Coca Cola has sought to explain its position on Cash for Containers with a blog by the Head of Corporate affairs (see end of this article).
Some of it is complete nonsense, most of it misleading at best. Below we pick apart some of the claims and the reality.
WHO IS OPPOSED?
Some large beverage producers such as Coca Cola spend considerable resources lobbying and on advertising campaigns fighting the imposition of deposit schemes (CDS) on bottles and cans by legislators. Why?
28 April 2012 - Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke said he supports container deposits as long all the states do. This is a major advance as national legislation will be required - but we need to bring our work with key states to fruition. The Ministers met on 24 August, 2012 and despite a massive 'tax and cost of living' fear campaign by industry - they decided to press on with final examination of 3 CDS options, as well some alternatives. They are now planning to make a final decision in April/May 2013. Our campaign will continue!
Here's why the campaign is important:
Australians consume drinks in almost 15 billion containers a year. Only about 40% of these are recycled, mostly collected via kerbside and much less (22%), away from home (food halls, events, public spaces). The other 60% are littered or landfilled (15,000 a minute) representing a big waste of resources. If they were recycled - the energy, water and raw materials used in and pollution in our parks, bushland and aquatic environment from container production would be significantly less. In addition thousands of new jobs would be created; charities helped; and crucially, hundreds of new convenient drop-off centres established - at no cost to government.
A CDS has been proven worldwide to be the best way to increase collection and recycling. South Australia has had a CDS for over 30 years and now the Northern Territory will have one in 2012. It would increase recovery to 80% - over 6 billion extra containers a year. Despite vigorous campaigning by environmental groups over many years the bigger states like New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have failed to adopt the system. Industry has invented the myth that kerbside collection will be financially disadvantaged. However the last three government supported studies have shown this to be wrong - in fact local government kerbside benefits.
Now we have a chance for the national introduction of container deposits with state and federal environment ministers about to decide on their preferred option after commissioning a 'regulatory impact statement'. Some states are even considering unilateral action. The final phase of our CDS battle will be fought over the coming months.
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