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Container Scheme Set to Keep the Eastern Beaches Beautiful

By Dan Hutton on June 3, 2016 in News

Photo: Mark Speakman

Photo: Mark Speakman

A date has now been set for the commencement of the NSW Government’s long-awaited container deposit scheme (CDS).

The scheme, which is set to is set to drive down litter across the Eastern Beaches and the state, will commence from July 2017 and apply to eligible drink containers between 150ml and three litres, which will display NSW CDS labelling.

Collection depots will range from large-scale depots through to stand-alone reverse vending machines and pop-up sites.

The reverse vending machines will be located in public places such as supermarkets, parks, beaches and other convenient locations across NSW.

Schools and charities will be encouraged to collect containers for cash to support their fundraising efforts.

The Members for both Vaucluse and Coogee said that residents would be able to return their drink containers for a 10-cent refund as part of the scheme.

“Litter is a growing, costly and ugly burden on our community and we have a responsibility to do something about it,” Member for Vaucluse Gabrielle Upton said.

“This scheme is the single largest initiative ever undertaken to reduce litter in NSW.

“Giving people a financial incentive to do the right thing and recycle drink containers will help to tackle the estimated 160 million drink containers littered across NSW every year and improve our neighbourhoods for everyone to enjoy.”

The CDS has been a childhood dream of Member for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith, and he was the lead lobbyist in ensuring the state government got the scheme they wanted.

He said a container deposit scheme targeting drink containers will deliver on a key election commitment and make a major contribution to achieving one of Mike Baird’s 12 priorities – to reduce the volume of litter by 40 per cent by 2020.

“We’re moving ahead with this container deposit scheme to make it easier for our community to recycle so that we can get bottles and cans out of our roads, parks, beaches and waterways and preserve our local environment,” Mr Notley-Smith said.

Environment Minister Mark Speakman said successive governments put container deposit scheme in the too hard basket for decade after decade.

“Drink containers make up the largest proportion of litter volume in NSW, at 44 per cent, so it makes sense to act,” he said.

Getting the proposal across the line was no walk in the park for the state government.

It was met with considerable opposition from not only the Australian Beverage Council, but also – somewhat surprisingly – from prominent litter reduction group Keep Australia Beautiful, which expressed a preference to promote its own initiatives such as its Beverage Container Recycling Grants with funding from Coca-Cola Amatil.

Funding of the 10-cent refund, as well as the associated handling and administration fees, will be provided by beverage suppliers.

The government will now appoint an implementation working group and develop the legislation to establish the scheme.

NSW now joins over 40 jurisdictions globally in countries such as Canada, Germany and Sweden in running a container deposit scheme.