The WA Government announced on the 17/08/2016 that it will introduce a container deposit scheme for drink bottles and cans to help improve recycling and reduce littering in Western Australia. Under the scheme, consumers will be able to get a 10 cent refund on containers usually seen as litter, such as beer cans and bottles, soft drinks, bottled water, small flavoured milk drinks, sports drinks and spirit-based mixed drinks.
Premier Colin Barnett said community desire for a container deposit scheme was very strong, which should lead to high participation. It was expected the scheme would start in mid-2018.
The 10 cent refund will be available from reverse vending machines and collection depots at parks, beaches and other public spaces across Western Australia. “Drinks containers are commonly littered, which is not only unsightly, but can cause environmental harm. With a 10 cent refund available, there is a greater incentive to recycle as everyone can benefit from doing the right thing,” Mr Barnett said. Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the scheme would complement WA’s recycling culture.
“It will benefit charities, sporting groups and community groups by allowing them to profit by participating in large-scale recycling activities. It’s a win for the environment, jobs, the community and the recycling industry,” Mr Jacob said. “I have been persuaded by the success of schemes in other States and Territories. South Australia records higher recycling rates than any other State and significantly less beverage container litter and WA has the highest percentage of drinks containers in our litter. I believe a scheme will make a big difference in this State.”
The State Government is committed to reducing waste and litter across all waste streams. The container deposit scheme will complement the Western Australian Waste Strategy: Creating the right environment and the Litter Prevention Strategy for Western Australia 2015-2020. Other reforms include increases in the landfill levy, bigger fines for littering and illegal dumping, the Better Bins system for households and the Recycled Construction Products Program.
South Australia’s litter stream has only 2.2% drink containers, compared with 13.2% in WA
The cost of the container deposit scheme will be built into the retail price of the packaged beverage
New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory are also introducing container deposit schemes