The Morrison Government is taking its investment in product stewardship to close to $15 million and will now see a million sports shoes a year diverted from landfill, 200 tonnes of golf clubs recycled as well as industrial tyres and commercial furniture.
Four new schemes join a range of organisations represented at the launch of the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence at Parliament House on Monday night.
In just one of the newly funded schemes, a national pilot will see around 220 collection sites take in 200 tonnes of golf clubs, 10,000 basket balls and 700,000 tennis balls – usually destined for bins and landfill.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the new schemes are a slam dunk for the Government, which will invest an additional $4 million in product stewardship funding.
“We think that our product stewardship programs are really ace, and that is why we have now funded 19 projects to the tune of $14.6 million and established the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence,” Minister Ley said.
“This additional funding means we can create greater capacity in the recycling sector and with that, we will see more brands taking greater responsibility for reducing the environmental impacts of their products.”
Other schemes will see agriculture and mining tyres recycled into new products; one million sport shoes diverted from landfill and recycled into products like rubber sports and anti-fatigue matting and commercial furniture diverted from landfill.
“Whether you are dropping off an old set of tyres, mobile phone or coffee cup, Australians should be confident that their end-of-life products are going to live their best second or even third life,” Minister Ley added.
Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans said the Centre of Excellence will go beyond just providing advice to industry and encourage product stewardship schemes to seek voluntary accreditation under the Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020.
“On Monday night we welcomed an additional two schemes to join Mobile Muster as voluntarily accredited under the Australian Government’s world leading waste export ban: Tyre Stewardship Australia and Big Bag Recovery,” Assistant Minister Evans said.
“Voluntary accreditation demonstrates an industry’s commitment to sustainability and gives the public confidence that the industry is working to reduce any negative impact of their products.
“In the near future, consumers will be able to look out for the Australian Government tick of approval for accredited product stewardship schemes on packaging and products.
“We want all the big players and manufacturers to see product stewardship schemes as a core part of their business and a key corporate social responsibility metric.”