Magazine article Ecos

Breakthrough in National Policy for E-Waste

Magazine article Ecos

Breakthrough in National Policy for E-Waste

Article excerpt

Industry associations and environment groups concerned about the mounting problem of e-waste--discarded computers, monitors, TVs and other electronic products--welcomed the announcement of a National Waste Policy by state and federal environment ministers in November. (1)

Through a public communique, the ministers said the policy's focus on product stewardship aims to reduce the environmental, health and safety footprint of manufactured goods through better design, manufacture, supply chain management, consumption and recycling/ disposal.

In welcoming the announcement, Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) CEO, Ian Birks, said the new national policy provides for the establishment of a co-regulatory framework, involving industry and government, with clear penalties for companies that fail to comply.

AIIA--a participant of the Victorian Government's earlier pilot Byteback e-waste recycling scheme--is now working with its members to establish a government-accredited national 'producer responsibility organisation' for the computing and IT sector.

The AIIA has proposed an extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme under which computer equipment manufacturers would be responsible for collecting end-of-life equipment and meeting a recycling target of 80 per cent by 2021.

Sony Australia and Panasonic Australia, both members of industry association Product Stewardship Australia--whose membership includes manufacturers of TVs and consumer electronics--issued media releases supporting the environment ministers' decision. …

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