Product Stewardship – evaluating the benefits of Australia’s electronic waste recycling scheme.

by Ewaste on September 10, 2017

With the FIFA World Cup set to “kick” off in a matter of days, football fans all over the world will be glued to their television screens to see who takes home the coveted title of World Cup Champions. It is estimated that 26.3 billion viewers will be tuning in over the next 31 days; it will also be the first world-wide event to be broadcast on 3D, HD and through live streaming. The digital switchover might already be sending analogue television to an early grave, but the World Cup will certainly be speeding up the process as football fanatics rush to watch the games in all their 3D, HD, LCD glory.

The eternal ewaste recycling question – what will happen to the televisions?

This is a question that has bothered us here at 1800 Ewaste before; with seemingly never ending technological advances we are upgrading our technology faster than ever before. According to recent research, the life expectancies of both televisions and computers are set to half within the next 10 years as consumers begin to upgrade their electronic items every 5 years, instead of every 10. This begs the question; what do the government plan on doing with all of this extra ewaste?

The Product Stewardship Scheme – a government approved scheme funded by manufacturers.

Product Stewardship Australia (PSA) believes they have the answer to Australia’s Ewaste problems. The PSA have underlined a new programme which will pass the responsibility of recycling back to the manufacturer once the television has reached its end of life. Under their proposed scheme, manufactures will be required to pay some sort of import license when bringing electronic items into Australia, which will cover the cost of recycling.

According to the PSA, this scheme will be “commercially neutral”, as it will be required that all television importers have some form of recycling programme in place, ensuring that no manufacturer can manipulate the system for financial gain. A similar scheme has been in place in other countries for more than ten years and has proved successful in large countries like the USA and Japan. In November 2009, the Australian Government agreed to support this scheme as part of their National Waste Policy, which suggests that they have finally decided to tackle our ever increasing ewaste problem.

Electronic waste has been an escalating problem for years now, how far will this new recycling scheme go to repair the damage?

As a country, Australia is one of the worst offenders for carbon emissions and landfill pollutions, which is no surprise given that the government is only now beginning to consider our electronic waste problem. As we mentioned above, some countries have had a similar product stewardship scheme in place since 1996. As I write this article, New York has just become the 23rd American state to adopt a strict Ewaste legislation which passes the responsibility of recycling to the consumers and manufacturers. The difference between this and the scheme proposed in Australia? New York have pinpointed the exact month and year that this legislation will come into force; by April 2011 manufacturers, by law, will have to offer free recycling services to their consumers. At present, the Australian scheme merely “hopes” to be operational in 2011.

There is also the issue of money which, as always, gets in the way. Where will manufacturers be finding this money to recycle all of these televisions? It is a common belief that recycling electronic waste can generate profit, but they would be wrong; the cost of recycling electronic items far outweighs the value of the materials inside so manufacturers will not be gaining financially by recycling our Ewaste. Whilst the PSA insist that the scheme will be free for consumers, costs will surely be passed on in some way. It seems there will be little, if any, financial aid from the government under this scheme and, in order to cover costs of recycling, manufacturers may have to raise their prices or cut costs elsewhere. This begs the question then, how much is all this really going to cost us and how long are we going to have to hold on to our old televisions for?

At 1800 Ewaste we prefer to be upfront about our costs and services, call us now for an obligation free estimate.

1800ewaste is Australia’s leading ewaste collection and recycling service and we’re passionate about diverting as much electronic equipment from landfill as possible. We believe in prolonging the lifespan of valuable materials by recycling all that we can. Currently 95-98%, by weight, of all the materials we collect is recycled for future use. Our service is professional, fast and reliable; we’ll come to you, collect your Ewaste and deliver it to the appropriate recycling facility. 1800ewaste only recycles with ISO14001 accredited Australian recycling facilities.

So, if you’re planning on supporting the Socceroos this season on a flashy new television, why not give 1800 392 783 a call and let us take care of your old one.

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