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April 2017

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The announcement by one of the largest global electronics producers that it is aiming to produce all of its electronic products using 100% percent renewable or recycled materials had all of the panache of a new product launch in sustainability circles.  The goal, however aspirational today, is the very result that proponents of a circular economy will point to as the long-awaited outcome of extended producer responsibility programs. Circular Economy Suppliers and “Specialty Recyclers” Needed…

The uncertainty among producers within the waste diversion industry in Canada over the coming change from an industry-funded organization (IFO) fee-based model to an individual producer responsibility (IPR) regime for “brand holders” has principally focused upon those various regulated waste streams at the centre of mandatory diversion, such as waste electronics and electrical equipment (WEEE) or used tires – the latter as test case for a circular economy IPR program in North America set for…

In considering the effect that traditional EPR regimes have had on product design changes, the recent OECD report Extended Producer Responsibility – Updated Guidance for Efficient Waste Management had to conclude: The contrast between [Design-for-Environment] policy expectations and realizations … seems stark.   In other words, the obligations upon producers to participate in Extended Producer Responsibility schemes has not led to a profound re-envisioning of how their products might be deconstructed and repurposed at the post-consumer phase. Product Re-Design Always Central…

We are, no doubt, entering a golden age of sustainability in the apparel and footwear industries.  Many initiatives will be launched, some with longevity and permanence and others serving as perhaps footnotes in the progression towards a low-carbon, circular economy.    One such trend afoot is the novel use of agricultural inputs in footwear and apparel, such as a corn-derived shoe sole.   An interesting product which will, no doubt, capture market interest. Ethanol as Sustainability Case…

On March 21 2017, Trench Rossi Watanabe hosted an information session regarding the “New Rules for the Management of Contaminated Areas in the State of São Paulo”. At this event, experts discussed the key issues and most controversial aspects of CETESB’s new Board Decision nº. 38/2017/C. Highlights 1.  Validity and Enforcement of the new Decision: Immediate enforcement of the new Decision with regards to technical reports must be submitted to CETESB from the date of…

As North America’s first circular economy framework has begun to roll out in Canada, program designers of the individual producer responsibility model (IPR) for waste electronics and electrical equipment would do well to learn from the experiences of another common law (and Commonwealth) regime – Australia. Australia’s IPR Model for WEEE The Australian model, introduced in 2011, comprises a statutory framework – the Product Stewardship Act – under which any number of IPR schemes can…