Container Deposit Schemes (CDS) operate or are about to be introduced in most States and Territories in Australia. South Australia has had a scheme in place since 1977, and only two states, Victoria and Tasmania, are yet to introduce a scheme. With Victoria losing the China market for its contaminated recyclate and needing to consider a CDS which produces clean material - will Tasmania be the last State to act?
There are over 40 CDS in operation around the world and all demonstrate that they slash litter, increase recycling of containers and provide jobs and benefits to community organisations interested in collecting cans and bottles.
The Scouts in Tasmania are also very supportive. If they collect used drink containers they could stand to make significant funding for their Federation, and contribute to a cleaner Tasmania. Many other community organisations could also benefit.
We asked the four key political parties contesting the election if they would introduce a CDS in Tasmania and only the Greens gave the commitment to do so. Both the Liberals and the ALP are investigating but gave no commitments to introduce a scheme. The JLN did not respond to our questions.
Authorised by Jeff Angel, Director, Boomerang Alliance, 99 Devonshire St, Surry Hills, NSW
Facts and Figures
- About 300 million drinks containers are used in Tasmania every year (based upon a population average consumption) – only 30% are recycled with most landfilled or littered. In South Australia, about 80% are collected for recycling (EPA SA).
- According to Clean Up Australia, 41% of litter was plastic packaging in 2017 with drink containers a large proportion. In the ocean they break up into microplastics lasting hundreds of years.
- A CDS is popular with the public, particularly in Tasmania. The national average support is 85% - in Tasmania it is over 90% ( Newspoll 2013)
- A best practice CDS runs itself without funding from the State Government and will complement local government kerbside collections (LGAT 2013)
- Based on the SA CDS, community groups could raise an estimated $4M from donated containers every year
- Scouts in South Australia receive $2.8 million every year from the proceeds of container collections.