Media Releases | 1st Sep, 2005

Don’t throw-away waste opportunity

Thursday, 1 September 2005

Victoria will fail to reduce its spiraling mountain of waste unless the Government introduces a suite of measures including levies, bans and take-back programs, the state’s peak green group has warned.

The call follows the Government’s release of the Towards Zero Waste strategy, which aims to halt Victoria’s growing appetite for waste.

But Environment Victoria (EV) said while the strategy set a positive direction, it would just be another glossy brochure without such measures as:

  • Levies on throw-away items, such as plastic bags
  • Bans on disposing certain materials to landfill, such as computers
  • Take back incentives, such as deposits on bottles and mobile phones
  • New powers and additional resources given to the EPA

“The Government is naïve if it thinks our burgeoning amounts of waste will magically decrease without these measures,” said EV’s Zero Waste Campaign Director Jenny Henty.

“This strategy is like giving us a picture of a bus and expecting us to drive it. We cannot have faith in the strategy unless the Government provides details rather than just broad brush strokes.”

This strategy does nothing to stop the current dumping of 66,000 toxic TVs and 200,000 poisonous PCs every year in landfill, let alone the expected 570,000 obsolete TVs and 1.77 million computers needing management by 2013.

Ms Henty said the strategy put the onus of action on consumers and local government and was not tough enough on industry.

“Why should consumers and local government pay for the mess that industry creates and makes vast profits from? Retailers and producers must not be allowed to get away scot free.”

She said the strategy’s emphasis on technology and targets was admirable but half-hearted.

“Ironically the targets set are not, as the strategy suggests, aiming for zero waste. The strategy is not nearly ambitious enough.

“Victoria has an opportunity to take the national lead on this issue. If we don’t other states will drag their feet and we’ll end up with a half-baked approach.”