Happy 21st to MobileMuster – a product stewardship success story

Media release

31 October 2019

The Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans MP, today commended the achievements of MobileMuster, a successful industry-led product stewardship scheme, over the past 21 years.

“Australians are among the fastest and most avid users and adaptors of new technology in the world, and nearly nine out of ten Australians own a smartphone. That is why it is vital to have arrangements in place to deal with products like phones and their accessories at the end of their useful life.

“MobileMuster is a fantastic example of a product stewardship success story. Since it was launched in 1998, the telecommunications industry has invested almost $45 million into the program. The practical environmental result is almost 1500 tonnes of material being recycled, including over 14 million handsets and batteries diverted from landfill.

“In the last year alone, MobileMuster collected and recycled 84.1 tonnes of mobile phone components, including 1.12 million handsets and batteries, and recovered 98 per cent of mobile phones. Over 92 per cent of manufacturers and 84 per cent of network carriers are now part of the program.

“MobileMuster’s extensive national collection network now has 3,500 public drop-off points across Australia, and covers an impressive 96 per cent of the country.

“The success of the program over the last 21 years demonstrates that Australian industries can voluntarily take action to reduce the impact their products have on the environment, without the need for heavy-handed regulation.

“The scheme helps consumers and businesses minimise greenhouse gas emissions, save energy, protect the environment and conserve finite natural resources while also stopping potentially hazardous materials from polluting the environment,” said Mr Evans.

In recognition of the importance of product stewardship the Morrison Government has announced $20 million for a new Product Stewardship Investment Fund to accelerate work on new industry-led stewardship schemes, including for batteries, electronic products, photovoltaic systems and plastic oil containers as part of its $167 million Australian Recycling Investment Plan.

Product stewardship recognises that the people and businesses involved in producing, selling, using and disposing of products have a shared responsibility to make sure they manage these products and materials throughout their entire lifecycle.

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management