Whilst we wait for the Commonwealth Government to release its consultation paper for the promised Product Stewardship for Packaging Scheme (scheduled to be in place by 2025), the Boomerang Alliance has challenged the packaging industry to cooperate and take full responsibility for its products and pay the full costs of product design, collection, and processing of all packaging.
EPR or product stewardship is based upon the polluter pays principle.In the case of packaging, its successful application means that those who produce the packaging and put it into the market must assume full responsibility for that packaging through its entire life cycle, including after it has been discarded by the consumer.
This means producers taking a circular economy approach involving the whole supply chain, with producers directly accountable for meeting stringent reduction, recovery and recycled content targets. The soft plastics crisis, following the collapse of REDCycle collections, was a result of an industry failing to take responsibility for its own packaging waste and government trusting a voluntary program.
The container refund schemes now active across Australia, are successful examples of a circular economy where producers (the beverage industry) are responsible for the full costs associated with the recovery of their products.
We have briefed all State and Territory Governments and called for our model to be adopted.The community has been waiting for over 25 years to solve the packaging waste crisis, it's time to get the policies and practices right.