In August 2020, the Australian Government introduced the Recycling and Waste Reduction Bill 2020. The aim of the Bill is to provide a national framework to manage waste and recycling across Australia.
The legislation will regulate the export of waste material by implementing the export ban on waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres agreed by Commonwealth, state and territory governments in March 2020.
The legislation incorporates the existing Product Stewardship Act 2011 with amendments to encourage companies to improve product design, increase reuse, recovery and recycling of waste materials and end of life products. Obligated parties will also need to take responsibility for improving the durability, reparability and reusability of products.
The Assistant Minister indicated that the legislation will improve the existing framework for product stewardship by encouraging companies to take greater responsibility for the waste they generate through the products they design, manufacture or distribute. It will be easier for industry to set up and join in product stewardship schemes. Where voluntary product stewardship schemes are not effective, or where they are not created in priority areas, the government will have new tools to intervene and regulate.
What does this mean for you?
As we mentioned in a previous news item, we expect that the number of products included in the scope of regulations will increase. In the outline of the Bill, products are defined as any thing that is manufactured. Batteries, electrical and electronic products and photovoltaic systems are included in the 2020-21 list of products for which the Minister will consider, during 2020-21, whether some form of accreditation or regulation under the Act might be appropriate.
If you place batteries, electrical and electronic products or photovoltaic systems onto the market in Australia, you should monitor whether the types of products you place onto the market in Australia come into scope of the Product Stewardship Act.
How can we help?
We can monitor the regulatory changes in Australia for you. EC4P offers an annual update service specific to your company, taking into account your company’s sales arrangements and products to notify you if you need to put in place or modify compliance arrangements. Please contact us if you would like more information on this service and how else we can manage your e-waste, batteries and packaging compliance obligations.