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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

8 February 2006

World's best newspaper recyclers commit to 5 more years

Australia’s world-leading paper recycling effort is set to get even better over the next five years following a new recycling plan, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, announced today.

Senator Campbell today launched the Australian newspaper industry’s five-year National Environmental Sustainability Plan which commits the publishing industry and Norske Skog, Australia’s domestic newsprint manufacturer, to raising the newspaper recycling rate to 76 per cent by 2010.

“The Australian newspaper industry has been leading the world in newspaper recycling since 1997,” Senator Campbell said.

“In the past 15 years the industry has more than doubled the newsprint recycling rate, lifting it from 28 to 74.5 per cent.

“This achievement is the result of a unique partnership, forged 15 years ago between newspaper publishers and newsprint manufacturers, to find ways to reduce the wastage and the environmental impact of their product.

“Through this partnership the industry developed and implemented three successive five-year plans and invested a staggering $180 million to turn around Australia’s newspaper recycling story.

“One of the most significant steps in achieving this extraordinarily high recycling rate was the construction of a $135 million de-inking plant in Albury which removes ink from used newsprint enabling it to be recycled into newspapers, magazines and other products.

“Australian councils and individual householders have also played an important part in ensuring that the papers are collected for recycling.

“One of the most significant benefits of these efforts is that no old growth eucalypt has been used to make Australian newsprint since 1991.”

Senator Campbell said the new five-year plan also aimed to improve water and energy conservation in the newspaper production process.

“Australia’s newsprint industry has set a shining example of what can be done when a sector decides to turn around its practices and lead the way in environmental sustainability,” Senator Campbell said.

“This is product stewardship at its best – a success story which should surely inspire other industry sectors to improve their recycling performance.”

You can view the sustainability plan on the Publishers National Envionment Bureau web site.

Photographs: related images are available from the photo gallery

Media Contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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