Newsletter of the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries
Volume 18, No.5, May 2013
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE | FAST FACTS
Part of CARI’s mission as the voice of the Canadian recycling industry is representing your needs internationally. Historically that meant working with our trade partners in North America and Europe, but our trade issues are broadening as our industry expands beyond historic borders.
When trade issues are brought to our attention, CARI works with other associations and with governments to try to resolve them. We have done so with success, as when we took up the fight for the creation of CCIC Canada.
This past February, China began a 10-month environmental standard enforcement campaign restricting the import of waste and recycling materials. “Operation Green Fence” has is intended to prevent the importation of contaminants. Loads of recovered plastic material thought to be potentially contaminated with unacceptable levels of metal, paper, organic material are being rejected and sent back at significant cost to the shippers. CARI understands that the enforcement of the regulations is inconsistent, and the sudden implementation of these standards has caused stockpiles of material for some recyclers. CARI is seeking clarification from Chinese government officials about the regulations.
Earlier this month, India’s finance ministry announced it would immediately begin imposing a 2.5% customs duty on imports of scrap iron, steel and aluminum; and a 4% duty on imports of brass scrap. None of these materials were previously subject to import duties, and the Metal Recycling Association of India expects the use of metal scrap in the country will suffer as a result. CARI anticipates some Canadian recyclers will be affected by these new taxes and encourages its members to contact us with any issues.
Representing your voice on an international stage is one of CARI’s most important roles, and one we know will continue to expand over the coming years.
- Last month Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) and Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) called for changes to the Waste Diversion Act (WDA) at a joint press conference. The two groups declared the current framework for producer responsibility in Ontario “fundamentally flawed and no longer workable.” The WDA was established in 2002 but the two organizations say there has been little improvement in waste diversion rates since its introduction. OWMA and RCO believe the province should instead move toward a simplified EPR approach that focusses responsibility on individual producers and restricts point-of-sale fees. The two organizations also believe government should set the standards and enforce them with penalties.
- Ontario Electronic Stewardship says e-scrap recycling in the province increased by 45% last year. OES collected over 82,000 tons of electronics for recycling in 2012. A new round of eco fees for the program came into force on May 1, 2013.
- European Recyclers Europe (EuPR) has announced it will present new guidelines for plastic packaging recycling. RecyClass, a guide classifying the recyclability of any plastic packaging on a scale of A to G, will be launched at next year’s Interpack trade show. EuRP says current packaging design does not prioritize recyclability, but focusses instead on performance criteria. The group says making recyclability of equal importance would help increase the diversion rate and fulfill EU recycling targets. RecyClass is currently being tested in several European countries.
- Between November and December this year, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour will conduct a safety blitz for the waste and recycling industry. The inspections will focus on cranes and overhead lifting devices; slip, trip and fall hazards; motor vehicle incidents; mobile material handling equipment; and pedestrian traffic. MOL inspectors will also be on the lookout for occupational disease and biohazards such as noise, silica, dust and asbestos.
- Negotiators from the European Parliament, Commission and Council have begun talks regarding a regulation on the scrapping of old ships. Many European ships end up in South Asia for dismantling and recycling. In April, European Parliament approved legislation that would put the EU in line with the Hong Kong Convention, a global agreement on the safe dismantling of ships. Of the 838 ocean-going vessels sent for recycling in 2012 that ended up in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, more than 300 originated from EU countries. The Bangladesh industry has been the target of labour rights campaigners and environmental lawyers due to its lack of safety precautions, training, and care for the workers. The Convention requires the EU to monitor overseas facilities handling the recycling of European vessels.
- The United States has seen an increase in reported container theft over the past couple years. According to the logistics security service FreightWatch, in 2010 scrap metal thefts were not considered frequent enough to warrant their own category when separating thefts by product type, but by 2012, scrap metal thefts made up 15% of all truckload thefts in the country. The biggest trend has been thieves using falsified credentials to pick up a container of metal from its departure point. Some will add the fake logo of a legitimate trucking company to their trucks, while others will fabricate a bogus company.