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Driving on glass better than dumping it

7 December 2006

Driving on glass better than dumping it

Dumping glass into landfills when it could be recycled will be a lot harder to do if a Green Party private members bill to reduce waste is passed.

The Glass Packaging Forum today called on the Government to encourage contractors to use recycled aggregates such as glass in roading projects, after a study that showed it was a cheaper option if the full costs, such as the cost of sending the glass to landfills, was factored in.

Green's Spokesperson on Waste Issues Nandor Tanczos says the study is indicative of a flawed economic framework where true costs are ignored.

"It's the typical problem of not looking at the full cost of products and services. This distorts the economics of environmental protection, including recycling, as was recently demonstrated by the Packaging Council's flawed economic analysis of a bottle deposit scheme. Under the current economic framework, environmental costs - particularly when it comes to product disposal - are not factored in to the bottom-line.

"If we want to clean up our act these costs must be properly incorporated," Nandor says.

"One way of doing this is through Extended Producer Responsibility, such as in my bill"

"My bill also contains a provision to ensure that public procurement gives priority to purchases that support recycled materials or materials easily recycled. "Using glass for roading aggregate is not necessarily best use, but it is a far better option than dumping it in a landfill. Not only will this divert waste away from landfills, it will also reduce the destruction of hills and landscapes by quarrying them for mineral aggregate."

ENDS

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