Litter and Recycling Impacts: A comparison

The truth about the Container Deposit Scheme!

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It is not a tax. It’s a fully refundable 10 cent deposit returned to consumers when they give back their used bottles and cans for recycling. And overhead costs in a modern scheme are more than paid for by unredeemed deposits and the sale of the recycled materials.

Councils and taxpayers will save money. An independent study for the NSW Local Government Association (2012) has shown that councils could be $183 million better off under a national Cash for Containers scheme. That means more money for other council services.

Recycling rates will rise. Cash for Container schemes lead to rates of recycling of 80-95% and above. South Australia’s rate is near twice that of the rest of the country. No other recycling system around the world is proven to achieve this.

Litter and plastic pollution will fall. Groups like Clean Up Australia who are dedicated to cleaning up litter have repeatedly seen that litter rates of bottles and cans are much, much lower in South Australia. This includes less rubbish on our beaches which ends up in our oceans and killing seabirds and marine animals.

Not all industry is opposed. Coca-Cola and its industry group the Australian Food and Grocery Council are vocal in their opposition to Cash for Containers. But other beverage companies have actively supported the scheme in South Australia and Northern Territory, including companies like Fosters and Diageo.

It would be a massive boost for the recycling industry. Recycling companies expect to invest $500 million dollars and create 3,000 jobs in Australia if Cash for Containers goes national.

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