By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Panasonic has today announced that it will provide support for new e-waste recycling initiatives put in place by the Australian Government, by providing the expertise of their leading recycling engineers.

In March this year, the Federal Government introduced its Product Stewardship Bill into the Senate, a bill which “aims to reduce hazardous substances, avoid and reduce waste, and increase recycling and resource recovery” according to the office of Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water. 

The Bill was passed by the Senate last week and by the House of Representatives yesterday, meaning it has now successfully been passed by the Australian Parliament.

Speaking about the new government initiative, Steve Rust, Managing Director, Panasonic Australia, said that Panasonic would provide expert engineers “to help Australia quickly become a leader in e-recycling.

“This is a landmark moment for the consumer electronics industry and we want to make sure that the program is executed as smoothly as possible,” said Rust. “E-waste has emerged as one of the most significant environmental issues of modern times with more than 1.5 million televisions ending up in landfill each year.”

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The engineers will come from Panasonic’s research and development facility, the Panasonic Eco Technology Centre (PETEC), in the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan. PETEC is heavily involved in e-waste recycling, processing over 700,000 units of televisions, air-conditioners, refrigerators/freezers and washing machines every year.

The move by the Australian government to target e-waste reduction was welcomed by Panasonic, Rust said.

“Panasonic has been campaigning for more than five years to have a national scheme put in place and was a foundation member of the industry lobbying group Product Stewardship Australia.  We’re delighted to finally see this program come to fruition.”