Food and Grocery Council concerned by proposal to adopt container deposit system Australia-wide

Posted by Editorial on 4th September 2008

The Australian Food and Grocery Council, Australia’s peak food and grocery manufacturing representative body, today welcomed the release of the Senate Inquiry into the Management of Australia’s Waste Streams advising the Senate that it could not support Senator Fielding’s Drink Container Recycling Bill.

AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell claimed Senator Fielding’s bill, in effect a container deposit tax, has the potential to increase the price of a carton of beer or soft drink by $3.60. “Senator Fielding’s proposed bill would actually work against the very families that he and Family First purport to represent,” she said.

Ms Carnell pointed to comments from Inquiry Chair, Senator McEwen, that the performance of South Australia’s existing container deposit system could not readily be extrapolated to the rest of Australia.

Ms Carnell said proof of this was that in Victoria, where there is no tax, per capita packaging recycling rates are significantly higher than in South Australia. “Every year Victorians recycle 24 kilograms more than South Australians; all without having this inefficient tax imposed on them,” she said.

Ms Carnell added that industry would continue to support evidence based approaches that takes into account the economic, social and environmental facts which are critical to the development of good public policy. “We look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders through the Environment Protection and Heritage Council to investigate the best national approach in relation to packaging waste management, she concluded.