Darwin Harbour Clean-Up: An assessment of the data focussing on the container deposit scheme and plastic shopping bag ban September 2012

The Darwin Harbour Cleanup (DHCU) is an annual event organised by the Northern Territory Seafood Council and OceanWatch Australia's SeaNet Program through funding from the Australian Government's Caring for our Country and Territory Natural Resource Management's Coastcare Program. The clean-up is a combined effort involving volunteers, and a variety of community, business and government organisations lending expertise, facilities and equipment to what amounts to a major logistical task on the day. The cleanup is coordinated by the Northern Territory SeaNet Officer Lyn Lambeth. This year's Darwin Harbour Clean-Up provided an opportunity to assess changes in levels of packaging items in and around the harbour following the introduction of two initiatives by the Northern Territory Government aimed at reducing the flow of packaging items into the environment. A container deposit scheme (CDS) began operating in the Northern Territory on 3rd January 2012. The scheme offers a 10c refund on eligible containers. These include; plastic drink bottles used for juice, water, soft drink, sports drinks, iced tea and vitamin drinks Cardboard drink cartons used for flavoured milk and juice Aluminium cans used for beer and soft drink Glass stubbies used for beer and pre mixed alcoholic drinks. The NT Government also introduced a territory-wide ban on plastic shopping bags which came into effect in September 2011.

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