The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for Environment, Heritage and the Arts
Mr Garrett said … “ministers today agreed to a groundbreaking product stewardship framework through which computers and televisions will be the first products regulated.’’
In 2007-08, 16.8 million televisions, computers and computer products reached their end of life, with 84 per cent sent to landfill. Only 10 per cent were recycled.
“If Australia were to continue without any form of product stewardship scheme, projections suggest that approximately 44 million televisions and computers would be discarded in 2028.
“Backed by Commonwealth legislation, a new industry-run national collection and recycling scheme for this growing mountain of electronic waste will be up and running in or before 2011.
“This is a major development in one of our fastest growing areas of waste which sees for the first time computer and television manufacturers taking national responsibility for managing e-waste, and it will be done at minimal cost to consumers,” Mr Garrett said.
“The National Waste policy specifically provides for accreditation of industry led schemes, helping to strengthen the arm of industry leaders who want to drive action that sees manufacturers take responsibility for their products when they reach the end of their life.
“Computer and television importers and manufacturers are working with Government to take responsibility for their goods, from cradle to grave.’’
The Government will provide support to the industry-led collection and recycling scheme by ensuring industry non-participants comply with the same standards as industry members voluntarily participating.
This will ensure that free-riders are unable to gain a financial advantage over those companies that willingly contribute to recycling their own products.
Under the new product stewardship framework there is provision for mandatory, voluntary and coregulatory schemes. Industry and community organisations that run voluntary schemes will be able to gain accreditation so that the community knows that what they recycle through these schemes will be reused or recycled in an ethical and environmentally safe way.