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What are the requirements for managing plastics under the e-Stewards Standard?

A: Plastics are a major component of electronic devices and can pose significant challenges for
recycling and disposal due to the presence of hazardous additives, such as flame retardants and
heavy metals. The e-Stewards Standard includes specific requirements for the management of
plastics to ensure that they are handled and processed safely and responsibly. Key requirements

  1. Identification and segregation: Plastics must be identified and segregated from other
    electronic waste streams to facilitate proper downstream management, with particular
    attention paid to plastics containing hazardous additives.
  2. Safe handling and storage: Plastics must be handled and stored in a manner that prevents
    releases and exposures to workers and the environment, including the use of appropriate
    containers and storage areas.
  3. Processing requirements: Plastics must be processed only in facilities that are properly
    licensed, permitted, and equipped to handle them safely and recover valuable materials,
    such as resins and additives.
  4. Restrictions on processing methods: The e-Stewards Standard prohibits the use of certain
    processing methods for plastics, such as open burning or uncontrolled smelting, which
    can release hazardous substances into the environment.
  5. Downstream due diligence: Certified recyclers must conduct due diligence on
    downstream vendors involved in the processing of plastics to ensure that they are
    operating in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and using best available
    technologies for material recovery and pollution control.
  6. Export restrictions: The export of plastics containing hazardous additives is subject to the
    same restrictions as other hazardous electronic waste under the e-Stewards Standard,
    including the prohibition on exports to developing countries.
    By establishing strict requirements for the management of plastics, the e-Stewards Standard aims
    to promote the safe and responsible recycling of these materials and prevent the release of
    hazardous substances into the environment. The standard also encourages the development of
    new technologies and processes for recovering value from plastic waste while protecting human
    health and the environment.