by ERP Austria

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Dear Sir or Madam,

in our autumn newsletter we first want to inform you once again about the new legal changes regarding reporting of waste electrical and electronic equipment. Subsequently, we present current facts and figures concerning collection mass of waste electrical and electronic equipment as well as batteries in Austria, and in this context, we also briefly address the achievement of the prescribed collection rates. On the occasion of two years Waste Treatment Obligations Ordinance in Austria, we take a look at the topic of batteries splitting. Furthermore, we want to remind you of the application deadline for an Austrian subsidy for waste prevention (October 7!). Finally, we take a look beyond the borders of Austria when presenting you six exciting start-ups which have been nominated as finalists of this year’s Green Alley Award. Moreover, we introduce a recent study that promises a revolution in plastic recycling.

We wish you a marvellous autumn season!

Yours,

the ERP Austria team

 

Important modifications regarding your WEEE reporting: Effective from January 1, 2020

Due to the last amendment of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Ordinance by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism (BGBl. II No. 173/2019), there will be significant changes in the EEE reporting system and registration effective from January 1, 2020.

In order to comply with the requirements of the EU WEEE Directive (2012/19/EU), at the beginning of next year the following six categories will be introduced (instead of the previous five categories):

  • Display Screen Equipment
  • Gas Discharge Lamps
  • Temperature Exchange Equipment (renaming): As of the new year, the category “Cooling Appliances” will be renamed to “Temperature Exchange Equipment”. This is necessary because oil-filled radiators, which were previously classified as “Large Dimension Appliances”, are re-classified and become “Temperature Exchange Equipment”.
  • Large Domestic Appliances (modification): From January 1, 2020, oil-filled radiators will be counted as “Temperature Exchange Equipment” and no longer as “Large Dimension Appliances”.
  • Small Domestic Appliances (modification): The “Small Domestic Appliances” category will continue to exist for products like vacuum cleaners, toasters, appliances for hair and body care, electrical and electronic toys, small electrical and electronic tools, luminaires, equipment reproducing sound or images, sports equipment or small medical devices. Small IT and telecommunications devices are no longer reported as SDA.
  • Small IT and Telecommunications Equipment (new category): This category will include mobile phones, GPS devices, calculators, routers, PCs, printers, and phones.

This means that your ongoing ERP reporting as well as your registration in the central register of the Austrian Federal Environment Agency (EDM) will change from January 1, 2020: The reporting and the registration will have to be done according to these new categories.

Furthermore, henceforward also the producer’s website has to be declared in the registration process. In addition to the declaration whether appliances are sold into other EU member states in the context of distance selling, the name of the respective member state and the name of the representative in this state has to be specified.

In case of any questions regarding the classification of your products or if you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at austria@erp-recycling.org or +43 1 235 01 40.

 

WEEE and batteries collection in Austria: Facts and figures

The collection mass of WEEE and portable batteries increased once again in 2018. Compared to the previous year, the former show a growth of more than one percent and amounted to approximately 116,400 tons in 2018. The latter even grew more than seven percent and amounted to approximately 2,270 tons.

It was possible to reach the EU-wide prescribed collection rate of 45 % in both categories. However, in the case of WEEE, the rate dropped from 62.5 % in 2017 to 57.7 % in 2018. Regarding portable batteries, the prescribed collection rate of 45 % was marginally exceeded, with 45.7 %.

Concerning WEEE, a new challenge for all EU member states – and thus also Austria – lies ahead: From 2019, a minimum collection rate of 65 % is prescribed. In order to reach this rate, further efforts are required. Information of the public is an important issue in this context, in order to further strengthen the awareness for a separate collection.

Also in the case of batteries, collection rates are probably difficult to reach in the upcoming years, in spite of growing collection masses. This is due to the strong increase in lithium batteries put on the market, which have a longer life span and therefore end up in the waste stream only after years. In the field of batteries we plan to strengthen public relations in order to raise collection rates in the future.

 

Two years of Waste Treatment Obligations Ordinance: Splitting of batteries

Since the new Austrian Waste Treatment Obligations Ordinance (BGBl. II No. 102/2017) came into effect two years ago, all kinds of batteries are split up into those containing lithium and those containing no lithium. This applies not only for collection, but also for reporting put-on-market.

The prescribed collection rate of 45 % for portable batteries, which has already been addressed in the previous article, was only marginally exceeded in 2018 in Austria, whereas for example in 2015, the country reached a collection rate of 55 %. A reason for this are more durable or rechargeable batteries (first and foremost lithium batteries), which are disposed of several years after being put on market due to their longer life span. Thus, in 2018, lithium batteries reached a collection rate of only 9.53 %, while portable batteries without lithium batteries achieved a rate of 60.42 %.

According to §17 para. 5 of the Waste Treatment Obligations Ordinance, lithium batteries

  • with a gross mass of more than 500 g each
  • lithium ion cells with a nominal energy of more than 20 watt-hours each, lithium ion batteries with a nominal energy of more than 100 watt-hours each, as well as
  • lithium metal cells with an amount of more than 1 g lithium each and lithium metal batteries with a total amount of more than 2 g lithium each

have to be collected and stored separate from other batteries that do not contain lithium. It is allowed to collect and store them together with other lithium batteries. When transporting and storing them, special containers are used due to the increased hazard.

Since the Austrian Batteries Ordinance came into force in 2008, ERP is the leading compliance scheme for the collection and recycling of old batteries and accumulators. The most renowned producers of batteries trust in our services in this area since the beginning.

In case you have questions concerning batteries splitting or the adequate handling of lithium batteries, please do not hesitate to contact us at austria@erp-recycling.org or the phone number +43 1 235 01 40.

 

Subsidy for waste prevention: Application deadline October 7

Do you have innovative project ideas for waste prevention and are you looking for financial support? The Austrian compliance schemes for packaging allocate 0.5 % of incurred dispensation fees for subsidizing waste prevention projects.

You can benefit from the compliance schemes’ subsidy for waste prevention due to:

  • a high degree of freedom regarding project content and measures
  • a simple application procedure
  • an objective appraisal of each project by a panel of experts
  • a simple funding procedure

Do not miss this opportunity to obtain funding from the private sector! For further information regarding the kinds of projects and amounts of subsidy, as well as the application procedure, please click here. (Since the information is only in German, please do not hesitate to contact us at austria@erp-recycling.org in case you need assistance.)

 

Green Alley Award 2019: The finalists

We are proud to announce the Green Alley Award 2019 finalists! Out of 274 applications an expert committee chose six exciting circular economy start-ups. Our finalists are from Germany, Spain, Denmark, Estonia and France. Each of the start-ups developed a business solution in the field of waste prevention, packaging or digital technologies, using their energy to turn the linear into a circular economy. Let us briefly present the six finalists:

  • Cellugy (Denmark) developed EcoFLEXY, an alternative to conventional plastic based on agricultural waste (www.cellugy.com).
  • Flustix (Germany) is a new consumer trustmark for more transparent labelling of products and/or packaging that are free of plastics and microplastics or are made of recyclates (www.flustix.com).
  • Gelatex (Estonia) invented an eco-friendly and cheap alternative to conventional leather using Gelatine derived from waste of the meat and leather industries (www.gela-tex.com).
  • LivingPackets (France) developed ‘The Box’, a packaging solution which can be reused approximately 1,000 times and optimizes the delivery process thanks to built-in technology (www.livingpackets.com).
  • RMF Tech (Germany) invented a recycling technology to extract the critical material indium from primary and secondary sources (slag and ore, as well as electronical waste) (www.rmf-tech.com).
  • VEnvirotech (Spain) creates a versatile bioplastic using bacteria living on organic waste from agricultural food companies (www.venvirotech.com).

Would you like to listen to the six finalists present their business idea and be among the first to know who is the winner? Register here as soon as possible for our final event on October 17 in Berlin.

 

New study could have found ‘holy grail’ of recycling

A group of scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory may have developed a plastic that can be recycled indefinitely, in any number of colours, shapes or forms. This is possible thanks to the new material’s ability to be broken down to the molecular level.

One of the researchers on the team is Peter Christensen who is circular economy project manager at Landbell Group and a postdoctoral researcher at the Molecular Foundry at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “Most plastics were never made to be recycled,” Peter explains. “But we have discovered a new way to assemble plastics that takes recycling into consideration from a molecular perspective.”

This discovery could have a profound effect on the amount of plastic waste that ends up in our oceans and landfills, with researchers stating that the production of facilities to process these plastics could lead to much higher rates of recycling.

Many plastics in use today are combined with chemicals to make them more flexible or resilient. This, however, can also make them more difficult to recycle and thus more likely to end up in natural environments or landfills. The advancements made by the group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory could lead to a more standardized approach to recycling plastics, increasing efficiencies everywhere from production and collection through to recycling of the products.

Read the researchers’ full findings here.