Newsletter Q1 2019

May 7th, 2019

The latest news from the field of waste management and from our company.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

after the long cloudy winter, we want to take you on a short journey with new topics related to waste management. This time you will hear more about our newest waste prevention project from Styria, we inform you how you can support the Green Alley Award, and we introduce you to last year's winner from the UK with a revolutionary product. We also take a trip to South Africa and tell you about the most burning issues from this region. Finally, we return to Austria and report on the Elektro-Nick award in Austria.

We wish you a wonderful springtime!

Your ERP Austria Team


We proudly present: our waste prevention initiatives – part 3

ERP provides part of the annual turnover for waste prevention initiatives. Currently, three different institutions are supported by us, which we introduce one by one at this point. Our "latest" – in other words: only recently added – project AEE-Bau-Plus concludes this series.


Association Social Work Styria (SASt) - Project AEE-Bau Plus

In cooperation with ERP, the association SASt carries out the project “Waste prevention of electrical appliances and electric installation parts regarding modifications of buildings (AEE-Bau-Plus)”. AEE-Bau-Plus is a classic project for waste prevention and awareness raising with the aim to develop a new business segment for work integration social enterprises (WISE) in the field of waste prevention and to facilitate the reuse of electrical components at the same time.

In the construction sector, built-in electrical appliances and electric installation parts in buildings mostly get separated into their components not until after the demolition of the building. Therefore, the reuse of appliances and components is impossible, and the recycling of the materials is difficult to implement. Many construction companies lack the possibilities to secure these components through manual recovery.

The aim of the AEE-Bau-Plus project is to expand and put into practice the topic of the sustainable use of resources to the area of electrical appliances and electrical installation parts that are still in use in buildings. This results in a revaluation of a waste product to a valuable reusable product.

As many companies as possible, preferably social organisations, are to be empowered to expand or build business areas on this issue. In concrete terms, construction companies and larger firms are providing structures that are facing significant conversion or demolition. The existing potentials in the buildings are recorded and evaluated. In case of a positive assessment, the respective electrical appliances and electrical installation parts are removed and dismantled by trained personnel. The appliances or components are cleaned, slightly repaired, if necessary, and reused. Reuse is the responsibility of the respective companies, the AEE-Bau-Plus project is on hand to provide advice and assistance. It also brings the project partners together with potential customers.

The non-profit organisation SASt, which is carrying out this project, was founded in 2016 to carry out a women's employment project in Graz and has focused on supporting disadvantaged people and their successful integration into the labour market. For this purpose, temporary fully-insured jobs (transit jobs) are made available in the catering and building cleaning business segments. During these fixed-term employments, numerous support and qualification measures are available to restore the employability of the employees.

Further information about the SASt association can be found here.


Green Alley Award 2019 - Be part of it!

In October 2019, the Green Alley Award, the only startup award in Europe specifically for the circular economy, created in 2014 by Landbell Group, will be taking place for the 6th time. As from March 25th, creative entrepreneurs working to advance the circular economy in Europe can register. The award promotes ground breaking digital circular economy solutions, recycling solutions or ideas for waste prevention in order to recover valuable resources from waste.                                                                    

You want to contribute to relevant future environmental topics and promote new ideas in the area of sustainability? Become a sponsor of the Green Alley Award!

Your benefits:

  • Media publicity and brand positioning
  • Relevant content (e.g. for social networks, blog, corporate communication)
  • Early adopter of sustainable innovations (e.g. digital, efficient)
  • Promising investment opportunities

Depending on the extent of your sponsoring, a comprehensive package gets laced for you – from logo placement to attendance at the award ceremony up to jury membership.

Feel free to contact us for further information:


PLUUMO - Revolutionary insulation material on the road to success

With the Green Alley Award, Landbell Group showcases the best innovations in the circular economy, often long before they hit the mass market. Last year’s winner, the British startup Aeropowder, and its innovation Pluumo, is a good case in point. Aimed at the growing sector of online grocery shopping and “recipe box” companies, Aeropowder offers a thermally insulated packaging solution that is truly sustainable.

The growing demand for sustainable solutions is echoed in CEO Ryan Robinson’s assessment of the past year: “When we started selling Pluumo in mid-2018, it was a crucial moment for us. It showed that we had developed Pluumo from a concept to the fully functional product for which customers are willing to pay! In fact, momentum is building, not only with consumers and the general public, but also in politics, which is helping to promote sustainable packaging solutions.”

In the coming year, the start-up would like to focus on optimizing all of its product related processes. Currently, the team is working to fully automate the production process and to develop an end-of-life solution for Pluumo. “Of course, we want to minimize the environmental impact of our product throughout the product life cycle”, confirms Robinson. “Our main focus in the coming months, however, will be on the completion of the automated production run for Pluumo. We hope to be able to supply our customers with more reliable Pluumo units in the future. This will allow us to win even larger companies as customers or partners.”


EEE and Battery Producer Symposium in Pretoria/South Africa

The European Recycling Platform (ERP) hosted a symposium for the electrical and electronic equipment industry in Pretoria/South Africa on 7th February 2019 and one for battery manufacturers one day later. The event was attended by more than 50 representatives of recyclers, public institutions and other organizations.

At the symposium of the EEE manufacturers, the main issue was a general introduction to environmental legislation, which had required the packaging and electrical industries to submit a waste management plan (WMP) by 6 September 2018. This is the application for authorization for the operation of producer responsibility organizations (PROs). Thalo Mogomola from the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) reported on the current state of approval processes and ERP gave insight into its work with 35 PROs/WMPs and showed how it could already support many industry associations around the world.

At the symposium of manufacturers of portable and lead acid batteries the following day, the participants were updated about the latest developments in the legislation on extended producer responsibility (EPR) in South Africa. The DEA plans to extend manufacturer responsibility to cover batteries and pesticides this year. The new EPR rules for batteries are based on two waste management laws published in 2013 and 2016. One law prohibits the landfilling of batteries as from 23 August 2021, and the second requires manufacturers to draw up a waste management plan (WMP). One specific presentation therefore addressed the requirements for a WMP and the necessary processes for the introduction of a mandatory WMP, which is necessary as the industry has not yet drawn up a plan.

In the afternoons, ERP gave the participants the opportunity to discuss the most burning topics. The electrical and electronic equipment manufacturers focused on how the industry can influence the WMP process in such a way that it is practical for electrical equipment manufacturers, and on how to deal with the expected high levy on specific products, such as refrigerators. The manufacturers of portable and lead acid batteries were discussing the possible establishment of a voluntary WMP, preparations for compulsory WMPs, and support from ERP in this context.


Elektro-Nick 2019 environmental award

The "Elektro-Nick" environmental award was launched by the WEEE coordination body (Elektroaltgeräte Koordinierungsstelle – EAK) four years ago. This prize recognizes the outstanding activities of Austrian waste consultants, who are distinguished by their exemplary commitment in the implementation of the respective topic.

"Proper handling of lithium batteries" was the extremely important motto at this year's award ceremony.

Keep valuable resources in Austria – raise awareness and inform

A major problem is that while 45 % of batteries are collected in Austria and used for environmentally sound disposal, many old batteries are still lying around in households, or even ending up in residual waste. Here it is particularly important to educate the population how to dispose of empty or damaged batteries correctly. Especially lithium batteries must be treated carefully. Their characteristically high voltage and energy density, in combination with high heat, mechanical influences or short circuits, can lead to uncontrolled reactions. Therefore, campaigns and educational work on how to deal with disused batteries are so important, in particular for children. Mag. Elisabeth Giehser (Managing Director of the EAK) says on this topic: "However, careful handling and proper disposal can largely prevent these dangers."

In the end, the 6-member jury unanimously chose the creative and sustainable information campaigns of Carinthian waste consultant Bettina Leiner of the waste association Spittal/Drau as the winner. The winner project of the Carinthian waste consultant - which was endowed with 700 euros - scored with the extremely professional multimedia preparation of the topic in the form of radio spots, a short video and posters, which were also used as a cinema campaign.

The waste association Leoben achieved second place and thus 500 euros and impressed with the excellently prepared battery focus at the partner day 2018, which was organized together with students and representatives of the University of Leoben. Finally, the comprehensive commitment of the Viennese waste consultant DI Ingrid Pirgmayer was honored with third place and 300 euros. Particularly noteworthy is a two-part video of students for students, for which the kids have created their own battery song.

Federal Minister Elisabeth Köstinger (BMNT) personally congratulated the finalists the day before the award ceremony during a photo opportunity at the ministry and praised the great commitment of Austrian waste consultants.

The team of the European Recycling Platform (ERP) Austria GmbH warmly congratulates all winners.