Ecuador Publishes Technical Regulation to Enforce Mercury and Cadmium Limits in Batteries
by Sara Fam
The Ecuadorian Standardization Agency (INEN) has published a technical regulation to enforce mercury (Hg) and cadmium (Cd) limits in batteries. This regulation establishes safety requirements for batteries in order to protect the life and health of people, preserve the environment, and avoid practices that may mislead users. It applies to imported and domestically produced products that contain primary and secondary cells and batteries marketed in Ecuador. It does not apply to batteries used in mining or for internal combustion starting motor engines for motor vehicles, aircrafts, boats, and yachts. It also does not apply to batteries that come built into computers and electrical appliances.
Under this regulation, the maximum limit of Hg in primary and secondary batteries must not exceed 0.0005% (5 ppm) in weight and the maximum limit of Cd in primary and secondary batteries must not exceed 0.002% (20 ppm) in weight. In addition to setting maximum limits of Hg and Cd in batteries, the regulation also sets the following requirements for primary and secondary cells and batteries:
This technical regulation will come into effect on December 28, 2016.
Singapore to Introduce New Requirements to Increase Sustainability in Packaging Waste Management
by Sara Fam
On July 12, 2016, the National Environment Agency (NEA) announced that it will be introducing new requirements, which will come into force within the next three to five years, in order to increase sustainability in packaging waste management. The purpose of these new requirements is for Singapore to achieve its goal of becoming a Zero Waste Nation. With the new requirements, the NEA is hoping to reduce "the growth of packaging waste at source." The NEA has been receiving positive feedback from industries on various actions to be taken in order to decrease waste.
In 2007, the first Singapore Packaging Agreement (SPA) was introduced and took effect for five years. On July 1, 2012, a second Agreement went into effect due to the expiration of the first Agreement. The second agreement was originally due to expire on June 30, 2015, but it was extended for five more years until June 30, 2020, in order "to enable the signatories to build on the good work achieved so far." There are 177 signatories of the Agreement, which include "businesses, industry associations, non-governmental organizations and public waste collectors." These signatories have collectively decreased about 32,000 tons of packaging waste since the Agreement came into effect. The NEA will work together with industries in developing more capabilities in the 3Rs of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle through the second SPA.
by Brittany Palmer and Brianna McHugh
The Shandong Province has issued the Air Pollution Prevention Act in order to combat air pollution, protect and improve the atmospheric environment, protect public health, promote the construction of ecological civilization, and promote sustainable economic and social development. The Act is in concurrence with the People's Republic of China Environmental Protection Law, the People's Republic of China Air Pollution Prevention Act, and other laws in the province.
Contents of the legislation include emission standards, encouragement for updating manufacturing technology, plans to retire or transform high polluting enterprises, zoning laws, traffic control, and penalty standards.
The Act will come into effect on November 1, 2016, while the 2001 Shandong Implementation of the PRC Air Pollution Prevention Act will be repealed.
by Brittany Palmer and Brianna McHugh
Hong Kong has issued the Promotion of Recycling and Proper Disposal (Electrical Equipment and
Electronic Equipment) (Amendment) Ordinance 2016, which will amend the Product Eco-Responsibility Ordinance and the Waste Disposal Ordinance. In the Product Eco-Responsibility Ordinance, amendments were made to various sections, and a Part 4 and Schedules 6 and 7, related to regulated and exempted electrical equipment, were added.
In the Waste Disposal Ordinance, amendments were made to a number of sections to provide provisions for electronic waste. Specifically, the definition of disposal was changed and the definition of e-waste was added. Minor technical amendments were also made to the Waste Disposal (Permits, Authorizations and Licenses) (Fees) Regulation, and the Waste Disposal (Designated Waste Disposal Facility) Regulation. The date on which the amendments will take effect has not yet been announced by the Secretary for the Environment.
by Brittany Palmer
The Health and Safety at Work (Major Hazard Facilities) Regulations 2016 came into force on April 4, 2016. It provides specific requirements for specified major hazard facilities. In order to help facilities maintain compliance with the Regulations, WorkSafe has issued five good practice guidelines for operators. The guidelines include the following:
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