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Recycling of newspapers in Australia is world class

Australian newspaper and magazine publishers have been committed to advancing recycling since starting to work together on environmental issues since 1990.

For the last few decades newspaper recycling rate has risen dramatically – we’ve been up with the world leaders in recycling since 1997 when we surpassed the US rate. We remain firm in our commitment to maintaining Australia’s world class newspaper recycling rate of around 75 per cent. This places us among the best in the world, something we achieved when Australia first surpassed the US newspaper recycling rate in 1997.

RELATED: How are newspapers made? Read the story of integrated sustainability in the production of newsprint 

We didn’t stop there: our commitment to recycling newspapers at the optimum rate goes hand in hand with advocating the benefits of recycling to our audiences and encouraging our communities to follow our lead. To this end, the industry offers $A1,000,000 a year in advertising space to state and federal governments to promote newspaper and magazine recycling.

Australians are also leaders in reusing newspapers with more than seven per cent being used around the home in a variety of contexts from garden mulching, tinder in fireplaces, painting drop sheets, wrapping rubbish and in wrapping and protecting materials for moving.

The increase in reuse and recycling over the years has led to a drop in the amount of newspaper in landfill. The figure for newspaper in landfill has fallen from 3 per cent in 1990 to just 0.3 per cent in 2013.


Product stewardship

The industry is committed to responsible product stewardship, which ensures the lifecycles of our products has the best environmental outcomes possible.

The sustainable lifecycle starts in the forests and goes right through to the recycled fibre from newspapers and magazines that are collected from our readers. Only plantation pine from forests certified by FSA or PEFC, and recycled fibre, are used to make newsprint in Australia.

Related: How a newspaper is made


Check out the video below on how our industry’s commitment to sustainability is having a positive impact on the planet:

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Filed Under: Sustainability