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:
- Best Stewardship Outcomes- Scheme or Industry Collective
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Digitalisation in Product Stewardship
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.