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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

20 November 2000

Australia on track for record recycling results


Australia is on track to achieve record recycling rates this year as business and the community take up the challenge of conserving our natural resources, Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill said today.

"Australian governments set the first national targets for recycling in 1992. By 1995, most targets were being met or exceeded," Senator Hill said.

This year, industry estimates we will recycle 70 per cent of old newsprint, 92 per cent of paper packaging, 64 per cent of aluminium containers, 60 per cent of liquidpaperboard used for milk and juice cartons, and 40 per cent of steel cans.

"Recycling and buying products made of recycled materials reduces demand on natural resources, it saves energy and cuts the environmental and economic costs of establishing and maintaining landfill sites," Senator Hill said.

"By recycling and buying recycled materials, every Australian helps to protect our environment. Recycling is getting easier all the time, as new technologies make it possible to recover and reuse materials that once would have been disposed of as waste."

Senator Hill said major building companies working with the Government on the WasteWise program were now recycling more than 90 per cent of their construction waste.

"Plastics companies agreed last month to increase the kerbside collection rates for PVC bottles from five per cent to 25 per cent within three years, diverting more than 20 million vinyl bottles from landfill each year," he said.

More than 130 companies, governments and industry associations have demonstrated their concern for the environment by joining the National Packaging Covenant, a voluntary program supported by the Natural Heritage Trust to reduce packaging waste.

"Seven leading corporations and associations have gone one step further, committing to help small business by becoming mentors under the Federal Government's Strategic Covenant Assistance and Mentor Program," Senator Hill said.

These organisations are: Visy Industries; Amcor Recycling; the Local Government Association of Queensland; the Australian Paint Manufacturers Federation Inc; the Australian Industry Group; the Association of Liquidpaperboard Carton Manufacturers Inc; and the Hunter Waste Planning and Management Board.

National Recycling Week is hosted by Planet Ark from November 20-26 to encourage Australians to recycle and to buy products that have recycled content.

Media Contact: Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill's office) 08 8237 7920 or 0419 258 364

RECYCLING RATES FOR AUSTRALIA


ANZECC PRIORITY WASTE STREAM 1995 RECYCLING TARGET% (ACTUAL%) Yr 2000 ESTIMATED RECYCLING RATE %
Paper    
Old newsprint 40 (52.7) 69.8
Paper packaging 71 (72.3) 92.2
Beverage containers    
Aluminium 65 (65.3) 64
Other glass and steel containers    
Steel cans 25 (27) 40
Milk and juice containers    
Liquidpaperboard 20 (20.6) 60
HDPE 50 (42) 50.1

ANZECC is the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council

Year 2000 estimated recycling rates supplied by industry. Final figures will be known at the end of this year.

Commonwealth of Australia