Webinar – The art of logistics for product stewardship initiatives

The centre’s next webinar on Thursday, 14 July at 1:00 pm (AEDT)

The Centre’s next webinar on Thursday, 14 July at 1:00 pm (AEDT) will explore how the logistics industry works, the challenges and pitfalls for product stewardship initiatives, what is critical when designing logistics systems, and how they can be optimised.

We will also discuss if and how collaboration between initiatives can keep costs and emissions down, and increase collection, reuse and resource recovery rates.

We will hear from the logistics industry and established collective schemes. Panellists include:

  • Ricardo Pinto – Australia Post
  • Sarah Newman – Remondis
  • Peter Tamblyn – Close the Loop
  • Chris Tangey – Ecycle Solutions

 Please click here to register for the webinar.

 

Webinar – Funding Product Stewardship Initiatives

Video & resources from the May 2022 webinar.

Webinar – Local Government and Product Stewardship

Video & resources from the March 2022 webinar.

Assessing the Benefits and Effectiveness of Product Stewardship

Project Context Read more

National Product Stewardship Scheme for Photovoltaic Systems

The total number of solar panels at the end of their life is estimated to increase by 1700% by 2030 as the first generation of solar panels are replaced with new technologies.

This rapid growth of end-of-life Photovoltaic (PV) systems has been known for some time, and as such were placed on the Environment Minister’s Product Stewardship Priority List in 2016.

The current Minister’s Priority List includes the following actions:

  • An industry agreed nationwide scheme design for PV systems must be finalised by June 2022.
  • The nationwide scheme must be operational by June 2023 and include an approach to deal with legacy panels.

While progress has been limited and no industry-led, national product stewardship scheme has been developed, end-of-life PV systems remain a future environmental problem.

To achieve a national solution, the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence was engaged by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) in November 2021, to facilitate the establishment of the co-design process to include solar industry stakeholders and government to further the development of a product stewardship scheme for PV systems.

The co-design process includes an Industry Working Group (IWG) comprising representatives from industry associations, manufacturers, importers and suppliers of solar panels and inverters, energy companies, research organisations and independent industry experts.

The IWG’s role is to confirm scheme scope, objectives, funding principles, governance, roles and responsibilities, with a view to co-designing an implementation-ready stewardship scheme for PV systems.

A Stakeholder Reference Network (SRN) is also being formed to allow interested organisations to learn what’s happening and to provide feedback to the IWG on technical, policy and regulatory matters. The SRN will also provide opportunities for service providers, businesses and other stakeholders to contribute up‑to-the-minute information related to decommissioning services, collection logistics, materials handling, reuse and recycling.

A final report will also document the co-design process and identify next steps for implementation identifying the major barriers to establishing a national scheme.

The project team is eager to hear your views and solutions that can inform the design and implementation of an industry-led, national product stewardship scheme for PV systems.

Register your interest in being part of the SRN by contacting the project team. We encourage stakeholders to make contact and share solution-oriented perspectives on creating a timely and world-class stewardship scheme that the solar industry can be proud of.

Download the first project update here.

 

More information

Rose Read, Director, Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence

M: 0418 216 364  Email:  rose.read@stewardshipexcellence.com.au

E-products Stewardship – Beyond TVs, Computers and Mobiles

Electrical and electronic products (e-products) contribute significantly to our lives and across many sectors, industries, and applications.

As we become more dependent on their production and consumption, the benefits of e-products also come with the challenge of managing e-waste.

There is a role for everybody in helping to meet this challenge as it will take innovative approaches to reduce and avoid creating e-waste, across both the demand and supply sides of the problem.

While recycling has a valuable place, recycling alone does not provide a sustainable and waste-free solution. Additional measures and interventions are required that delay and prevent e-waste from entering the resource recovery chain.

In response to these issues, the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment has commenced a process of policy reform to consider how to better manage e-products in Australia.

Preliminary discussions with stakeholders took place in the second half of 2021, where stakeholders shared their views in a series of roundtables and one-on-one discussions with the department.

A key outcome from these discussions is the Stewardship for Consumer and Other Electrical and Electronic Products discussion paper. It contains a series of questions and submissions which are being sought to inform future decision-making.

Feedback from interested stakeholders has been invited and encouraged over the last two months and submissions close 5pm (AEDT), Friday, 25 February 2022.

The discussion paper represents a significant contribution to policy development and a fresh new starting point related to stewardship and circularity for e-products. You can read more about the process and download the paper here.

More information

Waste Reform and Integration Taskforce
Email:  writ@environment.gov.au

Nominations show demand for more product stewardship

Interest is growing in expanding the product classes of the Minister’s Product Stewardship Priority List for 2022-2023.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has received over 70 nominations covering more than 27 distinct products.

The assessment of nominated products has now commenced and will consider reasons for listing, what actions can be achieved in the given timeframes, and how these products will help to achieve waste targets

The Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence is being consulted as part of the assessment process, as per the Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020 with other stakeholders being consulted as required.

The RaWR Act requires that the list identify products and materials for which the Minister expects industry to take product stewardship action. This may be through improved design, manufacture and end of life actions that provide environmental and health benefits.

A proactively managed Priority List has the potential to see the wide-scale adoption of product stewardship principles into circular business models that reduce waste generation and create positive environmental and social outcomes.

The nomination stage has now closed, and the 2022-2023 Minister’s Priority List will be announced before the end of June 2022.

Keep an eye on the Department’s website for the updates.

 

More information

Product Stewardship Policy and Reform Section

Email:  ministers.stewardship.list@awe.gov.au

Centre of Excellence Product Stewardship Awards 2021 Sponsor

Kmart Australia is this year’s sponsor for the Centre of Excellence Product Stewardship Awards 2021.

Their ongoing commitment to positive product stewardship outcomes expands year-on-year.

As one of Australia’s leading retailers, Kmart is leveraging its scale and global expertise to create meaningful and industry-leading impacts across the planet and people that it touches. Its price leadership and the volume of products sold mean they are actively working to minimise their impact. Key to Kmart’s strategy is industry/supplier collaboration and leveraging the scope of its operations which provides unprecedented scale to make a real difference across product design, material selection, manufacture and distribution through to the customer.

Beyond membership and participation in the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme and Battery Stewardship Council’s B-cycle scheme, Kmart is an active participant in the SeatCare Working Group to develop a scheme for baby car seats, is actively investigating system wide solutions to address Australia’s clothing waste problem through a number of industry partnerships and collaborations and is investigating ways to manage the impacts of electrical products across their lifecycle.

To support its broad range of product offerings aimed at making everyday living brighter for their customers, Kmart’s Better Together sustainable development program provides a globally benchmarked framework that supports many of Australia’s product stewardship principles and activities. Key elements of the Better Together program aim to reduce the environmental impacts of plastic, cotton, polyester and chemicals used in manufacturing while increasing the use of recycled materials in textiles, products and packaging and improving human rights and standard of living for those involved in our supply chain.

For more information on Better Together see https://www.kmart.com.au/bettertogether.

Award Winners Revealed

The Product Stewardship Excellence Awards today named Janet Leslie, Manager Sustainability, Canon Oceania and Alex Young, Director, Container Deposit Scheme, NSW EPA, as joint winners of the Product Stewardship Champion of the Year Award for 2021.

The award, bestowed by the directors of the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence, recognises an Australian individual or team who has had a singular impact in driving stewardship forward in Australia.

Chair of the Awards Judging Panel, Dr Damien Giurco said:

“Janet Leslie is a strong advocate for national, multi-stakeholder stewardship schemes and her expertise has been key to delivering positive sustainability outcomes. In addition to her role as Sustainability Manager for Canon Oceania, Janet has made a significant contribution to the design and implementation of the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme, Cartridges 4 Planet Ark, and the recently launched battery stewardship scheme.

“Alex Young is a systems thinker and pragmatist driven by achieving outcomes and impact across sectors and communities. From setting up the first product stewardship computer take-back trial in NSW in partnership with the computer industry to leading the design, development, implementation, and ongoing management of the NSW container deposit scheme, Return and Earn, Alex has played a pivotal role in shaping and implementing product stewardship policy at both a state and national level. “

There were four other categories judged and awarded:

  1. Best Stewardship Outcomes- Scheme or Industry Collective

Winner: MobileMuster

Judges said: MobileMuster was the top-ranked application for the Scheme or Industry Collective Award. The application is a long-standing government accredited product stewardship scheme that demonstrated significant commitment to consumer education and business engagement in keeping mobile phones out of landfill. Successful outcomes have been achieved with respect to recycling, thanks to strong support from members of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association and the judges highlighted the opportunity in future for repair and reuse of phones in addition to recycling.

  1. Best Stewardship Outcomes- Single Business or Brand 

Winner: Bata Shoe Company of Australia

Judges said: Amongst a high-quality field of applicants, this winner highlighted the opportunities for an individual company to do product stewardship in a new products class, namely the gumboot. The program aims to reduce the number of PVC gumboots going to landfill by collecting gumboots and reutilising the materials in the production of new gumboots consisting of 50% recycled content. The application showed that this relatively new initiative has further potential to scale.

  1. Innovation in Industry-Led Product Stewardship Scheme Design

Judges chose not to award a winner and awarded a Commendation to Big Bag Recovery.

Judges said: In awarding this commendation, judges recognised the potential for this scheme to further develop and expand to address the significant challenge of plastics in agriculture, mining construction and other regional activities. This recently government accredited scheme works to ensure that bags for fertiliser, mulch, salt, sugar and explosives over 15kg or 15L are collected and recycled.

  1. Digitalisation in Product Stewardship  

Winner: ReCollect

Judges said: This award recognised the innovative thinking and practical application of digital tools to facilitate product stewardship via pick-up collection of beverage containers with the option to easily donate the proceeds to charity. Pleasingly a growing range of other waste streams can also be managed via the platform, including mobile phones in the ACT with the potential to expand to other waste streams. The judges appreciated that the tool makes product stewardship more accessible to the whole community.

 

The Product Stewardship Excellence awards recognise excellence and action in product stewardship and seek to raise the profile of stewardship in business, Government and NGOs.

 

The Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence thanks our awards sponsor Kmart for their support and on-going commitment to product stewardship.

The Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence Annual Report 2021 now available

We are delighted to share the first Annual Report of the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence. Read more

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