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Greens propose 'wreck refund' on cars

6 October, 2003

Greens propose 'wreck refund' on cars

The Green Party is proposing a refundable deposit on car purchases that would be paid back when the car's final owner takes it along to the wreckers' yard.

Local Government New Zealand has raised the issue of abandoned cars costing councils hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

"We are proposing that a deposit equal to the cost of finally disposing of the vehicle be added to the purchase price when it first enters the country," Green Transport spokesperson, Jeanette Fitzsimons said today. "It would be recorded on the ownership papers and stay there for the life of the vehicle and refunded to the final owner when they take it to a car recycling centre.

"We are calling on the Minister for the Environment to legislate for this requirement, which would help achieve a zero waste target, reduce costs to ratepayers and provide a real incentive for people to do the right thing.

"A number of countries have legislation in place similar to what we are proposing, but involving 'producer responsibility'," said Ms Fitzsimons.

The EU has had an End of Life Vehicle Directive in place since 2000, which places the responsibility for covering the recycling costs of vehicles firmly on the manufacturer. Similar measures are being studied in Asia and the United States.

"Since we no longer make cars in this country, we are calling for the purchaser to take responsibility," Ms Fitzsimons said. "However, while the cost of the deposit would inevitably be passed-on in each successive transaction, no one would actually 'lose' the deposit, unless the last owner dumped the vehicle rather than taking it for recycling."

ENDS

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