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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
12 November 2002
The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today marked National Recycling Week by urging all Australians to step up their efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Dr Kemp said Australians had risen to the recycling challenge in recent years and the environment was cleaner and healthier as a result.
"National Recycling Week is a timely reminder for all of us to consider actions we can take to conserve our precious natural resources and minimise the impact of our waste on the environment. We have a great track record on recycling, but we can still do more," Dr Kemp said.
"From reducing and recycling paper, to buying products made of recycled materials, conserving water, recycling plastic and aluminium containers, and old newspapers, or using alternatives to plastic bags at the supermarket, there are countless ways for people to contribute.
"If each of us makes a concerted effort at home, work, and school, then the environment will benefit."
Dr Kemp praised industry, business, local councils and communities for their ongoing commitment to recycling and the efforts of organisations such as Planet Ark in its promotion.
"With more than 85 per cent of Australian households now having access to kerbside recycling and a further 5 per cent in close proximity to drop-off centres, some amazing success with recycling has been achieved," Dr Kemp said.
"Already more than 72 per cent of newsprint and paper in Australia is recycled, 67 per cent of aluminium, and 44 per cent of glass containers.
"The Howard Government is involved in programs to encourage recycling of a wide variety of products - from waste oil and waste tyres to old mobile phones and computers.
"We are also taking steps to increase recycling of plastic shopping bags, thereby reducing the number of bags going into the environment and posing problems for our wildlife.
"With the help of new recycling technologies and some tried and true old ones, we are making significant progress toward saving energy and cutting the environmental and economic costs associated with inappropriate waste disposal," said Dr Kemp.
Further information about National Recycling Week, which is hosted by Planet Ark and runs from November 11-17, can be accessed at www.planetark.org/recycling/
Catherine Job Dr Kemp’s office (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400