GlobalPSC News – March 2014
Last week in Singapore, the GlobalPSC launched a series of themes to enable decision makers to more effectively draw upon international experience in product stewardship policy and to help raise the standards of recycling programs globally.
The roundtable discussions, hosted jointly by the GlobalPSC and Infoactiv at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, addressed a broad range of chemicals and products amongst key stakeholders including BASF, HP, Apple, Shell and CropLife Asia.
GlobalPSC CEO Russ Martin provided a global overview of product stewardship and extended producer responsibility programs then launched the themes being examined by the GlobalPSC, which include:
- Making meaningful comparisons between programs (especially for recycling rates and key performance measures)
- The importance of responsible recycling
- The future of product stewardship
- Competition amongst producer responsibility organisations and service providers
The GlobalPSC will be refining and prioritising the themes in consultation with GlobalPSC members and sharing results through a variety of approaches, including GlobalPSC analysis, guest blogs (such as the recent guest blog on responsible recycling by R2 Solutions Board Member and former Senior Policy Advisor for the US EPA, Clare Lindsay) and social media, including discussions in LinkedIn. GlobalPSC members will be contacted over the next few weeks with specifics. These efforts will be assisted by product stewardship expert Marra Teasdale from her base in Singapore.
The Singapore roundtable was facilitated by Chris Mason and John Gertsakis from Infoactiv, and covered a range of key issues across the product life-cycle from Design for Environment and Cleaner Production through to product use and end-of-life management. Infoactiv’s focus during discussions was to explore the critical importance of regional priorities and cultural sensitivity given the diversity of countries and issues across the Asia Pacific region. The roundtable highlighted that the definition and application of Product Stewardship and EPR can vary dramatically mindful of context, culture and environmental priorities.
A new study of 11 international extended producer responsibility (EPR) and product stewardship programs for packaging and printed paper (PPP) has preliminarily identified a series of emerging global best practices to help optimize and harmonize solutions for managing packaging waste.
The report was led by the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) in association with PAC NEXT to help industry and government work together to find ways to reduce cost and regulatory complexity in existing and potential EPR programs for PPP.
“The preliminary findings of our research underscore what we at PSI have always believed: that, within the context of product stewardship, the most successful materials management programs often incorporate a combination of legislative and voluntary strategies,” said Scott Cassel, Chief Executive Officer of PSI and a member of the GlobalPSC Executive Committee. “The program summaries provided in this report offer a wealth of data for government agencies and industry groups around the world to evaluate, and we look forward to using this information as a springboard for critical stakeholder dialogues.”
The report examines EPR programs in Canada (Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia); Europe (Belgium, France, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom); and Australia. Based on an initial assessment of the data collected on these programs, PAC NEXT and PSI concluded that “the following attributes, when present together, can constitute a high performing EPR program:
- The program covers residential, public, as well as industrial, commercial and institutional (IC+I) sources;
- The program covers all material types (including printed paper);
- The cost per ton is low;
- Collection and recycling rates are high;
- The value and quality of materials are high;
- The program is convenient for residents and others;
- Producers take full responsibility for post-consumer packaging management”.
“What this report has allowed us to do is develop an understanding of how EPR programs for packaging around the world operate – what they share in common, what they do different, what works, what could use some improvement,” said Jennifer Holliday, president of PSI’s board of directors. “It is our hope that these findings enable industry and government to collaborate on ways to harmonize packaging waste solutions.”
Also based on the data, PSI and PAC NEXT identified the following policies as “complementary to EPR, playing an important role in increasing the performance of packaging collection and recycling systems:
- Pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) programs;
- Mandatory recycling requirements;
- Landfill bans for recyclable materials; and
- Container deposit programs”.
The GlobalPSC provided program analysis in support of the study.
Reports have also been made publicly available for the three approved co-regulatory arrangements that were operational in 2012–13: DHL Supply Chain (Australia) Pty Limited, the Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform Limited (ANZRP) and E-Cycle Solutions Pty Ltd. Two of the three approved co-regulatory arrangements, DHL Supply Chain and TechCollect/ANZRP, are GlobalPSC Sustaining Corporate members.
According to the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment, a Government member of the GlobalPSC:
“A total of 635 collection services, including drop off points at major electronics retailers and local government and other waste facilities, as well as temporary collection events, were provided by the three co-regulatory arrangements between the commencement of the Scheme and the end of June 2013.
“An estimated total of 137,756 tonnes of televisions and computers reached end of life in Australia in 2012–13. Industry’s target under the scheme was to recycle 30 per cent of this amount, or 41,327 tonnes. A total of 40,813 tonnes of recycling was achieved, equivalent to 98.8 per cent of the scheme target and almost double the estimated level of recycling prior to the scheme’s introduction. DHL Supply Chain and E-Cycle Solutions exceeded their recycling targets, while ANZRP fell short of its recycling target. E-waste not covered by the scheme target remained the responsibility of state, territory and local governments. National data is not available on the amount of e-waste recycling that occurred outside the scheme in 2012–13.”
A cost-benefit study conducted for Recycling Reinvented by Reclay StewardEdge has estimated the total cost of an extended producer responsibility (EPR) model system for consumer packaging and printed paper (PPP) in the US state of Minnesota at US$74.2 million, or an average of US$117 per ton of PPP recycled under the program. System costs for Minnesota’s residential recycling in 2011 are estimated to range between US$61 million and US$74 million, or US$149-182 per ton collected. According to the report, the “estimates suggest that the modeled EPR system could result in a substantial increase in projected tons of consumer PPP collected within approximately the same spending range as under the current system”.
A previous report in the three report series showed that Minnesota could see a 32% increase in recycling of PPP by using an EPR model incorporating harmonization of materials collection, increased single-stream collection, slightly more curbside collection, and an away-from-home recycling program. A statewide recycling rate of 61% could be achieved for recyclable consumer PPP, and a higher rate is possible for household PPP.
The study modeled the effects of EPR in a single state using state-specific data, but Recycling Reinvented hope that the methodology and analysis findings will have broader applicability. The goal of the study is to help advance the national dialogue on how to achieve higher recycling rates, greater system efficiency, and sustainably financed recycling programs.
The first working paper in the series presented the study design, guiding principles, and assumptions. The website MarketBasedRecycling.com was created to house all details of the study for more in-depth information.
Although commissioned by Recycling Reinvented, the study was designed to be objective, rigorous, and transparent. It included an extensive review process by over two dozen experts from industry, non-governmental organizations, education and policy.
New GlobalPSC Members and Member Profiles
The Global Product Stewardship Council is presenting at the following events:
- 40th Annual RCBC Zero Waste Conference, 28-30 May 2014 in Whistler, Canada
- WasteMET Asia, 2-4 June 2014 in Singapore
At these events, we will be promoting the involvement of GlobalPSC members and our activities.