Extended producer responsibility (EPR) has been introduced in countries across the world in order to make manufacturers and importers of goods accountable for what happens to their products when they reach end of life. Emma Trevor, Valpak’s International Account Manager, is looking at how EPR has been implemented across the middle east, starting with Israel.
Israel introduced its Packaging Law in 2011. The legislation aims to reduce the overall volume of waste produced and to prevent it from ending up in landfill. The law applies to producers of both household and industrial packaging waste. Those who are obligated must either implement a system to recycle their own packaging waste or pay fees to an entity recognised to do so by the Ministry of Environmental Protection. There is a minimum threshold of 1 tonne of packaging in place and bi-annual reports must be submitted detailing the number and weight of products sold.
WEEE and batteries
Extended producer responsibility for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and batteries was introduced in Israel in 2014 with the implementation of the Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Batteries Law. This Regulation echoes that which we see across Europe. Its overall aim is to reduce the number of products ending life in landfill. Manufacturers and importers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and batteries are required to either treat their waste products in house or assign it to an accredited company. EEE producers must recycle up to 50% of the waste they produce on an annual basis, meanwhile battery producers are required to recycle between 25% and 35% and both must make annual submissions detailing the number and weight of products sold. Businesses are required to arrange for collection of their e-waste and retailers are required to offer a take back solution for consumers making a similar purchase. For batteries, retailers must make battery collection boxes available for anybody to use.
With the purpose of improving the cleanliness of public spaces, Israel also introduced a Deposit Law for beverage containers in 2001, which allows consumers to return bottles and cans in exchange for a small fee. Most recently amended in 2010, the law now places complete responsibility for the full life cycle of beverage containers onto producers and obligates them to report the number of products sold, collected and recycled to the Ministry of Environmental Protection on an annual basis.
The most recent EPR law to be passed in Israel concerns plastic bags, which was implemented in 2017. With the goal of encouraging citizens to use reusable bags, the law introduced different rules depending on the thickness of the plastic bag. Those less than 20 microns in thickness are banned completely while plastic bags thicker than 20 microns can be supplied by large supermarkets for a small fee, which must be clearly displayed on the customer receipt. Supermarkets are also required to submit quarterly reports to the Ministry of Environmental Protection detailing the number of plastic bags sold.
Tyre disposal and recycling
Finally, the Tyre Disposal and Recycling Law was introduced in 2007 with the aim of reducing the number of tyres being dumped or ending their life in landfill. Producers of tyres must collect, dispose of, and recycle tyres and submit annual reports detailing this along with the methods used to do so.
All in all, it’s clear to see that Israel is taking important steps towards a more sustainable future.
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