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National battery and pen recycling program launched

A national battery and pen recycling program has been launched in Officeworks stores in Australia.

On November 5, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans launched the scheme while at the Osborne Park store in Perth, Western Australia.

“Australians can now recycle their batteries, pens and markers at Officeworks, in addition to e-waste, computers and accessories, ink and toner cartridges and mobile phones. It is another step forward in Australia transitioning towards a more circular economy, in which we recognise the value of our waste resources and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill,” Evans said.

“Every Australian – all levels of government, industry, communities and individuals – has a part to play in the waste and recycling revolution underway, and recycling old batteries and plastic pens and markers is one very practical and easy thing we can all do.”

Currently only 3 per cent of batteries are recycled in Australia, providing a significant opportunity to increase recycling rates for this waste stream.

Officeworks general manager corporate affairs Alexandra Staley said the retailer has a long-standing commitment to making a positive difference in the communities in which its team and customers live and work.

“We know our customers want to dispose of their unwanted items such as batteries responsibly, and that they appreciate there’s value in recovering and reusing the materials. Providing our customers with convenient and effective recycling programs that make a real difference is really important to us,” Staley said.

Officeworks is planning to have battery recycling available in all its stores, and pen recycling in most stores, by the end of 2020. The company will recycle batteries in partnership with Envirostream, and pens and markers in partnership with BIC.