New research into the development of novel chemical, biological and other techniques for processing and recovery of hazardous materials is gradually creating safer and more efficient ways to disassemble and extract the valuable components and neutralise the dangerous elements found in these materials. As a net importer of manufactured goods, there is limited opportunity for Australia to apply green design principles directly to manufactured goods. However it may be possible for the Federal Government to impose some sale or import restrictions on those products that do not meet certain green design principles.
Waste from the construction and demolition industry still forms a significant proportion of all waste generated in Australia. Green design principles could be more widely applied in this sector by increasing the weighting given to waste management in green design measurement schemes. This, and accompanying material specifications to cover their application to various situations, would increase the re-processing and recovery of specific C&D wastes.