The Australasian Furnishing Association (AFA) is the Project Lead in the development of the Australian Furnishing Products Stewardship Scheme.
Recent announcements by the Australian Government to boost product stewardship outcomes is an important step to increase new business opportunities while also addressing environmental issues.
The AFA’s commitment is to accelerate work to develop a national industry-led product stewardship scheme to improve the rates of recycling for furniture and reduce waste generation throughout the life-cycle of these products.
The Furnishing Industry Stewardship Scheme is managed by the Australian Furnishing Products Stewardship Council and adheres to Australian Standards, policies and regulations to help reduce waste and prevent harmful materials from ending up in landfill by increasing recycling and the recovery of valuable materials from products.
The focus on product design, cleaner production and smart logistics, together with effective end-of-life management options help to further strengthen the sustainability of the Scheme. This work includes detailed assessments such as cost benefit analysis, technical feasibility studies, market analyses and consumer research.
The Australian Furnishing Products Stewardship Scheme features initiatives that improve product stewardship for mattresses, (estimated 1.5 million currently being dumped to landfill per annum), as well as commercial and household furniture typically used in the health and hospitality sectors.
Our approach will consider how to better manage materials and resources contained in these products including PFAS, illegally harvested timber or contaminants, therefore highlighting the importance of good design in achieving important product stewardship outcomes.
The environmental, health and safety impacts of the products, and the impact on the overall waste management system in Australia on landfill and material recovery rates, is addressed against national waste priorities outlined in the 2019 National Waste Policy Action Plan.
We stand with the partners of the Scheme including manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, consumers and other relevant organisations and agencies to support the ongoing sustainability of the Australian Furnishing Products Stewardship Scheme by maximising awareness, engagement and collaboration with industries, businesses, households and other scheme administrators.