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March 2024 Newsletter

Newsletter: March 2024

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Amendment to the EU WEEE Directive

European_Commission

The European Union introduced an amendment to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, aiming to provide clarity to certain areas and update respective Articles. Directive (EU) 2024/884, published on March 13th, 2024, introduces several changes to Directive 2012/19/EU, which Member States are required to implement into their national laws by October 9th, 2025.

One significant addition is Article 24a, mandating a comprehensive review of the EU WEEE Directive by December 31st, 2026. This review will encompass critical provisions concerning:

  • legal certainty regarding retroactive requirements,
  • implementation of the waste hierarchy,
  • protection of consumers from WEEE treatment costs,
  • ensuring effective enforcement by Member States,
  • creation of a new category for photovoltaic panels, aligning collection targets with the expected product lifespan,
  • and a mechanism to finance future EEE treatment costs in the event of producer failure or liquidation.

This amendment follows a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union on January 25th, 2022, invalidating Article 13(1) of Directive 2012/19/EU concerning photovoltaic panels placed on the market between August 13th, 2005 and August 13th, 2012 due to unjustified retroactive effect. Consequently, Articles 12 and 13 on financing the treatment of WEEE and Articles 14 and 15 on the marking of EEE have been revised to clarify effective dates for each scope change, with different effective dates for the original EEE scope (2005), open scope EEE (2018), and photovoltaic panels (2012). However, Member States are still tasked with determining responsibility for certain historical WEEE. Furthermore, Article 14 and Article 15 of the Directive have been updated to reference the latest European standard EN 50419:2022 on the marking of EEE.

Accerio will be reviewing the upcoming legislative updates in each Member State as well as tracking the progress of the EU Commission’s WEEE Directive review in 2026.

New Jersey Propulsion Battery EPR Law

ev car

New Jersey has taken the lead by becoming the first US state to enact an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) law specifically targeting electric and hybrid vehicle propulsion batteries. This law, passed in January 2024, has come out of the national and global conversations on sustainable management of electric vehicle (EV) components.

Under the new law, producers of propulsion batteries are mandated to undertake several responsibilities to ensure proper management and disposal. One of the primary requirements is the labeling of batteries to enable better tracking and management throughout their lifecycle.

The definition of in-scope batteries covers batteries used to supply power to propel an electric or hybrid road vehicle, whether embedded within vehicles or provided separately from them. However, the law exempts starter batteries and those used for industrial purposes. The scope of obligated producers encompasses various entities involved in the production and distribution chain, including vehicle manufacturers, importers, battery manufacturers, remanufacturers, and importers. We encourage you to reach out to Accerio for assessment if your company sells electric vehicles or their batteries.

Next steps for Producers:

  • Register on the state’s registration portal by January 8, 2025 (the portal is not open yet).
  • Submit annual reporting of battery sales/distribution by January 8, 2026, and each subsequent year.
  • Develop and submit a battery management plan, with the deadline determined following a state-conducted needs assessment.

The state will conduct a needs assessment to identify specific requirements for battery management plans and labeling. In the meantime, producers are encouraged to assess their obligations and prepare for registration. Please contact Accerio for assistance assessing and monitoring obligations as the New Jersey program develops.

EU Advancement on Packaging Regulation

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In a significant development, the European Council presidency and representatives from the European Parliament have reached a provisional political agreement on the regulation concerning Packaging and Packaging Waste. This is the first major update since the proposal for the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation was announced in November of 2022. This provisional agreement also marks a step towards the goals outlined in the European Green Deal.

The proposal, prompted by concerns over packaging waste, aims to address its environmental impacts and to harmonize the internal market for packaging to drive the transition towards a circular economy. Key elements of the agreement include requirements for recyclability, minimizing harmful substances, and implementing standardized labelling to improve consumer information.

The proposal includes several measures for businesses:

  • Establishment of reuse targets, restrictions on certain single-use packaging, and mandates for economic operators to minimize packaging.
  • Reduction of unnecessary packaging through setting maximum empty space ratios and decreasing packaging weight and volume.
  • Obligation for take-away/to-go food businesses to offer customers the option of using their own containers, with a target of 10% of products in reusable packaging formats by 2030.

For Member States:

  • Implementation of deposit return systems for single-use plastic bottles and metal beverage containers by 2029, aiming for a 90% separate collection rate annually.
  • Restrictions on certain packaging formats, including single-use plastic packaging and lightweight plastic bags.

Despite challenges, such as balancing access to recycled plastics, the agreement aims to stimulate investment in green jobs. The next step involves formal approval by the Parliament and Council, with the expectation of implementation before the upcoming EU elections in June 2024. Accerio will monitor developments and provide guidance on the regulation’s impact on packaging design.

Peru Draft Packaging Law

Peru Flag

The Peruvian Federal Government introduced a draft decree at the close of 2023 aimed at addressing the management and handling of packaging waste. This draft, known as the Supreme Decree Approving the Special Regime of Management and Handling of Packaging and Container Waste (REE), recently closed for public comment and is now under discussion with Congress.

One of the core elements of the draft decree is the introduction of an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system tailored specifically for packaging waste. Under this system, producers, including packers, fillers, and importers, will bear the responsibility for managing and handling the packaging waste generated from their products. While the decree aims to cover a broad spectrum of packaging waste, covering primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging of most material types, certain exemptions have been outlined. These include flexible packaging, hazardous waste packaging, primary packaging for drugs and medications, wood packaging, and microenterprises with operations valued below USD 20,000.

Producers falling within the scope of the decree will be mandated to implement and administer individual or collective packaging management systems. This entails obtaining approval from the Ministry of Environment for their management plans and submitting annual declarations to track progress towards predefined collection and recovery targets to be set by the Ministry.

Accerio can assess if your company would be impacted and help your company prepare for registration if the draft is approved.

March 2024 Newsletter Read More »

January 2024 Newsletter

Newsletter: January 2024

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Canadian EPR Advancements

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Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is gaining traction across Canada as provinces make significant strides towards sustainable waste management practices. Recent developments in Alberta, Yukon, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia highlight their efforts to transition to full EPR models, which especially impacts the programs’ funding models.

Alberta is shifting from a shared funding model between producers and municipalities to a fully producer funded EPR approach. Alberta is set to implement full EPR for packaging with registration open since November 2023. Producers will be required to meet specific thresholds of revenue and packaging volumes, and they must join a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) to ensure compliance. Nova Scotia has also implemented a full EPR system with producer registration currently open for initial data submissions and on track for the program to begin in 2025.

Other noteworthy updates in Canada include:

  • Yukon amendments to the Environmental Act pave the way for the implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility, starting with packaging. The draft regulation is expected to be unveiled early in 2024.
  • Quebec updated their definition of obligated producers to include online retailers and distance sellers, which took effect in 2023. Additionally, Quebec plans to amend its packaging regulations by 2030 to obligate professional packaging; they are the first province with concrete plans to scope in professional packaging.
  • In British Columbia, the first prohibition date of their upcoming plastic ban has been postponed to July 2024. This delay impacts single-use food service items, plastic shopping bags, and oxo-degradable plastics.

Due to the multiple recent and upcoming changes to legislation in the Canadian provinces, please reach out to us for an assessment. Accerio offers monitoring and full-service compliance management in Canada.

India Battery and Plastic Waste Rules Amended

The Indian Government recently introduced amendments to the Battery Waste Management Rules (BWM Rules), 2022, and the Plastic Waste Management Rules (PWM Rules), 2016.

Two notable amendments apply to both the Plastic Waste Management Rules and the Battery Waste Management Rules:

  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is now empowered to extend the annual reporting deadline up to a maximum period of nine months beyond the yearly deadline of June 30th.
  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) registration will remain valid until it is canceled or withdrawn, eliminating the need for periodic renewals.

The PWM Rules were amended for the 8th time. The amendment updates the definition of ‘Producer’ to exclude scenarios involving imports, focusing on entities directly involved in the production of plastic packaging within the country. Additionally, all obligated entities and all categories of plastic packaging are now subject to specific marking and labeling requirements, such as including the name of the entity and producer registration number on packaging that contains plastic.

The 1st amendment to the BWM Rules introduces several noteworthy changes, starting with expanding the definitions of ‘Producer’ and of obligated batteries to address identified gaps in compliance requirements. Reporting requirements have also been expanded to include batteries for self-use and pre-consumer waste generated during manufacturing, assembling, or import. Labeling requirements are also included in the amendment. Now, Producers are mandated to mark all batteries or battery packs with their EPR registration number on or before March 31st, 2025.

If your company manufactures, assembles, or imports products in India and would like to further understand your obligations, please reach out to Accerio for an assessment and registration plan.

USA PFAs Compliance

RPU Products Containing PFAS

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAs, have gained notoriety as “forever chemicals” due to their persistent nature and potential threats to both human health and the environment. Found in a myriad of everyday products, PFAs have become a focal point of regulatory efforts and both the United States and the European Union have taken initial steps.

In the European Union, the Stokholm Convention has been a platform for discussions on restricting the use of PFAs. Furthermore, the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) system actively manages PFAs levels. Several PFAs are listed on the REACH Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHC), underlining the need for stringent controls.

In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated U.S. manufacturers and importers of products containing PFAs to report information on PFAs uses, production volumes, disposal, exposures, and hazards. This reporting obligation impacts products manufactured and imported from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2022, providing a comprehensive dataset for monitoring and assessing the prevalence of PFAs.

Maine has enacted a ban on intentionally added PFAs, effective from 2023 for certain products such as carpets and rugs. This ban extends to all products starting January 1, 2030. Maine requires a one-time report on PFAs, due by January 1, 2025. Similarly, Minnesota has implemented a ban on intentionally added PFAs, commencing on January 1, 2025, for specific products like carpets and cookware. The ban expands to cover all products from January 1, 2032, onwards. As part of its comprehensive strategy, Minnesota mandates a one-time report on PFAs, with a deadline set for January 1, 2026.

It is recommended that producers collect information on PFAs content in their products to prepare for reporting requirements.

January 2024 Newsletter Read More »

September 2023 Newsletter

Newsletter: September 2023

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

EU Battery Regulation Comes Into Force

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On July 28th, 2023, the European Commission published the EU Battery Regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Regulation came into force on August 17th, 2023 and will apply directly in all EU member states after a period of 6 months. Implementation of new requirements is spread over the next several years, though it is recommended that producers begin work on the product design and testing topics as soon as possible.

Many key details have changed when compared to the EU Battery Directive. Most notably, there is now a concrete definition of ‘Portable Batteries’ as 5 kilograms or less. The definition of automotive batteries has been replaced by ‘Starting, Lighting, and Ignition’ batteries while adding separate definitions for ‘Light Means of Transport’ and ‘Electric Vehicle’ batteries.

Some requirements are specific to the type of battery, reflecting the use and life cycle of the battery types. However, all batteries will need to meet the first deadlines through complying with updated technical documentation and labeling requirements to continue selling products on the EU market.

The Commission will adopt delegated and implementing acts under the new Batteries Regulation beginning in 2024 to detail remaining requirements and provide guidance to member states. Please contact Accerio to assess the impact of the EU Battery Regulation on your products and EPR obligations.

Accerio Sponsorship of PSI EPR Forum

Accerio was a Sponsor of the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) 2023 US Product Stewardship Forum held in September. This event, which was attended by Accerio’s dedicated North American EPR legislative team, brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss the USA EPR landscape. We were able to share our own expertise and knowledge with fellow attendees while meeting US Producers, legislators and other key stakeholders to discuss upcoming legislation and impacts to our clients in the coming years.

A main topic of the Forum was the upcoming US state packaging programs, featuring a panel discussion with representatives from Oregon, Colorado, California, and Maine. They provided details on how each state will structure their upcoming packaging programs. A frequently raised issue at the Forum was the desire for harmonization between states, an issue that has affected EPR success across the US and Canada. As USA e-waste, battery, and packaging programs expand, Producers, states, and consumers would benefit greatly by aligning their definitions, labeling requirements, and targets. Accerio has seen this firsthand through our many years of experience in countries outside the US.

USA EPR has made significant strides over recent years and is growing rapidly. PSI actively tracks each state’s proposals and organizes events like the Forum and webinars to bring together stakeholders. PSI did an excellent job of organizing a successful event; Accerio is proud to have been a sponsor and to have had the opportunity to connect with like-minded people.

Australia Proposed Revision to WEEE Regulations

Repair

The Australian government recently published a discussion paper proposing to revise and extend the current regulatory framework for Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) in Australia. Currently, the scope of EEE is limited to TVs, computers, printers and computer peripherals. Additionally, under existing law producers/importers must meet certain thresholds before they are required to register with a product stewardship scheme.

The discussion paper recommends:

  • expanding the scope of EEE products to all small electronic and electrical equipment found in homes and small businesses, which would also cover solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
  • tasking the Australian government with developing a product stewardship scheme for obligated EEE products and their embedded batteries. They are proposing that a unit threshold model for obligated EEE products still apply.

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, and the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) hopes to make a formal recommendation of proposed changes to the Government by the end of 2023. DCCEEW mentioned in a webinar earlier this year that legislation could be in place by the end of 2025 should the government decide to move forward with the legislative changes.

September 2023 Newsletter Read More »

June 2023 Newsletter

Newsletter: June 2023

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Washington State Signs Battery EPR Bill

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In May 2023, the governor of Washington State signed SB 5144, a new Extended Producer Responsibility (“EPR”) battery law providing for responsible environmental management of batteries. The law’s EPR obligations cover portable and medium format batteries (batteries up to 25lbs), as well as devices that contain such batteries. Products within this scope will be gradually phased into program management between 2027 and 2029. However, certain exemptions apply based on battery removability, battery or product function, and battery size and chemistry.

Obligated producers are the battery or battery containing product’s manufacturer, brand owner/licensee, importer of record, or first person to place on the market. Producers must join a stewardship organization (collective organization) starting 2027. Additionally, battery labeling requirements are phased in from 2028-2030. The labeling requirements apply to all covered batteries and battery-containing products, plus large format batteries (batteries greater than 25lbs and rating more than 2000 watt-hours).

Washington also has an active E-Waste EPR legislation covering certain products containing screens. Please reach out to Accerio for an assessment of obligations in Washington and for updates as the program develops.

Maryland's First Step towards Packaging EPR

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The State of Maryland passed legislation SB-222 with an effective date of July 1, 2023. The law aims to carry out a statewide ‘Needs Assessment’ of the current recycling systems. Unlike the other packaging extended producer responsibility laws in California, Colorado, Maine, and Oregon, SB-222 does not detail rules for producers but rather informs future EPR laws in Maryland.

To achieve that, SB-222 calls for the creation of a producer responsibility organization (“PRO”) and a producer responsibility advisory council. The advisory council is responsible for providing recommendations for the establishment and implementation of a PRO in the state for packaging materials. Recommendations will include responsibilities of producers under the PRO. The Office of Recycling in the Department of the Environment will carry out the statewide recycling Needs Assessment through an independent consultant. On or before December 1, 2024, the advisory council will report its findings and recommendations to the governor.

Accerio will be tracking the result of the Needs Assessment and subsequent development of the packaging EPR program in Maryland. Please contact us for assessment of your company’s obligations under USA EPR laws.

Changes Ahead for Canadian Compliance

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Canada has several updates to provincial/territorial EPR programs on the horizon, both to existing and upcoming legislation. There are already 9 hazardous waste laws, 7 battery laws, 5 packaging laws, and 12 WEEE laws active that obligate a variety of selling models for EPR.
The following changes will impact producers:

  • Quebec updated their producer definition for multiple EPR waste streams, now obligating online retailers and distance sellers. In most cases, interest is charged for back-reporting.
  • Saskatchewan household packaging is transitioning to full EPR. Prior to the change, producers are responsible for 75% of program costs transitioning to 100% of costs under the new system.
  • The New Brunswick Packaging + Paper Program is shifting away from a municipal-funded collection system to an EPR program.
  • Northwest Territories published draft legislation to serve as the legal basis for future EPR programs. If approved, initial work will determine which waste streams will be covered.
  • Yukon commits to implement EPR by 2025 for household batteries, packaging, and hazardous waste, as well as automotive waste, though no further announcements have been made.

Accerio can assess your company’s current and future obligations, manage registrations, and provide legislative monitoring.

Uruguay Draft WEEE Regulation

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The Uruguayan government published a draft for the Regulation on Comprehensive Management of WEEE (Reglamento para la gestión integral de residuos de aparatos eléctricos y electrónicos) on February 27, 2023. As of today, it is under discussion in congress and has not been approved.

The draft proposes to implement an EPR system for General WEEE producers and importers, including obligations to register and implement an individual or collective management plan for WEEE, and collection and recycling targets. The draft distinguishes between “General” and “Non-General” WEEE, the former being those devices that can be used indistinctly in household, businesses, or industry, and the latter are those devices that are specifically destined to be used in business or industrial environments. The regulation will not impose EPR obligations to producers and importers of Non-General WEEE but includes obligations to other stakeholders involved in waste management, such as waste processors and recyclers. The draft regulations will apply to an open scope of Electronic and Electric Equipment (“EEE”), including components, consumables, their accessories, and their integrated batteries. If approved, there will be requirements for EEE producers to promote durability and repairability and inform consumers of repair and take-back options.

Though the finalized timeline will not be clear until approval, the current draft indicates collection target deadlines beginning in 2024 and scaling up to an 85% collection target 5 years after the law’s publication. Accerio will update potentially impacted clients if the draft is approved.

June 2023 Newsletter Read More »

March 2023 Newsletter

Newsletter: March 2023

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

EU Packaging Regulation Proposal

European_Commission

In November 2022, the European Commission proposed a European Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, addressing crucial sustainability and safety topics throughout packaging’s entire life cycle. A key distinction between the proposed Regulation and current Packaging Directive is that the Regulation will create a harmonized framework for all EU Member States without transposition in their local legal system. If approved, the Regulation will repeal the currently in force Packaging Directive.

Key aspects:

  • Obligations for all parties in the supply chain who place packaging on the EU market, for all packaging levels (primary, secondary and tertiary), and all packaging materials
  • New obligations throughout the life cycle of packaging, starting from its design and manufacturing to its end-of-life. Touching upon topics such as:
    • Recyclability
    • Minimum recycled content in plastic packaging
    • Targets for reusable packaging usage
    • Harmonized packaging labeling
    • Mandatory Authorized Representative appointment in each Member State where the obligated party places products on the market
    • Provisions on communication of information to end users
  • Prohibition on Member States introducing additional sustainability requirements if they are contrary to the Regulation’s provisions or restrict the free movement of goods in the EU Single Market

It is of note that the provision forbidding contrary or restrictive sustainability requirements is in line with the recent infringement procedure by the EU Commission that included the France Triman labeling requirements. More specifically, the Triman initiative has been considered an action that leads to the fragmentation of the Single Market; the EU Commission has called France to comply with its legal obligations deriving from the EU law. France has until 15th of April 2023 to respond to the concerns of the EU Commission.

The legislative process for drafts like the Packaging Regulation lasts around 18 months but there are steps that you can take to prepare. Please contact Accerio for more information and assistance preparing for the Packaging Regulation.

New E-Waste Rules in India

The Indian government announced new E-Waste Management Rules (E-Waste Rules) on November 2nd, 2022 that are set to enter into force on April 1st, 2023. The E-Waste Rules will replace the E-Waste Management Rules 2016. The legislation will apply to manufacturers, producers, refurbishers, dismantlers, and recyclers involved in any part of the product’s life. The scope has been greatly expanded from the 2016 E-Waste Rules to include solar photo-voltaic panels, certain IT equipment, additional consumer devices, tools and appliances, as well as medical devices.

Manufacturers and Producers shall comply with Extended Producer Responsibility obligations, which among others, are:

  • Registration through the new centralized portal
  • Fulfillment of annual EPR targets
  • Submitting annual and quarterly reports

The E-Waste Rules also allow for reductions in management quantity through purchasing refurbishing certificates. Additionally, there are important changes to the responsibilities of Bulk Consumers, reducing their obligations and shifting responsibilities to other parties in the supply chain. Contact Accerio for an assessment of your obligations under India’s new E-Waste Management Rules.

Belgium Draft Repairability and Durability Legislation

Eco Design repair screen

In September 2022, the Belgium Ministry of Environment published a draft law together with three draft decrees on the subjects of Repairability and Durability score for electronic devices (as well as software compatibility). The draft law introduces a repairability index for electronic devices. The proposed standards are similar to those in France’s 2020 AGEC Law. Belgium’s proposed index is based on several criteria, such as the availability of technical information and maintenance manuals, the ease with which the product can be dismantled, the availability of spare parts and their delivery time, and the price of spare parts.

The new law will also be introducing a durability index as a possible way to supplement the repairability index. The draft decree provides the modalities of communication, format of the repairability index and accessibility to technical standards, a software compatibility obligation, as well as the products covered by the repairability score (some examples of the covered products are washing machines, smartphones, TVs, and laptops).

Public consultation on the drafts closed on the 22nd of March 2023. The drafts are now in the first reading phase at the Federal government level and a publishing date has yet to be announced. The drafts are scheduled to enter into force 6 months after its publication.

March 2023 Newsletter Read More »

December 2022 Newsletter

Newsletter: December 2022

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Updated Austrian Packaging Legislation

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In January 2023, the updated packaging legislation (Verpackungsverordnung) will come into force in Austria. There are several critical changes that impact foreign producers; many already registered producers must take action to maintain compliance under the new law.

Changes include:

  • Online marketplaces are required to confirm that their sellers are properly registered
  • Foreign distance sellers must appoint an Authorized Representative for packaging
  • Producers from EU Member States who are voluntarily taking over Austrian reseller obligations must also appoint an Authorized Representative
  • Non-EU producers cannot voluntarily take over Austrian reseller packaging obligations

Any entity can be appointed as Authorized Representative; if your company doesn’t have an Austrian entity, Accerio will register you with a third-party to keep your registration compliant.

Mexico Draft EEE Packaging Labeling Standard

In August 2022, the Mexican Federal government published a draft of the Official Mexican Standard (Norma Oficial Mexicana or NOM) No. 024-SE-2022 regarding the information to be included in the packaging, instructions or manuals, and warranties of electronic and electric equipment (EEE). The Standard would apply to all new, refurbished, rebuilt, used or second hand, discontinued EEE and household electronic appliances, as well as its spare parts, accessories, and consumables that are marketed in the Mexican territory.

The Draft details the minimum required information that should be included on the packaging or containers, instruction manuals, and warranties of EEE and household appliances. The labeling must contain, among other things, details such as the company name, manufacturing location, product type, electrical characteristics, and hazardous product warning in Spanish. Further information on the format and label dimensions are expected to be included as an Annex to the Standard.

There are specific exemptions for certain types of EEE, though most EEE will require warnings when they are hazardous products. The Standard is still under discussion; contact Accerio for more information if your company places product on the market in Mexico.

Italian Packaging Labeling Requirements

In November 2022, the Italian Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security published their Environmental Labeling Guidelines to provide clarity to the upcoming requirements. All packaging being placed in the Italian market needs to have an environmental label by 1 January 2023.

The obligation is for all packaging to:

  • be appropriately labeled in accordance with the procedures laid down in the applicable UNI technical standards
  • be appropriately labeled in compliance with the decisions of the European Commission: to facilitate the collection, reuse and recycling of packaging
  • provide consumers with proper information on the final destination of packaging

The new Environmental Labeling Guidelines confirm much of the guidance already provided by Consortium CONAI. However, the guideline provides additional clarification on the allowance for digital tools and alternatives for conveying the labeling information. Please reach out to Accerio for additional information and labeling guidance.

Canadian Consultation Papers on Plastics

The Canadian Government published two consultation papers on plastic to guide development of national-level legislation. Currently, Canadian Extended Producer Responsibility laws on packaging are only implemented by a few provinces and territories, with a focus on waste ending up with household consumers. The first consultation paper proposes a federal plastics registry for producers to report on metrics like diversion, reuse, recycling, and energy recovery of plastics placed on the market in Canada. The federal government is hoping to collect data on all plastic packaging, considering a large portion of the market is not captured in provincial EPR programs.

The second consultation paper outlines plastic and compostable product labeling for primary and secondary product packaging as well as single-use and short-term plastic products to reduce confusion and increase the proper sorting of recyclable materials and organic waste. Plastic diversion outcomes are highly dependent on public knowledge of proper waste sorting, which in turn impacts the amount of contamination in certain waste streams. The primary goals of the labeling are to reach zero plastic waste by 2030 and ensure that 80% of Canadians have access to reliable recycling.

Draft legislation is expected mid-2023 and would provide additional details of the proposed labelling and registry.

December 2022 Newsletter Read More »

September 2022 Newsletter

Newsletter: September 2022

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

California Packaging and Battery EPR Laws

California

Several advances have been made to introduce EPR legislation in California over the course of 2022. This summer, Senate Bill 54 was passed to create an EPR packaging program. The law aims to reduce and eliminate single-use packaging, increase compostable packaging on the market, and move towards increasing recyclability of packaging. In-scope products include single-use packaging and plastic single-use food service ware imported or sold in California, which must be recyclable or compostable by 2032. To comply, producers can either form or join a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) by 2024.

Two California battery laws passed as well. The first law, the Responsible Battery Recycling Act of 2022 (AB 2440), introduces EPR on easily removable batteries and will replace the current Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act of 2006, repealing the old law starting January 1, 2027. Obligated producers must join a stewardship program for the collection and recycling of covered batteries. The second law, SB 1215, expands the definition of covered devices in the Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003 to include battery-embedded products. Starting January 1, 2026, retailers are responsible for charging the California consumer a visible fee for each product purchased with batteries that cannot be easily removed.

Please contact Accerio for more information if your company is currently selling or plans to sell products in California.

New India EPR Rules and Draft Rules

The India Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has made recent changes to extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations. The Ministry issued new rules for battery and packaging, and is working on the draft for WEEE management. 

Most recently issued are the Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022 that replace the Batteries Management and Handling rules from 2001. Local producers and importers of batteries will be responsible for collection and recycling or refurbishment of waste batteries. The updates also include an improved system for producers to report on their obligations via an online EPR portal.  Obligated producers can comply through a collective organization or through an individual system. 

In February of 2022, the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 were amended to include details on plastic packaging EPR. The rules obligate producers, importers, brand owners and plastic waste processors to follow EPR requirements for four categories of plastic packaging.

There are also proposed changes to the E-Waste Management Rules, 2016. Most impactful would be the expansion of product scope to include additional categories of IT and household electronics. Please reach out to Accerio if your company imports product into India and would like an assessment of obligations.

Implementation of the EU Packaging Levy

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The EU Packaging Levy was published in 2020 to support the goals of the EU Green Deal and the Recovery plan for Europe (also known as Europe’s Covid-19 recovery package). EU Member States must contribute €0.80 for each kg of plastic packaging waste that is not recycled at end of life (based on average Eurostat data in respective base years).

Each Member State can either cover these costs via their national budget or pass them through to the respective industry streams by:

  • Introducing a new Plastic Packaging Taxation on non-recycled plastics
  • Integrating them into existing packaging-related taxes or fees, such as EPR fees
  • Introducing other fiscal measures such as reduced subsidies or tax and fee exemptions

Some Member States have already introduced a new plastic tax (such as Spain and Italy) and more are expected to follow suit. As this taxation is focusing on non-recycled content so far, the demand for recycled plastic is expected to rise significantly.

Spain Packaging and Packaging Waste Law

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The Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge has proposed a new Packaging and Packaging Waste Law to replace Law 11/1997 of 24 April 1997. The draft law would incorporate the EU Packaging Directive and the EU SUP Directive into the Spanish legal framework.

Key proposed changes are:

  • Expanded scope of EPR regulations to include household, commercial and industrial packaging
  • An obligation for producers to register in a new Packaging National Register and be responsible for the environmentally sound management of the packaging they place in the Spanish market. All foreign producers are obligated to appoint an AR
  • Obligations for online marketplaces to bear responsibility as a subsidiary producer, for products placed on the Spanish market via their platform in the case that the foreign producer has not registered
  • Options for producers to comply collectively or individually, with additional obligations for large producers to set up and apply a prevention and eco-design business plan

This law is currently in a revision phase. The EU Commission has issued their Expert Opinion urging the Spanish Government to reconsider some of the dispositions in the draft that have been considered by the Commission as creating obstacles to the free movement of goods, or the provision of services, as well as possible cases of non-conformity with Union Law. Consequently, the publication of the Law is suspended until November 7, 2022 and is subject to informing the Commission of the measures it intends to take in response to the opinion. Accerio will update our clients once the law is published with next steps.

September 2022 Newsletter Read More »

June 2022 Newsletter

Newsletter: June 2022

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Colorado Passes Packaging EPR Law

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Colorado is joining Maine and Oregon on the short list of US states to pass EPR packaging legislation. Colorado HB22-1355 passed the state senate in May and was signed into law in early June. The bill aims to increase the state’s recycling rate from 15% to 80% through a program that will be fully funded by producers.

The primary obligated producers are product brand holders selling primary/sales packaging materials and paper products, though there is a small producer exemption. Producers are required to appoint a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) or establish an approved individual plan by the first program deadline in January 2025.

Accerio is monitoring for decisions on details like exact targets, approved PRO’s, and costs; so please reach out if you sell products into Colorado to stay updated on program development.

An Introduction to European Eco-Modulation

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Eco-modulation (part of the eco-design concept) penalizes the use of materials that are less environmentally friendly and rewards the use of those with lesser environmental impacts. Its general goal is to promote eco-design approaches with producers on issues like waste prevention, reduction of highly polluting materials , and increased product lifespan, all leading to a more circular economy. Then through the eco-modulation fee structure of collective organizations, producers receive a return on investment for their eco-design efforts.

The first European country to introduce this concept was France. However, it has been gradually introduced in other EU Member States and now at the EU level. In January 2023, the EU Eco-Modulation Directive will come into force. Although this legislation is not yet in force, several EU countries have begun implementation of their own eco-modulation models.

Examples include:

  • Germany: Collectives are obligated to charge lower fees for packaging consisting of more recyclable materials.
  • Netherlands: There is an option to apply for a fee discount for packaging containing plastic that has higher recyclability or residual value.
  • UK: The authority is considering eco-modulations in the upcoming review of WEEE and Packaging legislation. Additionally, a new plastic packaging tax has been implemented for plastic packaging containing < 30% recycled content.
  • Czech Republic: Provisions for Eco-Modulation are in the national legislation; however, they are not yet implemented by collective organizations.
  • Estonia: From 2023, the collective organizations will modify the fees for packaging containing one material vs. composite materials (multilayered packaging).

Deadline for Germany Packaging Registration

The packaging legislation in Germany was revised in 2021 (an article on the topic can be viewed here), with an important upcoming implementation date for all obligated producers of packaging. From July 2022 onwards, all producers need to be registered at the packaging authority Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister.

Registration is now also required for packaging that ends up in purely industrial environments and transport packaging, while the prior legislation only required registration for packaging subject to system (scheme) participation. Producers of ‘non-scheme packaging’ must also maintain records of packaging taken back, though regular reporting to the authority is not required.

The registrations for non-scheme packaging can be completed now. Producers who are already registered with Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister and a scheme are encouraged to assess if they are selling non-scheme packaging as well. In that case, the existing registration at the authority must be updated to indicate additional packaging types.

United Kingdom Packaging EPR Reform

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The UK Packaging EPR legislation, that has been in force since 1997, fails to cover the full costs of disposing of packaging waste. A new EPR legislation, currently under consultation, aims to transfer the full cost of treating household packaging to the producers. This would make the producer responsible for the costs of their packaging throughout its life cycle, also known as the “polluter pays” principle. For packaging waste arising from businesses, producers will be responsible for contributing to a portion of the costs associated with recycling it when it becomes waste, through purchasing price-variable packaging recycling evidence (PRNs) in line with their business waste recycling obligation.

The new EPR system will obligate producers of household packaging to:

  • Meet new recycling targets
  • Pay higher fees for less sustainable packaging
  • Use clear unambiguous recyclability labelling to help consumers sort waste

Through these requirements, the draft legislation would encourage producers to reduce packaging material usage and use a higher percentage of recyclable packaging. The law is expected to come into force in 2023 and will impact companies with a UK presence who place obligated packaging on the UK market.

June 2022 Newsletter Read More »

March 2022 Newsletter

Newsletter: March 2022

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

France Labeling Obligations for Household Products

According to the French Anti-waste Law and the respective Decrees published on the 29th of June 2021, producers placing Household products obligated under EPR on the French market are required to mark their products with the Triman symbol and the accompanying harmonized sorting information, as approved by the French Authorities.

The products affected are:

  • Household WEEE
  • Portable Batteries and Accumulators
  • Household Photovoltaic Panels
  • Household Lamps
  • Household Packaging

On the 15th of December 2021, the French Authorities approved harmonized sorting and return information that will accompany the Triman logo for the first four product categories. After thorough consultations, the respective eco-organizations confirmed the finalized format and issued the labelling guidelines for producers in mid-January 2022. The packaging information was approved earlier in 2021, with a slightly different format than the other four product categories.

The Triman symbol and the sorting information became mandatory on all household products as of 2022, though there is an extended period for producers to bring products into compliance. Please contact us for more information on the new requirements.

Phase 6 of the UK WEEE DTS is Up and Running!

Under the UK WEEE Regulation, household WEEE distributors are obligated to provide a free of charge, one-for-one basis take-back option to private end-users. This requires the distributor to take any product back for recycling when a private end-user buys a product that fulfills the same function, regardless of the EEE brand or its original seller.

Distributors have two compliance options to fulfill this requirement:

  • Offer in-store take-back of WEEE on a one-for-one basis or
  • Join the Distributor Take-back Scheme (DTS)

DTS is an approved scheme by the UK government that has been running in two-year phases since 2007. The most recent phase (Phase 6) runs from the 1st of January 2022 through December 2023. Being a DTS member exempts distributors from the obligation to provide in-store one-for-one take-back. The DTS increases the rate of WEEE collection, reuse and recycling in the UK while making complying with take-back requirements feasible for foreign and online distributors. Accerio assesses clients for distributor obligations on an ongoing basis and makes recommendations on the best compliance options. Please contact us for more information on the DTS and compliance in the UK.

Marketplaces’ New Role in EU EPR Compliance

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Marketplaces are online platforms that enable businesses to offer their products for sale under their own name, risk, and liability, directly to end-users and resellers. The marketplace acts as an intermediary, providing a platform to bring sellers and buyers together to conclude sales contracts in which the marketplace itself is not party.

Unfortunately, online retail through marketplaces has been a common sales channel of non-compliant or ‘freeriding’ producers in the EU. Addressing this has been discussed in the EU for many years and is a stated priority in the preparation of the 2023 Waste Framework Directive. Though no official guidance has been published by the EU, a few member states have proactively defined the marketplaces’ role in the EPR compliance framework.

Beginning the 1st of January 2022, France AGEC law established that marketplaces hosting obligated products are required to comply with the French EPR legislation on behalf of the producers selling through the platform or ensure the producers themselves are compliant. In response to these requirements, most marketplaces require evidence or supporting documentation of the producer’s compliance for each applicable EPR waste stream as a condition to sell through the marketplace.

In Germany, the German Packaging Act, VerpackG, details a supervisory role for marketplaces over their vendors’ packaging compliance. Third parties who sell through an online marketplace are required to provide their EPR registration number to the marketplace. If the producer fails to provide this information, the marketplace is obligated to ban them from selling through their platform.

In both examples, marketplaces face significant fines if they fail to follow these requirements. Accerio is monitoring the development of EU-wide legislation and, in the meantime, similar measures that are expected to be adopted by other countries.

Draft of a Circular Economy Law for Mexico

The Mexican Senate approved the Circular Economy General Law draft on 18 November 2021, now under review of the Environment and Natural Resources Commission of the Chamber of Deputies. The law would promote the efficient use of products, services, materials, energy, water, and secondary raw materials, by means of clean manufacturing and principles of reuse, recycling, and redesign. Mainly, the purpose is to transition from a linear to a circular economy in Mexico.

If approved, the Law will create the following obligations for EEE and packaging producers:

  • Packaging producers must prepare and file a Circular Economy Plan and EEE producers must have a Waste Plan in place with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (“SEMARNAT” for its acronym in Spanish).
  • Producers will need to meet consumer communication requirements as well as collection, recovery, and valorization rates that will be set in the secondary legislation.
  • Producers must also consider minimum recycled plastic content goals for packaging, starting with 20% by 2025 and 30% by 2030.

Accerio will monitor the progression of the law and reach out to clients who are likely to be impacted by the requirements. The draft details significant sanctions for infractions to the law, so we encourage producers to contact us for more information.

March 2022 Newsletter Read More »

December 2021 Newsletter

Newsletter: December 2021

The latest news regarding WEEE, e-waste, battery and packaging compliance

Current & Upcoming USA Packaging Laws

2021 was a very active year for the development of EPR packaging laws across the United States. Maine became the first state to pass an EPR packaging law in July of 2021. Maine is now entering a two-year rule making process to establish the program itself. The law obligates both local and foreign brand owners, and importers who are importing on behalf of foreign brand owners. Obligated companies who do not qualify for the small producer exemption will be required to either implement a takeback and recycling program or join the Packaging Stewardship Program once it is approved by the State for all obligated packaging materials.

Just one month later, Oregon passed the Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act in August 2021. Oregon’s law comes into force in July 2025, obligating local and foreign brand owners, licensees of brands, and importers who import on behalf of foreign brand owners. Oregon’s scope of obligated materials and small producer exemptions are similar to Maine’s; however, Oregon has a more aggressive timeline for implementation and higher fines for non-compliance.

Currently there are 10 other states with draft EPR packaging legislation, mostly under review by state legislators. We encourage all producers selling to US states to reach out to Accerio for state-level assessments of current WEEE, battery, and packaging obligations.

Draft Packaging Law in Spain

To update their 20-year-old packaging waste regime, Spain has introduced a draft Royal Decree on Packaging and Packaging Waste. If implemented, the Royal Decree will repeal the existing legislation, replacing it with requirements in line with EU Directive 2018/52 of 30 May 2018, which modified Directive 94/62/CE on packaging and packaging waste to incorporate principles of circular economy and reuse of packaging. Additionally, the Decree will apply the content of EU Directive 2019/904 of 5 June 2019 (SUP Directive) on single use plastic packaging and the reduction on the impact of these products in the environment. The new regime will establish an EPR program for all packaging materials & sectors, as well as a deposit, refund, and return system for all packaging and packaging waste.

For obligated producers, compliance can be direct with the national authority or through a collective organization. The fee structure under collective compliance includes eco-modulations following circular economy criteria, including penalties for materials that do not meet the efficiency criteria.

The public consultation period ran through October 2021, followed by introduction of the draft to Spanish Parliament for discussion and approval. Please contact us for more information on compliance options and the provisions of the draft Decree. Accerio will contact impacted clients once the Decree is approved.

New Waste Act in Finland

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Beginning in July of 2021, the obligated producer definition expanded in Finland’s new Waste Act to all foreign producers, including foreign producers and distance sellers of batteries and packaging. Before the reform, foreign producers were only obligated under the WEEE legislation. Additionally, Foreign producers can now voluntarily take over the EPR obligations of their Finnish resellers and distributors.

The Act also includes stricter provisions on products themselves, with requirements for safety, quality, and sustainability during the manufacturing process. For example, the producer must ensure that products do not have excessive or unnecessary packaging. And considerations must be taken during the design phase, such as ensuring that EEE containing integrated batteries/accumulators can be easily removed, to encourage a longer lifespan for devices.

If your company is selling into Finland, please contact us to begin an assessment and the registration process. The first deadline for producer registrations is rapidly approaching at the end of 2021.

December 2021 Newsletter Read More »

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