Everyone who imports, designs, produces, sells, uses and disposes of products has a shared responsibility to reduce the environmental and human health and safety impacts of those products.
Product stewardship schemes support the environmentally sound management of products and materials over their life. This includes at the end of their useful life. These arrangements may be voluntary, mandatory or shared with industry.
Examples of good product stewardship are when:
- people recycle products, and their packaging
- companies design their products for easier recycling
- companies use more recycled materials and less resources to manufacture their products
- companies limit the hazardous materials their products contain.
The Australian Government accredits arrangements that effectively manage the negative environmental impacts of products throughout their life.
The National Product Stewardship Investment Fund provides financial support to set up new product stewardship arrangements or improve existing ones. It also funds the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence.
Australian Packaging Covenant
The Australian Packaging Covenant is an arrangement between governments and industry. It reduces the negative environmental impacts of consumer packaging. The arrangement focuses on sustainable package design, increasing recycling rates and reducing litter.
We administer laws that provide tools and mechanisms to support Australia’s transition to a circular economy.
- Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020
- Recycling and Waste Reduction (Product Stewardship – Accreditation of Voluntary Arrangements) Rules 2020
- Product Stewardship (Televisions and Computers) Regulations 2011
- Product Stewardship (Oil) Act 2000
Australia has set ambitious waste management targets.
Product stewardship plays an important role in meeting these targets. We are working to:
- adopt a common, national approach to policy and regulation
- improve access to services for regional Australians
- increase industry capacity.