The Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology Sydney along with the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence, are conducting a research project to evaluate the effectiveness and benefits of product stewardship and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) activities across Australia.
Ipsos and Cox Inall dentsu have been contracted to assist with research activities.
WSP Digital has been contracted to provide database capabilities and a digital public interface design and build.
The research project is being funded by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.
This project delivers the National Waste Policy Action Plan 2019 commitment 3.3: to evaluate the effectiveness of product stewardship and extended producer responsibility activities across the country, helping inform future efforts.
Why this project is needed
The project will inform policy makers, business, brands and stewardship schemes of the contribution stewardship is making, how stewardship is measured and reported and what information about stewardship is valued.
The environmental, social and economic benefits and effectiveness of product stewardship will be defined and assessed.
The project is particularly interested in how stewardship activities are measured and reported on within schemes and within member companies or individual businesses.
Deliverables and Outcomes
A major output will be the creation of a Product Stewardship Portal which will house data about schemes, businesses initiatives, product classes, industry and lifecycle coverage, benefits and outcomes.
The Portal will be Australia’s first and most authoritative source of data and insight for stakeholders developing stewardship strategies.
Data and project findings will be brought to life with a series of case studies, fact sheets and a report on the State of Play of product stewardship across Australia to evaluate the benefits and effectiveness of stewardship.
Webinars and workshops will be delivered to explain project findings and promote product stewardship and EPR awareness, with the aim to increase uptake and national implementation among relevant stakeholders.
Subsets of the data on product stewardship will be made available online for businesses and consumers to provide useful information about product stewardship activities, actors, scheme effectiveness and resulting benefits.
The project aims to encourage private business to engage with stewardship activities through existing, new and emerging activities and actors along the supply chain to contribute to achieving Australia’s waste and environmental targets and treaty commitments.
Information will be shared through key communication channels such as the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence’s website and eNewsletter What Comes Around, stakeholder channels, including the Australian Industry Group, Government and NGO channels and social media.
Data collected through this project will be processed into a government-accessible database.
Data from this project published via the Product Stewardship Portal will assist the making of informed policy and program decisions, investment decisions, and foster a broader strategic understanding of opportunities in stewardship. Well informed stakeholders will be more likely to collaborate and participate in stewardship activities.
The project’s initial phase will be completed on June 30, 2022.
Dr Nick Florin
UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures