ACOR: recyclers must have seat at table with product stewardship -Australia

Posted on April 11, 2024 by DrRossH in Plastic Recycling

The Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR) has released an issues paper that lays bare the challenges of many product stewardship schemes.

Source: ACOR: recyclers must have seat at table with product stewardship – Inside Waste

While product stewardship and extended producer responsibility can be an effective way to reduce waste and lift recycling rates, their efficacy hinges on robust collaboration with recyclers. 

Key Recommendations: 

  • Rethink and restructure product stewardship to align with circular economy principles. 
  • Encourage design for recycling and reuse to enhance material recovery. 
  • Create market demand for recycled materials to ensure the viability of recycling operations. 
  • Enhance collection infrastructure and consumer incentives 
  • Implement comprehensive governance structures that ensure accountability and transparency across the entire supply chain and all product stewardship schemes. 
  • Ensure compliance whilst supporting a more aligned regulatory framework for resource recovery. 

“Recyclers are critical to the success of product stewardship initiatives, yet they are often sidelined in the establishment and ongoing operations of schemes. Recyclers must have a real seat at the table if these product stewardship schemes are to work for all Australians and our environment,”

We are making a big mistake to think that just recycling products as they are will form the circular economy.  Product manufacturers have to change their ways to make their products with recyclablity in mind, not just leave the problem to downstream enties like local government or waste collectors.