On 1 November, Victoria became the seventh and second last State to introduce a cash for containers scheme. It means that Victorians can now claim a refund on eligible containers returned for recycling. Our campaign to have a container refund scheme in every state is almost complete.
Victoria is suffering from initial implementation problems exacerbated by having three Network Operators, offering different levels of convenience to get refunds. The over-the-counter refund points are particularly problematic. It remains to be seen how quickly these issues can be overcome.
On the same day, Queensland became the first State to accept wine and spirit bottles for a refund. This was a move supported by environment groups, retail associations, the waste industry and the beverage industry. We now look forward to other states and territories following suit.
The fact is that container deposit or refund schemes work well, so it makes sense to expand on the number of items that could be collected. Wine and spirit bottles are the first action. In the future, items such as other glass jars, larger fruit juice, plain milk, non-beverage and reusable containers could also be included. Our aim is to drive up the return rates to above 90%.