Drink Container Refund expansion - an essential move

Environment, resource recovery and retail industry groups today welcomed NSW government support to increase the types of drinks and containers that will be covered by the successful 10cent refund schemes. They called on all state environment ministers who are meeting next Friday, to move quickly as it makes great recycling, business and community sense to do so.

Jeff Angel, Director of the Boomerang Alliance of 55 NGOs said that NSW and Victorian government studies show there is overwhelming support from the community to extend coverage to wine, spirits, juices, cordials and larger containers. Not only will it significantly increase high value recycling, reduce more litter and create extra jobs - it will also benefit households and charities nationally by an extra $150m a year. Governments which are seeking a harmonised national decision next Friday would be crazy to stall on action.

Gayle Sloan, CEO, Waste Management & Resource Recovery Association of Australia said: "Industry welcomes the proposed increase in scope, as we know that separation at source enables higher chances of material recovery. Placing more material in the successful CDS scheme in NSW (and in fact nationally), not only results in higher rates of recovery, but more money in the pocket of the community. As an industry we want to turn beverage containers back into beverage containers and these product stewardship schemes are the best chance of doing this. NSW and SA are to be congratulated for taking a lead on this initiative. This is a sensible reform that we hope that all jurisdictions will support, given the opportunity to move away from individual state-based schemes."

David Stout, Director, Policy, National Retail Association said: "We welcome sensible, and considered increases in scope. The container refund schemes will benefit from more volume leading to better recycling and circular economy outcomes. It has become a key part of environmental stewardship by the retail sector contributing to greater recycled content in products and reduced environmental impacts."