In August 2016, the Western Australian Government under the then Liberal Premier, Colin Barnett announced that it would commit to a container deposit scheme. In September 2017, after an election, the WA Government, under ALP Premier Mark McGowan confirmed that the WA CDS would indeed go ahead and that it was scheduled to commence in January 2019.
In light of the implementation of a state-wide ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags and acknowledgement of the criticisms arising from a short implementation period for the NSW CDS in 2017, a decision was taken by the McGowan government to delay the establishment of the scheme until early 2020, to allow adequate time to plan and implement the scheme effectively across Australia’s largest state.
Legislation to establish the scheme – The Waste Avoidance Resource Recovery Amendment (Container Deposit) Bill 2018 – was passed in the WA Parliament in March, 2019, after a public consultation that received more than 3000 submissions and demonstrated an overwhelming level of public support for the scheme.
The WA Government estimates that over a 20-year period, the scheme will prevent more than 700 million beverage containers from entering the litter stream and almost 6 billion containers from being sent to landfill, with a net positive benefit to the WA economy of more than $150 million. It is also anticipated that the scheme will create around 500 jobs in support of the infrastructure and processing frameworks that will emerge as the scheme gets underway.
Boomerang Alliance has been actively supporting the WA Government work to design the CDS scheme and we look forward to its implementation early in 2020.
This page was last updated on 25 March 2019
The South Australian Container Deposit Scheme is the legacy Australian scheme, having commenced in 1977. Collecting more than 600 million containers in 2017-18 and employing more than 5,000 people across the state through waste and recycling services, the South Australian scheme received a National Trust Heritage Icon Award in 2017. The award recognised the positive impact that the scheme has had in reducing litter and conserving the state’s environment over its 40 years of operation.
The ongoing benefits of the scheme are readily apparent. SA reports that beverage containers make up less than 3% of the state’s litter stream, which represents the lowest percentage in any Australian state. Similarly, the SA Environment Protection Authority reports a return rate of 76.9% for eligible beverage containers. In addition, the scheme proudly boasts a long history of supporting charities and community groups like the SA Scouting Association, which have benefited significantly from revenue received in the form of refunds donated by the SA community over many years.
This page was last updated on 25 March 2019
The ACT Government announced in September 2016 that they would introduce a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) in early 2018 to reduce litter, recover eligible containers, increase the recycling rates of used beverage containers and help engage the community in active and positive recycling behaviours.
The scheme was officially launched on June 30th, 2018 and reported the collection of more than 450,000 containers in the first month of operation, equating to more than $45,000 in refunds paid out.
The ACT scheme is operated through a combination of Bag Drop and Go locations for returns of up to 500 containers, and Bulk Depots which can handle the return of more than 500 containers at a time. The return points are operated by charities including Vinnies, the Salvos and Anglicare, which benefit through the receipt of deposits donated by the ACT community, as well as driving increased shopper traffic to the charities’ stores and helping to increase sales revenue.
The scheme has also provided a great social enterprise model, providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities under the NDIS, through organisations such as LEAD and Sharing Places.
The materials being collected through the ACT CDS are also finding uses. Glass, plastics and other recyclables are being combined into a new road surfacing material called Reconophalt, which is being trialled in road projects around Canberra.
For a full list of returns points in the ACT, visit the ACT CDS website: https://actcds.com.au/return-points/
The ACT CDS is administered by the ACT Government under the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Amendment ACT 2017 and the Waste Management and Resource Recovery (Container Deposit Scheme) Amendment Regulation 2018 (No 1)
This page was last updated on 25 March 2019
The Northern Territory’s Container Deposit Scheme was initially implemented in January 2012, but the scheme’s introduction wasn’t all smooth sailing. Despite some 35 million containers being collected in the first 12 months, beverage companies including, Coca Cola, Lion and Schweppes, mounted a legal challenge against the scheme in December 2012. The beverage producers argued that the NT CDS contravened the Commonwealth Mutual Recognition Act, which seeks to ensure that products and services provided in Australian states and territories are done so under consistent conditions.
In March 2013, the beverage suppliers won the court battle and the scheme ceased operation, in the face of significant frustration from the NT community. Activist group ‘Out of Order’ responded by placing 'Out of Order' signs on Coca Cola Amatil vending machines in capital cities across Australia, intending to deliver a blow to drink sales nationwide for a brief period.
The NT Government, however, was determined to continue the fight and covered the cost of deposits to keep the scheme in action, while launching an appeal through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). Ultimately, the Federal Executive Council (ExCo) agreed and the NT scheme was reinstated in August 2013, forcing the beverage companies to resume the repayment of deposits on eligible containers.
While the impost of the NT CDS on the beverage companies was relatively small, it is believed that the court action in the NT was designed to demonstrate the financial power of the beverage manufacturers in the hope of discouraging other jurisdictions from considering implementation of similar schemes.
Thankfully, the NT Government held its ground and placed environmental concerns ahead of big business pressure. The NT CDS continues to grow in popularity, having reached more than 84% returns in the 2018-19 financial year – a massive increase on the previous very low recycling rate. See the regular reports.
The NT scheme is administered by the NT Environment Protection Agency under the Environment Protection (Beverage Containers and Plastic Bags) Act 2011
This page was last updated on 25 March 2019
It’s official! The Town of Bassendean in Perth is going plastic free, after the public launch of Boomerang Alliance’s Plastic Free Places program this week under the banner WA Plastic Free.
Bassendean’s revitalised Old Perth Road precinct was abuzz as local business owners gathered at O2Café to learn more about the project and how they can get involved. The program works with local food retailers, markets and events to eliminate single-use plastic and, appropriately, the whole thing got underway at O2, Bassendean’s first café to be declared a ‘Plastic-Free Champion.’
WA Plastic Free makes Bassendean WA’s first community under the Plastic Free Places program to make the shift away from single-use plastics, under the guidance of the Boomerang Alliance and with funding support by the WA Waste Authority. The program’s pilot community Noosa, in Queensland, eliminated more than 2 million pieces of single-use plastic in its first year.
WA Plastic Free Project Coordinator Amy Matheson said ‘‘Our project aims to eliminate or replace key plastic items that are commonly found in the litter stream - water bottles, straws, coffee/cups & lids, takeaway containers, foodware (cutlery, cups, plates) and plastic bags” Ms Matheson explained. “All of these items have readily available reusable or compostable alternatives. It’s our job to work with businesses and events, show them the alternatives and help them to make the switch. Once they’ve removed those key items, we declare them ‘Plastic Free Champions’ and they can enjoy all the benefits that come with that”.
After much work behind the scenes at the end of 2018, the project is in full swing and will continue to expand over the coming months. Currently, the program is centred in Bassendean, with the hope of expanding into other surrounding areas.
“The Plastic Free Places program is really unique,”said Jayne Paramor, Deputy Director of the Boomerang Alliance. “We do a lot of work behind-the-scenes to make it easy for businesses to make the switch. We work with Council, suppliers, manufacturers, composters and waste transport operators to deliver effective solutions. Bassendean is the fourth community we are working with and we look forward to achieving some exciting results.”
To find out more, head to the website www.waplasticfree.org
With the help of our amazing supporters, Boomerang Alliance has had immense success with container deposit schemes in NSW, Queensland and WA (...we're still working on Victoria and Tasmania) and bans on lightweight shopping bags in every state except NSW (...and we're still working on that one too!)
We've helped design the E-waste product stewardship scheme and driven enormous change to the way our tyre industry deals with end-of-life tyres.
Now we're shifting our focus to the excessive amount of plastic packaging that we find on the shelves in our retail outlets and supermarkets. We will change the way industry thinks about plastic packaging and demand investment in recycling infrastructure from our governments to create jobs and capacity at home.
With your regular donations, we can make sure we're focused on the fight and carry the voice of our communities to business and government, to demand more of the positive change we've all worked so hard to create. Together, we will continue working towards a zero waste society and keep pollution out of our streets, our bushlands and our oceans (every donation $2 and over is tax deductible).
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The growing rush to incinerate recyclable materials in response to the current loss of export markets, is entirely the wrong way to go, the Boomerang Alliance of 47 national, state and local groups said today.Read more
Next Friday 27 April 2018, our State and Federal Environment Ministers will meet to discuss crucial issues, including the introduction of a nationwide ban on microbeads.
From personal care to dental hygiene to household cleaning, microbeads are used in an enormous range of products. They slip through our inadequate waste water filtration infrastructure and end up in the ocean. Once there, they act as a sponge for water-borne toxins and are easily mistaken as a food source by unwitting marine life, potentially adding toxins directly to the human food chain.
What’s more, without a national ban, surplus products containing microbeads that have been rejected by other countries could easily make their way to Australia, as manufacturers try to cut their losses. We can’t afford to let Australia become a potential dumping ground for these billions of pieces of microplastic.
Right now, the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, France, Sweden, Taiwan, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands have or will soon introduce bans on microbeads. Australia has no plans to do the same.
Instead the Commonwealth Government is relying on a voluntary phase out but only a national ban will eliminate the problem once and for all.
We need to put the pressure on. We need to protect marine wildlife, we need to protect the ocean. We need to protect our health.
After just two months, the NSW container deposit scheme is already collecting over 1.5 million containers a day. As the rest of Australia follows suit in coming months, Victoria will soon be the only mainland state without a 10 cents container refund scheme.Read more
After years of relying on China to process our plastic rubbish into something useable, the new Chinese National Sword ban is set to have devastating effects on Australia's waste problem if nothing is done.
The introduction of the comingled waste bin has always been an issue, but in Australia we took the lazy way out – ‘she’ll be right’. In the last few weeks I’ve been to crisis meetings with all stakeholders and the fear is palpable. If China won’t take our plastic waste for recycling because it is contaminated in our bins, what will we do with it? More landfill and incineration? Right now is not time for knee-jerk reactions and the glacial processes for better product stewardship, that have so far characterised waste policy development.Read more