Federal Product Stewardship
The landmark Product Stewardship Act 2011 provides the framework to effectively manage the environmental, health and safety impacts of products (in particular, the impacts associated with disposal of products). The framework establishes voluntary, co-regulatory and mandatory Product Stewardship Schemes. The legislation delivers on a key commitment by the Australian Government under the National Waste Policy which was agreed by governments in November 2009 and endorsed by the COAG in August 2010.
Voluntary Product Stewardship Schemes: can apply to be accredited under the Product Stewardship Act 2011. Accreditation provides assurance that Voluntary Schemes are achieving real and effective outcomes.
Co-regulatory Product Stewardship Schemes: are delivered by industry and regulated by the Australian Government. An example is the National TV & Computer Recycling Scheme.
Mandatory Product Stewardship Schemes: when parties are legally required to take certain actions in relation to a product. E.g. labelling, making arrangements for recycled products at end-of-life, or requiring a deposit and refund to be applied to a product.
How are Products / Materials considered appropriate for Product Stewardship Schemes?
The Product Stewardship Act 2011 allows for the establishment of a Product Stewardship Advisory Group. The role of this group is to provide independent advice to the Minister that can be used to develop a list of Priority Products, that could be considered for some form of accreditation or regulation under the Product Stewardship Act 2011. To date, action has occurred on the following products:
- TV's and Computers (e-waste)
- Used Tyres
- Fluorescent Lighting
- Paint & Batteries
Further information on Federal Product Stewardship initiatives can be found here.