Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP

Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Urban Water

A bright future ahead for FluoroCycle

Media release
5 August 2013

Lighting Council Australia has officially taken on responsibility for the FluoroCycle scheme, which aims to reduce the amount of harmful mercury entering the environment from the disposal of waste mercury-containing lamps.

The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Urban Water today congratulated industry for funding and administering this important initiative.

"Initially delivered jointly by the Lighting Council Australia and the Australian Government, FluoroCycle's first three years of operation has been a great success, with the scheme growing to include 189 signatories.

"All of our signatories are committed to increasing recycling rates of mercury-containing lamps and reducing the amount of harmful mercury-containing waste entering landfill.

"Many lamps that contain mercury end up in landfill each year, posing a potential risk to the environment and human health. In fact, mercury-containing lamps contribute an estimated 2-3% of Australia's total annual emissions of mercury," Ms Rishworth said.

Speaking at the launch of the industry lead scheme, Ms Rishworth said Lighting Council Australia is setting an important example for other industries by playing its part as product stewards for mercury-containing lamps.

"Joining FluoroCycle is an ideal way for businesses to do something practical to help the environment.

"I encourage both private companies and public organisations such as local councils and government departments to sign up to this worthwhile scheme.

The Australian Government's support of FluoroCycle includes $600,000 in funding for the first three years of the scheme and is part of our commitment to reducing the impact of waste disposal on the environment and improving the efficiency of resource use.

Lighting Council Australia is the peak body for Australia's lighting industry and its goal is to encourage the use of environmentally appropriate, energy efficient, quality lighting systems. The Council has advised that it strongly supports the Product Stewardship Act 2011 and will seek accreditation for FluoroCycle as an industry-led, voluntary arrangement under the Act.

Ms Rishworth said the Australian Government's landmark Product Stewardship Act 2011 provides the framework for a flexible and practical approach to managing the lifecycle of products and recognises that each product, material and industry is different.

"The Act also allows for three types of accreditation for product stewardship—voluntary, co-regulatory and mandatory.

"As a voluntary scheme, FluoroCycle embodies the ideals of the Australian Government's product stewardship legislation.

"This groundbreaking legislation came into effect in August 2011 and aims to ensure we all share responsibility for the products we consume, from the point of design and manufacture right up until their disposal," Ms Rishworth said.

FluoroCycle and the landmark Product Stewardship Act 2011 are both priority initiatives under Australia's National Waste Policy.