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

23 March 2001

AUSTRALIANS URGED TO SUPPORT BETTER PAINT DISPOSAL


Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill today congratulated Australian paint manufacturers for committing to better disposal methods and urged consumers to support the drive for improved environmental practice.

"Australia's paint manufacturers produce 30 million cans of paint each year and Australians used around 225 million litres of paint last year alone," Senator Hill said.

"Disposing of paint cans and remainder paint in a way that minimises impacts on the environment is an important goal. A number of local councils participate in steel recycling schemes, and paint users should make use of these where they exist."

The Australian Paint Manufacturers' Federation, a founding signatory of the National Packaging Covenant, today released an Action Plan encouraging paint manufacturers to review the design of paint cans, some of which include plastic linings, to increase the reclamation and processing of paint cans and to improve disposal information on paint cans.

New collection systems will also be investigated, including drive-in recycling centres.

At the same time, two of Australia's largest paint manufacturers, Dulux and Taubmans, and smaller manufacturers, Tasmanian Paints, Murobond Coatings, Hyme Paints and Parr Paints, signed the National Packaging Covenant. These companies account for more than two thirds of the market share of the paint manufacturing industry.

"The involvement of large and small paint manufacturers is important to achieve the goals of the National Packaging Covenant and I congratulate them for their commitment," Senator Hill said.

"Consumers also have an important role to play in reducing packaging waste and I urge all paint users to support the efforts of these manufacturers in conserving our natural resources."

There are now 170 signatories to the National Packaging Covenant, a voluntary agreement between government and business involved in the packaging chain to promote better packaging design, more efficient kerbside recycling and better use of recycled materials.

For more information about the National Packaging Covenant, contact Environment Australia's Community Information Unit on 1800 803 772 or visit the web site at: http://www.environment.gov.au/epg/covenant/index.html

23 March 2001
Media contact: Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill) 08 8237 7920 or 0419 258 364

Commonwealth of Australia