SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - The Australian consumer electronics industry claims that they are ready to help in establishing a national e-waste recycling program, but that efforts are being hampered by government inaction, said industry spokespersons.

Consumer electronics supplier representative group Product Stewardship Australia (PSA), which represents approximately 70% of all consumer electronics suppliers in Australia, has reportedly said that they have had a national pickup program proposed since 2004, and have even agreed to fund much of cost of recycling e-waste, but that successive Federal governments had not acted on the offer.

Claiming that the government has been “dragging their feet.” PSA chief executive John Gertsakis said, “PSA and its members have put forward now for several years a proposed national solution. But it’s subject to government playing its role and ensuring that it underpins our scheme with safety net regulations.” said PSA chief executive, John Gertsakis.

Panasonic Australia managing director Steve Rust cited that logistics could be an issue for some retailers, and suggested a national pickup program run with local councils and garbage pickup companies as a possible solution.

“I have a more national perspective on the issue, where we’ve got around two million televisions going into landfill at the moment. On that scale, my view is that a pickup scheme from the consumer’s home is probably the way to go,” he said.

Rust said that Panasonic Australia would be willing to carry its “fair share” of the financial burden, estimated at about $15 per TV set, but only if its rivals would as well. Other retailers have stated their willingness to be part of a national e-waste program.

The Federal Environment Minister’s office has reportedly said that they and Australia's Environmental Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) were working with industry “on a range of product stewardship options such as voluntary codes of conduct and recycling schemes.”

“While any case for regulation would need to demonstrate a clear community benefit, EPHC will continue to assist industry in this process and the Australian Government is exploring ways to assist in quantifying the value placed by the community on product stewardship,” it said.
QUEBEC, CANADA - The market research report Electronics.ca Publications has reported that electronics manufacturing in the US, Japan and Western Europe now accounts for less than 50% of global electronics output, as volume manufacturing continues to move to countries with lower-cost manufacturing.

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