E-waste Legislations and Management System in Oceania

E-waste Legislations and Management System in Oceania

The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS) was implemented in Australia under the Australian Government’s Product Stewardship Act 2011. The Act went into effect on August 8, 2011. Under the Act, the Product Stewardship (Televisions and Computers) Regulations 2011 also went into effect on November 8, 2011. This regulation provides Australian householders and small business with access to industry-funded collection and recycling services for televisions and computers. The co-regulatory aspect is a key feature of the above regulation, whereby the Australian Government, through the regulations, has set the outcomes to be achieved by industry and how the plan to be implemented. The television and computer industries, operating through the approved co-regulatory arrangements (Producer Responsibility Organisation) will determine how to deliver these outcomes efficiently. The plan provides approximately 98% of the Australian population with reasonable access to collection services. These services may include a permanent collection site at a local waste transfer station or retail outlet, or at one-off events. The television and computer industries are required to fund collection and recycling of a proportion of the televisions and computers disposed of in Australia each year and to increase the rate of recycling of televisions and computers in Australia to 80% by 2026-2027.

Source:  The Global E-waste Monitor 2020

E-waste management system 

Under the Product Stewardship (Televisions and Computers) Regulations 2011, approved co-regulatory arrangements are required to provide independently audited annual reports for the Department to publish. These co-regulatory arrangements report on a range of matters related to their role as administrators of the plan. Currently, four coregulatory arrangements manage the day-to-day operation of NTCRS. Since the plan's inception, more than 291 kt of TV and computer e-waste has been collected and recycled. During the 2017-2018 financial year, the plan recycled approximately 58 kt of e-waste, equating to a recovery rate greater than 93%. The plan also ensured that all recyclers were certified to AS/NZS 5377:2013 standards with regard to recycling e-waste safely (Australian Government 2019). 

With a ban starting in July 2019, the Government of Victoria is the latest Australian state government to ban e-waste in landfills and has announced a A$16.5 million package both to encourage safe management of hazardous materials found in e-waste and to enable greater recovery of the valuable materials, ultimately leading to a more stable industry and more jobs for Victoria. Sustainability Victoria launched a new campaign, implementing a A$1.5 million community education programme on July 4, 2018, to educate Victorians about the value of e-waste and how it can be recycled. The campaign features a new website, ewaste.vic.gov.au, which includes an animated video showcasing the valuable materials inside our electronics and social media and digital advertising (Sustainability Victoria 2019)

Compared to Australia, the Government of New Zealand is still considering developing a mandatory national plan for dealing with the e-waste issue. Estimations are that more than 97 kt of e-waste are being disposed of as landfill each year with more than 98.2% of generated household e-waste ending up in landfills. Such an outcome is largely due to limited diversion of e-waste into more appropriate recycling and treatment and the lack of a mandatory product stewardship-based approach to managing e-waste in New Zealand. E-waste product stewardship plans by individual producers are few and relatively minor. As well, there is no formalized system overall for e-waste management (Blake, Farrelly, and Hannon 2019). 

The Pacific Islands region (PICTs), consisting of 22 countries and territories, face unique challenges due to their spread-out geography. The limited availability of suitable land on small islands and atolls for constructing landfills, the islands' remoteness, and the islands' relatively small populations cause issues for large economies, as waste management technologies, rapid urbanisation, limited institutional, and human resource capacities are among the key challenges faced by PICTs. The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has the lead responsibility for regional coordination and delivery of waste management and pollution control action and uses the strategic management framework, Cleaner Pacific 2025, in guiding regional cooperation and collaboration. SPREP also works with key international and regional partners to achieve greater integration of sustainable funding and to support mechanisms for waste, chemicals, and pollution management programmes.

Follow:  The Global E-waste Monitor 2020


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