Deposit scheme backed
Monday, 23rd February, 2015
The beverage industry is coming to the table to help develop a NSW cash for containers recycling scheme and rightly so, says NSW Premier Mike Baird.
The beverage industry has lobbied fiercely against such schemes, even taking the Northern Territory government to court for their version of the program.
But Mr Baird says there is no doubt their scheme is going ahead, should they be re-elected next month.
“The beverage industry has now understood our determination to do this and is now playing a constructive role... as they should,” he said at a press conference in Sydney’s Coogee on Saturday.
Last month’s announcement by the Baird government that is would support a state-based container deposit scheme was welcomed by one Broken Hill business in particlar.
Channing’s Bottle Yard lost 60 per cent of its business overnight when a long-running arrangement with South Australian beverage companies, which enabled it to pay people for bottles and cans despite the business operating in NSW, ceased a number of years ago.
Owner Adrian Channing told the BDT that his business would likely employ two people straight away once the scheme is introudced.
The NSW government also plans to put at least 800 reverse vending machines at popular beaches, parks and public spaces by July 1, 2017. The technology works by giving people a deposit - a slip of paper - when they put a container in the machine.
In the meantime, they will be figuring out details such as how much money people would get back - something which the beverage companies will pay for.
The government will consult with communities about the option of donating the deposit they receive to local charities or sporting groups.
Environment Minister Rob Stokes said they are going to pick and choose the best features from overseas cash for containers programs for NSW.
He said it won’t cost the public anything.
“Studies around the world indicate it doesn’t exert upward pressure on prices, but the easy anecdotal evidence is you go across the border to South Australia or the Northern Territory and you don’t have to pay more for beverages in those states,” he said.
South Australia has had a container deposit scheme since 1977, offering 10 cents per can or bottle.
Clean Up Australia founder Ian Kiernan said Australians will now have cash for container programs in SA, NT and NSW, but the country still has a way to go.
“The other states must follow. Let’s just keep the pressure on.”
NSW opposition leader Luke Foley was happy to give his support to the scheme.-AAP/BDT