The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) welcomes the Government’s latest plans to turbocharge product stewardship in Australia. On Thursday,10 July 2020, the Government announced the establishment of a new $20 million Product Stewardship Investment fund to ensure manufacturers, retailers and industry groups take greater responsibility for the entire lifecycle of the products they produce and sell.
The Government is placing a focus on electronic waste, ensuring anything with a plug or a battery is subject to an industry scheme. The Government is motivated in recognising those industries, like the mobile phone sector, that are committed to product stewardship and also calling out those that don’t participate.
The mobile phone industry has always taken a leadership role in product stewardship. MobileMuster is the industry’s product stewardship program that is accredited by the federal government under the Product Stewardship Act 2011. For 21 years it has been voluntarily funded by all of the major handset manufacturers and network carriers to provide a free mobile phone recycling program in Australia. It processes product to the highest environmental standards. Over the years the program has grown to more than just a take-back program. It is committed to raising awareness and educating the community on why it is important to recycle, making recycling of mobiles accessible to all, along with educating consumers on the benefit of reuse and repair.
Along with the announcement the Government released the review of the Product Stewardship Act 2011, which commenced in 2018. The review puts forward 26 recommendations to improve the outcomes of product stewardship, some of which include:
- establishing a new Centre of Excellence to mentor and drive best practice product stewardship schemes across the nation.
- broadening the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme to include all electrical and electronic products (e-waste), so that all consumer products with a plug or battery can be recycled
- shifting the emphasis from stand-alone products to entire material streams
- reducing the costs and improving the benefits of scheme accreditation so consumers have confidence in their recycling
- strengthening the Minister’s priority products list to encourage brands to work together towards an industry-led scheme by adding clear timeframes
- calling out those letting consumers and their industry down by not participating in a scheme.
This Government initiative provides AMTA with a great opportunity to further extend the success of the MobileMuster program, and we welcome opportunities to partner with other industries to deliver beneficial social and environmental outcomes.
It is now so easy to recycle your unwanted mobile phone and accessories. Click on the link below to find out how.
Government’s Joint media release: