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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today congratulated Visy Recycling for being the first Australian company to fully commit to a new national cooperative program to reduce packaging waste.
Visy Recycling is the first signatory to the National Packaging Covenant to release a detailed Action Plan, setting out how it will meet its obligations under the agreement.
"Visy's Action Plan, released today, spells out how the company plans to reduce waste and increase recycling over the next 12 months," Senator Hill said.
"It demonstrates that when a company considers environmental, economic and social issues it can deliver benefits not only to its shareholders and the balance sheet but to the whole Australian community and the environment."
The National Packaging Covenant is a self-regulatory agreement between industries in the packaging chain and all spheres of government to minimise the environmental impacts of consumer packaging waste and to make kerbside recycling sustainable through joint funding of transitional projects.
The Covenant was signed in August 1999 and now has 68 signatories. It is based on shared responsibility and product stewardship and ensures that all links in a packaging product lifecycle participate in reducing its environmental impact.
"The National Packaging Covenant is a significant self-regulatory agreement and for the first time gets governments and industry working together to reduce the impacts of consumer packaging on the environment," Senator Hill said.
"The Covenant provides a very flexible base for Australian industry to apply initiative and innovation to develop actions that suit each company's size and type of business.
"I congratulate Visy Recycling for being the first industry signatory to develop an Action Plan. The company's action further demonstrates the support it has given to developing and implementing the Covenant.
"Visy has set the pace. I trust that more signatories will follow the company's lead and take the next step to achieve a better Australian environment."
For more information about the National Packaging Covenant, visit the web site at: http://www.environment.gov.au/epg/covenant
15 June 2000
Media contact: Rod Bruem (Senator Hill's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364