A$1.8 billon a year to run national container deposit scheme

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 15th December 2011

Australian governments have been investigating the concept of a Container Deposit Scheme that will encompass the whole country.

Currently, the Northern Territory is due to implement its own CDS system on 3 January 2012. In South Australia, Australia’s first Container Deposit Scheme began operating operating in the State of 1977.

An investigation by Australia’s Environment Ministers has now found that the cost of a national Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) would be between A$1.4 billion and A$1.8 billion each year.

The Packaging Impacts Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (PICRI Statement) on future packaging waste options has been commissioned by the Australian and State Governments.

The PICRI Statement was released today with the costing of the scheme. It says that the Australian Government’s stated objectives for reduced waste and increased resource recovery are not being met and considered a number of alternative container deposit schemes.

Alternative schemes include an advance disposal fee, industry-run schemes that may be co-regulated under the Product Stewardship Act 2011, with a nationally consistent government initiative.

Under the national CDS system, a 10-cent fee would be levied and refunded when containers are recycled. This is the same as under the South Australian and Northern Territory schemes.

AFGC stance

Commenting on the PICRI Statement, Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) CEO Kate Carnell said that Australia must adopt a packaging waste mechanism with a capacity to be much broader than just beverage containers.

Ms Carnell said, “Industry is very supportive of current product stewardship approaches – including at-home and away-from-home recycling – and extending the Australian Packaging Covenant to offer a broad-based, longer-term and cost effective solution for packaging waste.”

Ms Carnell said the AFGC will prepare a submission in the New Year to respond to the PICRI Statement as part of the stakeholder consultation.