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

European_Commission

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.

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