Work has started on the development of a model product stewardship scheme for handheld batteries in Australia.
This follows an agreement by the Standing Council on Environment and Water (SCEW) in April 2013 to place the development of a model product stewardship scheme for end-of-life handheld batteries on their work plan for 2013-14. In June the Australian Government released its annual list of products that are being considered for coverage under the Product Stewardship Act 2011. End-of-life handheld batteries weighing less than 2kg are on that list.
On 13 August 2013 battery stakeholders and government representatives met to discuss the development of a battery product stewardship scheme and had some preliminary discussions about the vision for the program, its scope and what form it might take.
A Battery Implementation Working Group (IWG) has since formed to facilitate the development of the model scheme. It comprises ten permanent members, including an independent Chair (Russ Martin). They include:
1. Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI)
2. Consumer Electronics Suppliers Association (CESA)
3. Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA)
4. Australian Industry Group (AiG)
5. Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA)
6. Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA)
7. Queensland Government through Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP)
8. Australian Government through the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC)
9. Victorian Government through Sustainability Victoria (SV).
A wider Battery Steering Group will also be formed to provide feedback and input to the scheme. ABRI is consulting with its members through the Handheld Battery Working Group and will feed the group’s deliberations through to the IWG.