Coke delivered $6M invoice for court challenge to NT container deposit scheme

Press release - 16 August, 2013
Coca-Cola Amatil was today hand-delivered a giant, mock $6 million invoice representing the amount paid by the Northern Territory government to keep the cash for containers scheme operative after Coke, Lion Nathan and Schweppes successfully challenged it in the Federal Court in February.

Representatives of the Total Environment Centre, Clean Up Australia and Greenpeace delivered the invoice to the company’s North Sydney headquarters.  The Northern Territory government’s support ensured the recycling of about 18 million drink containers instead of them going to landfill or being littered.

“Last week the Northern Territory container deposit scheme got back on track after all states and territories united to close the loophole created by Coke’s federal court challenge. It’s only fair Coke and its allies now repay the costs that were forced onto Northern Territory taxpayers,” said Ian Kiernan AO, Chairman of Clean Up Australia.

“The success of the Northern Territory scheme is beyond doubt, with recycling rates trebling to 67 per cent during its first year of operation, stimulating new investment and jobs,” Mr Kiernan said.

As a result of the Federal Court decision the Northern Territory government was forced to financially support the cash for containers scheme and pay the 10 cent deposit at a cost of $1 million a month, after beverage companies stopped supporting the scheme.

“Recent polls show an overwhelming public thirst for a national roll out of the cash for containers scheme yet the beverage industry remains in overdrive, doing everything it can to frustrate it,” said Jeff Angel, National Convenor of the Boomerang Alliance.

“The Boomerang Alliance is currently stepping up our campaign.  This week posters calling for a container deposit scheme began to appear on the back of Sydney buses. We are also talking directly to NSW MPs with parliament now sitting,” Mr Angel said.

“It is disappointing but not surprising that Coca-Cola Amatil has continued to ignore the Boomerang Alliance's genuine request to formally meet and discuss the merits of this scheme,” said Ben Pearson Head of Campaigns for Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

“With every state except Queensland not opposing a national cash for containers scheme, the spotlight is now on NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Victorian Premier Denis Napthine to embrace what 84 per cent of Australians say they want,” Mr Pearson said.

Later this year state and federal governments are expected to decide whether to introduce a national cash for containers scheme.

For further information: Alison Orme Greenpeace Australia Pacific 0432 332 104

For interview:

Greenpeace Head of Campaigns Ben Pearson 0424 575 111
Jeff Angel Total Environment Centre 02 9211 5022 or 0418 273 773
Ian Kiernan AO Clean Up Australia 0418 232 288