The Queensland Government has extended the timeframe for the introduction of the state’s container refund scheme from 1 July to 1 November 2018.
The date was changed to respond to stakeholders who were keen to ensure the Queensland scheme leveraged the lessons learned from the rollout of the New South Wales scheme late last year.
The Queensland Government and Container Exchange (CoEx)—which has been appointed by the Queensland Government as the scheme’s Product Responsibility Organisation (PRO)—want it to be the best scheme in Australia.
The delay will allow time for the PRO to get a critical amount of refund points in place, the communications strategy rolled out, and for the community infrastructure grants program to take effect.
CoEx will be governed by a Board of nine directors, made up of beverage industry and independent representation, and including an independent chair.
As the scheme’s PRO, CoEx will work with the government to ensure the scheme is a success, and that it remains efficient and delivers positive outcomes for the public, community groups and the environment.
For more information about the scheme visit the Queensland Government website.
Note: The Plastic Bag Ban remains scheduled for introduction on 1 July 2018.
See the official Qld Government Media Release below:
Industry-backed extension will ensure Container Refund Scheme is right for Queensland
Extending the timeframe for the introduction of the state’s Container Refund Scheme will ensure the scheme is right for Queensland, Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said today.
Originally due to start 1 July this year, the scheme will now commence 1 November 2018.
“It’s important we get the scheme right from day one so that its full community, environmental and recycling benefits are realised,” Ms Enoch said.
“Extending the timeframe for the scheme’s introduction was requested by stakeholders to ensure Queensland did not run into the same roll-out issues experienced in New South Wales when its scheme started 1 December last year.
“While our scheme is not run along the same lines as that in New South Wales, it’s clear there are valuable lessons to be learned from the problematic introduction of their scheme.
“These include ensuring there are enough container refund points from the outset, so people have the ability to get the 10c refund.
“We know Queenslanders want a container refund scheme and we have industry and community support for it. We also recognise it takes time and effort to ensure this is done efficiently and effectively.”
Legislation to extend the start date of the Container Refund Scheme will be introduced into State Parliament tomorrow.
Waste Recycling Industry Association Queensland CEO Rick Ralph said the new timeframe would give industry time to establish the right systems and make investments to ensure the scheme was accessible to all Queenslanders from the beginning.
“Queensland’s complex demographics, coupled with recent changes in terms of markets for recovered products globally, prove the decision is right and important in making the program the very best it can be,” Mr Ralph said.
Ms Enoch said a new not-for-profit company Container Exchange (CoEx) has been appointed as the product responsibility organisation (PRO) to administer and run Queensland’s container refund scheme.
CoEx will be governed by a board of nine directors, made up of beverage industry and independent representation, and will include an independent chair.
As the PRO, CoEx will work with the government to ensure the scheme is a success, and that it remains efficient and delivers positive outcomes for the public, community groups and the environment.
“I am pleased that two of our largest beverage manufacturers – Coca-Cola Amatil and Lion – are involved in CoEx,” Ms Enoch said.
“This is fitting as these entities represent around half of the beverage brands on the Queensland market.
“This approach has the support of environment and community groups, as well as the beverage sector, and will provide balance, transparency and equity in how CoEx and the scheme itself is run.”
Ms Enoch said CoEx was required to ensure an adequate number of container refund points were in place when the scheme started so its benefits would be available across Queensland.
“We’re looking to have more than 200 refund points across Queensland ready to operate by 1 November this year, and CoEx will ensure they are located where as many people as possible in our de-centralised state can access them.
“CoEx has already started this process by putting a request for proposal into the market, seeking interest from individuals and organisations that want to run container refund points.
“CoEx will also work to ensure the scheme’s running costs are minimised, with as small an impact as possible on the beverage industry and the community.
“As we move towards the scheme’s 1 November start date, the public will be kept informed of container refund point locations and other relevant information through public information sessions, industry workshops, media announcements and online content.”
The refund scheme will see most drink containers between 150ml and 3L eligible for a 10 cent refund, although some containers are exempt.
Information on the scheme, including eligible containers, is available via the Queensland Government website.
Interested individuals, community groups and other organisations wanting to receive information on the request for proposal to set up container refund points should register through [email protected] before 5 March 2018.