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Tag Archives: Child Car Safety Seat Stewardship

Boosting Product Stewardship Outcomes

The Australian Government has taken a major step-up on product stewardship policy reforms and funding aimed at encouraging manufacturers, retailers and industry groups to take greater responsibility for the entire life-cycle of the products they produce and sell.

The recurring theme and expectation in recent announcements by the Environment Minister is clear:

“We are building more capacity in our recycling sector and we need industry and brands to take greater responsibility for reducing the environmental impacts,”  said Minister Ley.

The reforms and funding are also taking a broader view of what product stewardship can and should do to better manage Australia’s waste challenges and make effective use of recycled materials in manufacturing, construction and infrastructure. Circular product design, reuse, repair and increased support for new stewardship schemes are just some of the recommendations and measures that the Government is seeking enable and facilitate.

The proposals are being put forward as the Morrison Government today launches the first round of grants from its new $20 million Product Stewardship Investment Fund to ensure manufacturers, retailers and industry groups take greater responsibility for the entire life-cycle of the products they produce and sell.

Grants of up to $1 million will be available for individual applicants to expand existing schemes or develop new ones, with first round applications already open.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the fund was a critical part of the Morrison Government’s billion-dollar recycling strategy ensuring that there are clear streams for collection, processing and remanufacture.

“We are building more capacity in our recycling sector and we need industry and brands to take greater responsibility for reducing the environmental impacts,” she said.

“There will be a particular focus on e-waste, ensuring that anything with a plug or a battery is subject to an industry scheme.

“Solar panels, batteries, and even non electronic items like child car seats all have recyclable components which shouldn’t be wasted in landfill.

It’s  noteworthy to  read that the Government is using the reforms and investment to both recognise proactive product stewardship initiatives by industry, but also to formally highlight and monitor those industries and companies that move slowly, resist stewardship action and remain indifferent to their corporate social and environmental responsibility.

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans explained how product stewardship schemes would reduce the impact of products on the environment and create new job opportunities for Australians.

“This funding will shift the dial in Australia as we change our mindsets to thinking about waste as a resource,” Assistant Minister Evans said.

“There will be strong economic and environmental benefits from turbo-charging product stewardship.

Review of the Product Stewardship Act

The  Government also released the Review of the Product Stewardship Act 2011, supporting all 26 recommendations to improve product stewardship outcomes, including:

> establishing a new Centre of Excellence to mentor and drive best practice product stewardship schemes across the nation

> broadening the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme to include all electrical and electronic products (e-waste), so that all consumer products with a plug or battery can be recycled

> shifting the emphasis from stand-alone products to entire material streams

> reducing the costs and improving the benefits of scheme accreditation so consumers have confidence in their recycling

> strengthening the Minister’s priority products list to encourage brands to work together towards an industry-led scheme by adding clear timeframes

> calling out those letting consumers and their industry down by not participating in a scheme.

Grant applications for new Product Stewardship Investment Fund are now available at www.business.gov.au

Equilibrium has a long history of successful involvement in scheme design review, communications and auditing across various product classes, and we look forward to seeing the reforms and investment expand the diversity of measurable product stewardship activity nationwide.

If you are interested in the Product Stewardship Investment Fund, or need advice or assistance with your submissions and initial inquiries, we’re eager to support your efforts.

Don’t hesitate to contact the Equilibrium team on BH (03) 9372 5356.

Maxi Cosi supports the child car safety seat recycling program

Equilibrium are proud to be associated with Maxi Cosi as part of the the Child Car Safety Seat Recycling Program.

National Car Seat Recycling Program

Maxi-Cosi, as part of Dorel Australia was the first to participate in the National Car Seat Recycling Program in Australia. If you would like to recycle your used car seat, please drop them to one of the recycling centers by 30 September 2017 – http://bit.ly/2w5LV8b

Posted by Maxi-Cosi on Wednesday, 6 September 2017

 

If you would like to recycle your used car seat, please drop them to one of the recycling centers located in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland by 30 September 2017

http://bit.ly/2w5LV8b

 

NRMA – Child restraint recycling trial a triple-whammy win for community

Road safety, environmental benefits and regional jobs: a program that can deliver on any of these targets could expect the support of NRMA, so a scheme that has ready-made outcomes for all three gets our full attention – and it deserves yours too.

Add to that the fact that children and the disabled are the primary beneficiaries and it’s clear that the child car safety seat stewardship trial has the potential to deliver enormous positives for the community.

In order to ensure a permanent recycling program, Equilibrium must demonstrate significant community engagement and support. People with used and expired child restraints are urged to drop them at the following locations to support this valuable trial:

Kiama Community Recycling Centre: 446 Riverside Dr, Minnamurra.

Penrith Community Recycling Centre:Gate 3, 96 Dunheved Circuit, St Marys.

Tamworth Community Recycling Centre: 123a Forest Road, Tamworth.

Nudgee Resource Recovery Centre, 1402 Nudgee Rd, Nudgee Beach, Queensland

Willawong Resource Recovery Centre, 360 Sherbrooke Rd, Willawong, Queensland.

Reedy Creek Community Waste and Recycling Centre, 61 Hutchinson Street, Burleigh Heads, Queensland.

Darebin Resource Recovery Centre, 30 Kurnai Avenue, Reservoir Victoria

Launch of a New Trial to Recycle Old Child Car Safety Seats

Imagine over 200,000 child car safety seats stacked on top of each other. The seats would climb a staggering height of over 100km, equivalent to scaling Mt Everest 12 times. According to industry intelligence in the Australian market, estimates suggest that this number of expired or damaged child car safety seats were disposed of in 2015-2016. Such high rates of safety seat disposal reflect a positive step towards ensuring that expired or damaged seats are removed from the Australian market, however their disposal may come at a price to already over-burdened landfills.

The Market:

Child car safety seats carry some pretty precious cargo. With the welfare of our children in mind, Australia maintains high mandatory standards in the manufacture of child car safety seats. You can have full confidence that child car seats sold in Australia are designed to meet safety requirements, are constructed of high quality material, and are subjected to rigorous product testing before being released onto the market.

Those involved in the design, manufacture and supply of child car safety seats take the safety of their products seriously, and stress that their products are designed to be used for a fixed period of time. For this reason, child car safety seats sold in Australia are stamped with a date of production, and manufacturers recommend that the seat is not used after 10 years from this date. This is to ensure outdated and potentially degraded products are removed from the market and replaced by products that meet updated safety standards.

Age, extreme car temperatures, previous involvement in a crash and the standard wear of regularly used latches, straps and buckles can dramatically affect the ability of car seats to protect children in the event of a serious car accident. Disposing of a child car safety seat once it reaches its fixed life span can give parents peace of mind that their child will be protected in the event of a crash.

The Issue: The Value of Waste

Such high rates of child car safety seat disposal should be viewed as a positive for product safety, but their disposal comes at a price for local Councils and consumers who bear the cost of landfilling waste. There is currently very little access to schemes in Australia for people to responsibly dispose of their safety seats, and minimal disposal options for those that don’t wish to send their damaged or expired car seats to landfill. Consequently, many safety seats make their way to the second-hand market through garage sales, op-shops and kerbside dumping. The potential for re-use of expired and damaged seats through this market poses a significant safety risk. The remaining seats are simply dumped at landfill for want of a better disposal option.

While exact figures of child safety seat units disposed of per annum are difficult to determine, industry intelligence of the Australian market suggest that the disposal of over 200,000 child car seats would equate to in excess of 900 tonnes of waste to landfill. It has been estimated that at least 90% of materials by weight contained in a child car safety seat is of recyclable material. A product with such a significant percentage of recyclable material should be considered a valuable resource that is wasted when sent to landfill. The wasteful disposal of child safety seats is a cost to the government, the community and the environment. There would therefore appear to be an excellent opportunity in increasing resource recovery of materials used in damaged or expired child car safety seats and creating value from their disposal.

The Solution:

Having identified the potential for resource recovery in the disposal of damaged or expired child car safety seats, Equilibrium has been investigating the merits of a product stewardship scheme for the take-back and recycling of end-of-life child car safety seats. This solution to an avoidable waste problem will display social and environment leadership, and will provide a pathway for people to safely and effectively dispose of child safety seats, ensuring their removal from the second-hand market and enabling proper resource recovery and recycling.

Equilibrium’s Child Car Safety Seat Stewardship Trial has garnered considerable support from the Queensland and NSW Governments (Waste Less Recycle More Initiative), Victorian Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group as well as major car seat brands including Dorel and InfaSecure and automotive association representatives from RACV, NRMA, RAA, and RACT. Capitalising on this interest, Equilibrium has brought together a steering committee of interested parties to assist with trial development and implementation. The collaboration of interested organisations such as product manufacturers, local/state governments, road safety advocates and insurance agencies will provide the trial the benefits of strategic oversight and the sharing of existing industry knowledge related to the trial.

The trial is expected to conclude by the second half of this year.

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