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Exchange for Change (EfC) will be changing the fixed price per material type for supplier contributions that fund the Return and Earn NSW container deposit scheme (CDS), effective for six months from August.

Under the NSW scheme, beverage suppliers currently pay a weighted average price of 12.62c (excluding GST) per eligible drink container they supply into NSW for the six-month period from February to July. From August, the new weighted average price (excluding GST) per eligible container will drop by 0.18c to 12.44c.

Danielle Smalley, CEO of EfC, said the decision to set pricing for a six-month period rather than 12 months was because of the current economic environment. 

“We’ve been pleased to hold NSW CDS pricing for 18 months. Given changes expected in the volumes of materials being collected through the scheme we have reviewed the prices that will apply for the period from August to next January,” adds Smalley.

“We aim to return to a 12-month fixed price by material type once conditions become more predictable.”

As financial management of the scheme operates on a not-for-profit, the design and thesupplier contributions are calculated based on the expected costs to operate the scheme and recover the different materials, including the container refunds paid to the public, and the scheme’s operating costs.

The organisation says Return and Earn "continues to deliver strong environmental, community and economic benefits to the NSW community", with five billion containers returned for recycling so far, through its 620-strong return point network across the state.

NSW residents appear to have embraced the scheme, with EfC claiming three out of four have participated, while $18.2 million has been returned through the scheme for charities and not-for-profits, via donations and fees from hosting return points. 

Improved harmonisation and simplicity for ACT

In response to industry feedback, the ACT government and EfC will make it easier for the beverage industry to do business in the territory, with Smalley also announcing a new and simplified approach to the ACT CDS supplier contributions. 

“Our goal is to make the ACT CDS a leading example of how business, consumers and government can work together to achieve real outcomes for the environment and the community,” explains Smalley. 

“These industry-led changes will be a game-changer for small business, with improved harmonisation to other jurisdictions resulting in less administration and more time actually delivering their business.”

Aimed at helping beverage suppliers, and in particular small business, by providing price stability and reducing complexity and administrative burden, the new ACT CDS supplier contribution approach will be implemented over two stages.

The first will come into effect from September where supplier contributions will be calculated using a supplier’s actual supply volumes rather than a forecast.

The second stage will see the introduction of a long-term fixed price per material type with the timing for implementation to be confirmed and dependent on stability in market conditions. 

“We’ve already seen a 23 per cent reduction in the volume of drink container litter polluting our parks and waterways in less than two years,” says Smalley. 

“This result has been made possible because of the contribution and support of the beverage industry, and we look forward to continuing to work with industry to ensure the ACT CDS’ on-going success in reducing drink container litter in ACT, while also meeting the needs of the business.”

EfC says it developed the new supplier contribution approach following extensive consultation, financial modelling and testing.

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