Environment groups welcome WA Environment Minister Dr Judy Edwards’ announcement that their Government will phase in a refund deposit system for beverage containers.
“Its great to see an environment minister standing up to vested interests like the beverage industry, and taking the lead on cutting waste and litter from packaging” said Environment Victoria’s Zero Waste Director Jenny Henty.
“Victoria should follow Western Australia’s initiative and introduce bottle deposits. We need government leadership to overcome our burgeoning waste crisis and make producers responsible for the waste they create.” said Ms Henty.
“This is a great outcome for the Western Australian environment,” said Sue Graham-Taylor, Vice-President of the Conservation Council of Western Australia and spokesperson for the Boomerang Alliance.
“The introduction of a deposit on beverage containers will bring hundreds of jobs and new reprocessing and collection infrastructure to the west,” said Ms Graham-Taylor. “It will be a huge step towards zero waste.”
Campaign Coordinator for the Boomerang Alliance Dave West said Australia could expect to enjoy enormous employment, economic and environmental benefits from the introduction of a scheme similar to South Australia’s bottle deposit system.
“We would reasonably expect that a container refund in WA will create at least 300 new jobs both at collection centres and in reprocessing facilities.
“At a minimum a beverage refund scheme would also bring in $10 million dollars a year in new revenues to the state, through the sale of additional recyclate, and reduce the cost of kerbside recycling to households by another $10 million each year.
“Based on the South Australian and international experience we would also expect to see the incidence of beverage litter to be halved, avoiding around 40,000 – 50,000 tonnes of landfill each year’ said West
Clean Up Australia chairman Ian Kiernan AO said a refund scheme would tackle the masses of throwaway, single-use containers polluting Australia.
“Plastic and glass bottles have dreadful recycling rates in Australia with less than a third being recovered, while South Australia is recovering over 80% due to its container refund scheme,” Mr Kiernan said.
“Putting a value on an otherwise worthless commodity reinforces good recycling habits and provides kids with a bit of extra pocket money.
“Container refunds also provide valuable funding for sporting clubs, charities and schools.”