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AIIA welcomes today’s landmark EPHC decision to address e-waste

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) welcomes today’s recognition from the Environmental Heritage Protection Council (EPHC) for the need to establish a national product stewardship program addressing the recycling of electronic waste (e-waste).
  • 22 May, 2009 16:32

<p>AIIA welcomes today’s landmark EPHC decision to address e-waste</p>
<p>Friday, 22 May 2009</p>
<p>The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) welcomes today’s recognition from the Environmental Heritage Protection Council (EPHC) for the need to establish a national product stewardship program addressing the recycling of electronic waste (e-waste).</p>
<p>“This is a landmark decision, and one that AIIA and our member companies have been working towards for some time,” said AIIA CEO Ian Birks. “Government is to be congratulated for taking a proactive approach to developing a consistent national framework for e-waste recycling in Australia.”</p>
<p>The EPHC agreed that on the weight of evidence presented, a national system (framework) is likely to be an effective approach to support an e-waste program in Australia. The EPHC will be releasing a Regulatory Impact Statement for public consultation to indentify the most appropriate policy mechanisms to govern an electronics equipment recycling program.</p>
<p>AIIA is pleased that EPHC has taken the issue of ‘free riders’ (those companies not committed to picking up their e-waste) seriously and the exploration of regulatory solutions through a Regulatory Impact Statement is a positive outcome for the industry, consumers and the environment.</p>
<p>The Regulatory Impact Statement consultation will be an important part of the process, and AIIA will provide significant input and data to government on behalf of the Australian ICT industry.</p>
<p>AIIA has been piloting a computer take-back and recycling scheme since 2007 in Victoria. “Byteback” is based on shared responsibility between government, industry and consumers. Key industry participants : Apple, Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, Fujitsu, Fuji-Xerox, HP, IBM, Lenovo and Lexmark.</p>
<p>“These companies have demonstrated great leadership by investing considerable time, personnel, and finances to the cause,” said Mr Birks.</p>
<p>The Byteback program is providing a clear picture of the waste stream, demonstrating the potential to divert this waste into new products and pioneering a model for cost efficient and sustainable electronic waste collection on a large scale.
“Several options are available to establish a viable computer recycling scheme; the common requirement for an effective outcome is legislation at the national level,” Mr Birks continued.</p>
<p>The results and input of public consultation on the regulatory process will be presented to the next meeting of the EPHC in November.</p>
<p>“While the timetable is a little bit slower than we would like to see, this is the right outcome and the commitment to resolve outstanding issues associated with the scheme by November 2009 is to be commended.</p>
<p>“AIIA will now commence work on testing the feasibility of establishing a Producer Responsibility Organisation to manage the interests and information needs of member organisations,” said Mr Birks. “We will be looking at the principles underpinning international models to establish the most appropriate form in Australia.”</p>
<p>AIIA is looking forward to working closely with government and the technology industry in the lead up to November’s EPHC meeting.</p>
<p>For more details on the EPHC Communiqué: http://www.ephc.gov.au/sites/default/files/EPHC18__Communique_22May09.pdf</p>
<p>[ends]</p>
<p>Rhett Somers</p>
<p>Communications Manager</p>
<p>Australian Information Industry Association</p>
<p>Tel: 02 6281 9400</p>
<p>r.somers@aiia.com.au</p>
<p>Rachel York</p>
<p>Max Australia</p>
<p>(02) 9954 3492</p>
<p>rachel.york@maxaustralia.com.au</p>

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