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 firstname.lastname@example.org before 5 March 2018.
Wow! In less than 3 months over 100 million containers have been collected by Return and Earn! And as we predicted they are finding markets because they are of high quality and not contaminated.
Many will have seen the hyper-criticism by some media outlets of short term issues being experienced by the NSW container deposit scheme - but it's unjustified.
Yes there are issues like the slower than planned rollout of collection points. However, every such scheme in the world has a ramp up period and it takes time for financially viable infrastructure to be put in place and for the community to adapt. We reject the hyper critical media commentators and some in the beverage industry who aren’t interested in a proven program being given time to sort out our serious recycling and litter problems.
New collection points are being opened every week and it’s very gratifying that the community wants more. As for the alleged consumer rip-off, the arrangements are no different to what occurs in South Australia - returns are projected; advance payment made by bottlers; and in the next quarter adjustments are made according to actual returns. Many bottlers then reduce their prices if there was overpayment. As the system settles in projections become more accurate. The initial agreed prices are to be reviewed after February.
The return rate for the first few months is close to what we predicted. It will gradually ramp up to about 80%. Return and Earn is a big, new program and NSW is the first state in Australia to bring in the modern, automated system that is necessary for our big cities and towns. We are continuing to monitor the program and where necessary, suggesting improvements.
This is an important call to action. We need you to respond to the Victorian government's "Reducing Plastic Pollution" Discussion Paper. It won't take more than a few minutes.Read more
- Reverse Vending Machines, located in convenient places all over NSW;
- Over the Counter Collection Points, including local convenience stores and cafes,
- Automated Depots where families, individuals, community groups, sports clubs etc can take a boot load, trailer load or just a big bag.
You can check out the location of these collection points here. More are being added and you can still register to be a collection point or host a Reverse Vending Machine. So if you want more locations near you, get out and talk to potential site owners and email email@example.com to register your interest.
If you have noticed an unreasonable price increase on your favourite beverages since the scheme began (eg: above 15c per container) we would encourage you to refer your observation to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART)
Also Return and Earn has created over 500 jobs and millions of dollars of investment in new infrastructure.
Sure, it’s been a slightly bumpy road but the teething problems have been ironed out and the results have demonstrated that it’s worth the effort. NSW already has a much cleaner environment, with far fewer bottles and containers finding their way into the litter stream. We have charities and social enterprises that are earning vital revenue through donated deposits and we have significantly reduced the quantity of plastic container that have found their way to the ocean – what’s not to love?
This page was last updated on 25 March 2019
Boomerang Alliance asked political parties in Queensland about their policies on plastic litter and waste reductions. With a plastic bag ban and container refund scheme already agreed upon by all parties and scheduled for introduction in July 2018, we were keen to know what each party proposed as the next steps to reduce single use plastics.
Our idea is for a Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan to identify and recommend solutions that will eliminate and reduce single use plastics. We were interested in addressing plastics use in the home and office, away from home, in commercial, industrial and agricultural settings and in the marine environment as a result of poor fishing practice and discards from vessels.
We also urged the immediate phase out of polystyrene takeaway products, and plans to phase out single use, non-biodegradable cups and food ware.
We also asked for support for a Waste levy in Queensland. Only the Greens have supported this, with the ALP wanting to wait on the current independent investigation on interstate waste transportation report-expected next month.
This is how the parties scored. We don’t endorse any political party but provide this as a guide to any Queensland voter concerned about plastic waste and litter.
Read Labor's response HERE
Read the Greens Response HERE
Authorised by Jeff Angel, Director, Boomerang Alliance, 99 Devonshire St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Plastic Pollution and Litter Reduction Policies (Queensland)
‘95% of plastic packaging is used once and then thrown away.’
New Plastic Economy-Ellen Macarthur Foundation/World Economic Forum Report 2016
In the next term of Parliament, we seek a new agenda on plastic reduction that builds on the good work achieved so far through the plastic bag ban and the Container Refund Scheme.
Boomerang Alliance supports the introduction of a Waste levy on all mixed wastes going to landfill in QLD, with any revenue hypothecated to resource recovery.
1. Maintain the introduction of a ban on lightweight plastic bags (including biodegradables) and a Container Refund Scheme in July 2018.
2. Expand the plastic bag ban to include the mass release of helium balloons and include plastic bags up to 70 microns.
3. Develop a Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy for Queensland to follow up on the introduction of a Container Refund Scheme and plastic bag ban.
4. Provide support to communities actively seeking to reduce their single- use plastic packaging and introduce an educational program to promote the switch to reusable alternatives.
5. Introduce an immediate ban on polystyrene takeaway containers and food ware.
6. Set a program for the future phase-out of single use, non-biodegradable takeaway items by 2020 (coffee cups/lids, straws, takeaway containers, food ware and water bottles) in Queensland.
Priority plastic waste streams and practices for investigation in the Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy should include:
- Soft plastics and film (with focus on retail/manufacturer practices)
- Agricultural/industrial use of single use, disposable plastic packaging and sheeting
- Plastic fishing lines/nets and bait bags
- Away from home plastic /composite items-coffee cups/lids, straws, food ware and takeaway containers
Authorised by Jeff Angel, Director, Boomerang Alliance, 99 Devonshire St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010.
We have some exciting news !!
Yesterday Premier Mark McGowan announced that Western Australia will ban plastic bags from July 2018. A time frame has also been given for Western Australia’s Container Deposit Scheme on bottle and cans. It is expected to start on 1 January 2019.
The failure of today’s meeting of environment ministers to agree on national coverage of plastic bag bans is due to the intransigence of NSW. Other states (WA, VIC) without bans have already announced they are looking at such action. NSW resists with the state being ever more flooded with polluting lightweight bags.Read more
Woolworths & Coles Ban the Bag in Australia
Today we welcome the announcement that Woolworths and Coles will ban lightweight plastic bags in their stores nationally from July 2018. Woolworths currently provide 3.2 billion plastic bags through their supermarkets annually.
There are now only three States, NSW, Victoria and Western Australia, who have yet to ban lightweight plastic bags, it's imperative that those State Governments to act to ban the bag.
Removing plastic bags in Australia is a significant first step in reducing this countries disposable plastic use and reducing threats to wildlife. Over 3 million tonnes of plastic is used in Australia every year, with most disposable plastics either landfilled or littered. It is estimated that between 100,000 and 120,000 tonnes of disposable plastic is littered annually. That is equivalent to 2.4 kgs per person in Australia.
We do however think Woolworths and Coles should go beyond their plan to introduce thicker bags at a 15 cents charge and urge that they replace this with fully proven reusable bag so the whole community adapts and use only genuinely reusable bags.
We recommend that supermarkets and other retailers see this ban as the first step in a movement to reduce the use of single use, disposable plastics. A review into plastic packaging of fresh food should be instigated with the aim of removing or replacing all unnecessary packaging.
Globally, 95% of all plastic packaging is used once and then discarded, often as litter. In its 2014 report on 'Marine Debris in Australia', the CSIRO found that three quarters of the marine debris found along our coastline is plastic, most from local sources.
RESEARCHERS ESTIMATE THAT IF THIS TREND CONTINUES THERE WILL BE MORE PLASTIC THAN FISH IN THE OCEAN (BY WEIGHT) BY 2050.
In Australia, most state governments are introducing container deposit schemes and plastic bag bans, which are good first steps to addressing the problem. The next step is to address the many other forms of problematic single-use plastics, like coffee cups, water bottles, straws, takeaway containers etc.
WHAT WE NEED ARE WHOLE COMMUNITIES TAKING A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO REDUCE SINGLE-USE PLASTIC PACKAGING, WITH A FOCUS ON LONG LASTING SOLUTIONS.
The Plastic Free Places program fills this gap by working in communities to directly reduce these single-use plastic items, and to empower the community to make lasting changes towards a circular economy. The program is a comprehensive system that can be implemented in any community by Boomerang Alliance in partnership with local stakeholders, and has demonstrated strong consumer support.
We have 6 current projects in Byron, Perth, Adelaide, Cairns, Townsville and Elsternwik.
In a nutshell, we work directly with food retailers, events, markets, and other organisations and assist them to switch from single-use plastics to better alternatives, such as reusable (preferred) or compostable items. But that's just the beginning. We also work with council, suppliers, manufacturers, waste transport operators and composters to deliver real solutions to businesses and to the community.
SOUNDS SIMPLE? THAT'S BECAUSE WE WORK HARD TO MAKE IT LOOK THAT WAY!
Most of our work to successfully run the program occurs behind the scenes. Ensuring that the right partnerships are in place, addressing barriers to transition, facilitating composting solutions and providing the right advice and value to businesses is fundamental to our success.
AFTER 17 MONTHS, PLASTIC FREE NOOSA HAS ELIMINATED OVER 4 MILLION PLASTIC ITEMS, AND THIS CONTINUES TO INCREASE.
Or learn more about the program in our OVERVIEW DOCUMENT.
OUR PLASTIC FREE PLACES COMMUNITIES
VIEW OUR COMMUNITY REPORTS
COULD YOUR COMMUNITY BE NEXT?
Are you a community also looking to reduce your plastic footprint? Below is an an overview of our program, to get you started.