Frequently Asked Questions

What is product stewardship?

Product stewardship is simply the responsible management of the environmental impact of a product, at all stages of the product life cycle (including its disposal). Product stewardship ensures that manufacturers of products plays a part in the design to use, reuse, recycling or disposal.
We all need to work together to come up with creative, circular solutions.

How does product stewardship work?

Member companies pay a fair and proportionate eco-contribution (also known as a “levy”) to fund the scheme’s operational systems. Depending on the scheme, this may include costs of: collection, transport and recycling, marketing and awareness campaigns, R&D and compliance checks.

What are the benefits of a product stewardship program?

Products will be designed and produced to be easily disassembled and separable for either reuse, repair, repurpose or recycling. Replacement parts and options for repair/maintenance are more commonly being made available to users.

What are the objectives of Fit For Office?
Accreditation: Ensure industry recognition and value maximisation for founding FFO WG members, through marketing, promotional and updated best practice certification efforts for product take-back and recovery.
Improve Recovery: Improve the commercial office furniture sector’s recovery outcomes, reducing environmental impact through increasing diversion from landfill
Research, development and innovation: Lead investment into sector specific research, development and innovation to resolve current challenges and barriers to recovery
Minimise Costs: Develop an efficient operating model to achieve economies of scale that will minimise costs and improve feasibility of furniture recycling and recovery
What are the current barriers and challenges in commercial office furniture recovery?
No feasible recycling options for problematic materials (mdf/melamine coated particle board, textiles, mixed polymer plastics/resins)
Furniture products are not designed for efficient modularity, dismantling, preserving high quality condition of furniture and materials
Limited market for the re-use and resell of poor condition/used furniture, limited recycling options
Users of office furniture are unaware of existing take-back and recovery options for furniture
Operating cost of logistics, labour, transport, storage, repair/refurbishment is often more expensive than manufacturing new products.
No visibility and data on the re-used, re-sold, donated products occurring under the free-market forces
How can I get involved in the program?

If you are a furniture manufacturer/importer, retailer, user, re-homer, or recycler of commercial office furniture we want to hear from you. The program and scheme design will be informed by expert reference groups, and we welcome any early suggestions or nominations via email to Your support along with key industry stakeholders, GECA and its licensees, will make this project a standout

What are the most common items in office furniture waste?

Based on our initial analysis of commercial office strip-outs in Australia, wheeled office chairs, under desk storage units, workstations, and other chairs (fixed legged and stools) make up more that 80% of the typical office furniture strip-out waste (by weight).

How much of the office waste currently gets recycled?

Little is currently known around the material flows of office furniture once it enters recycling facilities with limited data available on the types of materials recycled and the quantities salvaged. As we progress with our stakeholder engagement phase and start engaging with the various key players in the Materials Recycling Facilities (MRFs) and furniture recovery ecosystem, we aim to get more granular data on materials being targeted for recycling and the amounts salvaged.