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Manufacturers, retailers need regulation to own e-waste

10 August 2011

Manufacturers, retailers need regulation to own e-waste

The Green Party today welcomed the Community Recycling Network’s launch of e-cycle depots with money from the Green-initiated Waste Minimisation Fund.

Green Party spokesperson on waste, David Clendon, said: “This excellent initiative will be more and more relevant as volumes of e-waste increase.

“We are pleased that the Greens’ Waste Minimisation Fund is being put to good use.”

The Green Party’s Waste Minimisation Act was passed with unanimous support in September 2008, putting in place the tools to work towards a waste-free New Zealand, including the Waste Minimisation Fund which is administered by the Ministry for the Environment.

“E-day was a good first step, but people need convenient everyday access to recycling facilities.

“It’s also easier for the industry to manage a steady stream of material than one big annual intake.

“In the long run though, we need to see the cost of e-waste collection and recycling being paid for at point of sale through product stewardship schemes.

“This is fair and financially sustainable; it also provides an incentive for waste minimisation in the whole lifecycle of a product.

“So far, the Minister for the Environment has not taken any real action to have industry take responsibility for their products.”

Mr Clendon said comprehensive voluntary product stewardship schemes had not been taken up. This demonstrated the need for the Government to use the powers it has under the Waste Minimisation Act.

“The industry is not opposed to product stewardship, but voluntary schemes allow ‘free riders’ to take unfair advantage of responsible manufacturers and retailers, so we need mandatory schemes.

“Most New Zealanders agree that polluters should pick up the tab for their waste and recycling, and would be happy to have more consumer options that minimise e-waste.

“We can have a smart green economy, with less waste, but we need stronger Government leadership,” said Mr Clendon.

ENDS

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