Renewables, Solar

Federal Government to implement regulations for solar panel recycling

The Federal Government has announced new Australian recycling regulations are on the horizon for businesses and manufacturers to address the growing problem of hazardous waste going to landfill.

With the rapid uptake of rooftop solar and many systems reaching the end of their life, the issue of PV waste is becoming increasingly significant for the clean energy industry, with solar materials now the fastest growing electronic waste stream in Australia.

Solar waste has been on a “minister’s priority list” for stewardship action for five years, but Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek has warned the PV industry that regulations are impending to prevent tonnes of potentially hazardous waste entering the environment.

“I have moved solar panels and electronic goods from that minister’s priority list into a category where I will regulate because they [businesses and manufacturers] have been warned but haven’t got their act together,” she says.

“The next step is to regulate for solar panels and electronic goods to be recycled, and to have a stricter set of rules about recycling in these industries.”

The Clean Energy Council welcomes action from the Federal Government in preventing solar PV waste from entering landfill, and is willing to work in partnership with government to address the growing recycling concern.

Minister Plibersek is also seeking to regulate recycling of tyres, mattresses and plastics in health care products after also elevating them from the minister’s priority list.

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