BIR highlights UN guidelines on recycling, informal sector and notifications

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BIR highlights UN guidelines on recycling, informal sector and notifications

January 16, 2019 - 04:39
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BRUSSELS, Jan. 14, 2019 (Press Release) -In December, the 8th meeting of the Expert Working Group set up to develop guidelines for environmentally sound management (EWG-ESM) took place in São Paulo, Brazil. The BIR Secretariat actively participates in such meetings at the UN Basel Convention with the intention to produce high-quality documents for both governments and companies in order to improve waste management in general and recycling practices in particular around the world.

The EWG-ESM prepared the following guidelines for possible adoption at the UN Conference of the Parties to take place in April/May this year.

(i) Draft guidance document to assist Parties in developing efficient strategies for the recycling and recovery of hazardous and other wastes;

(ii) Draft guidance on how to address ESM in the informal sector; and

(iii) Draft practical manual for stakeholders to ensure that notifications of transboundary movements meet ESM requirements

The EWG-ESM comprises representatives from countries across the five UN regions: Africa; Asia and Pacific; Central and Eastern Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; and Western Europe and others. Both Environmental Non-Governmental Organisations and Business Non-Governmental Organisations, as well as some companies, regularly participate and actively contribute to the drafting of the guidelines - including Ross Bartley from BIR, together with experts from ISRI and Sims Recycling Solutions.

The EWG-ESM elaborated the “ESM toolkit” for the Basel Convention Parties (governments) and Stakeholders (e.g. companies, agencies and non-governmental organisations from business/environment, and those that are government-organised). This toolkit is a collection of practical tools to assist Parties and other stakeholders in ensuring environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes.

All tools included in the ESM toolkit have a strong practical emphasis and are intended to provide concise guidance on specific aspects of environmentally sound management. The toolkit comprises the following tools:

  • Compilation of training materials
  • ESM criteria
  • Fact sheets
  • Guidance on waste prevention
  • Informal sector
  • Pilot projects
  • Practical manuals
  • Private sector incentives
  • Self-assessment checklist

Besides the formal product of the EWG-ESM that will be agreed by governments around the world at their Conference of the Parties, and then published by the Basel Convention itself, the following presentations made at the São Paulo meeting will also be of interest to recyclers:

  • Project on “Assessing financial guarantees to cover transboundary movements of hazardous and other wastes in South America”
  • Progress of Pilot Projects Done by BCRC China