment through its recently launched Legacy of Good plan outlining its vision for 2020. As part of this plan, Dell has a goal to eliminate two billion pounds of used electronics by 2020, which will be achieved through Dell’s recycling programs for homes and businesses in 78 countries.

GlobalPSC Corporate Member – Close the Loop (CtL)

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:44 am, July 18th, 2014Comments5

Close the Loop (CtL) is an Australian-owned resource recovery and  recycling company. CtL has established a global reputation for providing creative end of life product management services.

Specialising in post consumer recycling (PCR), CtL provides its services to leading global manufacturers of consumer and business to business products.

In partnership with 13 major printer manufacturers, CtL has established a network of over 35,000 collection points around Australia. CtL also provides “end of  pipe” materials recovery solutions for battery and cosmetics manufacturers.

CtL is founded on a ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ promise. End of life products are returned to the original manufacturer for re-use where possible. If not, CtL uses a range of patented processes to recover all the materials from those products. These materials may be reused in the manufacture of the products, or turned into a range of new innovative products.

More than just a recycling company, CtL is a materials recovery company, giving new life to valuable resources. CtL offers advice to  manufacturers in their design of new products with end of life disposal in mind – to improve reusability, to simplify recycling, and to maximise the value of recovered materials.

CtL was established in Australia in 2001 and in 2007 it set up collection and processing facilities in the US. CtL now employs over 200 people in these two countries.

Learn more about Close the Loop and their investment in R&D for recycled content products in the video below.

 

 

EU Launches New Green Growth Package and Amendments to Product-Specific Directives

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:42 pm, July 10th, 2014Comments1

On 2 July 2014, the European Commission launched its Green Growth package. The aim is to link waste policy with resource efficiency through the “circular economy” to reduce resource consumption, maximise reuse and recycling, and improve security of supply and create jobs by reprocessing waste materials within Europe.

The Commission is now proposing a target of 70% recycling and preparation for reuse by 2030 and a ban on the landfilling of recyclable materials by 2025. The Commission is also proposing some aspirational targets – reducing food waste by 30% between 2017 and 2026, and ending the landfilling of recoverable waste by 2030. The Commission is proposing to replace overall recovery targets (recycling, energy recovery, etc.) under the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive with overall and material-specific targets for recycling and preparation for reuse.

Member States must ensure that financial contributions into extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes by producers “cover the entire cost of waste management, including separate collection and treatment, adequate information to waste holders, data gathering and reporting.”  Producers must also “support litter prevention and clean-up initiatives.”

An overview of the proposals and targets, led by GlobalPSC Foundation Members Perchards, is provided in the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members under the Frameworks & Harmonisation tab. 

SERI Announces R2 Leader Program

Posted by GlobalPSC at 5:32 pm, June 13th, 2014Comments1

SERI image003Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI) has announced the R2 Leader program, which is designed to support efforts by companies and organizations to advance the responsible reuse and recycling of used electronics.

A coalition of 10 partners including DIRECTV, Goodwill Industries International, Greeneye Partners, Keep America Beautiful, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony America, SourceAmerica, Wistron Corporation and Xerox provides the foundation for the R2 Leader program.

“Since the creation of the R2 Standard for responsible electronics recycling in 2008, we have consistently heard from companies and organizations that wanted to support reuse and recycling efforts,” said John Lingelbach, Executive Director of SERI. “Our partners in launching this program have taken on truly commendable leadership roles in managing used electronics. Working in tandem with these leaders who share our vision will significantly accelerate progress in developing responsible e-waste reuse and recycling policies, programs and facilities.”

The R2 Leader program includes a commitment from participating companies and organizations to support R2 certified electronics refurbishment and recycling, as well as consider R2 certification when choosing a recycling partner. R2 Leaders also take a leadership role in projects to advance responsible reuse and/or recycling around the world, such as funding pilot projects for responsible recycling in developing countries, or creating new programs for electronics collection, refurbishment or recycling.

 

GlobalPSC Member – Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI)

Posted by GlobalPSC at 11:20 am, March 7th, 2014Comments13

SERI image003

Many electronic items can be repaired and reused in second hand markets in the developed or developing world. Additionally, almost all electronics are recyclable, containing valuable metals and plastics that when separated can be resold as useful commodities. Unfortunately, many electronics are not recycled, instead finding their way into landfills or other disposal channels where rudimentary practices can cause serious human health and environmental harm.

In response to these challenges, a coalition of stakeholders including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, electronics manufacturers, major retailers, NGOs, electronics refurbishers and recyclers, and others, created the Responsible Recycling (R2) standard for safe, environmentally sustainable management of used electronics. Developed through a transparent, consensus-based process, the goal of the R2 standard was to develop a voluntary, market-based mechanism for expanding and encouraging the use of best practices for electronics refurbishing and recycling.

Responsible electronics recycling practices ensure that used electronics are handled in a way that encourages repair and reuse, safely reclaims metals, plastics and other materials for commodity resale, and guards against human health issues and environmental contamination brought on by improper recovery and disposal. R2 certification has been integral to the growth of responsible recycling worldwide and new changes to the standard aim to take these principles even further.

The R2 standard begins 2014 with incredible momentum. Over 500 facilities in 14 countries are now R2 certified with more becoming certified every week. Last July’s release of R2:2013, the first major update to the original R2 standard, added increased record keeping and reporting requirements, mandated certification to generally-accepted environmental health and safety requirements, and tightened requirements regarding how facilities that refurbish and recycle electronics address some of the most pressing environmental and human health risks associated with managing used electronics.

On 5 June 2014, R2 Solutions announced that a new organisation, Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI), would succeed R2 Solutions in developing and promoting the R2 Standard.

Ontario Seeks Input on Future Direction for WEEE/E-scrap

Posted by GlobalPSC at 5:20 pm, January 15th, 2014Comments1

Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) has reported in a recent program update  that the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Program operated by Ontario Electronic Stewardship has collected more than 230,000 tonnes of WEEE since the program began in April 2009. WDO is seeking input on key areas identified for improvement by stakeholders, including targets and metrics; harmonization; recycling standards; the WEEE market outside of the program; program communications; and reuse.

GlobalPSC Member – California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Posted by GlobalPSC at 12:44 pm, May 30th, 2013Comments3

We are pleased to have the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) as a Government Member of the Global Product Stewardship Council.

CalRecycle brings together the state’s recycling and waste management programs and continues a tradition of environmental stewardship.

Through the landmark initiatives of the 1980’s such as the Integrated Waste Management Act and Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, California has gone from single-digit recycling rates, sparse infrastructure, and few end markets for recyclables to a diversion rate equivalent of 65%, and a beverage container recycling rate of 82%. This was accomplished with the hard work and dedication of all of CalRecycle’s partners in this endeavor including local jurisdictions, the waste and recycling industry, and the public who embraced the new programs.

Now, California’s Legislature and Governor Brown, through enactment of AB 341, (Chapter 476, Statutes of 2011) have directed CalRecycle to propose a plan for the next step in the evolution of California’s solid waste stream management. The law establishes a goal for California that not less than 75% of the solid waste generated be source-reduced, recycled or composted by 2020. It also requires CalRecycle to provide a report to the Legislature by January 1, 2014 detailing strategies to achieve that policy goal.

CalRecycle’s vision is to inspire and challenge Californians to achieve the highest waste reduction, recycling, and reuse goals in the nation. Through innovation and creativity, sound advancements in science and technology, and efficient programs that improve economic vitality and environmental sustainability, we build a stronger California.

 

GlobalPSC Member Profile – Product Stewardship Institute

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:47 pm, August 13th, 2012Comments16

The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) is a national, membership-based nonprofit committed to reducing the health, safety, and environmental impacts of consumer products across their lifecycle—with a strong focus on sustainable end-of-life management. With experience in nearly 20 product categories, PSI brings together stakeholders with varying interests to develop product stewardship solutions in a collaborative manner, facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogues, encouraging product design changes, and advocating for producer responsibility.

PSI has 47 state environmental agency members and hundreds of local government members, along with over 100 corporate, business, academic, non-U.S. government, and organizational partners. Together, they achieve their product stewardship goals by designing, implementing, evaluating, strengthening, and promoting both legislative and voluntary product stewardship initiatives across North America.

PSI strives to achieve the following financial, social, and environmental goals with every initiative it undertakes:

  • Minimize waste management costs, particularly for taxpayers and government agencies;
  • Create recycling and waste management jobs in safe, fair trade conditions; and
  • Reduce waste, increase product reuse, and boost recycling rates while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, and the use of toxic chemicals.

 

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