Australia has released a priority list of products potentially covered under the Product Stewardship Act 2011 (the Act). The Act provides a framework for establishing voluntary, co-regulatory and regulatory approaches for product stewardship. Under the Act, any future mandatory or co-regulatory approach must be preceded by 12 months notice before a particular product can have such a regulatory approach applied.
The designated products include:
- Waste architectural and decorative paint
- End-of-life handheld batteries (less than 2kg in weight)
- Packaging (and subsets of packaging, such as consumer packaging and beverage packaging)
- End-of-life air conditioners with small gas charges
- End-of-life refrigerators with small gas charges
The reasons given for their inclusion on the list are available here. In April 2013, Environment Ministers from Australia and New Zealand acting as the Standing Council on Environment and Water (SCEW) added end-of-life handheld batteries and waste paint to their work plan. Preparation of a Decision Regulation Impact Statement is also underway for packaging.
Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, sought advice from a range of sources including the Product Stewardship Advisory Group, the SCEW, jurisdictional priorities, industry stakeholders, and international obligations in determining the list.
The Global Product Stewardship Council and GlobalPSC members serving on the Product Stewardship Advisory Group include:
- Russ Martin – GlobalPSC CEO and Director of MS2 (Foundation Member)
- Karen Gomez – Chief Executive Officer, AgStewardship Australia (Sustaining Corporate Member)
- Rose Read – Manager, MobileMuster (Corporate Member), Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association
- John Gertsakis – Chief Sustainability Officer of Infoactiv
The GlobalPSC has been working closely with the Australian Government and jurisdictions to draw upon international experience and expertise to further develop sensible, practical product stewardship approaches.