The Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR) welcomed the decision by the Victorian government to introduce a 10-cent refund on drink containers.
Robert Kelman, ACOR container deposit division co-ordinator, said the planned refund scheme would help the state’s recycling sector, as well as its environment.
“It is now essential the government designs a scheme that benefits the community and the recycling sector and does not simply favour large drinks companies. This means objective rules, transparency, and accountability of scheme operations and optimal consumer access,” he said. “The government should also look at expanding the scheme to include wine and spirit bottles.”
Kelman said drinks producers would favour designing a scheme with low recycling rates, as they do not have to refund the deposit the consumer has paid or pay for the collection and recycling of this material. “This obvious conflict of interest must be avoided in Victoria,” he said.
“The recycling sector should be at the centre of managing the Victorian CRS. The sector will then make the necessary infrastructure investments in this and other recycling schemes, as they have over many decades.”
Kelman said a CRS is an essential recycling industry reform for Victoria, as it would help meet the state’s plastic pollution reduction goals and it would help solve the challenges presented by China’s waste import policies.
“ACOR and its members look forward to supporting the government design a world’s best practice scheme and investing the hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure to make it happen,” Kelman said.
Victoria had been the only state in Australia that did not have a container deposit scheme or plan to introduce one.
The Age reports that the scheme is a certainty regardless of which party is in government, as the Victorian Coalition has committed to the program. Liberal MP and leader of the opposition Michael O’Brien tweeted the story, writing that the Liberals and National’s plan for zero waste to landfill would “clean up Victoria”.