Why we need a Container Deposit System (CDs)
28 April 2012 - Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke says he supports container deposits as long all the states do. This is a major advance as national legislation will be required - but we need to bring our work with key states to fruition. The Ministers will meet on 24 August, 2012.
Here's why the campaign is important:
Australians consume drinks in almost 13 billion containers a year. Only about 40% of these are recycled, mostly collected via kerbside and much less (22%), away from home (food halls, events, public spaces). The other half are littered or landfilled representing a big waste of resources. If they were recycled - the energy, water and raw materials used in and pollution from container production would be significantly less. In addition thousands of new jobs would be created; charities helped; and crucially, hundreds of new convenient drop-off centres established - at no cost to government.
A CDS has been proven worldwide to be the best way to increase collection and recycling. South Australia has had a CDS for over 30 years and now the Northern Territory will have one in 2012. It would increase recovery to 80% - over 6 billion extra containers a year. Despite vigorous campaigning by environmental groups over many years the bigger states like New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have failed to adopt the system. Industry has invented the myth that kerbside collection will be financially disadvantaged. However the last three government supported studies have shown this to be wrong - in fact local government kerbside benefits.
Now we have a chance for the national introduction of container deposits with state and federal environment ministers about to decide on their preferred option after commissioning a 'regulatory impact statement'. Some states are even considering unilateral action.