Product Stewardship

Product stewardship schemes (also known as extended producer responsibility) help share the cost of managing the end of life of a product among industry, government and consumers. Generally, the cost of waste is borne by the consumer, governments and councils as clean-up and landfill costs. Product stewardship places greater responsibility on the party that can have the largest positive impact, usually the manufacturer or importer.

Stewardship schemes work to minimise the health and environmental impact of a product over its entire lifecycle from design, production, distribution, sale and use to disposal, recovery, reuse and recycling.

Product Stewardship in Action

There are a number of product stewardship schemes in action in Australia at present operating under different models, including coregulatory and voluntary product stewardship schemes.

Cartridges 4 Planet Ark

Cartridges 4 Planet Ark is an innovative recycling program that provides Australians with a free and easy way to recycle their used printer cartridges. This voluntary Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program is supported by participating manufacturers: Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Konica Minolta and Kyocera to collectively take responsibility for the end life of their products.

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MobileMuster

MobileMuster is the official recycling program of the mobile phone industry. It is a free recycling program funded voluntarily by handset and accessory manufacturers. It is a not-for-profit program.

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National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme

In 2011 the Australian Government introduced a national, industry funded, recycling scheme for televisions and computers. The scheme prevents millions of old TVs and computers from being sent to landfill by providing opportunities for the community to recycle their unwanted televisions and computers free of charge.

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Paintback

Paintback is a cost-effective solution for households and trade painters to remove unwanted paint and packaging, providing 70 disposal locations nationally. This program is the first such national program in the world to be developed and voluntary run by the paint industry. More than a million litres of unwanted paint has been diverted from landfill in the first year.

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Tyre Stewardship Australia

In recent years all governments have worked with the tyre industry to establish Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) and a voluntary industry funded tyre product stewardship scheme. This scheme aims to increase both the number of tyres recycled in Australia and the use of products made with recycled material. Tyre industry participants who apply for, and gain TSA accreditation must commit to playing their part in sustainable end-of-life use for tyres.

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Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO)

APCO is a co-regulatory, not for profit organisation partnering with government and industry to reduce the environmental impact of packaging in Australian communities. APCO delivers this model of shared responsibility through the promotion of sustainable packaging activities including sustainable design, recycling initiatives, waste to landfill reduction and circular economy projects.

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Coffee Pod Recycling

Nespresso pods are made from aluminium and are easy to recycle. A postage-paid Recycling Satchel can be used to return Nespresso pods for recycling. The satchels can be purchased for $1.90 from your retailer (they hold up to 130 capsules) and then dropped into any Australia Post office or box free of charge. Nespresso pods can also be dropped off in their Boutiques and a network of florists across the country.

Coffee 4 Planet Ark is currently trialling, more information coming soon.

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Container Deposit Schemes

The container deposit scheme (CDS) is one of the first pieces of environmental legislation to focus on the ‘polluter pays’ principle, where beverage suppliers are responsible for funding a refund for returned drink containers. If someone discards an empty container they forfeit the right to the refund and someone else would benefit by picking it up and collecting that refund.

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REDCycle – soft plastics recycling

This free program is made possible through REDCycle, which has worked with Coles and Woolworths/Safeway Supermarkets to set up collection bins in stores across most of metro-Australia. The cost of collecting and processing the material is covered by many of Australia’s best-known manufacturers (including the Planet Ark Endorsed Naturale Toilet Tissue.)

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Soft Landings mattress recycling

Soft Landings is a national social enterprise operating across NSW, ACT, VIC and WA. They divert waste mattresses from landfill and recover the components to recycle.

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Terracycle

TerraCycle offers a range of free programs that are funded by conscientious companies, as well as recycling solutions available for purchase for almost every form of waste.

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drumMUSTER

drumMUSTER provides Australian agricultural and veterinary chemical users with a recycling pathway for eligible empty agvet chemical containers.

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