Monday, 20 May 2019

Report calls for stakeholders to work together to tackle e-waste

  The report calls for an increase in share responsibility. Source: ANZRP

A new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit calls for greater focus on the shared responsibility of all stakeholders to develop a sustainable e-waste recycling system in Australia.


“As the technological revolution marches forward, e-waste systems will need to adapt,” said John Ferguson, Senior Economist EIU and author of the report.
“There needs to be a greater focus on shared responsibility, as not only producers, but governments, retailers, business and consumers play a critical role in the e-waste debate.”
The report compares Australia’s management of e-waste with Japan, Finland and Germany, and finds that despite some positive developments in the last ten years Australia remains someway off other developed economies.
“E-waste is without a doubt, an incredibly complex multi-faceted issue, and each country is not without its own individual challenges. Although many countries have an e-waste policy in place, the key is the willingness of all stakeholders to contribute to it,” said Carmel Dollisson, CEO of the Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform who commissioned the report.
While suggesting that businesses and consumers can do more to facilitate e-waste recycling, the report specifically calls for local and state government to develop policies that address the issue.
“The report strongly indicates to us that there needs to be a greater sense of urgency from some parties. A higher level of shared responsibility needs to be taken, especially by local and state governments, who need to develop immediate action plans to take control of e-waste in their system,” Ms Dollisson said.
“We all play a critical role, for example, local governments can work towards driving policies that incentivise the recycling behaviour among households, the retail sector can act as a collection point in the e-waste system, and regulators can help to drive these initiatives to ensure that responsibility is taken in every link of the chain.”
The report praises the efforts of the AMTA in setting up Mobile Muster in 1998, but calls for broader scope across the electronics industry to achieve the objectives set out in Australia’s National Waste Policy.
“Expanding the scope of products covered by e-waste systems – from mainly televisions and computers to more sophisticated IT devices – deserves serious attention, and could pay dividends by reducing toxic waste, efficiently reusing valuable resources and ultimately reducing costs for businesses and consumers,” the report said.
Global accumulation of e-waste is expected to continue increase, especially as developing economies catch up with those that are more advanced. The report states that global spending on electronic and IT equipment is expected to rise 60 per cent between 2009 and 2018.

Published 7/4/2015

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