National container deposit scheme to be opposed by industry

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 30th May 2012


Some of Australia’s largest industry and union representatives have joined together to reject the imposition of a national drink container deposit system (CDS) currently being considered by Federal, State and Territory Environment Ministers.

Through the COAG Standing Council on Environment and Water, governments are considering a number of policy options to increase packaging recycling and reduce litter.

These include a national container deposit system, whereby a 10-cent deposit would be added to every drink container sold in Australia including milk, fruit juices, water, soft drinks, beer and wine. This is the same as under the South Australian and Northern Territory 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.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council’s (AFGC) Packaging Stewardship Forum, which includes the Australian Beverages Council, Australian National Retailers Association and the Packaging Council of Australia, has written an open letter to the Australian Government rejecting national container deposit scheme proposal.

A recent study by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) found that the net cost of a national container deposit system would be between AU$1.4 – AU$1.76 billion over 25 years.

Jenny Pickles, General Manager of the Packaging Stewardship Forum said, “According to government research, the net cost would be up to AU$1.76 billion, which is 28 times more expensive than an industry-funded proposal that would deliver a similar reduction in litter and increased recycling rates.

“We don’t believe that Australian families want to be hit with yet more increases in the cost of living, as we have seen in the Northern Territory since the introduction of container deposits earlier this year,” concluded Ms Pickles.

Earlier this month, the Tasmanian Parliament approved an amended Greens motion supporting the establishment of a nationwide container deposit scheme.