Our mission is best illustrated by our work in the following areas:
- Educating the community and in particular young Australians about the importance of recycling newspapers and magazines, and the positive impact this has on our environment
- Co-funding projects and studies to assist in a better understanding of the limited environmental impact of our industry on the environment – for example, our paper comes from either recycled paper or plantation trees.
- Making available the publishing industry’s environmental track record so this may be held up as best practice by other industry sectors
- Serving as a repository for all aspects of environmental information relevant to the Australian publishing industry.
Recycling – Our Global Best Practice
When the publishing industry’s initial Industry Waste Reduction Plan, Australia’s rate of recycling old newspapers was estimated to be 28 per cent.
In 1995, recycling rates had risen to 52.7 per cent against a target in the first industry plan of 40 per cent. In 2000, 64 per cent of our newspapers were recycled, again outperforming the industry target figure (60 per cent).
By 2005, recycling rates had reached 74 per cent, a performance that was possibly the best in the world at the time.
In 2009 and 2010, target recycling rates of 78 per cent were achieved.
Our Landfill Avoidance Strategy
One of the success stories of Australian newspaper recycling has been the volumes of newsprint diverted from landfill. Since 1990, the amount of newspaper sent to landfills has dropped dramatically from 367,824 tonnes to 144,685 tonnes. That’s 39 per cent of the waste previously not recycled.
We estimate the total waste stream to landfill has risen considerably over that time, from 12.3 million tonnes in 1990 to 22.45 million tonnes in 2002 and close to double that less than a decade later. But the amount of newspapers has in that equation has gone from 3.28 per cent of national landfill volumes to 0.65%.