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MINISTERS MOVE ON E-WASTE, STALL ON BEVERAGE CONTAINERS

Ministers move on e-waste, stall on beverage containers

Australia is one step closer to dealing with the mounting issue of electronic waste, however action to address one of our other growing problems – beverage container rubbish – has stalled yet again, Clean Up Australia said today.  

At a meeting of state and federal environment ministers in Perth today, ministers agreed to develop a National Waste Policy, the initial stages of which would include a recycling system to deal with electronic waste, including TVs and computers, however no decision was made on the issue of a national refund scheme for beverage containers.

Clean Up Australia Chairman Ian Kiernan AO congratulated Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett and his state counterparts on moving ahead on e-waste, but said he is disappointed not to see any further action on a refund scheme for drink bottles and cans.

“Every step forward is a step in the right direction,” Mr Kiernan said.  

“E-waste is growing at 3 times the rate of general municipal waste. It’s great our ministers have agreed to work with responsible industry, recognising the sector has a responsibility to deal with their products from cradle to grave.

“Unfortunately however there’s still no further movement on refunds for bottles and cans.

“The ministers had an historic opportunity to address the growing problem of beverage container waste at this meeting, but unfortunately they haven’t been able to follow through on it. They say they’re still awaiting the results of studies into the issue, which will take at least another six months.

“97 per cent of Australians want the government to move quickly to introduce a national refund on drink cans and bottles. It’s unfortunate they haven’t delivered today, but we’re still hopeful we’ll see action in the near future.

“A national container refund scheme has the potential to double our recycling rate for containers and provide around 2000 new sustainable jobs. The benefits are there; it’s now just a matter of implementing the scheme.”


Media contact: Alana Mew, 0423 377 567  

 
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