AMTA Clarification for the 7:30 Report


A statement by the CEO of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, Graham Chalker.

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) acknowledges it incorrectly claimed recently that some plastics from the process of recycling mobile phones are used in the production of furniture.

Such a claim is wrong. AMTA regrets its mistake. AMTA believed that residue plastic recovered from handsets is used in furniture and it only became aware of the facts on Tuesday, December 7, 2004, after the issue was raised by the 7.30 Report.

Plastic from recycling was trialled in the production of furniture some years ago, however, it was discontinued because of technical difficulties.

It is important to understand that components of mobile phones (including plastics), that cannot be reclaimed, and must therefore be disposed of in landfill, are sanitised before disposal. Thus any residual waste disposed of in landfill is rendered inert. It poses no harm to the environment.

AMTA stands fully behind the fact that its recycling program has prevented the dumping of many tonnes of environmentally-harmful toxic waste in landfills over the past four years. AMTA’s industry-leading Mobile Phone Industry Recycling Program’s primary goal has always been to tackle the problem of dumping such toxic materials as Cadmium, lead and other heavy metals in landfill. In this respect we believe the program has been an outstanding success; it has prevented 94 tonnes of batteries, including 43 tonnes of Nickel-Cadmium batteries, from being dumped.
It is worth noting that when AMTA’s media release issued on November 28 incorrectly claimed plastic was used in the production of furniture, no plastic was being placed in landfill. It has been stockpiled for several months for use in a new recycling process.