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Peak technology body applauds national eWaste scheme
Thursday, 05 November 2009 00:00

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) welcomes the decision announced by Australia’s Environment Ministers through Environmental Protection Heritage Council (EPHC) in Perth today for the creation of a national legislative framework to address eWaste in Australia.

The decision will see the implementation of a consistent national policy regulating the disposal of electronic products in Australia, including computers, monitors and TVs. The new policy will require manufacturers and importers of electronic equipment to join a government-accredited Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO).

Following today’s announcement, AIIA will immediately work with members to establish a PRO that will manage the operational requirements of individual manufacturers in relation to the scheme. In its submission to the EPHC, AIIA has outlined its plans for a PRO that includes an industry-based financing model with a defined scope, timeline and target for setting up a viable takeback program in Australia.

“AIIA and a dedicated group from our membership base have been working towards a comprehensive eWaste scheme in Australia for many years,” said AIIA CEO Ian Birks. “Today’s decision represents a win for industry, consumers and the environment.  AIIA and our members fully support this landmark decision and congratulate the Federal and State Environment Ministers on today’s announcement.”

“AIIA views the national eWaste scheme as yet another demonstrable example that our industry takes a highly responsible approach to environment and sustainability issues.  The framework supports AIIA’s recommendations and we can now get on with the job of establishing a comprehensive scheme to dispose of end of life computer equipment in a responsible manner,” Mr Birks said.

The EPHC decision will result in the creation of a co-regulatory framework that places a strong emphasis on compliance. Both Government and the information and communication technology (ICT) industry will regulate participation and there will be clear penalties for companies that fail to participate in the scheme.

Based on long-term pilot schemes, previous AIIA submissions have argued that co-regulation and compliance are essential to any successful scheme in Australia. In partnership with a number of key industry brands and the Victorian Government, AIIA has trialled end-to-end computer equipment recycling in Victoria through the Byteback program for over four years.

“The Byteback scheme has provided essential data to support the creation of a national scheme in Australia. It delivered a clear picture of the eWaste stream and demonstrated the detailed requirements for a successful working relationship between government, industry and recyclers,” Mr Birks continued.

“We would like to acknowledge the contributions of the Victorian Government, Apple, Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, Fujitsu, Fuji-Xerox, HP, IBM, Lenovo and Lexmark for supporting Byteback. We also commend the efforts of the Total Environment Centre and the Boomerang Alliance for their dedication to achieving these outcomes.”

 

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