Together with the introduction of statewide plastic bag legislation in July, these initiatives have been at the centre of our campaigns in the 15 years since BA’s inception.
And it feels very gratifying to celebrate these fantastic wins.
With about 3 billion eligible drink containers consumed in Queensland every year, waste data shows drink containers represent 23% of all litter and despite kerbside recycling, most are either dumped in landfill or littered. The Container Deposit Scheme is expected to make a big change.
Run by not-for-profit company COEX, the scheme offers an opportunity for community groups to make funds from donated containers. And this has been a big focus for Boomerang Alliance.
BA completed 2 statewide educational tours, talking exclusively to community groups about how they could participate. In that time, we spoke to over 2000 representatives of community organisations and we are pleased to see that over 400 organisations are already registered as donation points in Queensland.
The introduction of the scheme is a major change for Queenslanders and, like NSW, there have been a few teething problems. Are there enough refund points? Where are the donation points? What containers are elgible under the scheme. This has been expected and we have been working closely with COEX to ensure this information is readily available to ensure that Queenslanders
embrace the scheme.
Encouragingly, we are already beginning to see exponential growth in uptake and we anticipate that the scheme will swiftly deliver similar outcomes to NSW. After a poor start, official data shows that return rates for containers in NSW are now above 70% - a huge improvement on the pre-scheme rates, which were disappointingly low at around 32%.
We look forward to Queenslanders getting behind the scheme and COEX making the improvements needed to to ensure that the scheme is as convenient and effective as possible.
And it means that, with Western Australia and the ACT to follow shortly, only two jurisdictions in Australia -Victoria and Tasmania- have yet to introduce container deposits. With your help and support, we hope that the fantastic outcomes we will continue to see from the new schemes in 2019 will change that.
Further information on the Queensland scheme, including the location of refund points and how community organisations can register as donation recipients can be found at https://www.containersforchange.com.au