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World-first joint industry plan endorsed by Governments

In what is believed to be a world first, Australia's Environment Ministers - Federal, State and Territories - have endorsed a five-year National Environmental Sustainability Plan created by Australia's major newspaper and magazine publishers and Australia's domestic newsprint manufacturer to support and promote recycling of newspapers and magazines through product stewardship and industry sustainability targets.

Meeting as the Environment Protection and Heritage Council in Launceston in October 2005, the Ministers' communiqué on Extended Producer Responsibility said:

Council congratulated the Australian community and newspaper industry for their commitment to recycling, and endorsed a record fourth voluntary product stewardship plan that will run from 2006-2010. Ministers agreed that the voluntary scheme run through the industry's association, the Publishers National Environment Bureau, was the most successful example of voluntary product recycling in Australia. The industry has delivered against its targets for increasing recycling of newspapers and magazines for each five-year plan since these were initiated in 1990. The current recycling rate of 74% for newspapers and magazines is the highest in the world.

The federal Minister for Environment and Heritage, the hon. Senator Ian Campbell officially launched the new national plan at Parliament House.

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