Councils have welcomed proposed changes to Federal rules that would make producers of electronics more responsible for dealing with their products at the end of their life.

As part of the Commonwealth’s review of its Product Stewardship Act, it has announced $20 million in funding for its Product Stewardship Investment Fund, which will provide grants of up to $1 million to support manufacturers, retailers and industry groups to take greater responsibility for the entire life cycle of the products they sell.

There has also been an extension proposed for the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS) to all corded/battery electronic products.

These two measures together are expected to support councils currently lumped with the management of non-eligible items presented at kerbside and recycling centres.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) president Linda Scott says the review also considered shifting emphasis from producers making stand-alone products to being more responsible for greater stewardship across a product’s life cycle, including recycling for NTCRS products.

This could include future initiatives such as manufacturers being more responsible for product waste collection, possible contributions to recycling costs and waste management support.

“This push is in line with what LGNSW has called for on behalf of councils for years now through our Save Our Recycling campaign,” Cr Scott said.

“LGNSW would have liked to see the changes go even further and be made mandatory instead of voluntary as well as building end-of-life management into the cost of making products and doing business and not leaving it for councils to fund.

“This would create greater incentives for better product design, especially for reuse and recyclability, and help reduce the impacts on our environment, transitioning to a more circular economy.”