Tax-payers fund yet another CDL report

Posted by Josette Dunn on 5th July 2010

It was disappointing that Australia’s Environment Ministers have chosen to use tax-payers money to fund another study into a national Container Deposit Legislation (CDL) system, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) said today.At a meeting in Darwin, Australia’s Environment Ministers commissioned a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) into a national CDL as well as “a number of options which may have a positive cost benefit and a tangible impact on recovery rates and litter reduction” in Australia.

AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell said while industry will fully cooperative with the RIS process, it was questionable why Ministers needed another study on the merits and effectiveness of a national CDL, which offered a narrow approach to recycling and waste.

“There have already been a number of tax-payer funded reports on this issue – industry can’t see what another one is going to achieve,” Ms Carnell said.

“It’s hard to see what value Environment Ministers will get from another study, especially after the last one by the BDA Group, which estimated the cost of a national at a massive $680 million a year following an error in the original economic costs.”

However Ms Carnell said it was encouraging that Minister’s agreed to a strengthened Australian Packaging Covenant (APC), which commenced on 1 July this year.

The APC has been successfully operating for the past decade with recycling rates jumping from 39 per cent in 2003 to almost 60 per cent in 2009. The new APC is a partnership agreement between industry, all levels of Government and NGOs to manage Australia’s packaging waste.

Over the next five years, the Covenant will target improved design, away-from-home recycling, litter and product stewardship by all parties in the packaging chain which Ms Carnell said showed the effectiveness of the co-regulatory approach.

“Ministers have clearly recognised that the comprehensive approach under the Covenant is the most appropriate mechanism to respond to all packaging – the APC provides a holistic approach to waste and recycling in Australia,” Ms Carnell said.

Ms Carnell said industry was willing to work with the Government on the RIS. “Industry will be actively involved in the RIS to ensure it’s a robust and comprehensive investigation of recycling systems in Australia,” Ms Carnell said.