Beverage container levy plan under Senate scrutiny

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 24th August 2009

A Greens plan to introduce a national beverage deposit scheme – similar to that seen in South Australia – is currently under review by a Senate committee.

The inquiry today heard from food and beverage manufacturers represented by industry body the Australian Food and Grocery Council and aluminium manufacturer Alcoa. Australians for Refunds on Cans and Bottlers also had their say on the issue that has the support of both the Greens and Family First Senator Steve Fielding.

The plan would see a 10 cent levy on each beverage container sold in the country, which can be recovered by consumers when they recycle it.

Leading industry body, the AFGC, is against the scheme, contending that it will cost taxpayers up to $500 million a year to run and increased costs to business and consumers.

The Australian Greens maintain, however, that their Container Deposit Legislation would be cost neutral, reduce greenhouse gas emission by 1.4 million tonnes per year and could save Council ratepayers almost $60 million dollars a year.

The Federal Government has not advised of a position on the plan, preferring to set-up the inquiry to weigh up the various arguments.