The Federal Government is investing $1 million in the establishment of a new Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence, which will play a key role in driving Australia towards an eighty per cent recovery rate across all waste streams by 2030.
According to Environment Minister Sussan Ley, the centre will bring research and industry groups together, provide mentoring and best practice guidance, educate and engage business and facilitate industry linkages to support national industry-led schemes.
“Product stewardship needs to be part of the way we do business, influencing the ways we design and manufacture, and the ways we collect and recycle components at the end of a product’s life,” she said.
The $1 million grant is provided under the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund as seed funding, bringing together the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures, the Australian Industry Group and Cox Inall Communications.
“Already our $20 million National Product Stewardship Investment Fund is considering the potential of more than 100 schemes from solar panels, to electrical and electronic products, batteries, carpets and mattresses, office furniture, agricultural equipment, vehicles, and entire waste streams such as plastics, carbon fibre composites and food industry waste,” Ley said.
“As we determine funding for individual Product Stewardship Schemes, the Centre of Excellence will be there as an expert body to provide mentoring and deliver wider industry support to both the new and expanded existing schemes.”
Assistant Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Minister Trevor Evans said the Centre of Excellence would lead to a significant increase in the number of industry-led schemes that seek and achieve government accreditation.
“As the Federal Government’s advances its new recycling and waste reduction legislation, and as we prepare for the release of a national plastics plan later this year, the Centre of Excellence will be there to help industries and companies step forward,” he said.
Evans added that product stewardship is one of the most successful strategies to ensure waste is valued as a resource.
“The new Centre for Excellence will significantly improve overall recycling rates by supporting both existing and new product stewardship schemes,” he said.
“We want to see the number and scale of industry-led product stewardship initiatives accelerated as we turbo-charge a $1 billion transformation of the Australian recycling industry.”