Wow! In less than 3 months over 100 million containers have been collected by Return and Earn! And as we predicted they are finding markets because they are of high quality and not contaminated.
Many will have seen the hyper-criticism by some media outlets of short term issues being experienced by the NSW container deposit scheme - but it's unjustified.
Yes there are issues like the slower than planned rollout of collection points. However, every such scheme in the world has a ramp up period and it takes time for financially viable infrastructure to be put in place and for the community to adapt. We reject the hyper critical media commentators and some in the beverage industry who aren’t interested in a proven program being given time to sort out our serious recycling and litter problems.
New collection points are being opened every week and it’s very gratifying that the community wants more. As for the alleged consumer rip-off, the arrangements are no different to what occurs in South Australia - returns are projected; advance payment made by bottlers; and in the next quarter adjustments are made according to actual returns. Many bottlers then reduce their prices if there was overpayment. As the system settles in projections become more accurate. The initial agreed prices are to be reviewed after February.
The return rate for the first few months is close to what we predicted. It will gradually ramp up to about 80%. Return and Earn is a big, new program and NSW is the first state in Australia to bring in the modern, automated system that is necessary for our big cities and towns. We are continuing to monitor the program and where necessary, suggesting improvements.