Container Refund Scheme must be expanded

With the NSW container refund scheme (CRS), Return & Earn about to recover its 10billionth beverage container, environmental groups are calling for the state government to move on including wine, spirit and other containers in the successful recycling program.

It’s such an obvious move, we and the vast majority of the community don’t understand why it is taking so long. Queensland will open their container refund scheme to wine and spirit bottles on the 1st November. NSW as Australia’s first modern CRS should also be in the front pack.

There has been some opposition from the wine industry with their misinformation campaign and exaggerated costings, but this can be safely ignored because the price and cost impacts will in reality be almost invisible. Importantly the industry is currently locked into a weak collection and recycling system for used glass bottles giving it a poor environmental and climate reputation.

We are all pleased that Return & Earn has been such a great success, but now is the time to extend its reach to other recyclable containers.