Product Stewardship Bill 2011 – National Waste Policy
The Australian Government has introduced the Product Stewardship Bill 2011 which will provide framework laws for establishing schemes to manage the environmental, health and safety impacts of products and materials, and in particular those impacts associated with the end-of-life disposal of products.
The Bill is not specific about products or materials, rather it provides the outline for establishing regulated, co-regulated or voluntary schemes should it be determined that a product or material requires end-of-life management.
The first scheme proposed under the framework will be for the recycling of TVs and computers. Separate to the Bill, regulations are being drafted for the TV and computer scheme which is expected to be operating before the end of 2011. The TV and computer scheme will be co-regulatory – Government will set laws determining who must participate and police non-conforming parties, but industry will operate the scheme and be responsible for achieving higher levels of take back and recycling.
In the future it is envisaged that schemes may exist for paint, tyres, mercury containing lamps and other materials – conceivably the Australian Packaging Covenant may also come under the framework.
The Bill implements a key strategy of the National Waste Policy agreed by governments in November 2009 and endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments in August 2010.
National Product Stewardship Legislation