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Green households - where are the recyclable tissues?

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The Hon Wendy Fatin MR Minister for Local Government

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women

Embargoed until 10.30am October 5, 1991.


Industry has been urged to produce "truly green” products which do not increase either the workload or the shopping bill of the Australian household.

The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Statue of Women, the Hon Wendy Fatin MP, said today that Australian women should not have to bear the full responsibility for household environmental management just because they did 70 per cent of work in the home.

Addressing the Conference of zonta International District XXIV on the Gold coast, Ms Fatin said the corporate sector had to develop practical, affordable products which were also environmentally sensitive.

"Where are the paper tissues made from recyclable paper?” Ms Fatin asked. “Where are the rewards at a household level for producing less rubbish?"

It was claimed that soiled disposable nappies occupied up to 5 per cent of landfill, yet "there is little debate on what might be in the other 95 per cent of landfill, or any progress in developing practical, alternatives".

Ms Fatin warned that some moves to 'green products' were nothing more than cynical marketing exercises.

"Women are too intelligent to pay more for the products cynically marketed as 'no animal testing - biodegradable' when they have always been biodegradable and animal testing is not an issue," she said. "It's not surprising that these products have not fared well."

The National Women's Consultative Council has spent the past three months canvassing women's views on the environment and ecologically sustainable development. Initial results show that women accept the need to act both locally and globally on environmental issues.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Status of Women is working on a Women and Ecologically Sustainable Development Project.

Media contact: Ruth Dewsbury (06) 2777240, (09) 335 6852 (ah)