Proposed Scheme Released for National Battery Product Stewardship Approach in Australia

Posted by GlobalPSC on Batteries at 3:05 pm, March 7th, 2014Comments4

The Battery Implementation Working Group (BIWG) tasked with developing a national handheld battery product stewardship scheme for Australia has today released a discussion paper for consultation as well as a project communique on efforts to date. Consultation on the proposed scheme is open until 31 March.

Australian, state and territory governments have made product stewardship for handheld batteries a national priority and dedicated resources to the development of an appropriate scheme, including project funding and the establishment of the BIWG, with bipartisan support.

The discussion paper outlines a proposed voluntary, industry-led national Battery Product Stewardship Scheme (Scheme) for Australia, along with a number of options for the operation of the Scheme. The proposed Scheme would apply to all handheld batteries less than 5 kg, with the exception of embedded batteries, and comprise the following elements:

  • A Battery Stewardship Agreement that would provide a collective written commitment between stewards for developing, funding and implementing the Scheme.
  • A 5-year Strategic Plan to be developed jointly by the producer responsibility organisation (PRO) and stewards that would provide more detail for how the PRO and stewards will implement the Scheme in accordance with the Agreement.
  • Transparent annual reporting of performance against the Strategic Plan.
  • Importers seeking to meet the objectives of the Agreement through their own arrangement rather than through an industry-wide PRO would be expected to deliver a comparable Strategic Plan and annual reports to Stewards under the Agreement.

As a voluntary, industry-led national approach, the proposed Scheme is open to a broad range of stakeholders and has the benefits of simplicity of design, reduced barriers to participation and ease of understanding. The proposed Scheme would provide more immediate action with lower costs and greater certainty compared to immediate pursuit of a co-regulatory approach. Stakeholders that are already implementing collection programs or are likely to do so in the near future can be better recognised for their early action. A voluntary approach provides the flexibility to modify and improve the Scheme in order to improve performance and reduce costs, especially in the first few years of implementation.

It is envisaged that importers of handheld batteries would have primary financial responsibility for funding the Scheme, although it is recognised that other parties may make additional direct or in-kind contributions. Other parties may have roles as stewards, for example, by providing collection facilities at point-of-sale or at local council waste management sites. Options considered are provided in the discussion paper.

The Global Product Stewardship Council and GlobalPSC members have been active throughout the process:

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4 Responses to Proposed Scheme Released for National Battery Product Stewardship Approach in Australia

  1. Sabrina says:

    Hi,

    I am very interested in the Battery Product Stewardship Scheme, and I would like to know when it is envisaged for the primary financial responsibility of importers to be established? Will this occur in the coming 5 years?

    Thank you

  2. GlobalPSC says:

    Specific timeframes are to be finalised as the proposal itself is finalised. Some options are currently under consideration with governments and producers. We’ll be sure to provide updated posts as soon as we can make the information publicly available.

    Cheers,
    Russ Martin

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Global Product Stewardship Council

PO Box 755, Turramurra, NSW 2074, Australia
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