Media Releases | 22nd May, 2009

Green groups welcome breakthrough on electronic waste

Friday, 22 May 2009

Positive moves on fluorescent lighting, computers, televisions, container deposits and tyres at the bi-annual meeting of state and federal Environment Ministers have been welcomed today by environment groups.

Today’s Environment Protection & Heritage Council (EPHC) meeting in Tasmania resolved to introduce a ‘fluoro recycling scheme’ and to finalise industry schemes for tyres, computers and TVs by the next meeting in November.

The EPHC also rejected the beverage industries calls to retain the controversial National Packaging Covenant as the sole tool to increase packaging recycling and will progress investigations to introduce a national container deposit system.

Jeff Angel, Director of Total Environment Centre, said: “This is a change from the years of inaction, but there’s a still long way to go. The ministers have recognised the overwhelming public support for more recycling and were clearly unimpressed by arguments from the packaging lobby, such as Coke.

“Supporters of electronic and tyre recycling who have been pressing for national regulation will have to work hard in the next six months to get the best results.”

Environment Victoria’s campaigner Fraser Brindley said today’s decisions were a big step forward. “We welcome today’s breakthrough on electronic waste. While there is still more work to do, Ministers have shown a willingness for progress that has been absent in recent years,” he said.

“We look forward to some concrete decisions by the end of the year so that Australia can take advantage of the green jobs opportunities available in the recycling industry.”

National Campaign Coordinator for the Boomerang Alliance Dave West said: “Ministers have begun to hear the community’s demands but we will still have to combat the beverage industry untruths and ensure the major economic benefits of recycling receive full recognition.

“We will be mobilising the full resources of the Boomerang Alliance and community’s support for recycling to ensure this unique opportunity is not squandered.”

Check out the Tipping Point: Australia’s e-waste crisis 2009 update

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