Free riders big challenge for product stewardship

Inside Waste reports on the challenges facing product stewardship in Australia

Logistics, governance and free-riders are the three biggest challenges facing many of Australia’s product stewardship initiatives as they tackle the Australian Government’s ambitious plan to decrease waste by 10 per cent and increase resource recovery to 80 per cent.

The Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence surveyed industry participants to understand what is holding back further development and timely expansion of product stewardship.

Free-riders are businesses or organisations that may benefit from a product stewardship activity without contributing to the cost of developing and operating schemes.

Australia has about 60 active initiatives ranging from industry schemes and programs, industry and supply chain standards, initiatives championed by industry or community organisations, as well as many more individual company initiatives.

“To support the move to a circular economy and achieve the Government’s targets, we need more businesses adopting product stewardship nationwide. That means addressing barriers to growth,” Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence director Dr Damien Giurco said.

“Free-riders are businesses or organisations that may benefit from a product stewardship activity without contributing to the cost of developing and operating schemes. Free riders can be a disincentive for initiatives to get off the ground and need to be encouraged to take greater responsibility for the products they place on the market,” Giurco said.

Read the full article by Mike Wheeler at insidewaste.com.au 

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