Washington State Signs Battery EPR Bill
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
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
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
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.