E-stewardship means improving the environmentally sound management of electrical and electronic products throughout their life.
It is an example of product stewardship. The end result is less waste and more recovery of valuable resources.
In 2019 Australia generated 511,000 tonnes of e-waste. That means the average Australian produced 20 kg of e-waste, compared with the global average of 7 kg. By 2030 the national total is projected to rise by nearly 30%, to 657,000 tonnes.
We only recover a third of the total value of the materials in the e-waste we generate. This means in 2019 alone, Australians sent $430 million worth of materials to landfill along with their e-waste. As well as valuable substances, e-waste contains hazardous materials. These include lead, cadmium, mercury and persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
Proposed regulation for small electrical products and solar photovoltaic systems
The Australian Government has committed to develop a mandatory product stewardship scheme to reduce waste from small electrical products and solar photovoltaic systems.
We all have a part to play in taking responsibility for the waste we produce. The department wants to hear from you to help make regulation that meets the needs of business and consumers.
A public survey on the proposed regulation was open from Tuesday 20 June 2023 to Sunday 23 July 2023. Read the discussion paper and view a recording of the Q&A webinar on our consultation hub.
Previous consultation on E-stewardship
In December 2021, the then Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment published the Stewardship for Consumer and Other Electrical and Electronic Products Discussion Paper. This consultation received 30 submissions and helped inform our most recent discussion paper. You can view it in the National Library of Australia’s web archive at the links below.