The survey, commissioned by the Publishers National Environment Bureau (PNEB), showed that 78.7% of all Australian newsprint was recovered. The recycling rate is almost 10% higher than the average rate for newsprint in Europe, which is 68.9%.
Industry Edge consultant Robert Eastment, who compiled the data for the report, said: “The newsprint sector continues to surprise in Australia.
“Other industries are rightly envious of the newsprint sector and are seeking to understand how they can achieve the same results.”
Eastment said other industries could be daunted by the lengthy measures taken by PNEB members to recover every sheet of newsprint.
Tony Wilkins, manager for environment and climate change at News Limited, said Australians were great recyclers, but the work of the PNEB made the sector particularly strong
“Australia is unique in that we have gone about our newsprint solution voluntarily. We don’t have legislation like many states in America do,” he said.
“We have a national uniform strategic plan with cooperation across the entire sector, which is underpinned by publishers signing contracts to buy only recycled newsprint.”
Wilkins added that Australian newsprint buyers purchase exclusively from Norske Skog, which sources 90% of its newsprint from Australia.
PNEB executive director Lillias Bovell said newsprint recycling in Australia had seen solid improvement over the past 10 years
“Australia’s old newsprint recovery program is the world’s best,” she said.
“That’s what the figures show. The industry’s very long-term commitment to proper stewardship of our resources is really showing the way for other industries.”
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