The CCME progress report follows 5 years after the launch of the Action Plan for Extended Producer Responsibility (CAP-EPR) which aims at promoting and harmonizing EPR legislation across Canada’s 11 provinces and territories by 2015 (see 5-Dec-09 news item).
The report concludes i.a. that
“CAP-EPR has had a positive influence in establishing EPR programs and/or requirements across Canada. Since adoption of CAP-EPR, nine out of ten provinces have legislated EPR programs or requirements, and the number of product categories covered by legislated EPR programs or requirements has almost tripled”.
“Jurisdictions have encountered a number of challenges implementing a Canada-wide approach to EPR, including as regards harmonization and delays in implementation” e.g. as regards mercury-containing lamps, transitioning top EPR from pre-existing stewardship** requirements and visible fees.
“EPR as one approach to increase waste diversion will continue to play an important role in Canada in the years to come”.
In terms of the impact on waste volumes, the Report notes that “there are signs that waste diversion programs … are likely a key factor in reducing the overall quantity of waste being sent to landfills. While total waste disposed of has increased by about 8% over the past decade, the per capita amount of waste disposed of … has decreased by about 2%”.
Reciprocally, the amount of diverted (recycled and composted) municipal solid waste increased from 199 kg per capita in 2000 to 236 kg in 2010 (though it peaked at 237 kg per capita in 2006).
Performance of WEEE programs
As regards WEEE the Progress Report provides key 2012 data for each province. These show that in 2012 almost 124,000 tonnes of WEEE were collected in 6 provinces covering a population of 24 million. This corresponds to an average collection of 5.2 kg per capita.
The sum of collection and treatment costs in all provinces were about EUR 142 million (EUR 111 million*), or CAD 1,150 (EUR 898) per tonne. Ontario, which contribute 56% of population in the 6 provinces, collected 61% of all WEEE and had the lowest per tonnage costs (CAD 1,105; EUR 862).
* Exchange rate average 2012: CAD 1 = EUR 0.78
** The report defines ‘Product Stewardship’ as: “Programs in which manufacturers, brand owners and/or importers are neither directly responsible for program funding, nor for program operations. These are waste diversion initiatives funded by consumers or general taxpayers and are operated by public agencies or delegated administrative organizations. These programs may be mandated through legislation and regulations or may be voluntary. Producers may play an advisory role.
MobileMuster, is managed by the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA). It offers free recycling for all mobile brands and accessories in Australia and has been supported from the outset by device manufacturers and mobile network operators, who have invested more than AU$ 36 million in the non-profit programme.
Since the programme began in 1998, over 8.8 million handsets and batteries have been recycled, plus 550,000 kilos of accessories, which equates to nearly 1,100 tonnes of mobile phone and accessory e-waste. Consumers can put their used equipment in one of MobileMuster’s 4,000 drop-off points, or use a free post back option.
42% of municipal solid waste is currently recycled. The Waste Framework Directive (WFD) already requires 50% to be recycled or prepared for reuse by 2020. The Commission is now proposing a target of 70% recycling and preparation for reuse by 2030. There would be 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 current Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) contains overall recovery targets (recycling + energy recovery etc.), overall recycling targets and material-specific recycling targets. The Commission is now proposing that there should be no recovery target, but overall and material-specific targets for recycling and preparation for reuse:
Paper & Board
Recycling rates must now be calculated net of any discarded residues, rather than being the input of packaging waste to an effective recovery or recycling process. However, discarded residues can be ignored if they represent no more than 2% of the waste put into the recycling or reuse process.
In the case of composites, each material shall be counted separately for the purpose of calculating recycling rates, rather than being counted according to the principal material as at present.
Member States must ensure that financial contributions into 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.”
The preamble to the proposal states that littering, especially of plastic, has a direct and detrimental impact on the environment and a high clean-up cost. Specific measures in waste management plans, financial support from producers within EPR schemes, proper enforcement should help eradicate this.
Member States shall take measures to encourage the design of packaging in order to reduce its environmental impact and the generation of waste, provided such measures avoid distortions of the internal market and do not hinder compliance by other Member States. The measures shall take account of the full life cycle impact of packaging. (It is not clear how this provision relates to the guarantee of free circulation throughout the EU of packaging which complies with the Essential Requirements – this provision remains unchanged.)
WEEE and batteries
The only changes proposed to Directives 2012/19/EU on WEEE and 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators relate to reporting procedures and to Committee procedures.
At the same time the Commission published Questions and Answers on the Commission Communication "Towards a Circular Economy" and the Waste Targets Review.
The review will look at the implementation and effectiveness of the Ecolabel and make recommendations for its future use. It will focus on three product groups – tissue paper, indoor paints and varnishes and tourist accommodation, but the consultants want to get views from as many member states and sectors as possible. Interested parties can take part in an online survey.