Product Stewardship Scheme for Personal Transport Vehicles
Australia’s political parties should commit to world-leading recycling of Personal Transport Vehicles (PTVs), including bicycles, E-bikes, and E-scooters, according to an unprecedented alliance of bicycle riders, manufacturers, environmentalists, fleet providers, policy experts, and recyclers.
Bicycles and other PTVs are eco-friendly machines, and they should not be going to landfill at the end of their first useful life. The Coalition, the Australian Labor Party, and the Greens can show international leadership by promising to introduce a product stewardship policy for PTVs to make sure they are recovered, reused, or recycled to the greatest extent possible in Australia.
Sales and use of PTVs are booming here, and that’s a great boon for our environment. Customers bought around 1.7 million new bikes in 2020 and 1.55 million in 2021. We want to make sure that old bikes also get a new life, or that the metals, plastics, and rubbers they are made from are recycled.
E-bikes are the fastest-growing category of PTVs. It’s especially vital that their batteries, and those of other powered PTVs, up to 75,000 units per year, are responsibly and safely managed. Peter Bourke of We Ride Australia wants to emphasise that “bicycles and PTVs are a sustainable form of transport, and Australian importers of quality bicycles and PTVs support recycling as the next step in reducing carbon emissions”.
Product stewardship policy sees the manufacturers of products share some responsibility for their end-of-life management. Such policy has, for example, seen TV and computer recycling in Australia aiming for an 80% recycling target by 2026-27.
Revolve Recycling, formed in 2021, is now providing the household recovery, recycling, and redeployment of bicycles and other PTVs in Sydney. It has thus far kept 20 tonnes of material out of landfill and put hundreds of bikes back into use, including through charitable donations to kids and refugees from Ukraine.
Guido Verbist, its General Manager, said: “We know that in Sydney alone there’s some 30,000 old bikes in people’s garages and verandahs. Many of those can be redeployed and all can be recycled. At least 500 tonnes per year can be kept out of landfill and dozens of jobs, including for disadvantaged people, created in resource recovery."
"But, it takes partnership between the entire supply chain, including the big retail stores like K-Mart, and action from governments to set the right economic signals. The mobility revolution is underway and product stewardship policy for PTVs from the major parties needs to keep pace with it,” Guido said.
For more information, Contact Guido Verbist at [email protected] or 0459 999 110