Tasmanian Parliament votes in support of container deposit scheme
The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has reacted to a vote by the Tasmanian Parliament to approve an amended Greens motion supporting the establishment of a nationwide container deposit scheme.
The vote of approval means that Environment Minister, Brian Wightman, will take ‘in-principle’ support for a national scheme to the upcoming Ministerial Council in August 2012.
The motion also means a cost benefit study into a state-based scheme will be undertaken “if a national container deposit scheme does not eventuate in a timely manner”.
Greens Environment spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said, “If a national scheme fails to materialise, then we have the basis for a way forward on introducing the state-based container deposit scheme that Tasmania so desperately needs to help end our terrible litter problem.”
AFGC: Container deposit scheme an “unnecessary cost”
Reacting to the Tasmanian vote, the AFGC said the Greens motion was put to Parliament without any details on the cost impact of such a scheme on the Tasmanian community.
A media statement published this week by the AFGC said, “Parliament’s ‘in principle’ support for a container deposit scheme comes despite the Tasmanian Government’s previously stated position that all options to increase recycling and reduce litter should be fully considered and costed by Environment Ministers prior to any decisions being taken.”
The AFGC’s Acting Chief Executive, Dr Geoffrey Annison said, “A container deposit scheme is extraordinarily expensive and amounts to yet another increased cost for families – the great majority of whom are already doing the right thing and recycling.
“Prices will rise for staples such as milk, fruit juices, water and soft drinks, as well as wine and beer, to cover the deposit fees and the costs of running this system. We have seen this already, following the introduction of a CDS in the Northern Territory in January this year, the average price of a carton of beer has risen by AU$3-AU$4.”
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