Each year the Minister for the Environment announces a priority list of items requiring product stewardship action. This year the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) is calling for public nominations from industry, government and consumers. This is the first time you will be able to have your say on the items you'd like to see included in the list.
Product stewardship schemes put responsibility for the end-of-life management of products on producers, retailers or importers, rather than consumers. Led by industry, the schemes design out waste, keep valuable resources out of landfill and deliver environmental and health benefits.
"It's all about shared responsibility for a product's whole lifecycle, from design and manufacture to its packaging and what happens at the end of its life,” DAWE said in a statement.
The product stewardship priority list outlines the reasons a product or material has been added, identifies required actions and sets timelines for delivery by industry. Past lists have included everything from solar panels to plastic microbeads — you can explore all priority lists here.
Last year's list named textiles and problematic single-use plastics with initiatives now underway across the country to address both materials. Just this week, the Australian Fashion Council received grant funding from DAWE to set up national product stewardship scheme for clothing textiles.
This year's public vote gives you the chance to flag the products or materials you believe should be managed better. Whether you import, design, sell or simply use products, you have an interest in determining what's on the list. Cast your vote here.