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WASTE CHALLENGES PILING UP AHEAD OF ENVIRONMENT MINISTERS MEETING

Media Release 6 November 2008

Waste challenges pilling up ahead of Environment Ministers meeting

National waste problems are piling up ahead of tomorrow’s important next meeting of state and federal environment ministers in Adelaide, Clean Up Australia said today.

A lack of national action on plastic bags, a refund scheme for drink cans and bottles, and electronic waste has led to unnecessary environmental damage and stalled urgently needed recycling schemes, Clean Up Australia Chairman Ian Kiernan AO said.

The Environment Protection and Heritage Council will meet tomorrow for the first time since April when no progress was made on these key waste issues.

“Electronic, or e-waste is the country’s fastest growing waste problem but a national approach to reuse and recycling has been stalled for four years while talks go around in circles.

“A national action plan that has product stewardship as its focus is overdue. Reducing the amount of electronic waste going to landfill through better environmental management at all stages of the life of a product is urgently needed,” Mr Kiernan said.

“Delays in introducing a national ban on plastic shopping bags are costing our environment dearly. An estimated 3.75 billion are being handed out each year in Australia. A large proportion of these end up in either landfill or choking our waterways and marine life,” Mr Kiernan said.

“We know that less than 3 per cent of plastic bags are recycled each year, leaving almost 97 per cent of plastic bags taken at the check-out still in circulation.

“There is a simple solution, stop using them altogether. Communities across Australia have already taken action by banning plastic bags in their own towns and suburbs.

 

 

 
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